Notes: Although it has a stellar record in terms of vehicle problems, initially the 4th generation (2003 - 2009) 4Runner didn't earn our top "Seal of Awesome" rating because it received poor crash test ratings for rear impacts. However it's proven to have one of the lowest driver death rates out of all vehicles (not just SUVs), so we've bumped it back up to our top award.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
110,586 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Toyota 4Runner engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 112013


  • 75,000 miles


Leaking exhaust manifolds due to faulty design this is on the V8 4runner. Exhaust will go into the cabin of the vehicle and smell like rotten eggs. Toyota will not help in the replacement of these manifolds. The charge is 2500 to replace. There is a technical service bulletin on this issue. It is hard to drive with exhaust leaking in the cab sometimes getting sick.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #6

May 152016


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4runner. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle lost power. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The check engine and vsc warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an auto store where a technician pulled up diagnostic trouble codes. The contact spoke with a local dealer who stated that, based on the codes provided, the vehicle would be repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 05V123000 (engine and engine cooling). The VIN was not included. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 103,000.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012016


  • 146,000 miles
Stationary on startup - my 2005 Toyota has been rendered worthless because of a factory defect in the blower fan that only runs when cold starting the engine. It triggers the "limp home" mode in the vehicle which overrides transmission shifting and makes the vehicle unsafe to drive. The error code for this problem is P0418 secondary air injection system relay. This is a well-known problem and has occurred in many, many of the Toyota 4.7 L engines in different vehicles. Toyota is aware of this defect in this/these part(s). This could not be predicted or prevented by servicing the vehicle at regular intervals, or any other method of typical consumer maintenance. The price for repair is in the $3-thousand dollar range. This was not a consumer neglect item. Toyota has a part in their engine that is defective, and they know that. I do not have that kind of money for this vehicle, so I use a computer to reset the code until this gets resolved, or the vehicle completely shuts down.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #4

Jan 162016


  • 121,000 miles


For 3 days the car would start with engine roughness, lasting 15 seconds or so (sometimes with a cloud of smoke from the exhaust). On the 3rd day the check engine light, vsc, and trac lights illuminated. An analysis at an independent repair shop found a computer code of P0306 (engine mis-fire on cylinder 6). A borescope video of the cylinder shows small amounts of coolant entering the cylinder, indicating a head gasket leak. Searching this vehicle online and in this database shows a high number of reports of head gaskets leaking into cylinder 6. I am looking at quotes between $2500-5000 for repairs.

- Belmont, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 132014


  • 108,953 miles
My check engine light came on along with vsc trac. After taking vehicle to dealership I was told that the repair would cost $2,048.73 due to the air pump being stuck in off position. While Toyota in response to reports of air induction pump assemblies and/or air injection switching valves issues on their 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 sequoia models, Toyota has decided to increase its warranty on these parts and is even offering a reimbursement if you already had this issue fixed. My vehicle has the identical engine of the above-named vehicles but Toyota does not offer any help with the 4runner. It is my understanding that if I do not get the problem fixed it becomes a huge problem within federally mandated emissions requirement.

- Boothwyn, PA, USA

problem #2

Aug 012014


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and failed to slow down when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact mentioned that after shifting in neutral the vehicle slowed down. The vehicle was then maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was shut off. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and then to the dealer. The mechanic noticed metal fragments in the engine oil. The contact was made aware that the vehicle was included in recall NHTSA campaign id number: 11V113000 (vehicle speed control). However, the contact did not receive a recall notification prior to the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Eden, VT, USA

problem #1

Jul 032012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 100,150 miles
Engine loosing coolant. Vehicle brought to an independent service station which determined that the vehicle has head gasket failure. 3.0 V6 engine. Coolant being lost through exhaust system with usual symptoms of this problem. Vehicle has just over 100K miles. Appears this is around the mileage that gasket failures occur. This is a problem for which Toyota previously identified a limited number of vehicles for a recall. However in reviewing this website it appears the problem was ongoing beyond the vehicles identified. Although this is an older vehicle, if it had been recalled and fixed I most likely would not have had this problem. Toyota notified but is denying any responsibility for faulty gaskets beyond identified vehicles.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

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