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In the Market for a 4Runner

Discussion in 'General 4Runner Talk' started by RedHorse7797, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Aug 1, 2016 at 10:13 PM
    #1
    RedHorse7797

    RedHorse7797 [OP] New Member

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    So I've been visiting the TacomaWorld forum for awhile now and I've actually owned two Tacoma's. My first was a 98 regular cab PreRunner and then a 2012 Double Cab PreRunner. After spending some time on TacomaWorld the one impression that I came away with is that the Tacoma is having reliability issues right from the factory in many cases. I even found an article that discussed the issues in which Toyota went so far as to say that they believe the issue may be over automation and reliance on the robots at the assembly plants. They want to get back to a bigger pool of skilled automotive craftsman that can catch would be issues with a vehicle long before the factory cranks out 10 to 30 thousand of them. The latest issue I was reading about was complete brake failure on the latest gen Tacoma's. One poster described her brakes failing six times on a truck with less than 3000 miles. She would press the pedal and have zero brakes. Let up and press again and they would work. She isn't the only one either as someone directed her to a thread were other posters were discussing the same thing.

    So I decided that was enough for me. I think I'll be looking at a 4WD 4Runner sometime next year. I would love to be able to support the American built truck and in fact the engine in the Tacoma is assembled at the engine assembly plant just about 10 minutes drive from my house. But with all the issues the truck seems to be having the last few years I just don't want to risk laying down 34 to 37 grand for a headache. As I understand it the 4Runner is still a Japanese built truck and apparently is far less prone to having issues. If that's not the case someone please let me know. Looking forward to gathering up as much knowledge as I can on this vehicle before I make a purchase.
     
  2. Aug 3, 2016 at 10:42 PM
    #2
    Oy Vay

    Oy Vay New Member

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    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    I'm on my 2nd 'Runner now and absolutely love them! They are truly "go ANYwhere, do ANYthing vehicles" with the quality of design and build that Toyota has built their rep on.

    The quality issues you describe with the Taco is news to me, but I'm admittedly not plugged in to a lot of Toyota-centric news sources. Others here undoubtedly know more about that then I do.

    Here's my opinion:

    Buy a 4Runner if you...
    ...want a rugged, reliable truck-like vehicle
    ...are willing/able to pay a premium for a mid-sized SUV
    ...want to be able to go ANYwhere, ANY time
    ...want very good visibility of your surroundings when driving
    ...don't want to be stranded in snowy weather
    ...live anywhere in or near the Rockies
    ...don't need a plush, silky smooth ride
    ...place a high value on collision survivability
    ...want to park your vehicle in your garage, not your auto mechanic's

    DON'T buy a 4Runner if you...
    ...are on an extra tight budget
    ...want to blend in with the crowd
    ...do mostly urban driving, requiring lots of nimble maneuvers
    ...want to put your mechanic's kids through Stanford
    ...want a palette of eye-catchy, trendy paint colors to choose from
    ...initially set out to buy a Yaris

    Hope this helps! Let us know what you decide to do.
     
    Gebs14, RedHorse7797 [OP] and Bob like this.
  3. Aug 4, 2016 at 10:38 AM
    #3
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 New Member

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    Keep in mind most people don't frequent forums for these vehicles, only the enthusiast crowds. As a member of TacomaWorld for at least 5 years I can say that:

    1. Many owners on there view vehicle maintenance as a hobby. They are probably over-checking and over-changing wearing parts and fluids in the quest for a high reliability vehicle that they will ultimately sell 3 - 5 years into ownership, therefore never even experiencing problems anyways due to low mileage / time on road. That said, I had my 2006 for 6 years and it was pretty flawless, and I never changed anything but oil and air filters, tires, and put gas in it. I should have done more.

    2. People with bad experience and no experience can be the same people. I heard one guy complaining Toyota didn't grease his axles because the zerk shaft was empty when he went to put grease in at 1,000 miles. A mechanic then explained that it was empty because the part was filled and THEN the zerk and shaft are installed. The first time you need to add grease it would need to fill the shaft then it would add grease. Made perfect sense once someone familiar with the vehicle explained it.

    The same goes with bad experiences, you're going to post about it here. It's less exciting to say "Just rolled over 200,000 miles, still just changing oil and driving it like I stole it."

    3. I'm likely looking at a transmission in my Chevy that I took adequate to good care of, better than most people. I still missed some maintenance windows, but I'd say it was a far better job than the average vehicle owner. Still happy with the truck, but compared, the Tacoma I had was older, had more miles, and never showed up at the dealership for any of these things. So even a bad Tacoma is likely still a great vehicle.

    4. Don't sweat the engine change to the Atkisson cycle too much. It's been in the Prius since 2003, it's not Toyota's first rodeo with that thing. The engine itself was developed in the 1880's I think, it was just not a popular as the Otto cycle which made more power.

    All in all, I love my wifes 4Runner, but I'd not think twice about owning a new Tacoma either. It's got a warranty, and they will make it right if something goes wrong. If you're having a bad experience with a dealership, try another one, I assure you there's a good one out there who wants your business and future purchases.
     
    SixthSnail and Bob like this.
  4. Aug 5, 2016 at 5:56 PM
    #4
    Greenbean

    Greenbean BS Goodwrench

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    Good info there,

    All I can add is after I spent 16 years as a Service Advisor for Honda/Acura you see something really start to stand out over the years and it's the issues related to vehicle assembled in the US vs Japan.

    Since most of my time was with Acura we had a good mix,
    We saw so many more issues and hence more appointments for the TL when they began building in Ohio. The Japanese vehicles seems so much better.

    Now I am on my 5th Toyota Truck and 3rd Tacoma, love my 4-cyl 5-spd but it's time for a 4Runner for our family.

    So I am researching the crap of the different generations and trying to decide if we want to go new or find a gently used model.

    Guess we will see,

    Good Luck on your quest.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2016 at 5:51 PM
    #5
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 New Member

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    Regarding Gen 5 (current one). I chose to buy brand new because the resale on these things is insane. That's good if you're selling, but sucks if you're buying.

    Doing the math I was only looking at $2500 difference in most cases between a brand new 2016 with 0 miles, and a 2014 with 50,000 miles, with worn brakes, suspension, and tires to match. So end the end, since my goal is long term ownership (10 years is the goal, longer would be a bonus), then new made the most sense to me.

    The more I drive my wife's 4Runner the more I want one of those instead of another Tacoma when my turn is up. MAN this thing is nice! I have new car fever of a car I already own....this is a conundrum!
     
  6. Aug 9, 2016 at 5:24 AM
    #6
    Greenbean

    Greenbean BS Goodwrench

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    So true, the same holds for used Tacomas also.

    Why would I pay just about a 1000 less and get a higher interest rate for going used.

    Hmm,

    I'm also considering he base SR5 as it can be had for about the same as a TRD OR Tacoma,

    Eventually get an ARB for the rear and be done. I'll never lift it, just run a 265/75R16 C-Rated BFG probably.

    But I don't like leather, wife doesn't care and the cloth seats feel good to me. I'm so used to getting seat covers, either Wet Okole or CoverKing ballistic fabric ones. But we are wanting to keep this next vehicle for at least 10-years so maybe a TEP is in our future. Ode be fine with an SR5 base though.

    One thing I forgot to mention is when I look at all the vehicles my dealership has coming to them the next 10 or 15 base model SR5s that have fabric interior all have the option of the third row fold-down seat which we do not need or want, so I have to order a 2017 and be sure that it have no options because I'll add Weathertechs all around and do what I want with it which helps keep the price low.

    image.jpg
     
  7. Aug 9, 2016 at 8:03 AM
    #7
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 New Member

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    My TEP (which did NOT include KDSS, approx another $1800 for that I think) was stickered at $40,900.

    Really all that's "better" than the SR5 would be:

    1. Locker (if you do ARB then who cares).
    2. Crappy AT tires (probably same you get, BFGs will be replacing them soon anyways)
    3. Sof-tex seats (if you like cloth not a bonus)
    4. Sunroof/Moonroof (Had a few, had a few leak...it's up in the air).
    5. Nav? (It's ok, it's Garmin based, but I use my cell phone).
    6. Hood scoop (I really wanted this, I know it's just looks...but I love the look of it).
    7. Random accent pieces you can easily copy or not care about.

    I paid for the locker and the hood scoop, the leather was a bonus, the moonroof I'll love until it leaks....

    I don't plan to make a hardcore rock crawler, so having a factory locker means I can slap bigger tires on it, a 2" or 3" toytec lift, a slimline bumper for a winch (and winch), and call this thing a day. It's really a camping vehicle, with light towing duties, so I didn't want to alter the geometry of it's tow capacity too much with lifts / tires, weight and mods.

    I think you'll do great either way you choose, I just chose the lazy way out to just get most of what I wanted from the factory so I didn't have to do it myself.
     
  8. Aug 9, 2016 at 8:19 AM
    #8
    Greenbean

    Greenbean BS Goodwrench

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    I wouldn't call that lazy at all, you have a factory locking rear end that is under a warranty for a while.

    On the sunroof thing, I was a service advisor for Honda Acura BMW for over 15 years, the worst thing for a sunroof is that accessory shade that they stick on the top of the roof, what plugs up the drains is debris, all sunroofs are going to leave a little bit but the seepage that comes through the rubber seal on the sunroof ends up being caught by the drains.

    The best advice I can offer you is research a type of white lithium grease called Shin-Etsu grease. It's the greatest stuff in the world. It's made in Japan for HMC and we stocked it at the dealer. It might be available elsewhere, it's the stuff on the service bulletins about S2000 and NSX tops starting to creak and make noise because it's a lubricating grease but also is designed to neutralize static electricity so that dirt and debris doesn't continue to stick as bad to those rubber seals and making them make noise and or maybe abrasively rubbing paint off or something to that effect. Also great for keeping every door seal looking like new and softened and smooth.

    The good thing is I'm $5,000 ahead of the game with my Tacoma, compared to what average

    14707557764982084542494.jpg
    20160809_111727.jpg
     
  9. Aug 9, 2016 at 8:41 AM
    #9
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 New Member

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    Awesome, I will get me some of that. My friend has a Jeep that probably needs this on his gaskets where the top sits, I bet it will help with the leak.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2016 at 9:15 AM
    #10
    Greenbean

    Greenbean BS Goodwrench

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    No guarantees, but it helps the seals stay clean and keeps the seals lubricated.

    YMMV, :D

    If it's good enough for an NSX it's good enough for my Tacoma!
     
  11. Nov 5, 2016 at 10:21 AM
    #11
    TedRCASC

    TedRCASC New Member

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    We'll be looking for that Shin-Etsu grease also. Our '16 Canadian Trail came with sun roof and a lot of other goodies too, incl KDSS, locker and Goodyear Duratrac knobbies. - Ted
     

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