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What Years Have Rust Problems?

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by Toyota Lover, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Jun 22, 2020 at 5:02 AM
    #1
    Toyota Lover

    Toyota Lover [OP] New Member

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    We purchased a 2003 4Runner about 5 years ago with 140,000K. It has been a great and faithful friend with no repairs until now at 225,000K. We use it to tow a small trailer, haul cargo, people, and sometimes a small boat, and often to carry kayaks. Currently it has an intermittent no start situation, we are working to solve. We are seniors, and really need dependability.
    If we were to buy a used 4Runner, 4th Gen., what years should we avoid to avoid the frame rust problems experienced by so many? Or do we have to go to a 2010 or newer? o_O
    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Jun 22, 2020 at 6:39 AM
    #2
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Not a new member

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    My advice when considering replacing a vehicle is buy the newest and lowest mileage that you can afford. Maybe even that you can’t afford, haha, because in the long run that extra longevity and history can’t be purchased. So in your case, Toyota Lover, my choice would be either fix the one I already own and love, or, tighten the belt and buy the best 5th gen I can find for my budget. You don’t say where you live, but I live in a snow belt where rust is a major consideration and I’ve never heard of any premature rusting on either 4th or 5th gen 4 Runners. A lot comes down to how they are individually cared for, so if looking at a new one, don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees, or if it’s a dealer, ask him to put it up on a hoist for you.
     
  3. Jun 23, 2020 at 3:36 PM
    #3
    doc4216

    doc4216 New Member

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    As far as I understand it, all the 4th gens had the potential of frame rust issues. Depending on where you live and whether you chose to take preemptive corrosion actions (spraying the frame every year) held a lot of weight to whether or not the frame was an issue. I have not heard of any rust issues on the 5th gens.

    Also, welcome!
     
  4. Jun 24, 2020 at 3:36 AM
    #4
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    I have a 4th generation 2005 SR5 with 150,000 miles. There is little frame rust. The upper body and paint are completely free of rust and she runs great on original tranny and V6.

    Stay away from cars from the north as their frames can rust to unfixable - with major frame rust.

    My 4runner was built in Japan and never entered the US.

    Always check for HG issue. Check coolant with tester https://www.amazon.com/Block-Tester...hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583932699360629&psc=1

    If HG is bad move on/forgetaboutit!

    Call in a good mechanic that has one of those $5,000 professional testing code tools.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  5. Oct 31, 2020 at 6:27 AM
    #5
    tooltimegrunt

    tooltimegrunt New Member

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    Just noticed my 14 has some serious rust, much more than our 03. My wife's 14 had only surface rust. Does Toyota offer any support with this?
     
  6. Oct 31, 2020 at 4:47 PM
    #6
    patriotgrunt

    patriotgrunt New Member

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    All years can have rust issues depending on it’s use. Maybe you can find an older rig down south and not have a lot of concerns.
     
    Trekker likes this.
  7. Oct 31, 2020 at 8:26 PM
    #7
    4Runner170V

    4Runner170V New Member

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    I used to work with rust prevention chemical company. Salt (road salt if you are in those states), Steel, Oxygen (air). Three combination for rust. all years, all makes, all models with frame will have rust...
     
  8. Nov 1, 2020 at 3:27 AM
    #8
    importman

    importman New Member

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    This^^^^^^^ I was going to say about the same thing. I don't know how people who live in the snow belt do it. I'm in eastern SC and we get very little snow. But when we do, it drives me crazy until I can get out and wash my vehicle and spray underneath. It's like I can almost feel it rusting. If I lived in an area with lots of snow/salt I'd probably go overboard with the preemptive protection. Or, more likely I'd park my better vehicle whenever there's salt, and I'd have what we call a "beater" car to drive in those situations.
    You would think with all the advances in science and metal over the years, someone would have come up with a solution for this. Either something that could be done to the metal when it's created to prevent rust, or something else that can used on the roads that wouldn't cause rust.
     
  9. Nov 1, 2020 at 3:40 AM
    #9
    Trekker

    Trekker New Member

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    All years have rust issues. Its up to the owner to make sure there aren't any.
     
  10. Nov 1, 2020 at 9:13 AM
    #10
    81runner

    81runner New Member

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    As far as I know from research on the topic of the 4th gen, the issue had more to do with the country of manufacture than age, and of course whether you live where roads are salted. The vehicles with japanese VIN numbers tend to fare better than the American made vehicles, the issue being the application of the chassis paint to the frame was sub-par coming from the states sadly. Looked this up a few years back, seeing if I can find a link
     

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