I’ve owned a number of cars over the years, but my current one has been the one that I’ve owned the longest and for the most number of miles. This car is my 4th Generation Toyota 4Runner. My 4Runner is an SR5 trim with the 1GRE-FE V6 engine, and is a 4×4.

I purchased my 2003 Toyota 4Runner on 6/29/2013 for $10,000 with 139k miles on the clock. 5-1/2 years later, I’m happy to still be trekking on with the same car with 240k miles on the clock.

4th generation toyota 4runner canyon

My Toyota 4Runner History

One of the things my dad taught me to do when maintaining your vehicle is to write down everything you’ve done to your car with the associated date and mileage. In today’s age of cloud computing and technology, I would normally track all of these things through a Google Sheet. However, I’ve always stuck to my roots of writing everything down instead. I’m not sure why I’ve never gone from paper and pen to an electronic form. Perhaps its complacency, or maybe I just enjoy the tradition of writing it all down.

4th gen 4runner records

I noticed that everything I did in these past 5-1/2 years on my 4Runner all fit on one sheet of paper. I obviously included all of the typical maintenance: oil changes, spark plugs, filters, battery, drive belts, brakes, tires, fluids. Aside from the maintenance, I’ve managed to keep my mods on this car pretty low-key. Here are the main ones:

4th gen 4runner canyon

What’s Next for the 4Runner?

I don’t plan on selling the car and I want to keep driving it for as long as I can. Maybe I can hit 500k miles one day? Maybe more? Before I get there, there are a few little quirks about the car that I still need to address at this time:

  • Miscellaneous broken plastic pieces in the interior
    • Some of these pieces are priced quite high on Ebay and the like, so I’m waiting until I find a good deal. Perhaps I can hit up a junkyard and see if I can find what I’m looking for.
  • Vibration of steering wheel when braking
    • I’ve already done all pads, rotors, and new brake fluid so I suspect that some calipers are frozen. I plan on replacing all of my calipers, maybe do the brake lines and resurface the rotors while I’m at it.
  • Head unit touch screen stopped working
    • Because I’ve already got my Rydeen backup camera set up to work with my head unit, I’d prefer to just use the same Scion T10015 head unit that I’m currently using. I’ll either take this head unit apart to see why the touch screen isn’t working, or I’ll wait for an Ebay coupon to come out to buy another used one for replacement.
  • Replace tires with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 when it’s time
    • Currently running on the stock Dunlop AT20’s that came with my 5th generation 4Runner Trail Edition wheels. I can’t justify replacing them until I’ve worn down the tread on the tires.
  • Install Cargo Box on Roof
    • I’ve got a Yakima Skybox coming in which will be really useful when I take my rig out on the weekends with the family.
  • Exhaust Manifold leaks
    • A common 4th gen 4Runner issue… it doesn’t cause any trouble at this point so I’m going to wait and decide what I want to do with this. Replacement exahust manifolds are expensive!
  • Floppy shifter fix
    • Another common issue on 4th generation 4Runners; there is apparently a spring that holds the shifter to the right position. However, this spring broke and now the shifter doesn’t stay in place if it has another lateral gear to move into. I’ll have to take this one apart and find a solution.
  • Center console, DRL bulbs out
  • Fix cloth tear on seat
    • Looking forward to using a Permatex fabric repair kit I bought! Keep an eye out for a review on this.
  • PA Loudspeaker/Siren
    • With all the driving I do, I see drivers every single day who are distracted with their smartphones while driving, not paying attention, and even driving recklessly with no regards to those around them. I’d love to be able calm a crazy driver weaving in and out of lanes with a few chirps. Or even notify an unsuspecting motorist with their lights off at night.
4th gen 4runner wide angle
Author

Hi there! I'm Scott and I run The Track Ahead. My goal is to provide helpful articles and tutorials based on my experience and research related to car maintenance and automotive detailing. When I'm not writing and not working my day job, you can find me spending time with my family and working on home and car projects.

7 Comments

  1. Gavin Miller Reply

    Could you do a post/point us in a direction for the HID retrofit? Also super curious on that one 🙂

    • I’ve been meaning to do a write-up on that and just haven’t gotten to it. I have a few other posts coming up, but I could try to get one out on the HID retrofit maybe late August/early September. If you subscribe, you’ll get a notification when I do. Thanks for the reminder on the overdue post!

  2. Stanley Edouard Reply

    Super Cool Scott. Thanks for this blog I got the same vehicle I just purchased and I plan to get her in spiffy shape and drive it to the wheels fall off.

      • Stanley Edouard Reply

        I purchased 2003 4 Runner Limited 4.7 V8 DOHC AWD at 200K mi, single owner from Texas for $3500. Engine and DriveTrain are in good shape , but i have a TON of work to do every where else whiich is why i have commented in nearly every post on the vehicle you have here. I want to DIY most of what i can in this vehicle.I have along way to go before i get to that lift kit. Thanks for the response!

  3. Stanley Edouard Reply

    I purchased 2003 4 Runner Limited 4.7 V8 DOHC AWD at 200K mi, single owner from Texas for $3500. Engine and DriveTrain are in good shape , but i have a TON of work to do every where else whiich is why i have commented in nearly every post on the vehicle you have here. I want to DIY most of what i can in this vehicle.I have along way to go before i get to that lift kit. Thanks for the response!

    • Scott Lam Reply

      That sounds like an amazing deal (since we all know these cars last far beyond the 200k mark). I wish I had a V8! Good luck on the journey, it’s incredibly rewarding doing a lot of this stuff by yourself if you can!

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