Multiple issues with this vehicle?

Tiny
T. JOHN
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 198,687 MILES
In 2015 I was looking for another vehicle to buy. I did extensive in-depth surfing in what I wanted to buy. Also asking friends that had 4 runners. Some of them were way before a 2005 that they owned. Everyone I ask even mechanics I knew said they were basically bullet proof/last forever and none had any major troubles like I have stated below.
So, in 9-15 I bought my first 2005 4runner sr5 with less than 100,110 on it. Fast forward now to the year 2020. In that summer my transmission went out and had to get a remanufacture one. My mechanic/friends told me that should not have ha-pend and it did. It had less than 159,978 on it. Did the pros and cons and got a remanufacture one. Three days later my starter went out and battery drained.
in 2020 my brakes were acting up. Me and a friend of mine did a brake job all the way around. The reason it was, come to find out the pistons froze up in the calipers in the front.
Fast forward now to 2021 later in that year. It started to make a noise underneath. Took it to a repair shop I trusted Needed lower control arms with built in ball joints and had those replaced.
Fast forward now to 2022. In the last 5 months had to put new rotors on the reason warped. Two different times. The most recent was on 7-15 2022.
I have put so much money into it I have to keep it.
The worst vehicle I have ever owned. Would not recommend any one buying one. I am thinking about looking into and getting an extended warranty. So, if you were me. What would you do/any advice for me?
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 AT 4:18 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Nothing you listed is out of the ordinary and will occur on any model or brand. Batteries last up to five years, and rarely a little longer. That can't be avoided. The transmission is a bit uncommon, but it's very common on some other brands. Ball joints are also really common. The uppers last on average, 15,000 miles on some older Chevy S-10 and Blazer models. Fords are well-known for steering components falling apart. GM vehicles starting with '87 models have a really big problem with starters and generators. Jeeps have a lot of electrical problems. All newer models have way too many unnecessary computers to do things that never required computers in the past. They live in an environment where it's dusty, wet, hot, cold, and lots of vibration. Those are the worst things possible for delicate electronics.

Be aware too, a brake job performed by a competent do-it-yourselfer is a lot different than one performed by a trained brake system specialist. There's a real lot more to it than slapping on new pads or shoes.

It sounds like you're too young to have much experience with a lot of other vehicles. As such, you might be suffering from "unreasonable expectations". I know some people who would be thrilled to change vehicles with you. Some spend more on repairs in some months than they pay for car payments.

To get more insight on this issue, you might consider checking out this article as a starting point:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/10-questions-and-information-to-ask-before-a-repair-shop-visit

Please reply if I can answer any questions or parts issues better.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 AT 6:17 PM
Tiny
T. JOHN
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your fasted reply. After reading what you put in depth. I did not realize that on a lot of other makes/years beside mine. Those you mentioned had similar problems that I had/have. I am going to check out that article you asked me to check out. Thank you again.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2022 AT 5:10 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You're welcome. To be honest, I'm a fan of the Chrysler company, but they have plenty of models I wouldn't want to own. Since at least the 1940s, they were the world's leader in innovations that benefitted their car owners. GM is the world's worst when it comes to "customer-unfriendly business practices". I don't have a problem with the fit and finish or ride quality. My grump has to do with all the ways they have figured out to suck your wallet dry after the sale. When it comes to those customer-friendly business practices, the consensus among independent instructors for Carquest is the top of the list goes to Hyundai, Toyota, and Chrysler, in that order. That doesn't mean their vehicles are any better or worse, or that you won't have a major breakdown. It means their warranty and repair policies take into account the best interests of their customers even though it can cut into their profits. GM seems to give absolutely no consideration to generating a future repeat sale. Their salespeople will do whatever it takes to sell a vehicle right now. Other business owners realize spending a little now to keep a current customer happy will reward them with customer loyalty in the future. I heard that same comment from my former boss at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership. He said it takes fewer dollars to keep ten current customers happy than it takes in advertising to get one new customer. That seems to agree with what I've observed over the years.

By the way, you mentioned you installed a "remanufactured transmission. For a vehicle that's still worth plenty, such as yours, that's the best way to go. Those are basically rebuilt with mostly new parts except for the housing and the internal parts that don't wear. In addition, most of the rebuilder companies incorporate updated parts to address any known problems related to the design, or failures they see over and over. In many ways a remanufactured transmission, or engine, is better than the original. Ford is especially well-known for cutting corners to save a nickel. Build a million cars, and you save a million nickels. That goes way back to the 1970s when some engineer figured out they could leave four grease fittings off the steering linkage. Similarly, they can leave out one clutch plate in the clutch pack for one gear, and the transmission will still hold up, but not for quite as long. A rebuilder will add that extra clutch plate, if it will fit, at a cost of just about nothing to his profits. You won't notice any difference, but this is a perfect example of getting a product that is better than the original.

Among Chrysler's many innovations, they were the first company to have a computer-controlled automatic transmission. The first few dozen were test-driven for thousands of miles, and they were bullet-proof, but everyone in the repair business knows what a disaster they turned out to be once they were no longer hand-assembled and had everything adjusted exactly to specs. "Tolerance build-up" on the assembly line led to many failures at relatively low mileages. That means a sealing surface could be off by a little and still be okay. The sealing ring could also be mispositioned by just a little, and be okay, but when you added all the other measurements that were all off by just a little, pretty soon you had a seal that was no longer riding on the carefully-machined sealing surface. All of this is addressed and corrected when the rebuilder hand-assembles each transmission. Once that was done to those first Chrysler transmissions, they had no more problems than any other manufacturer.

You have to look no further with Toyota to see how aggressively they were trying to reach their customers to replace air bags at no cost. GM has ways figured out to avoid those costs and responsibilities. Other manufacturers will initiate voluntary safety and emissions recalls before a government agency gets involved. This is another example of what I mean by "customer-friendly" business practices.

So to repeat myself, I've known your frustration when a major repair is needed, but ball joints, hoses, belts, and periodic scheduled fluid changes can be expected on any vehicle. If you'd like some entertaining reading, peruse some of the other questions people have posted. Look at the aggravation they've expressed in trying to diagnose an elusive problem. You'll be thankful you aren't the owner of some of those models.

Consider yourself welcome to come back to visit us with your next problem or question. We have all kinds of informative articles here:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles

to get you started. There's also a real long list of videos on YouTube. Over half of them are model and year-specific, but even some for other models can be helpful. Doing a brake job, for example, is shown on dozens of models, but the important points to eliminate or prevent squeals, pulls, and vibrations are the same for all models. Hope I've made you less upset with your vehicle.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2022 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
T. JOHN
  • MEMBER
More info. Since my first one was so long. After reading this one and the one before. Thought I would give you more insight. After the shop found out I needed a new tranny. They contacted the company and told them what make, model and etc, to find the right transmission.
Get this now.
The company got back with them and basically told them they are supposed to be bullet proof and last, not mine. Bottom line none in stock. So, according to the owner he said I needed one (ASPA) they did that. So, I hope they did not rush in building it/getting it to the shop. Also, the repair shop is now out of business for some reason.
You were saying I must be fairly young. I am not. Early seventies. I have always liked to work on my vehicles in the past. Replacing radiators, hoses, tune ups, break jobs and etc, if you get my drifted. With today's it is getting harder to do that. If I do not have enough knowledge to work on mine I ask friends that do. I have also helped friends work on theirs.
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Friday, July 22nd, 2022 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
T. JOHN
  • MEMBER
Click reply by mistake before I finished.
I know you are an expert and thank you for answering all my questions and giving more helpful advice. I see your point in a lot of ways. This is the way I feel about my 4runner sr5 v6. I am stating my view. I am sure you have had, worked on many different ones I know more then I have. A way tried to keep mine for at least five or more. If they give me a lot of trouble time to get rid of them in my view. Past vehicle the only time rotors had to be replaced was when brake job was needed. Never had to replace it in such a short time. Needed a transmission a long time ago in another one my fault. Lower control arms/ball joints. In the past very few in what just mentioned c/a/b/j had to be replaced.
Thank you for letting me vent.
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Friday, July 22nd, 2022 AT 10:43 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. I'm only four years behind you, but I'm catching up.
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Friday, July 22nd, 2022 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
T. JOHN
  • MEMBER
Like what you put.
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Monday, July 25th, 2022 AT 6:46 AM

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