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Old 05-21-2011, 07:03 PM #1
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Unhappy 4runner has 150,000 miles, Want to take it on 4,000 mile trip..

I'm planning a long road trip with my 4runner, but before i give you the details here's some background on my 4runner:
Ok my 2004 sr5 2wd 4runner has almost 150,000 miles on it. It was my dad's and he bought it new and drove it 90,000 miles for 4 years (since 2004) before giving it to me (all highway miles no off-roading always kept in garage) When i got it from him it still ran like new, and he never had any problems with it. Now 3 years later (2011) it has 147,425 miles (mostly highway miles no off-roading always kept in garage) and still runs like new. I've never had any problems with anything at all and it always gets the tires rotated and oil changed every 5,000 miles at the toyota dealership, even though the warranty expired after 100,000 miles.

Now here's some backgound on my road trips:

Every summer i leave with 4 people total to hit up our great national parks( i do lots of photography). In 2009 i did yellowstone, in 2010 it was Glacier National park. We always used a friends Honda Civic because it had low miles, but now it almost has as much miles as my 4runner! (By the way i live near Dallas, TX) To be honest i hate doing these long road trips in a Civic and it makes me miss my 4runner everytime i do it ,but i've been too nervous to use the 4runner because of the high mileage it has. However, i've used the 4runner to drive from Dallas to St. Louis (1,400 miles round trip), and most recently Dallas to White Sands, New Mexico (almost 1,400 round trip) with no problems.

Now here's the trip i wanna tackle with my 4runner this summer: (7/21/2011 the trip has changed. See EDIT below)
So now i want to use my 4runner to drive from Dallas, TX to Yosemite National park in California. On the way we are going to stop at the Grand Canyon, pass through Las Vegas, and stop at Death Valley before reaching Yosemite. Coming back from Yosemite we will stop by Zion National Park in Utah, Moab/Arches National Park in Utah, then head back to Dallas, TX. All-in-all we are looking at about a two week long, 4,000 mile trip. I'm wondering if my 4runner will be ok doing this. I dont mind adding the 4,000 miles to my 150,000 mile 4runner. (the tires were just replaced 4 months ago)

Also, is there anything i should check/do with the vehicle before going on this trip? Anyone already do something like this with a high mileage 4runner? I just dont want to ruin or push the engine or anything like that. I know these vehicle seem to last forever and i wanna keep it that way! Thanks!


EDIT: Great advice so far guys, thanks. As of today (7/21/2011) my 4runner has 149,860 miles and is fast approaching the 150,000 mark, so i'm about to take it in for maintenance. Also my trip plan has changed! We are now going to be only in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado for two weeks. We had to cut out Yosemite due to lack of campsites and just a bad season to go. Instead a whole week will be spent canyoneering/hiking in Zion National Park with the rest of the trip being in Page Arizona (horseshoe bend), Arches, Canyon lands Utah and Mesa Verde Colorado. We will also stop at four corners. It's still going to be a great trip and can't wait to take the 4runner out there for some camping!

EDIT: (8/26/2011) Finished trip! It was only to canyonlands and arches in utah. Follow-up thread is here: Just finished 3,000 mile road trip to Southern Utah!
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Last edited by 4Runners; 08-26-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:36 PM #2
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The answer is yes! If it was any other make I'd second guess it. It's a Toyota, I ride or walk by them and they haven't made me walk yet.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:45 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lineman View Post
The answer is yes! If it was any other make I'd second guess it. It's a Toyota, I ride or walk by them and they haven't made me walk yet.
I agree but any time you get that many miles on any vehicle things can happen. I would worry most about the water pump or fuel pump giving up.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:47 PM #4
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Quote:
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The answer is yes! If it was any other make I'd second guess it. It's a Toyota, I ride or walk by them and they haven't made me walk yet.
Thanks for the reply Lineman! I feel like 4runners were made to go cross-country just hoping nothing happens. I once flew to las vegas and a friend rented a brand new Chevy Cobalt and we drove it to the grand canyon and back in a day but almost had the engine overheat on us! But then again that was a chevy
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:04 PM #5
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check water and fuel pump, do a fresh oil change before or plan for one along the way. maybe have the rear diff fluid changed if you havnt done that in a while. book says every 30k miles and since you said its never been offroad its probably good for 40k go 50k miles since the last time it was done

if V8 and you havnt changed timing belt, exepensive, but needs to be done before that long of a trip.

those are all i can think of. i would love to take a road trip like that someday. have fun and good luck
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:03 PM #6
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I did a long trip last summer in the 4runner just after I bought it at 100K. AZ to VA via MT and LA. Put 6K on it during the trip. Hit some of the same places. As far as taking the runner, I'm with the others. As long as you've been doing the maintenance, you're unlikely to have problems. They seem to go forever.

Here's a couple of items from my trip.

Sedona, AZ isn't too far from the Grand Canyon and probably on the way. You may want to hit it as well. There's a fun place to stop called the Grand Canyon Deer farm outside of Williams, AZ (near where you turn off to head north to the Grand Canyon). Get the popularity can.

If you've never been to Arches/Moab make sure you have some extra time. Especially since you like to take pictures, you'll want it. I've been all over and that's probably been one of the most beautiful places I've seen. Make sure you hit Hole N the Rock outside of Moab so you can say you've been there. There are some 4x4 trails that seemed pretty tame in Arches that you might want to try out if you have time. I didn't so I can't really comment.

Depending on your route, you can hit Four Corners on the way to/from Utah. Last summer they were building a new monument so it was closed but I might be an interesting stop.

Get a GPS if you don't have one. We loved the Garmin we used so much we bought a Kenwood DNX6960 and installed it. It was always spot on as far as arrival time. Note that it lists the arrival time in the time zone at the destination so sometimes the actual time you spend in your vehicle may be different than what you would assume based on the arrival time shown.

Check the tire pressure before you go. Toyota recommends 32psi on the door label. I noticed that if mine were 35psi the 4runner tended to track the 18 wheeler ruts on the highway. It drives much much better at 32psi.

We borrowed a Sirus radio for the trip and it was really nice to have. Also grabbed a bunch of This American Life episodes and put them on an iPod to listen to.

Good luck. Should be a blast.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:07 PM #7
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I'd get any lingering fluid changes done and top off all others. Give it a tuneup if its due, and check the hoses. On my 2005 4Runner V8 with 136k, the radiator hoses were getting a bit soft so I had them replaced when I had the timing belt done. Run a tank of fuel injector cleaner through it, and check all of your lights along with the battery terminals. Hopefully you're not on the original battery still. Carry a gallon or two of distilled water with you, a quart of oil, duct tape, flashlight, and some basic hand tools. My 4Runner also needed a front drivers side wheel bearing replaced - it was bad when I bought it at 133k and I had it replaced at 136k with the other major service I had done. Rotate your tires and give the brakes a once over to ensure you have over 30% of friction material remaining. I'd also take an automotive air pump, but that has nothing to do with being a 4Runner. Last check your tire pressures including the spare. Mine was OEM and never used at 136k, and it was down to 15 PSI which triggered the TPM indicator.

Yosemite is beautiful park - I'm lucky to only be a few hours away. Have a good trip!
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:27 PM #8
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I have somewhere around 147k on mine and I'd drive it to hell and back and feel comfortable doing it.

Sooner or later something is going to break, but you can reduce that with PM. FWIW: I didn't replace the H2O pump when I did my timing belt (the belt replacement was very fair, about $300 at the dealership, but they were trying to gig me on the pump, so I got mad), I know I should have, but I'm not having an issues...and it gets HOT here.

@ this mileage I'm throwing on FJ springs and Bilts 5100, which shows you how much I like my 4R and the faith I have in it's lifespan. Heck, I haven't even gotten a frozen caliper yet, knock on wood.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:40 PM #9
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Its a Toyota, enough said. but, 4000 should be just fine on the 4Runner. However, if youre nervous, just check under the hood often, and look for coolant coming out of the water pump, leaking oil, etc. Also, keep an eye on the water temp, since you will be driving through some pretty hot places.
Since you have such high mileage, and youre in hot weather, you may want to consider using 10W-30 synthetic (if you dont already.). The thicker oil will be better for warm/hot weather. I use it in mine all the time, and it works great.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:56 PM #10
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Thumbs up

I'm in the same boat as you. I have over 150k miles now, and really, haven't had any troubles along the way. I've done my scheduled maintenance, and try not to abuse her.

Along with the many great suggestions mentioned here, the couple things I make sure I have with me when I go on trips (especially in the HOT summer), is radiator hoses, just in case one bursts. I have had that happen in the past (on a different car, with WAY less miles).


Not exactly a great way to be stranded somewhere. Of course, you could always change out the hoses before you leave, and do your other preventives as well, as much as possible, and I think you all will have an enjoyable trip!
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:47 AM #11
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Just take the advice that the others have posted.

I went to Zion, Arches, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Las Vegas last year. You could easily spend two weeks in just one or two of those places.

I think Zion or Bryce was my favorite. I'm sure y'all will have a great time out there.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:31 PM #12
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Thanks everyone!

Thanks for all the replies all try to address them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Runner8 View Post
check water and fuel pump, do a fresh oil change before or plan for one along the way. maybe have the rear diff fluid changed if you havnt done that in a while. book says every 30k miles and since you said its never been offroad its probably good for 40k go 50k miles since the last time it was done

if V8 and you havnt changed timing belt, exepensive, but needs to be done before that long of a trip.

those are all i can think of. i would love to take a road trip like that someday. have fun and good luck
Ok i'm going to take the 4runner to the dealership before i go and get an oil change. While i'm there i guess i'll get all the fluid levels checked and replaced if needed (Including the rear differential fluid) It's a V6 and i think they replaced the belt during it's last 5,000 mile tune up at the dealership before it hit 100,000 miles. (I had to leave the car at the dealership for a day while they did like $700 worth of stuff) You should definitely take a road trip and visit some of our national parks. They really are nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmara View Post
I did a long trip last summer in the 4runner just after I bought it at 100K. AZ to VA via MT and LA. Put 6K on it during the trip. Hit some of the same places. As far as taking the runner, I'm with the others. As long as you've been doing the maintenance, you're unlikely to have problems. They seem to go forever.

Here's a couple of items from my trip.

Sedona, AZ isn't too far from the Grand Canyon and probably on the way. You may want to hit it as well. There's a fun place to stop called the Grand Canyon Deer farm outside of Williams, AZ (near where you turn off to head north to the Grand Canyon). Get the popularity can.

If you've never been to Arches/Moab make sure you have some extra time. Especially since you like to take pictures, you'll want it. I've been all over and that's probably been one of the most beautiful places I've seen. Make sure you hit Hole N the Rock outside of Moab so you can say you've been there. There are some 4x4 trails that seemed pretty tame in Arches that you might want to try out if you have time. I didn't so I can't really comment.

Depending on your route, you can hit Four Corners on the way to/from Utah. Last summer they were building a new monument so it was closed but I might be an interesting stop.

Get a GPS if you don't have one. We loved the Garmin we used so much we bought a Kenwood DNX6960 and installed it. It was always spot on as far as arrival time. Note that it lists the arrival time in the time zone at the destination so sometimes the actual time you spend in your vehicle may be different than what you would assume based on the arrival time shown.

Check the tire pressure before you go. Toyota recommends 32psi on the door label. I noticed that if mine were 35psi the 4runner tended to track the 18 wheeler ruts on the highway. It drives much much better at 32psi.

We borrowed a Sirus radio for the trip and it was really nice to have. Also grabbed a bunch of This American Life episodes and put them on an iPod to listen to.

Good luck. Should be a blast.
Woah! you gave me so many tips and advice! I have heard of Sedona, AZ i know it's beautiful there. Didn't hear about Williams, AZ although i passed though it before when i went from vegas to the south rim grand canyon back in 2008. Like i said, i'm guessing this trip will take about two full weeks, and i'm hoping to spend a couple of days in Utah. I know arches is very picturesque. Never heard of hole n the rock till now so i'll look that up. I always wanted to do four corners. On the way back to Dallas from arches, it would be either four corners or western Colorado. I also have 2 Garmin Nuvis (one is the widescreen one with the free traffic and the other is just an older model i keep as a back up) and my ipod touch is connected to the tape deck so i should be fine there. I will definitely check the tire pressure too. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unixadm View Post
I'd get any lingering fluid changes done and top off all others. Give it a tuneup if its due, and check the hoses. On my 2005 4Runner V8 with 136k, the radiator hoses were getting a bit soft so I had them replaced when I had the timing belt done. Run a tank of fuel injector cleaner through it, and check all of your lights along with the battery terminals. Hopefully you're not on the original battery still. Carry a gallon or two of distilled water with you, a quart of oil, duct tape, flashlight, and some basic hand tools. My 4Runner also needed a front drivers side wheel bearing replaced - it was bad when I bought it at 133k and I had it replaced at 136k with the other major service I had done. Rotate your tires and give the brakes a once over to ensure you have over 30% of friction material remaining. I'd also take an automotive air pump, but that has nothing to do with being a 4Runner. Last check your tire pressures including the spare. Mine was OEM and never used at 136k, and it was down to 15 PSI which triggered the TPM indicator.

Yosemite is beautiful park - I'm lucky to only be a few hours away. Have a good trip!
No, i got the battery replaced this previous winter when it died on me so it's about half a year old. All the other stuff i'll get checked at the dealership when i take it in for an oil change. Thanks for telling me what i should carry too. Very helpful, and yes you are very lucky to be near Yosemite. Northern California has some amazing National Parks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff4runner View Post
Its a Toyota, enough said. but, 4000 should be just fine on the 4Runner. However, if youre nervous, just check under the hood often, and look for coolant coming out of the water pump, leaking oil, etc. Also, keep an eye on the water temp, since you will be driving through some pretty hot places.
Since you have such high mileage, and youre in hot weather, you may want to consider using 10W-30 synthetic (if you dont already.). The thicker oil will be better for warm/hot weather. I use it in mine all the time, and it works great.
The oil they keep using in the dealership is 5w-20 but i'll definitely ask about the 10w-30. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A/V1 View Post
I'm in the same boat as you. I have over 150k miles now, and really, haven't had any troubles along the way. I've done my scheduled maintenance, and try not to abuse her.

Along with the many great suggestions mentioned here, the couple things I make sure I have with me when I go on trips (especially in the HOT summer), is radiator hoses, just in case one bursts. I have had that happen in the past (on a different car, with WAY less miles).


Not exactly a great way to be stranded somewhere. Of course, you could always change out the hoses before you leave, and do your other preventives as well, as much as possible, and I think you all will have an enjoyable trip!
Yeah i kept up with the scheduled maintenance toyota recommends until i hit 100,000. Then i just got the tires rotated and oil change every 5,000 miles. Although they say they check everything every time i bring it in, i'll be sure to ask about the radiator hoses too. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemsonfan15 View Post
Just take the advice that the others have posted.

I went to Zion, Arches, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Las Vegas last year. You could easily spend two weeks in just one or two of those places.

I think Zion or Bryce was my favorite. I'm sure y'all will have a great time out there.
All great advice. I bet i could spend two months doing this trip (if i had the time) because there will be so much to see! Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:41 PM #13
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sounds like after you get it tuned up again, you'll be good to go!

i need to take a road trip soon haha. its over due

as for the belt, since you have a v6 you have a timing chain, no need to replace the chain so your good there.

make sure to post lots of pics when you get back!
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:55 PM #14
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Quote:
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sounds like after you get it tuned up again, you'll be good to go!

i need to take a road trip soon haha. its over due

as for the belt, since you have a v6 you have a timing chain, no need to replace the chain so your good there.

make sure to post lots of pics when you get back!
Timing chain, that's good to know. I'm kinda new to this forum so i never posted any pics of my rig, but when i get out there with all those beautiful backdrops i'll be sure to post a whole bunch of them here! Thanks again 4runner8!
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:03 PM #15
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Timing chain, that's good to know. I'm kinda new to this forum so i never posted any pics of my rig, but when i get out there with all those beautiful backdrops i'll be sure to post a whole bunch of them here! Thanks again 4runner8!
no problem man, you'll learn a whole slew of info here. just gotta search around
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