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The Ultimate 5th Gen 4Runner Maintenance Guide

These are my personal maintenance steps and intervals. Based on your usage, the intervals may vary.

More step by step instructions in the blog are coming soon!


There are many great sites, forums, and videos for 4Runner-specific and general auto repair, but this site specializes as a reference tool for everything 5th gen 4Runner. The articles below provide a detailed, step-by-step instruction with full photos that can help you make a new maintenance item easier or as a continued reference/refresher.

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Difficulty: Easy
Frequency: Every 6 months or 5,000 miles. 
Estimated time: Less than an hour
Estimated cost: Depends on the oil used, typically around $50-$70

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Difficulty: Easy
Frequency: Every year or 16,000 miles
Estimated time: Less than 30 minutes
Estimated cost: Depends on the filter, typically around $40

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Differential & Transfer Case Fluid Change

Difficulty: Moderate

Frequency: 1.5 years or 15,000 miles (differentials)

                   3 years or 30,000 miles (transfer case)

Estimated time: A few hours

Estimated costs: Using genuine Toyota fluids, the cost is around $130 for the differentials and $120 for the transfer case

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Front and Rear Sway Bar Link Replacement

Difficulty: Easy
Frequency: As needed
Estimated time: A few hours
Estimated costs: Around $200 for OEM (front) or $125 aftermarket (front, bundle)

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Difficulty: Moderate
Frequency: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Estimated time: A few hours (much easier with a lift)
Estimated costs: Using genuine WS fluid and dealer parts the cost is around $200

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Difficulty: Easy
Frequency: Every year or 10,000 miles
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Estimated costs: About $10 investment

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Difficulty: Easy
Frequency: Check as needed
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Estimated costs: Using the genuine Toyota part (Aisan), the cost is around $5

Spark Plugs

Difficulty: Moderate
Frequency: 2 years or 30,000 miles
Estimated time: A few hours
Estimated costs: Using genuine Toyota-Denso plugs, the cost is around $45

Lubricating the Prop Shafts

Difficulty: Moderate
Frequency: 6 months or 5,000 miles
Estimated time: Less than an hour
Estimated costs: Depends on the grease

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