The Toyota 4Runner is a family-hauling, hill-climbing, boat-towing SUV that’s been around since 1984.
In this article we’ll give you the full breakdown of its maintenance, tune-up and running costs.
Here is the short answer to are Toyota 4Runner expensive to maintain:
The Toyota 4Runner has very reasonable maintenance costs. It would cost you around $514 to maintain a Toyota 4Runner every year, which is slightly lower than the average of $573 annually for midsize SUVs. A tune-up will be around $315, including the replacement of spark plugs.
Are Toyota 4Runner Expensive to Maintain?
The 4Runner is best known for its rugged versatility but what’s often overlooked is its very affordable maintenance costs.
When looking to buy a new vehicle it’s important to assess maintenance costs to ensure you’re able to properly look after it.
Failing to stay on top of routine servicing and repairs will lead to poor reliability and shorten the lifespan of your vehicle.
Below you’ll find a complete price breakdown for some of the most common costs for the Toyota 4Runner, all data is from RepairPal:
|Toyota 4Runner Maintenance||Cost|
|Average annual repairs and maintenance||$514|
|Alternator replacement||$450 – $537|
|Oil change||$134 – $147|
|Wiper blade replacement||$113 – $120|
|Air filter replacement||$40 – $49|
|New brakes||$234 – $269|
|Coolant change||$84 – $106|
|New tires (set of 4)||$600 – $1400|
|New tire (one only)||$150 – $350|
|New spark plugs||$201 – $232|
|Tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance||$79 – $100|
|Insurance||$1536 / year (average)|
How Much is a Tune-Up on a Toyota 4Runner?
This will vary greatly depending on where you take your Toyota 4Runner and you’ll likely have to pay more at a Toyota dealership than your local mechanic.
Toyota recommends having a tune-up every 5,000 miles or six months whichever comes first.
You can expect to pay in the region of $315 for a fairly comprehensive Toyota 4Runner tune-up that includes, but is not limited to:
- New spark plugs
- Thorough inspection of engine components
- Filters changed
- Coolant flush
- Cleaning IAC valve (idle air control)
- Throttle body clean
- Transmission and differential fluid change
Whilst your Toyota 4Runner is under warranty it is advised you get it serviced at a registered Toyota dealership.
Regular tune-ups are highly recommended because:
- They can bring more power back to your engine.
- Helps your engine run efficiently and start smoothly, which equates to lower emissions and better fuel economy.
- Ensures long-term engine health and performance
Alternator Replacement Cost?
A new alternator on a Toyota 4Runner will set you back between $450 – $537 for a replacement which should last around 80,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 – 10 years
While the battery is used for starting your car when the engines off, the alternator keeps your car alive when the engine is running.
The alternator powers most electronic components while you’re driving around or idling and is also responsible for charging the battery of your car while driving.
Oil Change Cost?
The cost of an oil change should cost in the region of $134 – $147, this includes parts and labor, however does not include taxes and fees. An oil change is one of the most meaningful and vital services for your car.
- An oil change should be performed on the Toyota 4Runner every 3,000 – 5,000 miles for conventional oil.
- Synthetic oil typically should be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles.
At most, oil change intervals should not exceed 10,000 miles, twelve months, or 350 hours of engine run time (whichever comes first)
Wiper Blade Replacement Cost?
This is a relatively simple and quick fix, and you can easily save yourself a few bucks by buying your own wiper blades and installing them yourself, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on this.
Most Toyota 4Runners use a 24″ wiper blade on the driver’s side and 20″ on the passenger’s side.
Wiper blades for the Toyota 4Runner can be picked up for around $40, and installed by yourself for free.
However, if you want a professional to fit them for you then you can expect to pay in the region of $113 – $120 for parts and labor with taxes and fees on top.
Air Filter Replacement Cost?
According to RepairPal, air filter replacement cost on a Toyota 4Runner is between $40 – $49, not including taxes and fees.
The good news is this task, which should be performed annually or whenever the filter is clogged or dirty, is another fairly straightforward DIY.
Simply open the hood, locate and open the air filter’s housing, remove the old one, insert the new one and replace the housing cover.
This will help both your car and your bank account breathe a little easier, lots of tutorials on YouTube for this one also.
Battery Replacement Cost?
According to RepairPal, the cost of a battery replacement for a Toyota 4Runner should cost $250.
Whilst there are no specific mileage recommendations for when a battery needs to be replaced, they do eventually die.
In general, it’s a good idea to replace your battery once every 4-5 years.
A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many different factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.
To help your battery last longer:
- Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your SUV can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
- Limit short rides: Short rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
- Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.
New Brakes Cost?
Toyota 4Runner brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 miles and necessary brake work isn’t a cost you can afford to neglect.
The average cost to replace your Toyota 4Runner brake pads, according to RepairPal, is between $234 – $269.
Brake pads will wear out at different rates depending on factors such as climate and your style of driving.
Pro tip: To prolong the life of your brakes – Keep your speed low in heavy traffic and avoid any sudden braking.
Cost to Change Coolant?
If it’s just a top-up your Toyota 4Runner requires then this is a simple task you can perform yourself.
You can pick up coolant at any gas station for a few bucks and top up to the level required.
If on the other hand, you require a coolant change, which simply involves draining the coolant from the base of the radiator and then replenishing with fresh fluids, this is going to cost you a bit more.
According to RepairPal, the average cost of a Toyota 4Runner coolant change is between $84 – $106 (excluding taxes and fees).
You may also be interested in our article:
How Much Does a New Transmissions Cost?
Transmissions on the Toyota 4Runner typically last 10 – 14 years or around 150,000 to 200,000 miles, depending on how well they are maintained and how the SUV is driven.
The average cost for an aftermarket or rebuilt transmission for a Toyota 4Runner could be over $3500. This range may vary depending on the model year.
Tire & Wheel Assembly, Rotate & Balance Cost
Tire rotate ensures each tire gets worn evenly whilst balancing ensures they roll smoothly and there’s no vibration (this also helps improve your fuel economy).
According to RepairPal, the average cost for a Toyota 4Runner tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance is between $79 and $100 – this does not include taxes and fees.
How much Insurance Cost?
According to insruaviz.com, the average cost of Toyota 4Runner insurance is $128 / month or $1536 / year (as opposed to the $1,527 national median midsize SUV insurance rate).
These figures can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as your age, driving record and state requirements etc.
- It’s always best to shop around and get at least 3 quotes, make sure the company you choose is reputable.
- Use price comparison sites like Compare.com.
- There are big discounts available for taking additional driving courses or being a senior
- The best way to keep your insurance costs down is to drive safely
Toyota 4Runner Repair Costs Compared to Similar Models
|Model||Avg. Annual Repair Cost||Frequency of|
|Probability of |
|Hyundai Santa Fe||$515||0.2||10%|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||$506||0.5||14%|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$666||0.3||13%|
|Ford Explorer Sport Trac||$720||0.3||14%|
|Ford Police Interceptor Utility||$1,160||1.0||20%|
|Avg. Midsize SUV||$573||0.4||13%|
How Reliable is the Toyota 4Runner Compared to Other Models?
|Mazda CX-5||4.5 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota Venza||4.0 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Veracruz||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Endeavor||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Journey||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota Highlander||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Nitro||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota 4Runner||4.0 / 5.0|
|Subaru Outback||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Edge||3.5 / 5.0|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||3.5 / 5.0|
|Honda Pilot||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Liberty||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||3.5 / 5.0|
|Mazda CX-7||3.5 / 5.0|
|Nissan Pathfinder||3.5 / 5.0|
|Subaru Tribeca||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Explorer||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Explorer Sport Trac||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Traverse||3.0 / 5.0|
|GMC Acadia||3.0 / 5.0|
|Buick Enclave||3.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Touareg||3.0 / 5.0|
|Ford Police Interceptor Utility||2.0 / 5.0|
|Avg. Midsize SUV||3.5|
How Long is the Toyota 4Runner Manufacturers Warranty?
When you drive your new Toyota 4Runner off the dealership lot, you’ll be covered by Toyota’s factory warranty of 36,000 miles / 3 years basic coverage, except for wheel alignment and wheel balancing, which only has a warranty duration of 12,000 miles / 1 year.
This length of protection is actually quite common among car manufacturers however it is on the shorter side of warranties
You can check your vehicle warranty status, track your service history, view your Owner’s Manual and more on the Toyota website. If you cannot find the VIN number, the only real way to check your vehicle’s factory warranty is to call or visit your local dealership.