When looking at parts for your Toyota 4Runner, you might get intimidated by the sea of options and you might not know what would be the best option for you. We have gone through multiple options in each category so that you can make an informed decision when buying any part for your Toyota 4Runner whether new or used.
Let’s give you a birds-eye view of how the parts can be categorized to make things more clear. There are two main categories of Toyota 4runner Parts:
OEM stands for the Original Equipment Manufacturer. As the name suggests, the OEM parts are manufactured by the company that manufactures products for the Vehicle itself. These 4×4 parts are not referred to as the original products because the parts that were on the vehicle when it leaves the showroom are referred to as original products.
If you are looking for a quality stock setup then you should go for the OEM. The OEM parts are available at the dealerships but they can also be found on Amazon and other online stores at a lower cost. Make sure that the seller is trustworthy before buying the product online.
Beware – There are plenty of counterfeit products circulating in the market, especially online that are not OEM but are being sold as OEM. The reviews on the products are going to reveal whether or not the product is genuine.
If you want something cheaper or more expensive than the OEM, then the aftermarket is your answer. There are all kinds of qualities available in the aftermarket; from the lowest to the highest that you can get.
If you are looking to save some money and want something cheaper than the OEM then the aftermarket has plenty to offer. And if you aren’t satisfied with the original manufacturer products then still the aftermarket has got you covered.
In A Nutshell
OEM products will be more expensive than the aftermarket of the same quality. While for a dedicated offroader setup the OEM won’t cut out. The aftermarket has much more to offer. Low-quality cheap products however are also available in the aftermarket.
Whichever product you are going for, make sure that it fits. You can check the fitment, mostly given on the website from where you are buying your product.
Regular Maintenance And Normal Wear And Tear Items
Cleaning And Detailing
Before we dive into the maintenance parts, we have to first talk about the golden rule of the industry. If you can keep your ride clean, you will be able to keep it maintained. Another benefit of keeping your SUV clean would be rust prevention – And because of that, without further ado, let’s talk about how you will be able to keep it clean.
Two Bucket Method
You can have your SUV washed from a car wash but if you want to do it DIY then you would need to know the two bucket method. As the name suggests, you need two buckets; one filled with clean soapy water and the other one filled with normal water.
After giving your SUV a thorough rinse, dip your microfiber cloth in the soapy water and wipe on the surface, make sure that you don’t wipe the cloth on a dry surface as it will scratch the precious paint.
After the cloth takes up all the dirt, dip it in the other bucket with the normal water. The dirt will loosen up and will remain in the water. Now the rinsed cloth can again be put into the bucket with soapy water.
Another important thing to know is to wash your SUV from top to bottom as the bottom will have a lot more dirt than the top, and you wouldn’t want to wipe your SUV with a cloth filled with dirt.
Wax And Polish
You can use these materials to keep your paint protected from UV and other harmful stuff. Now the best ones are neither too cheap nor too expensive. Before applying the wax and polish, make sure that the surface is dirt-free. To make the process easier, you can have a buffing tool as well.
To make sure that all the parts underneath your SUV remain rust-free, this is the thing that you need to keep at all times. Spray this liquid after every other wash under the vehicle. It will make a protective coating that will form a barrier against moisture and dirt – the known causes of rust. Here’s a link to Amazon.
When you are hunting for a Toyota 4Runner in the used market, you can apply the golden rule. If the truck is well cleaned and everything is nice and tidy, chances are, it’s well maintained. If it’s otherwise, then it means it’s not maintained.
You can’t use this rule at a dealership as they keep all of their inventory detailed so you can’t tell the difference unless you test drives it first.
This is the liquid that decides whether or not your engine is going to last 100k miles or 500k miles. Replacing the engine oil is the first thing that comes when talking about the maintenance of a vehicle.
Replacing it with the right engine oil should be the priority. There are vast numbers of engine oils available in the market. The best option is to go for the one recommended by the Manufacturer. Toyota recommends the Toyota Genuine Motor Oil or equivalent.
After knowing the right engine oil, you need to know the right time to change it. The interval to change the engine oil is completely dependent on how you drive your SUV. The same SUV can have different engine oil replacement intervals.
If you are towing some massive loads and you drive a little rough then the best interval is before you hit 4000 miles. Yes, it does seem a little early, but to make sure that your engine remains healthy, you should change at every 4000 miles. If you are not towing and not driving it rough, then you can replace the engine oil at about 7000 miles.
To have a close-to-new vehicle at all times, you have to make sure that all the lubricants are changed at their respective time/miles intervals. If the lubricants are not changed at the supposed time, you will start hearing rattles and clunks throughout the SUV. The best option is to go for the OEM ones or the recommended ones.
Interchanging lubricants can cause problems because not a single lubricant is similar to another. All different lubricants will have different viscosities and if you put mixed ones into your system, the flow will not be smooth, causing more damage than good. Make sure to have purpose-specific best lubricants that you will always be putting in your SUV.
If you want to change the type of lubricant that you were previously using, you can do that, however, you would have to make sure that the previous one is poured out completely before you put in the new one.
There are a lot of options/colors of coolants available in the market. The manufacturers have some suggestions on which type of coolant you should be putting in its vehicles. Toyota advises using the Toyota Super Long Life Coolant or something similar.
The Toyota Super Long Life Coolant is premixed with 55% coolant and 45% deionized water. You can also go for 100% coolant and mix with water separately. But to have more convenience you can have the premixed coolant and save yourself buying two separate canisters and then mixing them and finally putting them in your radiator.
If you are going for the aftermarket coolant – not recommended by Toyota – then make sure that it is a high-quality ethylene glycol-based non-silicate, non-nitrite, non-borate, and non-amine coolant with long-life hybrid organic acid technology.
The air filters play a very important role in keeping your engine healthy – negligence in this area would cause problems like bad fuel average, weird engine noise, dirt getting into the system, etc. So make sure that you go for the OEM spec air filter or better than that. Going for something of less quality is not a good option.
OEM Air Filter
First, let’s take a look at the OEM air filter for the Toyota 4Runner. If you get these from the dealerships, they are going to quote you more than $60 while on amazon, you can get the same thing for less than half the price. Here’s a link to one on Amazon.
Better than OEM/ K&N Filter
If you want something better than the OEM then you can go for the K&N cold air intake. These filters are more promising than the OEM ones due to a slight increase in horsepower that you get. On top of the increased performance figures, these filters make your engine bay look much cooler.
To save you time on research, we have found the one that will fit into your engine bay without a problem. Here’s a link to Amazon where you can find that filter.
High-Performance Air Filters
If you are a pro-level overlander, then you want the best of the best – And for that you would have to go all bonkers and get the aFe cold air intake. These are some of the most expensive ones on the market due to the sophisticated technology that has been put in. Overall the “aFe” option would be the best. Here’s a link to Amazon.
There are two main engine options available in most of the variants. Toyota recommends a minimum of 87 octane. The ethanol content should not be more than 15%. Mostly the models that came before 2011 have this percentage up to 10.
Before we dive deep into the brakes, let’s first talk about the brake fluid. The OEM brake fluid will be the best choice. Toyota recommends the FMVSS No.116 DOT 3 or SAE J1703 brake fluid for the Toyota 4Runner.
After brake fluid comes brake pads. The brake pads are worn out after a couple of thousand miles. The wearing-out process is escalated when you are towing loads of weight regularly. When you feel that your brake pedal feels spongy and the brakes are not as good as they used to be, if it’s not the brake fluid, it’s the brake pads.
There are quite a few options regarding the brake pads. OEM has two different types that you can put; one of them is the normal brake pad and the other one is the ceramic brake pads. Here’s a link to the normal brake pad which you can put in your Toyota 4Runner. If you want the ceramic ones, here’s a link to those as well.
The aftermarket ones would have fitment issues when you are only going to replace the pads. You are going to experience wobble as well. If you want some aftermarket brake pads, the best option is to replace the whole braking system, otherwise, you will experience issues. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the size of the wheels.
When you are experiencing shaking of the whole vehicle while braking then you are supposed to look at the rotors, they are probably warped pretty good. The best option is to change both the rotors and the pads.
If you are going for aftermarket ones instead of OEM, then you would also have to make sure about the caliper’s size, which often doesn’t match the aftermarket brake pads and rotors. And don’t forget to check the compatibility with your wheel size.
The standard wheels on the Toyota 4Runner are 16 inches while on the higher-spec models, you have 17-inch wheels. Here’s a link to the Amazon where you can find the rotors and pads that you are looking for; the K137 is for the 319mm front rotors while the K2421 is for the 338mm front rotors.
You can change your suspension with either the better aftermarket setup or you can get the same stock ones – the OEM spec. If your suspension is rattly and the steering feels numb then it’s time to replace some parts of your suspension. If you are looking to increase the ride height, then it’s best to go for the aftermarket coil-overs that will give you 3+ inches of lift.
The aftermarket is filled with high-end suspensions that not only will increase the ride height but will also give you a better ride quality compared to the stock ones. Fox and Bilstein suspensions are one of the most sought-after suspensions of the market.
Other than the normal Toyota suspension, the 4th gen offered the X-REAS suspension in its limited and Sport models, having the V8. These suspensions have a limited working cycle and when they start going bad, fixing them is not a feasible option. The best option is to replace.
Bumpers are one of those things on the vehicle that are going to take on some hits one way or another. You can protect your precious bumpers by putting the bumper guards or in case your whole bumper is damaged, you can go for the option of replacing it with the aftermarket ones.
The advantage of having an aftermarket one is the availability of an integrated hitch receiver, recovery points, light housings, rear tire mount in some cases, bicycle mounts, etc.
Offroading Modifications And Towing Accessories
If you are looking to raise the height of your 4Runner but you also want to keep it cost-effective then this is for you. However, these kits aren’t going to give you a massive lift, it would only be around 1-2.5 inches. These kits are simple spacers that raise the front end of your 4Runner.
What are the benefits of these spacers you may ask? Well, for starters, it will give your SUV a more aggressive look. On top of that, you will be able to put on bigger tires which you wouldn’t have been able to when you had the stock setup. After raising the front end, you can remove the factory rake as well.
With this method, you get a raised setup and an aggressive look while keeping the cost under a hundred dollars. While on the other hand if you go for a complete lift kit, it would cost you much more than that. The leveling kit from Daystar has got some really good reviews. Here’s a link for it on Amazon.
There is a variety of lift kit options available for the Toyota 4Runne. The 3-inch option is the most cost-effective if you are only looking for a slight increase in ride height. You will get the looks and you will also have better ground clearance. Here’s a link to the Rough Country lift kit which has the best reviews overall – And is also cost-effective.
Hitch receiver and Hitch
When your vehicle is capable of towing about 5000 pounds, or 7000 pounds if you are having the V8, then having all the essentials for towing is a must. If you are searching for an aftermarket hitch receiver and a hitch, you have to first know your weight limit. Always go for the hitch having its maximum load capacity more than the vehicle’s max load capacity.
In other words, the hitch receiver should have a maximum load capacity of more than 5000 pounds for the V6 models, and more than 7000 pounds for the V8 models. Here’s a link to the Rhino USA shackle which is the #1 bestseller.
Aftermarket rear tire mounts
After putting on bigger tires, a problem that you will encounter would be the insufficient space for the spare tire. The best solution is to have a rear tire mount for your spare tire. Not only does it give your tire space, but it also makes it look cooler – You will have the aesthetics of an offroader.
The cheapest option would be to have a hitch-mounted tire mount. The more sophisticated ones are going to cost around $400. Here’s a link on Amazon where you can buy the hitch-mounted spare tire carrier.
Aftermarket rear bumper
The Toyota 4Runner comes with a hitch receiver as standard. But if you want something more rugged and offroad-y, then you can go for the aftermarket rear bumpers. The plus point of having these aftermarket ones is the integrated mounts for the spare tire, and fuel canisters (in some cases) as well. Here’s a link where you can get everything you need.
When doing some serious off-roading, you have to make sure that the underneath of your SUV remains intact and won’t get damaged by all those rocks that you are crawling. One of the expensive ones that cover the whole underbelly of your 4Runner, here.
The only thing touching the ground is the tires of your Toyota 4Runner. To have a smooth comfortable adventure in the wilds, it’s a given that you must have offroad tires for the best grip. These tires are not only good for offroading but they also give you a quiet ride on the highway as well.
There are plenty of tire options available that you can put on your Toyota 4Runner. You can browse through all the tire options and have the perfect fit for your 4Runner on Tirerack. They have an amazing fitment tool that enables you to find the best fit according to your tastes and needs.
Before you go on an adventure, you have to make sure that if you were to ever get stuck, you will be able to get out without much problem. And for that, you must have the recovery gear. Here’s a link to Amazon where you can buy all kinds of recovery gear.
Rock Sliders And Steps
On the rock crawling mayhem, your side panels are going to take a lot of beating from all those rocks being pulled by the tires. The best way to prevent paint chipping and damage from all those rocks is to have sliders. On top of the prevention, you can have side steps that will help you get in and out of your 4Runner – Here’s a link.
In the world of offroading, the winch is your best friend. It can help get you unstuck and let you summit some serious trails. Even though the Toyota 4Runner is one of the rescuers, sometimes the unexpected may also occur. In those emergencies, it’s important to have recovery gear. Here’s a link to one of the best ones available in the market.
To get help from others when you are seriously stuck, you would need recovery points to make sure that the tow truck will be able to hook on to these points, whichever one is approachable. Here’s a link to Rhino USA shackle which is the #1 bestseller on Amazon.
There are gazillions of mods available in the appearance sections of the market. If you are looking to make your SUV stand out or blend in as in camouflage – you can. You can change it completely given that you have the right budget for it. The possibilities are endless.
Now we are going into the section dedicated to lights. There are lights for every part of your SUV available. There are many different types of lights as well. Here’s are some of them:
These fog lights are one of the most important ones on the list. Most of the vehicles don’t have these as standard. You have to make sure that you have a working set of fog lights. As the name suggests, these lights improve visibility in foggy conditions, you won’t be able to see far into the fog, you will be able to see better in your close proximity.
The fog lights are not legally required which means that you don’t have to put on fog lights if you don’t want to. These lights are not to be used unless the visibility falls below 100 meters. Here’s a link to Amazon.
The older models of Toyota 4Runner come with halogen lights. You can replace those halogen bulbs with LEDs without having to replace the headlight or the whole housing. We have found a good-looking one for you to see, here’s a link.
Related read: How to Find the Best 4Runner Replacement Headlights.
DRLs stand for Day Running Lights. DRLs are now fairly common and now every other vehicle comes with them. If you happen to have one of the older Toyota 4Runner, you can still have DRLs as the aftermarket has these headlights available with DRLs that replace your old stock headlights.
These HIDs are High-Intensity Discharge lamps that are super intense and in some cases would become illegal. These cases are mainly seen on models 2003-2005. If you are having one of these models and you want HIDs then you would have to change the whole headlight housing with the later model housing. Here’s a link.
Bar Lamps/LED Light Bars
These lights used to be expensive but recently with the rise of demand and production we can find these even below $100. There are expensive options available in the market as well offering much more luminance and quality. But if you are not going full beast mode, you will be good to go with the lower-end LED light bars. Here’s a link.
Trunk Light/Hatch Work Lights
This is the ingenious lighting trick that will give you much more visibility while you are working at the back of your SUV. When you are camping, you need light to see all that stuff in the back, or you might just want to have a clear look at those grilled meat patties that you are cooking at the back.
In short, having these lights attached would give you a lot of benefits and freedom, and freedom is the reason for Overlanding.
A very simple and easy modification is replacing the halogen bulbs with LEDs in your interior. This modification will give your 4Runner a complete facelift. Get rid of those yellow-ish lights and have some bright white lights instead and see how big of a difference it makes.
DRLs coupled with the white interior lights will certainly make your 4Runner stand out at the very first glance. Here’s a link.
These lights are getting a lot of attention these days and most of the high-end variants of every other manufacturer are coming with these lights. The color can be changed by a touch of a button and you can also refer to these lights as the mood lights. Thanks to the aftermarket, we can now install these strips of ambient lighting in our interior.
The installation process should be carried with precision otherwise it will only look tacky. The finish on the installation of ambient lighting matters a lot so make sure to do that properly. Here’s a link where you can buy some amazing fiber glow ambient lighting kits for less than $100.
Question: Are Toyota 4Runner Parts Expensive
Answer: This is a very important question and the simple answer to this question depends on the part you are looking for. In general, as the base price of even an old Toyota 4Runner is quite a lot, the prices for the parts go up by default. The aftermarket however offers a reasonable rate.
If you are mainly looking for stock original parts, then that would probably be much more expensive. The OEM ones would be a little less, and the least expensive ones would be the aftermarket ones. eBay and other websites offering used stuff would be the go-to place when hunting for stock parts.
Question: Are Toyota 4Runners Expensive To Maintain
Answer: In terms of maintenance, Toyota 4Runner is one of the least expensive to maintain. The regular maintenance parts are much cheaper than any other manufacturer out there, even the OEM ones are cheaper than many others. The annual cost for maintaining a 4Runner is about $500.
The older ones however can have a higher maintenance cost as the engine parts (the wear and tear items) such as the rings on the pistons, head gaskets, camshaft, crankshaft, etc, would require replacement after some time. Replacement of engine parts is the most expensive. The parts are not that expensive, it’s the labor for the work which is expensive.
Question: What Is SR5 In Toyota 4Runner?
Answer: The SR5 trim level is regarded as the base trim level of the Toyota 4Runner. It comes with 16-inch wheels and other standard interior and exterior options. SR5 2WD variant would be one of the cheapest ones in the used market. While the other higher-end variants will fetch a higher price.
Question: Which Toyota 4Runner Is The Best
Answer: Any 4Runner that has a clean title; is rust free and has been maintained well – Is the best. The 4th Gen Toyota 4Runner is synonymously the most appreciated model year of all the model years. You can check the VIN to find details whether or not it’s having a salvage title. Never go for the salvage titles.
Even though the aftermarket has tons of features to offer that looks very promising, the OEM will always be ahead in terms of the peace of mind that you get.
For a dedicated offroader, the OEM does not cut out, you would have to go for the aftermarket. The major drawback of going for the aftermarket is the fitment issue. Often you would have to make some alterations to make the product fit onto your Toyota 4Runner.
The Toyota 4Runner platform is very similar to the Lexus GX470, Tacoma, Land Cruiser, Surf and because of that, you will often find some parts interchangeable.
eBay can be a good option if you want to save cash and get used stuff. Sometimes you can also find original products for sale – these are the ones that you should not be missing out on, make sure about the condition before you make the buying decision.