Just as normal wear and tear, the vehicle has been very reliable and cost effective. The only qualm I have with the 4Runner is the 3.0 litre engine is underpowered, even with the 5 speed transmission. It came with a tow hitch, but the 4Runner is so underpowered, that I would not even think of towing anything behind it.
I received a recall notice for head gasket replacement; I had approx 68K miles on the vehicle at that time. I took it to the local dealership and they were to replace the head gasket.
One day later they had my 4Runner ready to be picked up. I thought that was a little fast for a head repair, even for the dealer. When I picked it up, it looked as if they had never touched it. I am sure that they got paid for the job though.
I now have 188K on the engine and I noticed the decrease of power in the last few months. I conducted a cylinder leak check. They were all good except for cyl #4 and #6; they did not hold the pressure and leaked down. I should also mention that I had white smoke coming from the exhaust when the engine was cold. It cleared as soon as the engine was warmed up. Also, I noticed a decrease of antifreeze in the overflow bottle.
Just last weekend I pulled the heads off the vehicle and the valves looked OK, but the head gasket was pealing (rotting) and had deteriorated. It was in very poor shape for a head gasket. I now know where my cylinder pressure was going. I put in a set of reconditioned heads with new gaskets.
I noticed that the drivers seat has started to tear and the paint has faded with time. The rear window power unit went out and it was very expensive to replace.
The rear coil springs saggged, allowing the 4Runner to sit low in the back and up higher in front. It has a blind spot to the side and rear.