21st Aug 2003, 22:33

Had a recall for a gasket replacement on my 1994 Toyota 4-runner at 40,000 miles. never had a blown head gasket, have 84,000 total miles and replacement gasket blew? Toyota won't stand behind it, said they will only cover it for a year, and if I want it done again it will cost over $1800.

25th Aug 2003, 10:07

Here I go again. I guess I didn't learn from the first two times the heaad gaskets blew. The first time I didn't even know what was going on until a independent repair garage told me the problem and that Toyota should take care of the problem. They did. Head gaskets blew again and I had two burned exhaust valves. $2300 out of my pocket... Ten months later blown head gaskets again and now an etched block. New repair bill... $3400. No way, I told the repairing dealer to put it back toghter with lots of epoxy. It is too bad because the 4 Runner has been a fun car, but Toyota has a problem designing top end heads ans gaskets.

25th Aug 2003, 10:18

I have a 94 Toyota 4runner and had the Head Gasket go at 180,000 - I had it fixed at a Toyota dealership and two months later the same symptoms are happening again... white smoke, overheating, etc... I suspect that it is the same issue... first one cost me $2200 and I know that it will be a battle to convince them to fix it. I think that this is the last Toyota I ever get.

15th Sep 2003, 17:47

I am the original owner of a '93 4-Runner. I have taken good care of my car for about ten years. The head gasket was replaced at 70,000. Now that its at 140,000 the transmission is giving out. The dealer said “older 4-runners have these kinds of problems”. Shouldn't TOYOTA do something about it? Ever since this problem came up last year…it has been giving me problems – I had to replace the radiator, A/C compressor, distributor, fuel pump and catalytic converter. For the amount of money I spent I could have owned a new car. I think its time to pull the plug on this truck unless anyone wants to buy a NEW ’93 Toyota 4Runner.

14th Jan 2004, 16:13

I have a 1995 Toyota 4runner that I have owned since December of 1999. It has 165,000 miles on it and the head gasket just blew yesterday. The only thing I have repaired on this truck besides regular maintenance is a cold start fuel injector, not bad considering the age and miles. I contacted Toyota and they said that the previous owner had the defective part fixed before it blew. I'm now in the process of getting mine fixed which is probably going to cost a pretty penny, but to be honest with you I don't mind repairing it. I think what it boils down to is taking care of you vehicle, when something breaks fix it if you can. I will continue to drive my truck until I can't drive it anymore and I won't hesitate to buy another one.

Thanks, Jenifer.

30th Jan 2004, 00:36

Wow, its amazing to hear people complain about blown head gaskets at 150k+. I have owned many automobiles imports and domestics. Nothing stands up to the reliability of Toyota's. When complete engines give up at 100k, a head gasket is just minuscule. My current transportation is a 1987 Toyota 4x4 Turbo truck, it takes me fishing all the time at 20mpg. I would not trade it for anything!!

3rd Apr 2004, 08:28

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's comments here. I'm dealing with the ugly, ugly side of post-head gasket replacement: the engine in my 1994 4Runner seized up in the driveway on me two days ago.

I bought the truck used in 1997 with 69k miles on it. I had the original head gaskets replaced in 1998 under the recall, and I've never had a problem with it until recently.

At the first sign of oil leaking back in October at 134k, I took it to the same dealership where I had all of the previous service done. I had the head gaskets replaced again, plus the timing belt, water pump, etc., to the tune of $1300. Ouch.

An engine replacement with a used engine will run me $5000, which is more than the worth of the car. I'm really disappointed, because I've enjoyed driving this car so much. One of the mechanics there has offered to take it off my hands and sell me one of his 4Runners for $3000, and I may break down and do it for lack of options and just to recover some of the equity I've lost. I can't say whether my next vehicle after this will be a 4Runner or not though...

21st Apr 2004, 21:23

I have read every one of the previous comments about the Head Gasket problems. I agree that Toyota has a problem with this issue, however the dealership in S. Carolina replaced the problem of my '94 Runner at Toyota's cost. Unfortunately just months after the repair (along with additional work costing me $1500) the vehicle was declared totaled. I liked the vehicle so much that I purchased another '94 Runner, but this time I purchased a manual transmission. No one seemed to mention the issue of Auto vs. Manual. Is this a problem in manual Toyotas as well? If anyone has any info this would be great help, maybe I can get the same dealer to replace this one as well, if the problem occurs.

27th Oct 2004, 21:16

Be careful with 1994 4Runner engine replacement. ATK appears to be very problematic with their engines. Jasper is more expensive, but appears to have a better track record. I can assure you I have had plenty of grief over this issue. Call if you need assistance.


7th Dec 2004, 09:00

Well, the head gasket issues starting in the late '90s and going through the late 94's were subject to a service campaign (recall.) Any work done to your HG should be FREE up to 10years and some mileage that escapes me at present.

I have a 1990 4runner. ('89.5 it came off the line) I CANNOT say enough GOOD things about it. I drive with a LEAD foot red-lining it at least 2x every drive and it has given me 256,000 miles of service without a single breakdown or worry.

Power is adequate though others disagree. This is a truck not a corvette, it's not supposed to be fast, it's supposed to get you places. If you want 'fast' go buy a GSXR1000.

I am sold on Toyota for life and this is my first vehicle...

23rd Jan 2007, 12:44

I love toyota 1994 4runner 4x4 has 194541 miles never been in the shop.

17th Sep 2007, 16:48

My 94- v-6 toyota 4-runner has 193,000 miles & recently has blown a head gasket. Do not know what to do? Is it worth fixing...

15th May 2008, 15:57

I recently purchased a 1994 4runner. It seemed to be in perfect condition... BUT about 2 months after I bought it, I started to smell gas fumes from the A/C vents. I brought it in and one of the fuel injectors needed to be replaced, ($350.00) That done, I still smell the gas fumes and can't seem to figure out why... any suggestions?

24th May 2008, 21:26

My 94 4Runner has 165000 miles on it. Other than standard maintenance (timing belt, hoses, spark plugs, etc.), I've never really had to do anything to it. The only thing I've done other than that is the power steering pump. The truck is still in awesome shape and I get compliments all the time.

29th Jul 2008, 18:24

Bought my 1994 4Runner V6 new with 13 miles on the odometer. Took real good care of it with regular oil changes, tune ups, etc. The transmission gave out in 2004 at 160K miles, so I had it rebuilt. Now at 225K miles, the head gasket just blew. Although I'm hoping for the best, it looks pretty bad, so this thing might be heading for the junkyard. Too bad, because I really enjoyed owning this SUV. BTW - I previously had the head gaskets replaced in 1998 at around 100K miles under the Toyota service bulletin.

7th Dec 2010, 00:46

I'm currently trying to help my neighbor out with his 1994 4runner. I'm not a mechanic, but I know more than he does anyways.

I'm trying to figure out how to tell if the head gasket needs replacing? It is overheating really badly, but the radiator levels and coolant levels are OK, no smoke from the engine, but blue smoke coming from the exhaust.

Does anyone know how to tell for sure? I'm assuming that's the problem as it's common for this year model.

Either way these are a real money pit, he can't afford a head gasket repairs so it's probably going to be scrapped; he just paid over $3k for it less than a year ago.

Any advice appreciated...