Customer states my Toyota FJ Cruiser makes noises. Common Problems?Feb 27, 2022
Hello and welcome to the Car Carana channel. Well, today we have an FJ Cruiser in the garage at Nut Garage. Let's talk about some
problemswith these FJ Cruisers, whether you own one, are looking and buying one, or are just curious how reliable they are. And right after that, we're going to inspect exactly this FJ Cruiser behind me because it has at least two of the
problemswe talked about. Take a tour we will do some inspections and more right after this so the fj
cruiserengine there are two engines in the fj
cruiserover the years there is the 4.01 grfe and then there is the 4.01 grfe to confuse us with
toyota, but let's talk about this 0709 that the old 1gr fe had like this 4.0, the 2010-2014 had the new one. 1g rfe and before we continue with this the fj cruiser is basically a 4 runner for lack of a better term it crosses between the 4th and 5th gen precursor exactly the same everything even the frame is very similar all the components They are very similar and the reliability also of the 2010 and above of a gr 4.0 is bulletproof, they really have no problems, I have seen that I have heard of them, they are really good now, the older ones like this 07209 by the way, this is a 2007 it had some common problems the first is water pump leaks they were kind of common you know you will see them dripping and not the kind that gushes out and just drains the radiator in no time no but its a leak slow that eventually starts if you really don't If you don't notice it and you don't see it, the water pump will stop making noise and you will definitely know it, then the other thing with coolant is head gasket problems.
Now head gasket problems are not as chronic as some believe. In fact, I know a
customerwho has a blue one with four hundred thousand miles on it and the head gasket is fine. It all comes down to maintenance, especially coolant maintenance. Pink coolant is good, but if you leave it there for too long, it's really not good. To be safe with these, change the coolant every 50,000 miles or five years, whichever comes first and you won't have any head gasket problems, it's as simple as that, the other one is very common and this one is actually between those two years. because then they upgraded the idler pulleys they love to make noise like the 4th generation full racer usually the lower one or the upper one on the driver's side but if you ever have that noise we'll talk a little bit because this one actually has it. noise, we will listen to it and diagnose it later, these rollers are very common that cause noise, if you have one that is causing noise, it will take the belt and do that, always replace them all and be done with it, there is an updated one in the first ones, the one with a Extra washer at the back, very simple to replace, very DIY.
I actually made a video on a fourth generation four and I'll leave it in the description where I replace these oil leaks there. it's a very common oil leak with these, which is the front timing cover, the front timing cover, it's actually not that bad not to do a very high job because it can be done in the car, it's not very complicated, it's Relatively easy to work on this engine. You have a lot of room, but you just look at the top of the power steering pump and then when you look at this one, I'll show you that it's very simple to diagnose, very simple to look at and inspect if you want to buy. one used now another very common thing with these are knock sensors but there is kind of a backstory to the noc sensors you will get knock sensor codes and the problem is if it was like any other v6 just pull the entry very fast. change the knock sensors on the wire and life is great but on this engine if you read the instructions you have to remove the left or right cylinder head which turns a very simple job into a not very simple job and the reason for this is the intake comes together and there's a bypass tube in the middle and then the fittings are underneath, you can't get that bypass tube out because of the way the intake seat lines up where it sits on the cylinder head, it just not enough space, the problem that causes the knock sensor to start, which brings us to the next conversation, is the trade, it is a combination of two things first, the 07 to 09, one grfe has platinum spark plugs, it doesn't have iridium so replacement is every 30,000 miles, it's very It's common to see FJ owners go 120,000 miles and they say well the truck runs fine, I think that was overstated, it's not really running well you just don't notice it because it's a Toyota, that's the first problem the knock sensors cause. to potentially have problems, the second is cass, yes the 07209 fj says premium unleaded only on the gas gate and people have had all kinds of debates on the internet, but let's clarify that at least from my experience working on these cars, I'm not just guessing.
You can use 87 or regular gas and the truck will run fine; However, if you don't use the best 87 gas, you're actually going to start having problems that you don't know the computer has the ability to time enough to do. It doesn't ping, but if it pings, you're actually starting the problem train, which will eventually lead to much more than just a knock sensor. Don't do that and the best thing is if you use premium gas with these they will run better and smoother. they have more power and the best part is they get better gas mileage so if you have one of these the recommendation is to use premium fuel, if you must use 87 you can use it here and there but don't get in the habit of doing is your preferred gasoline and the latest and this is not really a common problem because I see it as a wear item, in any case the alternators and their trip to 4,500 thousand miles are going to replace one or two alternators.
A common thing is that they start complaining, but one thing I will tell you about them is to always make sure that your battery is in good condition when the battery fails a test, don't just say good, it still starts, the car will be fine because then This is how it starts to ruin your alternator. Have your battery tested every year, that is something that is normally recommended when it fails the test, even if the car still starts, replace it because the battery costs less than an alternator and on these it is a little bit harder alternator, not as difficult as a v6 cam for example, but it is a little more complicated, so try to save that alternator because they last a long time if you take care of them, but they will go away eventually.
Let's talk about transmissions, not transmission. The FJ Cruiser actually comes with a manual transmission. well not just an automatic which is super cool and rare, in fact the transmission people are bulletproof for the most part, if you change the fluid every 60,000 miles for six years you'll have no problem going 5600 miles, but yeah Isn't it true that these, for some reason, shake like it's a torque converter choke, a classic torque converter choke? Get to the point where you have the choke yes you can replace the fluid it could get better but the dam is already done so make sure you change the transmission fluid on these and one thing that is not very common but that's it with automatic transmission. transmissions on these, you'll have a neutral parking safety switch activation code, you replace it and life is great, very simple, right inside the transmission, very simple and very simple, let's talk about the four-wheel drive system because actually this is the most important one.
The thing about an fj cruiser is that it is an fj after all, the four wheel drive system is polarity proof, with one exception, only in the first ones, and the only reason this happens in the former it's simply because they are older people who seem to have the assumption that because you have a manual transfer case that moves by hand and has no buttons, it's just manual, it's not going to break, there are no electronics, that that's not the case, there's still the extra actuator on the front that you still want to engage four-wheel drive every month, like always, like on the trucks that have the switch to change it to four-wheel drive, the 80ds they are very common on these because people just don't use them, yes this is an off road truck but there are still people who get caught up in their life, they don't go offroading every day and months go by and sometimes years go by and they never You've used that four-wheel drive every month or so, change it to four. wheel drive, move it back, move it back and forth a few times and life is good and last and this is not really a four wheel drive problem but it drives the train if it were the rear differential carrier, especially in the first ones.
It is known to make noise around 150-100,000 miles but you just start howling and then when you get to the 300-350,000 mile area they may get a little louder, don't be alarmed by this unless be it a 50,000 mile truck that Suddenly, the noise came and it's gradually getting worse, so you might have to check for debris, check the pinion contact and all that, but it's just a matter of the rear differential howling and gradually get stronger, but when I say gradually 200,000 mile range, not overnight, so if you are going to buy one or if you own one and it howls, don't rush to fix it because it could happen long before it becomes a problem, let's talk about the chassis group real quick, the first thing you will do on any fj cruiser you are looking to buy is look at the frame and look for rust.
The really rusty ones are the ones you'll stay away from folks, these are really good trucks, if you buy the right one, buy a rusty one and it will be repair after repair, problem after problem, leading to a rotten frame and the truck will be done, no buy not just a rusty one and you will see when i need to do the inspection. This is not about superficial thrust and small things, it is intense corrosion where everything looks like a bucket of rust. Don't buy ones like these because they are problematic and equally due to rust, the front brakes are notorious and the front calipers are notorious for locking up. if you use them you will have to press the brake, it will throw one way or another and the calipers can get a little expensive when using stock ones so always check them and try to wash the truck regularly with a frame undercoat.
It wouldn't be a bad idea to take those front brakes apart, clean everything, make sure everything moves freely and put it back together every year or two, extend the life of the brakes and make sure the calipers never get stuck and we can't talk of FJ cruisers. not talking about the wheel bearings, which actually have a noise in the wheel bearings, let's check that the front wheel bearings are a problem with the fj cruiser, that's how it is, the problem with the bearings of the front wheels is that sometimes they just make noise, roar, you will hear it, yes we have a wheel bearing, check it, replace it, life is good, but sometimes they don't make noise, but they actually have play and eventually that play It gets so bad that a catastrophe occurs and destroys the brakes and caliper and it simply becomes a much bigger problem than it needs to be.
My recommendation to you if you own an fj and usually people nowadays have their own fjs, they really know what they have and they really love their trucks and take care of them. they every year lift the truck check the play are you safe life is good generally the wheel bearings we have seen them on average around 100,000 miles and they start to get that quiet play and then things go downhill from there, so check those bearings and The last thing here in the chassis group is the axle boots, not the axles, which are leaking. I see a lot of people just throw out the axle and buy a horrible aftermarket one and now they have vibrations, they have problems, folks, you could just replace the CV boost. on these axles and life is good, it's kind of a DIY project, it's actually not very difficult to do, it just takes a little practice, it's a messy job, but just replacing the booster kit isn't very expensive at the dealership, shelf life is good, try to avoid it. the aftermarket axles some of them are good but most of them are not that good let's talk about other problems i don't know which section to put them in so let's talk about them these are fj specials the first one is if you have a fj cruiser, you'll downgrade your wife from your first speed dial number to number two and your first speed dial number will be the windshield guy because look at this angle of this windshield, it's literally kicking up any kind of rock that hits it.
That is, if you live in a place where construction stones are common on the street, be prepared to replace at least one windshield a year. Here's how this works with FJs. Yes, they have the three windshield wipers that we're not even going to talk about. this because the way the windshield is is amazing, nowadays there are not many cars on the road with a windshield like that, another thing is the antenna, the antenna is an old school mast, make sure you remove them whengo through a car wash. I drilled so many antennas into FJ Cruisers that I can't even count them.
Make sure you remove them or install a rubber one if you don't want to deal with it because they are famous for breaking in car washes and then in the next FJ Cruiser. Special is my little friend right here this light in the mirror I don't know why it has this light but it does and when this little bulb goes out you have to remove the glass and removing the glass is a brave man's job because one A little extra movement and you break the glass and now you're buying a new glass not the best idea but that's how it is personally if I have an FDA cruise the first time this bulb goes out I consider replacing it until the other one goes out and life is good because I don't see what this bulb is for other than aggravating you when I need to replace it with that being said let's begin our inspection of this and I'll walk you through some of these common problems and how to check them.
Let's open the hood and take a look here. This engine bay is really clean. owner, I didn't actually clean this, this is how this car came, let me open the engine cover, we'll take a look at a few things here first, I test drive this car, on any inspection I start with a test drive. I'm not going to film the test drive at night, it's hard to film it right now, but I heard two things, the first is that the engine had a noise and the second is that there was definitely a noise in the wheel bearings.
We'll hear the engine noise in a moment. A little bit, we'll inspect that bearing as well, but first let's take a look and every time I open the hood of an FJ Cruiser, the first thing I want to see is the front timing cover if you look at it here, right at the top. from the power steering pump if it is dry like this if it is dry like this we are good no leak in the front cover for some reason it is a point where the cylinder head meets the block it always leaks from the same place on the passenger side never on the driver's side, I don't know why it always leaks right there, the other thing is we're going to take a look at the general fluid level, our steering fluid is good, the coolant is a little low, this engine is a little hot , so Actually, that's low coolant, let's look at it and then I'd like to move on, just do a visual inspection and everything seems nice and dry, no leaks.
It's not very common for valve covers to leak, but it's still possible with By the way, the age is a 2007 fj cruiser with 156,000 miles so not very high miles for this fj and then I'll go the other way. Let's do the same. Look for leaks. I don't see anything here. Switch tank. brake fluid looks a little over max haha aftermarket stuff I always like to look at aftermarket stuff there's probably some lighting, I guess that's what these lights here are for, that's what the wires are for, but it seems like nothing is flowing. the cable through the grommet right there they did it right, that's not a very common place to collect water and leaks inside, but everything looks good, original oil filter, that's always a good sign, the battery is also an actual starting battery, one thing I noticed in my inspection.
Although it'll be impossible to see it here because it's such a small leak, but usually if you look from this angle, just below the water pump pulley, I'll actually see a little bit of coolant crust, impossible to show because it's just one of those angles I can't get the camera close enough, but the water pump has a very small leak, the owner was informed, nothing big or important, but we'll keep an eye on it, maybe we'll top off the coolant and life is over. Well, so am I while we're here. I looked at the radiator. You can see it well.
No leakage. The condenser looks good too. No leakage. I'm happy with this, but what I'm not happy with is the guide wheels and let me show you these guide wheels. one right under the oil filter there's one all the way on the bottom and there's one more here right there one of these
makesnoise honestly I usually recommend we replace them all so let me start this car and you. I will listen to the noise so you know what kind of noise it is. Let's start this and listen to the noise. You hear that noise just howling very clearly.
That's what it sounds like. Let me turn it off. So that's the noise of the tensioners. Very simple. diagnostic put a long screwdriver or a pry bar or something and let's just do it. I made a video on noise diagnosis. I'll leave it in the description of this video where we actually diagnose a similar forearm, a similar motor, but everything here is looking. well I'm liking one thing I saw that's a little alarming but I don't see a continuation it looks like something old has ended here we have some rodent damage I hope you can see it very well those are actually the road signs Damage you see on your car, starts investigating why they were there and chewed on this insulator, but I don't see any other signs.
I see dead links nowhere, so either this is old or the client knows. I'll ask. I'll let you know. I put the engine cover back. We are happy. The only thing is a small leak in the water pump. We will notice it and the tensioners we will check the rest of the truck to start. with our little lights here let me turn on the lights and we'll take a quick look and the answer is it's dead let's look at the rest of the lights well actually there are more lights out here and here and of course on the other side. it's also off, the headlights work, the taillights work, I can see them, but I'll tell you about some of these slides, it's not a big deal, he might want to do it himself whatever he wants, but this is very common, honestly, Like this was me? truck, I wouldn't fix them because they don't make any sense and you risk breaking the glass and it's not worth looking at the side of this fj and you see a bunch of scratches, it looks like this thing has been off road for sure because it's a little too much long consistent with a scratch and I don't see it here so this is a brush scratch.
I like it. I like it when I see an FJ that has been off-road, of course, the iconic four of the FJ. I love those. The interior of the FJ is actually so old that even the day it came out it was old. I mean, the thing doesn't even have carpet. Look at these mats. There is a carpet, but there is a rubber floor. There is no real carpet. on these it's great because here you can get really dirty and it wouldn't matter, literally just hose it down and life is good. The configuration of the doors is very interesting.
The FJ's interior is extremely simple, folks, I mean, look. This thing is very retro looking, just a giant box and of course it's an automatic transmission and a manual transfer case. The rear seats are very nice. A cork is this small storage compartment. It is an interesting and very simplistic interior. Not much to say, if I remember correctly, the limited models had a plate somewhere here, don't quote me on that, if you remember exactly where it was, it says something about trail gear and it had a number, if I remember correctly, that's where it was on the dash or maybe in the center if you remember if you have an fj comment below and I love this very old school tilt lever you don't see this tilt loving style in the interior anymore very interesting and strange from
toyotaon the fj cruiser there's that door now we look at this side i see more of those scratches there's actually something pretty cool here it's definitely been off road truck pretty interesting the mj i don't think this drd off road sticker is original matches the theme of The truck, although it doesn't say super performance, it says offroad, this is about offroad.
I really like these trd wheels, I try to draw a mental thought about whether this was actually an accessory for this. I've seen them in fall runners, maybe. fourth generation, if you know what wheels they are from or if they came from a fij, comment below. I really like these trd wheels. They look, they really match this truck and they move back here, which is a confession moment for me. I did not do it. Clean this normally on cars coming in the middle of winter. Here come the cars. I like to clean them just to make them look presentable, but this part I forgot to clean, so excuse the best, of course, the iconic spare tire here, one thing. about the I guess I mean from 2010 onwards they had the rear view camera right here and if you didn't install it correctly the rear view camera had a little cover on it you really need that rear view camera because the blind spot on the Fjord of course is Iconically horrible, not really a good car for visibility in the rear, the front is fine but the rear is horrible and I really miss the doors that open to the sides, the only Toyota system and lux, it is actually alexis who still has this is the gx. that's it, everything else, the rav4 drove away earlier, there is no more fj and I missed the side opening door, although it is not very functional, it is more of a cool trick, but it is really cool and of course if Not only does the FJ have three wipers in the front, it has the world's smallest wiper in the rear, that's how it is and there is a really hidden feature, probably all you FJ owners I really hope you already know this, but if you don't owns an FCA, never has. about one, you can actually open the rear glass, kind of like an older Highlander, very cool.
This is a really cool feature because this door sometimes you can't open it, turn it if you don't have enough space to be able to open the glass. Throw something in there and close it, a really nice feature, so the fj raised the front end. The quick lift doesn't actually fit under the fj because it's too short, so I propped it up on some jack stands. Let's check the wheel. bearing when driving this truck I think we have a noise on the left front I don't hear anything from the right front but you always check both because you never know so just pick it up off the ground grab it and oh well this one has play , but it's not the loud one, there's not much play, but this definitely has play.
The seal pairing should have zero play up and down, that's definitely half play, but let's note one thing. I'm going to get my microphone really close here. Let's spin the wheel I hope you hear that noise now let's look at the other side now this side let's check the game this one is solid nothing however listen to this I'm going to bring my microphone closer you hear we actually have both front wheel bearings Bad and this is what typical with these. Has 156,000 miles, possibly original bearings. You know, I'm going to check with the owner to see what he wants to do, but this requires both front wheel bearings and a simple inspection. so, lift it up, prop it up on some jack stands for the frame, check the movement, check it for now, this loud bearing sound, you'll really hear it driving, this thing roars like a lion when driving at any speed, anything. 20 miles per hour but that's how simple this inspection is and this could end up really bad if you keep driving like this year after year eventually this screen will get so big it will erase the brakes and cause all sorts of problems eventually locking up the wheel and could cause a problem, so be sure to check these bearings.
Let's look underneath real quick, looking at the CV boots. This one doesn't seem to be leaking. This one is good too. Let's look at the other side. one looks good, the interior looks good, everything looks pretty good here and actually just a quick look, we're a little short on time on this one, everything looks pretty dry, I don't see any leaks in the struts, everything looks fine. Otherwise, other than the wheel bearings, I'm very happy with this. It looks good looking at this frame. If you see a frame like this, there is a little rust on the surface, which is actually not bad.
It's not something I would worry about if I looked further down. This truck looks at the transmission very fast. I don't see any leaks at the back of the engine. There are no leaks in the transfer case. There are no leaks either. Everything looks good on the back. Everything looks very good. I am very happy with this truck. It has a frame in good shape. Most importantly, look at how clean the chassis is. I highly doubt this is an Illinois truck. Its entire life doesn't look like it's been coated, but this is an 07, it's the oldest, and it's in excellent shape.
The owner really took care of this. truck or this is not a rust belt truck all its life this is really good so guys this is a quick inspection of this truck and some of its common problems let's talk to the owner about the idler pulleys let's talk about the water pump let's talk about the important things like the wheel bearings, these are very important things, less important are the light bulbs, still it's not my car, I don't decide to replace your light bulbs or not, it's your car. He decides his money, so we'll let him know that too.
This truck is actually in excellent shape. I know you see the problems it has and gosh the reliability isn't good, but remember this is an older truck. has many fears 156,000miles, not a lot of miles for this thing, but still age plays a factor and all these problems, most of them are DIY, especially the rollers and the bulbs, this is very simple, even the water pump, even the bearings. Not much here, the engine transmission when I drove it, the transmission shifts, the engine is very powerful, runs very well, very quiet, apart from the tensioner pulley of course, but otherwise everything is perfect, huh No, there aren't many non-Toyota 2007 trucks out there. with 156,000 miles with no oil leaks, I looked at the engine, it doesn't look like any oil leaks have been fixed or you know, resealing or anything like that, everything looks great on this, which brings us to are you buying one of In my opinion what is the best level to buy they are all really good but if you really want to play it safe and get the ultimate truck get the 2010-2014 that engine is just the updated 1gr it is just a Much better and has almost no problems, nothing common, but of course with age.
You will receive one or two maintenance things is less, everything is much better, but if everything you have, because these things are very difficult to find Nowadays, if you have a 0709 in front of you, you only know premium fuel, check for common problems, make sure Are you checking these bearings? That's the main thing on these, even the 10 to 14, they still have the same problems with the bearings. Review them annually. Be safe and life is great folks, the FJ Cruiser is a legend and it is very unfortunate that Toyota has stopped. making them i hope they have been reset recently the president of toyota showed a bunch of ev cards one of them was actually a prototype that looked like an fj it was blue that's really a good sign that we could see a new fj and if you own a precursor the FJ is a little bit better they are just built like crazy and have a following that is even stronger than the precursor because they are that specific special car that has a special place in the toyota truck community and this does not disappoint and the windshield it will never disappoint because it will replace them left and right, but that is what continues to add character to this friends, I hope this video is useful, informative, I hope you like the inspection, the little tour of the FJ Islands, in case you Don't be familiar with them, they are amazing, they are really good trucks.
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