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Toyota 4Runner Warning Lights

The Most Common Toyota 4Runner Symbols

These are the most common dashboard symbols that you will see in your Toyota 4Runner. Click on one to see more information or scroll further down to see the link to the owner's manual where you can find even more symbols.

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Toyota 4Runner Image

About the 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is a mid-size sport utility vehicle (previously compact), sold throughout the world since 1984. Toyota changed the name to the ‘Hilux Surf’ for the Japanese market, predominantly because the original models were closely related to the Hilux. The first generation of the 4Runner was little more than a basic pickup with a fibreglass roof covering the flatbed and was all built in either the Toyota plant in Tahara, Aichi or at Hino Motors in Hamura.

The name was the result of a competition held by Saatchi & Saatchi won by Robert Nathan who put forward his entry to represent the fact that the 4Runner was a four-wheel drive and held four passengers.

This 4Runner replaced its predecessor, the short-lived Toyota Trekker, having released only 1500 models between 1981 and 1983.

A first generation of the truck was the mechanical twin of the Hilux, essentially a modification of its sister vehicle. The only real difference was its suspension, moving from a solid front axel to Hi-Trac independent front suspension. Many of these models were shipped to America without backseats and as a result, were able to avoid the hefty duties placed on these imports.

The second generation debuted in 1989 and this is when Toyota really started moving away from the Hilux in styling. In place of the Hilux’s’ base coupled with a fibreglass shell, there was now a full steel integrated body, back seats and four doors. With these changes, Toyota really started to compete with their larger rivals such as the Nissan Pathfinder and the Ford Explorer.

Six years later, Toyota again give the 4Runner a huge update, with yet another big restyle extending to the shell and chassis increasing the overall size. It was in 1995 that the SUV was no longer considered ‘compact’ and started being classified as ‘mid-range.’

There were various facelifts and updates throughout the next few years until the 5th generation debuted in 2009 at the State Fair Texas on September 24th. Toyota offered three trims to broaden its appeal, all available in either 2-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive. All were fitted with active traction control (A-TRAC) as standard along with a 4-liter V6 engine. A light facelift followed in 2013 increasing its popularity and leading to increased sales over the past decade. In 2021, for example, over 144,000 were sold.