The Toyota FJ Cruiser has become a highly sought-after SUV since its introduction in 2006. Despite its short lifespan, the mid-sized retro-style model offers unique design elements, higher compatibility and unmatched durability and reliability. Produced solely by Toyota Motors Corporation for off-road use, the FJ Cruiser is considered one of the most desirable SUVs.
However, when planning on purchasing a Toyota FJ Cruiser, specific model years should be avoided, while others are highly recommended. This article provides insight into which model years you should consider if purchasing an FJ Cruiser SUV, as some of them have been labelled as being amongst the worst models ever produced. By researching what previous owners have experienced with specific models, you can make sure you pick a reliable vehicle before purchasing.
🚨You may be interested in: Toyota Sienna Model Years To Avoid
Toyota FJ Cruiser Years To Avoid (List Of Years)
Toyota’s FJ Cruiser has long been known for providing drivers with exceptional dependability and reliability. Its impressive engine, legendary transmission, suspension, and electrical system make it capable of tackling even the toughest off-road terrain. Despite its strong reputation, some years were less successful than others due to mistakes that had been made in production. To avoid any potential issues, buyers should stay away from the following Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV models:
- 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser: Unreliable transmission system; lack of structural integrity; paint tends to chip off; converter failure; check engine light coming on; gear issue; growling or humming noise
- 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser: Rusting problem continues; faulty internal accessories ; leaking issue inside the cabin ; erratic braking system ; engine , transmission , and steering troubles .
- 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser : Water leaking trouble ; unusual shifting noise , and faulty driveshaft .
- 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser: Screen blurring issue ; unreliable braking system ; knocking sounds , and engine failure .
🎯Suggested article: 2024 Toyota Camry Redesign, Specs And Release Date
What Makes These Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV Years Worth Avoiding?
After analyzing the potential issues associated with certain Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV years, it is clear why they are considered to be the worst and should be avoided. To provide further insight into these issues, an in-depth overview of each year’s most common problems has been compiled. This information can help consumers make informed decisions when considering purchasing an Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV.
1. Excess Oil Consumption & Grown Blowby:
Extreme oil consumption is an indication of potential engine failure. Oil rings can fail to seal correctly, allowing the oil to pass through other internal components such as the combustion chamber resulting in increased usage. Many people have reported seeing symptoms like leaks from the engine or exhaust areas, smoke coming from the exhaust system or rear smoke from the engine, and a distinct smell of burning oil when their oil ring starts to fail.
Another issue that can arise is blowby which occurs when piston rings are damaged or not sealing properly. This allows unfiltered air containing contaminants into the vehicle’s engine parts and causes a decrease in performance and lifespan. Reports suggest this problem usually appears once Toyota FJ Cruiser vehicles have been used for 200000+ miles.
2. Visible Compression Loss:
The worn piston rings unfortunately fail to provide a proper seal. This allows unfiltered air access, which is referred to as blowby. When blowby increases, the engine loses compression and power needed for accurate combustion processes. This then leads to poorer performance from the engine and in some cases may require an expensive rebuild or replacement of the entire engine; fixings costs can range anywhere between $1,500-$2,000.
It is essential that piston seals are regularly inspected and serviced in order to help avoid these costly repairs. Regular maintenance checks will not only reduce long-term repair costs but also ensure higher performances from the engine by preventing any problems due to improper sealing of piston rings in the first place.
3. Unreliable Transmission System:
Toyota has taken the necessary measures to equip their Toyota FJ Cruiser models with a bulletproof transmission system. This is to ensure that consumers do not have to worry about any potential transmission issues they may face while driving. However, many users who own 2011 FJ Cruiser models have experienced an issue where shuddering and vibrations can be felt in the cabin when traveling at 24-45 MPH. This problem seems to occur due to either an imbalance in the transfer housing or a faulty torque converter. Additionally, some of these consumers reported experiencing gear slipping and hard jerking problems when shifting from 1st gear into 2nd gear. Although Toyota has implemented multiple safeguards for their transmission systems, it appears that some of these issues still arise for this particular model type.
4. Problem With Drivetrain & Steering:
The 2014 FJ SUV has been met with some complaints from owners and users. It has been reported that there is an unusual excess vibration in the drivetrain, which persists even after balancing their tires. Additionally, many users have claimed that road noise starts to become more prominent within 10,000 miles of operation. This can be due to worn U-joints or slipped splines as well as misaligned angles and yokes.
Another issue reported by 2013 FJ SUV drivers is a shimmy or shaking steering wheel when driving at 60 to 70 mph range for a two inch movement. This problem may stem from unbalanced or misaligned tires, faulty brake pads, bad wheel bearings or wrapped brake rotors during low RPM speed drives. The best way to diagnose these issues is through professional assessment with trained mechanics who are able to identify the root cause of any problems experienced with the FJ SUV model.
⚡️Other article: Toyota Prius Dashboard Warning Lights
5. Faulty Factory Assembled Finders & HVAC System:
Unfortunately, some 2007 and 2008 Toyota FJ Cruisers were released with a defective factory assembled finder. This can cause the vehicle’s front end to sag quickly and, in extreme cases, prevent opening or closing of driver and passenger doors. Additionally, a common issue which raises concern about the reliability of these vehicles is HVAC (ventilation system) failure caused by faulty blend doors. Replacing them is not cheap but often necessary to fix this problem. Other major issues include Check Engine Warning Light illumination problems, loose/faulty foot rest pedals, broken driveshafts, faulty seatbelts or noise from fan belts.
Which Toyota FJ Cruiser Years Are Safe To Buy Used?
According to the published report on the Recent 1st Generation (2007–2014) FJ Cruiser News by CarComplaints.com, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 are considered to be the best model years of Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV due to their low troubleshooting issues. The following list highlights why these particular years were most preferable:
- 2009 FJ Cruiser had fewer mechanical problems than other models in its range;
- 2011 FJ Cruiser was equipped with improved engine performance;
- 2012 FJ Cruiser provided a better driving experience;
- 2014 FJ Cruiser had reduced fuel consumption compared to comparable models from different brands.
📢Read also: Toyota Forklift Warning Light Symbols
The Toyota FJ Cruiser was once an excellent mid-sized SUV to consider. It boasted plenty of features and its reputation for reliability made it a popular choice. However, due to declining sales the production of this particular model has been discontinued by Toyota with no intentions for reproduction in the near future. As a result, those interested are left with only used options available on today’s market.
Though there is still potential for a good deal when buying pre-owned vehicles, it is important to know which years are not worth considering from this particular lineup as they could be more prone to problems or lack certain features that were introduced in later models. Researching thoroughly prior to purchase can help one avoid any costly mistakes while ensuring they get their money’s worth out of their investment.