Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingVehicle Model Specific Problems Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light – How To Reset It In A Toyota?

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light – How To Reset It In A Toyota?

by Jordan Harris
Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light

Have you done the maintenance on your 4Runner and you are looking for a way to reset 4Runner maintenance light? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be quite a lot to cover when it comes to the process of resetting the maintenance light on your 4Runner.

Knowing how to do maintenance by yourself is probably every car enthusiast’s dream. We just don’t want to let other people around our cars. Especially some sketchy mechanics that are doing poor work or do not even do their work at all.

Certain scammy technicians just reset 4Runner maintenance light without any fixes and tell you that you are good to go. And you eventually end up with a blown engine. This is why being cognizant is the way to go when dealing with stuff like this.

First, we are going to learn what is the 4Runner and why it is so popular. Then, we will discuss the pros and cons of having a 4Runner, as well as what is car maintenance and why maintenance matters, and the different maintenance procedures.

Then we will learn how to reset 4Runner maintenance light. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

Toyota 4Runner

Now before we start learning more about how to reset 4Runner maintenance light, let’s first introduce ourselves to the Toyota 4Runner and learn more about this legendary Toyota model since there are a lot of people interested in obtaining one and first want to learn more about the maintenance procedures and how expensive is to maintain this vehicle. So, let’s familiarize ourselves with the 4Runner.

So, what is the Toyota 4Runner? The 4Runner is a mid-size SUV that is manufactured by Toyota since 1983 and as of today, there is a total of five generations released on the market. With the most recent generation released in 2009.

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light

You might think that the 4Runner is really old since it is a 10+ year-old model. But we can only say that it has aged like fine wine. This model sells like crazy. The sales increase by year instead of declining. And in 2021 it managed to sell about 144,000 units, and that is something that not a lot of vehicles can do if you were asking me.

And maybe this is one of the reasons why Toyota didn’t decide to replace it yet. You know, the current 4Runner is old technology. It uses old fashion engines with fewer electronics and things to break down. It’s as robust today as it was with the 3rd gen Toyota 4Runner.

And people simply love the simplicity and like to get something reliable that will last the following decades. And the 4Runner does not disappoint. More on the popularity, we will further elaborate in the following chapter.

But how to reset 4Runnner maintenance light? More about this, we are going to elaborate in a moment.

Why Is The 4Runner So Popular

So, what makes the 4Runner so popular among buyers? Let’s further elaborate more on this before we dive into how to reset 4Runner maintenance light.

One of the main factors that make the 4Runner so popular is the capability of this vehicle. As you probably know, this model shares the same platform as the mid-size pickup truck known as the Toyota Tacoma.

The Tacoma is one of the best sellers in the mid-size market. It is an extremely tough pickup truck that basically lasts forever. There are a lot of people that purchased these trucks in the 90s and still are using them without any hiccups.

And the 4Runner builds upon that success. But what is good about the 4Runner is its off-road capability. Toyota built this model to be able to handle uneven terrain like no other vehicle on the road right now.

It implements a lot of systems like the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Active Traction Control, as well as a rear locking differential. All of these systems make the 4Runner a perfect vehicle for the trails.

Not to mention that there are specific trim levels that are designed for off-road. Namely, the TRD and the TRD Pro versions. Which not only perform well on off-road and have improved suspension. But also implement some really nice looking colors and also special wheels.

And the customizing options for these vehicles are practically endless. The aftermarket is working nonstop to create new upgrades. Starting from coilover suspension, skid plates, roof racks, bumper guards, and whatnot. The choice for customizing are endless. No doubt, it’s one of the easiest cars to mod.

But how to reset 4Runner maintenance light? More about that, we will cover it in a bit.

Pros & Cons Of A Toyota 4Runner

Now let’s move on and discuss the pros and cons of having a 4Runner in your garage. Knowing the pros and cons is really useful to know. Mainly because knowing the positives and negatives of owning a 4Runner will really help you out determine if you need a 4Runner in your life or not.

So, let’s cover first the pros and then the cons of owning a 4Runner before we learn how to reset 4Runner maintenance light and learn more about car maintenance in general.

And once you’re done, you can check out our other buyers’ guides on the 4Runner. That includes our comparison of the Toyota Highlander vs the 4Runner, as well as the Lexus equivalent to the 4Runner.


Now let’s first cover the pros of owning a 4Runner before we dive into how to reset 4Runner maintenance light. Knowing the pros is really useful to know for people who want to get a new or used 4Runner and are learning how to reset maintenance light Toyota 4Runner beforehand.

One of the biggest pros of owning a 4Runner is the simplicity of these vehicles. These 4Runners are dead simple to work on. The space inside of the engine bay is huge and you have all the space in the world to wrench. Especially when it comes to regular maintenance.

If you are an experienced gearhead who knows what they’re doing, you could do an oil change in less than 20 minutes on these vehicles and then resume driving.

And this simplicity also goes in the interior and the electrical system. In the 4Runner there are simply not a lot of things that can break down. Especially electrical problems are almost inexistent on these vehicles.

And people buy them precisely for this since they don’t want to hassle with complex electronics and spend more time at the dealership than driving the vehicle. Like in the case when you buy a Land Rover for example. Those SUVs are a complete nightmare to own compared to the 4Runner, among other Toyota 4Runner alternatives.

And if you want to have cheaper maintenance costs. The 4Runner is probably the way to go if you were asking me. The 4Runner is cheap as it could get. Especially if you get a new model. In the next 10 years, you don’t have to worry about anything breaking down, so long as you’re diligent about the best model year of the 4Runner.

But how to reset 4Runner maintenance light? More about that, we are going to cover after we learn the cons.


Now let’s discuss more about the cons of the Toyota 4Runner before we dive into how to reset 4Runner maintenance light.

The first con about this SUV is probably the lack of technology which would be a real deal breaker for many new young customers who want something more flashy. The 4Runner interior is pretty outdated by modern standards and the age is visible.

The next con is probably the suspension. Even though people appreciate the 4Runner for its off-road performance. The model has sub-par ride quality as would some people would note. This is the case because the 4Runner is meant to be used on dirt roads and is not built to be a comfortable cruiser.

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light

Another con that annoys a lot of people is the poor fuel economy that this model delivers. The 4Runner only gets about 16 mpg in the city which is really low compared to what modern SUVs can pull off in this aspect. And it is quite noticeable. Especially nowadays when prices of gas are breaking records.

And the last and biggest con of this vehicle is the rust development on the frames. These SUVs love to rust. Especially vehicles built before 2008. This is why we should note that whenever you want to buy one, make sure that the model is rust-free or that there is only a small amount of surface rust.

And if you can poke a hole through the frame, stay away from this vehicle unless you want to put your life in danger. And, make sure you’re wary of the 4Runner frame recall. But how to reset 4Runner maintenance light? About that, we are going to learn in a moment.

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light: What Is Car Maintenance

Now let’s learn more about what is car maintenance before we dive into how to reset 4Runner maintenance light. We need to further familiarize ourselves and learn more about maintenance.

So, what is car maintenance? Well, as you probably know, every machine out there is not made to last forever, though Toyota is one of the longest-lasting car brands. There are a lot of moving parts inside of a vehicle that allows this vehicle to operate correctly.

And these moving parts wear out and start to fail. Once they start to fail, they simply perform a lot worse than a new part. And this bad performance can affect a lot of systems and components. This is why for every machinery out there, including cars and trucks, there are maintenance intervals.

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light

Most of the moving parts in your powertrain and suspension have maintenance intervals that are given by the factory. So, in this case, Toyota has tested these vehicles and components and determined that there will be a failure point on that specific component after X amount of miles.

And with this thing in mind, they created these intervals that indicate when you should replace these components or fluids in your 4Runner in order for your 4Runner to continue operating as it should. So, if you don’t follow these principles, you will have a lot of headaches.

And in the next chapter, we are going to elaborate on why this maintenance matters and learn more about the downsides of you skipping maintenance before we learn how to reset 4Runner maintenance light.

Why Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light Matters

Another thing that we would like to discuss before we learn how to reset 4Runner maintenance light is the topic of why maintenance matters. We learned more about what is car maintenance.

Now let’s take a look at why maintenance really matters before you try to reset your maintenance light if you didn’t do the required maintenance beforehand. Let’s take for example engine oil and oil changes. Since this is probably the most common maintenance done on a car.

As you probably know, engine oil is the main lubricant that makes sure that a lot of moving parts are lubed up properly so there is no metal-to-metal contact inside the engine. And also, there is not a lot of heat inside the engine.

Because not only engine oil is a lubricant. But also engine oil makes sure that the heat is removed from the engine.

And engine oil has a lifespan. This type of oil is recommended to last for at least 9,000 miles on newer cars and then you will have to flush the oil. This is why you shouldn’t test what happens if you don’t change your oil, and figure out more specifically how many miles can you go over an oil change.

Because if you don’t do this procedure, you will end up with a sludgy oil that does not lubricate the engine and you will basically end up with an engine that will wear at an exponential rate. So, one overdue oil change can shave a ton of miles from the life of the engine.

And eventually, your engine will be destined for the scrap yard. And most importantly, you will have to pay thousands of dollars for a new engine. This is why you should know that before you learn how to reset 4Runner maintenance light.

Types Of Car Maintenance

Let’s now discuss the types of car maintenance that are out there. We discussed oil changes and why they are so important. Now let’s move on to the other types of maintenance before we learn more about the oil change interval, the oil change procedure, and how to reset 4Runner maintenance light.

So, what are the other types of maintenance? Well, the second most important item that you need to make sure is in good condition is the transmission fluid. Flushing the transmission fluid is really important in order to make sure that the transmission has good longevity and lasts as long as the car does.

Other fluids that have replacement intervals are the engine coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and differential fluid. The differential fluid lasts the longest. But still needs to be changed at least once during the ownership of the car. For more context, do refer to our guide on differential fluid change and differential fluid change cost.

Other components that need addressing are the belts. The drive belt also known as the serpentine belt has to be changed when it starts to crack because it can snap and stall your engine. If you want to learn more, do head over to our detailed write-up on the replacement cost of a serpentine belt.

The second one is the timing belt. Or chain as in the Toyota 4Runner. And the timing chain job is probably the most expensive service that you have to do on the 4Runner. For this work, the timing chain has to come off and be replaced along the tensioners. This is a reportedly lifetime chain.

But you shouldn’t overestimate it and when it starts to rattle, better replace it unless you want the engine to fail. Overall, these are the main types of maintenance that you should do to your 4Runner. But how to reset 4Runner maintenance light? More about that, we will find out in a moment.

4Runner Oil Change Interval

Another topic that we would like to cover before we learn how to reset 4Runner maintenance light is the oil change interval on the 4Runner.

As we noted previously, the 4Runner uses some old-school engine developed in the early 00s. And these engines are more sensitive to oil changes and require more frequent oil changes than other contemporary engines.

So, the recommended oil change interval on the 4.0L V6 engine is 6,000 miler or 12 months. This is why you should always remember when was the last time you flushed the oil and make sure that you follow this interval.

4Runner Oil Change

Now let’s dive into the oil change procedure before we cover how to reset 4Runner maintenance light.

The first thing you need to be aware of when you do regular maintenance on your 4Runner is to always use 5w30 engine oil if you are running the 4.0L V6. And what is worth noting is that this engine takes about 5.5 quarts of this type of oil.

For the procedure, you will also need some tools. 10 mm and 12 mm socket to remove the skid plate bolts and also 14 mm socket to remove the drain bolt.

You will also need an oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter housing from the engine. Just beware that these are plastic and are easy to break. And as you can see in the video that we attached for the procedure, the person who is doing this service is swapping the plastic housing for a metal one.

And this is definitely a recommended mod to do. Once you replace the filter and tighten the drain bolt, just add the recommended oil and start the engine. You are good to go. For more in-depth on this procedure, you can check the video.

Or, if you’d like to learn more, we do have guides on do you have to change the oil filter every time, as well as whether is it cheaper to change your own motor oil.

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light

Now let’s take a look at how you can reset 4Runner maintenance light. This is a recommended procedure that you should do once you flush the engine oil. In the video, you can check how this procedure is done on a 2010 to 2021 Toyota 4Runner with a key to start. Make sure that you follow the procedure and this will 100% work.

Now let’s take a look at how to reset 4Runner maintenance light on a 4Runner that is push-to-start. This means that it requires that you press a button to start the engine, unlike the old conventional way with a key. In the following video, everything is explained in detail. It is dead easy. Just make sure that you follow the instructions.

Now let’s conclude this article about how to reset 4Runner maintenance light and after that, we will answer some frequently asked questions.

Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light: In Conclusion…

In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the 4Runner. First, we learned what is the 4Runner and why it is so popular. Then we covered the pros and cons of running a 4Runner. And honestly, the pros are a lot more than the cons. So, if you still haven’t bought one, you should definitely check it out.

After that, we learned more about maintenance and why maintenance is essential. We also covered the oil change procedure for the 4Runner as well as the interval. Lastly, we discussed how to reset 4Runner maintenance light on this model.

We hope that you learned more about the Toyota 4Runner maintenance schedule and how to reset the maintenance light Toyota 4Runner. Otherwise, if you prefer getting a truck instead of an SUV, you might instead gravitate towards the Tacoma.

If you’re curious, we have plenty of guides about the Tacoma, including the Toyota Tacoma Auto LSD system, and what modified Tacomas can look like. Otherwise, we’ve also discussed the Toyota Tacoma model years to avoid, the best model year for the Toyota Tacoma, in addition to the Tacoma frame rust issues.

FAQs On Reset 4Runner Maintenance Light

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Why Is My Maintenance Light On

Your maintenance light is on because your car needs to visit the workshop in order for some maintenance to be done. This means that you have to flush the oil, replace the filters, and do standard maintenance to it. Once you did that, just reset the light and the light will disappear.

How To Reset 4Runner After Oil Change

The first thing you need to do is to turn the key to the ON position. Or if you have a push to start just double-tap the button. Then press the odometer stem until you reach Trip A. Then turn off the key and let everything turn off. Press the button again and turn on the ignition key while holding the key. And the computer will reset the interval.

How To Reset Maintenance Light On Toyota 4Runner

Just turn the key as far as you can without starting the engine and once the lights turn on, press the stem button until your reach Trip A in the menu. Then remove the key and press and hold the button. Then turn the key again and wait until the system is resetting your maintenance light.

How To Reset Odometer After Oil Change

Place the key into the ignition and press the stem button on the cluster until you reach Trip A in the menu. Then remove the key, press the stem button and hold it like that and then turn the key again to on position and wait until the system resets the oil. This manual works on Toyota Models, and for other makes it could be different.

How To Get The Maintenance Required Light Off

In order to get this light off, first you need to do your maintenance. Then turn the key to on position and press on the stem button until you reach Trip A. Then remove the key from the ignition and press and hold the button. While holding the button, turn the key to the on position and the computer should reset itself and start from zero.

You may also like

Leave a Comment