Frequency of operating our 4Runner

We live in a warm climate…our 1998 4Runner has 115000 troublefree miles. We want our 4Runner to last. Presently, it is being driven about 200 miles a month on weekends only. If we reduced mileage to 50 or 100 miles a month would it make the car more prone to needing repairs.

IMHO it would not. Your 4Runner is currently being driven an extremely small number of miles anyway. Changing to an extremely extremely small number would have no impact IMHO.

Things you should be aware of:

  • add gas stabilizer to the tank. Old gas become rancid.
  • add injector cleaner to the tank…others may disagree. I’ve found that it helps noticably on rarely used engines.
  • elastomers and things made with them such as belts, hoses, tires, and seals, are subject to deterioration even if not used much. They should be changed in accordance with your maintenance schedule on a “or XXXXXX years” schedule.
  • check and/or freshen (drain and replace) the coolamy every 5 years.
  • IMHO the vehicle should get a good underbody check annually focusing particularly on the brake system. Particularly for evidence of leaks and corrosion.
  • I’d also suggest investing in new tires every 5 years, or at least having them thoroughly inspected annually for cracks. Tires are among the single most important safety feature you have. Others may disagree.

Au contraire! as the French say. Your 4Runner should be driven vigorously (highway speed) regularly until it warms up sufficiently to drive off condensation and sludge. A 20 mile or more trip once a week will accomplish that.

Driving it less (short distances) will make wear out faster and result in all sorts of problems. Cars are a lot like people; my 80 year older sister hikes and excercises regularly, while her sedentary colleagues slowly seize up watching TV and playing Bingo.

If the car gets a good workout every weekend there is no need for gas stabiliser and other a storage tasks.

Just make sure the maintenance is performed on a time-based schedule, and the truck will last 30-40 years!