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Just Purchased 2000 4Runner 192K Miles, next steps advice please!

hey everyone,

Very first post here and just really wanting some practical help. I just purchased a 2000 4Runner w/ +192K miles on it. It’s a 4 cylinder, 2.7 liter, rear wheel drive. Buying it from a friend who says he’s been pretty good about maintenance.

Anyways, I’ve been doing a ton of reading on the site here for the last few hours. Really great stuff here on, excited to tap into more of the resources (like the buying guide). We don’t have a great car history (esp. with keeping high mileage cars running) but have been told by many a 4Runner owner that these vehicles are very sturdy.

I’m wondering if you could give me maybe 3-5 next steps for the car that you would do after purchase. Like, what are the first things you’re looking at in the car, what parts are you maybe checking or immediately inspecting, etc. Any of your thoughts will be super valuable. I’m very limited in car knowledge so I’m talking like, should I get new spark plugs and things like that. I’m going by to pick it up tomorrow and would love to have some good next steps or even questions to ask the seller.

Thanks in advance for all of the help!

Step #1.

Always have a pre-purchase inpection performed prior to purchsing a used vehicle.



Step 2: unless you have real receipts from the previous owner, assume no routine maintenance has been done.

  1. change the oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid.
  2. if this has a timing belt, it is way overdue for a change. Change the water pump and antifreeze at the same time.
  3. check the tires and brakes. Check the hoses and belts.


  1. Get as much maintenance & repair history from the owner as possible. Sales receipts with the part numbers on them will be really helpful to you. Likewise, repair shop’s description of the diagnosis and repair, with diagnostic codes listed. All of this is especially important for recent repairs and maintenance. If there are no receipts, ask the owner to take 15 minutes & jot down everything he recalls, especially about recent maintenance and repairs.
  2. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, download one from Toyota’s website and read it cover to cover.
  3. Check all the fluid levels. Engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, clutch fluid (if manual trans), coolant (both in plastic bottle and in radiator). Check tire pressures too, and compare to recommendation on label found on the driver’s side door jam.
  4. If unsure of the brake’s status, schedule a brake inspection service at your local inde shop.
  5. Take photos of the car from all angles, the engine compartment, including under-hood labels, labels on the door jams and in the trunk. All that label info is important to have.
  6. Remove the jack and spare tire. Top off the spare tire’s inflation if needed. Make sure you are able to loosen the lug nuts on one of the wheels. Test the jack to make sure it is able to jack up the car in case you need to change to the spare tire.
1 Like

Change the brake fluid. It is the most neglected vehicle fluid. Also change the power steering fluid and the differential fluid. All 3 of these tend to be ignored even if the others are not.

I agree with all the other’s advice. If you don’t have a receipt PROVING the service is done, it hasn’t been. Start ownership of this vehicle as cleanly as you can.

Accept the fact there are problems with this vehicle that can’t been seen or known. Things happen on a 200K mile vehicle. Don’t lose a friend over a used car.