Toyota Kluger Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Toyota Kluger reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

My 2017 Toyota Kluger is just out of warranty and needs a new water pump, should Toyota cover the cost?

Answered by CarsGuide 27 Apr 2021

The problem you have is that the car was already nine months out of warranty when the problem was first noticed. Even though the pump did not require replacement right there and then, if a leak has started, then the pump is damaged or worn and will eventually need replacement. There’s also a distinct probability that the leak had started weeks before it was spotted by your service workshop, so it may have been even closer to the warranty period when the problem first occurred.

I’m with you on this one; 39,000km is not good enough for a modern car to begin to require major replacement parts like a water pump. Rather than go through your dealership, consider contacting Toyota Australia’s customer service division directly and stating your case. Interestingly, since 2019, Toyota has offered a five-year warranty on its new cars and perhaps, if you’ve been a repeat customer or always had your Kluger serviced at a Toyota dealership, then you might find Toyota will help out even to the extent of providing the pump for you to have installed at your expense. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.

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Why did my 2018 Toyota Kluger jump from drive into neutral?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

We haven’t heard of the Kluger jumping out of gear as a common problem, but it’s definitely one you need a mechanic to look at as there’s an obvious safety implication if you lose drive at a critical moment. The 'flaring' could simply be the behaviour that’s been programmed into the vehicle at the factory. The idea is that when you start to use large throttle inputs (say, when overtaking) the vehicle interprets that as you driving on a winding, uphill road. So, to keep the engine making lots of power, it holds on to a lower gear than seems normal. And that’s what you’re feeling when the revs stay high beyond your overtaking move. Try adjusting the car’s mode from Sport to Normal or even Economy, at which point the transmission should become a little less frenetic.

The good news is that, if there’s something wrong, your car should still be covered by Toyota’s factory warranty (which was three-years/100,000km when your car was bought new) so make it Toyota’s problem. If you’re not happy with your dealer, talk to Toyota Australia’s customer service department.

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Which Toyota Kluger models have a GPS?

Answered by CarsGuide 16 Dec 2020

The Kluger released in 2014 was initially only fitted with navigation in the flagship Grande model. But the facelift of the model in 2017 saw navigation become standard on the mid-spec GXL model, so that model now looks like the most cost-effective way into a Kluger with factory-fitted navigation.

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Will an engine replacement change the value of my Toyota Kluger 2019?

Answered by CarsGuide 7 Sep 2020

Having a replacement engine fitted will not damage your car’s resale value. In fact, I think the situation would be quite the opposite. If the vehicle is burning oil to the extent that Toyota wants to replace the engine under warranty, then there’s something not right inside the engine. And trying to sell a vehicle in that condition would be virtually impossible, not to mention that you’d be tearing up dollars because it would be worth a fraction of the same Kluger with a good engine.

Continuing to drive a car that’s burning excess oil can damage the catalytic converter in the exhaust system, so it’s not wise to simply keep topping the oil up; the problem needs to be addressed and fixed permanently.

About the only way a replacement engine will affect resale value is in the case of a classic or collector vehicle where potential buyers want to see a car with its original engine and transmission. With all due respect to the Toyota Kluger, that’s not likely to ever be an issue with your car.

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Why does my 2019 Toyota Kluger use so much oil?

Answered by CarsGuide 1 Aug 2020

It would seem very strange to me that an almost-new Toyota V6 engine would be burning oil to the extent that a new short motor would be required. And it seems that wasn’t the problem anyway, but I agree that more than a litre per 1500km is too much. Had the short motor (pistons and piston-rings) been the problem, the new short motor should have fixed it, but a leak-down and compression test should have given a few clues, too. In any case, the dealer should now be looking for the real source of the problem. I’d be starting with the valve-stem seals or valve guides which are part of the cylinder head and aren’t replaced when a new short motor is fitted (because the original cylinder heads are retained). I’d also be checking the operation of the PCV (crankcase ventilation valve) which can also make oil disappear if it’s faulty.

As for your next step, well, thank goodness for new-car warranties, eh? Basically, you’re covered whatever happens because that’s how warranties work. It’s up to the dealer to decide what steps it takes from here, but while ever the dealer is trying to fix the problem, you need to give them the chance to do so. It would be nice if you were provided with a replacement vehicle while yours is being assessed or fixed, and I’d definitely be asking for that much. Have you contacted Toyota Australia’s customer service number? Sometimes you’ll have a quicker resolution if head office gets involved. The other option if you’re really unhappy with how things are progressing is to contact the ACCC.

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Does the 2004 Toyota Kluger Grande have a timing chain or belt?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Jul 2020

The model Kluger you are referring to uses an engine with the code-name 3MZ-FE. It uses a timing belt rather than a timing chain, so it requires periodic belt changes. This is especially important as the version of the engine fitted to your car is an interference type. That means that the pistons cannot move freely up and down if the camshafts aren’t also turning and, if the belt breaks while the engine is running, the ensuing collision between pistons and valves will probably destroy the engine.

Toyota recommends a timing-belt change every 150,000km which is actually pretty good compared with many other engines which require a new belt closer to every 100,000km or even less. The other piece of advice is to replace the belt tensioners and water pump while the engine is apart for the timing-belt replacement. It’s a lot cheaper to replace those items at that point, rather than having to open the engine up again down the track.

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What mid-size SUV has the power to tow a small caravan?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Feb 2020

It all depends on how much below 2000kg, Jenny. The highest towing limit I could find for any 2019 RAV4 variant – the GXL 4X4 model – was 1500kg, well shy of your target limit. And to be honest, I think that even if you could find a mid-sized SUV with the legal ability to tow anything like 2000kg, you’d be stretching the friendship. It’s not all about engine power, after all; the mass of the towing vehicle itself and its footprint on the road also comes into the reckoning. I’ve seen plenty of medium SUVs towing loads that are, in practical terms, too heavy for them, holding up traffic and making a holiday vastly less fun than it should be.

You’re probably better to go shopping one size bigger and look at, say, the Toyota Kluger which can legally tow 2000kg and will give you a bit of performance headroom, making things safer and more relaxed on the road.

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Toyota Kluger 2019: Why are my seats making so much noise?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Feb 2020

I haven’t heard of this one before, Brooke, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in other Klugers, rather that other owners don’t find it as annoying as you clearly do. I have to agree with the dealer, though, in that conditioning the leather regularly would keep it supple. Chances are that the harder the leather becomes (with age and UV radiation) the more likely it is to squeak. Conditioning the seats will ensure they don’t split, too. Perhaps there’s a conditioning product that is designed specifically to stop squeaking leather, although from what I can see on most labelling, the majority of them already claim this as one of the product’s qualities.

I can understand why you might not want to spend all your time in the car with one seat folded down (Klugers are usually bought for their passenger-carrying abilities, after all) but perhaps carefully placing a soft cloth or old towel between the offending bits of leather really would do the trick. But here’s a tip that has been proven to work in the past: sprinkle a little baby powder on the offending sections of leather. It seems to work for leather shoes, so perhaps it will work in a Toyota.

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Toyota Kluger 2015: Does it have inbuilt GPS?

Answered by CarsGuide 22 Nov 2019

 The top-of-the-line Grande did, but the GX and GXL didn’t.

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What SUV should I buy?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Oct 2019

There are many SUVs that would fit within your budget. I would suggest you try a Toyota Kluger, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Isuzu MU-X, Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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