Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Can you adjust the driver's seat height in a 2006 Prado GXL?
The short answer seems to be no. Back then, Toyota required you to spend up big and buy the VX version of the Prado in order to get a height-adjustable driver’s seat. It seems a bit odd that this feature was not included on lesser Prados, but at least you could adjust the height of the steering column as some form of compensation.
Has Toyota rectified the diesel DPF issues for their 2021 vehicles?
When Toyota launched the facelifted HiLux late last year, much was made of the fact that consumer concerns had been noted and that the DPF problems experienced by many owners had been addressed. The problem is that until these new versions of the HiLux have done their share of kilometres, we won’t be in a position to know for sure whether Toyota has, indeed, cured the problem.
Meantime, it remains that unless your driving habits include a 30-minute drive at highway speeds every two or three weeks, a modern turbo-diesel with a DPF may not be the best choice. It is worth noting, though, that HiLuxes (and Prados and Fortuners) built after June 2018 have been fitted with a manual regeneration function for the DPF which means the driver can manually force a DPF burn-off without waiting for the car to do so itself. Toyota has also announced that the worst affected versions of the HiLux will now be covered by an extended, 10-year warranty on any DPF issues going forward. More information can be found here.
Can you adjust the rear suspension height in a 2006 Toyota Pardo?
In Australia, this model Prado was available in GX, GXL, VX and Grande trim levels. There was a TX model for some markets globally, but if your car is a private import from elsewhere, then it’s an absolute crap-shoot trying to decipher its options and standard fitments.
With that in mind, if it is either a GX, GXL or VX, then it won’t have a button to control the rear ride height, because the only Australian-delivered 120-Series Prado to have this feature was the Grande. The reason your vehicle sits too high probably has more to do with a previous owner fitting heavier rear springs to account for fully-loaded touring or towing a decent sized trailer.
What's a good 4WD for the outback?
You really have two ways to go here. The fact that you want to go off-road in the best/worst conditions this country has to offer means an SUV or cross-over just isn’t going to cut it. With that in mind, you’re looking at either a dual-cab ute or a conventional four-wheel-drive wagon.
In the ute world, there’s plenty of choice within your budget, but you need to be careful that the vehicle in question hasn’t been worked to death by a tradie towing a bobcat Monday to Friday. The popularity of these vehicles, meanwhile, means that there’s lots of choice when it comes to aftermarket bits and pieces to complete your dream vehicle.
The other route – a conventional wagon-style 4X4 – also places a lot of choice within your budget. The Toyota LandCruiser Prado would be a good choice, as would something like a Mitsubishi Pajero which has always represented good value for money both brand-new and second-hand. You could also look at Nissan Patrols which also give you plenty of car for the money and, if you shop carefully, you could find a really nice LandCruiser 80 Series, reckoned by some to be the absolute pinnacle of off-road wagons, even though they’re getting on a bit now. There’s great aftermarket and service support for all these options, so it will come down to your personal preferences.
Why is my horn and reversing camera not working?
You’re probably looking at two different, distinct problems here. It’s pretty unlikely that the car’s horn has anything to do with the reverse camera and vice-versa. The fact that the horn sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t suggests a wiring problem rather than anything wrong with the actual horn unit. You need to check the contacts along the entire horn circuit including the contacts on the horn itself as well as the contacts within the steering wheel that trigger the horn. In modern cars with air-bags, however, this is not a job for the casual tinkerer. Don’t forget the fuse-box, as the horn circuit will have a fuse and this could have shaken loose over time leading to the on-off problem.
The reverse camera problem could be down to the screen or the camera unit itself. Again, you need to check all the connections to make sure that everything is connected tightly and that no moisture has managed to get into the circuit (which is entirely possible as the tiny camera unit is mounted on the outside of the vehicle). And while it might sound silly, check that the lens of the camera isn’t covered in dirt or grease which could also leave you with no image on the screen. Clearly, when you select reverse and the screen goes blank, the camera system is trying to show you what’s behind you, so power is getting to part of the circuit. But either the camera isn’t picking up an image, or the screen is refusing to display it. An auto electrician sounds like a good one-stop shop for both your problems.
The paint on my 2007 Toyota Prado is peeling off, what should I do?
I haven’t heard of a local class action against Toyota for this problem. It’s a mistake to assume that Australian and USA consumer laws have too much in common, so what happens in North America regarding recalls and fixes isn’t always mirrored here. But it is a fact that Toyota in the USA and Canada has agreed to repaint some of its models that were originally painted in either of two shades of white. In those cases, the paint delaminated from the undercoat and literally fell off the car.
What’s much more common in Australia is that the clear-coat (the outer layer of clear paint that gives the finished car its gloss) fails and starts to peel or flake off. By the time that’s happened, the actual colour-coat is usually compromised, too, and repainting the vehicle is the best bet. Metallic colours are notorious for this happening (they are the most likely to use a clear-over-base paint finish) and it’s by no means a Toyota-specific problem.
It happens because the paint used can’t handle Australian levels of heat and UV radiation and it simply fails chemically. Cars from the 1980s and 90s were probably the worst offenders, but some newer cars also suffer the same problem, usually when they’re out of warranty, of course. And just as it isn’t limited to Toyotas, nor is the problem specific to imported cars; plenty of Aussie made Fords and Holdens suffered the same paint deterioration.
Can I replace the master cylinder on my 2000 Toyota Prado with a second-hand one?
The brake master cylinder fitted to your Prado uses an accumulator to ensure that there’s always some brake pressure available to enable the ABS braking to work instantaneously and seamlessly. You should be able to hear the pump running (probably the gurgling sound you’re reporting) from time to time, but not every time you press the brake pedal.
You may need a new master cylinder, but it’s also possible that there’s air in the system and it requires bleeding. There’s a specific procedure for bleeding this type of master cylinder, and it’s not the same as that for a conventional vacuum-boosted master cylinder.
In any case, your information that nobody reconditions these units any longer is incorrect. There’s an operation called Injectronics that can, indeed, recondition and test your existing master cylinder, usually for less than $2000. That, I would suggest, is your best path forward. Check out injectronics.com.au
Why is the media screen on my 2015 Toyota LandCruiser Prado now in Japanese?
Disconnecting the battery to change it means that power to the stereo system was lost for the duration of that procedure. It’s not uncommon to have to re-code the stereo to make it all work again, so that sounds like what you need to do. The code for the stereo will be a multi-digit number and is often recorded in the owner’s manual or the handbook for the stereo itself.
The odd thing is that the codes are often stored in this manner, because ironically, the code system was originally used to combat stereo theft from parked cars. If the crooks couldn’t code the stereo to work after they’d pinched it, there was no point stealing it in the first place. Which kind of makes storing the code in the glovebox a bit of a joke. If you can’t find the code, a Toyota dealer should be able to take the vehicle’s VIN and tell you the code from that.
How much is my 2011 Toyota Landcruiser Prado worth?
Those are quite high kilometres for this model Prado, but all things considered, the price seems pretty reasonable. It will all depend on the overall condition of the vehicle, how it’s been used and how it’s been serviced. Make sure it hasn’t been battered to death underneath through off-road use and make sure the service handbook is up to date and not full of gaps where services have been skipped.
While the vast majority of Prado sales were automatics, there’s a core of die-hard manual enthusiasts out there, so there will always be a demand for the vehicle you’re looking at. The other thing that affects resale value is the accessories attached to the vehicle. But beware a Prado bearing a winch, mud tyres, lifted suspension and side-rails; it’s probably spent a lot of time off road.
Should we replace our Holden Commodore with a Subaru Outback?
A car with a little extra ground clearance is great for camping as it often allows you to get a little farther away from the masses in their caravans who tend to huddle around the shower block at bush campsites.
The Subaru Outback is a good, solid choice and if you can find an independent workshop to service it, you’ll avoid the cost of dealership prices. And you’re right, the all-wheel-drive would be great for gravel roads. Another vehicle to look at would be a late-model Ford territory diesel which is big and clever inside and has the option of all-wheel-drive. The diesel engine is a plus on the bush where that fuel is more readily available (in really remote areas) and gives you more range for big holidays in the mulga.
Don’t rule out things like the Mitsubishi Pajero, either, which won’t be as around-town friendly, but is a proven quantity and is absolutely tremendous off-road. The same goes for a Toyota Prado or Nissan Pathfinder prior to the current model (which is a bit less hard-core adventure).