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Ask Ted Ritter Your Own Question
Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4152
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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I have a 1996 Toyota 4 runner SR5 with V6 engine and a TRD

Customer Question

I have a 1996 Toyota 4 runner SR5 with V6 engine and a TRD super Charger. when starting the engine it will run rough for about 15 sec. then it will smooth out and run great. It does this everytime on cold starts, but when warm runs great no issue. I cleaned out K&N filter and had fuel injectors cleaned by toyota dealer. I asked them what the problem might be and they don't know, there answer to me about the problem was keep running it this way and when engine light ever comes on bring it back so we can read the code. Really??
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for posting

Does the engine use any coolant, do you have to add coolant or water to the reservoir tank?

Is there any kind of smoke from the exhaust when cold starting?

Have you tried replacing the spark plugs?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
engine runs on Toyota coolant. no smoke from exhaust. Toyota recently told me that was no need to change. I asked him to check to see if plugs were failing as well.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 3 months ago.

What you are describing about running rough when first starting sounds like a headgasket that is starting to leak internally, it doesn't take much coolant in the combustion chamber to cause a misfire, it disappears when the engine gets hot because of the metal expansion of the head and block. This can be checked by doing a block leak test using a chemical or with a diagnostic machine like a emission control probe to check for excessive hydrocarbon emissions while the rough running is present, sounds like the dealer is not too interested in helping you so I would contact a decent repair shop that can do this, I would not be surprised if it is a headgasket due to the supercharger which puts a lot more pressures and heat into the combustion chambers. At this time you can keep driving it and see if it gets worse or to be sure just try a new set of spark plugs, at the same time inspect the plugs for any that look different than the rest, on this engine cylinder #6 usualy is where the gasket blows first.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I will check it out. I got the feeling that toyota of cerritos mechanics just go off of what the engine codes say to do and not go with an educated answer like what you just gave me. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 3 months ago.

You're welcome

It seems that's the way it is anymore, unless there is a check engine light on they either don't want to be involved and or don't know what else to do, the self diagnostics are pretty sophisticated but not all problems turn a check engine light on and some common sense, experience and a desire to help a customer would be nice. Best of luck.