When you want a big, fast SUV with solid handling and a nice ride, the Toyota Land Cruiser is a great choice. The latest models of Toyota’s flagship SUV have cutting-edge features like a touchscreen audio system. Don’t leave without first reading our list of common Toyota Land Cruiser failures.
Older units in good condition can be a worthwhile investment. In addition to having great towing capacity and great off-road capability, a Land Cruiser only depreciates 41% after five years.
How good is the Toyota Land Cruiser?
When it comes to reliability, the Toyota Land Cruiser is considered below average. It has had a rating of 2.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 14th out of 14 full-size SUVs. Ownership costs for the Land Cruiser are above average . So it’s likely that it will need repairs over time, and the problems you may develop can tend towards the severe side of the spectrum.
Despite its low reliability index, the owners trust the model. Toyota Land Cruiser owners were asked to rate their SUVs, they gave their vehicle an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Another source also gives the Land Cruiser a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.
Many Land Cruisers can hit 100,000 miles or more, and it’s not uncommon for some units to rack up 150,000 or even 195,000 miles on their odometer. Do you want your SUV to keep running for a long time? Follow the recommended maintenance schedule and immediately replace any old or broken parts.
Common failures of the Toyota Land Cruiser
Built since 1951, the Toyota Land Cruiser has seen decades of improvements and revisions. Understandably, some model years showed a higher susceptibility to developing problems than others.
The highest number of complaints involved the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser, and the most reported problem was rough shifting. However, the 2005 model year was considered the worst due to the seriousness of the problems that some of its units developed.
Here are some common Toyota Land Cruiser failures reported by owners:
1- Leaks in the power steering pump
Many older Toyota Land Cruisers with 6 cylinder engines tend to need a new power steering pump by the time they hit 125,000-150,000 miles.
These vehicles were built during 1990-1998 and 2000, so your stock pump is usually on its last legs . A worn pump is more likely to have a leak that can hinder or even stall the Land Cruiser’s power steering.
2- The automatic transmission does not shift correctly
Transmission problems are not limited to the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser. The transmission on some vehicles built during 1990-19976 and 1999 may shift into the wrong gear once they pass the 120,000 mile mark.
In many cases, a misadjusted throttle position sensor or faulty shift solenoid is responsible for the transmission shifting incorrectly. Whatever the reason, replacing the faulty part that is causing the problem will usually restore transmission performance.
3- The engine stops working suddenly
The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser ensures comfort during long trips on or off the highway. However, some have left their passengers stranded in the middle of nowhere due to unexpected engine failure .
According to the owners of the affected Land Cruisers, the engine gave out while they were driving to their destination. Many of them took their vehicles to the dealership. However, most technicians were unable to pinpoint the exact problem that caused the engine to fail.
4- The engine consumes too much oil and emits blue smoke
Thanks in part to its powerful engine, the 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser tackles the toughest terrain with the same ease with which it navigates the best roads and highways. However, that same part can malfunction to the point of requiring costly replacement.
Some 2005 Land Cruiser owners have reported that the first sign of an engine problem was that it was consuming more oil than expected. Some time later, their vehicles began giving off blue smoke , a common symptom of an oil leak and burning lubricant.
Most 2005 Land Cruiser owners who had to deal with this problem were forced to replace the entire engine to repair their vehicle.
5- Sudden changes
There are many good things to be said about the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser, including that its eight-speed automatic transmission saves fuel. Unfortunately, it’s also the model year that’s most likely to develop harsh changes.
Some 2016 model year owners have complained that their SUV’s transmission tends to vibrate excessively every time they shift into gear . Both upshifting and downshifting were affected. The problem could manifest itself when driving at high RPM as well as at low speeds.
In addition to the jerky shifts, several drivers have also reported their 2016 Land Cruiser’s engine revving while the vehicle’s transmission was in idle.
6- Bad electrical junction block for power windows and mirrors
Many Toyota Land Cruiser models have power windows and mirrors that the driver can adjust with the push of a button. The electricity needed to run these comfortable pieces comes from the battery and is distributed by a junction block.
However, on older vehicles, this electrical junction block can fail due to age. If you encounter this problem, keep in mind that you can continue to drive your Land Cruiser even with faulty power windows and mirrors. Although, it can be a hassle to adjust those parts.
7- Faults in the EVAP system
The Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system maintains Toyota Land Cruiser’s emission levels within safe and legal levels. When something goes wrong with this system, it will activate the check engine light to warn the driver . Reports show that a problem can appear as early as 25,000 miles on some vehicles. In addition, the failure may involve parts such as the coal canister or the gas cap.
The Toyota Land Cruiser lives up to the reliability attributed to its manufacturer. But it never hurts to take steps to keep it in tip-top shape for a long time. To avoid costly repairs, it’s a good idea to be aware of common Land Cruiser problems and failures associated with the model year you want.