Q: I have a 2006 V-6 4Runner that now has more than 105,000 miles. Should I have the valves adjusted? Everyone I talk to says not to bother, and that it costs too much.

A: Toyota recommends a valve adjustment at 60,000 miles, but I would probably wait until the 100,000-mile mark for two reasons. One: These engines hold valve clearance well, and when clearance does go out of specifications, it's typically more than it should be. Too much valve clearance can cause a harmless ticking noise, but no clearance at all can burn a valve. Two: It's a pain. The adjustments are done with shims as opposed to simple adjustment screws. This requires recording the original clearance at all the valves, removing the camshafts, then calculating and installing the correct size shims. For me, it's a lot of work. For you, it's money. But, yes, if you're planning on keeping the 4Runner, it's worth the expense. Proper valve clearance does affect performance, fuel economy, and valvetrain longevity.


How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at trucktrend@sorc.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage -- visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.