Toyota FJ Cruiser Facts
- Aside from the stocky frame, short wheelbase, almost vertical windshield, and headlight and grille assembly, the FJ Cruiser has another significant design cue that is reminiscent of the FJ40-the spelled-out "Toyota" name. Instead of the famous corporate emblem that has been featured on most vehicles, the FJ Cruiser sports the "Toyota" name across the grille just like the Toyota trucks that were manufactured in the past.
- When the Toyota FJ Cruiser debuted, its bold yet retro style was met with positive reviews from the general public and automotive press. As a result, it was considered by many car enthusiasts as the new Toyota "Halo Car". Coined from the term flagship vehicle, this recognition means that the FJ Cruiser is currently the vehicle line that draws attention to Toyota as an international brand.
- Aside from the signature production voodoo blue color, the Toyota FJ Cruiser comes in a bevy of factory colors that consumers can choose from: black diamond, sandstorm, titanium metallic, brick, and sun fusion. Unfortunately, when it comes to interior color, interested buyers only have one option-dark charcoal.
- In 2007, Toyota released a special FJ Cruiser variant-the TRD Special Edition FJ Cruiser. Designed under the Toyota Racing Development (TRD), only 3,200 units of this vehicle model were produced. It was equipped with special TRD badges, BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, and TRD's cat-back exhaust system, and 16-inch wheels with a gun-metal gray finish.
- Want to know what differentiates the Trail Teams Special Edition Package (TT) from other FJ Cruiser variants? This limited edition version features a tanned paint job called the sandstorm. This color extends to the FJ Cruiser's roof, so unlike the normal models, the TT does not have a white roof. What's more, this special edition line has blacked-out door handles, bumpers, mirrors, and grill assembly.
- The Toyota FJ Cruiser is what automakers around the world tag as a "retro" vehicle. This is because the FJ Cruiser has modern mechanicals that is coupled to a style that is based on a successful and iconic vehicle line in the past-the FJ40 series of Land Cruisers.
Toyota FJ Cruiser: What to Watch Out for and What to Do When Difficulties Arise
Launched in 2003 as a concept car, the Toyota FJ Cruiser has come a long way as a retro-style SUV that has superior off-road capabilities. Although its designs were patterned from the iconic FJ40, this vehicle line has managed to make a name for itself through various awards for performance and design. However, despite its success, the FJ Cruiser is still prone to malfunctions that every car owner should know. Listed below are some of the common problems that people may chance upon in case they own or if they are in the market for this SUV.
Cracking engine bay inner fender aprons
For the 2007 and early 2008 models of the FJ Cruiser, car owners reported several cases of cracked or bulged fender aprons. Attributed to a design flaw for several Vehicle Identification Numbers, Toyota has resolved the issue by redesigning the FJ Cruiser's fenders starting 2009. With the revamped double layer inner fender, no more complaints were documented for later models.
Improperly calibrated tire pressure monitoring system
Due to tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that were improperly calibrated, Toyota issued a recall and service bulletin for all FJ Cruisers that were manufactured from 2008 to 2011. Based on the report done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the TPMS installed on these FJ Cruisers did not follow the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #138. Specifically, the monitoring systems only alerted drivers if the tire pressure was already below recommended levels. As a result, car owners were at risk of encountering accidents because of underinflated tires and possible blowouts.
Because of its block design, the Toyota FJ Cruiser has too many blind spots on the left and right side mirrors. Also, because of the block-like design, this SUV has an unusually large C-pillar and spare tire location that hinders rear view. As a result, car owners find backing out and driving fast somehow difficult. To solve this issue, Toyota released an optional rearview camera mirror for all FJ Cruisers manufactured 2009 onwards. This optional camera automatically displays your vehicle's rear through a 2.4-inch LCD screen.
FAQs—Toyota FJ Cruiser
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is often driven on rough roads. How can stuck dirt, sludge, and stains be removed without ruining the finish? Also, how can you prevent damage on the wheels' finish?
Frequent wash helps a lot. Use mild soap or cleaning solution instead of abrasive cleaners or chemicals with caustic substances that can destroy or cloud the clear coat. The cleaner and treatment for the wheels should be made safe and effective for a specific type of wheel finish, whether the wheels are chrome plated or the alloy wheels are painted or have a clear coat finish. Coating the wheels with wax could make them much easier to clean and could add another layer of protection against road grime and other harsh elements. Waxing can be done 3 to 4 times a year, based on manufacturer suggestions. Stains on the wheels can be avoided by applying a tar and bug remover. When cleaning the wheels, stay away from steel wool pads and stiff brushes. Clean wheels using a wash mitt or a special wheel brush. To reach through dirt and grime that are set deep into the barrels of the wheels and behind the calipers, use a detailing brush that's dipped into the car cleaning solution.
How can I tell if it's time to replace the tires of the FJ Cruiser? What are the common tread wear patterns? What do they mean?
You can do the penny test. Put a penny, with Lincoln's head positioned upside down, into the tread groove of the tire. You already have to replace the tire if you can spot all of the head. Aside from the penny test, there's a tread wear indicator that you may check as well. This is less than an inch (about 2/32 inch) from the tread groove's bottom. If the tread has worn down so bad to be even with this level, then the tire is due for replacement.
There are several common tread wear patterns to take note of. If wear appears on both edges, particularly the outside edges, then the tires are underinflated. Wear in the center tread, meanwhile, indicates over-inflation. Cups or dips are commonly found on the front tires, although rear tires may also have these uneven wear patterns. Misalignment could cause the tire edges to develop that saw tooth-like appearance. Tread wear on just on one edge is also an indicator of misalignment.
My FJ Cruiser has an ignition problem that I can't quite figure out. It's weird that the ignition switch would be on, but the engine still won't fire up. What should I do?
Before you blame it on a faulty ignition switch, first check the warning lights when you switch the key to the on position. By checking if the instrument panel warning lights are working, you'll know if you should be looking into a bad battery or loose or corroded cables or wiring. Turn on the headlights. If they don't work, then it's most probably a problem with the battery connection or the battery itself. But if they do light up, then the problem could be traced to an electrical fault in the switch or the starting circuit. You should be checking the wiring or fuse or the relay, solenoid, or starter.
Toyota FJ Cruiser: Making the Past Work in the Present
Built by Hino Motors in Hamura, Japan, Toyota FJ Cruiser is a midsize SUV that is very much recognizable for being a retro-vehicle. At first glance, one can be taken back into the 60’s as its exterior design is reminiscent to the Toyota J40. Despite its classic styling, the automobile is noted for its superior off-road capabilities. This is all owed to its truck-based, ladder-frame chassis that will not budge from the most abusive of terrains. Over its production, the Toyota FJ Cruiser received various awards such as the 2007 Lowest Ownership Costs in its Class, the 2007 SmartChoice Retained Value in its Class, and the 2008 five-star rating in safety crash tests.
2008: A safe move
Because of its brusque exterior and equally vigorous activities, the Toyota FJ Cruiser received various safety enhancements in the year 2008. The most notable of these safety improvements was the engine immobilizer, which keeps the engine from running without the use of the correct key. This function prevents the vehicle from hot-wiring, which is a famous method in car theft. 2008 also brought about the tire pressure monitoring system to the automobile. This feature keeps the SUV from being driven with an under-inflated tire, which ultimately causes accidents in the highway when the automobile is driven at a high speed. To top it all off, airbag functions were also improved with the addition of front and rear airbags as well as dual front side-mounted airbags.
2010: In come the packages
The year 2010 gave way to a big improvement in the Toyota FJ Cruiser model with the availability of two packages, opening its two doors to the consumers’ different needs, lifestyles, and budgets. The first package introduced was the Convenience Package which slightly changes the interior and exterior looks of the SUV. This includes luxury trims in the doors and the dashboard, cargo cover, privacy tinted glass on the rear side, driver and passenger power side mirrors with turn signals, rear window, and spare tire cover. Other features include glass breakage sensor, cruise control, remote power locks, auto-dimming rearview window, and rear camera parking distance sensors.
The second package was the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Package. The TRD Package is a utilitarian option that smoothens the rugged features of the Toyota FJ Cruiser, making it perfect for on-road driving as well. Included in the package are high-speed Bilstein shocks for superior support, compass, inclineometer, fold flat seats at the back, and rubber floor and cargo mats above all. Through this package, the vehicle’s off-road functions are also improved with 16-inch, 6-spoke, knobby all-terrain tires that soften the roughest roads.
2011: Performing for the changing times
Needless to say, technology has changed the needs, wants, and lifestyles of consumers. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is abreast with these changes and improves its performance features to provide what the buyers are looking for. The amusing thing is that the SUV model is able to do this while paying homage to its retro predecessor, the Toyota J40. 2011 saw changes in performance features to compete in the SUV class. These enhancements include auto delay off headlights for convenience as well as an electronically controlled locking rear differential for increased traction. TRD-developed parts were also added such as high-performance brake kit, performance shocks, and performance exhaust.