Toyota Land Cruiser Problems: 3 Known Issues (Explained)

The Land Cruiser is an iconic SUV from Toyota with outstanding performance.

A powerful all-terrain performer favored from Down Under to the Sahara, the Land Cruiser is a dependable people hauler loved by off-roaders and people with large families.

Despite its popularity, there are few reported issues from Land Cruiser owners.

So, let’s discuss the three major problems of the Land cruiser based on owners’ complaints.

1. Transmission Problem

It is no doubt that the transmission of a vehicle is one of the most important components of a vehicle.

The transmission problem is one of the prominent issues for Toyota vehicles.

According to Car Complaint, the transmission issue is common recently among the 2016 Land Cruiser model year.

RepairPal gives a more detailed description of the transmission problem. They reported that this issue occurs at higher mileages between 125,000 to 150,000 miles.

The problem also affects model years from 1990 to 1999.

The main transmission problem of Land Cruiser is the shifting issue which affects the smooth movement of your vehicle.

Possible Causes and Solutions

In most Land Cruisers, here are the two major issues that cause the shafting issue:

  1. The throttle position sensor is out of adjustment
  2. Shift solenoid needs to be replaced

It’s also worth mentioning that these problems are seen before among Toyota SUVs.

Throttle Position Sensor Out of Adjustment

A vehicle needs a perfect mixture of air and fuel for it to run smoothly. The fuel pump provides the engine with the required fuel, while the air intake system controls the amount of air in the engine.

That is where the throttle system comes into play. The TPS is a vital component that controls the engine’s air intake.

Due to wear in the throttle body or carbon buildup, the throttle position sensor can become out of adjustment.

Normally, the idle timing of the throttle position sensor is less than 30 degrees, but a slight change in position will cause the idle timing to advance to over 30 degrees.

When the throttle position sensor wears out and does not properly advance in timing, it causes a lack of power and poor fuel economy, leading to very high HC and NO2 emissions.

In a more simple term, the throttle position sensor in your Toyota Land Cruiser passes information to the engine computer as the driver steps on the gas pedal.

Therefore, sensor failure will affect the vehicle’s speeding up rate, leading to either poor acceleration or no acceleration. In extreme cases, the issue can cause the activation of the check engine light.

The throttle position sensor is also in charge of gear changing.

Here are common symptoms of a faulty TPS

  • The engine may stall or misfire
  • Poor engine performance
  • Lack of power
  • Rough gear shifts

When the throttle position sensor is repaired or replaced, it is necessary to do the following:

  • Reset the minimum idle speed to factory specifications
  • Clear the trouble codes
  • Check for a software update when a new throttle position sensor is fixed

Shift Solenoid Needs Replacement

The shift solenoid executes signals from the Transmission Control Unit (TCM) for upshift/ downshift. Inside the transmission, the solenoid is a spring-loaded plunger that is wire-wrapped.

When the TCM sends an electrical charge to this coil of wire, it opens the plunger, allowing transmission fluid to flow into the valve body and pressurize the clutches and bands. When this happens, the transmission shifts to the next gear and you continue on your way.

A transmission solenoid can fail due to two main issues:

  • Electrical issues
  • Dirty fluid

These issues change the transmission fluid pressure, leading to other problems, such as:

Erratic Shifting: A problematic transmission solenoid can cause the gearbox to skip a gear up and down, repeatedly shift back and forth between gears, or get stuck in a gear and refuse to shift.

Transmission Won’t Downshift: This happens if one of the shift solenoids being stuck open/closed, preventing fluid from entering the transmission valve body to pressurize the correct gear.

Delayed Engagement: For an electronically controlled automatic transmission to shift gears, the solenoid must be able to regulate the fluid pressure to activate the gear. A faulty solenoid affects this process, leading to delayed engagement.

What To Do

In most cases, the transmission does not require a total overhaul. It takes about 2 to 4 hours to complete, and mechanics typically bills about $60 to $100 per hour. The average cost of diagnosing and replacing one is between $150 and $400.

Related: How Long Do Toyota Land Cruiser Last? (Solved & Explained!)

2. Toyota Land Cruiser Engine Burning Excessive Oil

Based on our research, one of the most common issues of the Land Cruiser encounter is the engine burning oil problem.

It is very common in Land Cruisers with high mileage to have an outrageous oil consumption of about a quart every 1 or 2 thousand miles.

Toyota Land Cruiser Excessive Oil Burning Symptoms

The following are the most prevalent signs and symptoms of burning oil:

Blue Smoke: The most common and obvious sign that your Land Cruiser is burning excess oil is the release of blue smoke from its exhaust. The blue smoke is a sign that the engine oil has flowed into the combustion chamber, burning and tinting the exhaust blue.

Burned Smell: Although the exhaust doesn’t smell pleasant, an engine that burns excess oil has its own smell. This smell usually comes before the blue smoke, but it’s not obvious and most people don’t note it.

Oil on Spark Plugs: When the oil slips past the valve seals and appears on the spark plug, there is a leakage leading to high oil usage. Oil on the spark plug can make your Land Cruiser misfire because the spark plug can no longer achieve a clean spark.

Meanwhile, you should also probe deeper into the best and worst Toyota Land Cruiser years.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Piston rings or valve guides are the most common causes of excessive oil burning in Toyota Land Cruisers.

Piston Rings: The piston ring closes the gap between the crankcase and the combustion chamber. It prevents oil from leaving the crankcase and flow into the combustion chamber.

When there is a fault or the piston ring of your Land Cruiser is worn out, oil gets to the combustion chamber. This leads to the telltale blue smoke issue.

Valve Seal: The valves in your Land Cruiser’s engine control how air and fuel get into the combustion chamber. The valve closes when the spark plug fires, then opens to let out the exhaust. When the valve stem seal is worn out, cracked, or broken, the oil will find its way into the combustion chamber and there will be blue smoke.

What To Do

If the piston ring or valve seal of your Land Cruiser is bad, the best solution is to get a new piston ring and valve seal for your engine.

Related: Toyota Land Cruiser In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

3. Land Cruiser Shuts Down Suddenly While Driving

One of the big issues of the Land Cruiser recently is that the engine can stall while driving. This can shut down the engine suddenly, increasing the risk of a crash.

The problem is usually caused by the failure of the low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank. The Land Cruiser’s engine may begin to run rough, and dashboard warning lights may appear.

The function of the fuel pump is to send highly pressurized fuel to the fuel rails. If this process is hindered and the fuel pressure is low, the gasoline will not atomize properly and the engine can die.

The fuel pump failure is a very critical issue as it can lead to the crashing of your Toyota Land Cruiser at high speed. It is common in the model years 2013 to 2019 and has led to few recalls.

What To Do

For a failed fuel pump, as discussed above, the best solution is to get the fuel pump replaced.

Related: 11 Toyota Land Cruiser Statistics You Should Know (Facts & Numbers)

General Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of the Toyota Land Cruiser:


Here are some of the selling points of the Land Cruiser:

Legendary Reliability: The Toyota Land Cruiser is known for its top-notch durability. It is one of the few vehicles that can deliver up to 400,000 miles without major issues if you give it proper maintenance. Moreover, most of the Land Cruiser issues occur at low mileage.

Brawny V8 engine: The land Cruiser boasts of a powerful V8 engine that is well suited for everyday driving and off-road trips.

Great Resale Value: This is one reason it is a top choice SUV. With over 150,000 mileage on your Land Cruiser, you can still get a good price for it if you put it up for sale.

Comfortable Seats: Both drivers’ and passengers’ seats are very comfortable, therefore you and your passenger can relax and enjoy the trip. Although the third row has limited legroom, the first two rows are especially spacious. Interestingly, it has a supportive driver’s seat that makes long road trips more relaxing.

Standard Safety Technologies: Toyota loaded the Land Cruiser with state-of-the-art technology that makes the vehicle safe for both drivers and passengers. The latest models of the Land Cruiser have some outstanding functions, such as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and potential impact detector.


  • Not Great on Gas
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Excessive Burning of Oil
  • Transmission Problem

What Do the Reviewers Say

“A nearly six-figure price tag from a mainstream automaker would be shocking to most, but disciples of the Church of Land Cruiser know that the burly SUV earns its prodigious price tag”.

Cameron Rogers (

“The Toyota Land Cruiser represents the pinnacle of Toyota’s lineup of SUVs. Although dimensionally smaller than the substantial Sequoia, the Land Cruiser’s heritage and off-road prowess justify its title as the most expensive Toyota sold in North America”.

Duncan Brady (

What Is the Resale Value of the Toyota Land Cruiser?

Here are some of the resell values of Land Cruiser from

Year Mileage Price
2021 19,770 $ 93,009
2020 24,689 $91,999
2019 35,449 $83,773
2018 46,064 $72,923
2017 32,175 $39,118
2016 115,859 $53,250
2015 139,969 $44,000
2014 129,629 $42, 329
2013 122,680 $42,990
2011 206,265 $28,843
2009 177,194 $27,597

Go Back: Problems for each Toyota model.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.