Toyota 4Runner: How to Reset Maintenance Light

Toyota 4Runner: How to Reset Maintenance Light

The Toyota 4Runner has enjoyed long-lasting popularity not just in the US but also worldwide because of its reliability and performance. According to Consumer Reports, Toyota was ranked No.2 in terms of reliability among 26 car brands and this is due in part thanks to its strict maintenance standards. The Toyota 4Runner across all models will have its maintenance light turned ON every 5,000 miles regardless of any problems to remind you of the vehicle’s routine oil change. While this isn’t alarming in itself, you can reset the maintenance light by performing a few steps.

How to Reset Maintenance Light on your Toyota 4Runner ?

To reset the maintenance light on your Toyota 4Runner, simply press the Engine Start button 2 times, without starting the engine. Afterward, press the “Odometer/Trip” button located on the vehicle’s instrument panel to toggle the display showing TRIP-A mileage. Turn the ignition OFF before pressing and holding the “Odometer/Trip”. Once your Odometer displays all zeros, then your maintenance light has been reset.

How do you determine when the maintenance light has been reset?

While doing the steps to reset the maintenance light on your Toyota 4Runner, your instrument panel should illuminate for a solid 3 seconds, blink for 2 seconds, and illuminate for a second, before turning OFF completely. This is an indication that you are doing the steps correctly. Once you turn your vehicle back ON again, the maintenance light should be turned OFF.

While this may look frightening, especially for first-time car owners, the maintenance light is generally harmless and only lets owners know that an oil change should be scheduled as soon as possible. This is due to Toyota’s strict quality standards and it’s not unusual to have these features when you own a Toyota vehicle. Ignoring the maintenance light is fine in the short term, but you shouldn’t ignore other lights when they turn up on your instrument panel as that could mean some other thing.

Is it safe to ignore the maintenance light when it turns ON?

As mentioned, the maintenance light is generally harmless and only indicates that your vehicle should be up for a routine service or maintenance check sooner rather than later. Using advanced synthetic oils for your Toyota 4Runner also extends the interval between oil changes extensively which is why learning to reset the maintenance light yourself is a must for Toyota 4Runner owners.

However, skimping out entirely on maintenance and resetting the maintenance light yourself multiple times does have its drawbacks. This is because taking your vehicle in for maintenance usually means a professional mechanic will take a good hard look at all the components on your vehicle that might wear out, such as brakes, steering, transmission, and suspension, among other things. Therefore, foregoing your 4Runners maintenance light is dangerous if done several times without a professional performing a routine inspection.

How will I know if my maintenance light is faulty or broken?

If your maintenance light doesn’t turn on when you’ve reached 5,000 miles even when you regularly bring your vehicle for servicing, then it simply means your mechanic routinely resets the maintenance light every time you bring your 4Runner in for maintenance. Most Toyota dealerships know that maintenance lights can often be a nuisance, especially for casual drivers which is why a responsible mechanic will always reset your maintenance lights on every scheduled service your vehicle is in for.

However, suppose it’s entirely the opposite and you haven’t scheduled any servicing for the longest time but the maintenance light hasn’t gone on. In that case, there might be a problem with your maintenance light indicator as well as your instrument panel or dashboard. When this happens, you should disconnect your vehicle’s battery to reset your car’s internal computer.
The internal computer resets not only your maintenance light counter but also your trip odometers, radio stations, and infotainment settings. This method doesn’t reset other aspects of your 4Runner so you don’t have to worry about other aspects of your car. However, disconnecting the battery requires tools so you should keep note of that.


The Toyota 4Runner is not a complicated vehicle and there are plenty of technicians that can do routine inspections on your beloved vehicle when needed. Resetting the maintenance light on your vehicle is easy but make sure to bring your vehicle for routine maintenance every 6-8 months depending on your driving behavior to ensure your 4Runner will be with you for years to come.