So you want to buy a used FJ with high mileage? There are probably very few 4WDs that can match the reliability and durability of the Cruiser models. These SUVs are built Toyota tough and if you scroll through the hundreds of forum threads and read the responses of all the happy FJ cruiser owners, you’ll be convinced it’s one of the safest used SUV 4WD buys out there. There are, however, a few issues picked up along the way and I’ll cover that in more detail a bit later.
FJ Cruisers mileage can run well into 250K+ miles without any mechanical failures, provided the scheduled maintenance and services have been carried out. Many owners have run well into 300K+ miles with just regular maintenance and a few small cosmetic issues.
So when setting out to purchase a used FJ Cruiser, it is important to ensure that it has a full-service history, either at the Toyota agents or with a trustworthy private workshop. Mileage isn’t necessarily a problem for these FJs, but rather how well they were looked after.
Many owners are more than happy with their purchases and swear by them in terms of durability, reliability, and build quality. The FJ is a seriously capable off-road beast, ready for those extended road trips or any 4×4 track you are brave enough to throw at it. It will chew up the trails with aplomb and take you home in pure comfort and style.
When it comes to design, quirky, retro styling is apparently not everyone’s taste and a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. I certainly love it!
Let’s see what one owner had to say:
I’ve just bought a 2011 FJ. 123,000km on the clock. Traded in my 3.6 Rubicon on it. Couldn’t be happier and I really loved the Jeep.
So the real beauty of these vehicles is in their reliability and longevity. Mileage, clearly, is not an issue. If you search long and hard for the one you like, take it for a test drive, make sure it has a full-service history and you should be good to go. These 4WDs do not have any hidden agendas waiting to pounce after you’ve parted with your hard-earned cash. They are built rock solid! It’s a pretty safe buy.
I would say, the only downside to these JF Cruisers is the fuel consumption. Yip, they are thirsty!
Since its inception in 07, the 2010 models have been tweaked for slightly improved fuel economy. The FJ will get between 14 to 17 mpg in the city, and 19 to 21 mpg on the highway for the two and four-wheel-drive models
If you plan on modifying the FJ with bigger tires, lifts, and roof racks, you can expect those figures to plummet even further. So you’ve been warned.
Then again, people who buy these vehicles, don’t exactly do it for frugal fuel consumption.
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Buying an FJ Cruiser with Over 100K Miles
As previously mentioned, with regular basic maintenance and full-service history, which is a minimum requirement with every second-hand buy, the FJ Cruiser is a superb truck. Just a little thirsty at the pumps but I guess you can’t have it all, right?
So let’s look at some of the issues owners experienced as they got closer to 100K miles and beyond.
NB: Now before we continue, please bear in mind the below-reported issues are not common issues, but rather sporadic issues reported by owners over a long period of time. These are by no means recurring problems, just some honest feedback from owners across the forums.
20k miles – @20k Driver-side inner fender repaired.
– @20k Driver side driver seat replaced due to “sinking seat” syndrome.
– @20k Hood sheet metal “re-glued” to metal subframe 2 separate times.
– @20k Floor mat restraint hook replaced.
– @26k 2x worn armrests replaced
– @24k Front brakes (warranty)
30K+ miles – @35k blower fan replaced at
– @36k ECM controller for the lights (Warranty)
– @36k Door locking switch under warranty
– @35k both armrests under warranty
50k+ miles – @50k little light on the backup sensor
– @50k Tie rod end had to be replaced and rotors had to be turned
80k+ miles – @86k Cracked driver door panel at armrests (Policy Warranty for goodwill)
– @92k passenger side bearing go
– @90k both front calipers seized so replaced those and rotors and pads.
– @90k both front calipers seized (calipers, pads, seals)
– @120k oil leak
150k+ miles – @150k windshield cracked (a common occurrence)
– @150k new wires and plugs at
– @161k miles here replaced belt tensioner
Let’s now see what the critics have to say.
What do the Critics Say?
According to one of the most reputable USA car news agencies, they rated the FJ 8.3/10 overall. This was from 74 pieces of data collected and analyzed, ranging between reliability, total ownership costs, and published reviews of the FJ Cruiser since it was released in 07.
They recommend going for an earlier model with some factory standard upgrades and mention price should be your main criterion when shopping for a used FJ Cruiser.
How reliable is the FJ Cruiser? Well, the 2014 model earned itself a whopping 5/5 and was rated as one of the most reliable mid-size SUV money can buy, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
JD Power rates it 80/100 overall with quality and reliability being GREAT (89/100), Driving experience GREAT (71/100), and resale value GREAT (79/100)
Owners satisfaction rated some of the pros are:
- Transmission Smoothens
- Styling of Gauges and Instruments
- Vehicle Stability in Poor Conditions
Some of the Cons Noted were:
- Rear visibility
- 2nd Row Seat Comfort
- Ease of entry and exit
High Mileage FJ Cruiser Reliability
First and foremost, when purchasing a high-mileage FJ, get as much information on the maintenance as possible. Does it have a full-service history, has any modifications been done? Has it been in any accidents? What kind of life did it have? Was it used mainly for highway cruising, daily driving in peak traffic, extensive off-roading, etc.?
Armed with this info, will not only help make your decision easier but could possibly be used as leverage for bargaining a better deal.
At around 100K miles there are a few components that tend to need replacing.
These components are but are not limited to:
- Serpentine Belt & Pulleys
- Wheel Bearings
- Upper/Lower Ball-joints
Inspect the undercarriage for rust. This is a huge concern on the FJ if it’s spent a lot of time around salted roads. If possible have an independent mechanic test it thoroughly and give an evaluation. This is a worthwhile expense.
FJ Cruiser High Mileage Oil
High-mileage oils are designed with special additives and detergents to help higher-mileage vehicles since their components have more wear.
The FJ Cruiser engines are pretty tolerant in terms of what oil you can use. Many have run them on conventional oil only to switch to a more premium synthetic with no problems at all.
The best value oil is Chevron Delo 15w-40. It’s an excellent oil at an affordable price.
Even Mobile 1 in 5w-30 will be perfect for the engine. Stick with a 30 weight
The only fact to consider is: 5w gives much better cold start-up protection in all conditions. Better protection than a 10w.
If you live in an area that experiences sub-zero temperatures, then a 0w might be a better option for those harsher conditions.
FJ Cruiser 400K Miles
If you scan the popular FJ Cruiser online forums you’ll find many threads dedicated to high mileage on these SUVs. Since they have been discontinued in the USA in 2014 and the global market in 2018, many are starting to rack up high mileage now, a few years down the line. The Cruiser was first launched in 2007 and since then many have boasted online with trouble-free mileage in excess of 200K, 300K, and 400K miles. Some are even hoping to push to the 1 million mark.
These beasts are built to last!
How Long Do Cruisers Last
A cruiser can last as long as you want it to. There are several owners boasting 400K+ miles on these babies and all with little to no dramas.
They are not indestructible and there are smaller components and rubbers that will begin to perish over time. This is caused by all the contaminants in the environment as well as the heat cycles from the engine slowly breaking down the rubber compound.
Rubber Items needing replacement can include:
- CV boots
In time you might even need to replace the alternator, starter, and water pump. These are wear-and-tear components that have a limited lifespan no matter how well you look after them.
I would have no problem buying a high mileage FJ, obviously depending on the previous owner and how well it was taken care of.
In general, the FJ Cruiser like other Toyota’s is pretty bulletproof if well maintained. Look after your FJ and it will definitely look after you!