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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions

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  • my 2001dc4x4trdv6 gets bad mileage as well, like 12mpg. have tried to fight with Toyota, mediation, EPA, and corporate, I think the only was is to sue, have Mech's docs indicating 12-13 mpg. the portable computer (OBDII) they have reads 12-13. but the answer is still pound sand.

    I think the truck does everything good except for the fuel and the complaint treatment.

    there is a EFI 20a fuse in your engine compartment that you can reset, pull out for a minute. but it is not a permanent fix. The computer adjusts to your driving style (an option I did not know or want). I wish some one can find that line in the code and delete the damn thing. MPG will go back down again in days.

    Oh, try to keep alll your service docs too if you can, always ask them to check for MPG. that's if you bring your truck in service, i have no faith in most factory mechs.
  • I still have the (intermittant) problem 1st to 2nd "notchy" shift. It goes away after about 30 miles at highway speed, but in town, it occurs about 75% of the time. The frustrating part is the random nature of it. When I casually asked the dealer service manger, I got a blank look. I still have about 1.5 years on the warranty, so I might yet get mad and take it in. I haven't been able to see any you mentioned - can you be more specific on a particular post?
  • Thanks to those who responded rel. their experience. I diligently keep tires at 34 PSI and know that for every increase/decrease in 10F temp., there is change of 1 lb tire pressure etc. Few days ago, filled gas tank (with lowest grade fuel/regular, drove 63 miles on highway with cruise control on at 55 MPH and then refueled. Got only 20.5 MPG on this highway situation. (At this latter refuel...only 3 gals or so, I noted station had their "mid-range" fuel at 1 cent less than the lowest grade of regular...so I used the mid-range. Drove return route of about 75 miles, same highway speed (cruise control) 55 MPH and then filled tank once home (again I used the mid-range fuel)with about another 3 gallons. On this return trip, I got 31.2 MPG. This was all in same day, basically same temperature, same driver, nothing else done to vehicle. I am going to ck fuel mileage (all city driving) over next couple weeks to see if there is any continued improvement with the small addition of mid-range fuel....recognizing that I currently have less than 6 gallons of same in the tank...We shall see.

    For the individual who was looking for the "Rattles in Dash Area" TSB....it is Service Bulletin NV00602, Bulletin Sequence #633 dated 5/2002. It's about 5 pages long and provides (Noise Abatement) guidance to service folks on a variety of things/locations that can be causing dash noise.
  • Anybody know of drive shaft problems on 97Tacoma 4x4 or similar trucks? I had mine replaced (under warranty) at 70K miles, because it rattled. It wasn't the U-joints. I just noticed the rattle is coming back at 96K miles. It rattles at hiway speeds; 35mph or so and above. I don't feel any vibration. I would put some grease in the first one and it would stop for a while, but then return. After more miles, the grease no longer did the trick. I've still got a few more miles on the warranty, but I'm worried about the time after that. Kirk
  • I have a 99 4x4 xtracab auto 3.4 V6 and routinely get from 20 to 22 mpg at 60 to 70 mph.
  • I've read with interest the posts about a 1st to 2nd notchy shift in Tacomas. I have a 2000 V6 4X4 5-speed extracab and have experienced a similar thing since the vehicle was new. I reported it during one of my warrant services, thinking I may have had a faulty syncro but the service dept. didn't feel there was anything amiss. I've tried shifting with a slight pull to the right as suggested in an earlier post, but it only partially compensates. It's especially noticeable when the truck is cold. It's irritating as hell. Even a slow deliberate shift (partially necessary anyway to avoid a tranny clunk) doesn't completely solve the problem. The truck has only 33K km on it and has 7 months full warranty left so maybe its time to make some noise!
  • krunkykrunky Posts: 21
    A couple questions for a first time truck buyer. After much research, I have got my mind set on a reg cab Tacoma w/ 4WD Auto. My question:
    Should I buy new or used?
    A new '03 truck is about $4000 more than a used '00 truck.
    Are there any benefits to a new truck? Any advice would be helpful.
  • It's the same decision all buyers must make when looking at used vs. new. New means that you're the first person using and taking care of the truck. So if you want to baby it, it's going to be babied from day one. If you want to abuse it, it will be so from day one as well. With used, you don't always have that information. Also, you have the factory warranty from day one. And if you want an extended warranty, it is usually less expesive then when it has miles on it. (depends on the place you're buying the warranty from)

    A '00 model will probably be close to the end of the factory bumper to bumper warranty, so if something does come up not having to do with the powertrain, it will come out of your pocket. But the $4000 you saved may cover that eventually if it happens.

    Some people would never consider owning something they didn't get new, while others like the cost savings of not "paying" for the depreciation of the first couple of years of ownership. Depending on where you live, if you're financing, financing rates may make up some of that difference in price as well.

    So it really depends on you, your wants, needs and budget.

    Ken
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Before you buy a '00 make sure you are comfortable in it. I have a '00 and hate the seats - they are the most uncomfortable seats of any vehicle I've ever owned. They were redesigned in either 01 or 02, I heard, so you might not have the same problems with a new one. If you can tolerate the '00 seats, then consider one (though mine is right now sitting in my driveway - it wouldn't start Friday and I guess one of these days I should find out why).
  • The 1st-to-2nd notch problem seems to be fairly common. I'd be intersted to hear from other owners about it. Are owners just living with it, considering it "normal," or is everyone as annoyed with it as I am? Has anyone actually gotten satisfaction from a dealer? Do most late model tacomas have smooth shifting in the 5M transmission? In my case, when the notch disappears after around 30 miles of highway, it is replaced by a clutch "groaning" noise on starting out. Don't know if there's a connection, but when one appears, the other goes away.
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    Wanted to report back that I took the Taco in to the dealer to investigate my squealing rear u-joint. They couldn't find anything wrong and offered to lube it for free. Squeal is gone now for several weeks. I guess my chumpy Pep-boys grease gun wasn't strong enough to get the lube all the way in there. No charge on them lubing them, very pleased with my local dealer.

    Newer problem. When starting up on cold mornings (below 40) there is a not so good knocking/rattle sound coming from the engine for about 5-10 seconds before it goes away. Oil level is fine, engine runs fine, but this sound is not good and has me worried. The colder it is, the worse the knock is.

    Any ideas?

    Steve
    '99 xtra cab 4x4 2.7 4 cyl 41,000 miles
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'm not a mechanic, so I don't know if this would apply or not, but I used to have a Mustang years ago when I was in Germany. A PX mechanic got me to put in oil that was for engines that run at high temps (well, I didn't exactly drive that car very slowly on the autobahns). It was too thick, I think, and I had a definite valve knock when it was cold. As soon as I changed back to regular oil the knock went away for good.

    Don't know if this would have anything to do with what is going on with your Taco or not. I still haven't bothered to call anyone about getting mine started - maybe next weekend. How long can I let it sit before I would have to start it to avoid maintenance issues?
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    I have a 2002 4x4, and have had the 1->2 notch since minute 1. It did get better slightly after I've put in synthetic tranny oil, but not so much. WHen it's cold, I have to shift 1->neutral->2 to get it going cleanly (just pull the shifter right a little like you're checking what gear you're in). It's fine after truck is warmed up.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Another phantom problem with my 2000 Taco! We called AAA, got a tow truck out, explained the problem and he said, why don't you try starting it so I can hear what it sounds like. Of course, with a small puff of blue smoke, the thing started. It ran rough for a second and then settled down to its normal idle. Why would letting it sit for a week help it to start? We tried it on 2 different days last week and it would not start. Now it is running normally. Go figure...

    By the way, it has now gone over 100,000 miles.
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    Mtngal, thanks for the oil suggestion. It is due for an oil change, maybe that will help.

    About your problem. One time I started my truck up to move it in the driveway, I only let it run for about 15 seconds to move it a bit and then cut it off. Later it would not start for anything, cranked and cranked. Later it did start and a bunch of blue smoke came out and then it was fine. I think by cutting it off soon after starting it cold, I confused the computer and got the fuel injection all out of whack. So now when I start it for a short move, I at least let it run for a minute or two to let things settle. Had the same problem with the wife's Corolla a few years ago also.

    Steve
    Virginia Beach, VA
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    That explains it - that's exactly what happened with ours. My other half had moved it up a couple of feet in the driveway the night before it wouldn't start. I'm glad to know that it wasn't anything serious, since they are now really talking about layoffs at work and my ideas of trading it in are back on hold for the time being.
  • To find the posts I mentioned earlier...
    - start at the edmunds homepage
    - go to Car Discussions
    - select Toyota
    - select 4Runner

    There are about 30 different 4Runner related discussions. Go to the one titled "00 Toyota 4Runner 5 speed problem..." There are 8 posts in this discussion.

    Also, on the advice of one of the hosts, I posted my question in the general discussion titled "Toyota 4Runner" (see post # 4345). There are a number of responses to my question there.

    If you have trouble finding this stuff, let me know. I've printed a hard copy of all the "transmission problem" related messages I could find. I have a dealer nearby who is interested in seeing them all. I plan to fax it all to him tomorrow. If you have a fax, I would be able to fax you a copy too.
  • whatnow2whatnow2 Posts: 24
    Thanks for the references. I looked at all and they confirm the problem. I think the postings about worn/broken parts are off the mark - I have 8500 miles on my truck. I also seem to recall the problem becoming noticable after my first exercise of 4wd. I think there is a true problem with the late model 5M transmission. I still want to hear from folks who identified it and had a dealer listen and fix it, if any.
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    Just wanted to let you know I have a 95 Tacoma 4x4 2.7L 4 cyl Auto w/120,000m. I recently ran into the gas mileage problem last fall. As a result, I have changed the following with no positive results for my gas mileage: new catalytic converter when I bought the truck in 4/2002, pcv valve, air filter, fuel filter, plugs, wires, rotor, distr cap, O/2 sensors, fuel injector/throttle body cleaning (which corrected a sticky gas pedal!?!) Local Toyota dealerships blow me off saying it will cost me hundreds just to diagnose because the computer isn't throwing error codes. They say just wait until something breaks or becomes more "pronounced".

    By the way, my mileage was 17-21 MPG depending on city vs highway. Now, it's 13-17 MPG. Toyota also says that the alcohol content in gas during the winter could decrease mileage. That much?

    Troy
  • davedave1davedave1 Posts: 45
    When my dealer last serviced my 2000 2wd, I questioned the evening manager about the "propeller shaft bolt" that is supposed to be torqued each year on the Tacoma.
       He couldn't find it; just said at the 1 year service they 'tightened everything.' Not a good answer. If they don't know what it is, then they wouldn't know if they got it.
       Anyone know about this 'bolt' and where it is??

    Another thing that isn't mentioned is the interval for repacking front wheel bearings on a 2wd. I figure maybe 30,000, but it's just a guess. Is maintenance necessary, or just when you do brakes?
  • kirbytkirbyt Posts: 39
    I have a 2002 Dbl Cab and the passenger seatbelt makes a clicking noise randomly when buckled. The noise disappears when you push the buckle toward the floor but comes back to irritate as is straightens back up. Feels solid but something can be felt moving around every time it makes the noise. Dealer service is clueless? Anyone else noticed and resolved?

    Thanks,
    Kirbyt
  • josave50josave50 Posts: 5
    We can't believe it but we had to replace the engine in our 1999 Toyota Tacoma last Friday...The person we talked to at the Toyota dealership said that the engine oil came out all sludgy and in globs like gell. When I did some research on this site I found out that there had been a problem with 3.0 litre V6 and 2.2 litre 4-cylinder Toyota and Lexus vehicles with sludging and gelling which Toyota said was caused due to oil changes not being done enough. When I called Toyota Canada they said they have not had this problem with their trucks and therefore no extended warranty is being offered to truck owners. Does anyone know of anyone else who has had this sort of problem
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Thanks for bringing this up - I think I'm over mileage for an oil change in our 2000 Taco. We haven't had a problem with sludge, but I think part of that is due to the fact that we change the oil about every month to 6 weeks (about every 3000 miles. We have over 100,000 miles on it so any problem is now our nickel. I'm going to be stuck with this turkey for a while longer (can't afford to get rid of it yet), so I'd better get with it!
  • tomk14tomk14 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 Tacoma 4wd truck. It's like new and only driven on the highway. But the 1st to 2nd shift is awful. Very harsh and difficult, particularly when it's cold or hasn't been driven very far (under 10 to 15 miles).

    I was told that replacing the trans gear oil with Redline MT90 would really help. I did it, but the shifting is only marginally improved. I have to belive the notching is caused by a bad or damaged syncronizer.

    I went and drove one of the 2003 models yesterday. It was very smooth shifting in all gears and at all speeds. Are the tranmissions the same model? If they are, then notching between 1st and 2nd is not normal.

    Would love to hear of anyone who tore their tranny down and got a good look at the syncro. Was it damaged? Thanks.
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    Chris,
    I had the same problem. My local mechanic did two things: fuel injector and throttle body cleaning. The cost was about $175. After that, no sticky gas pedal. It was probably the throttle body cleaning.

    Troy
  • dave_dave1
    I recently took changed the brake rotors on my 4WD and in the process re-packed the wheelbearings. I have 140,000 miles on the 94 PU. The wheelbearings were packed in very heavy wheel grease and were fine. I cleaned them and re-packed them anyway. The service manager at the dealer said he never repacks them and rarely has anyone bring a truck in for bad bearings.

    At the very least in your 2WD, you can access them and inspect them to determine for yourself.

    B
  • Took delivery on a 03 Taco in January. Weather has been inclement almost everyday since. Just got out last week to wash the truck and LOW and BEHOLD! It looks like something sandblasted the paint down to the primer at the front of each rear wheel well. The plastic rim is pitted, paint chipped off to the point where it looks like it is dirty if you stand 10' away.

    Dealer said it looks like a rail car must've thrown sand up on the truck body. Looks to me like some clown sprayed both wheelwells with sand. Toyota said they will paint it for me.

    Dealer is even going to arrange for me to have a car while it is in the body shop. Has anyone else seen or heard of anything like this?

    B
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
    Toyota sprays on a chip gaurd all along the bottom of the truck from behind the front wheel well to the back of the truck. The chip guard looks like orange peel. Toyota started putting this on trucks in 2001. It is normal.
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    I have a 1995 Toyota Tacoma 4 cyl 2.7L 4X4 Automatic with 120,000m. I have only been getting anywhere from 14-19 MPG and the engine idles rough between 650-750 RPMs. I used to get 17-21 when I bought it last year. Seems wrong. Got the truck in April/2002 with 112,000 miles and have done the following:

    1. New front rotors for brakes
    2. New PCV valve
    3. New distibutor rotor
    4. New Spark Plugs
    5. New Fuel Filter
    6. New rear brake drums, shoes, springs and wheel cylinders
    7. Four new tires 235/75/15
    8. balanced tires
    9. has alignment done
    10. replaced both Oxygen Sensors before and after Catalyctic Converter
    11. new Catalytic Converter installed when truck was purchased in 4/2002
    12. New air filter
    13. Fuel Injection/Throttle body cleaning

    The great Toyota dealershipS in my area say that they can't do anything because it's not throwing an error code. They said wait until something breaks or becomes more pronounced, otherwise it could take up to 10 hrs of diagnostics at $70/hr. Another mechanic says it's the PCM main computer (PCM/ECM?). A friend is telling me to replace the fuel pressure regulator. Articles on the net say a Mass airflow sensor. I can't afford to shotgun anymore.

    I would think that gas mileage could be better and the idle could be a little smoother? Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks. Troy.
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    I've got this problem with my Tacoma where it cuts out under hard acceleration. Its a 4 wheel drive 3.4 liter six with 5 speed, 57K miles and extra-cab. I've cleaned the throttle body and replaced the air cleaner. One local dealership says they can't fix it because there isn't any error code and their guys can't troubleshoot economically.

    The dealership where it is now wants to shot gun the problem with no guarantee the problem will go away. They say since there is no error code that it is MY call! They'll keep guessing and changing parts at my expense and it may or may not fix the problem. This is the dealership that I purchased the vehicle from. They want to change the fuel filter next, I'm supposed to call them back this morning and give them the okay. At this point I want to send it down the road since no one seems to know how to fix these unless a computer points the way! I can't take any chances passing anyone and have to feather the gas. If I put the pedal to the floor it cuts out and starts herky jerken my transmission and drive train all over the place. The second I let off the gas its okay except for the on coming car in my lane heading for me. Yikes! What to do?
This discussion has been closed.