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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The weak tailgate is a recognized problem on the current Tacomas. Model prior to the Tacoma had sturdy tailgate. On the Tacoma the weak tailgate and poor quality seats are negatives, rest of the truck is great. If there is a better alternative out there I'd like to know about it.
  • My 2001(4 cyl, 2.7) raps for a few seconds when starting cold. This is not noisy valves but a deep rap down in the engine. If I load the engine, the noise gets louder. After about 2 minutes it goes away. The truck has 50,000 miles and has been very well cared for. It has been doing this for about 5,000 miles and has not gotten worse.
    Any ideas what this might be. Is this common to the breed?
    Otherwise, its is a great vehicle, the best value on the market.
    Thanks for the help.

  • It's been nearly a year and 15K and change with my Tacoma and I just wanted to relay my experiences. So far I can honestly say that I don't have one complaint. It's a 2002 4x4 2.7L manual 265/70R16. I absolutely love this little engine. It feels more responsive than the 3L 6cyl in the Ranger I had before this (probably due to the manual vs automatic, but still damn impressive for a 4cyl). I'm getting between 22-23mpg on every tank, better than what the sticker says. I've been very impressed with it's construction, especially after backing into a tree at a pretty good clip. The result was a dent on the bumper. I actually have to point it out before most people notice. I don't really care for the tires (BF Goodrich Long Trails), I think they are wearing too fast and have marginal traction. My experience with this truck compared to my old Ranger is amazing. At this mileage with the other truck I had been towed for a tranny leak, had electrical problems with the wipers, and the engine had begun its infamous pinging. I see myself keeping this truck as long as I can. If I need more room for a family or whatever, I see myself getting a nice big sedan for those duties and keeping this for myself.
  • I recently purchase a 2003 tacoma V6 and still waiting for the engine to break in and start properly. But at 900 miles still takes much longer to fire that it should. It cranks over fine. Dealer says they will check out the engine and electronics.
  • jlg69jlg69 Posts: 2
    had a squeak in the body/frame. put a jack under the frame to lift it up to rotate the tires. When i let it back down the squeak was no longer there. The only thing i can think is it must be in the body mount bushings. anyone else ever experience this?
  • rmanbike, I too have an '03 V6 tacoma (4x4) and at 5500 miles I'm still experiencing slow engine starts when I attempt cold starts. (avg 2-4 sec turnovers) I've also experienced my A/C going out on me. I was on a long drive from VA to OH and about 6 hours into the drive my A/C quit pumping out cold air. I shut the A/C off for about 45minutes and kicked it back on and everything worked again. It's actually the 2nd time it has happened to me. I believe the line may have been frozen but I don't know why the line freeze occured. Perhaps too much refrigerant in the line. Any suggestions or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated. I haven't been too impressed so far with my Tacoma.
  • First let me ask members if they can forward a link to buy a genuine, no kidding, 1998 Toyota Tacoma Factory maintenance Manual. I have seen the Chiltons and Haynes stuff, and am not impressed. Too general, include T-100 and 4 runner stuff too often mixed in with the stuff I need.

    Here's the problem: Occasionally, the truck (1998 Tacoma 4x4 extra cab 3.4L 5 speed TRD) will just "click" when I hit the starter switch. I thought it might be the clutch cancel switch, but moved floormats and all out from under and it didn't help when fully depressed. I have had it not turn before when the mat was up under the pedal after a bath. The power windows work with no sluggishness, as do all the beeps and squeaks associated with powering up. Headlights work too. This leads me to believe the battery is good and has a good charge. After several times "clicking", the engine will turn over and start normally, so I am thinking solenoid or starter. Local parts house has the combo for $130 or so with core, and can check it for me if I yank it off and take it in. How much trouble is it to get off a 4x4? I have a boatload of tools and from what my Haynes manual says, it should be two bolts, two wires and free, but it also says I MAY have to take off the front wheel and lower the inner fender well to get to it. Any experiences with this malady would be appreciated. Good news is, I can almost always park on a hill around here. Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Best price for original Toyota alarm is at:

    I installed this item on our new 2000 Tacoma. I note there is currently a discounted less than I paid. Complete instructions come from Toyota and it is imperative that one follow the directions exactly....checking ea. off as completed. The system took about one day to install (working slowly but carefully) and everything worked perfectly on completion. Go for it! You can do it. :-)
  • A/C and slow starting problems: the same happens in california on a hot day, it's the truck.

    Slow starting: please stay on your dealer, their job is to blow you off.

    sc0rpi0: i think you have a TacoDC4x4 as well. the issue i had was in 4x4, i left my truck in a dirt parking lot for 3 days in 4x4hi and in park. when i got back and try to drive the truck, it seems like it was not in gear, i had the brake down, put in drive and 4x4hi, the truck won't move, i then played with the 4x4 shifter putting it in lo, and neutral, and the parking brake line seems like it was stuck on the 4x4 gear shift. has this happened to you, is this the "norm". after playing for a while i was able to get on my way.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    I have an extracab 4x4 with a 5spd.

    I can't say that this has ever happened to be before, I never had any issues with putting truck in gear after offroading. If you play in mud, it is possible that it'll get into your brakes, cake up in there and it may take a bit of effort to break up the dirt in brakes. That's my theory. But since it was just a dirt parking lot, it doesn't hold much water.

    But let me say that this is not a normal behavior. Don't go to a dealer with it (Toyota is not known for it's great customer service with customers who are not offroading, think what'll happen to you :). I suggest you ask this in forums on , we have a bunch of guys with auto trannies who can help you out more.
  • I will try, thanks.
  • mnkyboymnkyboy Posts: 108
    Im trying to figure out what this could be. I first thought it was slipping of the clutch, but my friend seems to think is something wrong with the transmission. I bought a 1996 Tacoma 4cyl about 2 weeks ago. This is a weekend truck, so I havent driven it much since I bought it. When I first test drove it, it ran great, no problems. I then brought the truck to my mechanic the next day, again drove with no problem, great. The next day I brought it back to the owner, ran great. My mechanic did say the clutch had about 25% of its life left, and depending on how I drove, it may last up to a year. The next night after I brought the truck to the mechanic, we transfered the title in my name. When I drove the truck home, I started to get what I thought (or what it is) slipping of the clutch. Heres what happened. I would proceed to put the clutch in first, and the stick would "slip" or move back into neutral. This would happen as I release the clutch pedal. At first, holding the stick in the gear seemed to work, but then the gear grinded a bit, so that was a no go. I then tried second gear, and it worked fine. When I tried to go into third gear, it did the same thing. Someone did mention that I should check my transmissionn fluid. Is there a resorvior for this? If not, what do I look for?

    If anyone has ANY suggestions/comments, please post them. Thanks.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'm no mechanic, but I once had an Opel Kadet that started doing something similar. Then it would pop out of gear (third) when I was just driving and did not have my foot on the brake. By the next day, and by the time I got out of Rocky Mountain National Park it was popping out of 2nd and 4th occasionally and wouldn't stay in 3rd at all. It turned out to be the forks in the transmission, so I had much of the tranny rebuilt. Based on my experience, definitely check the tranny fluid.

    I'll let the mechanics answer your question on where to check. There isn't a reservoir like for brakes, etc.
  • I have a 2002 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 double cab V-6 SR5. I bought it new and I have less than 10,000 miles on it. It has been a great truck with no problems until now. I noticed a faint rattle, almost like a diesel engine sounds when I am accelerating in the low rpm range. It is the loudest when I am on the highway and I slightly accelerate in overdrive. I took it to the Toyota dealership and they told me to put higher octane gas in it. They explained to me that this is some sort of spark plug detonation from using bad gas. I have tried putting 89 octane in and it seems to help a little, but I do not want to have to keep buying expensive gas just to keep my truck quiet. Can someone please help!
  • mnkyboymnkyboy Posts: 108
    I need to buy some clutch parts, but the Toyota dealer charges an arm and a leg (about $270). I found some parts online at, for about $154. They have 3 different manfacturers listed, ASCO/Asin, Exedy, and Advantex.
  • fpj2fpj2 Posts: 3
    I've got a 99 Taco bought it used and experienced the same problem. The floorboards were wet after it rained. Three trips to the dealership and several hundred dollars and it was fixed. They finally told me that there was a tech bulletin out that said the spot welds in the cowl were breaking causing the leak.

    The recommended fix I believe was a ton of silicone. Which I can see under the hood by the firewall. It did stop the leaking though so I guess I can't complain too much.
  • fpj2fpj2 Posts: 3
    I keep hearing about Cabin Filters. Does anyone know if there is a cabin filter on the Tacos. I have a 99 4cyl w/ A/C. I can't seem to find any info on it.
    If there is what is the recommended time to change it? Where is it located?
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    Had a similar problem with my 95 Tacoma 2.7L 4 cyl 4X4. When I got my oil changed, I think they were only filling it with 5 qts of oil when the specs say 5.7 qts of oil.

    Don't know if this is it, but when I added another 1/2 qt to mine after the oil change, my knocks went away?

  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    Hi all,
    I posted a message last year about bad mileage and I'm still getting bad mileage. Repair shops (four to be exact incl two Toyota Dealerships) state that they cannot find anything wrong with my 1995 Tacoma 2.7L 4 cyl. 4X4 because it doesn't throw any codes.

    I have done all the basic tune-up steps (plugs, wires, distr., rotor, fuel filter, air, PCV). Still a problem.

    Intersting thing is when I bought the truck at 110,000 miles, it needed a new catalyctic converter. A year to the day, I had it replaced again (so three total since I've purchased it). Right after cat replacement, mileage went from around 14-16 to 19-20?

    Mileage has been creeping down again (in the 17s right now) and it feels like the cat is going again. Temps are going down as well as I live in New England. I've also read how raw fuel from a rich mixture can burn the cat out?

    I have no idea what could be causing this? It does run rough (shakes when idling). Fuel pressure regulator, MAF sensor, temp sensor, O/2 sensor, any sensor??? A hose that could be loose like one of the recently published articles on Edmunds (which hose)? Nothing's giving a reading. Any ideas?
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Were in a couple of categories:
    1. Cosmetic. Front grill changed that year, so all mounts did too.
    2. Brakes. In 2001 Toyota went to 16" rims b/c they put large ABS calipers on all their trucks.
    3. I think there were some safety changes.

    Should be no changes as far as drivetrain goes. I use a generic '95+ manual which includes T100, 4Runner and Tacoma.
This discussion has been closed.