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Toyota Tacoma (2004 and earlier)



  • Had almost exact same problem with 98 Tacoma; contacted Toyota Canada; they said they would check things and get back to me; they didn't; had to call for an answer which was .."there was nothing we can do"; went back to the dealer with this info (and where we had purchased the truck); we came up with a reasonable trade in offer;decided to cut my loses and traded.......bottom line-- the "higher ups will do nothing and weren't very supportive.

  • I have a 97 Tacoma .. just discovered BOTH frames are rusted all the way thru .. any luck on your end ?
  • I just bought a 98 tacoma with 149k, used from the want advertiser. i took it to the auto body shop to get undercoated and when they put it up on the lift,it almost broke in half. both frame rails rotted through really bad. the frame buckled on the lift. I'm totaly screwed out of 5000$. Any suggestions? small claims court?
  • I have a 99 Tacoma 4x4 that I just bought. I noticed while installing a set of SuperSprings, that the frame had some serious rust holes in it over the axle, and upon closer inspection by a long time Tacoma owner, found numerous steel plates welded to the frame to beef it up. It is one ugly mess under all that rustproofing. I filed a safety complaint with the NHTSA. You can look it up on their web site. It is OSI Number (complaint #) 10177454. You can file your own complaint with the NHTSA at
    and I encourage everyone with rusted frame issues to do so in order to gain enough attention to warrant a safety investigation. Maybe we can get justice through the back door since Toyota seems uninterested in doing anything about it themselves. I am going on other Toyota Owner web sites to make the same request.
  • I know this has been addressed, but what is the consensus. I have a 2000 prerunner, 4-cyl, 95Kmiles and when the weather is slightly cold, the engine knocks for a minute or two? Dealer says they can't find it and everything computers OK. I have added some STP-fuel stuff once in awhile and it seems to help for a bit. Any new thoughts on this?
  • Back in the 80's my grandfather bought a new Toyota truck and the frame rusted all the way thru like this also.

    The problem with Toyota's back then was the simple fact that Japan has no natural iron/steel resources and has to import steel to manufacture their products. The explanation back then was that Japanese auto makers basically [chose to] take recycled steel (from crushed autos and such) from the U.S. and other countries to obtain the necessary metal. The problem with using recycled (crushed autos and such) is that the process if far from perfect and a percentage of rust remains in the metal (steel) that is melted down and reformed into "new" frames, parts, etc...

    It's plausible that Toyota products still suffer from this as even the products "manufactured" outside of Japan are really only assembled in other countries from parts sent over from Japan (which again, has no natural iron/steel).

    I revisited this forum because of a problem with tire wear, but these rust posts reminded me of when I bought my 2004 taco. A few weeks after I purchased it I showed the Toyota service manager what I thought was excessive rust on the springs under the truck that supports the reer wheels and was told "that is normal." I know such springs rust easily, but they should have not been showing such rust so early on from purchase. IMHO the parts were rusted when the truck was assembled.
  • I just bought a 2004 4X4 Tacoma 2.7 automatic w/Air.
    Please help with u'r input. so far I herd of synthetic oil & better air filter. Now what else can I do.
    It gets 20 MPG
  • i have a 1999 version of your vehicle. I get the same mileage. It gets worse if you switch the transmission to the mode which makes it shift at higher RPM points.(17 MPG) It gets really worse if you drive at 75MPH on the freeway! (15 MPG) Ain't nothin' you can do. I too did the AMSOIL synlubes everywhere-engine, F&R diffs, XFR case, auto tranny. Only the air filter is stock. Bummer. 4x4 is nice though.
  • I also have a 1999 Toyota XtraCab pickup with the rusted frame problem. I purchased the truck in 9/2000 with 10,000 miles on it. It has been well taken care of and the body is in great shape. I went to the Toyota Dealer where it was purchased and the Body Shop Manager told me he has not seen anything like this before. He suggested that I call Toyota customer care so I did. They said that they would like to send a representative out to look at the frame.

    I also made a report to the NHTSA on their website. Hopefully if enough people report this, toyota will take action.
  • UPDATE: Toyota will do nothing, and says that it is not their problem. Lovely, now what?
  • File with the NHTSA per my previous email. Include the above at the end of your safety related complaint.
  • Complaint has been filed...
  • Toyota agreed to replace my frame for free, then after having the truck for over a month told me that there are no frames available and that I should pick up my truck. I have also filed a complaint with the NHTSA.
  • That is really bizarre. First they agree, then they changed their minds? Poor excuse if you ask me. I am sure there are frames available. They just decided it wasn't worth $6000 in time and materials to do it IMHO. I'm glad you filed with NHTSA. The more the better.
  • I didn't believe that there weren't any frames availabe but I called around myself and was told that they were dicontinued. I tried pretty hard to find one because they said if I found one they would do the job, but I've had no luck.
  • jazzbeaujazzbeau Posts: 10
    Dang!! I have a 2K Tacoma 4wd reg. cab.. I live in an Alpine area with a lot of snow. With all this talk about rusted frame rails, springs, etc.. I'm going to go and check my frame now.. I'll reply back with my answer.
  • dasman12dasman12 Posts: 11
    My 98 Taco with a V-6 briefly knocked, even when it was less than 100k mileage, when cold started in low temps.

    Switched to Castrol Syntec, 100% synthetic oil, and that knocked the sound out a lot.

    In 06, I switched to Amsoil 100% synthetic oil, and that COMPLETELY silenced the cold start grumbles. Amsoil invented synthetic oil. Changing from Syntec to Amsoil, was as noticable as changing from dino-juice oil to Syntec.

    If you are using regular oil, and you switch to Syntec, you will likely notice a difference right away. Amsoil is pricey, but as long as you haven't let your engine get sludged out, you can easily run it 10,000 miles per change, so long as you are using an Amsoil oil filter. Yes, it, and the filter, are that good. A good many longtime Amsoil users, just change the filter after 10,000 miles, and change the oil when it's approaching 20,000.

    Please, before anyone decides to flame me, check the facts. Been workin on motors for 30+ years, and know the benefits of clean oil, in making a mill run for 200,000 mles. Clean oil, and regular maintenance, and 60 second (ideally 2 mins) warm-ups will garner 200k from damn near any motor.

    When I did my first Amsoil change, I didn't expect it to be noticable, since I was already running 100% synthetic. I was wrong. With 150k+ on it, this motor started up and ran quiter than it did when I bought the vehicle at 58k. The first 0ºF morning I started it up, there was ABSOLUTELY NO TICKS OR CHATTER. No, I am not a distributor. (Not yet anyway.)

    FYI, keep in mind, that a documented running of any oil over 7,500 miles may void your warranty. I tried synthetic shortly after I turned over 100k.
  • You do not have to wait until your warranty is expired to switch to a synthetic oil like AMSOIL. The oil manufacturer is responsible for oil drain intervals, NOT THE AUTO MANUFACTURER! The auto maker only gives you recommended oil change intervals based on the kind of oil that is generally available to use. I run my Tacoma 35,000 miles or one year between changes on 0W-30 AMSOIL. The AMSOIL EA0 filter gets changed at 6 months or 17,500 miles, whichever comes first. I have been doing this with all my vehicles since 1985. I usually get between 250-300K miles on them before I replace them. All of them VW's except my Tacoma. (VW doesn't make trucks.) My 84 Honda V65 Magna uses their motorcycle oil too. I also use their 15W-40 marine oil in my lawn mower (25 years old!)and lawn tractor (12 years old) along with their 100:1 2 cycle oil in my 1960 Johnson Seahorse outboard, Ryobi string trimmer (10 years old), and Poulan Wild Thing chain saw (7 years old). By the way, I put the 75W-90 Extreme Gear lube in the front & rear diff's., and transfer case and ATF in the transmission on my truck and it had no problem taking off in sub zero weather with 4 wheel drive activated and hubs locked. Nothing else compares.
  • dasman12dasman12 Posts: 11
    Holy Smokes dude. Now there's some proof in the pudding.

    I could tell by the way it performed, that Amsoil was the best I'd ever used, but your post is the best testimonial to Amsoil I've read.

    I'm curious, where do you buy your Amsoil stuff..... from the company?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 818
    By chance do you have the sales literature for you 99?

    Here is a statement out of the literature for a 95-1/2 Tacoma:

    "IT'S ALL IN THE ENGINEERING behind the metal. Tacoma's tough anti-corrosive steel frame resists rusting"

    I need to look at my 95-1/2 Tacoma to see how bad the frame looks. I live in WI, so we use alot of salt here on the roads. I did have the truck rust-proofed when I first bought it, but I don't know if they really coated the frame or not.

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