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Toyota Tundra Owner Experiences



  • duckshooterduckshooter Posts: 156
    My 2000 Tundra limited has 32,000 miles on it now and I've had zero problems... nor have I heard or read of anybody else experiencing problem brakes like you describe. There was a TSB on the 2000 Tundras for the star adjuster (a few).

    As to the mileage. When I first got mine I was a little surprised at the mileage. But after breaking in, it's improved somewhat. You have to learn not to jump on the gas if you want decent mileage. I towed my boat from north Alabama to DC and averaged about 21 mpg on the trip. Daily commuting to and from work I average 15-18.
  • lagitanelagitane Posts: 25
    Hate to sound stupid, but what is a TSB? Still new at this site and the lingo. Also don't know what a "star adjuster" is. Please explain. I'm just learning.//After talking to the guys on the Tacoma site, I decided to stay with the Tundra and just bite the bullet on the gas. Got some good suggestions there about using synthetic oil after a couple thousand miles; then switching to a K&N filter, plus using Octane on long hwy trips. Figure a tuneau cover should help with wind resistance as well, or maybe a camper shell. Brakes are still on warrantee, so not too concerned yet, just paying attention to them. Gas mileage unfortunately is not. Gotta find ways to trim that mpg down a bit. Everybody says it will do better after the break in period, so I'll just wait and see. Found this site on the Tacoma line about a different break in method a motorcycle mechanic came up with. Seems to work for cars/trucks as well. Makes sense to me. Gonna try it. If intersted, go to the Tacoma site, thread: "Poor mileage acceptable to Toyota" and scoll down until you find it. Pretty interesting. Thanks.
  • duckshooterduckshooter Posts: 156
    TSBs are technical service bulletins available from the NHTSA. You can find them on this government website:

    I'm not an automotive maintenance expert and couldn't begin to tell you what a STAR adjuster is or does. My brakes work fine and always have so I didn't dig into the issue. Peruse the site and see if there's something listed there that describes your braking concerns.

    As to the mileage, you can do whatever you want, but experience generally says that things like tonneau covers (while nifty devices) generally don't pay back in any reasonable timeframe on MPG. The difference is negligible. Same thing with higher octane fuel - after you add the expense, the difference in mileage is tiny (adjusted for similar driving conditions). Same goes for synthetic lubricant - not a bad idea as a lubricant, but not likely to change your fuel economy enough to notice.

    What you CAN do is drive more conservatively - much more. That can easily give you an additional 10 percent MPG without costing you a dime. And ten percent is a helluva lot compared to the marginal increases you might see from the aforementioned measures.
  • lagitanelagitane Posts: 25
    Thanks for that web site for TSB's. Will explore that. Having a terrible decision dilemma about taking this beautiful Tundra back and trading it for for a V-6 Tundra or a V-6 Taco Pre-Runner TRD (can't talk the dealer into a V-6 4x4 Extra cab-he says I'm too upside down). I took the Tundra up the side of a 9,000 foot mountain yesterday to see how it did climbing. This is a pretty good dirt road; Forest Service keeps it plowed, but its rocky with lots of tight switchbacks. Sucker did OK for a 4x2, I must admit. TRD package does make a difference. A little skiddish on the fine gravely surfaces (granite) we get in the SW, and needed to keep it in Low gear (auto tranny) on the way down. My old Taco I4, 4x4 handled that road like a dream. In low 4x4 gears, didn't need to use breaks much. The Tundra did the hairpin turns fine. Has plenty of power to get up that steep sloaps, but GAS. Dang. Sucker guzzled gas like it was starving. Unreal. I had it in Low gear all the way, and didn't push it. (Still in break in period.) I was always told that a V-8 wouldn't have to work as hard as a V-6, so wouldn't have to work as hard on hills. WRONG! Freaked me out. Ate an 1/8 of a tank tank for 24 miles. Not good as I have been getting at least 100-110 per 1/4 tank on mostly flat pavement. Is this normal? This is gonna be a big problem for me, as I spend my 3-day week-ends and vacations in the White Mountains (on New Mexico border), plus drive back to Idaho once a year; that's all uphill from AZ. So whatdaya think? Is it Taco time, or what?
  • duckshooterduckshooter Posts: 156
    It sounds to me like you made a bad decision on the V-8. Pretty much anybody will tell you that a V-8 pickup truck is not something you buy if you're gas-conscious.
  • lagitanelagitane Posts: 25
    Yup, you're right. I just got alot of misinformation from several Tundra owners about their gas mileage, including my neighbor. I don't think these folks even check it. Don't have to. They make so much money, not an issue for them. And, or course, the dealer lied. Duh!
    Love this truck, but think I'll be riding my 10-speed to work alot from now on. Should have come here first. Oh well.
  • norcalmike2norcalmike2 Posts: 133
    Hi folks,

    I am seriously thinking about buying a 4X2 V-8 access cab. I am told that the TRD off road package smooths out the ride somewhat on bumpy pavement (something that a city slicker like me would like). Is that true? I'm anticipating towing a small 5th wheel trailer. Keeping that in mind, would it be a good idea to stay away from the off road suspension? Also, I would appreciate any real world feedback from Tundra owners on their gas mileage experiences. Thank you very much for any responses.
  • lagitanelagitane Posts: 25
    Bought a V-6 Tundra last December. Didn't like it. Too soft & bouncy and dash rattled on bumpy, washboard roads. Just didn't feel solid, and gas mileage was bad at first and varried alot, but after break-in, I was getting about 17 around town and a whopping 20-21 on the Fwy as long as their were no grades or headwinds. //Recently traded the V-6 on a V-8 TRD. Love this V-8. What a difference. Just a stronger, more solid and stable ride. Takes to bumpy roads well, but not quite the car ride as a V-6. It's a TRD afterall. They are just tighter and stiffer, still very good overall on rough roads. I got the Limited slip differential. Makes a big difference on slippery surfaces, but can't compare to a 4x4. Now, mileage is gonna shock you. I was freaked about that. I'm averaging about 15 commuting (live in country-have to drive to the City to work). On the Freeway, best I've gotten so far is about 16.6. Haven't been able to do better than that yet, even when I take it easy. This is on FLAT pavement. If I take this puppy up a steep grade (which I often do), it sucks gas like there is no tomorrow; then mpg dropped to below 14 mpg, worse than that if I go up in the mountains with it. It also sucks a little more gas with the A/C on. I shudder to think what would happen if I were to pull something, or haul alot of weight. My truck may be just quirky. But I'm about to take it back because I just can't live with this kind of gas mileage especially with gas prices soaring between $1.68-$1.82 in most of AZ. Now, if money isn't a problem for you, I'd say, by all means go for that big V-8 Tundra. You'll love it. Otherwise, if you are on a budget, forget it. It will eat you alive at the pump.
  • brews1brews1 Posts: 40
    Mine is three months old with 4800 miles. Great highway ride, great side road ride. Last night on the NYS thruway at nearly 80, I felt like I was driving a well handling solid car. The suspension is a little too soft over bumps at low speeds, but that is a compromise because you want more suspension travel off road and just like anything else, I got use to it. I like this truck more and more every day, solid, fast, good handling and it fits well in my garage. I towed a 3500 pound pop-up trailer only a short distance and it felt fine. As far as gas mileage, my first tank in February was 14.7 around town and I was hoping it would do better when it got warmer. The best I have done on the highway so far is 19.2 in late April (much warmer)and the last tank 70/30 hwy/city was 17.7. Just be careful if you decide to go with the V8 because I have to control myself since it reminds of my Z28 when I was a little younger and it makes me want to drive too fast. It is quick. The more you floor it, the worse the gas mileage. Check out for other points of view.
  • dp279871dp279871 Posts: 4
       I am brand new to the board and am going to purchase a new truck within the next 2 weeks to a month. I am looking at the Silverado, the Tundra and Dodge Rams and Dakotas. I think i am more leaning toward the Silverado or the Tundra. Either truck would be extended cab, 4wd, v8 with a towing and off road package. Without getting into the great American versus [non-permissible content removed] truck debate, could anyone advise me as to any problems they are having with their Tundras or dealership issues? I am currently driving a 13 year old toyota 4wd that has never had any real service issues so long term reliabilty is a concern. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • I cam across a low mileage Limited 4X2 that is offered for what appears to be a good price. Question: Since this is the first year, are there any pitfalls I should be aware of? I understand the brakes were a problem with this truck but I am told this was resolved by the dealarship replacing the rotors & calipers on warranty.
    Please comment.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I do not own a Tundra truck but may buy one in the near future. There are numerous complaints about the gas mileage of a V8 Tundra truck in this forum. Combined mileage of 15 MPG for this truck is quite normal, especially for the 4X4 access cab model.
    First of all, the curb weight of a 4X2 access cab V8 is 4450 lbs and that of 4x4 model is 4725 lbs. The real axle ratio for both models is 3.92:1, and 3.91:1, respectively. This axle ratio, combined with high curb weight will simply not allow good fuel economy. If you buy a Chevy or Ford full size pickup with a 3.73:1 or 4.10:1 rear end, which is the closest to 3.91:1, you are not going to get any better fuel economy than Tundra. I have read complaints about Chevy Silverado 4X4 with 3.73:1 rear end getting only about 13-14 MPG.

    In order to increase fuel economy, Ford used to offer an F 150 pickup with a 4.9 liter straight 6 engine, manual transmission, and 2.71:1 gear ratio. The truck came with the following note in the owner's manual: do not recommend any towing with this truck. How would you like that? This gave Ford an excuse to void any warranty if this truck was used for towing because clearly 2.73:1 rear end is not exactly the best gear ratio. Toyota does not play these games. I own a 95 Nissan 4X4 SE V6 king cab pickup with a 3 liter V6, 5 speed manual transmission, and really low gearing in the rear end (something like 4.375:1). I never get better than 17-18 MPG combined out of this truck, and much less when towing. And, at 3900 lbs curb weight, this truck is a lot lighter than a 4X4 V8 Tundra access cab (4725 lbs).
  • aggiebartaggiebart Posts: 37
    I am going to buy a 03 4X2 V8 Tundra. I do not know if I should buy the TRD Sport or Off Road package or neither. I want the smoothest ride possible on pavement. I will probably never go off road. I do plan to get the 17" wheels.

    Any recommendations?
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    Sorry if this has been hashed out before, but am
    hoping to get some feedback from Tundra 4x2 owners.
    I am thinking I probably do not need 4x4 but would appreciate some help. Never owned a truck. Live on the edge of the Mojave. Travel to Death Valley, Eastern Sierras, etc. Aside from the rare snowfall I encounter (how do the 4x2's handle the snow?) I can't see where I'd need to engage the 4x4. Not going big time boondocking, just traveling dirt (ie, rock!) roads carrying the bikes, hiking gear etc to trailheads - have done all these things in my old Honda Accord hatchback without calamity (have been snowed in and had to ditch in Big Bear, though).
    Any of you 4x2 owners kicking yourselves that you didn't go 4x4?
    (FWIW, also looking at an AWD Subaru Forester but think the open bed might be a lot more convenient...)

  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Any of you 4x2 owners kicking yourselves that you didn't go 4x4?

  • johnmeijohnmei Posts: 44
    I am seriously considering purchasing a 2003 in a few days or waiting about 6 weeks and also look at the 2004 Tundra 4x4, Access Cab, V8 with the towing package, etc. The other vehicle I am considering is the totally new 2003 GMC Sierra 1500 with the 5.3V8, Z71, and towing package. I have heard that the problems of the past few years were elimated with the new 2003 model? I am retired. I have heard from a few friends that they get 18-19 1/2 mpg on the highway and 15 or better around town with the 5.3 V8. True or false, I don't know. Do you? The Sierra 1500 has nice style, a lot of space and comfort. The other vehicle I am considering is the Toyota Tundra 4x4 V8 although its rear seat is VERY small and the gas mileage I am told is about 16-17 on the highway and 13 - 15 mpg around town. However, it is a "bullet-proof" vehicle as far as safety, reliability and fit and finish. I have had 3 Toyota vehicles (not pickups but currently an Avalon) and they are virtually trouble free with a very strong front end that hardly ever needs alignment, regardless of the road condition.
    I read alot of negative comments. What are the positive comments about the 2003 Tundra and/or Sierra 4x4, 5.3 V8? Has anyone had both vehicles and honestly can compare the two from personal experience. I really need your input, advice, and experiences. Many thanks-John
  • johnmeijohnmei Posts: 44
    Has anyone out there heard the rumor that Toyota is putting a 5 speed automatic transmission in the 2004 Tundra? Apparently it's the same transmission that was introduced into the new 2003 4Runner with the 4.7 V8.
  • geezer3geezer3 Posts: 30
    Bought new and mileage was 14-17 until about 10,000 miles, and now averaging 17-20MPG. None of the problems I've heard about, but the dealer did replace rear drums and brakes anyway. Also the proper length oil dipstick. At 26,000 miles I've had no problems whatsoever, and is the nicest riding car I've ever owned, especially on long trips. Will be running an ad on it sometime this summer for $21,500... Always garaged, never abused,and Toyota seviced. Is this a reasonable price ? Will be getting a 2004 this fall cuz I want the electric rear window, and the compass and outside Temp. feature.

    Someone on another post asked about " liters Vs. cubic inches " .... I just multiply 60 x the liters.. Tundra V/8 is 4.7 liters. Using this formula comes out to 282 cubic inches. I think that's pretty close isn't it ? Also the question came up about a childs seat in the rear of the extended cab. Have used one for our Granddaughter with no problems, especially with one of the front seats slightly forward, or the seat back raised to nearly vertical. I think they have solved part of that problem with the 2004 model.

    In essence,I like the Tundra just fine, with no problems thus far. Like anything else however, a vehicle should satisfy your needs and pocketbook.

  • medawnmedawn Posts: 1
    After reading all of your postings, I too figured to throw out my question and ask for your advise and/or comparisons.

    I am looking to purchase a truck, probably "newly" used. Most of my mileage will be city, with some towing of a 21' boat.

    My comparisons are the Tundra, F150, Sierra and Silverado. I'm looking for something with low maintance. I have been a long time Ford owner and am considering branching out. Any advise would be great?
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