Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • irishfireirishfire Member Posts: 3
    Has anyone had problems with their Tacoma using oil? I had the truck to the dealer yesterday because I noticed that it was using oil at a rate of a half quart to full quart between oil changes. The told me that this usage was within normal specs which I find hard to believe. It is a 2003 Double cab with 34,500 miles on it.
  • irishfireirishfire Member Posts: 3
    Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo are the best tires I have found for the 4x4 Tacoma. If you check they are the highest rated off road tire. A good price too compared to other brands.
  • brodeyobrodeyo Member Posts: 26
    I have two questions about a v6 4x4 to put out there to you guys.

    1)Is anyone else experiencing soft breaks with their '05 Tacoma? I don't have to push the breaks all the way down to the floor, but it seems it takes a little more to stop this thing than tapping...

    2)Is anyone else experiencing a slight jerking action as the automatic transmission is trying to shift into 1st from 2nd when coming to a stop? It's nothing violent, but is noticed. Kind of like the truck is trying to downshift, but it is going too fast to get it into gear. No noise though....

    Thanks in advance.
  • buffalonickelbuffalonickel Member Posts: 113
    The dealer replaced my instrument panel with the automatic shift diagram in the fuel gauge. My long bed came with a stick shift instrument panel installed at the factory. So I had no way of knowing which gear my automatic was in. It is fixed and it looks fine.

    However, I also have a problem with the security alarm going off for no reason. Last Thursday night it went off at 1 and 2 AM! Saturday it went off 4 times in the later AM. Turned it in to the dealer to do the instrument panel change on Monday. They have had my truck for three days and reported to me that they had no problems. Brought it home tonight and just now at 8 pm the alarm went off again. So basically, it can go off anytime any place. I am going to include the temperature which is 38 degrees along with the time in my observation in case that may have anything to do with it. The service manager called this in to Fremont and they assigned it a case number. So they will now check back on this. I recommended to the service manager that they gut the system and give me a new one. Then install this one in the head honcho's Lexus and let old Shemp Howard experience this first-hand. That way the alarm will wake up his dogs and drive his neighbors crazy.

    FEDEX the Frankenstein alarm back to Fremont to take it apart for analysis. If they want an answer, they won't get it by leaving it in my truck.

    And if papa ain't happy--ain't nobody happy.

  • cabmancabman Member Posts: 2
    I would appreciate some advice on the approach to replacing the standard antenna on my 98 Tacoma-PreRunner. I had some help from the local carwash, and I cannot get the broken stud out. I don't see any access that looks reasonable. Hopefully someone has done this and can offer suggestions so that I don't take the wrong approach.
  • john45john45 Member Posts: 18

    is this a problem with all 05 automatic transmissions?
  • john45john45 Member Posts: 18
    I have a v6 4x4 '05 automatic Taco with 650 miles. And I have to exert pressure on the brake pedal as well. I haven't heard anything yet on this issue. I also agree with you on number 2, but I can hardly notice it.

  • john45john45 Member Posts: 18
    I just noticed that our truck has Power-assisted ventilated front disc brakes (dia., in.) 12.56 and 4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist [2] this might explain the soft brake issue
  • msibillemsibille Member Posts: 275
    Most mfrs consider anything less than a quart in 1000 miles to be "normal", particularly with the lower viscosity oils specified thesed days (i.e. 5w30). Some even say up to a quart in 600 miles.

    I feel that a full quart of consumption in a 1000 miles or less is a bit on the high side, particularly once an engine has broken in, but you won't find a mfr that will initiate repairs just because of oil consumption at that level. OTOH 1/2 to 1 qt in 3k or more is not unreasonable at all. This is why oil should be checked frequently. Mfrs will often say w/ every fillup, I try to do it at least every 2 or 3 fillups, and before leaving town for out of town trips.

    Make certain that you are checking the oil with the vehicle on a level surface. (Many filling stations have concrete floors that are sloped for drainage.) Also, if you are not changing the oil yourself, make certain you check the level immediately after an oil change, some shops don't prefill the filter (a personal peeve of mine), and once the engine is started, as much as 1/2 qt may fill the filter. If they don't recheck and fill to the full line, then you may be starting a bit lower than you assume. (Note, the "full" mark is a not to exceed level. It doesn't have to be at that level, though admittedly, I generally try to keep it very near. The closer you are to that mark, the more oil there is for cooling, though anywhere in the acceptable range should be good. Don't overfill, however, as that can result in foaming.)

    I think you can rest easy, but check your oil frequently as normal preventative measure.
  • irishfireirishfire Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice. I just haven't had a vehicle that needed any oil between changes. I have been lucky to have tight engines.
  • kgsc68kgsc68 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 3.4L V6 4x4. The temperature gauge reads a little past half way and it seems to me that it should read a little under half way. Where should it run normally and could it damage the engine if left like this for a period of time?
  • cabmancabman Member Posts: 2
    I have a 98 Tacoma with 170,000 miles, and have never put in any oil between changes. I have varied between 3000-5000 between service. Honestly, never a drop!
  • buffalonickelbuffalonickel Member Posts: 113
    No. The dealer showed me what he had on the lot and none of them were like this. But since it has been fixed, everything works perfectly. I think this was a glitch.

  • caltacocaltaco Member Posts: 8
    I sent a note to Motor Trend and they admit the 0-60 time error. It should be 7.4 seconds.
  • roccrocc Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2004 Tacoma a few Months back and I have the EXACT same problem you are having with Starting.I have 4,000 Miles on it.I have taken it to the Dealer(3 times)and the Electrical- Ignition System was replaced.No Luck!It is still difficult to start.Getting very frustrated.
    Perhaps you have figured things out and any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Regards,Roc [email protected]
  • ddeesddees Member Posts: 4
    How can I tell from the motor casting or visually what size a motor is?
    i am buying a 99'tacoma with other than the original motor and would like to verify that the correct motor type was installed.
    Any other things to be on the lookout for with a replaced motor? Runs good, drives good and looks good.
  • leob1leob1 Member Posts: 153
    That was a BIG error on their part and thanks for doing that. They must have mixed the Frontier's time with the Tacoma's.
  • joesslajoessla Member Posts: 7
    Have 2005 Tacoma with 230 miles. Three times I have tried to stop and the engine surged and was hard to stop. Yesterday, it happened as I was pulling up to an intersection. Truck slowed down, surged, I pressed the brake pedal to the floor, truck engine still running very fast, and eventually, it choked down. Cranked it and got the heck out of Dodge. The other 2 occasions, I was in parking lots and got it stopped before I drove into a store or another vehicle. It is at the dealer now and they say they can't find anything wrong with it. (Imagine that). However, I can't bring myself to go and get it and not sure I can ever trust it. Guess I may have to leave it there and ask for my money back using the Lemon Law. any other suggestions-- Thanks
  • msibillemsibille Member Posts: 275
    I think that you're right.
    We had a similar problem (one of many) with my wife's 1999 Honda Odyssey years ago. Turned out it was one of the (many) prblms with the transmission on that vehicle. The tranny would improperly shift(I don't recall if the lockup was involved), engine would bog, computer would add throttle to keep engine rpm up, driver would have to mash down on the brakes to keep from, say, going thru the stoplight you're stopped at.
    -My wife found this very disconcerting, to say the least.

    I wouldn't drive it under these conditions, and I shouldn't think the dealership would want you to (because of their liability exposure). You might even suggest that they need to be more aggressive, perhaps they need Toyota tech help, in finding the prblm because they surely don't want the liability of you driving off with it and it causing a crash.

    good luck
  • jenxjenx Member Posts: 6
    I just bought my black '05 Tacoma on Monday!

    Can anyone recommend good wax and soap for washing? And, a good type of cloth to use?

    Also, what is a good interior protectant to use?

  • kbshadowkbshadow Member Posts: 22

    I got mine last month and used Mothers carwash and Mothers new Reflections, worked great.

    I will say I did it twice, used claybar the second time and it really came out much better, as good as any pro shop could do, also noticed it had and outstanding paint job, not one flaw in the whole truck.

    I only use micro fiber towels on my cars.

    Here are two good websites about waxing cars..

    Stockton Ca
  • jms11208jms11208 Member Posts: 2
    Can anyone tell me who (Chilton, Haynes....) makes a manual for a 2001 4x4 3.4L X-Cab Tacoma??? Send me a link please...I haven't been able to find one on the net or at the store. Thanks.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Member Posts: 2,882
    Have you tried or ebay?
  • 03taco03taco Member Posts: 3
    I didn't see anymore responses to this. Did Toyota fix? How? I have the same problem.
  • jms11208jms11208 Member Posts: 2 doesn't carry toyota manuals and no luck on ebay, any other suggestions???
  • missconductmissconduct Member Posts: 3
    Three questions about a 03 (i think it's a 03) dbl cab.

    The truck doesn't seem to be shifting right (auto), going from 3rd to 4th. It just seems like it's straining.

    Question at what rpm's should the truck be changing gears?

    Anybody else here have a problem with paint chipping?

    The truck has a hard time starting, doesn't matter if it's cold or not. For christmas I bought my husband the remote starter and I don't no if the problem is caused by that.

  • ralphfowlerralphfowler Member Posts: 1
    The strangest thing happens when I turn on the A/C or heater fan. The instrument cluster panel backlights dim and both of the blinker indicators come on about half bright. Anyone ever experienced this??
  • sbsyncrosbsyncro Member Posts: 66
    According to a woman on the Toyota Customer Service 800 line this morning, Toyota has issued a Technical Service Bulletin # BO004-05 (that is Bravo Oscar zero zero zero four - zero five) which covers the fix for the "windshield cowl leak"

    She also confirmed for me that the fix has been implemented in the factories, and that all new Tacos being produced have the new manufacturing process to fix the problem in production. I don't know when the factory implemented the fix, though (forgot to ask!)
  • gdwtch1969gdwtch1969 Member Posts: 15
    On my Tacoma I had a wiring harness and a fuel pump replaced.I am still having a starting problem.Now with extensive cranking and sometimes while it is cranking to start it will just stop cranking and doesn't start.It isn't all the time it usually occurs the day after I wash this truck.Do you still think it is fuel?I have has this truck to the dealer 5 times now and still no solution.I am very disappointed.I am ready to trade this truck in for a ford.No lights on in my truck so they can't hook it up to the machine.If my truck doesn't act up when they have it,they can't fix it.My dealer has had it for a week at a time and it doesn't act up.This truck will start everyday for 3 weeks but no longer than that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    [email protected]
  • gdwtch1969gdwtch1969 Member Posts: 15

    I am in the same boat you are in.Had mine to the dealer 5 times and still no solution.I had the wiring harness an fuel pump replaced.But I am still having the same problem.Now sometimes when I am trying to start it,it will just stop cranking and not start.I had sent you an e-mail.on this paticular problem.The longest my truck has started everyday has been 3 weeks.No longer.Since I have owned it.I will continue to take this truck back to the dealer until they can fix it.or figure out the defect.But I would like to stay in touch with you.Maybe together we can figure this problem out.

    [email protected]
  • leob1leob1 Member Posts: 153
    Guess that means that all the 05 Tacoma's before a certain date have that defect? I haven't been able to tell for sure if mine has the leak and it was made in Oct 04 I believe.
  • sbsyncrosbsyncro Member Posts: 66
    It may depend on the factory. I would go to the dealer and ask to see the Technical Service Bulletin - it should have clear instructions about how to identify the problem and how to fix it
  • streaksstreaks Member Posts: 64
    I know there have posts on the main board about this 2005 exhaust issue. But since this is the Tacoma problem "area" I'm posting here. Looked under a F-150 4x4 yesterday(2004?)
    The crossover pipe, although forward of the transfer case, hangs lower as well. So, I guess Toyota is not the only manu. to do this. Just in case, as stated before, put a spare hacksaw in the truck. Just in case!!
  • nickt1nickt1 Member Posts: 32
    I had a starting problem when I first got my 05. I finally realized that the starter is really sensitive, and you have to push the key all the way forward, as far as it will go, to start the truck quickly, or else it'll have a tendency to crank and crank w/o turning over. On my previous vehicles, I would just have to push it a little way past the line and the car would start right up, and I guess I was so used to starting vehicles that way that I continued with it when I got the Tacoma. I still sometimes forget about turning the key all the way forward. It's still not second nature to me yet. Maybe your starting problem is as simple as this. Just a thought.
  • firecontrolfirecontrol Member Posts: 4
    Thank you! I'm such a huge Toyota fan, I was shocked to go into my new truck & see this. This is great, again thanks.
  • jenniferlb77jenniferlb77 Member Posts: 1
    First of all, love the Tacoma. But mine has a bit of a problem similar to yours. Mine is an '03 ext cab 4 cylinder automatic 20000 miles. It is excellent, except for when it warms up and I stop at a light, it idles a little rough and starts vibrating. My hood shakes then my steering wheel starts shaking. I took it in to the dealership where I bought it, and they could not find anything wrong with it. They seem to think that it may be a "normal" characteristic of the vehicle. However, I know someone who has the same exact truck, same year, make/model, engine, etc. and his does not do this. I am concerned that they have overlooked something. Anyone have any ideas of what this may be? I am definitely going to have it looked at again. Thanks so much.
  • nickt1nickt1 Member Posts: 32
    I've experienced a surge while braking a few times on this truck, still do even after 5000 miles.. What it is, and it's still hard for me to get used to it, is that the brake pedal and gas pedal are awfully close together on this truck, more than on any other vehicle I've owned, and sometimes when I hit the brake, the corner of my foot is also hitting the gas pedal. Especially when I'm wearing my big-soled work boots, I find that the whole area down there around the pedals is pretty cramped.
  • dawg2dawg2 Member Posts: 3
    05 tacoma prerunner V6 . Can anyone tell me what interfierance must be removed in order to replace the drivers side spark plugs. Can't get any info from dealer. Toyota wants $575 for the shop manuals. Would hate to take it in to have this done, but it's prety tight and acess is limited. Any help would be appreciated.
  • maxvenummaxvenum Member Posts: 39
    If you don't want to pay $575 for the shop manuals, you can pay $10 per day for the web site. If you have a fast internet connection, you can pay for 1 or 2 days and download anything and everything... I plan to do this as soon as my truck comes in in a month.
  • bluexrunnerbluexrunner Member Posts: 5
    does it smell like rotten eggs?i have same problem on 05 ,dealer said it was the sulfer in the gas,bs.its gotta be the cat i think
  • bluexrunnerbluexrunner Member Posts: 5
    i had same problem my xrunner came up as srunner lol maybe i have your vin
  • mtrmtr Member Posts: 1
    Last week I was driving my 2001 Tacoma Prerunner (2WD) down a paved mountain grade and noticed vibrations when braking and when I stopped I could smell and saw smoke coming from the left front brake which was obviously overheating. I just brought it in to the Toyota dealership (the same dealership that changed the front brake pads and resurfaced the rotors 10, 000 miles ago) and they say everything checks out fine. If so why did it overheat? They say they can't do anything but I think they should do something as I am concerned about future overheating and brake failure. I know Tacomas have brake problems and am wondering if anyone else has had severe overheating (not just vibrations/chattering) and what did you and/or the dealer do to resolve the problem?
  • sillyfeetsillyfeet Member Posts: 2
    I took my 2000 Tacoma prerunner into the dealership for its 30k mile scheduled maintenances. Part of the procedure is to replace the sparkplugs. I dont have any idea why they do it so early. Anyway every since then the plugs keep going bad. I have had in 4 times now. I asked the dealer the last time what was wrong with them and he said the were cracked. It happens about every 2500 miles. It will all of a sudden just start idling bad intermitantly and gets worse from there. I was going to go ahead and replace them myself this time, but the way they are located so deep in engine and the amount of things you have to remove just to get to them is insane. Has anybody else seen a similar problem with plugs going bad?
  • msibillemsibille Member Posts: 275
    If the starter quits cranking while you still hold the key in the start position, that's not a fuel system problem. Possible issues are a bad ignition switch, bad starter solenoid (high amp relay that actually turns on the power to the starter), or a bad starter. Other possible problems would be bad connections, particularly a bad ground, or a problem with the flywheel or starter pinion gear. Since bad connections are cheap to work with, that's where I normally go first. (It's a hell of a thing to spend a few hundred on a starter, and several hours swapping it out, to later find out that you had a loose ground cable.)

    (Warning note, don't engage the starter for more than 15 seconds at a time. The electric motor in the starter would be rated for a small fraction of the load it carries if it had to run continously. But since a starter normally only runs for a few seconds, the heat buildup is not an issue. But continuing to run a starter for longer than 15 seconds or so will cause heat buildup which will break down the insulation on the windings and short them. As individual winding short, the amperage goes up, causing more heat and more shorting until the starter just can no longer turn the engine.)

    The earlier suggestions were based on the assumption that the starter was able to crank the engine without fail. If this happens after you wash the truck, that should be reproducible. (While they can't read a code from the onboard computer if there is no MIL light on, they can plug a monitor in and leave it plugged in for you to drive home with it to wash it as you usually do. After you wash it, and attempt to start it, possibly a code could be picked up.) However, if it is a starting circuit issue, there will likely be no codes generated. I don't think that the OBD II diagnostics accommodate sensing of anything that would find a loose, leaking (water) or corroded connection in the high amperage starter circuit, nor a bad starter, starter solenoid, or starter switch.

    Have you mentioned to the dealer that this happens after washing the vehicle, and that the starter will fail to continue to turn? If it were in my driveway, I would check all the cables to/from the starter and starter solenoid (both positive and ground cables) for loose connections, corrosion, etc. I would check the wiring between the starter switch and the starter solenoid, particularly for bad boots/seals that might be affected by moisture. Then I would check the switch itself, the starter solenoid, and the starter.

    Good luck.
  • msibillemsibille Member Posts: 275
    Unless the price of the manuals went up greatly in the last month or so, the manuals should be $136 each from Toyota (visit the website for the 800 number or look in the back of your owner's manual for the service literature contact number), and there are 3 volumes, which comes to $408 + about $15 shpg. Still a big stack of change, but not $575 -is that price from a dealer hungry to get into your wallet?

    However, I recently bought my 3 volume set of 2005 Taco manuals on eBay for half the retail price. If you search, I'd bet you would find them. Seller was Jcmanuals1, transaction was smooth, delivered as promised, in pristine condition.

    Granted, a couple hundred bucks is still a nice stack of change, but for every new vehicle I have ever purchased, when I bought the factory service manuals I did not regret it, and the one time I did (with a 1984 %^&#$#$ Ford Ranger), I regretted not having bought the factory svc manuals. (Haynes and Chiltons are fine if you know nothing about basic service/maintenance of vehicles, but the detail is badly lacking and they provide virtually no value to me. What I find in those manuals, I either learned in high school while maintaining my parents' cars, are have read in Popular Science or Popular Mechanics.)

    Often the value of the factory svc manual is not so much in helping you to do the work (which it often does), but to know what needs to be done, so that you know whether you need to bring it in to the dealer or just another mechanic, and if so, how much time and $$$$ it should take.
  • smitty7smitty7 Member Posts: 1
    Have you heard anything on this issue? I just started noticing the same thing on my '03 Tacoma. Same situation with accelerating and braking. Low speed it does not occur. I have greased all the zerks in the drive shaft and no difference. Recommendations?
  • dudleydudley Member Posts: 9
    I picked up the DC in December '05 -- shortly thereafter, the carpets were soaking wet. I thought maybe I left a window open -- had the doors open and went out with a hair dryer for a few days.

    After heavey rains last week -- checked the truck and it is soaking wet -- really need this solved as it is starting to get musty. all the best Dudley
  • pb2themaxpb2themax Member Posts: 471
    The windshield has a leak around the seal. Toyota has fixed this problem on more recently built Tacomas. Take it to your Toyota dealership to get it fixed.
  • msibillemsibille Member Posts: 275
    Sorry for not responding sooner. I didn't realize nobody had responded.

    The most common cause of something like that is a bad ground connection.
    There are a number of reasons for that, but suffice it to say that's the first place to look. Not necessarily the quickest (or cheapest if you have to pay for labor), but it's the most common. The poor ground may result in a "backup" in the system, and provide some current to lamps that are "off". Since the high resistance of the connection causes the "potential" at that connection point to be at a higher voltage than the battery ground, and since the voltage across the panel lights is the supplied voltage (12- 15 VDC, depending on whether the engine is running and the variation in your regulator) minus the voltage at the ground connection for the lamps, increasing current from the high-amperage fan raises the voltage at the ground connection, lowering the available voltage to the lamps, resulting in dimming of the panel lamp.

    You don't mention year model or mileage, but if it's in warranty, give them the symptoms -exactly what you observed, not presume, and then suggest that they might want to look for a bad ground.

    Good luck
  • gdwtch1969gdwtch1969 Member Posts: 15
    I have told the dealer 5 times now the pattern I have with washing this truck.My truck is now going back to the shop on Monday again for the 6th time I washed it Tuesday and Wednesday night it was very hard starting again.I am now getting a very looooooooonng crank.(Had this certain problem back in November)eventually it does start after 2 or 3 attempts.I have asked the dealer to put something on my truck to prove that it is not starting.They told me there is nothing they can put on it to give them some type of code.If they can't duplicate the problem they can't fix it.This truck will start straight 3 weeks at a time but every now and then it just won't start.I have felt the it always had something to do with moisture.But the dealer can't find anything, because it doesn't act up when the truck is there.I will tell the mechanic what you had said in this forum.(But of course they don't want to hear how to do there job)I am going to take your advice and take my truck to another mechanic(who doesn't work for Toyota)and have the wiring and starter and so on looked at.Hopefully I can get an answer from this other mechanic.Thank-you for all your help whoever you are. I will post the results as soon as I find something out.
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