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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • pooh001pooh001 Posts: 3
    Has anyone had a similar experience?
    2001 Prerunner sr5 v6 automatic transmision

    At 1800 miles I make a brief highway trip (20 miles). I make a stop and then continue for about 5 miles. When I slow to an idle to make my turn the engine noisily clunks and dies (much the same as a standard would if I had not downshifted). When I start it up again It runs fine in Park and Neutral but as soon as its placed in gear (any gear including reverse) it clunks and dies as if it is stuck in too high a gear to take off.

    After towing it in to the dealer the mechanic witnesses this problem once but it goes away once he gets it into the bay. With no problem left to fix it gets turned back over to me like a ticking time bomb.

    Fast forward to 5000 miles. I go on an extended higway trip (150 miles) I stop for gas, get back on the road and have no problems. 60 miles later when I exit and slow to an idle... Bingo! same old problem.

    Towed it to a dealer (this time out of state)and they are convinced it is the Torque Converter. After they change it ...No Joy!

    Final result is the Transmision has been replaced and so far so good. I'm just curious if this has been seen before. Thanks for the input!
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    I have the cruise on a '99 Tacoma Ext Cab, manual with the 2.7 liter four. My cruise works great. I have had other cars where the cruise started to fade and not engage properly or hold a steady speed. I have found the cruise on my truck to be exceptionally sharp in operation. It engages immediately and adjusts up or down in 1-2 mile increments with just a quick push of the lever. It's one of the best cruises I have ever had. So, I would not except any poor performance from this particular cruise at all. I'd ask them to replace the whole thing.
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    But I haven't heard of that one before. In reading what you posted I would have guessed a faulty torque converter. I could also have been any number of linkages that engage the converter as well that would either not allow it disengage to change gears or engage in the proper gear.

    Sounds like the first dealer gave you the shaft. Hopefully they re-imbursed you for your towing charges (if not you might try the regional Toyota service rep - your local dealer can tell you who that is). I would imagine the dealer the 3rd time around did what anyone would do. $5000 to troubleshoot and fix the problem or faulty part....or by a new tranny from Toyota for $3000 and install it. Simple math...

    You may want to confirm that the new tranny warranty is warranted for replacement for at least one year and after that covered under your new car warranty. If enough people have this problem, Toyota should issue a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) but that assumes that enough people have this problem and complain about it. Maybe you do some constructive griping for your fellow Taco owners. : )

  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    As well. Maybe you'll get a hit there for tranny issues???

  • pooh001pooh001 Posts: 3
    I have opened a case # with the customer relations people: 1-800-331-4331. Hopefully a record of incidents (by type) is kept in some master database.

    Thanks for the suggestions
  • byrne6byrne6 Posts: 1
    Has evanspa5 #54 found a solution to the loud clunk problem? I have the same problem with my 99 Prerunner with no resolution from 4 different dealers in Southern California. (Longo, Hamer, Frontier and Hollywood Toyota) I purchased this truck new 2 years ago. The problem started about a year later. When coming to a stop or taking your foot off the brake there is a jolt. Any other suggestions?
  • wc44wc44 Posts: 2
    Was interested to hear janeliz444's question regarding noisy lifters and disappointed that nobody responded. Maybe that means it's not a common problem but I have it too although my engine's a V6. Started after about 100,000 km though, and not dependent on oil quantity or quality. At first, when very cold I'd hear one noisy lifter which would go away once the engine was warm. Now at 140,000 km, I still hear the noisy lifter first thing in the morning but it still goes away when warmed up. This engine does seem a bit noisier than a friend's 97 Tacoma with a bit more mileage but otherwise it runs fine. Are we alone in having these noisy engines? Should we be worried?

    Otherwise, I've had to replace seals in the rear end but in general I'm pretty happy with the truck. I use it for highway and logging road travel mostly with some off-roading. It's a 5 speed so the only clunking I've heard is that terrible air-driven four-wheel-drive engagement system. I can be much easier on the drivetrain with my arm than that thing but I haven't heard of anyone breaking a U-joint or gear yet (or have they?). I'm a long time Toyota 4x4 user (great performance and longevity from my early 80's pickups) and sad to hear about declining quality of 2000+s. Dare I suggest it might have something to do with where they are now being made?
  • valkyvalky Posts: 21

    The problem with your transmission may be the lock-up portion of the torque converter not dis-engaging. I have seen this many times in early 90's GM cars. Everytime the problem has been a faulty torque converter lock-up solenoid. I suspect that this is a fluke, probably just a bad solenoid. I believe that Toyota replaced the transmission because they felt it was cheaper than spending the time to fully and completely diagnose the problem. I don't expect you to have anymore problems. Hope this helps.
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    We may need this post quote another...

  • extacoextaco Posts: 1
    For all you folks out there!! I bought my 2WD SR5 taco new and after driving for a while started to notice how poor the handling was. Springs were too soft and the shocks poor. Something that was not apparent at first until I started to drive on streets and freeways that were not on the dealers prescribed test drive route. Street bumps cause vibrations throughout the truck similar to that of a rubber band being twanged!!! I put a shell on it and the vehicle would bottom out driving down the freeway going the speed limit, not to mention I had to constantly redirect the truck because the bouncing keep the vehicle from going straight. Felt like a pogo stick. Dealer looked at it and said there was nothing wrong even though I showed them I could just about bottom the rear of the truck just by pushing down on the bumper with my arms. Found out later from a Toyota parts man that that dealer had replaced the rear springs on 2 different trucks at that dealership alone because the springs had broken in half. WHOAA!! I even found a reference to this at the NHTSA ( Truck is downright unstable going thou turns at highway speeds if the payment is a little uneven. SCARY!! It would actually shift position in the lane. Okay fine, I guess I will have to upgrade the suspension at my expense. BIGGG THANK YOU TOYOTA!!!!!!!!!! But low and behold, before I could do that I was outside talking to my neighbor while my still new truck was warming up and the engine was making a sort of rattling sound as the engine got warmer. Well I took it to the dealer and they acknowledged the noise and said that ToyotaTech. was aware of the problem because other trucks also had the noise but they didn't know what it was. They said if there was a recall they would send me a letter. Gee Thanks but what about the loose parts bouncing around the motor in my new truck that I paid top dollar for with the crap suspension. Mind you this truck still had less than 4000 miles on it. Well after 4 attempts at 4 different dealers to fix it, unbelivebly they actually installed new muffler brackets as one of the fixes even though the sound was clearly internal engine noise. They assured me that their factory trained idiots knew what they were doing. After every fix they said it was fixed but nothing was ever fixed. Same old noises that were now getting worse and it was beginning to sound like a diesel. Well after 4 months of nonsense a factory mechanic rep. was sent out and he said that they recommended to replace the piston and rod assemblies. I of course declined and asked for a new engine since I was paying for a new truck it should also have a new engine, not a parcially rebuilt one. They were not even going to hone the cylinders when they did this patch job and any competent mechanic will tell you that the rings will never seat properly degrading the life and efficiency of the motor. Well the next step was arbitration. What a joke that was. Toyota has a new arbitration proccess in Ca. that is not certified because they dropped the old certified proccess with the BBB. Wonder why that is??????? Toyota wasn't sure who the arbitrators were and when I finally sent in the paperwork to were I was susposed to, they said they didn't handle Toyota cases and directed me to another outfit. Turns out they were wrong and they actually did handle Toyota cases after all. Well like I said, what a joke. After arbitration got me nowhere I had to get a lawyer and file for the lemon law. Well it's been 2 1/2 years since I bought the truck and I have won the case. Toyota apperently felt that it was not to their best interest to go into court, now that a court date was upon them, and an agreement was reached out of court after they ignored me for over 1 1/2 years. They bought the truck back and its now a fullfledged real live lemon. All this has cost them mega more dollars than simply doing the right thing and replacing a defective engine. THIS TRUCK NEVER MADE IT TO ITS FIRST SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE!!!
    The moral of the story is that while you pay top dollar for Toyota peace of mind and an excellent warranty on paper it turns out that the Tacoma falls far short of the previous generations of quality trucks. The warranty in my experience is not worth the paper it is written on. I watched as the mechanics called the Toyota Tech. Hotline where they were instructed what to do even though they were at the other end of a phone line. What good is a real live mechanic??? Where have all the good mechanics gone??? Customer service throughout this was very poor.I have run into many people that have had poor experiences with Toyota and it is apparently the NEW Toyota / General Motors conflaguration that operates like this. Toyota will never see me on one of their car lots again. They and their vehicles are not what they used to be. I do understand that it is impossible to manufacture every car perfect but it is how you handle the problem that then becomes most important. Hanging your customers out to dry because they can and do on a regular basis is not smart business. Word does get around.

    All should be AWARE, UNDERSTAND, and BEWARE of what you spend your hard earned cash on supporting a MEGA-CORPERATION whose product is based on a reputation that I find is no longer valid with reguards to product quality and what amounts to is a complete lack of customer support and service. I have worked on and built cars for 25 yrs. This experience was a complete and utter joke!!!!!!!! I wouldn't let Toyota work on a biycicle after what I've seen!!! Think carefully before you spend your money. It could very easily turn turn out that you may have an experience not unlike the one I have had to endure. Oh, I forgot to mention that I could not use the truck for 1 1/2 years as it sat rotting away in my driveway but I still had to make payments on it and had to buy another car to use and make payments on it also.

    Toyota, is no longer a choice I would consider!!!
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    Gee that's too bad you got a bad truck very local auto parts store uses these trucks for deliveries and they go 300 thousand miles and still sound great!..they swear by them.
  • dannowdannow Posts: 1
    I have recently purchased a 99 tacoma 4x4 e-cab auto v6. The vehicle bucks when you release the brake after a stop. This is annoying. Any cure for this? Thanks.
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    bucks? Any clunks or noises that would cause you to suspect the transmission?

  • smc13smc13 Posts: 52
    Ok, it's not really a problem just a question but I figured this is a good place to ask. According to my owner's manual my gas tank on my 2001 ext cab v6 4wd is about 18 gallons but I seem to only be using about 15 gallons of it. I haven't let it hit "E" and I haven't had the fuel warning light come on yet but I been close to "E" before filling. How many gallons of gas are left when the fuel warning light comes on? Is it really about three gallons?

    Steve Cohen
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    When the light comes on solid, you have 3 gallons left. Since yours and mine tanks are 18.5 gallons that sounds about right given your experience.

    Go ahead and let the light come on and you'll see what I mean. My gauge goes down past the last mark. Also I tried letting the light go for a about 40 miles. When I filled up it took 17.5 gallons.
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
    It is 3 gallons smc. Look in your owner's manual. I have ran until the fuel light comes on and then got gas, probably a half a dozen times just to check consistency Fuel light comes on at 15.5 gallons, which leaves 3 on reserve.
  • smc13smc13 Posts: 52
    Smgilles I looked at the manual and I missed it say how much the reserve was.

    I guess I have one small complaint against the taco. I think have a large reserve is dumb. If a person can't fill up before they hit "E" let them run out of gas.
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Another look at the three gallon issue. What if you're 30 miles from a gas station and your truck gets 17 mpg?

    Toyota used to not have warning lights at all for low gas.
  • gmonkeygmonkey Posts: 5
    I've worked on a lot of 22RE's and I have to say they are one of the most bulletproof engines any manufacturer has ever come out with. If I could get one again I would use it as my daily driver, those things are awesome.

    Anyways from what I've seen the chains will last forever. What will wear out though, are the chain guides, and when they do you will notice a rattling coming from the front cover because the chain will be slapping around. I just worked on one where the owner put on 170,000 miles before the guides went out.

    It's a very easy repair to do if you are a do-it-yourselfer or if you take it to a repair shop they should not charge you more than $300.

    I've never seen one break therefore I don't know if it will damange your pistons but I don't think the 22RE's are an interference fit. ( where the valves will hit the pistons if the chain breaks )
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    So I would be paying close attention to the advice Grease Monkey just imparted to you.

    Typically timing chains do not need to be changed over the life of a vehicle and in many cases will out last the vehicle. Only timing belts need to be changed on average every 60K miles (and you can stretch that a bit). By the way, you either have a timing chain or a Timing Belt. Unless you have two engines in your car/truck...

    Why don't all modern cars used timing chains you may ask since they, "last forever". Well while it's true my '85 Toyota P/U died with it's timing chain intact (at 220K miles of hard labor) the timing in the engine was lousy. As the chains get older, they begin to stretch ever so slightly as well as round over the sprocket teeth they ride on. As time progresses the engine is generally "looser" in both feel, power, starts, stops, and just about everything but straight freeway driving where you won't notice the difference anyway unless you are consistently passing folks.

    Belts hold their timing better (increasing time between tuneups and timing adjusts sometime 100K miles vs. 10K miles on older vehicles with chains and distributors) and they wear the sprockets they ride on very very little if at all.

    More info than you wanted probably...

  • I have a 95 Toyota Tacoma. I am wondering:
    1)If they come with a timing chain or a timing belt?
    2)If a timing belt, is it an interference or non-interference belt?
    3)When should it be changed (I have 96,000 miles on mine and to my knowledge it has never been changed by the previous owner).

    Thanks a lot!
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    Comments below:

    1)If they come with a timing chain or a timing belt?
    - One anonymous call to the Dealer will clear this up. Or you can try the Maintenance Section of TownHall.

    2)If a timing belt, is it an interference or non-interference belt?
    - Not sure of these terms; that would be a new one for me. Can you explain the difference?

    3)When should it be changed (I have 96,000 miles on mine and to my knowledge it has never been changed by the previous owner).
    - Call the Dealer ASAP for question number one. If it's a belt, you are loooong overdue.

    Thanks a lot!
  • I have a 99 Taco ma extra cab v6 4wd and I love it. I have had virtually no problems with the truck in 42K+ miles. The only concern I have is my paint job. Last year I noticed several small spider web like cracks in my clear coat, kind of like when a rock hits your windshield. The biggest being about 3/8 of an inch in diameter. At that time I only counted about a dozen cracks. Now, about 9 months later I can count upwards of 30 spots, all on the hood and roof. I often wonder if there is a problem with the clear coat on Toyota vehicles. I keep my truck very clean and wax it several times a year. Has anybody else noticed these types of marks on their hoods or roofs? Does anybody know if their is a recall on the paint jobs per chance?
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352's the design of the motor. An interference motor simply means when/if that timing belt/chain breaks and stops the cam in its place the pistons, which may go up and down a few more times, will smack a valve that's left open which is normally not there. I know the Honda 4 valve motors will smack the pistons to valves in the event of a timing belt failure, I also know the old Escort motors will not. These are both from personal experience
  • beantacobeantaco Posts: 12
    My local toyota dealer says there is nothing new for the 2002 tacoma, has anyone heard otherwise?
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    Time to use your warranty. Be prepared to talk to a Toyota Rep

    Honestly most manufacturers have deferred from using clear coat technology to intermixing the polyurethane into the paint itself providing a long lasting, flexible, yet hard shell. Some quick facts:

    Straight Paint - Older (vintage) cars the job will usually remain glossy for 5-6 years then fade

    Paint + Clear coat - Early 80's to mid 90's cars, a proven technology keeping coats glossy 9-10 years and protecting against scratches.

    Blended Coat - mid 90's to present day maintains glossy coat up to 14 years. Some biodegradable forms of the coat have been known to fail prematurely (I'm sure you've seen plenty of cars with bad flaking of the paint).

    IMHO you should visit the dealer to document your problem and begin the negotiation process to get the problem fixed.

    Good Luck,
  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
  • reynolds6reynolds6 Posts: 31
    Does anyone out there have knowledge of a problem where the ABS light comes on for no apparent reason but then does not come back on after the vehicle is restarted? This has occurred on my new d-cab three times during the first 1200 miles. It sounds as if I may have bad sensor that is falsely reporting a problem to the ABS computer and causing it to deactivate the system. I haven't been back to the dealership yet as it is not a problem that is easily replicated.
  • would be a new one for me.

    Hopefully you are still checking back, but you may want to find a remote spot/parking lot and make sure your ABS system is working (i.e, get up to 20MPH or so and grab hold to the brakes).

    Initially you should see that light on startup only unless the system is in use. You could tell the dealer that you are "concerned your ABS safety feature is not working and let them keep it for a week while they give you a loaner. Usually the Service Manager will try to help out special cases like these that are hard to ID and help to draft a TSB for others with the same problem.

    I would totally put this on the dealer to fix. I mean, you're not imagining the problem, right? Make the dealer understand that.

    Good Luck,
This discussion has been closed.