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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • I own an 01 Tacoma and have been experiencing loud "thuds" when it shifted from 3rd to overdrive. The local Toyota dealer attributed it to dry splines and relubed them. Kept asking if it could be a tranny prob but they kept saying it was the splines. Prob kept coming back and trans started making noises. To make a long story short, my warranty expired and trans died a couple months later.

    Two questions here, first, do you guys think I have recourse with the dealer? And secondly, do any of you know about the "thuds" being related to a trans problem? I'm familiar with the standstill dry spline thud, but a mechanic told me that the high speed one is not caused by dry splines. Any info that could help me here would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

  • dalidali Posts: 1
    My 2000 Tacoma is trembling on the front-end when I accelerate to 60-65 mph. I am going to the dealer today. I am hoping it is not the Tran although when I am going uphill the shift moves around quite a bit and the truck feels like it is pulling a heavy load. I have always taken care of my truck and done the required check ups and maintenance - I even did an alighnment and bought two new tires recently oh, and replaced a tie-rod...just wondering if anyone has any ideas or has been through this.
  • pheonix2pheonix2 Posts: 12
    Crawl under the truck and sight along the driveline, it must be straight! There seems to be some problem for Toyota (especially ones made in the latter months of 05)to get the driveline running dead strait. The carrier bearing mounting holes do not allow this centre part of the driveline to run perfectly strait. This will change the whole balancing dynamics of the driveshaft, ie vibration!
  • mnkyboymnkyboy Posts: 108
    For about a month now, ive been having problems when pushing the
    clutch in. Sometimes it would get "stuck" and not come back up when I
    release it. Ive never worked on a clutch system before, but from what
    ive read it could be the slave and/or master cylinder.

    If it is the Slave or Master cylinder, should i just replace both anyway? Any particular brand? AJUSA.COM carrys ASCO/Aisin and PBR. ASCO/Aisin is about 25% more in price.

    I would like to hear from other Tacoma owners to see what they think
    it is. Any ideas?

    1996 Toyota Tacoma Ext Cab
    98k miles
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Flush the system out first with clean fluid before you replace anything. Filthy goopy fluid can sometimes cause this symptom.
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    Go buy a Frontier thats the best truck out there,trade the Taco in before you lose more resale value. Didnt you research the vehicle before you spent $29000.00?
  • ihscout54ihscout54 Posts: 1
    A warning to you guys. I resurched and resurched befor I made my desision, and i bought my new Frontier 4 months ago, and without a doubt its the worst vehicle ive ever owned, worse than my Ranger.
    At 3400 miles:
    Engine ticks pretty loud (dealer claimes its normal)
    Engine whines while cold, theres a tsb for this but i cannot get this fixed
    Front end knocks going over large bumps, cant get it fixed either.
    Rear end chatters and clunks at low speeds (again dealer claims its normal)
    I have trouble shifting out of second gear from time to time (dealer cannot confirm)
    My steering wheel does not center and the truck has a slight pull to the right
    A pulley was left loose and my serp belt slipped off at 1500 miles
    i was missing a couple screws in the front bumper trim, and am still missing a screw in my tailgate.
    Theyve replaced my leaf springs
    repaired my dome lamp
    and fixed my parking break
    9 trips to the dealer in 4 months the service is terrible and ive tried all 3 local nissan dealers and they are all the same. About all they do is add dents to my truck.
    I know people who are very happy with their nissans but I am not. Aluminuim engines plastic valve covers and intakes, the thinnest metal ive ever seen, cheap easy to scratch interior plastic that already showing signs of fading, and paint thats not clear coated is what makes the new frontier.
    It dont matter what you buy cause these auto makers dont care about us anymore, every year the materials get worse the guys building them get dumber and the customer service gets harder to deal with.
    Screw the gas prices, im buying another old beeter and ill just fix it my self and save the payment.
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    You need to talk with Moparbad he says the Fronty is the best truck for the best price out there,even though its equiped with what plastic valve covers? Moparbad where are you I know your out there somewhere would you please comment on this gentlemans post please!
  • mrcoffee32mrcoffee32 Posts: 1
    Hi I have the same problem. Did you find a fix? Please let me know. Thanks Brian
  • When I make a right hand turn, there is a sound that sounds like a seal or sealion. Any ideas what it could be?
  • spicytacospicytaco Posts: 1
    My headlights don't turn off. They turned off when I dettached the battery, stayed off when I reattached the battery. Then I turned the lights on and they wouldn't turn off.

    It's just the lights that point straight forward, not the front lights that you can see from the side.

    This is a new problem. It's rainy, I wonder if water is shorting somewhere.

    We've had problems starting the truck for awhile, and wondered if there was a power drain somewhere (we replaced the battery and alternator, which we thought fixed that problem).
  • huladickhuladick Posts: 1
    I recently had my timing belt changed by a local shop.
    Since the change, on occasion, the truck turns over very slow when cold. Similar to what an engine would do if the distributor was misaligned. Sometimes it turns over and starts normal.

    It runs great and doesn't seem to do this when warmed up.
    I have cleaned the battery terminals and replaced the battery. Still happens only on occasion.

    The shop said the three timing marks are aligned and probably isn't a belt change problem.

    I have owned this truck for over 5 years and it never did this until the belt was changed. Is there anything else I should check ?
  • two34two34 Posts: 2
    maybe you can help - have an intermittent problem on a 97 tacoma 4 cyl ext cab. occaisionaly [maybe once in a month/ 2 months ] the engine will crank , start , run roughly , then stall . restart rough running depressing gas pedal makes immediate stall . will idle roughly - feels like an older flooded carb symptom - this happens after sitting day or two and i noticed possibly after raining or damp. parked outside in driveway. engine is cold but i live in south florida so last time problem was at about 78 degrees . sometimes clears itself [ like a heavy cylinder miss ] then clears itself an runs normally like no problems exist . sometimes will not clear up - restart next day normally /perfect . any words of wisdom ? please help -
  • octacomaococtacomaoc Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Tacoma V6 Doublecab. Recently I have noticed a problem with the idle while in drive. One day I came to a red light and stalled when I stopped. That hasn't happened since but I am getting a strange vibration, like it's about to stall, that leads me to believe the idle is too low. If I switch to neutral the idle picks up and the vibration goes away. It's almost like it's choking out on me. I've replaced the spark plugs and wires, air filter and cleaned out the air intake to no avail.

    Has anybody else experience this? If so, how do I fix it?

    Is there an easy way to adjust the idle? If I step on the brake and give it a little gas the vibration goes away. I am currently idling at about 600rpm in drive, 750 in neutral. If I bring the RMPs up to 750 in drive the choking goes away.

    Could it be that simple?

  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    I recently had my timing belt changed by a local shop.
    Since the change, on occasion, the truck turns over very slow when cold. Similar to what an engine would do if the distributor was misaligned. Sometimes it turns over and starts normal.

    It runs great and doesn't seem to do this when warmed up.
    I have cleaned the battery terminals and replaced the battery. Still happens only on occasion.

    The shop said the three timing marks are aligned and probably isn't a belt change problem.

    I have owned this truck for over 5 years and it never did this until the belt was changed. Is there anything else I should check ?

    Sounds to me like they removed the ground wire (or hot wire) from the frame/engine to facilitate the belt change and failed to reinstall it or installed it loose/with corrosion. Sounds just like a loose connection that occasionally connects good. Had my truck in to the local repair shop many times for the same problem. I also replaced the battery. Finally a more experienced machanic walked up, heard the symptoms, and said I had a loose connection. Found the connection at the selenoid loose and never had another problem.
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    There is a hard starting problem with V6 tacos and Toyota sent out 2 Technical Service Bulletins that only covered 2003-2004 years I had both done to my 04,they put on a heavier gauge negitive battery wire with more ground leads to engine block this seemed to make the starting worse and took it back for TSB #2 remove gas tank and put an extension on the end of the fuel line that sucks gas out of the tank this procedure is called Remove and Replace fuel suction assembly and cured it completely not one hard start since,this problem seems to go back to previous Tacomas that WERENT covered by these TSBs,I ran into a guy with a 2002 Taco Quad and he was experiencing this problem for 80,000miles he thought it was bad battery or starter problem until I enlightened him but his truck was not covered by TSBs from Toyota.I would try the generic approach check the basics fuel filter,plugs,o2 sensor,battery grounds,if you have K&N filter clean MAF sensor also. Check out these websites for more insight,,,,,Tundras-, do a search for hard starting or starting problems maybe you can get a definetive idea whats going on. Good luck.
  • jaysnnjaysnn Posts: 1
    I just bought an 06 Tacoma PreRunner SRS. I was planning on putting cruise control on it, but when I took it up to the dealership today the service guy said that there was a wire left over (basically saying he didn't know where to put it) and the factory set up wouldn't work. He said I would have to find an after market cruise control. I was wondering if anyone else has ran into this. Maybe it can be done??? Please let me know if its possible. I'd like to keep everything as factory as I can. Thanks in advance.
  • camp26camp26 Posts: 7
    I just bought a 2006 toyota tacoma access cab 4x4 and have the same extact problem. I've put 150 miles on it and brought it to the dealership and they said i just had to break it in. I will call toyota asap. Hopefully they will come up w/ a fix.
  • helitacohelitaco Posts: 3
    hello everyone, just found this site the other day, looks like alot of good discussions
    i was wanting to know if anybody has come up with a fix for the automatic transmission clunk. my 01 tacoma has been doing it since last fall
  • chad4auchad4au Posts: 3
    Hi all,

    Not sure if anyone posted about this. I have an 05 TRD Double cab Tacoma. Two weeks ago I began to experience a loud clicking noise from the front end, especially when I turned, stopped, sped up, etc. Took it into the dealer and they informed me that a TSB had been issued for Front Bumper extensions. Sorry...Not sure about the exact details for the TSB. Just thought I would throw a warning out to all. The fix worked great for me. No noise. If anyone has more details on this exact TSB I am sure everyone here would be interested. Thanks.
  • t_karnst_karns Posts: 1
    hey,im having the same problem with my '97.if anybody has a solution for this i would appreciate it VERY me @[email protected].com.thanx alot.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Please don't post your e-mail in the body of your post. You may get spammed. I'd suggest you delete your post and re-post it without the address, and just make your e-mail public in your user profile, if it isn't already.
  • Question- I'm considering a Tacoma SR5 long bed. What do you think about this truck for towing a mid size travel trailer? I'm kinda looking at the larger vehicles- Chevy, Ford, because of the increased torque in those engines. But, then the mileage is less.

    Any advice would be helpful.


  • toy03toy03 Posts: 4
  • I have a 99 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 V6 Automatic and when I reach around 45-50 MPH the truck shifts to the highest gear and it starts to hesitate, but when I apply more gas, let off the gas or take O/D off to get out of the 45-50 range it works fine. Does anyone know what could be the problem?

  • tckilleentckilleen Posts: 3
    I have a sputter or hesitation whenever I push the accelerator, regardless of at idle or while driving. It is impossible to start quick. I replaced my O2 and TPS with no luck or change in performance. I am down to about 15mpg and grive mostlyon the highway. Why??? Please help!
  • tckilleentckilleen Posts: 3
    I have an 01 4X4 tacoma and it has had the clunk for 5 years now and no one has been able to figure out what it is or why it does it. It seems to soften right after I have it lubed up real good.
  • morgan5morgan5 Posts: 13
    The problem is not with the transmission. Its called axle wrap and it is caused by the leaf springs not being stiff enough and warping during braking and hard exceleration. Toyota is very aware of the problem, they just don't want to spend the money to fix. There are kits one can get that will stiffen the springs. Google "axle wrap" and you will get all of the information you need. If you put the transmission in neutral just before stopping, the clunk doesn't happen.
  • dlake00dlake00 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 with 120K and mine is doing the same thing. I've had the disk and drums replaced by Toyota twice, and something called the braking rod (or something like that). I'm takeing it back to Toyota in about two weeks (I've already gave them a heads up).
  • jrichiejrichie Posts: 5
    I have a '05 dcab sr5 with a sliding/rattle sound behind the glove box when I take a turn or drive over a bump. Sounds like a bracket or clamp sliding about a foot and coming to an abrupt stop. What's weird is it didn't happen all winter--only when it's warm out. Someone somewhere suggested something going on with the airbag. The tech at the dealer heard it and was willing to work on it, but I didn't think it was worth them tearing my dash out. Not yet, anyway. I'll wait until my warranty is almost up.
  • It is interesting to see someone else has had the same problem as I, I have a '99 tacoma xtra cab 2.4L which I have had since new, it too seemed to have notchy shifting,especially noticeable into 2nd and 3rd, if you try to shift quickly into second it will grind, or into first if you dont allow a little extra time after stepping on the clutch, being a retired master tech I figured it was a tight pilot bearing, keeping the trans input shaft spinning after releasing the clutch, I drove it that way till 33-k miles when I took it in under basic warranty, only to find out (a friend knows the service manager)that the trucks had been coming in with a rust build up on the trans input shaft splines causing the clutch to remain against the flywheel momentarily after releasing the clutch, causing the problem, and it was only covered under the basic 12-12 warranty due to being "the clutch".So I would not authorize teardown, and at 87,000 miles I am still driving it, otherwise it has been an awesome truck,still runs (and shifts) like the day I bought it, but since toyota would not take care of it (it was my 4th toy truck)I decided to buy a mustang g.t. when it was time to get a new car, but I am keeping the tacoma, still looks like new, I might add that when passing a car if you need to shift quick into the next gear (like 2nd) you might get into a wreck if the clutch binds up and wont allow the shift, it almost happened to me.good luck.
  • It could be your Cat Converter starting to plug up on you????
  • Please help, I have a 2005 Tacoma Double Cab V6 4X2. I bought it used about two months ago.In the last four weeks of driving it felt very strong. It would burn rubber at the stoplights if you floored it. Now for some reason when you accelerate aggressively, the engine just bogs down(feels like a four cylinder or something). it will pick up speed once the rpms build up. I'm not sure what could be the problem. the dealer says that the truck is running normal but I can definetly feel the difference. I already replaced the spark plugs,air filter and have added injector cleaners in the last two full gas tanks. Whats weird is that some times it feels like it's back to full power and the it goes weak again.
  • jamieroxxjamieroxx Posts: 1
    We just bought the same truck (2004 SR5 Prerunner Double Cab) with the same problem. I called the dealership to schedule an appointment tomorrow to see what it is, but after reading these replys I guess there isn't much anyone is going to do about it. As long as it isn't a major problem we can live with it. Did anyone find out anything more about it?
  • rhwebbrhwebb Posts: 3
    I have recently been looking into trading my current vehicle in for a new Tacoma Double Cab V6 4x2. Does anyone have any info that would make me want to change my mind about this purchase? I had a 91 Nissan and totaled it out because some dummy pulled out in front of me. I broadsided him going 55mph and of course it died. I started it up to pull it to the side of the road and it started up long enough for me to do so. It had 148K miles on it when this happened and I have wanted to go back to the Nissans or Toyotas but the Tacoma is what I like the most.
  • My Breaks on my 2002 prernr v6 double cab 2wd vibrate usually when coming to a complete stop or accelerating out of a stop. i thought at first it may be the engine but later came to the conclusion that it was the breaks doing something weird. it kinda feels like abs. any one else ?
  • well, keep in mind that Toyota Tacomas have the best resale value of any car in america. Also, I had the 05 frontier. It's a very good truck but its not as roomy as the tacoma double cab.
  • rhwebbrhwebb Posts: 3
    Thank you for your reply. I didn't know that Tacoma had the best resale value. I'm in the market for a four door truck and the Tacoma's about at a minimum $5000 cheaper than Ford or V8 GM models.
  • chagasichagasi Posts: 7
    One cause... But two additional causes that can lead to it. Most to least likely. The latter two appear to be common on Taco's, although less so on pst 2001 models.

    #1 Warped Rotors/discs on fronts (Very common in trucks). Solution: turn or replace discs and replace pads.

    #2 broken tie rod...Causes wheels to not be plumb, stresses rotors etc. etc. warping them... see #1 after replacing rod.

    #3 Broken Steering Rack... Same as #2 in ultimate cause, See #1 for solution after getting a new steering rack.
  • jerkstajerksta Posts: 1
  • jrob1jrob1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Tacoma Reg. Cab 4x4 with a 2.7. At 60 MPH and higher, there is a very noticeable growling or vibration noise when I decelerate. Any clues? I only have 4,400 miles on this and it's driving me crazy. Also, the shifting is very notchy - - especially in third gear. It doesn't really grind, but you can feel the spin. Anybody else have this experience?
  • It depends on the year. If it's a 2005 or 06 it's very simple, Just remove the AC/heater controls by pulling straight back. Then you will find four screws, two are visible right away the other ones are further back. once you remove the screws the whole panel holding the radio will come off. The holding panel it's held in place by four clips, two on top and two on the bottom. ensure to pull straight back and evenly to avoid breaking the clips.I just installed a complete system on my 2005 tacoma double cab. CD Amp and subs. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • helitacohelitaco Posts: 3
    regarding the transmission clunk some of us have been having with the automatic's with the help of my local dealer we came up with a simple solution that seems to have fixed mine.
    it's in the rear drive shaft slip joint, just simple unbolt the driveshaft from the rear diff, slide the driveshaft slip joint apart, put about five shots of grease on the spline'ss and bolt it back up.
    I know it sounds odd, but it worked on my 01 tacoma.
    thanks for the feedback people
  • fkozilfkozil Posts: 65
    I recently acquired a '98 tacoma 4x4. The 4x4 system is not working. I jacked up the rear about 2-3" with a floor jack and engaged the 4x4. No 4x4 light came on and the truck would not drive off of the jack. The only wheel turning was the right rear. I tried the rear differential lock as well but had no luck. The locking diff. light flashes on the dashboard. Then I put the truck into 4 low. The rear diff. lock was then working as both rear wheels were turning and the light for the locking rear diff. stayed on however the truck still did not drive off of the floor jack. The front hubs are automatic and self-engaging. Any suggestions/comments are welcome.
  • tripp3tripp3 Posts: 1
    Hey there. I have a 97 Tacoma LX and have recently moved to the mountains of Colorado from the east. I have noticed that the truck is really dying on the high altitude hills around here and I have problems even pulling 55 on the highway which was never a problem back east. Is there adjustments that I need to make in the engine now that I am at altitude?? Any advice would be great. Thanks, Tripp
  • I know it's been 3 years since your post, wondering if they ever resolved the problem with the 1st to 2nd gear clash, my '99 xtra cab 2.4L has has the same problem since day one, when I took it in at approx 33-k miles (still under the 3-36 warranty) they tried to tell me it was the clutch.This was Kendall Toyota, in Miami, one of the largest in the southeast, if not the largest.A friend knew the service manager at the time, and called him after I took it in, and he said they had been seeing them come in with rust on the trans input shaft splines causeing the clutch to hang up against the flywheel instead of releasing when it should, which sort of makes sense, except that my truck was 1 month old (from production) when I bought it and it has done it since then, and still does it today at 87,000 miles.I would not approve teardown because it was obvious I was going to end up having to pay, since the clutch is only covered under the first 12/12.Something is going on here, Toyota ticked me off so I bought a different brand in 2004.I have considered another, (tundra) but it seems like Toyota has slid downhill with quality the last several years, from what it was in the mid-late 80's into mid 90's.If I could get to the bottom of the exact cause, it would help me get toyota to fix it......
  • daallendaallen Posts: 1
    Guys, Im have owned a 98 tacoma since it was on the lot is 97. Just recently I was driving to work and felt a slight vibration in the steering wheel. In my mind I was just thinking it was time to get my tires rotated. Later that day or the next I noticed that my truck didnt seem to be running with as much power as it normally did, but it was very minute. BUT when I was comming back from work last night The vibration was more noticeable, and I lost a lot of power and my check engine light came on. I tried to speed up and slow down to see if anything felt different and it seemed to me as if my truck was stuck in a higher gear like 4th or 5th. It is an automatic transmission. So I got online thinking the worst that I might need a news trans, but then I saw some things on this fourm that suggested that it could be a problem with the MAF sensor. Could this be my problem as well. Please excuse my ignorance of the trade, Im very new to these things so far. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    I know the rear locker won't work unless you are in 4 low (my truck anyway), so that explains the flashing light in high. Do you have a manual, electric or vacumn 4 by engage unit? I know my Jeep had vac, and a hose had come off. Might be as hose, wire or missing front drive shaft.
  • 4paws4paws Posts: 1
    I have an '04 Tacoma Prerunner.It has about 31k miles and has been 99% highway miles. The problem I have is about an inch and a half of freeplay in the steering wheel. I took the truck in to Toyota to have it looked at under warranty but after much running around they said that it's allowed by Toyota. I have crawled around underneath and pushed and shoved everything that I can see and I see nothing loose. Anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance. Scott.
  • beubeu Posts: 4
    I have the same problem and think perhaps it is because I don't drive 10 miles in four wheel drive every month like the owner's manual says. So I put it in four wheel and it seems to help.
This discussion has been closed.