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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • Found this in the Double Cab forum. Your problem seems to be felt by others with the same configuration of truck. The Dealer should fix the problem for you under warranty. A good idea may be to go to the Double Cab forum, send an Email to boone5, and ask him the name of the dealership that helped him out. Pass the name of that dealer to yours, and if they have a problem with fixing your truck...tell them to call the other Toyota dealer which apparently doesn't have a problem helping customers.

    #367 of 421 Water Leaks Fixed >>>for Now...... by boone5 Aug 04, 2001 (04:59 am)
    The dealership says they fixed my truck, the problem was bad weather guard seals inside the doors, they replaced all four. So far no leaks after 2 hard rains.Service mgr. said he knew of no service bulletins on this matter..I about half way believe him...I personally know 2 double cab owners and between the 3 of us we have owned 10 tacomas in the last 4 years and my 2001 was the 1st with water leak problems. I really dont believe toyota has a problem with leaks on these trks.
  • But try some WD-40. That stuff worked wonders with most of the problems with my '85 Toy.

    If that's a no go, you may want to investigate what bushings they originally replaced, how much those are/cost, and how hard they are to replace. Clutch travel is important so if you think it too difficult a job...time for a trusted mechanic/local dealer.

    When they're done, sniff around an make sure they're job didn't just consist of my first point.


  • 1. First I've heard of problems like this specific to the Tacoma. You say at a Stop sign you get some hesitation and/or a shutter when you take off. Do you live at high altitudes? Try a tank of premium fuel and see if that corrects the problem. Without more information this could be an intake, transmission or even exhaust problem (i.e., and aspiration or transmission problem). If there are no loud clunks or otherwise noise, the transmission is probably not the culprit. Automatic or Stick?

    2. No Kidding. What the hell where they thinking.

    3. I've been averaging 20-21-22 in my 2001 4X4 V6 5Spd Manual Xtra Cab. Remember when you are calcutating your MPG that the light comes on with 3 gallons in the tank (and the light is damned precise I found out as I went 60 miles after the light came on and died with my hand on the parking brake in the gas station).

    However, item 1 and 3 lead me to believe you could have a mis-balance in your intake of air and gas but this mixture is tested by the air flow sensor located behind the header (i.e., it tests the composition of the exhaust gases). If there was a problem a signal would be sent to the computer to flash the check engine light. If the sensor wasn't working, the check engine would flash.

    More information is needed...
  • Yeah, I've already tried that but used silicone spray instead. But the noise seems to come from deeper inside the assembly in places I can't get to.

    I know it's a petty thing, but it is very annoying.
  • Thanks for replying

    1. Truck stutters when taking off after rolling around 2-7mph, tried premium, cause lower gas mileage, back at the service shop 3x, can not reproduce problem. I have the DoubleCab, so it is 3.4 auto, no other options. I wish they had a stick, but towing will be at 3500 lbs. I am at sea level, so I don't think there are any altitude issues. But I also think the dealer knows something, and not telling us, and I am checking Alldata for recalls and service bulletins.

    2. Only US version have this clock problem, Asia put it where the passenger airbag disable switch is located.

    3. I calculate 0 miles at the pump, and next gas up, divide the total miles to gallons placed in tank. never driven over 300 miles per tank, light on or off.

    "mis-balance in your intake of air and gas" sounds very logical I will check with service again, they told me last time "all Tacoma Doublecabs are getting 14mph, so therefore there is no problem, we compared yours to others" and also "computer said your truck is ok".

    I had clunks in the transmission, they said it was OK, it need the slack for the 4WD. it does not clunk anymore due to wear.... I think. should I worry?

    I am not sure about the DC compare to others models, but I had a hard time removing my oil filter, it can not be removed from the bottom of the truck, it has to be removed from the top. the Factory Workers torque the heck out of the filter, can not be unscrewed by hand, also very limited space by hand and wrench, the wiring of the alternator and the alternator made it hard to be removed from the top. The felt covered washer was stuck to my oil pan, I did not try to chisel off since it may be a lip in the oil pan, then the factory forgot to put a washer. So I add another washer and plugged it. I am trying out Mobile 1 5-30. hope this will get my mileage down?

    I think I am Ok as a home mech, my Honda is at 264k miles, as long as i keep it away from Dealer, it wil last a little longer and cheaper on the checkbook.
  • 1. When they tried to reproduce the problem, did YOU drive with them and/or drive the truck yourself with the technician in the passenger seat? This is what I do when, "They could not reproduce my problem," yet when I get in, the problem is still there. Everyone has different driving habits and their tech may be doing the wrong thing to recreate a problem you have found.

    Just out of curiosity, have you checked the air filter box and assembly for debris? Also a good thing to do.

    2. What a bunch of morons. Why didn't they reverse them and put the clock where the switch is, and the switch where the clock is. Maybe someday when the truck is old I'll rip the dash off and switch them around.

    3. When do you pull in for gas? When the light comes on? You would still have 3 gallons at that point and be able to go another 45-60 miles. Your range would be 345-360 miles in that case. Keep in mind that the document range for your truck (from Edmunds) is 315 city/370 highway.

    4. Clunks in the tranny. If they have stopped you shouldn't worry as this appears normal with the Double Cab PreRunner for a short time as the drive shaft seats on the coupler at rear differential. Some folks have the "clunk" every time they take off but again this is due to the transfer of torque to the drive shaft resulting in a "clunk" at the coupler plate. This appears to be normal for the double cabs. A similar problem was had on earlier PreRunner a few years ago and I've talked to some folks who had 65,000 miles and never had a problem with the truck but still have the clunk.

    5. Oil filter blues - yeah. Another Toyota shortcoming for Shadetree Mechanics. The felt covered washer is nothing more to prevent leakage. It should come right off the pan and be replaced with every oil change (when I asked for one at the parts counter they just gave me one for free). You say you had a washer stuck to the pan and the Factory forgot to put one on? Guess I'm a little confused by that. It sounds like you're saying, the factory didn't put a washer on, you had an oil change at the dealer, and they put one on, now you think that one is stuck to the pan. Anyway, if you do have one, it should just peel right off. Keeping the old one on won't hurt a thing...eventually, after 3-4 oil changes it will start to drip if you don't replace it.

    My favorite filters are the Fram DuraGuards with the built in grip for taking them off. What an invention! Easy to hand tighten when you hand is covered in oil residue after draining, and damned easy to get off WITHOUT a wrench! The Mobil 1 should treat you well. The dealer recommends changing every 6500 miles but I change every 3000 - 4000. You can't go wrong with more oil changes so long as you recycle it; someone else will enjoy the synthetic made from your recycled product.
  • I totally agree on the location of the clock; not a good place at all.
    My 4WD TRD d-cab gets between 17.5 and 18.8 mpg on most tanks that I have checked (most miles are 24 mile round trip to work with few stops). The tanks that were below this range can be attributed to excessive idling that would understandably bring mileage down. However, that didn't even drop below 15.0 mpg, so your situation is outside of my experience. I switched to Mobil 1 5W-30 at 2000 miles and have detected no noticeable difference in my mileage.
  • Thanks everyone for all the help.

    Now i know what the average mileage (better than 15) for all the Tacos DCs, i will let the dealer know.

    I have tried to reproduce the stutter problem with the mechanic, reproduced it once, but he was not paying attention, his mind was at work.

    Oil pan: this is the first oil change at 4k. there was felt on the oil pan, but not sure if Factory placed a washer, it looks like one, but can not be removed.

    Maybe you guys may know this, when drain plug and washer is removed, is there a lip on the oil pan about 2mm?

    With all this aside, i do love my truck, it's fun especially with the extra bright H4 headlights i replaced. It wakes other driver up. not to look cool but for safety. I am glad I choose this over a 1986 ex-military Humvee.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I have a 2000 Xtra cab 5 speed tacoma that is currently at the dealership with transmission problems. At first I thought it was the clutch, but that isn't the problem. It has 39,000 miles on it, so it is going to be fixed under warranty, I hope. But it doesn't seem right that it should have this type of problem this soon. I had more or less decided to try to replace the uncomfortable seats and keep it, but now I'm back on the fence. I can't afford to have a vehicle that is going to have maintenance problems so soon - we drive 150 miles a day (round trip) for our commute to work. It seems sad that my other vehicle, with 90,000 miles and a reputation for poor maintenance, has had no problems at all!

    Has anyone else had tranny problems so soon with a 5 speed?
  • We'll need some more info here... You suggested you have a manual transmission which have a great reputation with their manual transmissions so...

    Is there a shutter on take off? Poor gas mileage? Clunks? Guess I'm wondering why the dealer is targeting the Manual Tranny...Maybe you can offer up what symptoms you experienced.

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    More info on what I think are tranny problems. Yes, I have a 5 speed manual. Now that I think about it, it started several months ago, but only happened twice until Friday, so I just assumed that I had gotten confused as to which gear I was in and which gear I was trying to go to.

    On Friday I know it wasn't me. I was driving rush hour traffic and was travelling uphill, almost to the top of what they often call the "Newhall Pass." I'd been on the freeway for about a half hour and was delighted to finally get a chance to to shift into 4th gear. Put in the clutch, take it out of 3rd, and can't find 4th. For a few seconds I couldn't find any gears at all! Then I found third, started downhill and found 4th. Not long after that we stopped and switched drivers. My husband drove the rest of the way up the I5 to the top of the Grapevine without problems (granted, this didn't require much shifting). Then when he was going up the hill after the stop sign in Frazier Park, the same thing (3rd to 4th gears) happened to him. When we stopped for mail at the mailbox, he put it in reverse and it wouldn't shift out of gear. He turned the vehicle off and on, and it worked fine.

    On Saturday we took it down to our favorite mechanic, assuming that it would be the clutch. Didn't have any problems going downhill. He said that since it was an intermittent problem he was pretty sure that it was something in the transmission. So we took it to the dealership who say they can't find anything (but then, I don't think they test drove it uphill - there aren't any hills to speak of in that part of Bakersfield).

    I rather hope it is a one-off lemon tranny, rather than a clutch or something no longer covered. At least it would be repaired under the warranty. I'm still afraid that it will be something that is no longer covered.

    By the way, the reason I have a manual tranny is that I burned out two automatic trannys in a year in an elderly Nissan Hardbody pickup (first one went right after we moved up here, the second one a year later). Our daily commute is 76 miles one way, starts at 6,000 feet (near Frazier Park)and goes to sea level (West LA).

    Any help/advice you can give me would be most appreciated!
  • Manuals ARE more dependable than autos usually, but can still have problems.

    The symptoms you describe sound like the synchros. Intermittent. Will shift fine at times, then give you great difficulty, or even impossibility of changing into a gear. Dealers know this, and should be willing to get inside a manual transmission that has this problem, since it will never go away otherwise.

    When I had this problem in 1991, I'd be in neutral, and sometimes had difficulty shifting into 1st while at rest. Or would not shift cleanly from 1st to 2nd. Or wouldn't go into 3rd without excessive fiddling, rocking the lever etc. I lived with this problem until I could stand it no more. Complained to dealer, they replaced synchros, difference was night and day. No more problems.

    One other thing...a worn clutch will make shifting more difficult. Usually, you know when you have clutch problems, due to other noises, slipping etc. That's got to be ruled out though.

    Tell them you think the synchros are defective.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Thanks very much for confirming what my friendly (non-dealer) mechanic thought. When I went to the dealer, he wrote up the symptoms. When I tried to explain what the mechanic said (synchro rings) the service writer more or less cut me off (he was polite about it - the last service writer who had a problem with what I wanted was completely arrogant) and said that if it were a tranny problem they wouldn't take it apart - they just replace it with a factory rebuilt.

    It was a day later that they called and said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. After my husband told them it was intermittent, they said they would look again. They have plenty of time - we won't be back in Bakersfield until the weekend.

    Since you had a similar problem - does it get worse, or does it stay the same? It doesn't really matter - I'd still be afraid to drive it in the heavy every day traffic I face the way it is now. Just curious.
  • It stays the same. But because it was intermittent, I was afraid to take it out of gear at the stop light, for fear it might be hard to go back in.
  • I just purchased a 2001 PreRunner, 4 Cyl, Xtra Cab. Took it back to the dealer with less than 100 miles because I was getting a noticible hesitation and jerk when shifting from 1st to 2nd. Didn't happen within the first 5-7 minutes, but after the engine/transmission came up to operating temp. The Service Manager said their "master mechanic" didn't find any problems when he test drove it and he said to "drive it another couple hundred miles and see if it changes". It didn't, so I took it back at about 300 miles. The "master mechanic" noticed the hesitation and jerk the second time. (Maybe because I asked him to ride with me and I'd point it out....cause I knew it wasn't going away). They kept it for diagnostics and said it was the shift solenoid. They replaced 1 and 2 solenoid, but I still have the problem (325 miles now). I got the "Service Director" to ride with me and he agrees that the transmission is not shifting properly. He now wants to install a new transmission. When I asked him if he had heard of another Tacoma PreRunner with this problem, he said NO.....

    Any one know if I've got a "one of it's kind"?
  • My transmission did the same thing!!!!! but i have a V6 DoubleCab, wonder if they use the same transmission?

    The problem i get was hesitation when i roll through a street corner around 5-7 MPH. cool! i can tell my service adviser now there are problems with Toyota Auto-Trany.
  • I hope I don't see these problems in my '01 Xtree Cab V6 4X4, Manual 5spd.

    Good Luck,
  • OK, here is the skinny, 3.4 Auto 4x4 with ABS, will have this problem, Toyota called it "characteristics".

    Here is the test, but don't sue me or anyone if you screwed up and hurt yourself, someone or things (legal crap).

    Find a long strip, no cars or people around. Accelerate to 30 or forty and hit the brakes, not too hard, but harder than normal conditions, when the speedo drops between 15-10 mph, hit the gas. mine will hesitate when gas if pressed. This is the characteristics.

    The 4x2 will take off like a bat out of hell. We did a test this morning.

    Toyota FACTORY also tells their Factory Mechs to let us owners know... if we are gunning our vehicles from a full stop thru intersections, the truck may have this stall issue, so drive carefully and not like the minivan-suv crowd.

    Regarding the oil pan and oil changes the washer has to be pried off, or knocked off with a chisel. this is also a Taco issue.
  • Here is the list of things the dealer "cannot replicate"

    5 speed manual not shifting correctly (2 problems) hard to get into 1st/2nd gear AND slight engaging of gears when clutch depressed.

    Water leak into drivers floor board.

    Dash coming loose (2nd replacement dashboard)

    Intermittent clunking when braking.

    Virbration at highway speeds (3 sets of new tires and rims) finally smoothed it to tolerable level.

    Toyota offered to buy the truck back for HALF of retail even after I sued them. Trading it in this weekend for anything!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who had problems with my 5 speed tranny. The dealership also "could not duplicate." At the moment it seems to be better. We went through a set of tires in 30,000 miles (supposed to be 50,000 mile tires?), and when my husband replaced them he got a weird reading on the front end alignment. Sears (where he bought the tires) didn't give him a straight answer, just said don't worry about it. I'll be interested to see if we go through this set so fast.

    I've been noticing that the Taco is depreciating much faster than I can pay it off, so I'm stuck with it for the time being. Let us know how you do with your trade. I would love to unload this thing!
  • wsnoblewsnoble Posts: 241
    Check out this article, it will explain how to resolve the vibration issue...

    It took 5 tries on my 31's...

    Good Luck


  • I have a Tacoma extended cab 4WD V6.

    Looking at the maintenance manual, it talks about lubricate the propeller shaft on each inspection. Is this something I can do myself with my regular grease gun? Next question, what is the propeller shaft and where is the grease fitting or is there a special technique. My apologies, I just have no idea what a propeller shaft is on a truck.

    Many thanks
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    That's the driveshaft. Some of the U-joints have zirk grease fittings. Crawl around and follow all the driveshafts. Seems like some tacomas have more than others.
  • Thanks for the advice, I thought as much but needed to be sure

  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    The link to the article about the vibration problem is an excellent one. I have had the dreaded tire shimmy since day one with my '99 Ext Cab 4x4. The dealer went as far as to replace two tires and multiple balancings. Finally went to a Goodyear shop who knew about the hub centric, lug centric thing and had the adaptor. Since then they have done it right two out of three times.
  • Not sure you have hear of this, but there is an Office of The President (OTP).

    I have been complaining with the dealer, and [email protected] with problems with my truck. They just gave me a "go screw yourself" attitude. I emailed the Nummi plant, (since it is GM(UAW), no reply), and Toyota Japan. Japan send the email to OTP and I got their attention, but not for long. The guy told me there will be no more correspondence between him and I, since the dealer is handling the issue.

    I ask the assistant of OTP if I can get a new truck, he said no, have to go thru arbitration with a third party firm (paper work is in the mail).
    I ask the assistant of OTP if they can replace my engine and tranny, he said the dealer will contact me early next week.
    I told the assistant of OTP why [email protected] can not answer any basic question, he just said, "why didn't you ask the supervisor", like customer service can only answer questions in the owners manual.
    I ask the assistant of OTP if they can replace the clock of my truck with a Pac-Rim type clock (different size and location), he said NO.
    I ask the assistant of OTP if he want all the correspondence of emails I received from Toyota, he said not necessary. I guess he knows it's pretty bad.
    I ask the assistant of OTP if he can find out where the engine and tranny is made, he said he can't, and does not offer other ways of getting the info.

    I will not be buying another Toyota and will no recommend anyone to buy one, because if you get a lemon, you are screwed.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    looks like i definitely won't be getting one of these pieces for sure now. glad to say, after 7000 miles on my '01 Ranger 4x4 off-road 4.0, its still as tight as the day i drove it off the lot. no problems with anything. i feel envy from all you toyota owners. hehe
    well, the double cab TRD's are at least "nice looking" trucks. even if they leak water and the dashes fall off of them.
    chiweiho, i admire your persistence. after all, you did overspend on your purchase. just like all toyota buyers. and for what? a piece of produce? good luck.
  • I had the same problems dealing with Customer Service with my mom's FORD Crown Vic, and her Ford Volvo 755GTA, the Fords had more problems and recalls than the Toyota. and they cost more to repair since Ford only repair it once. It's the same when you have to deal with UAW.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    hey, you're the one ditching on your toyota. i just reiterated that my ranger has been problem free for 7000 miles. no rattles, and tons of 4xing. who said anything about a crown victoria? one thing's for sure though, they must be good cars if every police agency in the usa practically uses them. and when did it become cheaper to put parts on a ford than a toyota? this is news to me.
    i only had one recall on my '01 ranger (and it wasn't even affected). how many does the toyota have? or should i say, how many should it have from your horror stories?
  • Honda Civic, 264k original owner miles traveled 6 states, snow and sand, same engine, and tranny. when you get there, let me know. Don't be mean to people. grow up.
This discussion has been closed.