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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • uaskd4ituaskd4it Posts: 5
    Dear scOrpio, emruzek, floydson, bugnut23, whatnow2, mtngal, 004runner and tomk14,

    I have read ( with increasing interest ) your posts as I will go to Toyota tomorrow with my 1st to 2nd shifting problem that has so correctly been described here as "notchy" or difficult shifting.Mine actually grinds a little in a "quick shift". I own a 2003 Tacoma xtra cab w/ the 4cyl. It has been lovingly broken in and now has 3K on it. Sadly, it isn't 1/2 the truck my '85 Toyota xtra was, and I may actually trade my son after the '85 is finished getting the timing chain, and re-paint done. Did anybody find out if the trannys in the 4Runner and the Tacoma are of the same type or design lineage ? This really smacks of a long-entrenched design flaw in the actual conception or execution of the synchro's in this particular trans. I discussed this and the seemingly inordinate amount of play in the drive-train which causes a ringing slap between 1 &2nd, or 2nd & 3rd sometimes. My "85 is a quieter truck at the august age of almost 20 yrs. and 280K miles. I was told by my local service rep that it was because of the "long driveshaft". Mostly I just heard shaft. I really appreciate all the info available here, and will update when I get the most updated excuse.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    It's true for all makes and models. And yes, Tacoma and 4Runner shared engine and drivetrain up to 2003.
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 693
    I just changed out the original gear oil in my '02 Tacoma 4WD V6 5-speed, using Amsoil 75w-90, and the shifting, which was pretty OK anyway, is smoother.
    You may want to try that before giving up all hope.
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    The third authorized service shop appears to have nailed it. He says that something in the throttle position sensor altered. He didn't have one in stock to replace it with so he elongated the two mounting holes with a round file so he had some adjustment, could twist it and got it back into range.

    Runs perfect!

    It has been a quite a learning experience for me as far as what to expect from an authorized service dept. and the factory.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Keep us informed on how it goes with you. I don't really have a noise issue, except sometimes when it occasionally grinds going into 1st at a stoplight (clutch adjustment?). Come to think of it, it hasn't done that in several months.

    I like the idea of changing the tranny fluid - I think mine is either overdue (or almost due) for its next change. I know that I had a problem (that went away) before I changed it, and then a different problem since it was changed (by a dealer).
  • b10751b10751 Posts: 14
    Got an '03 double cab with power lumbar on driver's seat. It has never worked. Finally had chance to take to dealer. They said it was switch, ordered new one. Installed new switch, still doesn't work. They said it was the actual lumbar mechanism in the seat. Ordered new part.
    They had to remove seat, and take it apart to install new part. Still doesn't work. They say now it needs a new switch, had to order another new one. We'll see. In the meantime, when they took the seat apart and reinstalled it, it now squeaks, rattles and the bottom of the seat feels like something is broken. I'm going to request they replace the seat with a new one.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Regardless of the seat, it sounds like you have a defective dealer service department. :)
  • rlafaverrlafaver Posts: 70
    My 2003 Tacoma is almost new, and the seat springs sound like a 30 year-old box spring, squeaking like crazy when the temp and humidity are right.
  • ahjrahjr Posts: 1
    I have same problem on 2001 PreRunner DC. Two years old, and squeaky since new. It comes and goes depending, I suppose, on temp and humidity.

    Anyone know what can be done? I haven't been able to replicate at dealer.
  • b10751b10751 Posts: 14
    The dealer is having me take the truck to a trim shop and see if they can fix the seat....i'll keep you posted.
  • whatnow2whatnow2 Posts: 24
    1st to 2nd notch - this problem has become so intermittant for me (2001 Tacoma 4wd sr5 trd 6cyl 5M, but only 8000 miles) that I can't rely on it happening if I take it in (dealer is 40 miles away). Only 1 year left on the warranty. Anyone had a complaint followed by a satisfactory dealer fix? When it happens, it is REALLY annoying. In fast left turn scenarios, it actually causes some concern.
  • dblowedblowe Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Tacoma and there is water leaking onto my passenger side floorboard. I took it to an auto glass repair shop to check for leaks--none. I took up the carpet and noticed it dripping down somewhere (too far up for me to see) on the very upper part of the floor board panel that goes up towards the inside of the fender well. It only leaks when it rains. I also checked the inside of the engine wall for bad gaskets etc.--none. I have no idea where this water is coming from but I think it may be from where the water drips off the windshield and into the drip pan. Of course the water drips toward the drivers side and I cant see all the way in there even after taking off the vent piece. Any suggestions? Any one else with this problem?
  • tsmith16tsmith16 Posts: 16
    The service bulletin number in message #732 is not for seatbelt rattles. It is for replacing the plastic button in the belt. The dealer has ordered me a new seatbelt latch though.
  • kedrickkedrick Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a used 2002 Tacoma Quad Cab 4x4, automatic, 16K miles, seems brand new. I notice when driving over bumps or rough spots in the road, the auto transmission handle and 4x4 handle seem to move around a bit, shake, bounce, etc. Nothing major, maybe just a 1/8” or something. You can see it move slightly though and if you hand is on the handle you can clearly feel it move.

    I imagine this is normal and is from the entire transmission flexing a bit. Anyone else have this experience? Normal for a Tacoma 4x2 or 4x4? If not, I am headed to the shop. Thanks.
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
  • rkoeslerrkoesler Posts: 62
    I love watching the two shifters dance with each other while driving. It reenforces the fact that I'm actually driving a truck with direct linkages to the tranny and t-case, and not some fancy new electronically induced shift set-up which will just mess up when most inappropriate.

    I'm driving a new 03 Tacoma 4x4 SR5 stepside with automatic and TRD pkg. My previous truck was a 90 Toy 4x4 SR5 with automatic tranny and electronically controlled t-case - and it caused me many problems for the first 30K miles.
  • allenkallenk Posts: 2
    My 2000 w/58k started randomly shifting one day while on the highyway, until finally getting stuck in 2nd gear. That's right 2nd gear, that'll wake you up on the MA. Pike. Of course when the dealer drove it, it was fine but then did act up to a lesser extent so they could experience the problem. They replaced a sensor but now 3 months later, its showing signs of trouble again. Is this documented anywhere else?
  • rkoeslerrkoesler Posts: 62
    my 90 truck did the same thing, and it took me about 6 months to convince the dealer that there was a problem. Finally they figured out that it was a loose solder connection at pin #9 of the tranny to computer cable connector. I don't know if a 2000 has the same set-up, but have them check the grounding wires and connectors. Once fixed, I had no more problems until 240000 miles when I traded trucks. Good luck...
  • koko164koko164 Posts: 29
    Hi All.
    I often see a vehicle w/rot and say, "If only one knew years ago where the rot will be...they could have sprayed oil or something on it".. So now that I have my new 02 Taco (bought it last year) I wonder "Where will the rot be?" Anyone have any Ideas on this? I plan on keeping my Taco for a long time.

  • uaskd4ituaskd4it Posts: 5
    The shifting / synchro difficulty from first to second was "just not there" according to the dealer when I took my 2003 Tacoma in for this recurring problem.(See #747)The slap in the driveline is "normal", but I don't see how that much play can do anything but prematurely wear or ruin universal joints. The dash vibration / rattle that I actually demo'd in front of the service writer at the dealer could not be reproduced by them, so they refused to proceed until THEY could make it happen. (The service writer agreed that I should "probably check it out yourself") BTW, the truck is still under warranty. These guys are about as useless as a half a set of pliers. Good luck to all, after 4 Toyota's, I'm ready for something new where I can get some accountability and assistance with the product.
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    I had that recently on my 95 Tacoma 4 cyl 4X4 and one thing I noticed was that my gas station, who does the oil changes, was only putting in 5 qts of oil. If you look in the Hayes manual, this is a big engine for a 4 cyl. because it actually takes 5.7 quarts. I really only got the "diesel" sound as some put it when it just started. When I added not even a quart, the noise went away.

    My thought is that it doesn't have enough oil up in the valves and lifters?

    Any feedback on #715 (poor gas mileage?)
  • kbtoyskbtoys Posts: 62
    In the past I would say the bed, but I think Toyota has fixed that problem. My 99 is fine. I really can't think of a place that might start rusting away. It's weried I don't have any rust but a buddy of mine has a 99 F150 and it is rusting bad by the doors.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    My 2000 Tacoma has now has more miles on it than my '98 Wrangler. I had been hearing a rattle when the car was under hard acceleration in 4th gear (like going up steep hills at 60 mph). I hadn't thought about checking the oil, just that it was due for an oil change. After the oil change, no rattle. Guess I'd better start keeping a close eye on the oil level now. But with 111,690 miles on it, it isn't all that surprising, is it?

    Also changed the tranny fluid (early) to see if it would help, and it seemed to help. Now if I could find such an inexpensive fix to the uncomfortable seats...
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    You know, I don't see what the fuss about seats is....last year I drove from Austin, TX all the way to Chattanooga, TN, in one day, and had no problem with seats. My butt was stuck to the seats, yes, but my back didn't hurt...and I have 2002 buckets, which don't have any special supports.
    You could try to find some 4Runner Limited seats, they have adjustable support.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I think the seats were redesigned in 2001 or 2002. Part of my problem is that I'm short, so the head restraint hits me at the wrong place, forcing my head forward. I've had ankle problems, so it is more comfortable for me to sit with my feet under me, rather than stretched out in front, a position you are almost forced into with the seats being as low to the floor of the truck as they are. That means that I feel like I'm sitting with my knees around my ears, and my head hunched forward. By the time I get to work (hour and a half commute) my back is sore, sometimes my hip hurts and I can barely walk. As well as having a numb backside. My husband isn't as uncomfortable as I am, but he has occasional hip problems also. After a couple of miserable trips to Vegas and back, we decided that the Wrangler would be more comfortable when we drove to northern B.C. and back a couple of years ago (and this was when the Taco was less than a year old and only had about 20,000 miles on it).

    I sat in a new Tacoma at the LA auto show in January, and thought the seats were better than ours, but not different enough for me to want to get another Tacoma. It is hard to get committed to doing something about the seats when I plan to trade it in as soon as I get on the right side of the note. I'm hoping that we'll be able to work more on it now that the Wrangler is paid off.
  • rlafaverrlafaver Posts: 70
    I don't think your height is the whole problem. I am 6-2, and that serpentine, bowed-forward spring they have in the seat-back hits me about 6 or 8 inches below my shoulder blades, like a basketball. This forces me to avoid resting against the seat-back on long trips, sorta like sitting on a stool.
    I thought about trying to do something with the spring, but I think the thing to do is just replace the seats, keeping the original seats in shrink wrap. You can put them back in when you sell the truck or, lawd forbid, wreck it, then you will have your custom seats for your next vehicle. I plan to alternate my Recaros every few years to keep from wearing one more than the other (passenger and driver are interchangable with controls on both sides of each). The lightly used original seats should make the truck a little more valuable at selling time.
    When you price the Tacoma next time, just tally in $1000 for a set of Corbeau seats. If the price is then too high, buy something with better seats.
  • koko164koko164 Posts: 29
    Looking over the truck it looks like the rear bumper will hold the sand and salt from winter driving. I'll be giving it a light coat of oil occasionally.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    What are the corbeau seats? I'm not sure I want to spend that much money for seats in a high mileage vehicle I dislike so much, but I might. After all, the Taco has been reasonably reliable for quite a few miles, and I'm still $2,000 on the wrong side of my note.

    It is already too late for me to have "lightly used" seats if I take the originals out, but a good idea for a possible future vehicle. And I won't worry about rotating the seats - my husband and I carpool to work (we work for the same employer). He drives down to work, I drive home, so the seats get close to equal wear (I am so lucky that way).

    Tell me more about these seats - I am interested.
  • rlafaverrlafaver Posts: 70
    Corbeau is reputed to be a very good seat, as are Cerullo. I did price Corbeau, and a complete set with brackets for my Tacoma would have been a bit over $900. However, after a great deal of research I learned that Recaro is probably the best brand available, in regards to comfort and durability. I have driven a few Porche cars in my day, and they had Recaro seats. So, I don't have to rely on reviews to know they are very comfortable. As to durability, I know that many people try to find them in junk yards, even if they have to be refurbished, so that speaks for the durability. You could use them in your old car, then you can move them to your new car when you get one, though you may require different brackets.
    Having said all that, I know that not everyone wants to put major dollars in seats, and the Corbeau seats might be a good happy median. Many reviews say they are comfortable, but I have not seen anything on the web about their durability.
    The Recaro Trend model will get you up there just short of $1800, but consider the additional price of leather in a new car, even if it is stretched over a crappy seat like the Tacoma. I don't like slipping and sliding on leather seats, but I will pay more for something that makes 600-800 mile trips more bearable, and I know the Recaros will do that. What's more, they should last the rest of my life.
    You might want to do a search on the web for the brands I have mentioned, and there are others. It is all a question of how important seats are TO YOU. A 20 year old with a back that can be comfortably molded to a rail is not really going to give a rat's a**, but to me the seats come in fourth behind the engine, transmission and suspension. And that makes them very important to me.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Thanks for the info - I'll look into them. I started to look around the web for seats about a year ago, but didn't find enough hard information to make any judgements. This at least gives me a starting point.

    It all comes down to one thing - how much do we want to keep the Taco? Putting $1,000 into new seats and then keeping it for another 3-4 years would be cheaper than taking a $2,000 hit on the loan and another $25,000 for a new car! I wonder if I can get another 150,000 miles out of it? Is it unreasonable to ask for 270,000 miles from a vehicle? Our Nissan hardbody had 290,000 on it when I sold it. The engine was in great shape, but the auto tranny couldn't handle my commute (I went through 2 of them in a year).

    Is it reasonable to think I can get that type of mileage out of this truck?
This discussion has been closed.