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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • ebbgreatdaneebbgreatdane Posts: 278
    Just an update to keep this post fresh.

    Total issues to date:
    1. Over fender weather stripping just about all but peeled off after 1 year of ownership. 3 trips to the dealer before the factory finally sent out "repair kits". Fixed in 2002, haven't had a problem since.

    2. Dash board rattle. This manifested about 6 months after driving. I've been to the dealer 4 times for this issue. The 3rd time, the rattle dissapated for a year but came back. Ressolved in a TSB in the 4th trip to the dealer last month.

    3. Driver side rear Xtd Cab quarter window hinge broke off in my hand closing the window. Dealer replaced.

    In the last 3 years, that's it other than the normals.

  • chiweihochiweiho Posts: 51
    had the same problem, it occurs around 15-17 miles an hour, i can duplicate the problem for the factory tech, their additude is Pound Sand. it only occurs in the 4x4 and not the pre-runner. the problem is Honda does not make Trucks
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    quote -the problem is Honda does not make Trucks-end quote
    Honda does make transmission problems. Both Accord and Odyssey have had tranny problems. Also Honda is going to sell a crossover type truck based on the Pilot. It is very ugly.
    Remember, the service departments are independent and not owned by Toyota, try a different dealership if you are having a problem with your current one. There are no alternative compact trucks that have better reliablility than Tacoma.
  • alkoalko Posts: 13
    Around 15K miles my 2002 PreRunner (V6 Automatic) developed a strange clunking noise comming from transmission when shifting between R and D.

    During the shift (engine is running, truck is not moving) there is a slight pause, then I hear a clunk (pretty loud actually) and feel a slight jolt (it actually swings the truck a little bit)...

    I brought the car to Toyota's dealership today and they told me that this is NORMAL (!!) FOR PRE-RUNNERs. I cant beleive it...

    Does anyone here has similar problem?
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    The last time I had my truck in for service the mechanic told me my air flow sensor was barely in tolerance. That was about five months ago and my check engine light just came on yesterday. Two days ago I replaced my spark plugs but was careful to get all the connections and hoses back where they were. The truck runs great even with the check engine light on there are no ill symptoms. Could new plugs make a border line air flow sensor go over the edge? Does anyone make an inexpensive scanner for home use for the Taco?
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    I just talked to the dealer and they get $149.31 for the air flow sensor. I wonder if I can test my old one with an ohmmeter or something?
  • 46494649 Posts: 24
    I just purchased a 2003 Tacoma Prerunner on July 31, 2003. The Key fob locks and unlocks the doors only at very close range. For instance if you are behind the truck you have to be within 10-15 feet; on drivers side within 25 feet or less; it seems to work best in front of the vehicle but it is not consistent. Has anyone else expierenced this problem? The manual says it should work up to 50 feet away. Any information would be appreciated.


  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Do you have an aftermarket air filter (K&N, etc)??? Sometimes, these are over-oiled which easily screws up the MAF. Just a thought.
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    Nope! I'd never even think of using aftermarket anything! I went to a regular repair shop (not an authorized dealer) To have them put an analyzer on it this morning. They told me the front oxygen sensor was showing the fault. He reset it and the light went off. He tells me that these go for around $200.00 or so.

    I'm going to wait and see if it comes back on again. Is it possible that the electrical connector to this front oxygen sensor could be dirty or oxidized? Does this sort of thing ever happen? The mechanic also said to run a couple of tanks of premium through the system and it may go away. The problem with that is I run premium on a regular basis (93 octane) anyway. Interested in opinions please.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I have never heard of such, and Ive read more than I care to mention about these trucks. You could try going to the message board at, that's where I spend alot of reading time. Guys there know way more than anyone here about these trux. Good luck though.
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    My check engine light came on after I gunned it hard through an intersection in order to avoid an accident. When I got home I crawled under my truck with a 12mm box end and pulled the front O2 sensor. It was covered bigtime with carbon so I took cleaner/degreaser and hosed it down. A ton of black krud poured out of it. I have no idea about the principles of operation of these devices but I figured it couldn't hurt since the cleaner completely evaporates and leaves no residue. I reset the computer by lifting my negative battery terminal for about 15 seconds and the check engine light hasn't come back on yet. I've put 265 miles on since, time will tell! I'll check out the other Taco site saddaddy. One more thing, how do you get at the electrical connector for the front O2 sensor thats located on top of the transmission?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    >>I have no idea about the principles of operation of these devices but I figured it couldn't hurt since the cleaner completely evaporates and leaves no residue<<

    Oxygen sensor (O2) devices are known as galvanic batteries. The theory of operation is fairly simple. They produce a small inverse signal voltage (usually one volt DC or less) as a response to the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas of the exhaust stream. As the amount of oxygen decreases the O2 sensor voltage increases. This signal is used in various ways by different engine control designers, but universally it's primary role is to vary the pulse width of the fuel injector to adjust the air-fuel ratio across the engine's rpm range.

    Some O2 sensors contain a heater which helps raise the temperature of the O2 probe to between 900 and 1300 degress F. This is to make the sensor perform correctly during cold operation.

    Most O2 sensors contain a small orvice that allows ambient air into the sensor element via the body or sensor housing for sampling. This provides a method of establishing a known good oxygen signal for comparative purposes.

    Your cleaning operation may have dislodged carbon residue from around the sensor tip, or cleaned out the orvice permiting ambient air into the sensor. O2 sensors rarely fail completely or "burn out." The most common problem with O2 sensors is their inherent inability to maintain a stable linear voltage over time. Auto technicians refer to this as the "lazy sensor" symptom.

  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    that you use special stuff to clean it -- stuff that leaves NO residue (and it sounds like you did that). Glad to hear things look to be OK.
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    Thanks Fella's: Its been smooth sailing since I cleaned the sensor. Check engine light hasn't come on since. That was approx. 560 miles ago.

    The help that comes from this bbs is very impressive!
  • b10751b10751 Posts: 14
    Got an '03 dbl cab, limited. After about 4000 miles, have developed a 'ticking' rattle in the drivers' door/dash area. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from. Sounds like a vinyl coated wire hitting against metal. Dealer was no help. Has anyone else experienced?
  • I just purchased a 2003 toyota tacoma Prerunner Double cab v6 about 5 days ago. and from the start i noticed that after putting the truck into park and then engaging the parking break, i would notice that the truck would jolt forward ( after i took my foot off the brake.)

    I'm also wondering about the gas pedal. it seems a little soft ( pressure to depress it is not to great). I noticed the difference right off the bat since prior, i had test driven another exact truck.

    i'm thinking of taking it into the shop and am wondering exactly what i should tell the attendant.
  • bstoutbstout Posts: 38
    I'm afraid cleaning the O2 sensor only prolonged the inevitable. I called the dealer and they ordered one yesterday out of Chicago. I should have it today sometime. The electrical connector for this sensor is located on top of the manual transmission. It looks like you have to hug the transmission from the bottom in order to access it. Is it possible to remove the cup holder and gear shift lever cover inside the cab and access it that way?
    Enquiring minds want to know!
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    but could tell you for sure. Try it out.
  • I bought my 2003 Prerunner DBL Cab about two weeks ago. No major problems thus far, though I have the $1,2000 Michelen Tire upgrade and the ride is more choppy than others I test drove with the basic tires. Do these p26570R16 tires account for a more "jiggly" ride? Also, I had to have my wiper blades replaced, yet they still squeak a little. Would RAIN X help at all? Thanks! pt
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    I had the same problem after my condenser for my A/C was replaced which resides right behind the dashboard.

    The drain tube (which I believe is what normally causes the puddle under everyone's car after A/C use) was not aligned properly and was draining into my passenger side carpet instead of under the truck.

    They realingned it and the inside no longer got wet.

  • Dennis:
    Mine does work up to 50 ft. away, maybe more, and it doesn't matter what side of the truck I'm on, so I'd get yours replaced. pt
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Rain-X would definitely help. I keep a good coat of that stuff on ALL the glass. Keeps water from spotting the glass, and just keeps it looking nice and clear.
  • Hi all

    i was just wondering if anyone can answer me this. I got my oil changed last week and the dealer spilt it all over so it was leaking off of my skid-plate. That stopped now but when I was down there looking at it i noticed a purple clamp on my skid plate as it fell off from something. I also saw that it looks like they color code those since there were some blue ones on some hoses as well.

    Anyone know what those purple ones are for? I tried looking for some more but I could not find any.

  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897 might want to take the skidplate off, jack the front up and look around the oil filter (I'm assuming you got a V6). It's a PITA to get to the filter on V6s, you either have to go from below, or from the side through the wheelwell (my preferred method), and there are some hoses there that could be in the way, mainly one to the right of the filter. Just look for a hose that doesnt have a clamp on it.
    Sorry, but let this be a lesson to you......don't take your truck to a dealer. It's cheaper and safer to do it yourself.
    While you have the skidplate off, get some degreaser and spray it on the plate, that'll get old oil right off.
  • 46494649 Posts: 24
    Has anyone had the dealer upgrade their keyless entry on a Toyota Tacoma. I have a 2003 Prerunner with Keyless Entry and would also like to the alarm. How much did it cost?


  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    and get a quote from them, then call car alarm places in town and get a quote from them.
  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    I had the same problem after my evaporator (not condenser) for my A/C was replaced which resides right behind the dashboard.

    The drain tube (which I believe is what normally causes the puddle under everyone's car after A/C use) was not aligned properly and was draining into my passenger side carpet instead of under the truck.

    They realingned it and the inside no longer got wet.

  • ohmtbrohmtbr Posts: 2
    I have a new 2003 v6 DC Tacoma. It has about 1000 miles on it now. It seems to start very hard, like it's slow to fire up or something. It always starts, and it cranks over very well, it just doesn't light up very fast. Think: "one-thousand-one" then it's idling. Sometimes it runs a little rough for a second, too.

    I've owned many cars and trucks, and they all fire right up when you turn the ignition. Is this a Tacoma trait, or do I have something wrong?

    It runs well, and I'm getting good gas milage otherwise.

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    My '03 V6 does this also. Do not know how common it is though dealer states it is "normal". Takes a bit longer cranking prior to start than I would prefer. Mileage is about 19 mpg for me with 80% hiway and 20% city. Achieved only about 17 mpg until I had over 6,000 miles on the truck.
  • i just purchased a '01 tacoma xtracab 4wd (50000 miles) and just noticed a squeak in the front passenger side area. sounds like its coming from either the suspension area or a body/frame problem under the passenger door area. Any one else ever dealt with this problem? Appreciate some help. thank you.
This discussion has been closed.