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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • walter99walter99 Posts: 10
    Scorpio, somewhat to my embarrassment you put your finger right on the problem. I didn't test drive the truck. I bought it over the internet from a dealer a couple hundred miles away, so my drive home was the first time I had touched the wheel of that particular truck. I had driven the same model at a local dealership, but the drive was basically twice around the block and "how can we help you buy this truck today"? (Which was one reason I bought from another dealership.)
    I have been very pleased with my truck once I got the sway problem under control, and am very glad I purchased it. I got 14 years out of my last Toyota, and expect the same from this one. Still, if I would have had a long test drive under different types of driving conditions I would have been aware of the problem before I bought the car, which is preferable to being unpleasantly surprised after the papers are signed. Lesson learned.
  • lostbearlostbear Posts: 7
    Once warmed up, my 2002 Tacoma 4 Cyl 2WD has a "value ticking/deisel sound" that has been referenced in other messages. Has anyone gotten a definitive response/repair through Toyota? I found a TSB regarding "knocking" in engine area, but wanted to see if anyone has have a good answer. Thanks

    PS. The OEM tires are terrible, has anyone found a good replacement lately? I have been through the tire message board.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    BFG AT KO are a good choice, I've had mine for 30K now, they are good. A tad slippery sometimes in rain (but it also may have to do with the slick pavement on that one spot), but they last a good long while, AND you can go offroading in them (thats not to say that you can't use RoughTrail stock tires offroad. I have).
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    We have a 4 banger 2WD also, though ours is a 2000. We replaced the OEM Wilderness tires with Michelin tires from Costco (I think they were something like X-1 or X-2, but don't remember exactly). They seem to be doing great (they've been on for a year or more). I haven't had to drive through standing water yet, so I don't know about whether they would hydroplane or not. Our mileage is all paved roads, mostly freeway. The one time I took the Taco on a dirt road (not a 4x4 trail, just a forest service dirt road), it wallowed so badly that I said never again.

    Is your valve tapping/diesel loud? I've sometimes thought I've heard a soft ticking but I'm not sure it is really there or not. I haven't done anything about checking it out since I'm not really sure if there is anything I'm hearing other than my imagination.
  • lostbearlostbear Posts: 7
    Thanks, I have warranty appointment next week with Toy Dealer to assess the noise and fix common Passenger Airbag rattle in dash & bumper paint problem. Will post what I find out from them.
  • smith01smith01 Posts: 3
    Would appreciate feedback from 2000-2003 Tacoma 2.7 4cyl owners experiencing a 20-30 second cold start engine noise. Knocking started in my 2002 at 22k miles as a cold weather nuisance but is becoming a regular occurance. Would prefer being better informed before going back to the dealer.
    (See msg #898 December 20, 2003)

  • mac_63mac_63 Posts: 1
    I took my 2000 Tacoma 2.7L (50000k) to the dealer in January for the same issue, basically to get a record of the problem with Toyota before the warranty runs out. I think the noise is internal, the technician said it was related to the accessories, and not to worry about it!? Mine still only happens in the cold weather. I'm actually not sure what I'm going to do about it at this point, other than warm the truck up a little before driving
  • My father has a 2002 Tacoma 4x4 2.7L Auto. He was experiencing the cold-start ticking for the first few minutes (sounded like a Diesel) and notified the dealer. The dealer gave some bad excuse which didn't satisfy him, so my father called Toyota directly and complained.

    Toyota claimed they never heard of the problem, but they authorized the dealer to take the engine apart and replace the main crank bearings. They suspect that there's a problem with the oil routing and the crank bearings aren't getting lubed properly when the engine is cold and has been sitting overnight. What gets me is that if it is indeed a problem with oil not getting to the bearing, then won't the same thing happen to new bearings? Perhaps an oil hole needs to be drilled bigger. In addition to the repair, Toyota authorized a complimentary rental car while this work is being done (so far it's been a week and it's still in pieces)

    If you're not satisfied, DO NOT LET THIS WAIT! You need to inform Toyota headquarters - it seems like this is a major design flaw which may potentially cause expensive damage after the powertrain warranty expires! They're probably trying to avoid fixing every engine and will only deal with it on a case-by-case basis, so make your opinions heard!

    If they give you any trouble, look into a Lemon Law Lawsuit against Toyota. The law varies from state to state, but that noise sounds like a serious problem and needs to be fixed if you plan on keeping your truck past the warranty period.

    Has anyone heard of this problem on the 2.4L engine? I'm thinking of getting a 4x2 Taco this week, but I don't want to have to deal with this.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I know a person at my work who has a son that had this problem with his. After many visits and mis-diagnosis, it took Toyota nearly eight months to decide that he needed a new engine.

  • msibillemsibille Posts: 275
    OK, well I've got the same problem but worse.
    2004 Taco 4Dr Prerunner - white.

    Bottoms of doors show what uaskd4it describes, and the cargo bed floor had thin areas that showed at panel edges and spotwelds. Latter resolved by installing Line-X spray in bedliner.

    However, I noticed a bright orange rust stain on the bottom corner of the weatherstripping at the opening of the driver's door. Looked under the door and found what uaskd4it describes, but worse. There's an area about 13mm x 80 mm that is total bare, except for bright orange rust!

    3 months and 1 wk old. and I've got rust.

    Anybody got any new info on this subject?

    Has anyone noticed this on anything other than white Tacos? (White usually requires hvy coats to cover and shows more under coverage problems than others. But having NO paint, including no primer in a spot is really bad.)

    Even if there were primer alone, I wouldn't find that acceptable. This is something Toyota has to address. Primer is not an acceptable "system" to prevent corrosion. I thought automakers got over the horrible corrosion of the 1960s and 1970s, but this kind of thing will bring a rerun.
  • msibillemsibille Posts: 275
    Hey, uaskd4it - What's the status on your enquiry into this?

  • lostbearlostbear Posts: 7
    Dealer has indicated that engine sound is "common" to engine. Will arrange for independent mechanical evaluation.

    The rattle in the dash turned out to be a "misaligned AC line", and the bumper is being repainted under warranty.
  • eomckameyeomckamey Posts: 26
    We have 2002 Tacoma, Reg Cab, 2.4 engine, auto tran. Some "engine noise" can be attributed to the fact that (at least our engine) has a "chain rather than belt" driving valves. Recently noted that the top portion of our front bumper (painted portion between the upper/lower vinyl sections) had paint that wasn't adhering. One could easily scrape it off with fingernail...back from small areas that had already had paint let go. The underlying primer coat (black)....or whatever Toyota applies under the color (grey) coat...was adhering but color coat was not. The front bumper was removed, stripped and repainted/replaced under warranty. If your vehicle has any paint on bumper metal, I would recommend you carefully examine same for paint problems!
  • gdawggdawg Posts: 4
    In a couple of previous posts regarding the above, the terms TSB & ECU were used. I'm not sure what they mean. Any help would be appreciated.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    TSB is a service bulletin issued on a make/model. It describes a particular well-known problem to dealers, and how to fix it. It's not a recall, which happens when a particular problem can lead to vehicle failures (usually recalls are assosiated with parts that directly impact vehicle operational status and safety. So dash rattle would be a TSB, but safety belt lock loose would be a recall b/c dash rattle won't kill you, but seatbelt coming unlocked in a crash will).
    ECU is an electronic control unit, like a CPU for a car.
  • My 2004 Tacoma has a panel screwed into the top half of the inside of the tailgate. The first time I lowered the tailgate and put my knee on that panel to climb into the bed, the panel dented from the weight of my 190 pounds. Apparently the tailgate is mostly hollow behind the panel. So, you would think they'd put an extra strong panel there, instead of an extra weak one. This just seems really inexcusable. It's not like I was climbing on the hood and dented it. Toyota must know people will climb on the tailgate of a truck. I complained to Toyota about this but they said the dents weren't covered by the warranty because they were caused by "an outside influence." Has anyone had a similar experience with their tailgate, and gotten a similarly lame reply from Toyota?
  • gdawggdawg Posts: 4
    I appreciate your help. I've got a 2003 d-cab, 4x4 and have had some other minor problems as well. It's 9 months old w/ 9,000 miles on it. Where can I find out info. on a TSB?
  • 73cjdude73cjdude Posts: 13
    Hey Flyingwedge!
    The Tacoma's cargo beds/ tailgates are week. I have a 2000 TRD V6 4x4. I also put a few minor dents in my tailgate. I had the bed & tailgate rynolined and then I installed a drop in liner on top of that!! I had a piece of diamond plate Aluminum cut and bent to slide / fit over the tailgate. I can now safly put some stuff in the cargo box!
     Lame Replies from Toyota? I've come to find that Arbitraton IS the Toyota warranty process! "There couldn't be anything broken it's a Toyota!" I'm just glad I decided to keep my 1991 SR5 4x4(135'000 miles) instead of trading it in on the Tacoma. The SR5 has come through when the Taco couldn't handle the strain. 8o) Jeff
  • gdawggdawg Posts: 4
    I think we've got the same problem. Was it ever diagnosed/fixed? I have 2003 d-cab. Just started happening around 8,500 miles.
  • glenn43glenn43 Posts: 15
    I plan to pay out of pocket to get my front windshield replaced due to a crack. The prices in my area (MD/DC/VA) vary greatly from as low as $145 to as high as $290. These are all rates for after market windshields as the shops I've contacted either won't install a Toyota ordered windshield ($230 ordered from dealer)or will install but won't warrantee it. Are after market windshields just as reliable and simular in tent and appearance as dealer parts? Also, does anyone in the DC/MD/VA area have a shop they could recommend for reliable work at a decent price. Thanks :)
  • khinanightkhinanight Posts: 2
    Windshields are imported into the country and are just as good as the Japanese replacements. They must meet minimum standards for tempered saftey glass.
  • gtoddhgtoddh Posts: 10
    I'm going to look at a '99 SR5 XtraCab PreRunner V6/Auto with 67K miles tomorrow. It's got many features, such as power windows and locks, cruise, etc. I don't know alot about what came standard and what was an option on this truck. The internet advertised price for the Tacoma is $12990. What do you think I should offer? If I make the deal I'll be trading in my '02 Accord SE, which is 2 years into a 3 yr lease. The Accord payment is only $259/mo and I can only do the deal if I can keep my payment on the truck within a $20 range of that.

    I keep reading about the excellent reliability of Tacomas. I'm wondering what I should be on the lookout for when test driving and examining the truck. What questions should I ask the salesman? The only Toyota truck I've driven before was an '87 4x4, and that was about 10 years ago. I realize it's not going to feel anything like my Accord. Should I be listening for any Tacoma-specific tell-tale signs that the truck might have problems? I know a fair amount about vehicles so I do have a good idea of what might be wrong in general, I just don't know about any Tacoma quirks.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Please feel free to email me directly.


    Todd Huestis
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    I have a 2001 Reg Cab, 4x2, 5spd. Went on a 600mi trip - 12/2001- one month after purchase. Lots of snow, sand, ice, little rocks along the way. Always thought it was that stuff thrown up by the big rigs during the snow storm that caused my bumper paint to flake so soon. So, never said anything to dealer. What's left is still flaking. I don't scratch or scrape it myself. The under stuff is fine. Going in for 60,000mi service in the next 2-4 weeks. Not sure if I'll say anything at this point. I get a bit of ticking, but only at idle. The owners manual said it was normal, as is using a bit of oil, which has not happened at all. Happy owner, but am real curious about the next generation Taco base model!!
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    Can't help with prices in your area. I live in the Seattle area. Had my rock-cracked front windshield replaced last summer. The sightseeing improved a ton afterwards. Didn't realise the amount of scratching that was there, also. $195 I wanted Toyota glass so it would say Toyota and be stock. They said it was expensive and took a day or two to get. They were done in an hour, and the Toyota label on the glass was just that, a stick on label (I guess), because they must have taken it off the old windshield and stuck it on the replacement!! Nothing to do with windshields, but I believe my 2001 2.4L has a timing belt, not chain. Right?? Just thought that from day one, it's not the result of research or anything. The 2001 Nissan Frontier I test drove when looking back when had a chain, I think. Not sure when I'll be back on the board, but it was nice to check in this early morning. Later...
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    How did you make out looking at that Prerunner? I have a 2000 XtraCab (4 banger SR5) and the only issue I've had is the uncomfortable seats. I hope you took a long enough test drive to find out if you could live with the seats.

    Yesterday I went to a Relax the Back store and bought a back support for it. It helps quite a bit - enough that I'm now planning on keeping the Taco for a couple of more years. We have over 156,000 miles on it now, and I expect it will go another 100,000 miles before I get rid of it. The only maintenance issue I might have in the near future could be a new clutch (still has original one). I don't know what the signs would be for a worn clutch, since I've never had a MT vehicle long enough before to find out! What should I look for?
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I too have been looking at Tacomas in the 98-00 years, specifically looking for a 4 cyl Prerunner Xtra cab. The best prices I've seen here in Orlando have been around $12K for a 99 or 00 for that type of truck with about 50K miles. Yours has much more so $12990 isn't bad if they'll deal. There's a 98 4 cyl Prerunner with 70K miles advertised here for $11990. Going from an Accord to a Tacoma, I'd pay close attention to the ride and comfort. Other than making sure it's been properly maintained, not sure what else I'd recommend. I've heard about the Toyota oil sludge problem with the 6 cyl engine, but not sure if 99 Tacomas were affected. Even Toyotas and Hondas won't hold up w/o proper maintenance. Good luck.
  • gtoddhgtoddh Posts: 10
    I didn't get to see the truck. I had called them at about 7pm friday night. I got there around noon on saturday. The had sold the truck the night before at 9:30. Last day of the month...

    I did go to the local carmax and test drove both a Nissan Frontier Desert Runner V6 and a Tacoma PreRunner V6. The DR was a '00 with 30K for $13K. Pretty good deal I think, but I wasn't overly impressed with it. The Taco was a '02 or '03 with 21K for $19K. I really liked the Taco. The engine felt much stronger than the Frontier.

    I'm going today to another dealer that has what appears to be pretty much the same Tacoma as I had originally planned to see. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    As far as test drives - the carmax test drive route isn't very long. I'll ask to take a pretty good drive today in the Tacoma. The one big thing that stood out driving both the Tacoma and the Frontier was the road noise from the tires. I guess that's to be expected on these types of trucks. Also, they both danced around a bit on bumps - a result of the live axle and no rear weight I think. These are just a couple of the things I'll have to get used to going from a sedan to a truck.

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    "Also, they both danced around a bit on bumps - a result of the live axle and no rear weight I think. These are just a couple of the things I'll have to get used to going from a sedan to a truck."

    If the light rear end bothers you, just put a couple of bales of hay, or a couple of cement blocks or a couple of pre-hung doors (what we did recently) and the ride smooths out very nicely.

    One of the things I notice about the Taco vs. my Wrangler is that the Taco leans quite a bit. If you get the Prerunner, my guess is that the suspension would be stiffer and would take care of that (but I don't know since I haven't driven the Prerunner).
This discussion has been closed.