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Toyota Tacoma: Problems & Solutions



  • 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?
  • rlafaverrlafaver Posts: 70
    This is my first Toyota, and I won't know first-hand about the durability for a long time. But I have taken Fords and Chevys well over 200K, so the Toy should do well, if given proper care. But each engine is unique, and the slightest flaw is magnified at 100k. If you have had no problems yet you might be okay.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    We've had some problems - a weird radiator problem they replaced on the extended warranty (surprising, since normally a radiator is considered a wear item) and off and on tranny problems. They seem to disappear after a short time and not return in quite the same way.

    So far I've been having good luck with my current vehicles. I have over 111,000 miles on both of them, (the Taco and a '98 Wrangler which has very comfortable seats). I figure I'll start having more things with them now that they are broken in. As you pointed out, since I haven't had any major problems yet, I probably won't, as long as I keep up with the maintenance.
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 694
    based on the fact you do about 80-90% freeway driving, that Taco ought to go 300K, but keep up on the oil changes!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    We've always gotten oil changes between 3,000-4,000 miles, which ends up being about every 6 weeks. We've never seen any sign of oil sludge, so I was surprised to hear many Toyota engines were affected by this.

    I do have to put quite a load on the engine getting up some of the hills. In fact, one section is steep enough that the Taco can't maintain 70 mph in 5th gear (does OK in 4th). Is that as hard on an engine as stop and go traffic?
  • kbtoyskbtoys Posts: 62
    Being in 4th gear will not effect the durbilty of the engine. Rember these are Japan engines not American. They are made to run higher in RPM's
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 694
    Years ago I had a little Nissan 310(1.4 pushrod engine). I was in sales, traveling 1k miles/week on average. I sold the car with 150K on it, and was still running like new. Any car will last a very long time with majority freeway miles. Brakes were replaced at 120K, for instance.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Thanks for all the encouraging notes. I had been wondering why I haven't had to do anything about replacing the brakes yet (though it probably won't be long). I have found that driving a 5 speed is easier on the brakes than an auto tranny in slow and go traffic - just put it in a lower gear and creep along.

    We're leaning more and more toward replacing the seats and keeping the Taco for a couple of more years. It does get excellent gas mileage, and it has (more or less) adequate power for our rather extreme commute. Yes, I would like more power, but then I'd have to pay for it in gas. And my biggest complaint is the seats - otherwise it isn't such a bad vehicle.
  • kbtoyskbtoys Posts: 62
    Something you might want to check out is sheep skin seat covers. I paid $40.00 a piece for mine and they make a big difference. The ones I got have padding in them which makes the seat comfy. Also keep in mind I traded a reg cab taco with the bench seat. Now you want to talk about a bad back. So when I got my xcab with bucket seat it was a step up.
  • walter99walter99 Posts: 10
    I just want to second the idea of sheepskin seat covers. Based on what I had read about Tacoma seats, I had a pair ready to go when I purchased my truck. Made a significant difference.
  • kdxkenkdxken Posts: 1
    How long can one reasonably expect the Tacoma's to run, assuming very good maintenance and care? I'm looking for one in the 1998 - 2000 model years, and plan on getting the 2.4L, manual transmission, 2WD.

    The truck will be used for freeway commuting about 12,000 miles a year, and maybe another 4,000 or so towing a small cargo trailer with dirt bikes & gear (maybe 2,000 lbs total).

    Are the 'yota's still living up to their reputation for long life? Also, is the 2.4L engine proving to be as good as the 2.2L?
This discussion has been closed.