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Toyota Tacoma (2004 and earlier)



  • The reason I was surprised at the lack of fuel economy was my 2005 Dodge Ram quad cab with a 5.7-liter "Hemi" V8 that provides 345 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque and weighed 4906lbs (non 4x4) averaged 16.3 mpg. This was before MDS was included in 2006. The Tacoma weighs 3470lbs with a 2.7L engine making 150hp and 177lb-ft averages 19.5 mpg. It only gets 3 mpg more than the dodge that outweighs it by 1400lbs and is a much broader/taller truck.

    Our 2003 Honda Element EX AWD weighs 3577lbs with a 2.4L 160HP/ 161 lb-ft averages 23mpg and it has the aerodynamics of a brick plus weighs 100lb more than our Tacoma yet averages almost 4mpg better.

    I traded the Ram in for a 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT-8 that weighs 4260lbs with a 425hp/ 420lb-ft Hemi and it is averaging 17.3 mpg. The Tacoma is only 2mpg better than this?

    Now don't get me wrong I bought the Tacoma based upon its reliability/longevity ratings and am happy with it so far. I was just surprised that it was worse on gas than our Element box on wheels and not a whole lot better than both high powered Dodges. I will be switching to synthetic oil next to see if that makes a difference. All of the other vehicles above are using it.
  • Hi! I understand your confusion regarding the differences in mileage. One thing to note is that weight to power ratio is way in favor of the Dodge. The Dodge has 14 HP per pound compared to 23 HP per pound for the Yota. 4906/345=14, 3470/150=23. Gearing is another factor to weigh in. When I was a kid, 10-12? y/o? we had a '55 Cadillac that weighed as much or more than your Dodge, it had a 270HP 2, 4 barrel carb. set up and consistently got in the low 20's on the road. It's a weird thing I know. I never saw a significant difference with synthetic oils in my experience.. Amzoil, Mobil 1 etc, etc. One thing that will help your Yota is a K&N intake set up but it will take a while to pay for itself.. but 2-3 yrs down the road it will help. I'd just not worry about any kind of big mpg increase, It's not going to happen ! Take care and thanks for your response ;)
  • Where did you find a used frame? I have a 2001 Tacoma with a clean body and solid engine and transmission. The rear end of the frame is completely rusted out and I am thinking of putting it back on a solid frame for my son. None of the salvage yards near me have anything and I haven't been able to find anything on-line. New frames from Toyota are $3600. Rather not spend that much.
  • I have not found a frame yet but they are out there. I am saving up the money to do it first. The expense is in the freight charges to get it from whoever has it to you. There are a number of Toyota Truck recyclers on Google. Look for a light rollover and you will be good to go.
  • damogr81damogr81 Posts: 3
    I have a 02 Tacoma. Just wondering how to get the spark plugs off? The driver side pulls right off, but the passenger side looks like there is a harness to. Any suggestions?
  • damogr81damogr81 Posts: 3
    I have a 02 Tacoma. Was wondering where is the oil filter?
  • chagasichagasi Posts: 7
    Hark! Someone listens. Toyota admitted this flaw in this era of Tacomas.

    You can get the specifics here, but the gist is that the frames will be extended to 150K or so, and replaced or reparied at toyota expense. pickups-to-15-years/

    similar statements have been cross-posted by others. I luckily have not had this problem yet.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Check engine light came on after picking up the vehicle from the dealer, in for service for brakes and new spark plugs, diagnosed as a bad O2 sensor, $359 please. The vehicle only has 39K miles and is about 8 months out of warranty. I'm trying to get some out of warranty assistance through Toyota but I'm not holding my breath. O2 sensors should not go like this one did.
  • Should be covered under warranty for 50k miles as part of the emissions equipment.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Nope, I tried that, it's on the 3yr/36K warranty. My truck is just under 4 yrs old and 39K miles.
  • sb6464sb6464 Posts: 1
    I Have A 2004 Tacoma X-Tra Cab And Sometimes When I Come To A Stop Then Give It Gas I Get A Nasty Jerk, That Feels Like I've Been Rear Ended And I Have No Idea What It Is The Dealer Says Its The Driveline But I Dont Tink It Should Be Like That Any Ideas?????
  • 71pro71pro Posts: 2
    if you have'nt located a frame I would wait. I don't now for sure but the warrenty extension on the 95-00 tacoma's may extend out to your year there are some 01 that are rotting also
  • I have a 2001 Tacoma S-runner. Check engine light with the following diagnostic results: cylinder misfire detected - Random cylinders; fuel trim bank one condition. I have replaced the spark plugs, fuel filter, and O2 sensor prior to the catalytic converter. None of the hoses appear to have leaks or holes. The truck runs normal for the most part. When I shift into any gear other than 1st and then floor the gas pedal, there is a complete loss of power and the truck won't go above 2000 rpm. If I let off the gas and then slowly come back on it everything is fine and it will run at above 2000 rpm. My next hunch is to replace the O2 sensor after the catalytic converter. After that I have no guesses. Any suggestions out there? Thanks. :confuse:
  • kaballocokaballoco Posts: 2
    I have a 03 taco prerunner dcab, every now and then I get this noise rigth before I fully stop like something loose and makes a thud noise. It feels like something shifted and when back in and hits a solid structure. Any help will be appreciated.

  • dasman12dasman12 Posts: 11
    In the front or back?

    Could be a LOT of things.... check for broken front coils.... check rear suspension and frame rails for damage....
  • kaballocokaballoco Posts: 2
    front only....I'm new to Toyota, my 1st Taco. At 1st I thought is the motor mount by it only happens before fully stop. I looked underneath and notice that the trans mount flexes when you jerk the exhaust front and back...
  • joespot22joespot22 Posts: 1
    I have an 08 sr5 v6 auto.. I'm getting about 19 hwy..Is there any suggestions on better mpg??? My dad has an identical truck, but 07 and he get 24...Go figure!!! :P
  • Hi everyone, safely return from combat duty in Iraq. I have 03 Toy Taco 4x4 and have 80K miles. Only problem I've had was the recall on the ball joint. I also have a TRD Supercharger, TRD Headers and TRD Cat. I also undercoated the Taco with Durabak. Was worth it. Was wheeling at Padre Island before going to Iraq and was laughing at all the Jeep 4x4's getting stuck in the sand. I love my Toy Taco.

  • Welcome home cw3!!!!

    Glad you're back...
  • Your dad's has a manual transmission?
  • Thanks dasman. beer never tasted better.
  • having same problem. done all the same fixes. need help ASAP :mad:
  • I have a 2003 XtraCab 4x4. I have had trouble with the dash lights for a long time. They would be okey for weeks then one or two would go out the days later they would be back on. I decided to replace them. I disconnected the battery and removed the dash. I replaced the bulbs with long-life bulbs and put everything back together. Now my turn signals and hazard flashers won't work. The fuse looked ok, but I replaced it anyway. Any ideas?
  • on the way home my oil cap must have come off oil went everywhere under hood ,,did not know it happen till arrived home , ckd oil level seems ok , any thing i need to do , beside getting new oil cap and cleaning up mess
  • Hello
    I'm looking at buying a black '04 Xtra cab, 2.4 engine and 5-speed. The dealer wants $10,900 for it and it has 69k on it. First of all, I think this is a little pricey, but what do you guys think? Also, what should I look for as far as common problems? I know the frames are notorious for rotting, but the roads don't get salted too terribly much here (Kansas City), so I'm not too concerned with rust. Anyway, any input would be appreciated
  • mud_13mud_13 Posts: 1
    I have a P0135 code on my 2004 2.7L extended cab Tacoma, which also reads as malfunction in bank1 sensor1. I can see where the sensor sits ahead of the convertor on the exhaust, but the wire leads up into the floorboard through a rubber gromet. Can someone tell me where it goes and how to best access the end of the cable? Should I take off the passenger seat and somehow get under the carpet? I have a replacement sensor that has the rubber gromet already on the wire between the sensor and plug.
    Thanks in advance for any help!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I wish I could help out as my son's truck had the same problem and I ended up paying the dealer to replace the O2 sensor to the tune of $340...Ouch! For a 4 cyl. engine, that one seems to be difficult to get at things. Let me know how you make out.
  • riceman09riceman09 Posts: 1
    My 96 has 200,000 miles and with all the rain has had trouble starting. Dried out and is starting ok but the engine light is on. This is my 3rd Tacoma 4x4. Should I try to fix it or buy a new one before it's too late?

    Also thinking of switching to a 2wd. Any thoughts??
  • My 2000 Prerunner has been a dream truck for 100,000 miles. I am now getting a pretty good vibration around the 35-45 mph mark and also around the 55 mph mark. I have replaced my carrier bearing but that did not help. Does anyone have any ideas on where to look next.
  • toyguy1toyguy1 Posts: 1
    When I turn my key to crank the engine I hear it start, but as soon as I release the key it dies out. I have replaced the ECU (thinking that this was the problem) and fuel pump relay and still no improvement. Any ideas??????????
This discussion has been closed.