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Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems

beach_bradabeach_brada Posts: 10
edited March 2019 in Toyota
I have been reading different posts and was suprised to hear other people having the same problem as me. I have a 06 double cab tacoma 4x4. Ever since I got it a weird humming noise would appear around 30 mph and go away at 40 mph. It wouldnt do this all the time, it might happen one day and wouldnt show up again for a couple days later. I finally took it into the dealer with around 2500 miles on it. I took it for a drive with the mechanic and he heard it, so we drove around trying to figure out what it could be. He asked if it did it in four wheel drive, I said I have never tried it. So we waited for the humming noise to show up, and once it did I popped it in to 4WD, and the noise instantly went away. We tried it a couple times and every time it went away. So now I have to take it in later this week and they are going to troubleshoot more and hopefully fix the problem. Well I just wanted to hear from you guys if you had the same problem and what the outcome of your experiance was?


  • I have a 2006 Tacoma 4 door, V6, auto trans. I live at 8700ft elevation. Closest towns are at 7200ft (12 miles, steep grade), and 6000ft (40 miles moderate to shallow grade). Speed limit is 75MPH. My problem happens when cruise control is engaged. Coming up the steep grade it shifts down as expected most the time, but some times will go down 2 gears, which is not nessary. On the moderate grade it will hunt between clutch locked OD (or 5th), clutch open OD, and 4th with the clutch locked or open. Eventually it will usually stay in 4th for most of the climb (which is my understanding of the "logic" of the programing for the transmission). Head winds have a noticeable effect but for the sake of this discussion let's assume they are constant and light. When I don't use the cruise control and man the throttle myself, there is only one short hill that the trans. shifts down to 4th, all the rest of the way I can keep it at 75mph + or - 3mph without it shifting down to 4th. (It does unlock the clutch a couple of times.)
    So the question is:
    Is it possible to re program the computer that controls/senses transmission and engine parameters so it will have:
    1. a larger throttle opening before shifting down. When it shifts down there is still at least 1/3 of throttle travel left. (Full throttle opening/manifold pressure at 7000ft is roughly equal to 2/3rds at sea level.)
    2. and/or accept a 5mph sag in set speed before shifting down.

    40 miles in a lower than nessary gear is a significant fuel effiency issue. Coming home from work it is irritating to not be able to use the cruise control.

    Any input from some of you engine management computer guys would be appreciated.

    Thanks for your efforts,
  • On other forums some people had same issues. All people that tried premium gas said there was a BIG improvement in the crise controll shifting. Give it a shot.
  • some reviews that I read about the tacoma said it had a so-so tranny and it searched alot for gears, and as the other guy said, premium gas should help, I also read in a different review that the tacoma seems to run better on premium.
  • Hello Beach

    You know how I might overcome the Tacoma squeaking clutch pedal that drives me crazy in damp/ rainy weather. All summer long, with low humidity, there is silence, but now that its begun to be cooler and damp, the squeaking is back! Its done this for years.

  • mrw1mrw1 Posts: 2
    My 05 prerunner w/5spd has a ticking noise from the trans.
    It stops when the clutch is lightly engaged. The dealer has changed the clutch asmbly. I changed trans to royal purple.
    It's better but it's still there.
  • I have a 2005 tacoma 4.0 L DoubleCab with an automatic transmission, with 20K miles. While attempting to change my oil (for my first time with this vehicle) in the dark something I highly recommend you never do, especially with a new vehicle!), I inadvertently loosened the auto-transmission fluid bolt (funny same size 14mm too).

    Well needless to say, after the first few seconds observing Toyota's "amazing red" come pouring out, I was slightly panicked. In my haste, i dropped the bolt and let about 1-2 cups (as in measuring cups...not sure exactly, but the bolt was out for about 5 seconds).

    ANYWAY, I purchased a quart of fluid from a local dealer (yikes! $25/qt)but am just now finding out that there is no dipstick to check just how much i lost, and how much to replace (which brings me to another problem)

    Can I safely drive without adding the fluid? Will I need a complete auto-trans fluid change? Can Toyota, any knowledgeable mechanic, or me and my "lacking auto" skills bring it back to normal??? Please help me forget the error of my ways!
  • when i first got my 2006 doublecab I had to research a bit to find out that it doesnt have a dipstick. Its a sealed tranny that shouldnt be messed with until its due servicing. All I can say for advice is find out when the tranny needs to be serviced, maybe you arent to far away from it and can just have the dealer service it for you. Or research from the dealer or anyone else who might know how to service it yourself. I havent figured that out yet so sorry. Well thats all I can say about that.
  • I accidentally unscrewed the transmission fluid drain plug while doing an oil change & lost some tranny fluid.... 2 questions:
    (1) Can I pour replacement automatic transmission fluid
    down the tranny dipstick tube?
    (2) Is there a specific kind of auto. trans. fluid for the
    2006 Tacoma?
  • I just bought a new 07 Tacoma manual 5 speed. First gear is very "rough" to shift into. Does anybody know - Can you adjust the stick shift to make it smoother? Does it get smoother over time? Or am I stuck with it?

    Thanks in advance

  • Rough how? Is it hard to get into gear, or does the truck jerk while in gear? I have a 2006 auto, and it does seem as if first gear has a little kick to it.
  • It's hard to get it into gear. The others are smooth, it just glides in. But in first gear I have to push it in.

  • I have a 2002 Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 with an auto transmission that we have owned since new. In addition to the persistent water leak and bad brakes we now are experiencing a problem with the tranny not wanting to go into Park or Reverse. I have only seen one other post on this in the forums and it was dated back in '02. Right now the truck is parked in neutral and of course you cant remove the key. Oh what a feeling! Not! :mad: Oh yes the rig only has 65k. Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • I wanted to let folks know that a member from another forum diagnosed the problem and rather simple solution. Apparently the transmission had a buildup of slush and ice on it that prevented the shifter from moving forward. I idled the rig for about 30 minutes and it melted off and voila! the shifter is working once again. Pretty amazing that this hadnt happened before cuz we definitely live in snow country and these nasty driving conditions are normal. :)
  • Is shifting into first “rough(ness)” similar in resistance to shifting into reverse? I have an “06” manual transmission and (without schlepping outside in the freezing rain to test this idea) I think it is a bit more challenging to get into both first and reverse than the other gears. Part of this was due to adjusting to a new gear-shifting pattern for me; as I have become more accustomed to it, it is much less an issue. I do remember it being a bit “rough” at first though. If this persists for you, or if it seems “rough(er)” than shifting into reverse by much, I suggest talking to the dealer.
    all da best,
  • Hi, I just bought (Dec 28th) a new 07 Tacoma with the 6 speed manual and I have noticed some similar things to what Carl describes. Every now and then, shifting into first meets mild resistance, and sometimes there's a clunk. I've been very careful to keep the clutch all the way to the floor, so I know it's not that.

    But, my main complaint is that shifting from first to second often has a noticeable crunch that the other gears don't usually produce. Again, I'm being very careful to keep the clutch all the way in and shift slowly.

    I've driven stick-shift all my life, but always on little cars like Honda Accords and Integras. They've always shifted very smoothly. Now I'm trying to decide if there's something wrong with my new Tacoma or if this is just what it's like to drive a truck.

  • 03' dbl cab pre runner auto Trans. and at about 58,000 miles it started jumping when put into drive. Take it from park into drive and it pauses so we would give it a little more gas and it would jump or jerk into drive. It feels like it's slipping gears as it would when driving a stick shift but it being an automatic we were worried. First chance we took it to a Trans. shop and upon doing this it was difficult for them because it doesn't "jump" every time, just here and there. The readings they did on the truck produced nothing but they told us we needed a new transmission to fix the problem. We had the new Trans put in and got the truck back, 2 days later it jerked again!!! Taking it back to the shop they then told us it was the passenger rear brake locking up and we then paid them to adjust that. Yeah then a few days after getting it back again IT DID IT AGAIN!!! :mad: Now they are trying to charge us even more to redue the drums on the rear driver side because now they are saying that side is locking up also and is worn and rusted while the other side looks brand new. I'm no expert but if my rear brakes are locked up wouldn't it happen all the time not jump just once in a while? any ideas what else to look into? :sick:
  • Anybody know how to fill 06 tacoma prerunner 4.0 auto tran. fluid? I had same problem of accidental drained a little fluid.
  • rocklarockla Posts: 12
    Hi, try putting the truck into revers before going in to 1st gear, just in and out of revers.
  • yeah that works most of the time but when i get to a red light or stop sign and got someone behind me can't revers. and it's jumping harder than before.
  • arimaarima Posts: 1
    A simple job becomes a mess:

    I have a 2001 Tacoma, double cab, automatic. At 70K miles, I drained the transmission fluid. The plug came out stripped. I guess I must have put it in too tight at 50K miles. I went to Toyota, got a new one, and put that one in. Half way in it got real tight and didn't feel right. It never felt right and then it stripped too. So, I go to Toyota and order a new pan, assuming the tread was stripped. I get the new pan, get the liquid seal from them and ask them how to take off the old one and apply the new one... just to make sure I don't miss anything. I remove the old one carefully using a putty knife as they suggested, clean it out well and let it sit over night. I wipe the metal filter gently with a clean cloth, clean the 3 magnets and tranfer them to the new pan. The next day, I add the seal and gently put the pan on. Tighten the 19 screws and wait until the next day. Then I put on the drain plug with a torque wrench (20lbs), and add 2 qts ATF. I turn on the engine, shift a few times, then keep it in park and add a 1/2 qt every time before checking the level. I end up added 4 full qts to get the level right.

    I then back up the truck to do a test drive. The check engine light is on. I drive down the street and up, stopping a few times to check the shifting. It clangs a little going from park to reverse and reverse to park, but doesn't clang during any of the other shifts. That's not right. And when I drive, I have to add quite a bit of gas just to get it to move 5 mph! It's like it's stuck in 1st gear, or the engine is protecting itself by limiting my speed.

    I can do two things : 1) go through the trouble of taking the pan off and seeing if something in the transmission got bumped (??), or 2) take it to the dealership. This is where I'm paranoid. I can drive it 5 mph for the 6 mile trip but I'm worried that I might be damaging the trasmission by driving it.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 131
    about the '07 Toy regular cab 4x4 with the 4 cyl. Is this model not available with the automatic trans.? It seems that I cannot find it. Does anyone know? Thanks.
  • I think that as long as you have tranny fluid you should be good to drive it. Think about it, the only problem you had before was a stripped nut, and all you did was replace a tranny pan, what could you have possibly damaged. Just make sure its got enough tranny fluid and take it to the dealer.
  • there is no dipstick on the 05 and up toyota's, its a sealed tranny.
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 131
    Do you or anyone else know why Toyota decided to only go with a manual? Doesn't the 4cyl. have enough oomph to move it? I think the Nissan has a 4cyl. 4X4 auto., doesn't it?
    Just curious and wanting to know if anyone knew the scoop. :confuse:
  • rear axle seal was found to be the problem was leaking causing swelling so when the shoes stuck it was jumping. now i'm going to battle with the place that told me it was the transmission and i payed for a new one with from 2nd and 3rd opinions come to find out more than likely wasn't needed. It's American Transmission in Fayetteville NC and i wouldn't suggest anyone go there in the same area.
  • Yo, vstrom.... I think my '06 Taco does the same thing. I tell the dealer that the cruise conrtol is "over-agressive", meaning that it'll downshift way too soon when I see a hill. It won't let the speedo drop 1 KM. Sometimes, if it's a steeper grade, It'll drop 2 gears and floor it... I asked the dealer if they can "fine tune" the computer to back it off a tad, but they say "NO".... I find this VERY hard to understand, afterall, it's run by a computer and computers are programmed by people :confuse: ... right???

    Anywhoo.... I'm not pleased with the fuel enonomy of my double cab 4x4 TRD SR5....Only getting 21 MPG Canadian... :mad:

    Hope we can find an answer... ;)

  • thecktheck Posts: 2
  • thecktheck Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 toyota tacoma (extended cab, automatic, 2.7 4 cyl) who's 4WD stopped working after a six month period of non use. There were never any signs of damage to the 4wd system, it just stopped working. When I shift the 4wd lever everything feels right but the dash light never shows 4wd and only one wheel is getting power. I did try letting it roll a little and shifting in and out of 4wd various times but it never drops in.

    Could this be something electrical?

    I looked in a few books and nothing seems to mention the 4wd system. I don't know where to start my diagnostics. Can anyone out there help?
  • marliemarlie Posts: 2
  • marliemarlie Posts: 2
    Does anyone know if the clutch is going out on a 1998 Tacoma if when you accelerate to change gears the truck vibrates and makes a loud rattling noise? thanks Mike
  • seabeeedseabeeed Posts: 2
    My toyota did the same thing from day 1,They told me it was the trans also, all of them shift like that. not true. I believe it is the slip joint on driveshaft. can tgake apart and clean all old grease out and relube and it works fine for about a month. toypta should come out with a change or something on this
  • fireman73fireman73 Posts: 1
  • I have a 2006 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road automatic and I regularly perform routine maintenance. I was looking and there is no dipstick. I called Toyota Corp. and they said that it is a sealed transmission and has no dipstick, so I am guessing if you make this little "boo boo" you may have to take it to a dealer to perform the task, after you buy your transmission fluid elsewhere, recommending World Standard (WS) Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).
  • can anyone tell me how to get the trd to lock in 2wd and 4hi, not just 4x4 low range????? that would really be fab.
  • its not possible, its a safety feature to keep people from driving with the rear axle locked. I had the same problem, so I took my truck in to be looked at, they said nothing was wrong with the rear locker and that it would only lock in 4Lo. We even tried it in two other cars on the lot and it was the same for them also. Two wheel drive tacoma's that have a rear locker are different, they will lock anytime since its only a two wheel drive, but if you have the rear axle locked in a two wheel drive, once you turn the wheel left or right(which you aren't supposed to do when using the locker) the rear axle will unlock automatically to prevent damage. So as far as I know, 4 Lo only on 4wd. Thats the only way I can get it to work on my tacoma.
  • I just found this forum and glad I did. A lot of good info here. I seem to have the same problem a few of you are having with tranny shifting on the tacoma. When I come to a stop the transmission will not downshift to first gear until I take my foot off the brake. Also, it stays in 2nd until 30 mph unless the engine is hot. I've read a few old posts about this. Has anyone found a solution for this problem. I took it to the dealer back when it was under warranty, but couldn't "reproduce" the problem. A mechanic told me if I removed the drive shaft, regreased it, it would stop the shifting problem for a while. Thanks for any help.
  • i have a 2001 v6 doublecab, does exactly both of those characteristics. it has a tranny that by design wants to reach the highest gear asap which i feel causes that binding at stop. it will switch to 1st (sometimes with a clunk-disturbing) upon rolling slightly foreward. it's done this from new and for some reason i'm not concearned-ijust think it's a design quirk. as far as the cold start thing i know for sure that toyota trannys like ours won't upshift to 3rd and up until it reaches a set temp value...probably a longevity trait. i find it beneficial to warm up in the driveway until you see the temp needle start to move up-it's better for everything anyway if you don't throw a load on cold moving parts
  • i would like to put slightly larger tires on my stock rims.
    im currently running 265/70-r16 i am wondering what the largest tire i can comfortably put under it is.
    :4d 4wd trd taco
  • tumwetumwe Posts: 7
    265/75 16 is the largest size without any rubbing issues. Anything taller and your looking at lifting the front 2 to 3"
  • baker615: I have a '94 toyota that jumps when put in gear also. Sometimes it shifts really hard, but not all the time. It sounds like I have the same problem that you have. Someone mentioned taking the slip joint off the drive shaft and cleaning it. I will try that tomorrow. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know. Don
  • I think i have a problem too with my tacoma truck and its a 2000 model and it has like over 50,000 miles on it now... when i was changing my oil and after i was done with that i turn it on and its a automatic and not a stick... so i tried to back it up and put it to R right and then all of sudden it would back up and i had to gas a little... then i put it to D and all of sudden its not going forward and its parked in my driveway at my friends house... so i dunno whats wrong with it... is it either that it needs a transmission fluid or is the transmission broked down... let me know anyone and need some help and tips here, thanks!
  • I have 2001 tacoma 4x4 trd 6cy maunal transmission. right now when you push the clutch in, sometimes is sticks to the floorboard and will not come back up unless you physically pull it up. While it is stuck in that "to the floor" position, the transmission is still engaged, as if it had no clutch. Is my clutch going bad...any suggestions?
    thanks in advanced
  • I have an 04 Tacoma with a weird problem. Only when it is cold (OAT <40F) when driving near 40MPH and about 1750RPM there is a squeal that occurs from infront of the passenger. It sounds like a fan belt but it seems that the belt is well tensioned. If it is in neutral and I rev the engine it doesn't do it. Any help would be great!
  • I have a well maintained 2001 4x4 double cab SR5 / TRD with 142,00 miles on it. A few days ago I noticed that the automatic overdrive wants to keep shifting to and from overdrive at about 55 - 65 mph, under low or heavy vacuum ( never downhill ) It does stay in OD once I hit about 65mph and higher and when going down hills. When I turn the OD button to OFF then the tranny is fine except I'm running higher rpm's now w/o the overdrive engaged. Has anyone experienced this ? Know where to start ?
    Thanks. :
  • I have a well maintained 2001 4x4 double cab SR5 / TRD with 142,00 miles on it. A few days ago I noticed that the automatic overdrive wants to keep shifting to and from overdrive at about 55 - 65 mph, under low or heavy vacuum ( never downhill ) It does stay in OD once I hit about 65mph and higher and when going down hills. When I turn the OD button to OFF then the tranny is fine except I'm running higher rpm's now w/o the overdrive engaged. Has anyone experienced this ? Know where to start ?
    Thanks. :
  • My truck recently won't go into gear right away. You put it into drive and gas it and it sounds like its in neutral then it catches and shakes the truck a bit and goes. It also, on stops, will start rolling back like it is in nuetral ...
    Any thoughts?
  • tlbakertlbaker Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 Tacoma, 2.7L, 5 speed manual with ~13k miles. Shifting from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th works as expected: push in clutch, release accelerator, and engine RPM drops quickly to idle. Shifting from 4th to 5th presents a problem where the engine RPM does not immediately decrease and often increases. There is no indication of the accelerator sticking or any other mechanical throttle problem. Any ideas on what is causing this problem?
  • tlbakertlbaker Posts: 2
  • suv4betsysuv4betsy Posts: 38
    Check with service to get the belts replaced. I had same problem at cold temp only hearing a slight squeal coming from engine at first start cold, my trip to work is very short only 5mi so it would always be there and annoying. At first I thought it was a bearing going in the alternator. The dealer service didn't hear it at my 30K service, but we agreed to keep it overnight out in the cold and sure enough they heard the noise, replaced the belts and now it is all quiet, problem solved.
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