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Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems



  • goofaroogoofaroo Posts: 1

    I have a 2002 Tacoma Xtra Cab 2.7 4WD SR5 that I purchased new and now has 92K miles. It has always shifted flawlessly. Yesterday, I got in it to go to work and on my way out of the neighborhood I missed 3rd (this never happens). Then I got out on the street and missed 3rd again and then missed 4th!. I can get it to go into gear (3rd and 4th) only if I am deliberate about my shifting. 1st,2nd,5th,and reverse seem unchanged but 3rd and fourth feel totally different through the stick and it seems like the throw is shorter than normal. I haven't crawled under the truck yet to take a look but this did not occur from snow, mud, impact, or anything else. It was driving perfectly, I parked it overnight, and now it is different. I am curious to look at the linkage this weekend and see if I can see anything obvious but I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this and might know what has happened.
  • buhmanbuhman Posts: 2
    My truck has 6300 miles on it and I have never had a problem until now. Last monday I backed out to go to work and put the truck in drive and it would not go. I managed to inch it back into the driveway and called the dealership. I then had it towed to them. Of course when the tow truck got there it was acting fine but I had it towed anyway. The could find nothing wrong and 4days later and 185 dollars I picked up my truck. All was fine until this morning when the same thing happened. I back out of the driveway, put the truck in drive and nothing happens. It goes fine in reverse. It acts like its in neutral. When I press on the gas the engine revs normally. Usually when I shift the truck from reverse to drive I can feel it engage but this time you can barely feel it. I'm getting ready to have it towed again. Anyone know what could be wrong?
  • What ever happened to these 2001-2004 tacomas that won't drive off after reversing out. I see lots of complaints and I'm experiencing the same thing too. Reverse out, shift into drive, the engine revs, but no movement. Just the sound of acceleration and no gear engagement or maybe a "bit" of engagement. Please help. Sent mines into the shop, they changed the fluid, charged me a $100 bucks and I'm still experiencing the same thing. please...I see lots of the same complaints, but sadly no responses...any info will help.
  • I purchased a TRD cooler however it did not come with the mounting instructions.
    It has all the mounting harware I am just not sure where it all goes. Does anyone have the instruction, I would sure be greatful. Thanks
  • Hey, did you figure out your transmission issue? I just bought an 08 tacoma and I'm experiencing the same thing. Shifting is smooth between all gears, except from 2nd to 3rd, when I feel a crunch. If you have any info on this, I'd appreciate it.
  • buhmanbuhman Posts: 2
    I can tell you its NOT the transmission. My 2001 tacoma was doing the same thig as yours. Had it towed to the toyota dealership. It took them 4 days to finally make it repeat what it had dome to me. They said it was the transmission and tried to charge me over 4 thousand for a new one. I called the main toyota number and they picked up the price for the tranny since it only has 63000 miles but I had to pay over 900 for the labor. Got the truck home and it drove fine.... for about 300 miles then as usual I backed out of the driveway, put it in drive and THE SAME THING!! Its under warranty from the new tranny so I had it towed back to them and they cant find a thing wrong with it. They kept it for 3 weeks and I have it home now just waiting for it to do it again. And this morning I went to start it and the battery is dead. Go figure. I'm so fed up.
  • I feel the same. Since the trans fluid change, the problem remained. I took it back. The changed solonoid 1 and the problem remained. Cost a bit over 800. I took it back and they couldn't repeat the problem and find the codes. They didn't charge me and kept it overnight but could find the problem. I'll try again. Maybe it lurks in the shifting mechanism. I've noticed a little play between the N and the D when I shift from R to D. I'll have it checked and update you. Months later, I'm still having problems with this truck.
  • I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma V6 double cab with automatic transmission, about 68,000 miles. Given the economy, I'm trying to save some money by doing my own maintenance. So for the first time I went down to AutoZone. I just changed my oil, break shoes, topped off my steering fluid and applied some gumout treatment.

    Now I seem to be missing 1st gear for a few seconds about half the time, especially if I am making a turn (uphill from a stop sign into traffic of course). I'm heading back to AutoZone tomorrow to see if they can illuminate me on this subject. Does anyone have a clue for me before I go spend a months salary on a new tranny? Thanks.
  • Never mind, it was just an incredible coincidence that I needed to relace my transmission fluid and filter and it started acting up at the same time. Not that my wife will believe me ;)
  • Hey, I know this post is pretty old but im having the same problem with my 07 TRD and was wondering if you ever found out what the issue was??? Any info would be very helpful. Cheers Winston
  • vtxvtx Posts: 2
    i just bought a 2009 tacoma automatic and it slips in either first or second gear it winds out to about 3,200 rpms before it goes into gear
  • CwaspCwasp Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Tacoma FWD with auto transmission. It appears to clunk into low gear at a stop, after the stop is completed, and pressure is slightly released from the brake pedal. It's not a real problem now, but I had a 2005 Tacoma FWD, that did the same thing and continually got worse. The clunk got to a point it would produce a mild jar to the occupants, whenever pressure was slightly released off the brake. The dealer called it a "driveline wrap" and nothing could be done about it. Drive line wrap being when the axle was in a torqued condition and torque/tension was released after the brake petal was slightly released.
    Has anyone ever experienced this clunking, or problems downshifting to low with an auto transmission??
  • My 1995 Tacoma has 122,000 miles. About 8 weeks ago, I began having trouble with first gear. Basically, when I was starting out from a stopped position (like a stop sign), first gear would slip out of gear and the truck would make a loud noise while jerking once violently. This occurred about once a week for 3 weeks. In the 4th week this problem began to occur very frequently and happened at every other stop sign.

    This first gear problem stopped when I decided to hold first gear in gear with my hand while driving. In other words, first gear was fine as long as I applied pressure to the gear stick while it was in gear. In the 5th week, third gear began acting up. Basically, when shifting to third, the gearbox would grind loudly and kick the gear stick out of gear. It felt as if the gear box was refusing to accept third gear. The following week (week 6) first gear was fine but I could not shift into third gear. The gear box refused to accept third gear. In response, I bypassed third gear for 2 weeks and shifted from second gear to fourth gear without any problems. At this point all of my gears were working fine except for third gear. In week 8 (which was 3 days ago) while carrying a heavy load in my truck bed, I decided to try out third gear once again. This time third gear worked fine.

    I have been using third gear for 3 days now and it feels fine except for one thing: it still does not feel like it is completely locking into gear. In other words, it feels a little spongy. Currently, I am driving my Tacoma with all 5 gears plus reverse. They are all working fine for now, but I am puzzled about this gear box issue.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :confuse: <img src="
  • I have exactly the same problem on my 06. It feels like a driveline wrap but I feel that it is far too exaggerated for my liking. I have an appt. with a transmission shop tomorrow and hope to find out more about the problem. It seems that when I baby it along the symptoms are more pronounced... You? I'll let you know what I find out.
  • Over time, I have to press the clutch pedal to the floor for the engine to start. It's not the clutch, the clutch is working fine once the engine's running. There has to be a safety switch - Where is this switch? and is it adjustable?

  • Dear Tacoma owner - I have this exact problem on my 2005 prerunner V-6 crew cab. 4 visits to 3 dealers and they aknowledge the problem, but say there is no fix. Now out of warranty. Getting worse with time - now at 90K. Still looking for a solution. Hopefully someone will have an answer.
  • I just bought a 2009 Tacoma double cab, 4x2 and this morning the transmission slipped twice on me while slowing down and turning on to another street. The slip occurred as I let off the gas. I have also noticed the RPM guage jumping up and down when slowing down to 30 mph and less. When this is happening, it feels like the transmission is kinda stuck. Another thing I have noticed is that when I come to a stop, after about 5-10 seconds, it feels like my truck makes a slight movement forward, like someone just nudged me from behind. I have found other blogs where people are saying this is related to the A/C coming on and off.

    What kind of response did you get from Toyota to your slipping transmission?
  • dbysdbys Posts: 6
    Mine is kinda doing that too. I have a 2006 and it clunks when i've been at a stop sign or light with the break on. They told me it was the drive shaft , too much pressure on it - and they couldn't do anything about it. I would have to call the 800 number and put fire under them. ( they said they wouldn't probably do anything anyway.)

    I also am experiencing some whistiling too. they said that was the seal around the windshield needing to be fixed. other tacoma's are having same problem...
  • I have a 2009 tacoma automatic. It slips in either first and second the rpms go up and mph go no where.This happens when I am going about 30 down to about 10, and I try to move on, but it slips. The computer does not know what to do. This is what the dealer tell me. I have had it to the dealer 2 times, and the told me that nothing is wrong. The tech rode with me and told there is a flaw in the computer. This is normal for this truck. He also told me when I get a oil change have them check to see if there is a update on the computer and it might fix the problem. I have call toyota and they told me there is nothing that I can do within the toyota company. So I have a new truck with a trans that does
    not work right. I need to go to the next step
  • gjlaxgjlax Posts: 3
    I just bought a 2009 Tacoma V6 and I am experiencing the same problem with my automatic transmission slipping. When I turn the corner at about 20 mph I hit the accelerator and the engine revs to about 3200 rpm and I feel no power or acceleration. I took it to the dealership and the mechanic said that the system will improve as it learns my driving habits. I will continue to drive and see what happens but I am not happy with this situation!
  • I took my truck to Toyota and they checked my transmission during a "cold start" and they said the electronics tested ok. I posted a message at
    and this is one response I received:

    "As for the slipping you mention... I doubt it. The transmission in this truck is controlled by the computer. It doesn't have vacuum modulators or governors like the old school stuff you are used to. What happens is that you tell the computer what you want, and it tries to figure out the best way to do it. It does this by keeping a record of what you have done in the past, and what turned out to be the best response to your input.

    The computer in this truck controls throttle opening, fuel delivery, spark advance, cam timing, gear position, and just about every thing else that makes the truck go.

    If you are not smooth and predictable with your input to the computer, you can confuse it. it's trying to keep up with your requests, but it has to change it's response because you changed your input.

    Try being smooth with the gas pedal (It's not a gas pedal, it's only hooked to the computer) and let the computer learn your habits. it will get better about responding to your driving style quickly.

    Yes, the truck downshifts when you are slowing down, and yes you can feel it. Sorry your nissan didn't do that, but the old school nissan tranny's faults don't mean the Toyota has a problem. After a while you and the truck will get used to each other and things will be fine.

    That "Fly by wire" system in your Tacoma is an amazing thing. When you get the hang of operating it, you will love it."

    I am saving every documented instance of this to a folder, in case I need to show proof to Toyota some day that other are having the same problem.
  • terryl1terryl1 Posts: 1
    Had a similar problem, with 3rd gear, with my '95 Tacoma at 135K. Have the shop check the shift lever bushings. Was less than $150 to fix.

  • zerrzerr Posts: 10
    Same experience here. My 2005 taco has only 43k miles and I have the exact clunk from the tranny when releasing the break. I've never rev pass 2500 rpm during my ownership of this truck. Hope this thing last.
  • Tacomshane- That response sounds like something straight from the company. Like a service manager trying to shoo you away.

    I have the same issue with my transmission. 2009 Tacoma Prerunner V6 auto with about 20 miles. After turning a corner and accelerating, the transmission seems to have shifted into to low a gear making the engine rev and then an immediate hard shift. I don't call it slipping, though. It also sounds like a problem that hasn't been reported enough for Toyota to acknowledge it.
  • gjlaxgjlax Posts: 3
    After 3000 miles on my 2009 Tacoma, I am still experiencing and feeling the engine rev when accelerating from a slow speed. I am ready to file a second complaint with my dealership and Toyota because I feel that this is a safety hazard when trying to accelerate out of a tight situation. I feel like I am losing power. There has to be something wrong with the device which controls the automatic transmission! I do not believe that the system will learn like the mechanic stated.
  • followup: I took my 09 Tacoma V6 to the dealer today and was told basically the same thing as other reports. That's normal. It will learn your driving habits. You will adjust. They acknowledge that it happens but not that it's a problem/issue. They reset the "shift logic" portion of the computer and told me to drive it for at least 15 minutes. That didn't help so I went back and test drove a truck from their lot. It did the same thing. They said they would "open a ticket with Toyota." The did tell me that the Camry had the same thing hapen when they changed trans. and they corrected it by changing the computer code. I think that's exactly what is needed here but they said it wouldn't happens until there are enough complaints. According to them there have not been any or only a few depending on which person I talked to. I will now go to step 2 and report the problem to Toyota.
  • twelchtwelch Posts: 1
    I thought I had a transmission problem with my 2009 Tacoma Double Cab 2x4. I would come to a red light and when I hit the brakes the rear tires would start spinning and the engine would start reving up. I took it to the dealer twice and was told the computer showed no problems. I filed a complaint with the U. S. Corporate Office in Torrance, CA. They sent a tech rep from a regional office, who took me on a test drive. He explained the problem to me. I was stepping on the brake pedal and the gas pedal at the same time. I have driven many vehicles in the last 39 years. Everyone of them had the gas pedal recessed form the brake pedal. The Tacoma has both pedals on the same level, which makes it very easy to step on both at the same time. In my opinion this is a serious design flaw and safety issue. I would appreciate any feedback.
  • dbysdbys Posts: 6
    I don't think i'm stepping on both of the pedels though. i think he's wrong.... for me anyway...
  • Update. Took my truck to Toyota in Brandon and the mechanic told me the same thing as the Lakeland mechanic. It is computer operated and needs to learn my driving habits. Camry's are the same. Told me the computer will get confused if I am the only driver for some time and then my wife drives. Told me it will take at least 5,000 miles for the computer to learn my driving habits and for transmission to adjust. I have over 2200 miles now and tranny still seems weird. Still having what I call slippage when slowing down and then accelerating onto another street. Brandon mechanic told me that the computer driven tranny slows the truck down under 30 mph as that is part of the braking system. When you take your foot off of the gas, the computer prepares to brake and thus the tranny prepares for a stop. I am going to give it 5,000 miles and if I am still having the same issues, I will make a formal written complaint. I was told that since I have been driving a 10 year old truck, it takes time to get used to these new computer operated vehicles. Well I tell you Toyota, I don't like it!
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