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Toyota Tacoma Suspension and Steering

tctoytctoy Posts: 1
I am considering buying another tacoma. Must be a double cab, 4x4, automatic, and want the Sport Fabric interior. I drove a short bed offroad version, but did not like the ride compared to some other brand of trucks. The dealer did not have any LB to test drive. Did anyone purhcase the LB or Sport version over the SB Offroad version, due to the ride? Will there be a noticable difference? I realize I can step up to the Tundra.


  • I'm seriously considering the purchase of an 06 or 07 Taco, Dbl Cab, 4x4 and was wondering if some existing owners of 05 and newer models could weigh in...Thanks in advance for your input.

    I've test driven the Taco 06 Sport TRD (short bed), Off Road TRD (short bed) and standard truck (long bed. I've read the earlier forum that debates which package rode smoothest and it seemed many had different opinions. My experience suggested they all rode on the rough side. Here's my question...for those of you that own this truck and felt it rode rough. Did you get used to it?

    I'll beat some of you to the punch on a potential suggestion, yes, I am in fact a big [non-permissible content removed]. But this [non-permissible content removed] tends to own vehicles for 10 years+ and I'm trying to determine if I can live with the ride. I owned a 1978 Toyota 4x4 and can't seem to remember it riding quite this bumpy, but perhaps I did just get used to it?

    Also, if any of you found any solutions in making your Taco ride smoother I'd be really interested to learn of your discoveries.
  • I was one of the people having a problem with the rough ride on my 4X4 Taco TRD Off Rd Double Cab. Turns out my problem was the tires were never balanced properly out of the factory. All I could do was check the tire pressure and it seemed OK to me. Took it back into the dealership and they fixed this no charge by adding/removing weights on the rims/wheels to balance the tires the ride is UNREAL on highway roads...dare I say as smooth as a car!!! Don't be scared off by the rough ride comments, especially mine, as this was easily fixable. I also recommend using a PSI of 29 on all 4 BFG 265 Off Rd tires even though the door panel says 29 in front and 32 in the back...this is more if you are hauling stuff. The dealer actually recommended making them all the same PSI as well. I guess you could make them all 32 PSI but it would probably be a little stiffer ride...whatever you prefer. Regardless I am getting an average of 20MPG city/highway on a tank of gas and have gotten up to 22MPG on a few occasions.
  • Thanks a million for your response. I can understand how lowering the air pressure in the rear tires could help, I'll give that a try. Did lowering the air pressure in the rear tires make a significant difference for you?

    Here's where I could use some clarity...I'm not sure I understand the relationship with balancing the tires and a bouncy ride. It's not a vibration we were experiencing. Of the 3 trucks drove, mostly on smooth CA Freeways, they all were fine on super flat surfaces, but when we went over a bump of any nature I'd look in the review mirror and see my wife and 2 year old bouncing up and down in the second row seat. Given it's a pickup with lighter weight in the back I realize you are going to get some of this, but the hopping was taking just going over the separation cracks on the freeway. Maybe the lower air pressure could help wiht this?

    Thanks again for your input!
  • I have an “06” Taco with short bed, 4x4, V6, manual transmission, double cab, SR5 #2, and LSD. Prior to this I had a “92” 4x4, V6, manual transmission Toy Truck with extended cab that I drove until this new one. My new one reminds me of big honkin’ car when comparing rides. This thing is way smoother when comparing the two. I’ve driven this new one from OK to MN, then roundtrip from MN to NV. The new truck came with Dunlop AT20 P245/75R16 tires; I ran BF Goodrich All Terrains on my old truck as I used to do a lot more off road driving. I do remember when I lived in San Diego that the expansion joints in the freeways seemed to be set up to cause harmonic dissonance such that if I hit a few in a row above 55mph the truck would really start to rock & roll.
    So I’m not sure what you’re experiencing rough ride wise, but both I and my daughter (in the back seat) are very pleased with the ride of the new Taco. I have both front and back tires inflated to 30psi, for what that is worth.
    Good luck with your search.
  • Did you end up buying the Tacoma Double Cab. I'm interested in the truck, but had the same concerns you did with respect to the ride. If you now own the truck did you get used to the ride? I did test drive the long bed and it did seem to ride a little smoother than the short bed.

  • I'm just about to buy a new 4x2 double cab `06. I've always had some sort of 4x4 or all wheeler and am wondering if anyone knows how this 4x2 double Taco will handle in snow? I see you've driven it in the midwest so I immediately keyed on you. I'm plan to buy it this afternoon. Hope someone can answer me with a positive. Please be brutally honest! Thanks.
  • This is what a 4 x 4 owner reported about how well the truck does in 2WD in the snow. Hope it helps.

    #7283 of 7360 Re: TRD O/R with 4x2? [] by demoncleaner Aug 30, 2006 (9:59 am)
    Bookmark | Reply | E-mail Msg
    Replying to: unknown (Aug 29, 2006 5:18 pm)
    Wow this discussion got people heated.

    I have a 4wd. Its great for those that need it. Its only used for off-road and snow traction. How many miles do you 4wd owners have IN 4wd? seriously. (I have just under 1000 miles in 21 months, I consider that alot)

    Off-road, I'm surprised myself how far I can got without using 4wd. If your not mud bogging Prerunner is a great choice for light off-roading. You still have the clearance.

    Snow, well I have 4wd and will be the first to tell you, its about the tires, not the drivetrain. I run snow tires in winter, and often find myself on packed roads still in 2wd. Braking and cornering are the same, only acclerating espeically up hills and tracking (back end not coming around) are better in 4wd.

    If given the choice of going out in a snowstorm in a prerunner (with LSD rear) and snow tires, or a 4wd with stock tires, I'd take the prerunner.

    In the end if you really don't need 4wd, then your saving $2500 bucks off the price, more maintence, 250 lbs, and gallon of gas every fill-up.

    If I didn't live in a hilly lake-effect snow area, and find myself out before the plows, I'd have a prerunner.
    Replies to this message:
    • gandalf1 (Aug 30, 2006 3:16 pm)
    • cactusone (Aug 30, 2006 3:56 pm)
    • gandalf1 (Aug 31, 2006 1:25 pm)
    • woof (Oct 09, 2006 4:31 pm)
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    I have an 05 4X4 TRD Off Road. The truck does ride rougher than my Tundra (non TRD) did, but it is a little lighter. put a little weight in it (or add a canopy like I did) and the ride smooths out nicely. I have found that Toyotas are picky about tires though (worked in a tire store for about 20 years). Some tires will just ride like crap on a Toy no matter what. Sears sells Dueler APTs that don't work worth a darn. Yet the Dueller ATs from Firestone are a dream. Also found the BFGs to work well. Wranglers are always a hit.
  • Hey thanks for the great advice. Good to hear there are methods that work. I was planning on getting a canopy eventually.
  • "I have an 05 4X4 TRD Off Road. The truck does ride rougher than my Tundra (non TRD) did, but it is a little lighter. put a little weight in it (or add a canopy like I did) and the ride smooths out nicely."

    What size tires do you have?

  • Thank you all for your replys. I was pretty nervous about buying the Taco but after I drove the 4x2 double cab long box, there was no turning back. It rides so much better than the 4x4 short box they let me drive in demo.Of course I had to get the TRD off road package too. I bought it and really am quite impressed. As for snow driving, as a kid I used to 'steal' my brother's truck and go out just for the fun of learning how to control it. If it's too bad I'll just get some snows put on like in the good old days. Thanks again!
  • I have a '98 Toyota Tacoma and it vibrates very strongly whenever I shift it into reverse and now whenever I idle. Does anybody have any advice? I'm not sure if this is related, but my brake light comes on and random times, stays on for a bit, and goes off. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
  • dpritchdpritch Posts: 2
    I recently found a leak in the power steering line (not hose) on my 98 Tacoma 4cyl Pre-runner. I am having a hard time finding a replacement as I have searched just about every major on-line parts supplier. Does anyone have any recommendations on where I can find one. I have not checked at my local dealer, but I think that is where I end up. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • dpritchdpritch Posts: 2
  • dmadigandmadigan Posts: 2
    My 07 Toyota Tacoma did not come with Variable intermittent windshield wipers (this is an option - not standard equipment). Can they be installed now by just purchasing a Variable intermittent windshield wiper control and installing it into the existing wire harness?
  • tmoehntmoehn Posts: 3
    Can a 2006 Tacoma 4WD with TRD Off Road package be raised an inch or two? Will it affect the handling or damage anything?
  • 1bad20061bad2006 Posts: 2
    yes you can i did 3" in front 1" in back still ride the same.
  • tmoehntmoehn Posts: 3
    Thanks 1bad2006. Why did you raise the front 3" and the rear only 1"? How is it accomplished?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    That's considered a "raise and level" lift. By design, almost all pickups are two inches higher in the rear, so that they are relatively level when fully loaded.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • 1bad20061bad2006 Posts: 2
    way 3" in front 1 " in back because of the 32 " tires i put on it look bad [non-permissible content removed]
  • tmoehntmoehn Posts: 3
  • kj4x4tacokj4x4taco Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Toyota V6 Tacoma SR5 4x4 Access Cab truck with 43,000 miles on it. The past 3 weeks I have been hearing an engine backfire at 40 to 55 MPH. You can feel the backfire through the floorboard. When it backfires it only does it once or three times in a row. My question is this:

    Is it an engine backfire, a loose motor / transmission mount, or a Torque convert shudder?

    I took my truck to the dealership and they heard the backfire (noise) and they said the computer did not register anything wrong with the motor or transmission. I ask them to talk to the District Toyota Tech Rep. The dealership told me the Toyota Rep had not experienced the problem before and when they (meaning the dealership) diagnose the problem, to tell him the prognoses. The dealership then informed me that if they can not diagnose the problem then they want me to drive the truck until the problem gets worse. I then ask is Toyota going to fix the problem at their expense if it’s a drive train problem. They told me it depends if I am within 60k. My other question is this:

    Is this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Toyota on a problem they can not diagnose? Is this how a company that boast number one in customer service and satisfaction handles a problem?

    Note all service has been done per their guide, none missed. This problem started after the 40K service. Also my speedometer reads 5 mph fast and they said this is normal and within tolerance. Honda fixed the speedometer problems on their cars.
  • dredoggdredogg Posts: 7
    I was also wondering HOW toyota got the #1 spot for satisfaction and manufacture in the US if in fact the QUALITY CONTROL ISSUES are well known and look and see how many forums there are against toyota. I was also given the runaround and LIED to and will never ever consider ever BUYING a toyota EVER AGAIN. I bought a toyota solely on their reputation and I got CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    You're the guy with the "crooked" truck. Sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction. I sold my Toyota van off a few months ago - a nine year old van - that showed signs of old age. It was an O.K. vehicle over those years, except for a few fairly expensive electrical malfunctions, and some brake problems. Apart from that, it was reliable. I've never been a big fan of Toyota products, but the van suited my wife and I at the time when we purchased it new. I can't say that I wouldn't buy a Toyota again, but I believe that their reputation for unsurpassed durability/reliability is a bit of a stretch these days. Perhaps one of the great myths of our time. Believe it or not.
    By the way, what might be your next vehicle?
  • kj4x4tacokj4x4taco Posts: 2
  • dredoggdredogg Posts: 7
    Believe it or not I was supposed to get a Frontier at first but because of the supposed reputation of toyota I went with the tacoma. I mean it took me eight months to realize I was driving a CROOKED truck, and that was only because one day I let my girlfriend drive my truck and I was in my other truck. I was in front of her and we just happened to be going down a long straight away and I noticed that the truck was swerving. I called her on the cell and told her to stop swerving the truck and she said she wasn't. Then I told her to get in front of me and I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS SEEING. It looked liked a vehicle that had been in an accident. Right after that I took it to an alignment shop and the guy said why do you need an alignment check if it is a new truck? I said just do it and when he came back he said has this truck been in an accident? The manager on duty right away said and I quote "I do not want to be involved in this" and I was wondering why he said that but now I know. If toyota would have just gave me another not CROOKED truck I would be a happy toyota owner but they just tried to fix it and said it FALLS INTO SPECS but the truck is still CROOKED so I am S.O.L. and that is toyota for you.
  • mecloughmeclough Posts: 2
    Was wondering if anyone has had any success with rear suspension mods for a 2007 Tacoma 4X4 SB Dbl Cab w/ V6 AT. Have seen add a leafs, air shocks, coil overs, etc. Just want to increase capacity by a little so I don't get "high beam flashers" from oncoming vehicles at night when I'm hauling my Trailer.
    I know it will affect the ride but will sacrifice that for a little less "squat".
    I have the TRD Package w/ gas shocks.
    Absolutely love the Truck, my only beef is wish it had rear discs, oh well - class leader in stopping distance w/o rear discs and w/ ABS, even better than some sports cars w/ 4whl ABS discs!
  • mecloughmeclough Posts: 2
  • I have an '07 Tacoma and put an ARB winch bumper and winch on my truck along with a Daystar leveling kit on the front to bring it back up to stock ride height. 3 months later I hauled 300lbs in the bed and it now leans almost an inch to the left. I have been fighting with the dealership as they want me to return the truck to completely stock before they will replace any of the springs. Even 4 Wheel Parts (where I had everything installed) said they cant find anything wrong and it has to be a bad spring. The dealership even put it on a frame machine to see if the frame bent and its not. So now they are saying its because of the bumper and winch that weigh less than 200lbs. This is complete [non-permissible content removed]. So heres what I need help with I need anyone that has or knows someone with the same bumper to take pics of your truck no matter what year and send them to me. The pics will help me fight the dealership. And has anyone else had this problem?
  • ffjamison: Same lean problem my bone-stock 2006 has so your mod's probably have nothing to do with it. Btw, my truck is a 4x4 w/tow package. I took it to the dealer and they 'checked' the suspension out and said everything looked fine. I told the service manager that it wasn't just my truck as others have complained about the same thing. Obviously, Toyota (not the local dimwit at the dealership..) is aware of the problem but won't address it.
  • My steering went from a firm steering to very easy steering all at once like turning a light out. If the pressure switch on the power steering pump goes bad, will that cause the problem?
  • lmiddlmidd Posts: 1
    So I bought my Tacoma (1996) about 5 months ago used. I had it inspected and the mechanic said it was good to go. A couple months later I noticed it was pulling to the right so i got the tires rotated. That helped for a few days but it started pulling to the right again.

    I went to Kaltire for an alignment, and they said they had to replace the steering rack because it wouldn't hold the alignment. That helped for a week or so.

    I returned to Kaltire again and they said that they had to adjust the alignment again and asked me if I had hit a curb and I had not. Right after I drove it away it actually felt worse than before. So i took it back the next day and they switched the front two tires, which helped for about a week.

    Fed up with Kaltire I took it to Toyota and they did a 4-wheel alignment and said that Kaltire missed adjusting a Tow-in. But even after that it still pulled to the right!

    I talked to Toyota that day and they said it could be a bad batch of tires or there may be a frame problem. I did a carfax on the vehicle and it came out clean.

    Any ideas/opinions of the problem?
  • Hello guys,

    I recently bought a 2008 Toyota Tacoma access cab TRD sport. Today on the Beltway 8 feater road a cop pulled right out in front of me and forced me off the road to avoid a collision (after breaking to about 15-20MPH). It was a pretty rough ride but after comming to a stop about 30 feet from the road the cop came over to make sure I was ok and to apologize. I was pretty mad but after getting back in the truck and driving I was amazed that nothing seemed to be off. Visual inspection showed not scuff or anything on either of the front 2 tires or rims. There was no sway left or right and no vibration (i even took it up to about 90mph to see). There is about a 1 degree left tilt in the steering wheel while it is going straight but i don't remember if it was like that previously. Am I being completely paranoid (brand new truck) or do I have reason to be worried?

    I was under the impression that no vehicle was made to take curbs like this (hit curb at about a 30 degree run (from road parallel)) with left front first the right front after. I guess my question is "How rugged are the TRD sport suspensions?". Should I take this in for a suspension check just to be sure?

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Had a similar incident when my 1996 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 dually was fairly new. Was on an interstate when a bus pulled into traffic from the shoulder (and nowhere near up to speed), sending the vehicles in the right lane into my left lane, and me up and over a curb into a grass median to avoid an ugly situation.

    Like you, the steering wheel was just slightly off, so I took it to a suspension/alignment specialty shop. Just needed a minor correction and nothing was bent or out of spec. Was just fine after that. I say get the front end checked just so you're sure nothing was bent.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • step2step2 Posts: 1
    My son is looking at a 2009 Tocoma. He will use it for commuting and wants to put racks on it for ladders. Also will be doing off roading on trails. And other times will tow a small boat. Which of the 3 packages would be best to meet all these needs?
  • My '98 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 (6 cyl) (290,000 kms) has started using twice the amount of usual fuel. I changed the fuel and air filters, spark plugs & spark plug wires. The garage says my oxygen sensors are fine. Toyota can't analyse it because no warning lights come on. The mused that maybe changing the timing belt might help but that's a lot of work and $ to do on spec.

    What else should I try? It's using almost double the amount of fuel it takes in winter yet runs fine and has normal amount of power.

  • My 99 Tacoma steering wheel cover is loose and rotates in my hand. Is there some way to make it adhere to the wheel or do i have to replace it? Makes it hard to maneuver quickly if the grip doesn't stay in place.
  • bigandybigandy Posts: 70
    Check out Wheelskins. There is a web site at They have nice leather aftermarket covers that will fit over the stock cover. Can make them custom sizes as well. Really nice under your hand.
  • juansokjuansok Posts: 1
    i drive a 96 tacoma 2wd. after i make a turn (left or right) the steering wheel is slow to return to drive straight. the steering is not hard or noisy. my steering wheel almost wants to stay turned. what could if be.
  • lostwrench1lostwrench1 Ct.Posts: 1,165
    It could be the thermostat which is stuck in the open position thus not allowing the engine to warm to normal operating temperature. The electronic "brain" of the truck then knows that the engine has not yet warmed up so continues to pump more than necessary gasoline into the cylinders.
  • I have a 05 Tacoma 4x4 . When I turn the seering wheel it bucks. I have filled the fluid but still have the problem. I also checked the ball joint I know you can not lube it but it sure looks like it could use some greese. Anybody have and ideas?
  • I have the same backfire problem with my 2006 Tacoma 4X4 TRD extended crew cab with 60K miles. I took it for a tune up and into the freeway at 55-60mph i heard a backfire and at first i thought it was from another vehicle. The following early morning (5 am) in a quiet neighborhood, i heard the backfire and I knew then that it was mine, so I called the dealer and ask me to take it in. I've been asked to drive with their master mechanic and drove into the freeway at the speed that it occurs, and i heard one backfire and the mechanic did not heard it, and we went on around and at that time it did not happened and went back into the dealership and was asked to leave it for the day and will call back. I took it in three times and was told the same thing to drive the truck as long as it is running! I am waiting for the customer survey on-line by toyota and definitely complain and express total dissatisfaction on the service and the quality of the truck. This will be my last toyota vehicle that i will own and will be a lesson learned. :mad:
  • dean40dean40 Posts: 3
    i just purchased a 06 2wd pre runner double cab with 41k miles, i like the truck but its making a funny noise from the rear end i think. When i turn out on a street and turn left or right and accelerate, the truck has a low grumbling/ vibration noise that goes away after the turn is completed. It doesnt do it while traveling on the highway, or on high speed turns, it only happens when turning and accelerating from a stop. Driving around in a parking lot is where it is most noticable. I have checked the rear brakes and they are fine, i even lubed the brake shoes backing plates and changed the diff oil, but this noise still persists. Anyone have any ideas?
  • dean40dean40 Posts: 3
    man i feel silly. i fixed this problem by adding lsd additive, problem solved.
  • eyezelleyezell Posts: 2
  • eyezelleyezell Posts: 2
    When I turn left one of my front wheels makes an awful grinding noise, but not while I'm driving straight or turtning right. What could this be?
  • dthenesdthenes Posts: 1
    hello fellow car wizards!

    i have a question about my tacoma 4 door 2001 truck.
    it seems that it recently developed a very strange problem, and i am worried
    that the transmission is going out (scary thought). there are some events
    that happened that caused the problem. i went driving up the mountain with
    5 kids and another adult, car was loaded. it worked all good, but going down the breaks overheated and smoked... pretty badly. i stopped and waited for them to cool off, but when i started driving again i realized the
    breaks are not working too wel, i guess the break fluid boiled and created
    a bubble. desperately trying to stop i pulled on the hand break ( going about
    5 mph on somewhat level road ) and that didnt work so i pushed the tranny to park out of panic, it clicked a few times but didnt help, eventually i shifted
    down to 2nd and low gear and managed to stop the car. i didnt have a problem described below for q few days...but i been noticing the problem gotten worse... going uphill, especially, the car starts to jerk around as if something is slipping inside. yet, when on low gear this problem isnt so bad or even noticible. i also notcied that if i turn off the overdrive it helps the
    problem going uphill. anyone here may have a clue what this might be? i'd grately appreciate since i dont have a lot of funds to take it to dealer or expensive mechanic.

    one of my friends recommended to try to plug the vacuum tube that gives power breaks the juice, and see if problem goes away then its the vacuum chamber got screwed up with this break incidence. another friend recommended flushing transmission fluid and replacing filter. but i did look into the transmission fluid color looks red, and not burned.

    i will be checking this forum to see if anyone replied.
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