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Toyota Tundra Owner Experiences



  • 759397759397 Posts: 79
    You'll see the tranny cooler I believe up by the radiator.....then again I could be wrong. I haven't looked in a while.

    26k miles on ours, although we have only put on 3k since we bought our 2001 used with V8 etc. No problems whatsoever. The ride is far superior to the Tacoma we had......loved the Taco for 4 years and 80k miles though.
  • Purhased my 02 2WD Limited new in April and have 9000 miles. Have TRD Pachage and all factory options available. Had to replace radio due to stations drifting off preset. Absolutely superb ride, comfort, and appearance. No other problems to date. Drove all other make trucks before purchasing Tundra, nothing else came close. Could not give a higher recommendation for a personal pickup.
  • I bought my 02 Tundra limited in 6/2002. Love the truck, can't say enough about the way it drives. I do wish I could get the center console that the 03 limited has. Does anybody know if you can purchase these as aftermarket? Will they fit. Also the power rear window would be nice too.
  • They offer more room, better styling (in my opinion), and the Ram drives close to a car.
  • ricschricsch Posts: 540
    A friend has a '02 Tundra Access Cab TRD 4x4 and has been experiencing a vibration that is felt through the floor, not at all in the steering at speeds of 33-39mph, below or above that speed it is not present, nor is it present when in 4 wheel mode. It is only noticable on a smooth road too. He has driven other Tundras and they are smooth, any advice-dealer contacted Toyota and they are aware of this condition, stating that it is normal. Sounds like a way out of helping a customer to me.
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    Avalanche has better styling? LOL..that's funny. I guess for those who like vinyl siding...

    The Ram is stylish, but unless you get the 20" wheels/tires and sport body colored grill, I think the proportions are a bit off. I found the Ram to drive "big" compared to the Tundra, which turned me off somewhat, especially with the slightly underpowered engines offered on light duties. It wasn't bad, but I certainly didn't feel it rode and handled as well as my Tundra, despite having good numbers on the test track. But I admit I only took a couple of test drives in town.

    Actually, I have a black '02 Silverado Z71 reg cab sportside AND a green/silver '00 Tundra SR5 V8 2wd and like both, so I feel fairly objective about these trucks. But in terms of controlability in panic situations, road feel, and confidence, I prefer the Tundra. The Silverado rides smooth and has great low rpm torque, and looks better. I also like that the Tundra steers and brakes with less effort, an advantage when you have to act fast or are tired.

    My experience with the Tundra has been good, but not outstanding. In 40,000 miles of heavy use (towing a trailer much of the time) I've had two Oxygen sensors go bad. While it could still be driven, I had to wait quite a while the first time on parts to arrive. Also the paint quality was disappointing, chipping very easily. The serpentine belt squeaks when wet outside and they "conditioned it" but refused to replace 3 times. It's squeaking again out of warranty so I will just replace it. But as far as the transmission goes, this is the best one I've had and I've owned all major makes. No problems with heavy duty towing use. Brakes did require resurfacing and rotor turning at only about 22K mi, and are ready for it again at 40K, but again, I use them hard. No big deal, $175. Toyota also cheaps out and doesnt' use platinum plugs, so you have to change them at 30K. Did it myself, so not a big expense. Resale is phenomonal. Drove it out for $25,000 in '99. Seeing advertised prices from $18,500-$20,000 on autotrader for comparably equipped/mileage models. Great cupholder setup with buckets.

    Things I would change on the Tundra in the future:

    1. Make it full size for better rear seat room and bed depth/size.
    2. Better door detents so they stay open.
    3. Improve paint quality.
    4. Fix styling, which seems to be getting worse rather than better IMHO. What is with that step bed?
    5. Fix problem of bed sagging with heavy load. Rated for 1850 lbs but sags with just 1,000.
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    I second the thumbs up on the TRD/Bilsten shocks. I saved some money by buying the identical non-TRD shocks online and installing them myself. They're just blue/yellow instead of blue/red, I think. I used the 4x4 version on my 2wd and it handles better and doesn't bottom out anymore. Much firmer but not harsh. I felt the stock ride was too squishy. They give you just a slight jitter over rough areas, and it's not sedan smooth, but I prefer that to a smooth but flabby ride. I recommend them highly.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Nice comparison. I own an 00 Silverado (ext cab Z71)

    I have the squaeky belt when it is wet outside or damp. Have you noticed it on your silverado. Dont think its a big deal (i have 32K and will be changing this spring). Also i think all the manufacturers are skimping on their paint jobs. Less paint = less money = more profit. Also notice how the sheetmetal each yr gets thinner?
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    A great improvement to my truck was adding some bilstein HD shocks. Might wanna try that on your stepside it will definitly help
  • I currently own a '99 GMC Sierra base model truck. To date I haven't had to many problems with this truck and am in the market for a new truck.

    I have done some research on new Tundra's and wanted some real world experience with this truck. Anyone out there own a 2003 Tundra 4x4 Limited with TRD? How has this truck been so far? What are others paying out there for this truck? I'm also looking for some good pics of the 2003 Tundra...Know where to find any?

    Any input would be much appreciated.
  • Ask specific questions? Haul? Tow? Ride? Gas Mileage? Etc?
  • Well, mainly ride, performance, 4x4 capabilities, comfort of interior so far. Are you happy with purchase, any problems so far? Also, if I am not going to be using the truck for towing now and later on decide I want to add the tow package as aftermarket, is this available? Is he TRD pakage worth it?
  • First, I have a 2002 SR5 V8 4X2 and no TRD. It rides like a Camry. The interior is very comfortable forthe front seats (buckets), and the back seat is tolerable and it does make a good bed for long camping trips.

    I tow a 5200 lb 26 foot camping trailer.

    Make sure you buy the towing package as it now is the only way you are ensured the transmission cooler (2003).

    No problems to date. The truck is great.

    My 2000 Tundra V6 Regular Cab (first one) did not have any problems either with the exception of the 2000 shimmy which the dealer fixed free with a new set of Michelins.
  • Hello All,

    This morning my wife took my Tundra out to the post office and got about 1-2 miles when the Check Egine light came on. She turned around and came back home and I took my 2001 Tundra 2WD SR5 AccessCab to the nearest Toyota dealership's service department.

    An hour and a half later I was informed I was ready to go. When asked what happened, they said the Oxygen sensor had failed and they warrantied the repair. I asked what caused it to fail and they had no clue, but added it wasn't uncommon on the Tundra V8 line.

    Since TundraSolutions does not allow non-paying subscribers and guest to do searches or posting in the Technical section of that site (I understand perfectly, as it would be a valuable resource), I am looking elsewhere.

    Has any other Tundra owner had a problem with an O2 sensor, or any other sensor going out? I have about 27K miles on the truck, of which 90% are non-rush-hour interstate driving. I change the oil regularly with fully synthetic oil and performance filter and never had any problems.

    Last Saturday, I got lazy and instead of changing the oil myself, I took the 7-quarts of Mobile one and appropriate Mobile 1 filter to this very same dealership to have them change it (and they did for $9.95!). I also had them rotate the tired, but they screwed that up by rotating only two of the four tires.

    Just curious. No problems until after I have someone do something. Coincidence?
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    With the newer emmissions standards, there are several reasons that O2 sensors have false readings. First, there are many more of them on the newer vehicles with the advent of newer emmissions standards. The ones that or on the vehicles are much more stringent as well. Very often something as simple as not screwing the cap on the gas tank on tightly can cause a false reading on an O2 sensor. This is not something that is found only on Toyotas either. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot you can do to prevent the problems. But as always anytime you get a check engine light, it is advisable to have the shop check to make sure that it isn't something more significant going on. I don't think that the oil change should have had anything to do with the problem, however.

    Hope this helps.

  • gator36gator36 Posts: 294
    I just thought I would chime in on this.
    Regarding "Very often something as simple as not screwing the cap on the gas tank on tightly can cause a false reading on an O2 sensor." This is not correct. OBDII (or On Board Diagnostics II) will set a code in the computer and by spec turn on the Check Engine light. But this is not due to an O@ sensor relatd issue. The issue is has to due with the fuel evaporative emissions control system. Due to stricter emissions control systems regulated by law. Fuel systems are now a closed system. By having the fuel cap off the system can detect that there is on open vent to the atmosphere. In this condition the check engine light comes on.
    The codes set in the computer relating to an O2 sensor are due to a direct feedback system that allows the computer to monitor the O2 sensor and its performance.
      Failures of O2 sensors is most likely due to manufacturing defects, vibration and or fuel additives. One other possibility may have to do with the fuel curve on a particular vehicle (although I admit that this is reaching).

    Walter (gator)
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Thank you for the complete explanation. I am not totally familiar with the total systems with emissions, however, from talks I've had with the Techs here, the info you're giving sounds exactly the same. I try to give accurate information with the limited amount of pure tech knowledge from not tearing apart the cars day-in and day-out. I do appreciate it when I get feedback when I'm incorrect or I've misspoken. thank you again.

  • ricschricsch Posts: 540
    If it's under warranty, no problem-let the dealer check it out, otherwise Auto Zone can usually check out why the light came on for free. Another thing to try is to disconnect the battery for a few minutes and reconnect it. Have done this on other vehicles and the light never came back on. If it would have been serious enough it should have came back on.
  • Have a 2002 extended cab 4X4 Tundra. It has 12,0000 miles on it and I have had it exactly 12 months. I have had a variety of problems with it, the worst up to this point being the "trembling, vibrating" brakes. In the past several weeks I noticed a vibrating, grinding noise under the truck in the area by the drivers seat. The noise started at about 32 MPH and went away at 40 MPH. Today the dealership told me I have a bent rear axle that has to be replaced and bearings on the right wheel that also have to be replaced.
    At this point I am thoroughly disgusted with the truck and would like to run it off the nearest cliff. Am wondering if anyone else has had the problem with the rear axle?
    It has never been involved in an accident, I don't tow with it, and the most weight I have ever carried in the back was a load or two of mulch this past spring. I think the truck is history. I will never buy anything foreign again.
  • Did it behave that way when you test drove it? Do you have any clue as to why it would do that?

    My Tundra has towed and been off road in nasty places that get trucks stuck. But I'm at 27,000 miles and not the slightest problem. I know several other Tundra owners and none of them have seen a problem similar to yours.

    The axle is bent - something bent it. They don't come that way from the manufacturer (or if they do, your test drive would have revealed it). Surely there is something --- ?
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    40,000 miles and 3.25 years on my '00 SR5 V8 2wd. Problem areas are few, but include:

    1. 3 O2 sensors failed, last one out of warranty.

    2. Drum brakes went out of round and caused vibration on hard braking at 20K miles. Fixed for free by dealer w/o any fuss.

    3. Door indents are weak, causing them to close on you on even slight inclines.

    4. Drive belt squeaky when cold. Easy to replace yourself, though.

    5. Seatbelt retractors weak.

    6. Stock shocks weak. Installed Bilstein HD's and it handles much better, with slight ride penalty, but I prefer firmer ride.

    7. Rear springs compress too far, like all toyotas, under load. installed helper springs and it's fine now, also seems to help with body roll.

    8. Paint chips WAY too easily. Worst Toyota paint job I've ever had. My '91 4runner looked better at 10 y/o than the Tundra does at 3 1/3 years. But overall finish is ok, no peeling, etc.

    9. Interior plastics are hard and scratch easily.

    That's about it. By far the most satisfying truck my wife and I have owned, and we've owned them all, including the following:
    '91 Toyota 4runner
    '93 Chevy S10
    '95 Chevy C1500
    '97 Dodge Ram 4x4
    '98 Ford F150
    '01 Chevy Tahoe 2wd
    '02 Chevy Silverado 4x4

    The Tundra is easier to control, has better braking and great acceleration, despite the bragging rights of the other makes to more hp or torque. only Silverado beats it in 0-60 runs, but new Dodge hemi might. Road feel is superior, with less numbness than others. Space is tighter, but I don't have passengers so it's not a concern for me. Styling has grown on me, so it's ok. Great for light/medium duty, but pick a HD model for HD work. 4 cupholders with bucket seats are great and it has lots of storage space. Relatively smooth and quiet, and with shock upgrade seems to handle great. Certainly less of a load to handle on curvy roads than some of my previous "full size" trucks. Feels more nailed down, more in control, than Silverado or old Ram did. Finally, I feel it has been more reliable and inspires more confidence than the domestics have.

    If not for the styling miscues on '03 models, I might buy again. I don't like the plastic bumpers and new grill too much, plus I usually just like to buy a different truck out of boredom. The new Nissan Titan seems superior on paper, but the styling is a little out there.
  • haven't seen 1-4 with mine though.
  • Am still in a quandary on my 02 Tundra. First the dealership tells me the rear axle is bent. They replace the axle and other things. Bet the job cost Toyota about $2,000 bucks. They tell me the truck is fixed. I drive it home and am about a half mile from the dealership when the noise starts again. I drive it back to the dealer and they have had it for three days. They can't seem to find the answer. They have checked with Toyota and there has not been one similar problem in the country. Everyone's stumped. My question will be "Why was the rear axle replaced then"? Never had a vehicle with a bad rear axle. Would I have felt this condition in driving or overall performance of the truck. Any help from other owners would be appreciated. Thanks for your input so far.
  • I have a 2002 SR5 V8 4x4 that that has the same vibration in two wheel drive mode that ricsch reported in discussion #1583!! When I notice the vibration most is under 45 mph and it immediately goes away when I put the truck in 4 wheel drive. The dealer first replaced a driveshaft bearing which did squat then later said this is normal!!! The vibration is speed related and has nothing to do with the brakes or steering. Help!!!
  • Do you have an update? You took it in a week ago.
  • Hello all finally got it!! just bought a 2000 tundra 4x4 access cab v8 w/ limited package. has a little over 70,000 miles on it but it has been kept in excellent condition. I've read so much about toyota's reputation I am not that concerned with the miles. Any maintenance and care tips for this high mileage vehicle. Has anybody had any major problems with their tundra past 70,000.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Not 100% sure - but I think the timing belt should be replaced at around 60K.
  • My truck is still making the vibration. Have'nt had a chance to bring it in again. I'll try again this coming week.
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    congrats. Be sure to check and see what maintenance has been done. 60,000 mi is usually a bigger service than any other. Some of it may have been skipped by the previous owner. Toyotas run a long time, but not if you neglect them. I would suggest doing the 60K service if you don't have proof it's been done already. And change that timing belt/chain just to be sure.
  • Thanks for the advice Bruce I will have my mechanic look in to it. I have noticed in the morning when the engine is very cold right after starting it seems like their is a slight clanking noise coming from the engine. It goes away after about a minute. Any idea what it could be and can/should it be repaired. When I bought it of course it did not do this. Overall loving the truck so far.....VERY FAST
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