The Toyota Tacoma is a popular and reliable midsize truck that has been in production since 1995. However, like any vehicle, it is not immune to problems and issues that may require repairs or maintenance. Some of these problems are more common and severe than others, and some may affect certain model years more than others. In this essay, we will discuss the most common problems and repairs for the Toyota Tacoma, based on the reports of hundreds of real owners and experts. We will also provide some tips and advice on how to avoid or prevent these problems, or minimize their impact on your truck's performance and safety. Related Articles: 10 Reasons To Buy A Used Toyota Tacoma
Body Paragraph 1: Lower Ball Joint Issue
One of the most common and serious problems that affects the Toyota Tacoma is the premature wear of the lower ball joints. The lower ball joints are part of the front suspension system that connect the wheels to the steering and allow them to move up and down. If the lower ball joints fail, they can cause a clunking noise, increased steering effort, reduced vehicle self-centering, and noise in the front suspension. In extreme cases, they can also cause the wheels to fall off the truck, resulting in a loss of control and a potential crash.
The lower ball joint issue is caused by improper finishing during production, which scratches the surface of the ball portion of the joint and makes it more prone to wear and looseness. This problem affects 13 model years of the Tacoma, from 1995 to 2007 . However, only four model years (2001-2004) were included in a recall issued by Toyota in 2005. Under this recall, owners of affected vehicles can have their lower ball joints replaced free of charge at an authorized service provider.
The repair cost for this problem ranges from $230 to $450 , depending on the model year and the extent of damage. However, some owners have reported that they had to replace their lower ball joints multiple times, as the problem recurred after a few years or miles. To avoid or prevent this problem, owners should regularly inspect their lower ball joints for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, corrosion, grease leaks, or loose bolts. They should also follow the recommended maintenance schedule for their vehicle and use only genuine Toyota parts when replacing their lower ball joints.
Body Paragraph 2: Automatic Transmission Issue
Another common problem that affects the Toyota Tacoma is the automatic transmission not shifting correctly at high mileage. This problem manifests as delayed or harsh shifts, slipping gears, or hesitation when accelerating or decelerating. This problem can affect the fuel economy, performance, and drivability of the truck.
The automatic transmission issue is due to two possible causes: a misadjusted throttle position sensor or a faulty shift solenoid. The throttle position sensor is a device that monitors the position of the gas pedal and sends signals to the transmission control module to adjust the shift timing and pressure. The shift solenoid is a valve that controls the flow of fluid in the transmission and changes gears according to the signals from the control module. If either of these components is out of alignment or malfunctioning, they can cause the transmission to behave erratically.
This problem affects 21 model years of the Tacoma, from 1995 to 2015 . It usually occurs at higher mileage, ranging from 12,000 to 300,000 miles . The repair cost for this problem varies depending on the cause and severity. A simple adjustment of the throttle position sensor can cost around $100, while a replacement of a shift solenoid can cost around $300. However, some owners have reported that they had to replace their entire transmission, which can cost up to $4,000.
To avoid or prevent this problem, owners should regularly check their transmission fluid level and condition, and change it according to the manufacturer's recommendations. They should also avoid driving aggressively or towing heavy loads that can strain their transmission. They should also seek professional diagnosis and repair as soon as they notice any signs of transmission trouble.
Body Paragraph 3: Amber Running/Parking Light Issue
A less common but still noticeable problem that affects some Toyota Tacomas is the amber front running/parking lights melting or cracking their lenses. The amber lights are located in the headlight assembly and serve as daytime running lights or parking lights. If they overheat or get exposed to moisture or dirt, they can damage their plastic lenses and cause them to melt or crack.
The amber running/parking light issue affects eight model years of the Tacoma, from 2006 to 2013 . It usually happens at lower mileage, ranging from 6,120 to 142,520 miles . The repair cost for this problem is relatively low, as it only requires the replacement of the headlight assembly. The average cost for this repair is around $200.
To avoid or prevent this problem, owners should regularly inspect their amber lights for signs of overheating or damage, such as discoloration, distortion, or cracks. They should also use the correct wattage and type of bulbs for their lights and avoid using aftermarket or LED bulbs that may not be compatible with their truck's electrical system. They should also keep their headlight assembly clean and dry and avoid washing their truck with high-pressure water or steam.
The Toyota Tacoma is a durable and dependable truck that can handle various terrains and conditions. However, it is not without its flaws and faults. Some of the most common problems and repairs for the Toyota Tacoma are the lower ball joint issue, the automatic transmission issue, and the amber running/parking light issue. These problems can affect the safety, performance, and appearance of the truck. However, they can also be avoided or prevented by following proper maintenance practices, using quality parts, and seeking timely repairs. By doing so, owners can enjoy their Tacoma for many years and miles to come.