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First Taco purchase, what should I check for?

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
palmxp3 [OP] palmxp3 is offline
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First Taco purchase, what should I check for?

Hi All,

After over a month of searching, I finally located one with a clean history and a fair price. It's a 2002 Tacoma Extended Cab 4x4 V6 Automatic SR5 TRD. This will be my first Tacoma purchase so hopefully you guys can give me insight on what to look out for.

I know that there is a frame rust issue and this truck shows it was inspected in 2010 with no perforations, but I will still bring my ball peen and do a manual check. I know I should check the 4WD system as well. Do I just need to press the 4WD button to activate it and make sure there's no mechanical issue? How about 4H/4L/2H mode, does the car need to be completely stopped and in car to switch those modes?

Any help is appreciated, I plan to see it first thing in the morning.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
palmxp3 [OP] palmxp3 is offline
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I have not bought it yet, going to test drive it tomorrow morning and want to know what I should look for on a tacoma with 105k miles.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #3
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Make sure the timing belt and water pump have been changed, they should have been done at 90K miles.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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Thumbs up

check the raid cap and oil cap and dip stick make shure theres no signs of oil mixed n with the coolant or milky lookn crap on the oil cap or dipstick. always pull back the carpet 2 c what shape the floors n check all electronics
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
displaced viking living in new jersey
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look into the climate fan as mine squeaks like mad as do many others.
the rear leaf springs sag and if the tsb was not done get that one in before you buy.
the steering to make sure it feels tight and correct and true some trucks had issues with steering.
also the throw out bearings when and if your looking into a manual trans. when your foot is depressing the clutch no noise when you lift up noise that sounds diesel esq or a clattering can be heard.

these are some of the more annoying things i have either experienced myself or have heard others complain about i would start here and also check into the recall threads on tw a lot of good info to search for regarding issues.

some trucks will experience none or all of these problems in this respect some get lucky and some times the issues have been corrected at the factory or dealership level as per pdi and tsb and recall notices.

something to do if your really zeroing in on one particular truck is to obtain the trucks vin number and search out the recalls on that specific truck if any. there is a website for this but right now it skips my mind if i find it for you i will link it up.

btw these are small things compared to what a lot of other guy's expereince with other brands lol so don't let it scare you away just being honest.

edit: and like the other member said RUST check that out for sure.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stunt man hans View Post
look into the climate fan as mine squeaks like mad as do many others.
the rear leaf springs sag and if the tsb was not done get that one in before you buy.
the steering to make sure it feels tight and correct and true some trucks had issues with steering.
also the throw out bearings when and if your looking into a manual trans. when your foot is depressing the clutch no noise when you lift up noise that sounds diesel esq or a clattering can be heard.

these are some of the more annoying things i have either experienced myself or have heard others complain about i would start here and also check into the recall threads on tw a lot of good info to search for regarding issues.

some trucks will experience none or all of these problems in this respect some get lucky and some times the issues have been corrected at the factory or dealership level as per pdi and tsb and recall notices.

something to do if your really zeroing in on one particular truck is to obtain the trucks vin number and search out the recalls on that specific truck if any. there is a website for this but right now it skips my mind if i find it for you i will link it up.

btw these are small things compared to what a lot of other guy's expereince with other brands lol so don't let it scare you away just being honest.
^^^These are 2nd gen problems. The 1st gens don't have these issues. 1st gen FTW!!
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
palmxp3 [OP] palmxp3 is offline
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The truck is being sold by a used car deal and I obtained the VIN and check the toyota owners website. It does show 2 recalls were done by a toyota dealership (Ball Joint in 2005 and Frame inspection in 2010). I don't believe the timing belt/water pump has been replaced yet, but then the last 3 trucks I've inquired about with 125k miles weren't either. So at this point I have just accepted that I will get it done myself.

It may seem like a silly question, but can someone explain how the 4H/4L/2H selector modes operate? I want to make sure to test all modes out and make sure they are working properly. Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3bassman View Post
it depends on if it has the push button 4wd activated or the j lever. my 01 has the j lever and it is a matter of pushing in the clutch and shifting.
It's an automatic, so it has the push button "4WD" button on the 4H/4L/2H selector.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:59 PM   #10
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I would check the air-filter. dirty airfilter probably means irresponsible owner.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
mall crawler
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I didnt read through everything but check for rust. I had to back out of one because underneath was rusted pretty bad. If it shows any signs of rust I would pass.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel Taco 22 View Post
I didnt read through everything but check for rust. I had to back out of one because underneath was rusted pretty bad. If it shows any signs of rust I would pass.
keep in mind he lives in philly. any truck up there is gonna have a lot more rust than the trucks we would see.
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