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Newbie 2004 Tacoma owner looks for some insight/suggestions

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Old 07-31-2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Newbie 2004 Tacoma owner looking for some insight/suggestions


Just bought an 04 Tacoma PreRunner TRD SR5 2wd AT V6....whew. I have no idea if I broke that down correctly in Toyota terms...lol. Paid a little much for it ($14,700) with 99,500, but I realize these trucks hold value better than any other out there and this thing was CLEAN and well maintained. Being new to the Tacoma I've came across a few things that have me scratching my head a bit. Hoping you guys might be able to help me understand what I have.

  1. My auto transmission seems to shift a bit rough at times. I don't notice it all the time and mainly notice it when I'm coming to a stop. If I ease into the stop it seems to occur less or not at all. It's when I come to a quicker stop that the tranny seems to be trying to catch up to downshift. It's nothing to make me cringe, however I just want to know that it's a 'Toyota thing' and to disregard. Haven't noticed any other odd feeling transmission related issues except a little rougher shift when I punch the gas.
  2. This leads me into my next question. When do I turn off the OD (overdrive)? I've read that anything under 45mph in city driving should be OD OFF for better fuel economy and engine braking. Looking for some suggestions.
  3. Leading into another question...ECT (electronically controlled transmission). I've heard this is the "turbo button"...lol. I've read enough to know that this cranks the RPMs higher for quicker acceleration and that the system is designed to learn my driving habits, but do people actually use this feature full time? Seems good for freeway on-ramp and some extra punch when driving off road trails or passing vehicles on the freeway. Not so good on fuel economy obviously. Can I use this in conjunction with my OD or is this a no-no?
  4. Rear locking diff? Engage under 5mph? Obviously used for getting out of mud etc, but do you suggest to lock up the rear diff every time I go off road? How fast can you go with the rear diff locked? Do you have to disengage under 5mph too?
Thanks ahead of time for your input! I know I put a lot into one post, but I didn't want to flood the forum with questions. I absolutely love this truck so far and took it out in the dirt last weekend. This thing just feels at home off road. Makes me wish I got the 4x4, but I use this for my everyday vehicle and am thinking 2wd in this package model will suite me fine. Glad there are forums like this where I can learn something.



-Mike
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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Welcome to TW! Keep a close eye on your wallet.....you will see.....so many mods...so little money!

Getting to your questions:

1. My trans shifts fine. I did have axle wrap that makes a thunk sound but that doesn't sound like what you have. Sorry can't help.

2. I leave the OD on all the time unless I am towing my boat. Tranny is pretty smart I figure and can do the job.

3. Here is a link to ECT info that I found informative. ECT

4. My Toyota owner's manual says to engage the RR lock when stopped (wheels not spinning) and don't drive over 5 mph. I only use it when I think I may have traction problems. I have driven in dirt and not used it. Remember, when the RR lock is on your ABS warning light will come on since it is disabled. Once you turn the RR lock off, the ABS light will go off and the system will be working again. Yes, disengage under 5 mph.

Sorry I couldn't answer them all, but hope this helps.

Again, welcome to TW.
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