I have a 04, X-cab, Tacoma, 4x4, 5sp. ....97k+ miles
about a year & a half ago in winter, I started the truck (in garage but no door), heard a "whack" noise.. and from then the truck ran very rough. I took it to a shop and asked them to diagnose the problem and they found nothing wrong except the engine fan was missing a blade. They replaced and the problem was solved. It ran great. The culprit was a squirrel. It finally fell out after the body was shrunken enough for it to drop out. I live in a somewhat rural area so it was no surprise an animal had sought the warmth of the engine.
This happened several months later (summer this time so it seems odd an animal would seek refuge and warmth near an engine) when I was passing another car on the interstate.. this time it was about fifteen minutes after starting the truck. I down shifted to third and pushed it... heard the "whack noise again and it started to run rough. Since the noise and symptoms were the same, I checked the fan first.. and, yes, it had a blade broken off. If it was an animal, it seems odd it would lay low for this long.
I had the fan replaced again in August. Recently, I was merging onto a busy interstate and again shifted to third and pushed it to get up to speed with traffic flow pretty quick. Heard what seemed to be several whacks and the truck has been running even more rough than the other two times. In checking under the hood, there were three blades broken off completely, one half way off and another cracked and chipped.
I can't imagine this being rodent problems. Can something be happening as a result of torque? Could the first animal have bent the shaft and now the fan hits when the truck is pushed or under strain? Seems a squirrel is a pretty small animal.. I would think the truck hardware would be much more stout than that. The last two times seemed to happen upon a downshift and acceleration. Any ideas from anyone around what might be causing this re-occuring problem? At 200.00 a crack (no pun intended), I'd like to get it solved once and for all.
Last... if anyone knows of some kind of under carriage "cover" that would keep animals out, can you tell me where I can find. Seems cheaper than installing a new garage door.
Thanks in advance.. I'm new to this forum and am looking for an answer...