1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

03 tacoma with a list of issues

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by MacGyvR, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Jun 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM
    #1
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
    I'm worried that I might have damaged my tacoma without really noticing or thinking about it. Here's what's up:
    I've been getting rather poor mpgs since I got her a year ago (avg 14.7) and am now starting to take up interest in how everything works. I'm noticing that I have some issues. I did get a little airborn in her a few months back, so if any of this sounds like falling damage, it probably is....

    1. I'm extremely low on coolant. The last time I had the oil changed they mentioned that I was low and they replaced it for free. I'm thinking that I have a leak somewhere. There's some fan in front of the engine that is belt fed that turns on with the car, and my friend said it should really only kick on when the engine begins to get too hot. Does anyone have any information on this? Also, could anyone recommend some coolant? I really don't know anything about it yet, it's on my list of things to learn about.

    2. I have a power steering fluid leak somewhere. I haven't noticed any performance problems, however there is practically nothing on the dipstick, and there are "hoses" on the power steering rack that are really saturated in what I suspect is power steering fluid. Will upload picture soon.

    3. Old spark plugs? The engine noise hasn't changed since I've owned the truck, however my friend said that the engine noise is something I should be concerned about. I'll post a video to youtube so you guys can hear it, but I'm not sure I can detect what he's talking about. Either way, I think I have old spark plugs.

    4. Bad shocks. The rid is pretty bumpy and I think the shocks are shot. What would you guys suggest I replace them with? It's not a 4x4, and technically it isn't TRD (no rear locking diff..... long, angry story). Also, I have practically no money at the moment, so how long can I go without replacing them?

    5. Bad...spring...thing.... I don't know what this is, but my friend said it's bent and is probably damaged. Will upload picture soon.

    6. Mysterious oil spill. There is a strange oily spill on the underside of the car directly beneath where the center console goes. I can't figure out what it is, anyone have any idea? Will upload picture soon.

    8. Very low oil levels. I had jiffylube change my oil a month or so ago, and I just looked and the level is extremely low. I'm suspecting that I either have a leak somewhere, or they jipped me out of some oil. Any thoughts? Also, could someone tell me what kind of oil I need? I'll probably go with synthetic, but I have no idea what to get beyond that.

    9. Damaged Leaf springs? Will upload picture soon.

    10. Low mpg? I've found that I can get good mileage if I cruise between 55mph and 65mph, but as when I'm at 75mph and above it really plummets. I'm just under 2k rpms at 55, just over at 65, and i'm at like 2300 to 2500 rpms at 75mph. Any thoughts on this?

    11. Brake fluid problem? There's some kind of black sludge around my brakes and I'm not sure what it is. Will upload picture soon.

    I'll add more as I continue looking. I apologize for my lack of knowledge, I'm only learning about all of this stuff right now, and I feel retarded using sentences that contain "my friend says", but I have no other way of communicating it. Also important to point out that I have very little money and very bald tires, so I'll be replacing those at the first chance I get. Any other help, advice or suggestions that you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, some of this stuff I'll figure out when I get home from work and do some more research and take pictures. I just wanted to get this posted sooner so I can get more feedback.

    Thanks you guys!
     
  2. Jun 1, 2011 at 3:25 PM
    #2
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Member:
    #40461
    Messages:
    16,773
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jerry
    Bay Area NorCal
    Vehicle:
    02 Extra cab SAS Linked front and rear
    I lost track thousands of dollars ago.
    All these issues could of been avoided with proper maintenance. Sorry to hear your truck has all these issues but when your just driving it and not maintaining it this is what happens.

    1. I'm extremely low on coolant. The last time I had the oil changed they mentioned that I was low and they replaced it for free. I'm thinking that I have a leak somewhere. There's some fan in front of the engine that is belt fed that turns on with the car, and my friend said it should really only kick on when the engine begins to get too hot. Does anyone have any information on this? Also, could anyone recommend some coolant? I really don't know anything about it yet, it's on my list of things to learn about.
    The clutch could be bad on your fan. Ass for coolant just buy 50/50
    Prestone made for Toyotas.


    2. I have a power steering fluid leak somewhere. I haven't noticed any performance problems, however there is practically nothing on the dipstick, and there are "hoses" on the power steering rack that are really saturated in what I suspect is power steering fluid. Will upload picture soon.
    you need to at least keep fluid in the pump until you find the leak or you will burn up the pump.

    3. Old spark plugs? The engine noise hasn't changed since I've owned the truck, however my friend said that the engine noise is something I should be concerned about. I'll post a video to youtube so you guys can hear it, but I'm not sure I can detect what he's talking about. Either way, I think I have old spark plugs.

    4. Bad shocks. The rid is pretty bumpy and I think the shocks are shot. What would you guys suggest I replace them with? It's not a 4x4, and technically it isn't TRD (no rear locking diff..... long, angry story). Also, I have practically no money at the moment, so how long can I go without replacing them?
    You can go as long and you need to the ride is going to be shit but as long as they are not leaking all over you can run them. just find some old TRD shocks on here if your low on funds.

    5. Bad...spring...thing.... I don't know what this is, but my friend said it's bent and is probably damaged. Will upload picture soon.
    Pics?

    6. Mysterious oil spill. There is a strange oily spill on the underside of the car directly beneath where the center console goes. I can't figure out what it is, anyone have any idea? Will upload picture soon.
    Tranny would be my guess seeing how you don't have a transfer case.

    8. Very low oil levels. I had jiffylube change my oil a month or so ago, and I just looked and the level is extremely low. I'm suspecting that I either have a leak somewhere, or they jipped me out of some oil. Any thoughts? Also, could someone tell me what kind of oil I need? I'll probably go with synthetic, but I have no idea what to get beyond that.
    Mobile 1 is what i use.

    9. Damaged Leaf springs? Will upload picture soon.
    Pics

    10. Low mpg? I've found that I can get good mileage if I cruise between 55mph and 65mph, but as when I'm at 75mph and above it really plummets. I'm just under 2k rpms at 55, just over at 65, and i'm at like 2300 to 2500 rpms at 75mph. Any thoughts on this?
    Drive slower :notsure:

    11. Brake fluid problem? There's some kind of black sludge around my brakes and I'm not sure what it is. Will upload picture soon.
    Yeah I'm going say pics on that too. I could be a lot of things
     
  3. Jun 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM
    #3
    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Member:
    #49636
    Messages:
    16,600
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jason
    Lake Tahoe
    Vehicle:
    2012 DCSB Sport
    ...too much shit to list.
    To add to this, unless you swap to an electric fan, the fan will ALWAYS move. The fan clutch is belt driven. You friend doesn't know the first fucking thing about trucks.
     
  4. Jun 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM
    #4
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
    Right. I'm working on that now.


    Hahahaha, he used to own an s10 before something really broke, I figured he'd know something but clearly neither of us know anything.


    Here are some pictures, it's taking a while to get them off my phone. I'll put the videos of the engine noise on youtube.

    2011-06-01 16.14.27.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.14.54.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.19.12.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.15.48.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.16.24.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.21.00.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.44.42.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.31.01.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.33.24.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.18.38.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.17.41.jpg
     
  5. Jun 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM
    #5
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
    Here are some more pictures

    2011-06-01 16.26.43.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.23.18.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.26.19.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.27.58.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.27.35.jpg
    2011-06-01 16.30.43.jpg
     
  6. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:19 PM
    #6
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
  7. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:21 PM
    #7
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8007
    Messages:
    2,350
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Columbus, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    2005 Subaru Outback XT 5MT
    [​IMG]

    Is this the mysterious oil spill? It looks like its grease from the drive shaft that got spun off from being lubed.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:26 PM
    #8
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
    That would be the mysterious oil spill. Well.....That's one mystery solved.
     
  9. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:31 PM
    #9
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8007
    Messages:
    2,350
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Columbus, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    2005 Subaru Outback XT 5MT
    [​IMG]

    Was the truck driven at all before you checked the power steering fluid? There's a cold reading on the other side of the dipstick. Make sure you take the dipstick out, wipe it off then put it back in to get a good reading. On my truck there were 2 bolts that were a little loose that were part of the power steering lines. It's down a little further into the engine compartment, follow the lines till you find it.
     
  10. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:33 PM
    #10
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8007
    Messages:
    2,350
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Columbus, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    2005 Subaru Outback XT 5MT
    I listened to the video and I couldn't really hear anything out of the ordinary :notsure:

    I would change/tension the belts as needed, change the spark plugs and an oil change if that needs done too.
     
  11. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:34 PM
    #11
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
    Yeah, I drove home from work bout half an hour earlier (20 miles ish). I did wipe the dipstick down first, and since the car was still warm I went with the hot side.

    Also, I was under the impression that the power steering fluid was supposed to be red, and mine appears to be slime green... how bad is that?

    I'll go check those bolts right now.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:38 PM
    #12
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Member:
    #25814
    Messages:
    31,431
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dick
    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    Back to square one after the 2001. So...
    How many miles on your truck? You can identify the required maint. schedule online form toyotaownersonline.com. Just register and then enter your VIN.

    Plugs are due every 30k miles. This will help overall performance and mileage. The 3.4 will suck gas you you have a heavy foot.

    I didn't see any coolant leaks in the pics you provided, and coolant leaks can be tricky to find if it cooks off. Do you find any coolant leaks in the driveway? Only use the pink/red Toyota coolant.

    The stock coils and leaf springs on these trucks are pretty notorious for being weak. Your leafs look fine for now (as long as none are actually broken), especially if you are low on funds. Focus on replacing the shocks so you at least have a safer ride with better traction. Bald tires and bad shocks are a recipe for disaster. You can't control a truck like that.

    Your steering rack boots look oily along the bottom; this indicates the rack may be leaking, and could be the source of PS fluid loss. Look into this.

    The greasy stain above the U-joint is likely just from grease being flung off after service. No worries.
     
  13. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM
    #13
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8007
    Messages:
    2,350
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Columbus, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    2005 Subaru Outback XT 5MT
    Ok, I'm just phasing out anything that would explain the problem lol. If the fluid is old it is probably a greyish-green sort of color. I would also check the hoses connected to the power steering and make sure they are connected well and there are no holes in them. Also wipe down anything covered in the power steering fluid so you can find where the leak is coming from.
     
  14. Jun 1, 2011 at 6:50 PM
    #14
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8007
    Messages:
    2,350
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Columbus, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    2005 Subaru Outback XT 5MT
    Suspension does look pretty worn, especially the front coils. You don't need to replace the worn suspension, but it's just a good idea. Since you're low on funds just keep driving it with the worn suspension until you are ready to replace it. Is the coolant low now even after they replaced it? For oil use your choice of 5w-30 oil. I use castrol syntec on my truck.
     
  15. Jun 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM
    #15
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Member:
    #40533
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    03 Prerunner SR5 2wd
    I've got 154,799 miles on it.
    The coolant seems to be just below a 3rd of what it should be at full.
    I have been driving like a grandma since I've been getting low on funds, and I avoid getting near 2k rpms like the plague.
    Also, I'm not sure if the spark plugs have ever been replaced.

    The steering rack is one of my biggest concerns. I'm going to take the truck to a mechanic this weekend and get an evaluation done. Is the steering rack something that can be repaired, or would that have to be entirely replaced?


    Ok, I'll clean out the engine compartment tomorrow so I can watch for more spills. One thing I noticed when I was looking for those bolts you mentioned was that the top of the skid plate is really oily and dirty on the driver side. I"m not sure what that's about.


    There is a little less than a 3rd of the coolant left. I'll be replacing that tomorrow after work too along with the oil.
     
  16. Jun 1, 2011 at 7:16 PM
    #16
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8007
    Messages:
    2,350
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Columbus, Ohio
    Vehicle:
    2005 Subaru Outback XT 5MT
    That's the side the oil filter is on and changing that can get very messy. I'm guessing last time it you got the oil changed someone made a mess taking out the filter.
     
  17. Jun 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM
    #17
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Member:
    #25814
    Messages:
    31,431
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dick
    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    Back to square one after the 2001. So...
    ^^^x2
     
  18. Jun 1, 2011 at 10:48 PM
    #18
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Member:
    #26726
    Messages:
    19,968
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steven
    In a corn field, OH
    Vehicle:
    1990 Chevy Siveraydo
    245k+ miles, rust, working AC, bald eagles
    It kinda sounded like the idler pulleys were bad in the video.

    get that T-belt/waterpump done ASAP
     
  19. Jun 2, 2011 at 7:51 AM
    #19
    bicklebok

    bicklebok Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Member:
    #57154
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ronnie
    Montgomery, AL
    Vehicle:
    2000 Xtra Cab 4x4 SR5
    You seem like you are just getting your feet wet in do it yourself maintenance, which is great you have an interest in taking care of your nice truck. One thing I would suggest you you it to read your owners manual. Believe it or not, it will help getting started. About your fluids, if you have leaks or suspect leaks, check them regularly-daily if needed. If low, add until you can get the leaks fixed. Then you wont have to worry so much.
     
  20. Jun 2, 2011 at 8:17 AM
    #20
    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Member:
    #11857
    Messages:
    4,805
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kevin
    High Point, NC
    Vehicle:
    280k miles
    SAS, Locked front rear, Ufab sliders and bumpers, air compressor, 35" BFG KM2 on steelies and 36" TSLs
    I have first gen rear shocks for 50 for both plus shipping, I only used them 1k miles till my shocks came in and payed 110 for both
     
To Top