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Are Tacomas ACTUALLY reliable?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016-2023)' started by Adrian.Brewster, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. Mar 23, 2021 at 10:50 AM
    #1
    Adrian.Brewster

    Adrian.Brewster [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ive owned a number of Toyotas over the years and I know they are renowned for their reliability. The issue is, many of them ended up with rusted frames, bad lower ball joints, leaking head gaskets, ect. Ive heard stories of pink milkshake in the radiator and failed u joints. Automatic transmissions that dont shift correctly until they are flashed by OVTuning. The list goes on...

    I realize a lot of these issues can be addressed, but 3 out of the 5 first gens I have owned ended up falling apart due to frame rust. My third gen had a bad rear differential from the factory. My 3rd gen 4runner needed the rear diff rebuilt due to a failed bearing and new axle seals at just 112k miles.

    I suppose my question is, are these things "reliable" because folks are willing to repair them as they age and so you see a lot with high mileage or is it because they actually just last a long time without major issues? A quick look at Facebook marketplace and you will see that most vehicles being sold these days have 150 to 250 thousand miles, so vehicles making it to 6 digit mileage is not all that impressive anymore. Our Hyundai Tucson made it to 180k miles with NOTHING but oil/brake changes and 2 transmission fluid changes. Maybe an air filter every few years.

    Am I unlucky? I have owned 5 first gens, 1 second gen, and 3 3rd gens. The only one that I didn't have an issue with was the 2nd gen. I dont beat on my vehicles and love tinkering and servicing them, so that is not the issue.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Mar 23, 2021 at 10:52 AM
    #2
    moosey52

    moosey52 Well-Known Member

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    My 2020 has been great. No problems whatsoever. Been having for a year now.
     
  3. Mar 23, 2021 at 10:53 AM
    #3
    farmtacoma

    farmtacoma Date Farmer

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    You seem unlucky. Though where I live, rust or rain isn't even in our vocabulary.

    My first gen Tacoma, bought new, went 277K miles. No issues.


    My 2018 - 42K miles.

    My 2021 -2700 miles.

    Aside from maintenance - nothing wrong with any of my 3 Tacos. (2018 and 2021 not enough mileage to report)


    Our 2012 FJ Cruiser TT (4.0L - same as 2nd gen Tacoma), 0 problems, in 165K miles.

    My Land Cruisers (FJ60/62) those have been amazing. My 60 has 716K miles, all stock. My 62 has 228K miles, 0 issues. Just maintenance.
     
    Squirt, SR-71A, CygnusX191 and 14 others like this.
  4. Mar 23, 2021 at 10:57 AM
    #4
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 Well-Known Member

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    Here we go again....

    There's a reason Toyota's are consistently rated among the highest in reliability. No, they aren't without their problems, but they consistently have fewer. This is my first Toyota and so far it is more reliable than my GMC was despite just under a year of ownership. In my GMC, I already had to replace the thermostat by this point and the TPMS system wasn't working at all. I have numerous coworkers who have had their Silverados and Sierras in the shop for extended periods of time despite being less than 3 years old.

    If you research vehicles long enough, you'll find every manufacturer has their consistent issues and you'll be convinced every vehicle is a POS (especially if you join forums like this). But, again, just because something is consistently rated for high reliability, doesn't mean it is absolutely problem free.
     
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  5. Mar 23, 2021 at 10:59 AM
    #5
    Knute

    Knute Well-Known Member

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    If you read carefully, you will see many issues arise after the owner has performed an aftermarket modification.

    Every mass production will have a few bad products. When you begin looking at the hard data, the incidence of issues will be a low percentage number.

    When I was in the power tool industry the target acceptable warranty rate was 2%. Anything less than 2% was monitored for common issues, otherwise.....ignored.

    I can't say for the automotive industry, but I'm sure they have an acceptable warranty rate.
     
  6. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:01 AM
    #6
    smithlaketaco

    smithlaketaco Well-Known Member

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    lets see i have a 95' that has over 500k on, never had a problem before 450K
    I have an 02 that had 474K on the way to work this morning that never had a problem
    Both of these have had the brakes, plugs, rotors changed numerous times but both have the original clutches in them and no major problems and never left me walking
    I have a 20 that only has 6K on it so time will tell if the 3rd gens are anywhere near the first gens, but over all i am on satisfied customer with tacoma's
     
  7. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:04 AM
    #7
    Gen3TacomaOBX

    Gen3TacomaOBX Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    Check resale values for an indicator.

    The current model came out ~5.5 years ago and there isn't a chorus of any particular shaitting-the-bed issue.
     
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  8. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:11 AM
    #8
    Stocklocker

    Stocklocker Well-Known Member

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    My 2017 has been trouble-free. Head unit screen died in the first week, but other than that any problems have been self-induced.
     
  9. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:19 AM
    #9
    willie64

    willie64 Willie64

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    My 1st gen, owned since new. Lifted, modified and wheeled. No issues beyond normal things wearing out. Regular maintenance is the key.
    4th gen 4runner is the same except I tow my camper with it. Regular maintenance is the key.
    Both are at 200k miles.
    Take care of them, they take care of you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  10. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:30 AM
    #10
    TX BAJA1

    TX BAJA1 Well-Known Member

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    80,87,97,2012 all super reliable for me. There's a reason extended warranties are way cheaper on Toyotas.
     
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  11. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:35 AM
    #11
    OMGitsme

    OMGitsme Well-Known Member

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    I've owned a 1986, 1996, 2006, 2009 and a 2019. All have been near flawless. The 86 did rot above the back wheels terribly but everything else was so damn bulletproof it didn't bother you when it started at 60k.
     
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  12. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:40 AM
    #12
    Taco_mike73

    Taco_mike73 Well-Known Member

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    Lomax tonneau cover, oem bed lights, AJT Design chrome delete, black out badges & tailgate letters, AVS hood deflector & vent visors, Solkie tech hood supports, interior LED lights, Tufskinz mud guards, RedArc TowPro Liberty, bed mat, kicker speaker upgrade, Hikari ultra H11 low beams, Diode Dynamics SS3 fogs in yellow, Meso customs total taillight stage 1. Coming soon: Compact powered sub install Future mods planned: bigger tires (265/75/16) BILLSTIEN 5100 lift
    I never owned a Toyota before my 2020 Tacoma. I will say what convinced me to buy one since I was looking in mid size trucks was my boss had a Gen1 with 190K or more on it. traded it for a new 2007. he had the 2007 till 2014 when someone hit it and totalled it. he got so much for the 07 that the was able to move the a new 2014 for not much more. his 2014 had like 65,000 miles, never needed anything but brakes, tires, battery and regular maintenance last time we talked about it.

    My dad had a Gen 1 single cab 4x4 they inherited from my stepmoms brother. he drove that for years and got rid of his Grand Cherokee. He traded that in when he wanted a bigger truck for a 2011 TRD OR AC he found used. both were mostly trouble free. the 2011 was back to the dealer last summer for the frame recall. all they did was add rustproofing.

    So far I am very happy with mine 8 months out. Everyone I know that has had any Toyota has always said they were dependable.
     
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  13. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:43 AM
    #13
    Adrian.Brewster

    Adrian.Brewster [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I love hearing stories of vehicles with 500+k miles. That a beautiful thing.

    Im not trying to knock Toyota, I am just curious. We currently have a 4th gen 4runner with 160k miles and I just spent 2k replacing CV axles and wheel bearings in the front end. I consider this "normal" maintenance, but I likely would not have spent the money on a cheaper vehicle, which I suppose is my point. Tacomas and 4runners have such good resale value that people are willing to pay to fix them, and they last a long time. If someone had the same incentive to repair a Hyundai or kia or ford, I wonder if they would last just as long.

    I may be more picky than most. Tacomas are getting super expensive, so little things like the head unit going out or the rear diff being under filled from the factory bother me more than they probably should. I also have a Jeep Gladiator right now and that thing hasn't given me a lick of trouble. And their "reliability" ratings are much lower than the tacoma.
     
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  14. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:43 AM
    #14
    Nalpak99

    Nalpak99 Booty Hunter

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    I have a 2005 with 200k miles and I drive it hard, no issues with it at all.
     
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  15. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:47 AM
    #15
    txags92

    txags92 Well-Known Member

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    There is a saying in relationship therapy circles..."The common element in all your failed relationships is you." I would hazard to guess that if you keep buying vehicles known to be very reliable based on a large database of happy owners, but you keep having bad driveline issues, it may be related to the way you drive or maintain your vehicles.
     
  16. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:47 AM
    #16
    Junkhead

    Junkhead TRDude

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    Everyone that I know who owns a Toyota only has good things to say. My dad has 2 4runners and they have been stellar, my 18 taco has been great as well, none of those “TW” issues. I am at like 25k miles.
     
  17. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:50 AM
    #17
    RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Well-Known Member

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    Well, as someone who has not been a Toyota owner for nearly two decades, but have owned american trucks and suv's, I can tell you that from your perspective, the grass appears greener on the other side but it is not. As much as you see little issues here and there with Toyota, other brands have more issues by many multiples than toyota at all levels. So for me reliability is a scale. Is toyota 100%? no, but it is closer to 100% than any other brand with the exception of Honda, who has possibly higher reliability, but lower durability. I had a heavy duty 2500 series chevy truck with a 454, that I had to pour a quart of oil in every 2-3 weeks. Mechanic told me that there was nothing they could do. I also had a 2500 suburban with the same engine and the same problem. I had a 2010 suburban that had a traction control problem that would lock the front passenger wheel and try to make an instant right turn on the freeway. Had a dodge ram 1500 that lost it's trans at 100k miles. Had a dodge dakota(I know, talk about bad decisions) that blew a head gasket at 90k. Had a ford ranger that I inherited from a friend, who had just replaced the blown engine at 120k miles. Had an F150 with a horrible drivetrain vibration that ford could not figure out under warranty and would not fix. Vibration was determined to be an out of true shaft in the transmission. You know what that means. I traded it off. My F350 is probably the best american truck I have owned. my jeep rubicon had break failure on a sandy trail at the beginning of my moab and canyonlands trip. Had to nurse it to a shop near blanding I think. I never got on any forums to bitch about any of these vehicles. The truth is that even these brands today are much better than most vehicles of the 80's and early 90's.
     
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  18. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:50 AM
    #18
    boston23

    boston23 Well-Known Member

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    The real question is

    Are 3rd gens gonna last as long as 1st gens have last?
     
  19. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:51 AM
    #19
    farmtacoma

    farmtacoma Date Farmer

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    We will know in 15 more years :)
     
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  20. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:51 AM
    #20
    RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Well-Known Member

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    longer.....for sure.
     
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