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Used Tacoma Inspection and Routine Maintenance

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by EugeneTacoma, May 20, 2010.

  1. May 20, 2010 at 6:04 PM
    #1
    EugeneTacoma

    EugeneTacoma [OP] New Member

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    Hi. I am considering buying a 2003 Tacoma PreRunner 2wd, Crew Cab from a private seller. 79,500 miles.

    I have driven the truck twice and feel good about that. I just took it to a mechanic for a used car inspection. The main things that came back were the need for a new timing belt, transmission service and a tune up. My question here is; would this fall under routine maintenance with those kind of miles on the truck?

    I am new to Tacoma's, but not to vehicles in general, so I know routine maintenance is important. The mechanic made it sound like these were the main things that needed to be done very soon, especially timing belt. Is this a mechanic seeing an opportunity to make some money, or with almost 80,000 miles would it be a sensible thing to do have done?

    Other things were a "possible small leak" in the transmission pan and worn out bushing in rack. I admit I don't know what that means. He mentioned the alternator makes 71 amps at peak and made some noise at load, but passed all tests.

    A lot of info here, but some general advice/info on some of this would be great. I really like the truck and it seems in good condition, just want to make sure everything under the hood seems legit.

    Thanks!
     
  2. May 20, 2010 at 7:32 PM
    #2
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    What engine this truck has ? If it is V6 then yes timing belt is a must... I would get that done through Toyota with some warranty attached to it.


    Other things were a "possible small leak" in the transmission pan Thats easy to fix by yourself you may want to flush fluid and change tranny filter at the same time

    worn out bushing in rack. Thats a strange one usually they dont do that unless you have 150K plus or something. Unless truck runned some insane size tires (wheel bearings are good ?)

    He mentioned the alternator makes 71 amps at peak and made some noise at load, but passed all tests. Well I would not worry much about that 71 Amps is actually good I think those are 90 amp alternators
     
  3. May 20, 2010 at 8:03 PM
    #3
    EugeneTacoma

    EugeneTacoma [OP] New Member

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    03 Tacoma PreRunner
    It is a V6, yes. From the sound of it, changing out a timing belt is a little spendy right?

    I saw on another post that changing transmission fluid after never doing it, and when the truck has high miles, it could cause problems with the transmission. At 79,500 miles would I need to worry about that?

    Thanks for the info, appreciate it.

    Is there a need for a tune up at this point? Doesnt' that involve changing out some spark plugs? Can I do that myself?

    Cheers.
     
  4. May 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM
    #4
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    Timing belt on those yes, complete PITA and usually runs around $900

    I saw on another post that changing transmission fluid after never doing it, and when the truck has high miles, it could cause problems with the transmission. At 79,500 miles would I need to worry about that? You know who says that... web mechanics... :D Get new fluid, with new filter, Dont flush it but drain and refill, this will not change all fluid once but you can do this few times to get most of new fluid. Flushing sometimes moves too much garbage around. But if your drop the pen clean up and replace tranny filter you will be ready for flush if you find somebody willing to put Synthethic fluid in it. Otherwise do yourself and put sythnhetic in it.

    Spark plugs you should be able to do yourself just be carefull, get FSM for your year of the truck and it will help you a lot.
     
  5. May 20, 2010 at 10:05 PM
    #5
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    I believe the recommended spark plug replacement is every 30k. They're kinda a pain to replace as you have to remove a few extras to get to em, but definitely not the worst. http://www.4runners.org/writeups/sparkplugs/ is a guide if you want to tackle it or not. While you have the air intake off, might want to clean the throttle body as well. (i know, its for a 4runner, but same engine)

    Timing Belt, ya. its a routine maintenance thing every 90k/6 years. Also, get a water pump done at the same time since its really a huge effort to get the timing belt done (and the water pump is right there). In other words, the cost of the water pump far offsets the cost of the labor to do the water pump at a later time, and these water pumps usually start to leak at about 90k anyway. Now would also be the time to get the belts, hoses, thermostat done since they'll either be off and/or the coolant will already be drained. Thats about where it comes in at the $900 amount.

    As far as the trans goes, go ahead and get it changed. Its kind of a closed system, but if you're so inclined, you can do it yourself. I have it written down in my scheduled maintenance to do it every 2 years, but uncertain about the recommended mileage. About the same as the plugs would be my guess.

    Back in day, people that were having transmission slipping problems would ask for a trans flush thinking that would fix things, which it didn't of course. I figure thats pretty much how the rumor got started that trans flushes cause problems. If you dont have problems with the trans, changing the fluid shouldn't ever have any ill effects. If you do have problems, changing the fluid isn't going to fix them.

    Some other things I have written down that should be changed about the same time is the Diff Oil, Antifreeze, and depending who you talk to, possibly even start thinking about brake fluid and the atf in the power steering system (make it easy on yourself and remove some with a turkey baster type thing, refill, drive a day, repeat until you're happy its clean). Of course belts and hoses should be checked routinely as well. Might also want to check your cv boots as rubber doesn't last forever.

    Also, its usually overlooked, but the the joints in your drivetrain need some grease as well.
     
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