Common Tacoma Transmission Problems

The Tacoma is a highly customizable pickup truck manufactured by Toyota. Tacoma provides a powerful and exhilarating driving experience along with off-road capabilities.

However, the Toyota Tacoma has transmission issues that interrupt a flawless driving experience. But don’t worry. The Tacoma is less problematic compared to other trucks.

Let’s discuss which Tacoma models have transmission problems, common Tacoma transmission problems, causes, solutions, repair costs, and how to prevent them.

Tacoma Models with Transmission Problems

According to user reviews and complaints, the 2015–2019 model years have transmission problems along with powertrain problems.

The most affected models with transmission problems are:

  • Tacoma SR V6
  • Tacoma SR5 V6
  • Tacoma TRD Off Road V6
  • Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 V6
  • Tacoma TRD Off Road 4×4 3.5L

5 Most Common Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems

The most common Toyota Tacoma transmission problems are shifting issues, throwout bearing failure, clunking while shifting, clutch pedal jamming, and cross-member issues.

1. Shifting Issues

tacoma shifting issues

Almost every Tacoma user has experienced difficulty shifting and sloppy gear shifting. Difficulty shifting means they had trouble shifting gear in or out. Sloppy gear shifting means the gear response is sloppy.

Generally, problems occur with manual transmission. You will face problems after 500–1000 miles of long driving. The problem is mostly found between fourth and sixth gear.

2. Clutch Pedal Jamming

tacoma clutch pedal stuck to floor

Clutch pedal jamming is an issue where the owners face trouble engaging or disengaging the clutch. Every manual-transmission Tacoma user has faced the issue more or less.

The clutch pedal is the pedal that helps you engage or disengage the transmission. Jamming in the clutch pedal will trouble you while driving and can cause transmission failure.

3. Clunking While Shifting

tacoma clunk when turning

A clunking noise can come from the transmission while driving. Clunking noise means the transmission gears are not inlined, and the friction is causing the noise. However, this is not a major issue and can be solved easily.

4. Throwout Bearing Failure

 

The throwout bearing is a clutch assembly part situated over the transmission shaft.

When you shift your gear, the throwout bearing disengages the clutch plate from the transmission.

Throwout bearing failure can cause total transmission failure and cause major issues.

5. Cross-Member Issues

tacoma cross member issue

The cross member is a part that sits below the transmission and supports it. If there are any issues with the cross-member, the transmission will lack support and cause issues.

Cross members are reported to break on Tacoma trucks and cause clunks, shaking, grinding, etc.

Causes of Tacoma Transmission Problems

There are seven common causes of Tacoma transmission issues:

1. Bad Ball Head Pin on the Oil Filler Plug

A ball headpin is right in front of the transmission oil filler plug. The rounded headpin is the main design flaw, and Toyota replaced it with a flat shape. A bad ball headpin on the transmission oil filler causes difficulty shifting.

2. Bad Throwout Bearing

The throwout bearing is responsible for clutch plate engagement and disengagement with the transmission. Throwout bearing failure causes clutch assembly and transmission failure.

3. Clutch Pedal Bushings

Faulty clutch pedal bushings can cause jamming in the clutch pedal. If there is a problem with the clutch pedal bushings, you will have difficulty pressing the clutch pedal.

4. Clutch Master Cylinder Issues

If the clutch master cylinder seals fail, air will be pulled from outside, causing a vacuum leak. Air or vacuum can prevent the clutch piston from returning to its initial position. This issue can cause jamming in the clutch pedal.

5. Clutch Fluid Leak

Clutch fluid is essential for the clutch piston to work properly. Leaking of the fluid will cause the clutch system to fail and cause jamming.

6. Loose Gear Shifter

The gear shifter has rubber bushings and linkages. They wear out over time and become loose. A loose gear shifter causes sloppy gear shifting.

7. Broken Cross Member

Tacoma users reported that the cross member becomes rusty and breaks down easily. There may be manufacturing issues behind it.

The cross member works as a mounting unit for the transmission. A broken cross member causes vibration, squeaking, grinding, clunking noise, etc.

Symptoms of Tacoma Transmission Problems

You can easily find out the symptoms of Tacoma transmission problems by looking for the following signs:

  1. You will have difficulty shifting the gear.
  2. Shifting will be slower compared to before.
  3. The clutch pedal will be harder to press.
  4. You may also face jamming on the clutch pedal.
  5. The clutch and transmission may not work properly and fail.
  6. You will hear clunking or grinding noises from the transmission.
  7. The truck will shake and vibrate more than usual.

Solution to Tacoma Transmission Problems

You can solve each Tacoma transmission problem by using the following methods:

Clutch Pedal Jamming

Check the clutch pedal bushings, master cylinder, and clutch fluid line for any issues. If there are any issues with the parts, replace them one by one.

Shifting Issues

Loose gear shifters can cause shifting delays. The Tacoma doesn’t have a repairable gear shifter, so you must replace it if necessary.

Though there may only be a slight delay in shifting, it’s not a big deal. You should also check the transmission oil filler plug ball head pin. Replacing the ball headpin will solve the difficulty shifting issue.

Throwout Bearing Failure

Clutch and transmission failure can occur due to throwout bearing failure. Replacing the bearing is the only solution, which is not cheap and takes at least 5–6 hours to replace.

Clunking While Shifting

Clunking noise can come out of the transmission while shifting. The only solution is to rebuild the transmission, which is costly.

Cross-Member Issues

The only solution is to replace the cross-member. A new cross-member will last longer than the prebuilt one, which breaks down easily.

Tacoma Transmission Problems Repair Costs

Now you know all the Tacoma transmission problems and their solutions. But you may be wondering how much the parts will cost.

Tacoma transmission problems and repair costs are as follows:

Parts or Service

Price or Charge

Transmission Rebuilding

$500–$600

Throwout Bearing

$20–$70

Gear Shifter

$120–$250

Clutch Pedal (full set)

$50-$60

Clutch Master Cylinder

$30-$120

Clutch Fluid Rubber Line

$10

Cross Member

$100-$250

The cost of the parts does not include labor charges. Depending on the work, you may be charged up to $500 for labor costs.

How to Prevent Tacoma Transmission Problems

You can prevent Tacoma transmission problems by following these steps:

  1. First, check the transmission oil level regularly.
  2. If the oil level is low, fill it to the desired level.
  3. If the oil is dirty, flush it out and refill it.
  4. Check the transmission oil filler ball head pin for issues.
  5. Then check the clutch pedals for any issues.
  6. Check if the throwout bearing is working properly or not.
  7. You should check if the gear shifter is sloppy or not.
  8. Check the clutch master and slave cylinders for leaks.
  9. Then check the clutch fluid line for oil leakage.
  10. Check the cross member for rust or cracks.

You should check up on your Tacoma truck on a daily basis. If you find any issues, follow the solution discussed below. If you can’t solve the problems on your own, go to an experienced mechanic.

Final Words

As you can see, most of the Tacoma transmission problems are minor and easy to fix. Most of the problems occur at higher mileage, and some users don’t face them at all.

Overall, the Toyota Tacoma is a reliable truck. However, before purchasing a new Tacoma, you must look for the common problems discussed above.

If you are already a Tacoma user, you should diagnose your vehicle’s transmission for issues and fix them.

Always take your truck to a trusted mechanic or the official dealer for a solution.

I hope you now understand the transmission issues that can occur in your Toyota Tacoma and how to solve them.

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