If you’re the proud owner of a Tacoma, you’re familiar with the cult loyalty commanded by the “Taco.” There’s a good reason for this enthusiasm. It’s a Toyota, first of all, and it’s a Toyota truck, okay?
There’s probably none better, at least as far as reputation is concerned. As a result, most buyers don’t even look at the Toyota Tacoma warranty or consider a Toyota Tacoma service agreement.
All About the Toyota Tacoma
Toyota added many awesome features to the Tacoma, including an electronic locking rear differential, which ensures you have traction no matter what. The powerful 3.5 L V6 is no slouch either, producing 278 bhp. But the Tacoma’s not all brute strength.
Toyota outfitted the “Taco” with all kinds of tech goodies like crawl control, which electronically assists your ascent or descent in difficult terrain. There’s also multi-terrain select, which lets you dial in the terrain you’re traveling, so the Tacoma sorts out throttle sensitivity, traction control, and braking to ensure you always have ample traction.
Some models even come with a suspension lift and Bilstein shocks. That’ll make the off-roaders happy.
Common Repairs and Service Required by the Toyota Tacoma
It’s not all extra cheese and awesome sauce for this Taco. Like any complicated machine, it does have issues, and some of them can cost a lot of money. But before you go off in search of a Toyota Tacoma extended warranty, read on because all is not as you might think.
Lower Ball Joint Problems
The lower ball joints tie into the lower element of the spindle, the part of the suspension that carries the front wheel. There’s one on each side. When they wear out, you’ll feel it in the steering wheel and hear it as a clicking or clunking sound coming from the front wheel area whenever you traverse bumps or make steering inputs.
After the ball joints are worn, the play in the suspension creates uneven tire wear and abuses other suspension components. It’s a pretty involved job to get it fixed.
Faulty Automatic Transmission in High-Mileage Toyota Tacomas
Probably the last thing you want to hear about any vehicle is that it has transmission issues. Those usually come with a four-figure price tag. If your Tacoma isn’t shifting properly, the fix is going to mean not hours but days in the shop.
Technicians have to diagnose and remove the transmission from the truck, and if it’s rebuildable, it might be a little cheaper to fix than simply replacing it, but the extra time in the shop will cost you a hefty storage fee, not to mention the labor hours. Nothing about this problem is small.
Cracked Amber Front Parking Light Lens
This issue seems like it’s small, but in fact, it’s shocking how expensive new lenses can be. Look for a bill as high as four hundred dollars, and that’s just for one side. You can’t just leave it — moisture will condense inside the lens and burn out bulbs, contaminate LEDs and electrics, and cause other issues.
Faulty Air Flow Meter
Its common name is the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor, and nope, it isn’t cheap. It sits in line with your intake system, usually on top of the engine, and its job is to tell the engine’s ignition system about the quality of the air it’s getting so that combustion can be efficient.
If there’s a problem with this piece of tech, your Tacoma will absolutely not run right. Replacing your MAF is expensive, not just for the part but for the labor.
Throttle Position Sensor Problems
The TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) is basically the MAF’s right-hand man, which makes us wonder if there’s a larger issue with the Tacoma’s induction system as a whole.
A new TPS isn’t as expensive a fix as the MAF, but you can bet your mechanic will recommend replacing the MAF if he’s already replacing the TPS and vice versa. Maybe a Toyota Tacoma service contract would be a good idea.
Bad Starter Prevents Engine from Starting
If your starter is dead, your engine won’t crank. This fix is at least $500 these days and a day in the shop to boot.
Extended Warranties for Toyota Tacoma
Right about now, you’re probably thinking it’s a great idea to look into the Toyota Tacoma extended warranty your dealer’s been pushing. But those often don’t cover you as well as they’re purported to do, plus they do tend to come with the run-around, and you usually have to use their mechanic.
Toyota Tacoma Vehicle Service Agreements
A Toyota Tacoma service agreement through CarShield is the better way. You get to choose your own mechanic (just like you choose your own adventure in a Tacoma), and it can be quite a bit cheaper in the final analysis — because a Toyota Tacoma service contract can cover more than an extended Toyota Tacoma warranty does. When you choose a vehicle service agreement, you can choose month to month coverage with no mileage or year limits, flexible coverage options to meet your budget, 24/7 roadside assistance, and more! Find out more.