Since its first production run in 1999, the Toyota Tundra pickup truck has become a popular vehicle for both commercial and personal use. Highly acclaimed for its power and off-road capability, it’s no surprise why Toyota’s full-size pickup is so popular among drivers worldwide.
But before you get too excited getting one (whether new or used), make sure you know about these common Toyota Tundra problems that could potentially leave you stranded on the side of the road.
Regardless of how well-received certain models are in magazine and motoring site reviews, it pays to check consumer reports on the actual problems owners and drivers really face.
Here are seven common Toyota Tundra problems that you should know before springing for one.
1 – Air Injection Pump Failure
Despite being known for being a generally reliable automaker, Toyota does have a history of producing faulty parts and designs. Take the case of the air injection system problem that plagued the Tundra and Sequoia. The system is there to improve emissions especially in cold starts.
Failure of the air injection pump is one of the biggest issues facing Toyota Tundra owners. It causes a whole host of warning signs, including rough idling, poor acceleration, and misfires.
It is caused when the air injection pump wears out or fails due to normal wear and tear over time. In some cases, it can lead to engine damage or complete failure if left unattended.
This issue affects numerous model years of the Toyota Tundra, including 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
How to Fix
This issue can be easily fixed with a replacement emission control valve or the injector pump. The parts for these are not terribly expensive and should be easily attainable from any Toyota parts supplier.
Have a trusted mechanic handle the repair to make sure it’s done properly and your Tundra runs as smoothly as possible for years to come.
2 – Engine Noises
These common Toyota Tundra issues might sound vague at the outset, but engine noises are experienced quite often. Owners will notice strange ticking noises coming from the engine of their Toyota vehicles. And it’s usually accompanied by an increase in engine vibration and the check engine light coming on.
This is likely caused by worn-out or damaged engine mounts or other components related to the engine itself. What can be more worrisome is that noises can also come from the twin-turbos. This issue affects any of the newest model years of the Toyota Tundra made for 2022 and 2023.
How to Fix
Replacing any worn-out or damaged engine mounts should do the trick in getting rid of those annoying noises and vibrations coming from your Tundra’s engine. Qualified mechanics should be able to check the causes through proper diagnosis and tools.
If you’re not experienced with vehicle repairs, it would be best to have a professional mechanic look into this issue for you, as some internal parts may need replacing in order to ensure a proper repair.
It’s important to get this issue fixed as soon as possible. Otherwise, it could lead to further engine damage and more expensive repairs down the line.
3 – Speed Control
There is another issue with the speed control of some Toyota Tundras that can be quite worrisome for drivers. This problem can cause a sudden decrease in speed when driving, usually accompanied by unexpected acceleration or deceleration.
This is caused either by faulty wiring or worn-out parts within the speed control system itself. It affects certain model years of the Toyota Tundra from 1999 to 2013.
How to Fix
As with any electrical issues, having a professional mechanic take a look at your Tundra’s speed control system is the best way to get it fixed.
They should be able to diagnose and repair whatever underlying issues are causing this problem, ensuring that your Tundra maintains its speed properly while you drive.
4 – Transmission Failure
Next up is the ever-disconcerting transmission failure issue. This problem has been plaguing drivers of the Toyota Tundra for a number of years, and it’s not a minor issue either.
It can cause your pickup truck to shift erratically or refuse to shift at all, leading to a decrease in power and acceleration. Prime symptoms of transmission slipping.
This is usually caused by an issue with the shift solenoid, which is responsible for controlling the transmission fluid pressure. This mostly affects the 2006 model year.
How to Fix
You might try replacing the shift solenoid yourself if you’re a bit handy with car repairs, but it’s probably best to take it to a professional mechanic for this one.
It’s definitely worth the extra money to get a reliable repair; otherwise, you could be looking at much more expensive and time-consuming transmission issues in the future!
5 – Exhaust Issues
The next major problems with Toyota Tundra have to do with exhaust issues. This one is quite common in older model Toyotas, and it can be a real problem if left unchecked.
The symptoms of this issue are typically excessive smoke coming from the tailpipe and an increased engine noise when the truck accelerates.
It’s caused when coolant system fluid mixes with the transmission fluid, leading to a buildup of contaminants and corrosion in the exhaust manifold system. This issue affects the model years from 2000 to 2006.
How to Fix
Replacing the gaskets and seals in the coolant system should do the trick in fixing this issue. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s probably best to take the Tundra to a mechanic who can inspect and replace any worn-out parts in the system.
This should help restore the performance of your Tundra’s exhaust system and keep nasty smoke and noise from coming out the back.
6 – Suspension Problems
Suspension issues are always a headache, and the Toyota Tundra is no exception. Drivers of certain model years of the Tundra have reported a rattling or clunking noise coming from the suspension when driving over bumps and potholes.
The cause of this problem is worn-out ball joints, which affect the model years from 2004 to 2006. This issue was so severe and frequent that Toyota issued a recall for it.
How to Fix
Since there’s already an existing recall for this issue, you should be able to get it fixed for free. Toyota will replace each ball joint in your Tundra’s suspension, restoring its ride comfort and ensuring that you’re not dealing with any more noise or rattling when driving.
7 – Paint Issues and Corrosion
Finally, There are the paint issues and accompanying corrosion. This is a common problem in many Toyota models from 2007 all the way up to more recent 2020 Tundras. It can be quite a nuisance if left unaddressed.
The main symptom is bubbling or cracking on the exterior paint of your Tundra, which can eventually lead to corrosion and rust.
This problem is usually caused by moisture getting trapped between the body panels, which can lead to paint failure over time.
How to Fix
The best way to fix this issue is to make sure your Tundra’s body panels are nice and sealed up. If you’re handy with some basic tools, you might be able to seal the panels yourself. Otherwise, just take it to a professional and have them do the job for you.
What Are the Best Model Years of the Toyota Tundra?
As you search for a new Toyota Tundra, you may be asking yourself what the best model years are. According to consumer feedback, 2008 and 2011 are both good years to invest in. Also, 2016, 2018, and 2019 model years have all had great reviews.
But as always, it’s best to research and compare the features of each model year before making a purchase decision, as there may be specific features or options that you want to have.