The Toyota Tundra problems are not new to the automotive industry. Toyota is a brand that is known for its reliability and ruggedness. Toyota is a brand that doesn’t compromise on its durability and the quality of its lineups. The Tundra is a powerful and impressive performer on the pavement and also off the road with a cabin that is extremely comfortable and has a clean interior.
For all the Toyota enthusiasts out there it’s everything a pickup truck should be, it has comfortable interiors and driver’s aids which are something everyone can’t stop talking about. But Toyota has not been so kind on the Tundra to update the mechanical parts of this vehicle. Toyota has updated the interiors and the technologies from time to time, to keep the Toyota Tundra up to date, but the mechanical advances are something that Toyota needs to look at.
Toyota Tundra problems are something you should know about before you go for a new or an old variant. Alongside that, there are a lot of things that you might want to look into before you make your decision.
All You Need To Know About The Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra is a pickup truck that was introduced to the US market in early May 1999. The Tundra shares the same 3.4 Liter V6 engine with its siblings the Tacoma and the T-100 but only in the base model, the other variants of the Tundra used a 4.7 Liter V8. This was the first time Toyota used a V8 in one of their vehicles. The Tundra made waves when it was initially introduced and was a serious competition that several buyers thought of considering.
The Toyota Tundra problems did have an impact on the image of this vehicle but the 2022 generation on the Tundra might surprise you. Here is everything you need to know about all the generations of the Toyota Tundra.
First Generation Toyota Tundra (1999-2007)
The first generation Toyota Tundra was introduced in May of 1999. The first generation base model of the Tundra shared the 3.5 Liter V6 engine that the Tacoma and the T-100 also have. On the other hand, the rest of the variants offered by Toyota is the 4.7 liter V8 which was the first time a V8 had been introduced to any Toyota.
The all-new Tundra was slightly larger than the T100, which was an absolute hit with the crowd. But with the debut of the Tundra, Toyota’s best-selling pickup truck changed from the T100.
The Toyota Tundra was the best-selling vehicle in Toyota’s history. It was selected as Motor Trend’s truck of the year award for 2000. Early-2000s pickups with this step-side style looked different. It was a way to access stuff inside the truck bed without opening the tailgate, but really, its appeal was its sporty look. The new Toyota was being assembled in a new Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana.
The 2003 aesthetic facelift of the Tundra, introducing the sidestep increased popularity. The 2003 variant had 3 different body styles that came with it, the 2-door Regular-Cab, the 4 door Access Cab, Regular, and the 4 doors Double Cab. There was a Tundra available in every shape and size and with different engines as well. This allowed Toyota to cater to almost everyone in the market.
Second Generation Toyota Tundra (2007-2021)
The 2007 variant of the Tundra was bigger, better, and won the hearts of the pickup truck community. The second-generation Tundra concept was introduced in the February of 2006 in the Chicago Auto Show and just by the looks of it, everyone was excited to get their hands on one. Aesthetically speaking, the second generation was a big upgrade from the previous generation.
Toyota made sure that this Japanese truck was everything an American truck enthusiast would want. It was big and spacious, with a rock-solid exterior and breathtaking interiors. The redesigned Tundra came with sleek new exteriors and a user-friendly interior.
The 3 available sizes are the 2-door Regular Cab, 4-door Double Cab, and the 4-door Crewmax. The Rock Warrior package (the off-road themed option package) and Platinum package (the luxurious package) are the 2 options that took everyone by surprise.
After its initial six-year run, the Tundra’s aesthetics were not the only things that an upgrade. The second generation came equipped with increased towing capacity, storage, and more safety features. Anyone in the market looking to buy a Tundra had three main engine options to choose from. The three engines included a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 that made around 400 pounds-feet of torque.
The Tundra received minor revisions in 2010: A new 4.6-liter V-8 was paired with a six-speed automatic, replacing the old and beat 4.7-liter. Something called a trailer-sway control and an updated 270-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 was what Toyota had in store for 2011.
Between 2011 and 2014 the Tundra did not receive any engine upgrades. It did receive subtle updates to the interior and exterior. The current Tundra offers a choice of two V-8 engines, two- or four-wheel drive, three-bed lengths, and two cab configurations. There’s also an optional 38-gallon gas tank for long-haulers and camping.
The Toyota Tundra Problems
Toyota is one of the top manufacturers in the world. Whenever we talk about this brand the first thing to come to mind is reliability. Toyota has a reputation of being famous for being the manufacturer of high-quality, high-value cars, vans, and trucks. Toyotas are the vehicles that set the standard for long-term resale value and durability.
Irrespective of the image Toyota has, all vehicles are not perfect. Every vehicle compromises on something or the other. The Toyota Tundra is no exception. There are certain areas where even a Toyota product has some problems coping. The Toyota Tundra might be one of the best pickup trucks in the market but it comes with a few drawbacks. Here are all the Toyota Tundra Problems you should look out for-
First-Generation Tundra Problems (1999-2007)
The introduction of the Tundra made waves throughout the automotive industry. It was a new concept by Toyota which was executed beautifully. Several Toyota enthusiasts were excited to get their hand on the Tundra and try it out themselves. It was the first V8 to be introduced by Toyota, and it was also their best-selling vehicle.
Even though the introduction of the Tundra might be something a lot of enthusiasts looked forward to, but the first generation of the Tundra was plagued with a series of problems. One of the most serious problems faced by the Tundras initially was the corrosion problem. The frame of the Tundra was not the best produced by Toyota.
There were serious cases of the frame having rust problems. This problem forced Toyota to replace several vehicles to get rid of the problem. The rust was just one of the many problems with the Tundra. The clear coat used by Toyota also gave a lot of problems to the owners of these trucks. The clear coat was peeled off way too easily and it left the paint exposed to elements and scratches.
Some other issues that have to be mentioned about the Toyota Tundra are the problems with the secondary air pump. Not only that but there were some major issues with the Electronic Throttle Control. There were reports of sudden or unexpected acceleration problems, that made the Tundra very difficult to drive. The 2005-2006 Tundras were the worst model from the first generation Tundra. In some of these Tundras models, there have been reports of innumerable transmission failures and transfer cases.
One of the major Toyota Tundra problems had to be the fact that the body and the frame of this vehicle weren’t reliable at all. There were several problems reported about this rust problem by the customers at an early stage. This was extremely problematic for many Tundra owners.
Some of the cars produced by Toyota in 2000 had a major cooling system problem. There were many cases of a radiator fan failure, causing problems with the radiator. Alongside that after about 200,000 miles on the Tundra caused some radiator leaks.
The 2001 Tundra was a facelift that came with a little too many problems. The body and frame rust problem was something that wasn’t paid a lot of attention to by Toyota. There were still several cases where the owners complained about the rusting of their vehicles. More than a few customers also complained about the brakes pulsating and the brakes shedding due to warped disc brakes.
Some other not so common problems with the 2001 Tundra were, ABS failure or the electronic throttle control caused sudden unintentional acceleration. There were certain steering problems also like the ball joint that came out of the socket requiring a replacement of A-arm, ball joints and tire rod ends.
The severe to extreme rust problem still existed in the 2002 Toyota tundra. There were several complaints about the body and the frame catching rust easily even after the anti-rust treatment. The rust problem was so bad that people had to get different parts changed repeatedly.
Another problem that the Tundra had was the peeling of the paint. This problem was not a common one, but whosoever experienced this problem had to get a new paint job done altogether.
Yet again, Toyota was unable to treat the rust problem. There were yet again many people who complained about the rust problem. The problem was extremely severe and some cases even needed a frame change. There also were certain problems with the paint being peeled off or starts fading very early.
The transmission problem continues. It makes a lot of noise and there are several unnecessary shifts after towing light to medium load. There were also some problems relating to the drivetrain, fuel system, airbags, and steering problems. The frequency of these problems was very less, but these problems do exist in the Tundra.
The 2004 Tundra has to be the worst year for this car, especially because it came with several problems faced by the customers. Like every other year, the body and frame rust problem was still a big issue with the 2004 variant of the Tundra.
Even the paint problem from the previous versions of the Tundra is something that has caused a problem for quite a few owners. There are some problems with the brake system as well. The frequency for this problem is low but the seriousness of the braking issue isn’t.
There were some major engine problems also. The starter for the car failed with no apparent cause at around 25,000 miles. There were some air-bag failure problems as well as some ball joint problems. There were certain problems with the clutch of this car also, but the frequency of these problems is less.
Toyota improved its game with the 2005 upgrade of the Tundra. At last, the rust issue was solved, but this car is still away from being perfect. The biggest problem that this car has is with the secondary air pump. The check engine light comes on every 100,000 miles because of the failure of the secondary air pump. There were certain exhaust system problems also that the 2005 Tundra faced. There were also some complaints about the transmissions.
Alongside that, there were some fuel system problems and some problems with wheel bearing and the wheel caps. The electronic throttle control failure there were complaints of sudden and unexpected acceleration problems. Some braking issues come with the 2005 variant of the Tundra as well, but this was a relatively rare problem.
The 2006 Tundra came with the return of the rust problem. The frequency of this problem was less than before but this was still a severe problem that the car faced. The car required a change of frame at around 100,000 miles because of the rust. There were also problems with the paint getting off the hood and the roof allowing the rust to damage the truck’s body.
Complaints of several problems regarding the transmission were also brought up by many customers. There were some complaints regarding the 4×4 system, rough ride, and transmission sounds. The secondary air pump also went bad after about 100,000 miles which might be a deal-breaker for some.
Second Generation Tundra Problems (2007-2020)
The second generation of the tundra was introduced in 2006 and just like the old variant this new generation of the Tundra came with a new V8 engine. In this case, the 5.7 liter 3UR-FE V8 is clubbed and fitted with a new 6-speed automatic transmission.
Among the most common and most severe problems in the second generation of the Tundra were with the air pumps, problems with the alternator and starter motor. There were also problems with the power steering, and also some severe vibrations that needed to be taken care of.
Some problems that this generation shared with the first-generation Tundra include the clear coat issues, ETC problems. The versions that required the most amount of work were the 2007 and 2011 Tundras. They usually suffered from motor oil leaks and some other rare issues.
The 2007 variant of the Tundra came with its own batch of problems. The clear coat on the body of the truck fades off after a while leaving the paint and the body without rust protection. Alongside that, there were certain engine problems and brake problems like brake failure, and air injection pump problems are something that many Tundra owners faced.
2008 and 2009’s Tundra
The 2008 and 2009 Tundra shared their fair share of problems. The clear coat problem from last year still existed. The clear coat fades off the body of the truck that leaves the metal open to rust. Some electrical problems might come with the car. The alternator goes bad at around 85,000 miles and needs a replacement. There were several complaints about the starter having problems too.
The 2010 version of the tundra had problems with its electronic control module. This causes the engine to shut down suddenly while driving. Alongside that, there were certain problems regarding the steering rack and the piston seals failing after about 75,000 miles.
There were certain suspension problems as well. The suspension gave out after about 100,000 miles. The braking, brake system also had several problems in this generation. The ABS would work unintentionally and the parts needed changing.
The 2011 Tundra has some severe engine problems. There is a problem of excessive motor oil consumption. Alongside that, one or more cylinders head valves break after 85,000 miles. One more engine problem in the 2011 Tundra is the breaking of the engine rods.
Some more not-so-common problems with the Tundra are related to the steering assemble, drivetrain or the transfer case, and the rust on the cargo bed.
The 2014 Tundra’s main problem is with the interior accessories. The door locks do not work properly and should be replaced. The engine shows signs of leaking oil from cam seals which need to be replaced a few times. There are some battery as well as steering problems too that any owner needs to look out for.
The 2015 model of the Tundra relatively did relatively better than its predecessor, but it does have its fair share of problems. For starters the main problem that a few of the owners of the Tundra were with the drivetrain problems. Alongside that, the whole vehicle starts vibrating when driven between 20-40 mph after some time. There were some steering problems to look out for too.
The drivetrain problem is carried over from the previous generation. Alongside that, the 4WD does not work properly. It engages itself without the driver having to switch it. The worst of the problems were due to the faulty integrated brake controller. There were some problems with the radio as well, it has short circuits for no apparent reason.
The Third Generation Tundra
Most of the pickup truck enthusiasts were waiting diligently for the third generation of the Tundra. The most glamorous part of the third generation of the Tundra has to be the ginormous radiator grille. The new grill is one of the biggest available on any road-going passenger vehicle. The overall look of the new Tundra is boxier and the new sculpted wheel arches added visual muscle.
There are two 4-door body styles to choose from in the new Toyota Tundra, the CrewMax, and the Double Cab models. The Double Cab model was offered with the choice of a 6.4 or an 8.1-foot bed. On the other hand, CrewMax models will be offered with a 5.5 or a 6.5 food bed. This came with an amazing towing capacity of 12,000 pounds.
The biggest surprise that every pick-up truck fan got was the fact that the third-generation Tundra did not come with a new V8 option. Instead, Toyota is offering two twin-turbo engines. One of them is a 3.4-liter engine that produces about 389 horsepower.
The other version is the hybrid version of the same engine. The hybrid produced 437 horsepowers and a 790NM of torque. Both engines come with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The buyers also have the option of choosing a rear-wheel-drive variant and a four-wheel-drive variant.
Toyota Tundra Model Years to Buy and Avoid – Facts You Need to Know
- The Toyota Tundra is a reliable vehicle known for its muscle, capability, and fuel economy, making it one of the most affordable full-size pickup trucks in its class.
- The 2022 Toyota Tundra has a new sense of style, redesigned both inside and out. It has a new rear suspension, multiple powertrain options, and new standard features for the modern age, including more spacious back seat space.
- Car Complaints considers the 2012 Toyota Tundra the worst year to date due to air induction pump failure and premature transmission failure. Over 390 Technical Service Bulletins were issued overall for this model year.
- The 2007 Toyota Tundra experienced the most engine problems and complaints. Owners cited air injection pump failures, secondary air pumps sticking, and knocking in the pistons.
- The 2005 and 2008 Toyota Tundra model years were also problematic, with similar engine concerns. Toyota issued over 300 Technical Service Bulletins for the 2007 Tundra.
- Car Complaints takes into account the number of complaints, the average cost of repairs, and mileage benchmarks when determining the worst year for an automaker.
- The fewest number of TSBs and an overall lesser number of reported complications make the 2009, 2013, and 2015 Toyota Tundra models the best to consider buying in the used market.
- Before buying a used Toyota Tundra, it is essential to ask if the air pumps, transmissions, or engines have had repairs, particularly if the model year is 2012 or 2007.
- The Toyota Tundra is excellent in terms of driver assistance and infotainment features, according to Car Life Nation.
- Every model vehicle is subject to having a bad year, and knowing which years to avoid can help prevent significant repair costs down the road.
To conclude, Toyota Tundra is an amazing vehicle that left a lot of enthusiasts wanting more, even after several Toyota Tundra problems. The previous generations of the Tundras had their fair share of problems which Toyota has tried extremely hard to irradiate. The new body and frame of the new Toyota Tundra take care of some of the aesthetics problems. Alongside that, the new hybrid V6 is something that looks promising and looks like will take care of any engine issues that the previous Tundra faced.
On the safety front, there have been several advances, There are several new things that were added to make the car better than its predecessors. Toyota introduced advanced drivers assistance systems or ADAS. this includes emergency braking, junction turn assistance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. All of these new features help overcome the safety problems of the Toyota Tundra as well.