Toyota Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Toyota as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Models with electric sliding doors can develop problems with the door mechanism. The cable in the door becomes frayed, which will damage the electric motor.

On vehicles with a manual transmission, worn shift bushings can cause the transmission to pop out of gear, especially when coasting down in 1st or 2nd gear. Replacing all the shift linkage bushings is pretty straight forward and not expensive and will commonly correct this concern.

The power steering pump and power steering hoses tend to develop leaks, particularly in the V6 models.

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

A fan belt type noise me develop from the front of the engine. This is commonly caused by belt idler or pulley issues. Our technicians tell us proper diagnoses of the noise concern should be completed before repairs are attempted.

The amber front running lights, located in the head light assembly may melt or crack their lens. The correction at this time is to replace the head light assembly.

At higher mileages (125,000+) the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor may intermittently stop working, especially when the vehicle is fully warmed up. This can cause the engine to stall unexpectedly.

The ignition coil inside the distributor may fail. Our technicians tell us this may result in a hesitation on acceleration, especially when the vehicle is warming up on cold, rainy days. The pickup coils inside the distributor can also fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributors, which can short out. Our technicians recommend replacing the whole distributor with a complete, genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

On higher mileage vehicles, an engine misfire may develop and/or the Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a failed ignition coil. It is not uncommon to replace all the coils when the first one fails in order to prevent return trips to the repair shop.

The 6 cylinder engines have a tendency to leak oil from the valve cover gaskets, especially the one near the firewall.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to an evaporative emission (EVAP) system fault. Our technicians tell us these EVAP system faults can be difficult to diagnose but it is not uncommon to find a failed charcoal canister or a loose or worn gas cap.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because a component of the oxygen sensor stops working. As a result the engine computer is unable to determine the proper ratio of air to fuel for the engine. Replacing the failed oxygen sensor should correct this concern.


Toyota released a software update to fix a problem that caused the Check Engine Light to come on. Before the update, the computer would report a problem with the catalytic converter when there wasn't one.