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Toyota Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 34 Toyota models based on complaints from 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

If the vehicle will not crank over, the most common problem is the starter, which tend to fail at about 100,00-125,000 miles. Sometimes it is only the starter solenoid contacts, but often the complete starter (including solenoid) needs to be replaced.

The pickup coil inside the distributor can fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributor which can short out. It is recommended to replace the whole distributor with a complete genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

The hybrid transmission may fail prematurely. Our technicians recommend changing the transmission fluid every 30K miles in order to help prolong transmission life. There is a small square pan on the bottom of the transmission which should be removed to allow more fluid to drain. This service recommendation is over and above the Toyota recommendation to "check" the transmission fluid every 30k miles.

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.

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.

The high voltage hybrid battery may develop corrosion of the electrical harness resulting in premature failure. Our technicians tell us the hybrid battery must be replaced to correct this issue.

The engine mount on the passenger side of the car can wear out on cars with high mileage. This will put extra stress on the other mounts and the faulty mount will need to be replaced.

The mass air flow sensor on higher mileage cars occasionally needs to be cleaned or replaced if sluggish acceleration is experienced or the Check Engine Light is illuminated with a mass air flow meter sensor fault code stored.

The fuel gauge may read incorrectly. A service bulletin has been released by Toyota regarding this concern. The fuel filler pipe or the instrument cluster may need to be replaced to correct this concern.

At 125,000-150,000 miles, the Master Cylinder may need replacing. It is critical to adjust the brake pedal to Master Cylinder pushrod clearance or the brakes will drag and over heat.

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.

Drivers of the Toyota RAV4 may notice excessive oil consumption between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.

This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings. 

The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced. 

To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used. 

If the car will not start, the most likely problem is worn or corroded solenoid contacts in the starter. Usually, these parts can be replaced without purchasing a new starter.