hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,559 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Toyota Tacoma engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 152012


  • 90,400 miles


Purchased used vehicle from private seller. On the first day of use, after obtaining new title, tags, insurance coverage, the check engine light came on. The following day scheduled service w/ the local Toyota dealer. Upon inspection was told that the truck needed a catalytic converter and there was a recall for the lower front ball joints that the dealer will replace for free. The dealer had to order the parts. After receiving the parts and upon start of the repairs, I received a phone informing me that the frame was rusted and the vehicle is deemed unsafe to drive. I was given an 800 phone number to call and deal directly with Toyota corporate office. I am patiently awaiting for a response.

- Laurel Springs, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 012003


  • miles
Well, I have owned my Toyota Tacoma 03' since it was new and was aware of some unusual patterns of increased engine revving for years. I told my mechanic specifically about the issue and he really didn't believe it was acting that way. The first time I experienced this phenomenon was when I left the vehicle idling while I went into a gas station convenience store and was alerted of the idling to be higher than when I went in the store. I was startled because it was revving on its own, higher and higher until it leveled off at a bit higher than normal and finally to average idling. It was creepy. This happened on several occasions mostly when I would leave the car idling. Only 1 incident occurred while at a stop light I was idling in park and it began to idle higher but not as I should notice absolutely something was wrong. When I shifted from park to drive the revving increased and I shuttled ahead towards the vehicle in front of my truck without pressing the gas and as I was about to hit the vehicle ahead of mine the engine slowed again. I was extremely terrified at that moment. Nothing strange occurred that day after that. I questioned if I had pressed the gas or if maybe something, somehow, I might have over looked, but I decided that there was definitely a strange sticking going on in the engine. I also considered if it was the gas peddle perhaps, but I ruled that out as, it would rev mostly on idles on its own.

- Cleveland, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 192009


  • 92,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Tacoma when the battery and oil lights came on and the truck became undriveable. When the lights went off I was able to drive again. I had truck towed to mechanic and found out that crankshaft bolt was broken/sheared off. Had truck towed to dealership for confirmation - they confirmed. Had insurance adjuster look at it to determine if related to any accidents - no relation. Called Toyota Corp and they said that bolt should not break unless under extreme torque of defect. Mechanic, dealership and insurance adjuster all said the same. The bolt is made out of case-hardened steel. I have not had any major work done to the truck that would involve the crankshaft bolt!! dealership is quoting cost of approx $4000 for short block repair. If bolt is/was defective I should not have to pay for any of the repairs that should fall on Toyota whether or not the truck is out of warranty. I need this fixed!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 082008


  • 60,000 miles


My engine light on my 2003 Toyota Tacoma keeps coming on. I sent $1000 to replace the oxygen sensor and then the evap connector assembly. The engine light is still on. The repair shop told me they've replaced many of these on Toyota.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #3

Dec 012006

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,500 miles
I purchased my 2003 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 in may of 2003 in which as of this date of 12.29.06 my truck has 43K miles on it and is in excellant condition. Over the course of the past 6 months I have had to spend thousands of dollars on this truck and still can not drive it. I have had to put a brandnew crankshaft kit in my truck due to the keyway on the crankshaft shearing off resulting in my truck shutting down. After inspecting my truck by a certified mechanic the key was not there after it had sheared off in which parts had moved forward and ground into the metal. After the crankshaft replacement I continued to have more and more problems with the truck. I have replaced the crankshaft, harmonic balancer, new fan, oil pump because the truck will not hold oil pressure, mass air flow sensor, crank sensor, cam sensor's, re-setting of the computer and labor cost. I picked my truck up on a Friday after it came back from huntersville, nc at lake norman Toyota in which the truck was hooked up and was given a clean bill of health but, the truck left me stranded once again on Sunday night at 7:00 pm in which I had to have a roll back pick it up for the fourth time. The oil light came on when the engine would idle less than 1K rpms in which it then finally had to be shut off as soon as I heard this due to the sounds of metal rubbing metal. The truck is now located at leatherman auto located in newton, nc (828.465.5269) in which the owner, scott has not made any repairs to this truck yet. The check engine light has came on in all four instances as well as the oil light and other lights and I then loose control of my truck due to it shutting down. I was on I-40 traveling at 65-70 mph when my truck started jerking again and then I lost my power steering again and had to fight with the truck to get it off the road. The truck is stalling out in which I am in fear of either myself or one of my family members becoming injured or possibly killed because of this instance.

- Claremont, NC, USA

problem #2

Oct 202004

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,010 miles
While exiting a 65 mph tollway during the rain. The driver encountered a puddle approximately 18" - 24" deep and ~70' long going ~35mph. About halfway through the puddle the vehicle started to faulter. Upon exiting it totally stopped and would not turn over. The repair shop reports that the engine had ingested water, destroying the internal workings and it would require a long block replacement at a cost of ~$6,500.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 302003

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While starting up the vehicle idling is high for twelve minutes. The driver has to press down on the brakes to prevent the vehicle from accelerating. The driver drove the vehicle to dealer for analysis. The technician can not duplicated the problem.

- Camden, DE, USA

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