How many miles can a Toyota Tacoma last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Tacoma, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a Toyota Tacoma lasts between 300.000 – 350.000 miles. A Tacoma needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.25 times per year, with a 17% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Tacoma owners spend an average of $478 per year on repair costs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a Tacoma can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Tacoma costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!
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How Many Miles Can A Toyota Tacoma Last?
Toyota Tacoma is one of the hardest-to-kill automotive pieces of engineering. And today, our team here at thedriveradviser will put it to the test. We will subject the Toyota Tacoma to our rigorous tests to develop statistical data on how reliable the Toyota Tacoma is and at what mileage it finally goes to heaven.
In our first reliability test, we will be looking at the miles traveled before ending up on sale. We looked at about eighteen thousand Toyota Tacomas that were listed for sale in the US market. After having all the mileage data, we divided it into four categories, with each category telling us a different story, which will help us statistically understand the reliability.
These are not computer-generated estimates. These are real-life odometer readings from 17,910 Toyota Tacomas listed in the used market. We have given all the data in the table below to simplify things.
|Number Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150,000+||7.30%|
|Cars With 100,000 – 149,000||8.95%|
|Cars With 45,000 – 99,999||30.18%|
|Cars With 0 – 44,999||53.57%|
The reliability standards that we have set through years of accumulated experience are as follows; if a vehicle can cross the 150k+ miles barrier with more than 3%, it is reliable. We have seen those vehicles that weren’t able to cross this, with at least 3% being problematic and not reliable.
In the case of Toyota Tacoma, the percentage crossing the 150k+ mile mark is greater than 3%—twice as reliable because the percentage is 7.30, which is more than twice the required value.
Most people prefer buying one with about a hundred thousand miles on the clock. These are also cheaper than those super low miles. They can last you a hundred thousand more without a hitch with a little bit of tuning. We know that more than 50% of Toyota Tacomas are still under 45k miles, which you should consider buying.
However, this is not the end of the reliability mayhem that we have stored in our inventory. The next stop is the reliability comparison of the competitors. So buckle up; we are going full throttle.
How Reliable Is A Toyota Tacoma Compared To Its Competitors?
We have given attention to the most prominent competitors of the Toyota Tacoma. We have the Honda Ridgeline, Ford Ranger, and Chevy Colorado on our list. These competitors passed the minimum 3% requirement; however, the Toyota Tacoma came out on top.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150,000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150,000+||Highest Mileage|
Another section that you might have noticed here is the highest mileage. When we looked at the highest mileages of each competitor, the results came out to be in favor of the Toyota Tacoma, again. Another reason Toyota Tacomas can get such huge numbers on their odometer is the readily available parts.
The Toyota Tacoma has one of the largest aftermarket support, which helps find parts like a breeze. Because there is so much competition among the aftermarket support, the parts are often priced competitively, making the maintenance cost even lower. That said, Toyota Tacoma has an amazing modification curve to it.
Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other vehicles regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)
How Reliable Is A Toyota Tacoma Compared To Other Toyotas?
After annihilating the competitors, it’s time to see how the Toyota Tacoma stacks up to other Toyotas. We performed the same tests with several Toyotas to determine how the Tacoma performs against other reliable vehicles. We will then compare the data and analyze it.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150,000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150,000+||Highest Mileage|
After putting all the data into the table, it’s now time to analyze. So, it turns out that the Toyota Tacoma is also a winner in this one. When we looked at the highest mileage, Toyota Camry showed numbers higher than 400,000, but those are not that common.
However, it does suggest that if proper maintenance is done, you can make any Toyota last 400,000 miles. Regarding maintenance, let’s talk about the maintenance of a Toyota Tacoma in the next section because if the maintenance cost is high, the higher miles wouldn’t matter, and we will not consider it reliable.
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
A reliable vehicle should not only show the capability of achieving high miles, but it should also be able to achieve those high miles with a low maintenance cost. Even the most unreliable of vehicles can give you hundreds of thousands of miles, given that you keep on spending money on maintenance and repairs, which is terrible.
Let’s see where the Toyota Tacoma stands in terms of reliability regarding maintenance costs. We looked at several model years and have given the maintenance cost for each in the table below.
|Model Year||Annual Maintenance Cost|
The average annual maintenance cost is about $470, which is good. We have seen trucks with more than $600, looking at the Ford Ranger in my periphery. There are also those with close to $1000, so this $470 is quite good.
So, it turns out that Toyota Tacoma can give you hundreds of thousands of miles at a low maintenance cost. Isn’t that the quality we look for in a reliable vehicle? The Toyota Tacoma has conquered the battlegrounds of trucks regarding reliability. What about the looks? As we mentioned above, the aftermarket is filled with options to make your truck look sick.
Toyota Tacoma Common Problems
Furthermore, you should also be aware of all the common problems of a Toyota Tacoma. Click that link for an extensive article on the subject, below we’ve outlined an understandable summary.
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.
Lower Ball Joint Problem
This problem arose due to a manufacturing issue that caused premature wear and tear of the ball joint assembly. Toyota announced a recall for this issue, which only included model years 2001-2004. So, if you are looking to buy one of these models, ensure that it has attended the recall. You can ask for the service history as well if possible.
This problem is not limited to the 2001-2004 models. This problem has been reported in many other model years, but there haven’t been any recalls.
Automatic Transmission On Toyota Tacoma Not Shifting Properly
This is one of those horrors that every owner faces if he has a high mileage vehicle. Luckily, in the Toyota Tacoma case, it’s nothing that serious. It has been caused mainly by a faulty sensor (throttle position sensor), and another reason might be the shift solenoid. These are the common issues that cause the transmission to behave erratically.
The sensor replacement would cost you about $150, whereas, if it’s the transmission solenoid, you would have to spend $400+.
The Headlight Issue
These Tacomas have a common problem related to the front lights. The amber/parking lights may cause the lens to crack or melt. The remedy after the damage has been done would be the replacement of the headlight assembly. If the whole assembly is damaged, you might as well have better-looking aftermarket lights.
Check Engine Light On Toyota Tacoma
The MAF airflow sensor typically causes the check engine light to come on. It may either be in heaven or sending in a distress signal. In other words, the airflow sensor needs replacement. Sometimes, the issue can be resolved by thoroughly cleaning this sensor.
Throttle Position Sensor Of Toyota Tacoma Out Of Adjustment
You will experience a higher idle rpm on top of the low fuel economy when you have this issue. This problem occurs due to carbon buildup. This is not a Tacoma-specific problem; it happens with every other vehicle, given that the maintenance hasn’t been carried out in time. If you have to replace the sensor, it will cost you about $150.
Also read: The Types Of Gas A Toyota Tacoma Uses (Explained)
Is A Toyota Tacoma A Smart Buy?
We haven’t seen any other truck having depreciation as low as a Toyota Tacoma, which only depreciates 29% after the first five years outside the dealership. It probably makes it the least depreciating workhorse of a truck in the automotive industry.
When we compare the annual maintenance cost with other competitors, it is evident that Toyota Tacoma has one of the lowest maintenance costs. The common problems have become simple maintenance stuff that you can take care of without spending an arm and a leg.
The most significant benefit of having a Toyota Tacoma is the aftermarket support that will allow you to modify your truck whichever way you see fit. Aftermarket support will also help you get lower pricing on several different maintenance and repair items. All the research we did has made it clear that the Toyota Tacoma is a reliable truck.
When looking for Toyota Tacoma in the used market, ensure that it has a clean title. The salvage ones are often problematic, and instead of giving you a sense of freedom and comfort, they will only break the bank.
Another critical factor is the mileage. We recommend going for the one that has fewer miles on the clock as it will allow you to have hundreds of thousands of miles of carefree driving. You can also check if Tacoma has had its service appointments.
Toyota Tacoma Maintenance Schedule
Even though the Toyota Tacoma is reliable, it won’t remain reliable if you neglect the vital maintenance checks. A brand new truck can ruin its engine if the oil is not changed at the set mile interval. And if the maintenance is proper, even an unreliable vehicle would be able to achieve higher mileage numbers.
Before/On Every 7,500 Miles
- Engine oil replacement
- Oil filter replacement
- Tire rotation, also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Toyota Tacoma
- General inspection
Before/On Every 20,000 Miles
- Tire rotation
- Cabin air filter replacement
- PCV inspection
- EVAP inspection
- MAF inspection
- Examining fluid levels and health
- Scanning with OBD tool to see for any problem codes
- Suspension examination
- Exhaust system check
Before/On Every 40,000 Miles
- Transmission oil replacement
- Spark plugs inspection
- Brake fluid replacement
- Check brake pads and rotors
- Rear axle differential fluid check
- Fuel pump inspection
- Fuel injectors inspection
- Software update, if available
Before/On Every 60,000 Miles
- Replace tires
- Replace spark plugs
- Replace fuel pump and fuel injectors
- PCV cleaning
- MAF sensor cleaning or replacement if necessary
- Wheel balancing and alignment
- Throttle body cleaning
- Emissions system check
Other Maintenance Tips
If you would like to enjoy the off-road experience and benefit from the low maintenance cost, you would have to take a critical approach. Never let a problem exaggerate into a bigger problem that causes more problems. To have a mindset like this, you would have to keep your truck clean.
When you can keep your Toyota Tacoma clean, you will be able to keep it maintained. Another benefit of keeping it clean would be a rust-free body. The dirt causes rust on your truck if it sits there for a while. With this cleaning trick, you can keep your truck rust-free and well maintained.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!