In general, the Toyota Tacoma is a very good truck. One of its main selling points is that Toyota is considered a reliable brand, and the Tacoma is typically a prime example of this reliability. However, like many manufacturers, Toyota did struggle with the transmission for the past decade. Here´s a quick summary:
Toyota Tacoma made between 2016 – 2019 have problems with slipping transmissions, harsh 1-2 or 5-6 shifting and getting stuck in gear or squeaking noises from the clutch pedal. 2004 – 2015 models had problems with shuddering while decelerating and slipping of the gears, which required a complete transmission rebuild.
However, that certainly doesn´t tell the whole story. Below, we´ve outlined all transmissions used in the Tacoma since 2005. Furthermore, we go through each of them and explain the technical service bulletins, recalls, and complaints we´ve found about them. Read on!
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Common Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems
Now, let us see some common problems with transmissions that are used in the third and second generations of the Toyota Tacoma.
Third Generation (2016 – Present)
The third generation of the Toyota Tacoma uses three different transmissions:
- 5-speed manual (2016 – 2017 only)
- 6-speed automatic (AC60F)
- 6-speed manual (RC62F)
One clear thing about this generation is that these transmissions haven´t been without problems. Especially the 2016 – 2019 model years have experienced some severe transmission problems.
Even more interesting is that the 2016 and 2017 model year received a couple of technical service bulletins (no recalls were issued). However, although the problems became less frequent, reports of transmission problems continued until the 2019 model year.
AC60F (6-Speed Automatic)
First off, the 2016 model years of the Tacoma had several technical service bulletins.
The first technical service bulletin was issued for the 2016 Tacoma with the AC60F transmission coupled to the 2.7L 2TR engine (T-SB-0079-15). These models experienced flares during the 2-3 upshift. Many consumers described this as a slipping feeling coming from the transmission. The powertrain control module (PCM) was calibrated correctly to solve this. All of this was done under warranty.
Furthermore, the 2016 Tacoma also experienced issues with the AC60F transmissions coupled to the 3.5L 2GR engines. A technical service bulletin was issued because owners experienced the following problems (T-SB-0077-16):
- Delayed engagement Park to Drive or Reverse to Drive.
- Harsh 1st – 2nd upshift.
- Delayed upshift when using cruise control.
Updating the powertrain control module was also the solution in this case.
RC62F (6-Speed Manual)
The RC62F transmissions also had a technical service bulletin issued for the 2016 model year. In this case, the transmission coupled to the 3.5L 2GR engine was specifically causing problems (T-SB-0088-16). Symptoms included:
- A driver may experience difficulty when shifting out of fifth or sixth gear. The problem usually emerges when a driver drives for an extended time.
One owner described the problem as follows:
After driving at highway speeds for an extended period of time, the manual transmission gets stuck in gear and requires much more for than usual to put the gearbox into neutral.Source
Solutions involved fixing the issue by getting to the main lock ball plug by drawing out the transmission. Subsequently, you can replace it with a new lock ball pin.
Another TSB was issued for the 2016 – 2017 Tacoma because of this issue:
- The Tacoma may exhibit a high pitch whine noise when driving in 5th or 6th gear.
This problem was solved by installing a new heat insulator. This was done free of charge if the car still had less than 36.000 miles.
Finally, the Tacoma’s 2005 – 2019 model years with a manual transmission can experience a squeaking or creaking clutch pedal. Solving this problem required replacing parts of the clutch (T-SB-0112-19).
Second Generation (2004 – 2015)
The second generation of the Tacoma has had a couple of different transmissions; these are:
- 4-speed automatic (A340E)
- 5-speed automatic (A750E)
- 5-speed manual (R-155)
- 6-speed manual (R-A60 (modified AY-6 from Aisin))
One general problem to note immediately was a technical service bulletin for the 2005 – 2009 Tacoma that applied to all transmissions (T-SB-0277-09). In this case, the transmission range sensor circuit malfunctioned, causing a check engine light. Common symptoms included possible delayed engagement into Reverse or Drive and possible harsh gear engagement when shifting between Park or Neutral into all other gears.
Also, it´s important to note that the squeaking/creaking noise from the clutch pedal (T-SB-0112-19) also applies to the manual transmissions of this generation.
A340E (4-Speed Automatic)
First, the 2012 – 2014 A340E transmission received a technical service bulletin because owners experienced shuddering. The below-mentioned issue was covered under warranty for up to 80,000 miles.:
(These models) may exhibit a shudder condition on deceleration at approximately 20 mph after the vehicle has cold soaked. The Engine Control Module/ECM logic has been modified to reduce the possibility of this condition occurring.Source
A750E (5-Speed Automatic)
The A750E transmission wasn´t without problems either and we see similar issues in other vehicles with this transmission like the Tundra and 4Runner. All 2005 – 2013 model years coupled to a 2.7L 2TR engine eventually received a technical service bulletin because owners experienced a slipping feeling in all forward gears and reverse (T-SB-0066-11). To fix this issue, the replacement of the clutch disk, clutch cover, flywheel, and clutch pedal turnover spring was required to repair the vehicle.
R-155 (5-Speed Manual)
The R-155 did not receive any recalls or technical service bulletins. Furthermore, we didn´t find any complaints indicating this transmission was problematic.
R-A60 (6-Speed Manual)
We found one reported technical service bulletin for 2005 – 2010 Toyota Tacomas (T-SB-0385-09):
Some customers of (6-speed) manual transmission equipped V6 FJ Cruiser and Tacoma vehicles maySource
experience a slipping feeling in all forward gears and reverse. The center section of the clutch disk
may have separated from the friction material section of the clutch disk. Installation of a new clutch
disk and clutch cover (pressure plate) is required to repair the vehicle.
Other Problems Related To The Powertrain
During our research, we also found other common complaints that owners attributed to the transmission but were caused by the rear or front differential or the driveshaft. If you experience any of these problems, know that it´s not a transmission problem but caused by something else:
- 2005 – 2014 Tacoma with an R-A60 six-speed manual transmission experienced vibrations throughout the vehicle due to faulty engine mounts (T-SB-0008-14). Watch the video below to see what this looks like.
- 2005 – 2013 Tacoma with an A750E 5-speed automatic transmission experienced a whining noise from the rear differential at speeds between 50 – 60 mph (T-SB-0057-13).
- 2005 – 2013 Tacoma with an automatic transmission experienced a ´bump-from-behind´ sensation before or when coming to a stop. This was caused by problems with the rear propeller shaft (T-SB-0016-13).
In an earlier article, we already wrote that we expect a Toyota Tacoma to last between 300.000 – 350.000 miles. In most cases, we expect a Toyota Tacoma transmission to also last between 300.000 – 350.000 miles. This estimate assumes that you take care of the transmission and follow the technical service bulletins Toyota has issued for the transmissions.
The reason why we think that the transmissions of the Tacoma can last this long is that many of the problems that were mentioned in the TSBs that were issued were solved within the warranty. This also means most issues were fixed before these trucks reached 40.000 – 90.000 miles.
We have no reason to believe that these issues continued on a large scale after Toyota issued the technical service bulletins. Therefore, we believe that the transmissions will last the vehicle’s lifespan.
Has your transmission failed, and are you looking to get it replaced? In that case, it is vital to know the prices of different transmissions that the Toyota Tacoma has. To help you, we offer an overview of the costs of several transmissions below.
- 4-speed A340E automatic: $3,499.00 (Pnductionperformance)
- 5-speed A750E automatic: $2,395.00 (SPPrecision)
- 5-speed R-155 manual: $1,200 (Globaljdmautoparts)
- 6-speed AC60F automatic: $1,399.99 (eBay)
- 6-speed RC62F manual: $ 3,840.10 (Parts.Toyota)
- 6-speed R-A60 manual: $1,000 (eBay)
Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Toyota Tacoma
We’ve just wrapped up a deep exploration into the transmissions used in the Tacoma since 2005. We’ve sorted through numerous technical service bulletins, delved into the specifics of recalls, and sifted through numerous consumer complaints.
And this isn’t the only vehicle we’ve done this for. Now that you’re done here, you can read similar transmission deep dives on Toyota’s minivan the Sienna, or compare and contrast with the classic Corolla.
Through this detailed look at the Tacoma’s transmissions, our aim was not just to help you understand your vehicle better but also to empower you to make informed decisions, be it about vehicle servicing or purchasing a new one.
Staying informed is the key- whether we’re talking about cars or just about anything else. Understand your vehicle’s history, keep track of recalls, and be aware of any potential problems before the come up. This will always keep you one step ahead. Remember, a journey on the open road is much more enjoyable when you’re armed with knowledge and confidence.
Until next time, take care and drive safe.
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!