06 Tacoma Chattering Clutch

My 06 Tacoma has suddenly developed a chattering clutch… 2 months after the warranty expired! The dealer has been running me through their rat maze of dishonesty. Very frustrating. Basically the dealer is doing their best to screw me and make me cough up $1,000 to fix it.

After searching online I’ve found this is apparently a common problem for this truck. What I’d like to find out is there anywhere I can go to get the “official” word that this is a common problem? So far I’ve only found complaints in forums.

I’d like a little “official” ammunition next time I talk to dealer. This little rat intends to be difficult and make Toyota pay to fix this problem.

Clutches are not covered under any warranty. They are considered “normal wear items” like brakes.

Sometimes this works…Set the parking brake HARD. Put the truck in high gear, rev the engine and slowly release the clutch with a lot of throttle. The engine should pull down and stall. Wait a minute and repeat one more time. See how the clutch acts now. This proceedure, while somewhat abusive, can burn off “fuzz” and dirt or perhaps a little oil and the clutch will quit chattering when you release it…Should you try this, make sure nothing is in front of the truck in case the parking brake is less than perfect…Use a little common sense…

The dealer is not screwing you at all. You have a near 4 year old truck with ??? miles and clutches are not a warrantable item except in very, very limited circumstances; just like brakes. It’s a wear item.

Causing for chattering could be a leaking engine main seal allowing oil onto the clutch disc, warped or burnt pressure plate, or a glazed clutch disc. The latter is generally caused by driving habits; riding the clutch in traffic, heavy use, etc.

Sorry, the clutch is your responsibility.

I agree with Caddyman and ok4450. The expiration of the warranty has no bearing on this problem because the clutch was never warrantied to begin with!

This is very similar to someone complaining that his brake pads wore out just after the warranty had expired. Both brake pad wear and clutch wear are dependent upon the driver and the driving conditions to which a vehicle is subjected. Premature wear of either component indicates either exposure to a lot of stop-and-go driving or incorrect use of the brake/clutch.

Because brake pads and clutches are “wear items”, neither are warrantied.

Well… the dealer says the clutch would be covered under the warranty if it wasn’t two months past the warranty. Toyota said any defective part is covered. Trouble is they don’t want to commit until AFTER my truck is torn apart on the shop floor leaving me with no room to negotiate. I’m working on getting a commitment prior to starting work. My truck is 3 years and 3 months old BTW.

I guess I didn’t explain very well before. The clutch isn’t worn out. My mechanic and the dealer’s mechanic both agree there is no possible way wear could be causing the problem. They both agree the pressure plate is most likely broken.

Apparently many 06 Tacoma owners have this problem. Apparently Toyota used two different clutch manufacturer’s. One works well. The other breaks and causes the chattering problem I’m experiencing. The only thing that’s unusual about my case is that it lasted as long as it did. Many broke much sooner.

The dealer has already committed to paying 50% of repairs. I’m looking for 100%. I think I’ll get it too if I play my cards right as this is most likely a defect in the part. Rather than being up front about the problem the dealer is assuming I will remain ignorant and give them whatever they want… so I’m jumping through their hoops right now to convince them I’m serious… and not stupid.

What I’m looking for is something more than anecdotal evidence this is a common problem. Some owners have had successes with the dealer using only anecdotal evidence and that’s the first card I’ll play. I would prefer to have something more just in case I need it.

So, my question is… is there a source for “official” information on common defects in vehicles independent of the vehicle manufacturer. Please don’t assume I’m stupid and have no “common sense”.

You are correct about your failure to explain this properly, and as a result, we were all barking up the wrong tree.

If the problem is indeed the pressure plate, then you might have a claim, but it will depend upon the good will of the manufacturer. Your biggest obstacle will be that the symptoms were not reported by you until after warranty expiration, and everything does have a time limit.

Luckily, many manufacturers and dealers will work with you, but if you insist that the dealership is “putting you through a rat’s maze of dishonesty”, that attitude will not help you. In fact, 50% coverage from the dealership is very possibly all that you will get, but you had better start using honey instead of vinegar if you want to improve your return.

So how many miles on this truck?

36,000… the chattering started just before I reached 36,000 and 2 months after the warranty was up. I took it in immediately. Because I have a 30 mile daily commute it was at 36,045 when the mechanic first looked at it.

The truck has been pampered and is used only for my daily commute. It’s a nice truck… except for this clutch problem.

I’ll make a few comments here and hope that you don’t get too mad at me.
Right now no one knows what is wrong with the clutch other than it chatters and I can just about guarantee you that the service manager who told you it would be warrantable IF it was not 2 months out would be singing a complete different tune if this occurred a week before the warranty expired.
He’s simply going into a common “I’m on your side, buddy” routine; the same thing that car salesmen do when working a deal with you. It’s “you and me” against “them”, with them being the dealer, sales manager, etc.

The service manager and your mechanic state that “wear cannot be causing the problem”. Wear can cause a chatter but most often chatter is caused by a glazed clutch disc or burnt spot on either or both the flywheel and the pressure plate.

To be honest, I’m surprised the dealer is even offering to pick up half of the bill.
You state that the dealer is running you through a maze of dishonesty, trying to screw you, and trying to make you cough up a 1000 bucks and this is not the case.
Any warranty on a vehicle is applied by the car maker, not the dealer. This means if the dealer performs a questionable warranty repair and submits a questionable warranty claim then the dealer will likely eat the entire bill when the claim is rejected by Toyota.
In a nutshell, the truck is out of warranty and no one is under any obligation to give you one dime so why should the dealer be the one to pay for your clutch.

The problem is that if Toyota (and everybody else) gives everyone a free Xmas gift when their cars are 2 months out of warranty, 3 years, or a 100k miles out where does it stop? Bankruptcy court for the car maker is where because everyone wants it free.

I’m not sold on this pressure plate business and the only way to determine the real cause is tear it apart. If the disc is glazed or the flywheel/pressure plate has burn marks this bill should be on you.
If the pressure plate has a legitimate problem then you should be elated they offered to pick up half.
Every time I’ve seen a broken pressure plate there was usually some degree of noise associated with it and having been around this stuff for a few decades I’ve never, ever in my life seen a clutch warranted except in the case of a premature cable or hydraulic control failure.

Just some info to consider or to get upset with me about.

So… this is for any other Tacoma owners out there who might be having the same problem.

The dealer, after insisting I had worn the clutch out and would have to pay for it, did a sudden 180 after I laid the whole Luk vs. Aisin clutch thing on the table. He did an about face and changed his attitude. He was suddenly all sweetness and niceness. He paid for 100% of the repairs, threw in a free rental, car wash, and tank of gas. I’m taking it as an apology for his unpleasantness.

So… here’s the deal. Some 06 Tacoma’s have Luk clutches in them and they are defective. Toyota knows about it and if you tell them you know about it they’ll fix it… or at least that’s how it worked for me. Mine was six weeks past it’s warranty when it died. I had 3 independent mechanics and three Toyota mechanics drive the truck before it was repaired. They all agreed the pressure plate was defective. All of the Toyota guys claimed to know nothing about the defective Luk clutches, which is possible. Because there is no TSB or recall it will be up to owners to get educated on the subject as Toyota does not appear to be volunteering the information.

Here are some of the threads on the subject:


Everyone on these forums were very nice… unlike this one.

Oh… and the clutch is better than ever. It had always been a little “tricky”. It’s minding it’s manners now. It has worked out well for me but the dealer made me work for it. They would have made me pay for it if I hadn’t researched it so do your homework.

You did get some inital resistance, I see this in many posts that begin with “the Dealer screwed me” or “my mechanic screwed me”. Really, I have noticed this alot.

Forgot to add… here’s the easiest website to navigate (that I found) for looking up the “official” word on problems. Of course, it doesn’t do much good if there’s no TSB, as in the case of my Tacoma. However, I did find out about a recall on my truck I hadn’t heard about.