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2009 Tacoma - drive shaft "yoke"

My 09 Tacoma 91000 miles- symptom: when idling with foot on the brake, on occasion, experiences engine pause/subtle forward sensation; otherwise drives superb. Service shop said the issue is remedied by replacing the drive shaft thereby switching out the “yoke” which is the source of the problem. Shop said this is a common problem with 09 Tacomas. Repair cost is $1100. Sound familiar to anyone? Does this need immediate repair or can I drive safely?


2WD or 4x4 ?


Toyota Describes This As A “Bump From Behind” Sensation. They covered a driveshaft replacement (revised/improved part) for 60 months or 60,000 Miles On 2005 - 2012 Tacomas.

They published bulletins to help technicians (not consumers) with warranty procedures.
2WD Technical Service Bulletin # T-SB-0250-12.
4WD Technical Service Bulletin # T-SB-0016-13.

An online search should find free downloads of these.

Obviously(?) Automatic Transmission, Right?

If it turns out the drive shaft isn’t the problem, if your truck is so-equipped, a limited slip differential that is slipping a little to easily could cause this symptom.

2WD and automatic transmission. Thanks

I have replaced many Toyota drive shafts under warranty for the “thump” after stopping or after releasing the brake to accelerate. The slip yoke in the drive shaft binds and holds while braking, keeping tension on the rear suspension, when the slip yoke releases you feel the thump in the rear suspension.

I would never pay for a drive shaft for this reason, I would buy a grease gun and lubricate the universal joints and slip yokes, this disturbance may go away. Few of my co-workers possess a grease gun, these joints are neglected by the younger generation that is unfamiliar with grease fittings.

I’ve had that “yoke” problem before and it’s irritating. I had a similar “thump” on a 2005 Dodge Dakota. It turned out to be a broken gas tank strap that was easily found after I got the truck up on a lift. I’m glad the other strap was a lot stronger than it’s partner.

Common chevy problem as well. Remove driveshaft, clean splines on slip yoke, re-grease and re-install.

This might be relevant to OP’s symptom.

GM Clunk After Stopping

“We have had very good results by lubricating the splines and driveshaft yoke with a synthetic grease. The grease seems heavy enough to allow the yoke to move smoothly, despite the poor machine finish. In order to lubricate the splines, the driveshaft must be removed. The splines are then thoroughly coated with synthetic grease. Care must be taken to avoid over lubrication. There is an air space at the end of the splines that must remain clear. If grease is allowed to fill this gap, the driveshaft will lock when it plunges forward and damage to the transmission could result”

How would the driveshaft Yoke have any input while you are sitting with your foot on the brake and the vehicle not moving ?

It has pent up energy from the force of stopping. The rear end is pushing to go back to its neutral position but the sticky yoke won’t budge. When it finally gives way, it feels like someone bumped you from behind…

Oh…so basically the OP meant that this “Bump” happens upon the transition between moving and stationary then ? I can see that scenario…I was scratching my head thinking about being stationary with your foot on the brake and couldn’t imagine how anything could be happening…


Took Tacoma to reputable mechanic who said he couldn’t replicate symptom and does not “throw” parts to search out remedy. (I shared with him Toyota’s diagnosis and suggested remedy- replace drive shaft and yoke for $1100). I advised him of our discussion and the suggestion to grease the yoke. He said logically is makes no sense that the drive shaft yoke would at issue but he will lubricate. Thanks all.

Sounds like an honest and competent mechanic

He obviously remembers that you should VERIFY the customer’s complaint first

too bad so many other guys get out the shotgun

gives my profession a bad name :frowning:

I’m sure we’ve all got horror stories of mechanics fixing the WRONG noise, because they didn’t initially hear “the noise.” Then the customer leaves the car to be repaired. The mechanic drives the car again and hears A noise and assumed it was the CORRECT noise, the one the customer was complaining about


Pardon me but I interpret it as a ujoint problem, replace the ujoint, must be missing something.

[the shop mechanic] said logically is makes no sense that the drive shaft yoke would at issue but he will lubricate.

Make sure to lubricate the splines that go into the transmission too.

Have him disconnect the differential end and try sliding the yoke in-out of the trans by hand. Simple test and may verify the issue. Once loose, it is a simple matter to just go ahead and try the fix. make sure he cleans all the old grease off first, Just slapping new grease over the old stuff is unlikely to result in restored performance for long. BTW- super inexpensive check/fix to see if problem goes away. Something I would do long before shelling out a grand on a hope…

Could the transmission mount be failing? Even a fraction of an inch of free play at that mount can cause a noticeable thump. But the splins on the yoke would be a likely cause.

And just think, if the dealership’s driveshaft replacement is 100% effective in repairing the problem it may be because the shop manual instructs that the new yoke be greased before installing it.

It is a common complaint but if you can no longer demonstrate the problem then just grease the zerk fittings and forget about it.


Some 2WD 2005 – 2013 model year Tacoma vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission may exhibit a clunk/thunk noise from the rear of the vehicle or a “bump-from-behind” sensation just before a stop or when accelerating from a stop. Improvements have been implemented on the rear propeller shaft (driveshaft). Follow the Repair Procedure in this bulletin to improve this condition.