My Toyota Tacoma..would love another 150,000 K +

I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma, which runs well and i love it. Any suggestions on getting another 150,000 K from it? There has been no major maintanance needed before on this vehicle. There seems to be no problems with it now. Should I have a valve job done? Replace head gasket? Hope and pray? What are your thoughts?

First, review the maintenance schedule and make sure everything’s been done. On top of that, I would change all fluids every 30K miles, unless they’re changed more often. Finally, have a good mechanic give your truck an inspection to look for any parts that need attention, like brakes.

I would not do ‘preventative repairs’, like head gasket or valve job. Those you may never need to do, plenty of engines can go 300K if well-maintained.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (just continue to follow the maintenance schedule in the manual–especially timing belts if it is an interference engine.)

I wouldn’t do anything to the motor; change the oil, plugs, and timing belt (if it has one) as per Toyota recommendations. Pay attention to changing the fluids in the transmission, transfer case, and both differentials (if truck has 4X4 drive).

Rust is what kills these trucks, so it you live where winter roads are salted regularly pay attention to the frame and deal with any rust issues before it gets too far gone.

+1 to Uncle T’s post.

I took my lasy Toyota pickup to 338,000 before it got totaled in an accident. I got 295,000 out of the original clutch!

Things like headgaskets and valvejobs should only be done if they’s a problem. Preemptove maintenance should all be covered in the recommended maintenance schedule that came with your owner’s manual. The big thing now is routinely checking things, like for rust (as UncleT mentioned), bushings, tie rod ends, etc. If you have the 4-banger you can expect the timing chain to begin rattling at about 200,000 miles, but don’y touch it until it does…it might never wear out.

Head Gaskets are not a maintenance item. You only replace them when necessary.

If you have the V6 - we have the same engine. I have a 05 4runner. It currently has over 230k miles and still going string. I expect to get over 300k miles. The only glitch in the this vehicle has been the front calipers. I’m on my third set right now. Not sure if you have the same setup as mine has.

Change the coolant anti-freeze on a regular basis. More often than suggested by Toyota. Replacing the heater core is an expensive job; and hidden fasteners tend to get broke. Judicious fluid change - can help keep that core functional. Once it starts leaking - you have to change it.

Have you replaced the fuel filter?

If the seats start to tear or wear through, don’t wait to have them reupholstered. Get em before the foam starts to break up.

Have you replaced the fuel filter?

If the fuel filter is like my 05 4runner…it’s part of the fuel pump INSIDE the gas tank. Not an easy job. It’s a back flow system…so (in theory) the gas lines should stay clean. I personally would rather have an easily replaceable filter.

If you can keep it from rusting, if will outlive your enthusiasm of ownership.

Mine never did. However I’m easy to please. I remain enthusiastic about a vehicle as long as it continues to give me good service.

Mine never did. However I'm easy to please. I remain enthusiastic about a vehicle as long as it continues to give me good service.

Me too. I LOVE my 4runner…GREAT running vehicle. Still like the ride…the way it handles…always starts…even after 230k miles.

Keep the mechanics away from your cars as much as possible. They’re much more likely to screw something up than improve it. I’ve had two Toyota trucks with over 200K+ miles before I sold them and the only problems I’ve had was a clutch solenoid go out and a diaphram in a mechanical fuel pump tear. Chain the oil and the fluids on a regular basis and that’s it.

@Sparky86 I’m “glad” to hear that you don’t need us.

Let me tell you something:

No matter what you may think you know, you can’t compete with a trained professional who’s been doing this for years and keeps up to date.

It’s not just oil changes and brakes, you know. Ever heard of diagnosis?

I sure hope you’re not the kind of guy who screws something up, then brings it to a shop, and then gets mad because there is a significant charge to fix the mess which you caused. Those guys make life miserable for honest, hard working wrenches.

Well, I’m a civil service mechanic, so there’s no chance you’ll ever bring your vehicle to my shop, since we don’t work on “civilian” vehicles in the shop.

Labeling all mechanics as screw ups isn’t going to make you a lot of friends, at least not on this website.

If you think you’re so much better than us, why don’t you change jobs and start turning wrenches for a living. If you’re right, you’ll make lots of money, diagnose and repair all vehicles correctly in record time, and make us lifers look bad in the process.

Better not go to the doctor or dentist either. They’re always finding problems I didn’t know I had and I can’t afford for anything to be wrong with me.

It would be interesting to hear some detail about how sparky86 arrived at his conclusion.

@db4690, I think there is some truth to what Sparky86 says. In the eight years I’ve been riding motorcycles, I’ve only found one motorcycle mechanic I trust, and he’s about 300 miles from where I live now. (He was only 60 miles away before I moved.)

Finding a good trustworthy mechanic isn’t easy. With my vehicles, I’m far more conscientious and thorough than most of the mechanics in my area. In fact, I’m now tackling maintenance jobs I would have previously farmed out, like motorcycle valve adjustments and motorcycle tire installation.

There are a couple mechanics I trust for the big jobs on my car, but after all the horror stories I’ve read about engines being ruined after having someone mess up on basic maintenance, I’m taking on more maintenance than I used to. In fact, I’m contemplating doing my next timing belt job on my '98 Civic.

I don’t think it was right to flag Sparky86’s post just because you disagree with it. It wasn’t spam, abuse, or trolling. I disagree with his point because I don’t see how the average Joe can drive a car without hiring a mechanic to balance and install tires, and we shade tree mechanics are just as capable of screwing up as anyone else.

@Whitey I’m human and I’ve screwed up things occasionally. Nobody’s perfect all the time. If @Sparky86 had some problems, he should have raised the issue with the mechanic responsible. Most mechanics will be glad to attempt to make it right, rather than having you talk . . . . behind their back.

However, I think it was appropriate to flag @Sparky86

I consider his post to be abusive. Heck, I’ve been flagged with an abuse, I believe. That’s life.

It’s just not appropriate to label all mechanics as screw ups.

I’ve had a few bad experiences with contractors working on my house, but I’m not going to say they’re all screw ups. That is being incredibly insensitive and downright disrespectful to the thousands of contractors who are honest and have a proven track record.

Interesting comment on mechanics vs. doctors, etc. I tell people here in Mexico that if they want to be healthy, the first thing is to avoid doctors as much as possible. They have destroyed the health of the US with their incredibly bad advice to go low fat and high carb. One of my personal victories was to get an internal medicine doctor on Atkins. He resisted until he admitted he was going to die right away. Now, he recommends it to his patients and he is not dying right away.

Standard figures are that 100,000+ people die every year from doctor errors, but trade figures say perhaps as many as 700,000 a year.

I agree with Sparky. if you can do your own maintenance and repairs, you are better off because you are taking complete responsibility for your own vehicle and it doesn’t get any better than that. I assume the flags were based on vested interest by professional mechanics.

I do not wish to do all my own car work, so I take it to the dealer in McAllen, and tell them, usually, what I want done. I was a Senior diagnostician (not what my title was, but that is what I was) for many years in a high tech factory, and only rarely do I need someone to tell me what my car needs. (Our military aircraft black boxes use a self-test system much like OBD-II.) Just replace what I tell you, using your standard high quality work standards and I will gladly pay your high costs, and my car will run fine, thank you. But, whenever possible, i want to do the troubleshooting because I can.

McAllen has some great independent mechanics, but they want you to leave your car until they get to it, and we don’t have two cars. So, I pay the premium and normally same day I get the car back, working perfectly.