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Reference 3rd Gen Tips and Tricks

Mr. Nobody

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Information pulled from TacomaWorld.com and authored by AAChaoshand. He created and compiled this information. It's too good not to have here so I reached out to him on TW and he gave me the okay to share this information for the benefit of other 3rd Gen owners.

TacomaWorld is a great resource and I hope you will find value in it as we look to continually build the depth of information stored on T3G. I hope as a 3rd Gen owner you will utilize it to learn everything you can about these trucks and share that information with fellow 3rd Gen owners here on T3G and elsewhere.

Small features about the 3rd Gen Tacoma


  1. If you have the factory tonneau cover, close the tail gate first then close the cover and press on the back corner until you hear a click, this completely seals the back and lets only small drops of water in if any
  2. Check your cleates on the back if you tonneau cover doesn't close all the way
  3. You cannot leave the keyless access FOB in the vehicle and lock it at the same time (on appropriate trim levels)
  4. Your Nav traffic and weather are based off of the HD radio and not the XM satellite as some believe, this can be validated by going to Toyota's entune section and choosing the Tacoma then select weather or traffic.
  5. Your Nav does not require satellite subscription to work.
  6. The entune app on your phone provides a fall back device if HD radio is not available for traffic and weather. Keep in mind this uses data from your cell plan.
  7. ATF fluid for automatics can not be visually inspected via dipstick. https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...be-low-on-fluid-directly-from-factory.405642/
  8. Your Tacoma will auto-lock itself if you unlock the vehicle but do not open a door. The timer can be adjusted or disabled completely via the dash menu.
  9. Your Tacoma does not auto-lock itself if you exit and forget to press the sensor or use your FOB
  10. The automatic transmission will learn your driving habits over time and stop hunting for gears as time progresses, mine stopped at around 1200 miles-ish
  11. Your heated seats will stay on the setting you left them on after you exit the vehicle. The next time you enter your vehicle they will automatically be on at the last setting they were left on.
  12. The window lock locks all windows except yours, even from your own panel.
  13. You can have recycle on and heat vents + defrost on at the same time. I have had many vehicles that wouldn't allow this.
  14. You should have a separate key for your tailgate that is long and looks like it's something from 2001 the key inside the FOB is only for your driver door. The separate key is either handed to you or in your glove box. (This only applies to push button start trim levels) (2016 Only, 2017 the key in the FOB also unlocks the tailgate.)
  15. The key inside the FOB also locks and unlocks the glove box.
  16. The S mode on automatic transmissions usually shifts to 4th gear, this is normal at highway speeds. Simply shift up or down depending on your speed and situation.
  17. You can turn the HD radio feature off on the entertainment system if it keeps going in and out on you due to out of coverage areas or other circumstances.
  18. There is additional space behind the driver's side rear seat compared to the rear seat on the passenger's side.
  19. For those new to push start, press once for accessories hold down to start. Accessory mode will power the radio.
  20. The iPhone cannot directly reply to text messages in the vehicle, you have to use the mobile assistant.
  21. Your automatic headlight sensor is on the passenger side of the dashboard, this can be affected by window sticks if required by state.
  22. You can adjust the sensor sensitivity if needed via the instrument cluster display
  23. Press and hold on the entertainment system screen to save a radio.
  24. You can erase the cache on the entertainment system.
  25. The cupholder separator in the middle near the wireless charging area comes out if needed.
  26. The Power outlet in the bed will supply 110vac up to 400watts during idle only (in neutral (MT) or park (AT)) and 110vac up to 100watts while the vehicle is being driven (or in gear), and it's mode must be toggled by the dash switch.
  27. If you have the v6 your have a different oil filter system. You replace the interior and screw the outside housing back on. The i4 engine still uses the traditional spin on oil filter.
  28. A press of the turn signal will activate the blinker for 3 seconds without fully depressing the lever.
  29. If your iPhone message aren't showing up on your multimedia screen, go to Settings --> Bluetooth --> Toyota --> activate "Show Notifications" (Thanks Peto48)
  30. If you have a smart key, simply hold your brake pedal and push the start button once and it will start the engine. No need for multiple presses.(Thanks ToyFXR88)
  31. If you keep your foot off the brake and press the push start twice it turns the ignition on for all other electronics that accessory mode does not power.
  32. Clip under console lid, perfect size for storing tailgate/glovebox key. (Thanks G3Inferno)
  33. You can change the background on your multimedia system. https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...p-and-screen-off.301061/page-15#post-11505721 (Thanks WSC 2016 TRD off road!)
  34. The owners app on your mobile phone shows you what has been done and what the icons mean on your truck. https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/toyota-care-app.407970/#post-11466605 (Thanks WSC 2016 TRD off road!)
  35. If the engine is running just press Push to Start button in any shift (R-N-D or S)except in P and radio won't go off. (Courtesy of abec)
  36. If you leave the transmission in neutral while parked in ACC mode and pull the hand brake, the radio seems to not have a turn off timer. A user reported over 2 hours of radio time while at a drive-in movie while using this method.
  37. Also if you are in S mode, for example 1st gear. Just tap up once and hold the shifter for 1 second and it will jump to 6th gear instead of tapping it 5 times
  38. If you open the sunroof all the way. Then press the open button again it will open up a little bit more. They do this to help keep the road noise down.
  39. The sun visors extend. You can see the one clip with arrows showing it.
  40. If you are in accessory mode, everything will shut off after 15 minutes or so. The cluster display says "shutting down to conserve power"(Courtesy of shellshocked)
  41. When driving highway speed, move the shifter Left and Forward and it will shift into 5th instead of 4th like normal. You can then quickly tap to sixth or hold forward to get to sixth
  42. Turning odometer reset knob clockwise brightens display, counterclockwise dims it.
  43. Turning off (nanny features) VSC, TRAC and AUTO LSD while stopped and then getting on highway will prevent cruise control from working.
  44. If you go to Apps --> Vehicle --> Vehicle Customization you can change how the fob unlocks the doors. i.e. You can set all doors to unlock upon your hand touching the handle (for keyless entry models)
  45. You Entune system has a driver section that lets you input last oil changes, primary dealership location and a myriad of other entries for services you might have performed. Useful for keeping track of things! It's in the Apps section if you scroll over far enough.
  46. If you turn the truck off, phone charging via cable also stops.
  47. If you press the recirculate button with the cooler/heater fan in the OFF position, all airflow into the passenger compartment will cease.
  48. If you put the truck in reverse while driving at around 35 mph (tested by a forum member in this thread, see his video), the truck goes into neutral instead of reverse as a safety feature.
  49. Holding the lock button on the smart key fob and pressing unlock twice disables the communication signal. Pressing the lock or unlock button will re-enable the signal. Good for washing your car near the handle and saving battery life.
  50. Stepping on the brake and accelerator at the same time causes the engine to stall and a warning on the MFD.
  51. If you rotate your own tires, you need to reset the TPMS sensors. The button is a small area located near the hood release on the driver's side.
  52. You can run fog lights with your parking lights on.
  53. You can adjust the voice prompt volume from the navigation and other menus. Read here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/tips-and-tricks-on-the-2016-tacoma.411911/page-28#post-11819863
  54. You can hang the gas cap on the gas door by putting it between the prongs. Another solution is here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...r-3rd-gen-today.399305/page-391#post-11833861
  55. If you leave your lights on manually, they turn off after leaving the truck. I found this out after accidentally switching them on and leaving them on.
  56. Auto-headlight sensitivity adjustments are completed by going to settings, vehicle, vehicle settings (if greyed out put in drive then back to park), vehicle customization, light settings.
  57. While listening to XM radio; use steering controls to select XM as a source, (even though it's already selected) you will be able to scroll through all of your radio presets (including FM/AM).
  58. You can add a usb splitter to the usb port and Entune will see two usb sources.
  59. Sunroof ajar and Hood ajar will display on the instrument cluster if either is not properly shut.
  60. There's only a limited number of files that Entune can use in a folder or root. You must make additional folders on a USB flash drive in order to get all songs to play if you have some astronomical amount, like 2000. (Thanks to user Tomwill)
  61. -V6 ONLY- The oil filter, gasket, and plug is part# 04152-YZZA1
    while the filter wrench is part# TOY 640, other than a socket and ratchet, you should be good to go.
  62. You can set all 4 doors to unlock on one press of the FOB on the double cab via the system settings in the Entune head unit. Gear top right > vehicle > vehicle customization > door lock settings > select doors to unlock > all doors.
  63. To start the truck without having your foot on the brake (useful for when a rider goes to the truck before you do and is sitting in the passenger seat) push the PTS button once and release, then push the PTS button and hold it till the truck starts (Approximately 10-13 seconds). This process was tested on a 2017 & 2016 Tacoma TRD Off Road with an Automatic Transmission and still requires the smart key to be in the vehicle in order to start.



Things that have been known to be an issue from the factory:


  1. Low ATF fluid, have the dealer check your fluid!
  2. Lack of grease in the U-Joints on the underside (4x4 trims only)
  3. (Resolved) Howling when driving is related to the frame on the underside, there is a thread on this for more detail (Thanks Tacobella!) https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/solved-howling-noise-between-35-45.410480/
  4. Hood vibrations for some, check your seals under the hood where the two pieces should be glued together
  5. Loose u bolts on rear axle. I checked mine and they were loose. (Thanks WSC 2016 TRD off road!) https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/check-your-u-bolts.397913/
  6. Random vibrations in the 1800 to 2300 RPM range. One forum user found an issue behind his glove box. Click this link to find out what he did: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/tips-and-tricks-on-the-2016-tacoma.411911/page-63#post-12356299
  7. Rear window seals not sitting right with the window closed (Thanks chaboi).
  8. Sun roof leaking (Thanks Tinsue.)
  9. iPhone users will have limited-to-no entune messaging capability if they have "quick contacts" on their entune home screen.
  10. For owners who got the stock wheel locks as an accessory, they should know how poorly designed and faulty the "key" for the spare tire winch can be. The square end of one of the black shafts does not fit very snugly into the key, and can rotate within it if the winch is tight. This can strand you without access to your spare tire! (Happened to me, and I was lucky to have lots of tools along to kluge a solution.) Courtesy of "Toreador"
  11. Bad rear leaf springs and/or bushings, my truck as well as apparently "many" others are having squeaks that are stemming from either the leaf springs and/or the bushings. Toyota is aware of the issue per my service manager and the local Toyota rep. I can give out the information for my particular dealer via PM in order to reduce the amount of spam calls they may get if you have further questions.
  12. Weak body rad mounts. The boots wear quickly and then the bolt rubs against the frame causing a squeak sound when at slow speeds or off roading. This is a factory warranty issue that can be resolved easily.
  13. Poor shifting, Reverse to Drive or Park to Drive tends to hang for, at most, seconds. Also, poor up shifting on cruise or normal driving. An ECU re-flash will fix this problem. I got mine flashed 11-11-2016 which included both fixes in one flash.
  14. The bushing for the 2016 tailgate has been discontinued and you will need to order a third party item or wait for Toyota to come up with a solution. This was apparently a problem for all trucks built prior to Feb 2016. The following link takes you directly to the post that illustrates the problem. Tips and Tricks on the 3rd Gen Tacoma

Things that are normal but concern owners

  1. Lurch forward or backward upon starting the vehicle cold. This is due to high RPMs. Hold the break or let it run for a few seconds.
  2. Your headlights do not turn on when the windshield wipers are on. This is normal and a feature that was left out of the Tacoma on every trim as even my Limited doesn't have it.
  3. The song limit is apparently 9,999 songs as a user here has described. I have no way as of right now to verify either way if this is the max. (courtesy of Trussdude)
  4. The sound from the vehicle hours after shut down is the fuel evaporation test. Page 9 of the manual. (Courtesy of Garyji)
  5. The V6 engine making a loud noise similar to valve tapping while idling. Others pointed out that the engine sometimes goes into an injector cleaning cycle that sounds a lot like a loud valve tap. http://wardsauto.com/technology/toyota-advances-d4s-self-cleaning-feature-tacoma
  6. The truck will chime if you open the door before turning the engine off and keeps chiming until you close it after exiting the vehicle. This can be disabled with the Carista app or the dealer.
  7. At 4500 miles a orange triangle and maintenance needed appears on the dash. The triangle will not go away unless cleared either by you or the dealership. This is not a Check Engine Light, merely an annoying reminder for service in addition to the pop-up that shows on the center screen. This occurs again at every service interval and is not a CEL.
 
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RevN3

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"Your headlights do not turn on when the windshield wipers are on. This is normal and a feature that was left out of the Tacoma on every trim as even my Limited doesn't have it."

Was this supposed to be a thing? Why was this something people expected?
 

Mr. Nobody

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"Your headlights do not turn on when the windshield wipers are on. This is normal and a feature that was left out of the Tacoma on every trim as even my Limited doesn't have it."

Was this supposed to be a thing? Why was this something people expected?


I think people assume the truck should know that because the wipers are on you must therefore be in inclement weather, so by default the lights should turn on. I don't see it as necessary either.
 

Oregon 3rd Gen

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My Ford Focus has that feature. Was called a rain lamp. Just an extra feature that they could put on the window sticker ?
 

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I never actually realized that was a thing on any car... Granted I've pretty much only ever owned Toyota trucks, so I guess that makes my point moot...
 

RamblinRoots

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I'll add in another small trick I didnt see above.

When the truck is completely off and you want to leave the doors open, the truck will sometimes beep at you constantly. You can manually press the rubber door close sensor next to the door latch once, on any door and the beeping will stop.
 

Tyler

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I'll add in another small trick I didnt see above.

When the truck is completely off and you want to leave the doors open, the truck will sometimes beep at you constantly. You can manually press the rubber door close sensor next to the door latch once, on any door and the beeping will stop.
That’s a good one. That beep is annoying and I never remember to just do that.
 

BARE Outfitters

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I don’t think it’s been mentioned, but if you put the truck in Reverse with the door open, it will make banshee noises worse than the seatbelt chime.

I believe it does it in drive as well. Have not tried for extended lengths.
 

cowhorn7

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Don’t remember where I found this information, may have been on this forum but thought this would be a good place to post it too.

If your 2018+ Tacoma’s cruise control is not working properly due to the TSS sensor being dirty or just being an ornery computer, you can hold the Cruise On/Off button in for about 3 seconds and it will deactivate the whole radar system and you’ll be able to use it like an old fashioned cruise control!
 

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Don’t remember where I found this information, may have been on this forum but thought this would be a good place to post it too.

If your 2018+ Tacoma’s cruise control is not working properly due to the TSS sensor being dirty or just being an ornery computer, you can hold the Cruise On/Off button in for about 3 seconds and it will deactivate the whole radar system and you’ll be able to use it like an old fashioned cruise control!
Do you have to do it each time?!? That’s a game changer.
 

cowhorn7

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Do you have to do it each time?!? That’s a game changer.

Unfortunately yes. When you turn the truck off it resets back, but I never liked the radar even when it’s working properly. I prefer to brake and slow down when I’m ready not when the computer thinks so. So I’ll gladly hold the button in for 3 seconds each time!
 

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Unfortunately yes. When you turn the truck off it resets back, but I never liked the radar even when it’s working properly. I prefer to brake and slow down when I’m ready not when the computer thinks so. So I’ll gladly hold the button in for 3 seconds each time!
I agree 100%. I’ve had my random scares since lifting the truck. It’s a piece of tech a wish didn’t have exist to be honest.
 

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I agree 100%. I’ve had my random scares since lifting the truck. It’s a piece of tech a wish didn’t have exist to be honest.

Looking back I wish I had gone for a used 2016 or 17 without TSS and would have gotten the sunroof... I really wish I had one of those lol! But I was new to the Tacoma game and was star struck by the shiny new 2018!
 

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Looking back I wish I had gone for a used 2016 or 17 without TSS and would have gotten the sunroof... I really wish I had one of those lol! But I was new to the Tacoma game and was star struck by the shiny new 2018!
Hold your tongue! The 18’s have had the least number of reported issues, noting the 3rd brake light leak and engine malfunctions. Not bashing the 16/17s.
 

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Thee three blink lane change can be changed to any number of blinks between 0 and 7 using Carista or the dealership can do it with their techstream.
 

Rodchester

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Those two methods can also turn off the seatbelt warning chimes. Other customizations are available as well.
 

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has anyone experience what i call 'Brake slap" when applying brakes upon 1st moving forward, or, in reverse, and apply brakes, hear a noticable "CLACK" noise from brakes...
is this due to sliding calipers??
 

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has anyone experience what i call 'Brake slap" when applying brakes upon 1st moving forward, or, in reverse, and apply brakes, hear a noticable "CLACK" noise from brakes...
is this due to sliding calipers??
Check everything up front. Make sure everything seems tight and nothing is loose or showing thread where it shouldn't. End links, suspension, cabin mount. Could be a caliper. Have a video or sound clip of the sound? Wouldn't hurt to look everything over yourself. I've heard about the moving pads. Never experienced it myself. Some have even isolated it to LCA movement for more of a "clunk" noise.