New guy here with a transfer case actuator failure - Now with updates!.

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Awells1234

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Update: truck has been returned to the dealership for the fourth time. The transfer case was rebuilt, transfer case actuator replaced, front differential actuator replaced, and now is leaking oil out of the transfer case due to an incorrectly installed seal.

Howdy, new guy here with a love hate relationship with my ‘17 TRD Offroad.

I wanted to seek input from others that have had the actuator fail on the transfer case.

Without turning into a gripe sesh, Mine just went out at 25k miles. I live in the desert, not much water around and never get into anything deep off-roading. Because my truck is “modded” and past the 36month mark, getting it warrantied has been a crap shoot. So far, the dealer I took it to seems like they want to help so the ball is in Toyota’s court now. Having four Toyota’s already (2nd gen built by Giant motor sports, ‘14fj, and a ‘16 TRD OR) I’ve never had to deal with the warranty experience with Toyota so not sure what to expect

For those who have had to have the transfer case actuator replaced in your 3rd gen, how did yours fail and what have you done to prevent failure again if anything? I’ve had a few problems with the truck, some more aggravating than others, so this last occurrence, with all the time and money spent on my truck stings quite a bit.

Thanks for any input.
 
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Awells1234

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Just updating this thread. My truck has been with my dealer’s service center for 16 days and still not fixed.

Fortunately, my dealer got the t case actuator covered under “good faith” so I didn’t eat the cost of the faulty transfer case actuator and the labor. It’s not covered under the power train warranty, or so my service center alleges for those that run into the issue down the road.
 

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Thanks for the update. I've actually never heard of the actuator breaking. How much was the cost to fix?
 

Awells1234

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$2500 quoted by my service center but they covered it under a “good faith” warranty.

I picked it up on day 17 and it broke again less than 5miles later so going back to Toyota again.
 

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$2500 quoted by my service center but they covered it under a “good faith” warranty.

I picked it up on day 17 and it broke again less than 5miles later so going back to Toyota again.
How in the heck? I've never heard of those breaking either. That's crazy. Who diagnosed it? How did they determine that was what was going on? I feel like there are mechanic shenanigans going on at the dealership.
 

Awells1234

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I’ve heard of the front actuator going out quit a bit but the one on the transfer case seems like a rarity.

The dealer took a few days but diagnosed the actuator on the transfer case as the failed part. The part was on back order and took a week to get but they rebuilt the transfer case and installed the new actuator, called me to tell me it was sending a miscommunication signal and flashing the code but would engage 4wd and switch back. When the code cleared they called and said it’s good, recommended I replaced my battery terminal ( I had the billet blocks from SDHQ) as that may be a source of the miscommunication.

Picked the truck up and it failed as soon as I got home in my drive way, a few miles away from the dealer. Called the service manager and my rep since it was close to the end of the business day to have it all documented. Also took photos when I got home to document mileage driven since I picked it up and when the failure occurred.

I took off the SDHQ blocks and put new Toyota branded ones on and disconnected the wiring harnesses from the battery but the issue was still present.
 
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Awells1234

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Trucks back with Toyota again. We’ll see what’s next. Tomorrow is day 18 without a vehicle.
 

Awells1234

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Another update for those following. I figured this would be good information for who ever experiences this issue.

My asm called Friday evening (day 18) and said that the 2wd-4wd malfunction change code cleared on its own and I can pick up the truck or leave it longer. I decided to pick up the truck and hope for the best. Before leaving I told my ASM I was going to hook up my wiring harness to my light bar in the parking lot and see if it works before taking off. He was cool with it so I did. The truck failed to disengage 4wd but wouldn’t throw the code. Left the truck running for a bit and the shop foreman spent about 30min switching through the drive modes and only had one error in 4lo but 4hi would take some time to settle. He gave me his personal number and said to call if the code came back on and take notes on when, where, and how so he could try to re create the issue.

Made it 4 miles home, parked in my driveway, and went inside to change and put my front skid plate on ( I had it off so they could access the ADD on the front diff and not have to worry about them installing it wrong or stripping a nut as it’s happened before). As soon as I started the truck up the code came on and wouldn’t not engage 4wd. Called the shop foreman and sent my asm an email with my odometer and the code stating I’ll bring it back for the third time.

The code then cleared itself an hour later and had multiple errors engaging/ disengaging 4lo and 4hi. Shut the truck off and ate dinner. Came back out a couple hours later and the code came back on and lost function of 4wd. The code stayed on when it arrived at the dealership on day 19 for the third visit.

Aside from being without a vehicle for 19 days and the problems it’s caused, it seems like the service center wants to help so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but everything’s been documented, even the hardships caused from not having a vehicle or being offered a loaner, just in case the problem persists.
 

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Shit man, sounds like lemon laws should come into effect at some point. Or else you should take it to another shop maybe?
 

Awells1234

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My truck is a 2017 so past the period for lemon law in CA since I’m over the 36mo mark for Toyota’s warranty. Only have 25k miles on it though so I was going to contact someone about it anyways.

I’ve had significantly worse luck at the other Toyota dealer, plus it is further away so I didn’t want to be driving my truck all over town if it got locked in 4wd again.

I talked to them over the weekend again and they’re going to make an inquiry with Toyota and see if the ADD could be causing the problem. I suspected it may be the issue when I first brought it in last month but they found the transfer case actuator to be faulty and must have overlooked the ADD as a potential problem.

I overnighted a new ADD three weeks ago when I first took in my truck to hopefully minimize the downtime if Toyota wasn’t going to take care of anything under warranty. Hopefully they’ll take care of this one at no cost all things considering.
 

Awells1234

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Front ADD actuator was replaced on day 22. Hopefully the end of the problems with my truck and I can pick it up soon.

Ive had a brand new one sitting on my kitchen table for three weeks now since I encouraged them to check it initially last month and they insisted it wasn’t the issue. Turns out it was and fortunately they covered it under warranty.
 

Awells1234

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Finally got my truck back looking like a bag of ass.

Both actuators replaced under warranty after 23 days and three visits. Pretty burnt about this ordeal but I contacted a lemon law attorney in case and going to drop a line with Toyota Corporate in the mean time to see what they have to say.
 

Awells1234

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Trucks going back the fourth time.

Had to drive up to Nor-Cal for a family emergency and when I got home, noticed a puddle under the truck and a giant wet spot on my transfer case skid. Truck is leaking oil from the transfer case.
 

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Awells1234

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More exciting discoveries, the dealership did not replace the breather hose from when the transfer case actuator was replaced and transfer case rebuilt. Instead, they left the cracked, old piece of shit on that was barely on the actuator.
 

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Biohazard

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Wow. Sorry man, lots of cracks have quite fallen through. Hope this gets resolved soon.
 

Awells1234

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A bit to much and I’m surprised how uninvolved management at the dealership and Toyota wants to be about this. You’d think with having the truck for 25 days total and now 4visits in barely over a month some alarm bells would ring.

Anyways, trucks in for another warranty repair. They didn’t reassemble my transfer case correctly which caused the leak.
 

New Holland Overland

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Dang...that really stinks. Hopefully they take care of you! The dealership by me (Crown motors, holland, mi) have been nothing short of amazing and always willing to help with my many warranty items.
 

Awells1234

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Dang...that really stinks. Hopefully they take care of you! The dealership by me (Crown motors, holland, mi) have been nothing short of amazing and always willing to help with my many warranty items.
Unfortunately mine hasn’t been totally awesome so I’ve been in contact with a lemon law attorney since the third visit.
I’ve tried to be totally cool with the dealership this whole time despite all the issues but all things considering, I’m over it. My truck doesn’t have a ton of miles on it either so no telling what drama is going to come out of it next.
 

RevN3

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Yeah I thought my Toyota dealership sucked because they were so slow they just wasted my time (Kendall Toyota) but then I went across the river to Lithia Toyota and they were properly sketchy as hell. Incomplete invoices, making claims that were very easily disproven with my dash cam, changing their story when they got caught instead of fessing up. I've just been doing my own maintenance since that.
 

Awells1234

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Well, I’ve been fighting with Toyota USA for over a week about this and gone absolutely nowhere. Last week I was told to contact the dealerships customer relations manage, did, and heard no response. Made another two attempts again through Toyota USA to contact them and still going nowhere. No acknowledgement of the numerous failed warranty repair attempts, return visits, or the length of time the trucks been at the dealership. Nada.
 
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