2008 Tacoma debrief

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As I mentioned earlier, I traded in my 2008 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road for a 2013 Forester. I thought I'd share my experiences with the Tacoma. I bought it new in Arizona in January of 2008. It had nearly if not every option that could be had with the TRD Off-Road package. I think it cost something like $27k. I averaged 18.5 MPG summer and 17 MPG winter. It had 82k when I traded it in, and had been very reliable. The rear axle seals went at 60k and were replaced under warranty (I saw no signs of this, but it didn't cost me anything, so whatever). Other than that, it had no mechanical problems. I did the brakes all around at 60k and tires at 25k and 70k. Some thoughts: Tires - BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A tires came stock on it in 265/70-16. These were horrible in all terrain except dry roads and especially awful in snow. I would have expected better from Toyota in the premium "off-road" package. They were warrantied by BFGoodrich at 25k when large cracks started appearing between the tread blocks. I wish I had photos, but it was before my BITOG days. I replaced them with a set of T/A KO in 265/75-16, which also fixed the speedometer that was wrong from the factory. I ran these for 45k and was generally happy with them. Last summer I put Cooper AT/3s on it. I found them to be even better, especially in light snow. Fluids - It has seen a mixture of bulk conventional from Toyota dealers, M1 0w-30, PYB 5w-30, and Rotella T6. I've used OEM and Purolator PureONE and Classic filters. I put Mobil 1 75w-90 in the transfer case and both differentials. The diff fluid came out awful at 70k, and I would do it at 60k if I bought another one. The transfer case fluid looked brand new and amber. The transmission got Maxlife ATF, and I couldn't have been happier with the performance. Towing - I realize that this truck isn't meant to be a heavy duty vehicle, but it towed 6x12 U-Haul enclosed trailer across the country without complaints. I estimated that to be about 5,000 lbs. It had the towing package with transmission cooler and a stated capacity of 6,500 lbs. Suspension - After some fighting with the dealership, I had them do the TSB for the rear suspension, which was pretty wimpy from the factory. If I put any weight in the bed at night, it would change the geometry so much that other drivers thought I had my high beams on. The TSB replaced the three leaf springs with four and greatly improved the capability of the truck. Performance - The 1GR-FE is a nice peppy engine for this lighter truck, although I'd gladly pay a premium for a turbodiesel if one were available stateside. Oh well. It had plenty of passing power and I can't complain about it. The off-road package came with a manual locking rear differential. I found this entirely useless (especially for winter driving), as it was only available in 4x4 low. I would much rather have had an automatic locker like the Tahoe I drive at work. It might have been useful in very deep mud or rock crawling, but I never put it through that. That's about all I can think of. I wanted to get a 4Runner, but couldn't justify the equally poor MPGs and $10,000 premium over the Forester.
 

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One other thing I forgot to mention was the ABS. It was programmed very poorly. At the slightest loss of braking traction, it would remove all braking power. It sent me through more than one intersection before I learned to anticipate it and brake earlier in snow. It was so sensitive that it would even activate at ZERO miles per hour. Scenario - I would start the truck on an icy parking lot. If I put it into gear before the RPMs settled down or if I wasn't standing on the brake, the slightest movement in the rear wheels would cause the ABS to remove all braking power and potentially send someone into a garage door or parked car. I contacted Toyota about this more than once without success. The dealership said it was normal, but the mechanic did agree that it had been programmed to be overly sensitive. I test drove another 2008 in icy conditions and found it to be the same. Quite the safety hazard.
 

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Originally Posted By: ryansride2017
What kind of trade-in value did you get on it?
$16,500
 
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The Tacoma's are pretty much bullet proof, sounds like you had some minor little headaches. Although I do like Subbies, I hope you are not comparing the Forrester to a 4Runner? Two totally different vehicles.
 

Bandito440

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Originally Posted By: toyo
The Tacoma's are pretty much bullet proof, sounds like you had some minor little headaches. Although I do like Subbies, I hope you are not comparing the Forrester to a 4Runner? Two totally different vehicles.
I compared them only so far as both were in the running for my purchase. I didn't need the capabilities of a 4Runner, but it would have been nice. Maybe next year.
 
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Originally Posted By: Bandito440
As I mentioned earlier, I traded in my 2008 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road for a 2013 Forester. I thought I'd share my experiences with the Tacoma. I bought it new in Arizona in January of 2008. It had nearly if not every option that could be had with the TRD Off-Road package. I think it cost something like $27k. I averaged 18.5 MPG summer and 17 MPG winter. It had 82k when I traded it in, and had been very reliable. The rear axle seals went at 60k and were replaced under warranty (I saw no signs of this, but it didn't cost me anything, so whatever). Other than that, it had no mechanical problems. I did the brakes all around at 60k and tires at 25k and 70k. Some thoughts: Tires - BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A tires came stock on it in 265/70-16. These were horrible in all terrain except dry roads and especially awful in snow. I would have expected better from Toyota in the premium "off-road" package. They were warrantied by BFGoodrich at 25k when large cracks started appearing between the tread blocks. I wish I had photos, but it was before my BITOG days. I replaced them with a set of T/A KO in 265/75-16, which also fixed the speedometer that was wrong from the factory. I ran these for 45k and was generally happy with them. Last summer I put Cooper AT/3s on it. I found them to be even better, especially in light snow. Fluids - It has seen a mixture of bulk conventional from Toyota dealers, M1 0w-30, PYB 5w-30, and Rotella T6. I've used OEM and Purolator PureONE and Classic filters. I put Mobil 1 75w-90 in the transfer case and both differentials. The diff fluid came out awful at 70k, and I would do it at 60k if I bought another one. The transfer case fluid looked brand new and amber. The transmission got Maxlife ATF, and I couldn't have been happier with the performance. Towing - I realize that this truck isn't meant to be a heavy duty vehicle, but it towed 6x12 U-Haul enclosed trailer across the country without complaints. I estimated that to be about 5,000 lbs. It had the towing package with transmission cooler and a stated capacity of 6,500 lbs. Suspension - After some fighting with the dealership, I had them do the TSB for the rear suspension, which was pretty wimpy from the factory. If I put any weight in the bed at night, it would change the geometry so much that other drivers thought I had my high beams on. The TSB replaced the three leaf springs with four and greatly improved the capability of the truck. Performance - The 1GR-FE is a nice peppy engine for this lighter truck, although I'd gladly pay a premium for a turbodiesel if one were available stateside. Oh well. It had plenty of passing power and I can't complain about it. The off-road package came with a manual locking rear differential. I found this entirely useless (especially for winter driving), as it was only available in 4x4 low. I would much rather have had an automatic locker like the Tahoe I drive at work. It might have been useful in very deep mud or rock crawling, but I never put it through that. That's about all I can think of. I wanted to get a 4Runner, but couldn't justify the equally poor MPGs and $10,000 premium over the Forester.
I did 4000 lbs 1500 miles in my 2002. Power was definitely poor but handled the long haul.
 
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Wow! That is a great trade-in price, You drove the vehicle for at least 5 years and it cost you approximately $10K (27K-16.5K). That is $2K per year or $180 per month. All you spent over during that time was a set of tires and brakes. You did extremely well. I hope "usual suspects" learn a lesson from this one and understand that sometimes new vehicle purchase makes more sense in terms of overall cost.
 

Bandito440

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Thanks. The newer tires and meticulous maintenance records helped with the trade-in. The 4x4 Tacomas seem to do very well holding value.
 

Bandito440

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Originally Posted By: supton
I wonder if the abs would do better wit some ballast in the bed?
I kept 280. lbs in the bed during the winter. This is a pretty well known problem with the Tacomas. Lots of guys on the Tacoma forums have installed ABS kill switches.
 
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I'm surprised the ABS is so sensitive, off road ABS is the last thing you want trying to go down a steep hill for example.
 
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Good to hear you got good service from the Tacoma. I have a 2010 equiped similarly to yours. I have not had any of the ABS issues in the snow / ice, perhaps they rolled the software.
 
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Originally Posted By: Vikas
Wow! That is a great trade-in price, You drove the vehicle for at least 5 years and it cost you approximately $10K (27K-16.5K). That is $2K per year or $180 per month. All you spent over during that time was a set of tires and brakes. You did extremely well. I hope "usual suspects" learn a lesson from this one and understand that sometimes new vehicle purchase makes more sense in terms of overall cost.
Trucks like the Tacoma are not "typical" when it comes to depreciation. They hold value extremely well.
 
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I think the trick here must have been to be able to grab at at 27K few years ago. I suspect the list must have been quite high.
 

Bandito440

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Originally Posted By: Vikas
I think the trick here must have been to be able to grab at at 27K few years ago. I suspect the list must have been quite high.
I bought in January of 2008. I've never paid sticker price for a car, but it wasn't a great deal. Maybe $750-$1000 below msrp. I can't recall for sure.
 
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