1999 Toyota Tacoma 3.4L V6 TRD Died Midway Home And Will Not Start At All! Dead Stop In Tracks?


Asked by Nov 03, 2007 at 03:40 AM about the 1999 Toyota Tacoma SR5

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Dear Friends,As I was driving my 1999 Toyota Tacoma up a hill, it just suddenly died and stopped in it's tracks?  I've had it at the dealers now, for a whopping week just about and they still don't have it fixed nor do they know what's causing it; prior to this, all 109,000 miles have been excellent and mostly very trouble free aside from minor services (due tune-ups and such and parts)?  They thought it was the fuel pump and fuel filter, which both they replaced and this failed to work; then they replaced a sensor I would guess in that area or such or you guys would know this!  After all this and the money that keeps Ka-Chinging away out of my pocket with no warranty any longer I'm getting frustrated to say the least...  Initially, they were leaning towards the timing belt I believe if I recall right, and being a minor knowledge car guy this approach seems very, very possible; what do you guys think?  I'll dearly appreciate any advice, help, opinions and such my friends!  Also, they mentioned something about my trucks computer, which I don't know is it the ECU Box?  Or is the trucks/cars of Toyota somewhere else; I mean are they speaking of a different device?  Also, I've had some simple aftermarket performance products that my Toyota dealer installed for me a long while back, which have never been an issue, nor did they say they had zero problems with them or my warranty staying in tact as you guys would know a lot of dealers now are dealing their own performance products, catalogs, certain products (aftermarket) and such...  I basically just have the simple upgrades, such as a Volant Cold Air Intake, a Borla Cat Back Exhaust, a Jet Chip also, and just some straight forward simple performance upgrade engine grounding cables and battery grounding cables...  I've really thought to myself, I really wonder "IF MY JET CHIP WENT OUT," or something of that nature; also, in the past my dealer had installed my current Volant Boxed Cold Air System, when I drove it afterwards it performed awkwardly and such with possibly some issues with turning over (can't recall), but I believe a bit of a choppy feel here and there in accelaration?  It went back to them of course, they had forgot to adjust the computer for the new air volume going in and when they fixed it, it ran like buttery gold for sure with no troubles whatsoever since...  I see the air system lasting of course, as well as my lifetime warrantied Borla exhaust, and my simple ground cables all this fine!  What I'm "LEERY OF" is the "JET Chip," and if it could be a possible culprit? Only one other thing to mention, was that I removed the top to the filter box under "A Volant Technician/Expert's skilled advice as he just stated you'll simply have a more open element system?  Volant makes "Box Free Setups," which my buddies have ran on their Taco's and theirs had performed a bit better than mine which is why the "removal of the Box Top?  Plus I would say it's been at least two months since this extremely minor alteration, of which I did attain a bit better overall engine response/performance overall...  Only reason I bring this up, is due to the fact as I've mentioned, they (my dealer/Toyota) after having installed my air intake system, they had to readjust or change the computer/tweak it to accomadate the much higher volume of air intake, which worked spectactularly well afterwards? If JET is the party at fault do you know Jet's position here; such as lifetime, 100k or 250k or such warranty?  Or what they'd do if their chip died and damaged your ECU Box?  Also, if it was the JET Chip and it simply needed replacement (the JET Chip Unit), I'm wondering if you know of a superior or better performing chip?  This is about all I can think of or say, and yes, thanks for your awesome patience my dear friends, as my email has been a rival that of a "New Harry Potter Book" ha, ha (no sorry for real, but thanks also)!  I'll look aptly and immensely forward to your response(s) and such.  Thanks again, take care guys, all the best man and I wish you all a great weekend and upcoming week...  Much Peace, Rich

6 Answers


I would have to 2nd the timing belt opinion. Why did they replace fuel pump, etc., before TESTING to see if the timing belt had gone? That's the part I don't get. Take it somewhere else. They are soaking you.

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Best Answer

X3 on the timing belt.

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Sounds like a belt, but it should be throwing a code for any of the problems!!! However take it somewhere else... Before replacing the fuel pump and filter they would have should have checked the fuel rail for pressure which would have eliminated the need for replacement(which they ought to have the little gauge and it should have been 6mins of labor to check). If they did do this and it didn't have pressure still they should have checked the power to the pump. Plus did they even attempt to pull codes?!? Did they check to see if fuel pressure was low/ out of spec? It sounds like they are just trying to throw parts at your truck to fix it without trying any diagnostic procedure. I recommend first talking to them about this and ask them why the did the fuel pump, if they checked for codes.... If they really are just throwing parts at it, call the Better Business Bureau and try and get in touch with Toyota's Customer Service. It sounds like symptoms of a broken belt but you should have had a check engine light and thrown codes for that or the fuel problem which lead me to think a computer failure somewhere so maybe it is your after market chip... My $0.02 but either way that sounds like the worst mechanic ever. A stoned non-English speaking mechanic should have done better informing you as to why they have kept your car so long and made you buy parts that didn't work. Also the box on you voolant systems helps ensure you are getting more cold air into the system by isolateing it from engine heat. An open box system is better when you turn your car on but they tend to be less effective once underhood temperatures rise.

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I'm pretty sure that a broken belt will not throw a check engine light. What sensors are there to ensure that the timing belt is in place? The valves also will not bend if the belt brakes, nor will any motor damage occur since it's a non-interface motor... Timing belt jobs are real easy. I've gotton this process down to 2 hours (that includes the water pump as well). You'll end up spending about 250 dollars in parts if you want it done right. Here is a writeup on how to do the timing belt. All you need to do is make a simple SST tool to hold the crank, or if you have a MT, put the truck in gear and break the bolt free. Be sure to torque it to 217 when you are done (Husky 1/2" drive torque wrenches work great). The blue point tool also helps you out tremendously since you do not have to remove the a/c compressor and tensioner. http://www.toy4x4.net/timing_belt/index.htm To the OP, what I would do is get a 12mm socket and a ratchet, and remove the cover bolts. Slip the clamp for the rad. hose back, slip the cover back, and see if the belt is in place. Shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to do and the cost of the ratchet and socket is minimal to the price that you will pay at the stealership (not to mention Toyota uses those 12mm bolts EVERYWHERE).


......You know that 1995 to 2000 are not recalled but they are giving you 1 and half it's retail value if the frame was not dipped proper by Dana . you would have got a letter but if not you really can not see the problem yourself you have to disassemble a little. I just got 12k for a 99 that was wreaked could have got 17k if I went in 3 years ago. go to Toyota nation.com

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There is no "tweaking The ECM" required when installing a cold air intake system, so to me this is a huge red flag. Its more likely that they forgot to plug a sensor in and made up some story to cover their _ss. At any rate I would have the truck towed somewhere else, a reputable repair shop doesn't just throw parts at a vehicle and hope at some point the problem gets solved. Good luck to you.

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