The Toyota Tundra provides the performance of a full-size pickup truck and, depending on the model owned, a variety of options with towing capacity and torque. However, like all vehicles, Tundras can have quirks over time that result in issues need repair. Being able to identify these issues early helps reduce maintenance costs and unnecessary labor costs by saving mechanics the trouble of looking for the problems.
Things You'll Need
- Vehicle keys
- Crescent wrenches
- Shop towel
- Battery tester
- Trickle charger
- New truck battery
- Large parking lot
Go into the truck cabin on the driver's seat and pull the latch to open the front hood of the truck. Lift the front hood until it is fully extended and in the locked position so it won't fall down. Use a shop rag to wipe the truck battery terminals clean.
Use a crescent wrench and pliers to loosen and remove the battery terminal connectors to the engine. Put them both aside, momentarily resting them elsewhere on the engine. Use a battery tester to determine if the battery has sufficient charge. Connect a trickle battery charger if there is insufficient charge, and let it charge for three hours at least. Remove the charger. Re-connect the battery with the crescent wrench and pliers. Try to start the truck with the vehicle keys.
Take the truck for a drive for 30 minutes at highway speeds if it starts. Come back and disconnect the battery again and test it again with the battery charger. Pull the old battery out of its holding frame and replace it with a new one if the charge is still low, or the truck could not be started at all to charge it up on the road. Re-connect the battery connector cables with the pliers and crescent wrench. Start the truck again and note if problems still occur.
Torn Motor Mounts, Engine Shifting
Drive the Tundra out to a clear area such as a parking lot. Warm the truck up if it hasn't already been running for a while. Drive to a position where the truck can be driven in a straight line for a sufficient distance to build up 25-to-30-mph speed.
Accelerate the truck until sufficient speed is reached. Press firmly on the brakes to come to a stop without slamming the brakes or activating the anti-lock braking system (ABS--it's loud and feels like something broke in the brakes when it's activated). Feel the engine weight while driving to see if it lurches as the truck stops, or if the entire truck slows down as one unit.
Repeat the test at least five times to determine if the engine is shifting or not when stopping. Take the truck into a mechanic if the lurching is consistent on most of the tests. Point out what you did and how it felt, and have the mechanic check the motor mounts to see if they are torn or solid.
Tips & Warnings
- Always make sure to keep your Tundra maintained by changing the oil, oil filter and air filter at regular intervals. These simple, inexpensive repairs can avoid much more expensive repairs later on.
- Do not start pulling parts out of your engine if you don't know what you are doing. Unlike old trucks, modern Toyota Tundra trucks involve a number of computers and computer sensors that need to be aligned properly as the engine and transmission are repaired. Not knowing how these parts work together can create more problems than solutions.
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