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Tacoma Lagging in Second Gear
October 17, 2010
Hey everybody; I'm new the community, but am hoping to get some help with an issue of mine.

My standard 2004 Toyota Tacoma is moving slower than usual in second gear. This just started happening recently and doesnt seem to be a problem in other gears. I'm really worried its a transmission problem, but before I start delving into that expensive venture, does anyone have any idea of what else it could be?

October 21, 2010#1
Is that car of yours having an automatic or manual transmission lag? Try to check the transmission fluid, there must be a valve malfunction which may cause delay if the fluid is low. If there's no problem with the valve, you can go to the dealer service to have the transmission checked.

October 21, 2010#2
It is like the problem is common with most Tacomas. At 2nd gear it needs more gas to keep it going. You can get the transmission replaced then monitor to see if things would change.

October 22, 2010#3
Yikes! I really dont want to replace the transmission if I dont have to - that would be a lot of work. I'll check the fluid and the valve. This is a manual transmission and I've taken good care of it as long as I've had it.

October 22, 2010#4
There is no valve on the manual transmissions. But definitely make sure you check oil levels. Doesnt hurt to drain the transmission and get the fluid replaced, generally speaking, you want to do a drain and refill every 15K-30K miles at most, to keep the transmission in good shape. Depending on the driving conditions, draining and refilling it every or every other engine oil change interval is considered good practice.

The issue that the previous poster alluded to doesnt sound like what you have. Those cases, 2nd gear tended to keep popping out of gear or was hard to engage.

Your case, sounds more like the truck is low on power when you shift into 2nd gear. Assuming this is the 5-speed transmission? What engine is in the truck - 4 cylinder or 6-cylinder? Most of the standard shift Tacomas that I've driven have a really short 1st gear, and a relatively long 2nd gear.

Could be a tune-up issue - when was the last time you have a comprehensive tune-up? Plugs, cleaned MAF sensor, replace PCV, new air filter, fluid exchange, etc.? Could also be a glazed or worn clutch disk?

Does it seem to get better or worse under any conditions? Most noticeable when driven after being parked over night? or after it has been driven for some time?

October 29, 2010#5
Thank you very much for the detailed response! It is probably time to change the transmission fluid out, and you're right, it is a standard 5-speed. I have had it tuned up regularly, but dont think changing the transmission fluid was included. It particularly bugs me on hills, because it then takes a reaallllyy long time to get up the hill, and I sometimes just go back into first if its really bad. I'll change the fluid and check back in - thanks again!

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