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Most Common Failures Of The Toyota Hilux: Problems, Opinions And More

The Toyota Hilux is a series of pickup trucks manufactured by Toyota since 1968. Toyota designed the Hilux as a compact pickup truck between 1968 and 2004, and starting in 2004, it became a mid-size pickup truck. This time we bring you the common faults of the Toyota Hulix, so stay with us and keep reading.

Hilux has gained a lot of popularity and has become one of the best-selling and most sought-after pickup trucks around the world. However, like any vehicle with the passing of time, it presents its problems.

Toyota Hilux Common Faults

Known for its durability and reliability, the Toyota Hilux has enjoyed great popularity around the world for decades. However, even the giants have their weaknesses; therefore, in this article, we will talk about some of the most common Toyota Hilux problems.

1. Turbo problems

There have been several complaints about the Toyota Hilux turbo. Complaints border on the palpable lack of power and the unpleasant dark smoke coming from the exhaust.

Some owners have also claimed to hear a strange noise coming from the turbo, which is also ominous. Turbo problems eventually lead to a complete loss of boost pressure and therefore require immediate attention.

Possible causes and solutions

Here are some of the causes of Hilux problems and their solutions:

1- Lack of adequate lubrication

Every car needs motor oil and lubricants, especially for moving parts, as it helps prevent corrosion and keep them in good condition.

The turbo also needs a regular flow of clean oil to keep it running smoothly. When the turbo is starved of oil or poor quality oil is supplied to it, contaminants will almost certainly show up and cause serious damage.

2- Defective seals

There are gaskets between the supercharger and the engine, and if they wear out, oil will leak into the exhaust. Consequently, this will put an unusual load on the turbo when increasing the air pressure.

Finally, it will reduce the boost delivered by the turbocharger.

3- Foreign objects

The compressor and the turbine are two of the fundamental components of the turbo. Unfortunately, both components have inputs that can input objects like dirt, small stones, leaves, and the like.

If this happens, the efficiency of the turbo will be reduced, as objects often damage the compressor wheels and turbine blades.

The best preventative measure against this is to have the air filter checked and changed regularly.

4- Worn Turbo

Turbochargers are often expected to last up to 150,000 miles (241,000 kilometers). However, they can wear out sooner, depending on your driving habits and the quality of the turbo. In this case, what you have to do is replace the tube.

To do?

Not all turbo problems require pipe replacement; some just need proper lubricants or air filter replacement. This is why we advise you to consult an auto technician to find out the best way to act.

2. The truck has a hard time starting

One of the most common Toyota Hilux problems is misfiring and starting problems. The often suspected reason for this is a problem with the fuel injectors.

The problem is more common in variants of the Toyota Hilux that are powered by common rail diesel engines. Other possible symptoms are a strong smell of fuel, fuel leak, engine chattering, check engine light coming on, among others.

Possible causes and solutions

Here are the possible causes and solutions to boot problems:

1- Defective fuel injection system

The fuel injection system is crucial to the proper functioning of a diesel engine. It helps supply fuel to the injectors and also makes adjustments to fuel quantity and timing.

Fuel injectors facilitate optimal fuel efficiency and keep emissions cleaner.

Most fuel injectors last around 100,000 miles (161,000 kilometers). However, they are vulnerable to clogging and can wear out. Clogged or worn fuel injectors can cause engine misfiring or hard starting.

The solution to this is to clean the fuel injector or replace it with a new one.

2- Defective spark plugs

Spark plugs heat the engine cylinder to facilitate effective combustion of fuel. On cold mornings when starting is difficult, they help warm the engine cylinders.

Therefore, if the glow plugs go bad or are faulty , they can hamper engine performance and lead to misfiring and hard starting.

To do?

As we have seen above, hard starting or misfiring problems are probably problems with the fuel injectors or glow plugs. However, we advise you to inform your dealer or a trusted automotive expert to locate the problem and find a lasting solution.

3. Oil leak from crankshaft seal

The Toyota Hilux has faced countless criticisms related to oil leaking from the vehicle’s crankshaft seal. Fortunately, oil leaks are easily noticeable because they often puddle under the truck.

This problem usually means a crankshaft seal failure, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible before it gets worse.

Possible causes and solutions

Here are some of the reasons why the crankshaft seal has been leaking oil:

1- Adverse weather conditions

The crankshaft seal is made of rubber, and its elasticity makes it vulnerable to excessive temperatures. Eventually, the crankshaft seal shrinks and gives way completely, causing an oil leak.

2- High mileage

If you have completed more than 100,000 miles (161,000 kilometers) with your truck, it is normal for the crankshaft seal to break. The best course of action is to have the crankshaft seal replaced.

3- Faulty installation

Many owners complain that the crankshaft seal leaks soon after getting a replacement. If this happens, do not rush to replace the component again. It is likely an installation issue. Crankshaft seal installation is not as easy as it sounds and is best done by professionals.

To do?

If you suspect that your Hilux has a faulty crankshaft seal, we advise you to have it checked by a professional. Taking matters into your own hands can be very risky, as crankshaft seals are delicate components and best handled by experts.

4. Difficulty getting into 5th gear

A good number of Toyota Hilux owners have also complained of unusual difficulty getting into fifth gear. This portends a problem with the manual transmission and should be attended to immediately.

Possible causes and solutions

Here are the possible causes and solutions for this problem:

1- Defective synchronizer ring

The synchronizer ring is crucial to the transmission system as it helps it to engage gear. It is the reason why you can turn their gears and expect them to respond accordingly.

If you are having difficulty getting into any of the gears, the problem is most likely with the synchronizer ring.

2- Defective gear

Most manual transmissions have gears 1 through 5. Each gear has something like a double tooth, which receives the synchronizer engagement with the hub sleeves. However, if these teeth become damaged or worn, it becomes difficult to use the gear.

3- Bad hub gear

The hub gear is responsible for the engagement between two different gears. For example, there is a hub gear between 4th gear and 5th gear. If the hub gear is damaged or worn, it could cause transmission problems.

To do?

If you have problems with the 5th gear of your Toyota Hilux or with any of the gears, it is best that you go to a trusted technician, in this way you can find the particular problem and give it a suitable solution.

The good and the bad of the Toyota Hilux

We have presented you with the common faults of the Toyota Hilux, now it is time for you to know some positive aspects that this truck has to offer:

Advantages of the Toyota Hilux:

These are some of the pros or positive points of the Toyota Hilux:

1- Excellent off-road performance

The Toyota Hilux is an SUV with a kind of ruggedness that many of its competitors can only dream of. It has a double wishbone system at the front and a rigid axle at the rear that helps it survive on the most difficult roads.

There is also a variant of the Hilux known as a 4×4, which comes with a diff lock and an auto-connecting diff. These features provide the Toyota Hilux with incredibly smooth traction on rough terrain.

2- Various variants

We can’t all have the same taste, and this is true even when it comes to pickup trucks . Luckily, Toyota has taken this into account and offers you 13 variants of the Hilux to choose from. There are models with cab and chassis, the 4×4 for large SUVs, the 4×2, the automatic, the manual, etc.

3- Splendid driving in the city

Although the Toyota Hilux is a beast in off-road conditions, it is also perfect for city driving. It is endowed with a suspension system that provides just the right amount of stability needed on city roads.

Hilux owners also enjoy great steering that gives it incredible precision and allows it to maneuver on the busiest roads.

4- Entertaining and warm interior

The Toyota Hilux also features an interior system that is easy to use and easy to control. That includes an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB ports, and six buzzing speakers.

5- Maximum security features

The vehicle comes with a variety of top-notch safety features that are designed to aid safe driving. Features include standard SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability control, hill start assist control, hill descent assist control, etc.

6- Great towing capacity

Pickups are almost always expected to tow, and the Toyota Hilux is born ready for any towing service you may need.

It offers a payload of 1 ton (2,204 pounds) and a towing capacity of 3.5 tons (7,716 pounds), making it a massive workhorse.

Disadvantages of the Toyota Hilux

The most notorious cons or drawbacks of the Toyota Hilux are:

  • Turbo Issues
  • The truck has difficulty starting
  • Oil leak from crankshaft seal
  • Difficulty getting into 5th gear

What do the reviews say about the Toyota Hilux?

This is without a doubt a truck that has won the hearts of many owners, despite the failures it has had, the comments and opinions about the Toyota Hilux are really positive.

The Toyota Hilux is a predictably unassuming machine, and its attempts to woo lifestyle truck buyers have done little to alienate its core following, while rounding out some of its rougher road manners. The cockpit is still dreary in areas, and it’s an uncomfortable beast to drive, but if anything, it’s a constant reminder that this isn’t a posing vehicle, it’s a tool, a faithful workhorse, and a partner of reliable business.


If reliability is your number one pick-up concern, the Toyota Hilux is a great starting point. Plus, it’s comfortable, very capable off-road and can tow up to 3,500kg, which means it’s also a versatile all-rounder.


The Hilux is as tough as ever. Despite the changes to appeal to some SUV-minded buyers as well as the regular commercial market, the Hilux hasn’t lost any of its go-anywhere, out-anything ability.

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