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Questions and Answers

Toyota Tacoma Hesitation

Q. Vince, great web site!! I browsed your index on imports to see if anyone else had asked a similar question on Toyota 2WD Tacoma's but didn't find any for this year model and DIS. At first it was the check engine light but it was only on for a short time, maybe three times. Then it was on for a road trip approximately six hours, even after resetting by the ignition key, it stayed on.

Toyota Tacoma Hesitation

But then did NOT turn on the next morning for the return trip home. It has a progressive problem getting worse of "stumbling" or coughing when accelerating, lightly or aggressively. But it doesn't do it consistently, as in we can drive it for miles on the freeway and it won't act this way but in city driving sometimes it does it and sometimes it doesn't. We took it to a local privately owned shop and they told us:

  1. The check Engine light code was about the EVAP. We might not have put the gas cap on tightly enough. Good enough, problem solved.
  2. They said they tested the coils (it has 2 dual ignition coil packs) and there was no oscillation (or something like that) and they didn't seem to be the problem but there was a breakdown in the plug wires. They needed replacement, along with plugs, to the tune of about $250.00.

I said thanks, no thanks and paid them $84.00 for the diagnosis time; I understand their position for time and money on this. I recently replaced the fuel filter (under the intake manifold, no simple job but a "shadetree" can do it with patience) in hopes it might be the tricky nick, also the air filter just for maintenance sake, and I change the oil regularly.

I took it upon myself and changed out the plug wires and plugs myself with silicon wires and Platinum+2 plugs. We have the same problem. I tested the coils with an ohmmeter by the specs in the (brand name) repair manual and they read fine at 12.40 ohms (spec was 9.0 to 16.0).

Could it still be a bad coil pack? The shop told us they found no other outstanding codes in the readout. We hadn't disconnected the battery so they should have all still been in there. I would love any and all insight or information you might have on this problem but also a last quick question and most importantly,

Vince, is this: can these two OEM ignition coil packs be interchanged between themselves as long as the wiring is correct? I know they are labeled 1 and 3, and 2 and 4 and have different Toyota part numbers but they're just coils, right? I'll be looking at salvage yards and they might have several of the one but none of the other, can I effectively use two fronts as long as their wired right?

  • 1998 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2.4 liter 4 cylinder 2RZ-FE
  • Auto transmission
  • 115,000 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • ABS brakes
  • P/S - A/C - Cruise control: P/S, A/C, Cruise
  • Rack and pinion steering

Thanks so much for your time and help,
James

A. I'm pretty sure the only difference between the two coils is one is marked 1 and 2 and the other is marked 3 and 4. So I don't think you'll have a problem using one for the other.

As for the stumble and hesitation, since there are no other codes I would suggest cleaning the throttle chamber. At this milage it's probably gunked up pretty good. This cleaning could very well solve your problem.

Personally, I would have replaced the spark plugs with NGK's, BKR5EYA, and got a set of wires from the dealer.

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