When Toyota introduced the Tundra back in 1999 it was only the second full size pickup truck Toyota had introduced to the market. While Ford, Chevy, and RAM had dominated the marketplace, the Toyota Tundra quickly managed to impress drivers and reviewers alike with its strong, dependable performance. Even to this day a Toyota Tundra is known as one of the most dependable vehicles on the road and they are often recommended as the best used trucks you can buy. Still, that doesn't mean that it's been fully without problems over the last two decades. Let's take a look at the 2011 Toyota Tundra problems you need to know about.
“The current Toyota Tundra is the best full-size truck from Toyota yet.”
Motor Trend named the 2008 Toyota Tundra the truck of the year right after the second generation of Tundras were released by Toyota. By 2011, the Tundra still had three engine options which you actually won't find in the truck in newer models. You were able to get a 4.0 L V6, 5.7 L V8, and a 4.6 L V8. The 4.6 L replaced the 4.7 litre V8 from earlier models and reduced the weight of the truck over all while increasing gas mileage.
2010 saw a bit of a restyle for the Toyota Tundra but not a full redesign by any means. That included the new V8 engine options, a trailer sway control and a brake override system. And for what it's worth, this was the year that Toyota got rid of the ashtray inside the cabin.
Hitting the Road in a 2011 Toyota Tundra
As reliable as a Toyota Tundra has proven to be, most reviews agree that once you get on the road in the truck the ride is not nearly as smooth as it would be in one of the major competitor vehicles. if you have the flatbed full of cargo it's going to even out a bit for you, but when it is empty, you're going to be feeling any bumps or unevenness in the road. This has been a common problem throughout Toyota Tundra model years that extends well beyond 2011.
The Car Connection reviewed the 2011 Toyota Tundra and pointed out that the truck is extremely big which makes it hard to manoeuvre. This is a personal preference to be sure, and if you're comfortable behind the wheel of a big truck then this is great. But if it's not something you're used to, then it could definitely be a problem trying to manage with such a bulky automobile.
How Does the 2011 Toyota Tundra Look?
At the time the Toyota Tundra was released, it was still taking advantage of that big rig look that trucks from the late 2000s were known for. Some of the lines were a little softer, but there were still hard corners and kind of a large overall feel to the aesthetic. That means things like a big grille, big bumper, and an overall kind of monster truck look. While that was par for the course at the time, more modern trucks have gone for a sleeker look and this may not visually be everything that you are looking for in a new truck. But if you're a fan of that big, bold pickup truck style then the 2011 Tundra is probably going to meet your needs.
The 2011 Toyota Tundra at the Gas Pumps
Arguably the biggest problem that the Toyota Tundra faces, and this extends well beyond the 2011 model year all the way to the current crop of Toyota Tundras, is poor gas mileage. Full size pickup trucks have never been known for their gas conservation abilities by any means, no one's buying a full-size pickup truck in the hopes of saving money on gas, but the Toyota Tundra is routinely at the very back of the pack when it comes to fuel economy.
You can look at the Ford F150 and see that there are a variety of engine options available including diesel and now even hybrid models that can offer you some exceptional value compared to other trucks on the market in terms of fuel economy. Toyota has just never diversified like that and their limited range of engine options all offer poor gas mileage compared to the competition. Even the V6 engine for the 2011 Toyota Tundra is not saving you that much on gas compared to what you might get out of a Ford or a Ram truck.
The 5.7 litre V8 Toyota Tundra was going to offer up 14 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. If you opted for the 4.6L then you're getting 15 miles per gallon city and 20 miles per gallon highway. The V6 was almost identical offering up 16 miles per gallon city and 20 miles per gallon highway.
Just How Tough is a 2011 Toyota Tundra?
When Toyota redesigned the Tundra for 2007 their goal was to provide the toughest truck on the road with the best hauling and towing capacity available. And they actually met that metric in 2007. The problem is as time goes by the competition redesigns their vehicles to meet and exceeds those marks. The result is that by 2011 the Toyota Tundra was no longer the toughest truck on the road.
For 2011 the Tundra has a towing capacity of 6,400 pounds for the 4.6 L V8 engine. The maximum payload was 1515 lb. If you opted for the 5.7 L V8 then the towing capacity went up to 10,400 lbs with a maximum payload of 1,870 lbs.
That same year, a Ford F 150 with a 3.5 L Ecoboost engine could have a payload capacity of up to 2,080 lb. Several configurations could also get you a towing capacity of 11,300 pounds. In just four short years, the Toyota Tundra had fallen behind the competition and to this day has not improved.
Obviously, a 10,400 lb towing capacity is pretty exceptional, and most people will probably never need that much or more. But if you are looking for serious towing because it's a requirement for the work that you're doing or whatever other reason, then the Toyota Tundra is probably not going to be at the top of your list when you're looking for a truck that can handle some serious weight.
Crash Testing the 2011 Toyota Tundra
Toyota has a long history of manufacturing safe vehicles that offer a wide variety of safety features to keep you and your passengers secure no matter what happens. The 2011 Toyota Tundra scored fairly well on most crash test ratings but there were some faults when it came to passenger side safety and overall rollover rating from the NHTSA. Generally speaking, it did well in most crash testing, but it was not the best on the road either.
2011 Toyota Tundra Recalls
Toyota issued 9 different recalls that affected the 2011 model year of the Toyota Tundra. Most of these were limited in scope although there was one major recall that affected over 1.8 million vehicles. This particular recall was regarding power window master switches that could potentially melt. If the electrical contacts were not properly lubricated it could lead to a short circuit and even the risk of fire.
Some less significant recalls, at least in terms of how many vehicles were affected as these typically were for only a few thousand vehicles, including a problem with seat heater electrical wiring, inaccurate load carrying capacity labels, occupant sensing seating calibration problems, and a faulty tire pressure monitoring system. Also, a propeller shaft that could cause a loss of motive power and vehicle control.
The 2011 Toyota Tundra on CarComplaints.com
The NHTSA fielded a number of issues relating to problems with the 2011 model year of the Toyota Tundra. One of the most significant areas of complaints related to problems with the engine. These included problems with a cam tower seal that would begin to leak, valve spring failure, and other oil leaks that lead to smoking, engine stalling and overheating. Excessive oil consumption was a similar issue that popped up for a number of drivers as well.
Electrical problems were another concern that popped up for several drivers. Interestingly enough this is often the result of rodents getting into the internal wiring. The casings used for the wiring in the 2011 Toyota Tundra are actually soy-based. To rats and mice that smells like food and there have been numerous cases of drivers who had short circuits and other electrical issues pop up while they were driving only to find out that the cause was thanks to rodents that had partially chewed through their wiring causing serious damage.
Toyota issued a total of 274 different technical service bulletins for the 2011 model year of the Toyota Tundra. That is a little excessive compared to some other model years which means that Toyota is aware of a wide range of issues that drivers have had to deal with. Overall, this model year isn't terrible by any means but there are some problems that you should be on the lookout for. If you're looking to buy a 2011 Toyota Tundra make sure you get the full vehicle history and have your mechanic give it a thorough once-over before committing to anything.