The Toyota Tundra may be an aging truck, but it still has enough off-road credibility to satisfy die-hard enthusiasts.
It is also great at hauling stuff, making it attractive if you do a lot of towing.
In this article, we review the Toyota Tundra’s longevity to know if the model lasts long or not.
Here is the short answer to how long Toyota Tundras last:
According to iSeeCars, the Toyota Tundra can comfortably reach 300,000 miles before needing major repairs. Based on an annual average of 20,000 miles driven, this translates to 15 years of use if you maintain the vehicle properly.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Toyota Tundra?
Along with the Toyota Tacoma, the Toyota Tundra represents Toyota’s contribution to the pickup truck class.
As with many other Toyota models, the Tundra and the Tacoma provide exceptional reliability, even under recurrent abuse.
The Tundra, in particular, is famed for being extremely reliable to the point where it can last long without extensive repairs.
Based on reports of real-world owners, you can get up to 300,000 miles of service from the Toyota Tundra. However, this is very much subject to the user’s driving habits and maintenance.
If you are the type to drive aggressively always, your Tundra will have a shorter lifespan.
But if irregular maintenance is your thing, your Tundra may break down before it reaches 250,000 miles.
Tundra owners recommend changing transmission fluids, engine oil, and filters regularly. This will help forestall problems on your vehicle and increase its service life.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Toyota Tundra?
Rust problems are common on Toyota trucks, as evidenced in the number of recalls issued for rust-related issues on these models.
Like the Tacoma, the Tundra’s biggest rust issue is the notorious “frame rust”, which has been at the center of many financial settlements, lawsuits, and recalls.
According to owners, the frame on the Toyota Tundra models are prone to rusting heavily. Typically, the rust starts within the first 3 to 5 years, after which it worsens considerably.
In some situations, the rusted frame could contribute to a failure of the brakes on the Tundra models.
Toyota also recalled some models after frame rust affected the structural integrity of the spare tire rack.
This led to the spare tire carrier failing, with many customers reporting instances where the spare tire came loose during transit.
Although newer models are significantly better in terms of resistance to rust, it is advisable to protect your car against corrosion. Some strategies Tundra owners have found useful in fighting rust are:
- Treating the truck with anti-rust solution: According to owners, spraying rust-prone areas of the Tundra (such as the wheel wells and bed floor) with corrosion-inhibiting substances will prevent rust.
Motor oil mix, WD-40, fluid film, and anti-rust chemicals, are all good options.
- Washing the truck regularly: Regular washing will prevent corrosive salt particles from sticking to the vehicle’s body. This will prevent rusting caused by salt.
Make sure to also read our article on driving the Toyota Tundra in snow and winter.
How Long Do Toyota Tundra Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
The Toyota Tundra is a durable model. But how long does it last when compared to rival models?
We answer that question in the following paragraphs where we compare the Tundra’s lifespan to that of its competitors:
Toyota Tundra vs. Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 is as legendary as the Toyota Tundra. It is the bestselling truck in the US, a title it has retained for decades. It is also durable and can get up to 300,000 miles in service life. This means the F-150 can last the same time as the Toyota Tundra.
There is a marked difference between the maintenance cost of both models. The Tundra costs an average of $606 to service yearly and the F-150 costs $788 for the same servicing.
If it helps, the F-150 is more fuel-efficient than the Tundra as it comes with Ford’s fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine.
Toyota Tundra vs. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Chevrolet Silverado is one half of General Motors’ full-size pickup duo, which also includes the GMC Sierra 1500.
Although the Silverado 1500 is a sturdy vehicle, it can only last around 250,000 miles. This is much lower than the Toyota Tundra’s estimated lifespan.
Besides, the Toyota Tundra is the more affordable vehicle to own over the long term.
According to estimates, you will spend around $606 on repairs and maintenance for the Toyota Tundra. In comparison, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has an annual servicing bill of $714.
Toyota Tundra vs. Dodge Ram 1500
Like the Toyota Tundra, the Dodge Ram 1500 boasts great looks, good towing ability, and refined road manners.
Our research shows that you can get a Dodge Ram 1500 to last 300,000 miles, which is about the same lifespan as the Toyota Tundra.
Vehicle longevity is often a function of reliability. The Dodge Ram 1500 has a better reliability record than the Toyota Tundra; it places 1st on RepairPal’s full-size truck reliability ratings.
In contrast, the Toyota Tundra comes in at a distant 6th.
The Ram 1500 also has a lower incidence of “severe” problems (13%) as compared to the Toyota Tundra (17%).
Taken together, these facts suggest that you are likely to face lesser problems on the Ram 1500. Thus, we will advise picking the Ram 1500 over the Toyota Tundra.
Please also read our article on where the Toyota Tundra is made.
How Reliable Is a Toyota Tundra?
As far as we can tell, the Toyota Tundra is a reliable truck that will last you a long time. Yes, it has some issues, such as the notorious frame rust problem, but it remains one of the more reliable models available.
Industry leaders in ranking vehicle reliability also share our sentiment. J.D. Power ranked the Toyota Tundra as the Most Dependable Large Truck on its 2019 Vehicle Dependability Study.
Similarly, RepairPal ranked the model 6th out of 26 full-size trucks for reliability.
The Best and Worst Years for Toyota Tundra
According to Car Complaints, a complaints aggregator, the worst year on record for the Toyota Tundra is the 2012 model year.
While this year does not have the highest number of problems, its problems are the costliest to fix.
A major problem owners of the 2012 Tundra experienced was the failure of the air induction pump. The problem typically occurs around 74,000 miles, with owners spending about $3,150 to fix it.
Premature transmission failure was also a concern for users of the 2012 Tundra.
According to them, the transmission could fail, costing thousands of dollars to replace or rebuild. And what is more surprising about this problem is that it occurred at a low mileage–around 9,700 miles.
From our research, the 2009, 2015, and 2019 model years are the best for the Toyota Tundra.
These models have the fewest reported problems and recalls, and we would advise buying any of them for trouble-free performance.
What About Recalls for These Models?
We cannot deny that the Toyota Tundra has proven to be reliable over the years. However, it has suffered from a few issues, too.
In certain situations, these issues have forced Toyota to issue massive recalls for affected Tundra models.
Below are the total number of recalls for the Toyota Tundra models:
Note: The total number of recalls for the Toyota Tundra is 51.
- 2010: 14 recalls
- 2005: 12 recalls
- 2012: 12 recalls
- 2007: 12 recalls
- 2009: 11 recalls
- 2006: 11 recalls
- 2004: 11 recalls
- 2008: 11 recalls
- 2011: 9 recalls
- 2003: 9 recalls
- 2000: 7 recalls
- 2002: 6 recalls
- 2001: 5 recalls
- 2017: 4 recalls
- 2013: 4 recalls
- 2016: 4 recalls
- 2018: 4 recalls
- 2019: 4 recalls
- 2014: 3 recalls
- 2015: 3 recalls
- 2012: 2 recalls
Toyota Tundra Model Year List
Here are the model years for the Toyota Tundra:
- 2000 Toyota Tundra
- 2001 Toyota Tundra
- 2002 Toyota Tundra
- 2003 Toyota Tundra
- 2004 Toyota Tundra
- 2005 Toyota Tundra
- 2006 Toyota Tundra
- 2007 Toyota Tundra
- 2008 Toyota Tundra
- 2009 Toyota Tundra
- 2010 Toyota Tundra
- 2011 Toyota Tundra
- 2012 Toyota Tundra
- 2013 Toyota Tundra
- 2014 Toyota Tundra
- 2015 Toyota Tundra
- 2016 Toyota Tundra
- 2017 Toyota Tundra
- 2018 Toyota Tundra
- 2019 Toyota Tundra
- 2020 Toyota Tundra
Also check our article on 11 Toyota Tundra statistics.
Are Toyota Tundra Expensive to Maintain?
Based on our analysis of maintenance expenses on various full-size trucks, we believe the Toyota Tundra is among the cheapest trucks to maintain.
Estimates suggest you will spend about $606 annually on maintenance for the Toyota Tundra. This is over $300 lesser than the $936 you would spend on the average full-size pickup.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The brake pads and brake rotors on your Toyota Tundra should last between 30,000 to 60,000 miles, or more if you are lucky.
Maintenance and driving habits will influence the lifespan of your brake components.
Use the brakes sparingly, maintain them well, and you will get maximum miles out of them.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Tires on your Toyota Tundra will last around 60,000 miles, depending on how you use your truck.
If you frequently drive over rough roads, your tires will wear faster. You should also rotate your tires frequently if you want them to last long.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
Transmissions on the Toyota Tundra models last between 100,000 to 120,000 miles. This can vary, especially with the driving you do.
For example, frequent towing will cause the transmission to overheat and wear faster.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
Your spark plugs should last anywhere between 70,000 to 100,000 miles.
What About Insurance Cost?
According to online estimators, you will spend an average of $1,620 per year on insurance for your Toyota Tundra.
This translates to around $135 in monthly insurance fees.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Toyota Tundra
Here are ways to improve the longevity of your Toyota Tundra:
- Change oil and filters as recommended in the service manual. Also, flush the transmission fluid at the recommended interval.
- Always take your vehicle to the mechanic for scheduled maintenance.
- Avoid using inferior spare parts for your truck.