P1604 Toyota Tacoma: Everything You Need to Know

One of the ways your car alerts you of issues that need to be addressed is through DTC (diagnostic trouble codes). When your car detects a problem exceeding its limits, it will send you a trouble code. If you own a Toyota Tacoma, you may come across DTC P1604. What do you need to know about the P1604 Toyota Tacoma?

The diagnostic code indicates startability malfunction. One of the symptoms of this issue is that your Check Engine Light will come on. Your engine might also misfire or have performance issues, indicating that your car needs attention.

What Are the Possible Causes of P1604 in a Toyota Tacoma?

Let us break down some of the possible causes that could make your car store this code. Understanding them makes it easy to fix the issue.

A Faulty Engine Control Module (ECM)

Like most cars, your Toyota Tacoma has an ECM, also known as the car’s computer system. It is in charge of engine operation. It receives information or signals from certain sensors, processes that information, then uses it to manage engine output devices like ignition coils and fuel injectors. When it is faulty, it will affect various aspects of the car’s operation. Some of the symptoms of a bad ECM in your Tacoma include:

  • Engine performance issues
  • Car will not start
  • Illuminated warning lights

ECM failure is usually a software issue rather than an internal hardware concern. However, there are certain instances when the ECM can fail because of a short circuit. Although you can drive your car with a faulty ECM, we strongly discourage doing it. That is because it can prevent the engine from running as it should, hence reducing your vehicle’s overall performance. On rare occasions, a faulty ECM can be fixed. But often, you will need to replace it.

A Low Battery Charge

Another possible reason for the DTC P1604 is an issue with your battery. A battery without enough charge reduces your vehicle’s starting power. If you try starting the engine and the starter cranks but the engine doesn’t start, your battery has a problem. According to Family Handyman, many things can cause your battery to lose its charge, including extreme temperatures and corroded battery terminals. And since an issue with your battery will lead to startability issues, it may be the cause for this diagnostic code. In the best case scenario, all you may need to do is drive your car more often to allow the battery to get enough charge. But in other cases, your battery might have aged and need replacing.

The Issue Could Be Your Fuel Filter

A fuel filter is an important part of your car. It prevents dirt and dust particles from getting into the combustion chamber. With time, it will get clogged, and this will affect the performance and function of the engine, leading to startability issues. When the filter is clogged, it doesn’t allow fuel to pass to the engine or limits the amount passing. This can cause the car to start for a couple of seconds and then die. In other cases, the vehicle will start as usual, but when you try accelerating, the engine stalls. That means enough fuel is not passing through the filter.

A fuel filter will last about 30,000 miles or two years. The more often you drive your car, the more dust and debris it filters. That means it will need replacing sooner. Take your car to a mechanic, who will perform a fuel system pressure test to check if you need to replace the filter.

Your Supply Pump Assembly May Be Falling Apart

Another component related to fuel that can lead to this code is a faulty supply pump. This is the part in charge of supplying fuel to the engine, allowing the car to start. If it’s faulty, it will not pump gas to the engine, hence leading to startability issues.

Your Toyota Tacoma’s fuel pump is meant to last more than 100,000 miles. However, certain things like contaminated fuel and clogged filters can make it spoil faster or weaken it. A weak pump will not supply the right amount of fuel to the engine. You may have to turn the key a few times before your car eventually starts. Other signs your car will exhibit include fuel tank noise and a sputtering engine. All these indicate you need to head to an auto repair shop and have the fuel pump checked.

A Faulty Starting System

The starting system is made of several components, including the starter relay. If the wires connected to the starter relay are weak, they will prevent electrical current from reaching the motor. That can cause startability malfunction in your car. But if the wires are in good shape, you most likely need to replace the starter relay. While you can DIY this, if you lack the right skills, let a professional help you out.

Can I Still Drive My Car Even After Code P1604 Is Stored in the Engine?

Most likely, your car will not go anywhere when it has startability malfunction issues. Plus, it is never advisable to drive a faulty car. You will only make the problem worse. Call a mechanic and explain the problem. They will come and check it out and explain which parts need repairing or replacing.

How to Fix P1604 Toyota Tacoma Code

As we have mentioned, there are several possible causes for this code. And at the end of the day, your car will need a professional assessment. A mechanic will inspect all these causes, find the culprit, and then fix it. Note that this code may also be stored if you have run out of fuel. Before calling a mechanic, check whether your car has enough gas in the tank.

What Is the Cost of Diagnosing a P1604 Toyota Tacoma Code?

The cost of labor will depend on the mechanic. Most of them charge $75 to $150 per hour. The important thing is to find a mechanic you can trust to diagnose your car and give you a solution properly.

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D Conroy

Meet our senior writer and content manager of Automasterx. He has worked in several mechanical garages and mastered different vehicle diagnoses and parts repair. He never stops until finding out the ultimate solutions for any vehicle fault code. However, ensuring the only solid solutions for each vehicle malfunction is his core part of the duty, alongside analyzing fault codes and signals.

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