Toyota iQ Problems

With the number of vehicle problems that can rise across the car’s many systems, it pays to learn the most common ones of your particular vehicle. Toyota iQ is a 2008 hatchback modeled city car that should be kept in top shape to avoid failure during traffic. That’s why we’ll cover the Toyota iQ problems.

A city car by Toyota, Toyota IQ started production in 2008. The car was initially marketed in Japan under its original name before making its way to the rest of the world.

Toyota iQ came out in Europe later the same year but was quickly rebadged for the following year under the name Aston Martin Cygnet. The North American release happened in 2012 and saw the car being renamed to Toyota Scion iQ.

The car is characterized by its simple, three-door hatchback design. It’s powered by a choice of petrol and diesel engines. There was also an electrical variant, Toyota eQ also known as Scion iQ EV, that was limited in production.

It was meant to be used as a carsharing demonstration project in the U.S. and had a range of 50 miles. The production of Toyota eQ started in March 2013.

Toyota iQ emphasizes fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and low impact on the environment. Though smaller, the car’s design still focused on maximizing interior space.

However, the sales of iQ peaked in 2009, with gradual decreases in sales over the following years. The car was eventually discontinued in 2015.

Toyota iQ Problems


Some vehicles experience certain issues more than others. This is why knowing your vehicle’s most vulnerable parts is fruitful.

Without that extra bit of knowledge, we can find ourselves stuck with issues that have become far more problematic than they initially were.

  1. Transmission issues

Shifting gears is a key part of driving a vehicle. Allowing us to change speeds and keep the vehicle from reaching high speeds right out of the gate. Hence why the transmission system is so important.

No matter if you drive automatic or manual, the gear shifting is what tells our engine how fast the car is allowed to go so malfunction can heavily impact our quality of driving. [1]

Transmission issues are something Toyota iQ has had to deal with. Clutch issues specifically seem to relate to the transmission problems in this specific branch of cars.

However, they aren’t the only ones faced by Toyota iQ. Some owners have found that the synchromesh, which is responsible for smooth gear changes, becoming faulty. Making gear shifting much harder.

  1. Oil consumption

Oil is used for a lot of lubrication throughout the car. Allowing our vehicle to work unobstructed. Oil also prevents early wear and tear, making sure the constant heat of the vehicle and grinding of components doesn’t affect the metal itself.

However, when oil starts being consumed in extreme amounts, we may have an issue on our hands.

Toyota iQ is known to experience issues with the piston rings. This component is responsible for keeping the oil out of the combustion chamber.

That way, the oil is prevented from being burnt by the same spark that ignites the fuel itself. Should the issue appear, we will be warned with blue smoke coming out of our exhaust.

This is the side effect of oil being burned and a signifier that something may be wrong with our Toyota iQ’s piston ring. [2]

  1. Power steering issues

Power steering is an aspect of the vehicle that aids control. This feature will take some control away from the driver, for the sake of automatic adjustment of the wheel.

If you wish to have maximum handling, power steering is a great addition to the car. That’s why the feature malfunctioning can be very damaging to our handling.

The power steering is another part that can break when driving Toyota iQ. This specific issue has been most common with 2011 and 2013 models.

The key symptoms are difficulty steering, noisy steering pump, and failure of the power steering system. Over time, issues can get worse, with components failing within the car.

  1. Brake issues

Brakes are the main source of handling on our vehicles. Whether we need to properly enter a turn or cut down the speed on a busy road, brakes are there to provide the required solution.

Problems with brakes will make driving harder. They can also turn quite dangerous if the brakes malfunction during rough conditions on the road.

The braking power on Toyota iQ often suffers after a while. The components get worn out, especially brake pads, and should this wear and tear continue, the entire part may need to be replaced.

Tough turns and braking are the biggest symptoms of these braking problems. However, improper brake fluid amounts can also impact the car’s functionality. [3]

  1. Suspension makes an odd noise

The suspension is a part of the vehicle we rarely pay too much attention to. The components on this part of the car can go bad without us even noticing. Toyota iQ vehicles are only one of the cars that suffer suspension problems.

The Toyota iQ models from the latter years of the model’s lifespan were sport-tuned so their suspension would also be modified to fit this goal. The changes made the car more responsive to drive but also caused some problems to crop up. [4]

Commonly, the suspension problems will be tied to strut mounts or shock absorbers. The two are meant to control the movement of the suspension and provide a smooth ride, so problems with the two can hinder the enjoyment of our transport.

  1. AC Problems

Air conditioning is one of the key parts of comfort inside a car. Especially during really hot months when the requirement for cooling our car becomes quite high.

Lack of proper cooling can lead to worse concentration on the road and in more serious situations heatstroke. Both of which make the road more dangerous for yourself and other drivers.

Toyota iQ owners have reported poor airflow and sometimes a complete lack of cold air. The issue is most common on 2014-2016 models but can happen to older cars too.

These air conditioner problems have a variety of causes. Anything from low refrigerant levels to malfunctioning compressors can be the cause of the problem. Additionally, air filters getting plugged or dirty can also cause air conditioning to work worse.

Solutions to Toyota iQ problems

As with all vehicles, we have several solutions to employ for our problems. With some being more likelier to work than others. Especially with a number of issues that are too convoluted for the average person to solve without special tools.

The oil consumption issues are the most direct ones to act on. Aside from replacing piston rings, we can also avoid the problem from affecting us immediately by frequently refilling oil. However, this isn’t sustainable, doubly so if the piston rings fully malfunction.

Power steering can often be solved by flushing the power steering system with clean fluid. The fresh new fluid will keep the component operational for future uses and cut down the chances of problems getting worse.

However, it does pay to inspect the components to prevent other causes of the issue like the power steering system giving out completely.

Air conditioning can sometimes be solved by replacing the air filter or cleaning it. By doing so, we could immediately have the issue fixed. Sometimes, it’s just that simple. Otherwise, it pays to check if your air conditioning fluid has been refueled. Aside from these issues, inspecting the health of Toyota iQ’s compressor is worth investing some time into.

Transmission, brakes, and suspension are parts that can have numerous causes. Hence why the best way to approach these issues is to maintain the vehicle consistently. Inspecting all of the aforementioned parts will help you notice any odd behavior or damage that may occur over time.

Toyota iQ problems

Even if the associated solutions do not work, there’s a possibility that our warranty will cover the costs of repairs. Makes sure to pay attention to the length of your warranty and check if the issue is covered by recalls.

If so, Toyota iQ could be fixed for far less money, with some costs being mitigated completely.

Related: Toyota Kluger Problems


Toyota iQ is a city car from 2008 that has a fair share of problems common to it across its various series. The problems range from air conditioning to transmission, so a universal solution isn’t possible.

Thankfully, there are some approaches we can employ to maintain the health of the car.

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