Did I get a "lemon"?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dot, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. dot

    dot Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    On another thread bergere mentioned Toyota reliability. For years I've heard about how good Toyotas are. I've heard this time after time "keep the oil changed and rotate the tires and a Toyota will run forever". So in 97 I bought a new Toyota Tercel. At the time I was single and my daughter said she'd feel better if I had a Toyota. She has a 97 corolla almost 200,000 miles and no problems. My Tercel has started using oil and my husband called the service dept at a dealership to get it checked. The service manager seemed to think we were wasting our time as he said the 97 Tercel's had a problem and it would not be worth our time to have it worked on. He said he'd not had much luck doing motor work on one. The car has around 87,000 miles on it. Now I'm wondering about the Toyota reliability. Anyone else have good luck or bad with a Toyota? He did recommend something and I think it was a new PVC valve (hope I said that right) so my husband has put a new one on and we'll see how it does. I'm wanting something newer tho as I have to travel a good bit to visit family.
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Aug 4, 2003
    Zone Unknown
    Dealerships are in the business of selling cars. ! I'm not sure I would trust their opinion on much of anything.

    I'd get an independent opinion from a reputable independent mechanic. !

  3. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2002
    I've had 2 Toyotas, both started using oil after 80,000 miles. I found they use a quart every 3-4 thousand miles, time for oil change anyway. I did put a can of Rislone engine treatment in one and the oil loss decreased. Never saw oil smoke or puddle under either car. Just live with it.
  4. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    I have the exact same car and other than a new engine it has been the best car we have ever had, I could kick dh's butt for hitting that seer in December since then we bought a Mazda that has been nothing but trouble. It is a good car.

  5. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    I think that Toyotas are extremely overrated. My uncle bragged his head off about the reliability of his Camry, until his wife blurted out that they spent 2,200 dollars having the motor overhauled at 130,000. A good friend had a '93 corolla, motor used oil like it was going out of style, and haad been since 75,000 miles. Another uncle had a 2000 Toyota van, (cannot recall what the model was) that the master cylinder went out on, and Toyota wanted $1600 to replace it. The van only had 38,000 miles on it.
    I'm not sure that Toyota quality isn't just one huge lie.
  6. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    My DH has an '88 Honda Civic w/over 350,000 miles on it; my Nissan Pathfinder (also '88) has 276,000 on it. Just had to have the radiator cleaned on mine, some funny noises from the Honda (don't affect function, would be $$$ to replace part) but basically, they still work fine - even though we each commute 2 hours a day, with 5 miles of that being dirt road, for the last 10 years. I'd like my next vehicle to be a truck though, it's heck hauling sheep in the back of an SUV ;)
  7. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2002
    My opinion is that the older the toyota, the more reliable it is.
  8. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I have an ugly 1985 toyota vanwagon...with over 250,000 miles on it. It uses oil all the time. I keep a quart in the van with me at all times. I also keep ducktape with me cause it has some loose parts on the interior but it keeps on running. It has started to lose some power over the past year or so but i make sure there is always oil in it and that it get proper care and it keep me going. My mom has a 1986 toyota cressida. It was wonderful and it was high milage like mine. She recently sold it because she needed a larger van for the grandkids. I have had other toyotas in the past and have always loved them and i would recommed them to anyone who asked.

  9. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

    Dec 9, 2002
    I have a toyota one ton and its been great! I drove it off the showroom in 1986 and the only major thing done to it is the head gasket which was two thousand dollars about two years ago and it has run great since, lots of power.
  10. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    So, how much oil is it using? Is it burning the oil or is it dripping out of the engine? It cracks me up when people go have their engines overhauled just because they use a quart of oil between oil changes.
  11. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia
    We used to buy only american made cars. But they were to spendy to maintain/keep running. Every time we turned around someone major work had to be fixed. Ie,, the Fuel pump, the Electronics, the main computer, the car dieing and locking up on the freeway... on and on... And no, it wasn't they way we drove.

    We went to Toyotas. I bought a 93 Camry wagon. We did the needed maintance on it. It never gave me any trouble,, even driving across country.
    We did have to sell it 3 1/2 years ago... the reason... I was rear-ended by a speeding driver.. so that wasn't the cars fault.
    I would of bought another one in a heart beat,, that is if they still made them.

    I replaced that with a Toyota Tundra,, loved that truck. It did have one problem,, the oxygen censor needed replacing.. but it still ran. It did not have any more troubles other than that. Had all the bells and whistles. Had to sell it last Nov, as DH was laid off.
    The folks we sold it to,, still love it!!!!

    My husband had a used 1983 starlit. Yes, We had to replace the fuel lines, and some other minor stuff,, which did not cost much. But it never stopped running, even with 450K miles on it!!!.
    Was a ugly little car though. So when he had enough money he bought....the Echo.

    So 4 years ago, my husband bought a base model Toyota Echo. Has put on 89K miles on it so far, and knock on wood,, he has not had any problems with it. And he drives longggg miles.

    Now I have a Toyota Matrix. It is also a base model,, no fancy stuff,, just front wheel drive. I need Automatic, air conditioning (As my son gets car sick without it) and cruise control and that is it. I have just 1500 miles on it so far.

    Older cars no matter the maker will use a little oil.. at least that is what I have seen over the many years we have been driving.

    I think with the normal maintaince,, Toyotas, still have much better reliability than the American made cars WE had.
  12. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    I'm of the belief that Toyota quality is not a myth. But even Toyota's sometimes have problems.

    JD Power rankings generally score Toyota's high on quality and owner satisfaction. That sure doesn't mean every Toyota will be perfect.

    My only fault with my Tundra is that replacement parts are astronomically high. I haven't needed any replacement parts yet, but my parts list indicates very high prices. Perhaps these prices will subside when the aftermarket gets around to production and keeps the OEM honest.
  13. I have a late-80's Tercel and I love it. Compared to other cars I've had, including a Subaru, it hardly ever needs repairs, it can go anywhere, and it's super reliable. 180,000 miles and counting. It does use oil somewhat, but I expect that in an older vehicle.
    I think that most of the reputations of "great vehicles" like Toyota and Nissan trucks, are based on the performances of 80's models. They were built better then, and modern ones just don't measure up. If I had bought a new car in 97 and it was noticibly using oil now, not even ten years later, I would be pretty bummed.
    Some individual cars or individual years are just lemons...like my Subaru which had a different problem every ten miles and used almost as much oil as gasoline. Yet everybody raves about the reliability and toughness of Subarus.
    I'd suggest selling the car while it's doing ok, then buying a used older-model Tercel. With Toyotas, newer isn't better.
  14. Bluecreekrog

    Bluecreekrog Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2002
    S Oh.
    The Toyota Celica and Nissan Sentra were hands down the best cars I ever owned. Most american cars were lucky to make it to payoff. The celica was used and lasted 7 years, it returned me 1/3 the original price when sold at 15 yrs of age. The Nissan bought new, gave me 15 yrs, of reliable non stop service, and returned me slightly less than 1/3 original price when sold. It is still carrying a young lady back and forth to college today. I never got that kind of value or reliablity from any of the Fords, Chevrolets or Buicks I owned.
  15. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    I second the views of poster number 13 .

    Our son purchased a 96 or 97 tercel from a national new/ used car company, that has a 3 day return policy. Our mechanic stated "he couldn't tell if this one would turn out to be like the many others that that seemed to be failing in spite of his oil changes, but if he were Young Rick, he'd take it back". We did.

    Like Cabin Fever, and others suggest, some oil loss/ use is no big deal, in relation to the performance of the vehicle, depending on the engine in question.
    I purchased a 92 Honda Civic Hatchback wth a distressed 1.5 Overhead cam engine. Seems my friends wife did not change her oil much, and at 66,000 miles she ran it til the red light came on- and 5 miles further until she was safely out of a bad neighbohood.

    It used a quart every 300 miles (every 10 gallon gas tank). Now it uses a quart every 250 miles or so. I have put an aditional 25,000 on it. My 91 honda civic wagon has 155,000 miles on it, the last 40 put on after it was totalled in a rear end collision. My only complaint is it's air conditioning has gone up twice in 14 years.