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2004 Toyota Solara



  • I saw someone over on the Avalon board state that he has to select "English or French" language when he turns on his Navigation system in his new 04 Avalon XLS. Good God, that would be enough to make me never want Navigation in a new Solara.

    The NAV system, in French, probably only allows you to drive in reverse. At full speed.

    Does anyone know if the Solara Nav system has the same feature? The poster didn't appear to be from Canada, so I don't know why Toyota would put the French choice in there. SABOTAGE: Isn't that a French word?
  • No it doesn't aske you to choose English or French. But it does have a disclaimer that you have to click "I agree" before you can use the system.
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    Got a chance to try out the stability control on my 04 SLE the other night and man does it work awesome!..i went on some snowy back roads and jeked the wheel both ways to get the car to slide around and as soon as it started to slide,the vsc activates (audible beeping sound)and straightens the car right out!Also tried some situations with the traction control on vs off and it definetely does the job of getting you up a snowy hill without wheel spin.All in all i think this car is one of the best cars out there for the money.(had a 00 SE V6 before this one and it was perfect also)
  • Does anyone know if I press the windshield defrost, does the A/C turns on also? The air that came out was so cold but the A/C light is off.
  • Since you like yours so well, do you have any issues with the "left-pull" issue described by some?
  • I think I finally figured out why every time I start the car, the recirculate is on. It's because when you set the temp to max cold, it automatically turns recirculate on. I always have the temp set at max cold. So everytime when I start the car, recirulate turns on even manually turned off before I shut down the car. In order to make myself happy, all I need is to increase the temp by 1 and the next time I start the car, recirculate remains off. It worked a few times and hope it works the same when I start it next time.

    But while I was happy that I figured out the "recirculate" thing, damn, another thing came out and the air control system really has a mind of its own. What happened was after driving for 40 minutes and in front of a stop light, I manually increased the temp and after certain temp, like 74 or something, the mode automatically switched to front/floor. Then when I continued increasing the temp., it automatically switched to floor. When I lowered the temp., it automatically switched from floor to front/floor, then front. At first I thought it's cool. But after pulling into the garage, I tried to do the same thing and this time it didn't switch the mode at all!!!!! It stayed at front even I increased and decrease the temp!!!! What the heck is going on with this system?? I think I need to do some experiments with it tomorrow.
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    Nope no problems with pulling and niether did my previous 00 SE V6.Let me tell you that i am a auto tech and i work for a independent garage and in my 15 years of doing alignments,pulling issues are always caused by tires or improper caster angles.
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    Try using it without the auto mode and you will find that it will not change any setting unless you manually do so.the auto mode is programmed to make the proper changes according to your desired temp fan speed,vent location,re-circ,etc
  • I have a 99 Accord Coupe, and would consider going to a new Solara, but I think the Toyota has an inferior automatic a/c system, at least from what I have read here.

    When getting into a hot car (I lived in Florida after all), my accord automatically starts it in max, re-circulating the hot air. After the interior cools off a little bit, the Honda automatically starts letting in fresh air . . with no need to touch the controls.

    It sounds like Toyota makes you constantly fiddle with the re circulate and fresh air settings. Honda Accord does it for you automatically, and is thus far superior.

    Am I right that you constantly have to adjust the Solara automatic a/c when you get into a very hot car?

    Just curious . . .
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "It sounds like Toyota makes you constantly fiddle with the re circulate and fresh air settings. Honda Accord does it for you automatically, and is thus far superior."

    Wow. I didnt realize that the only virtues vehicles had were their A/C systems. Mitchflorida, please pity the poor souls like myself who have manually controlled climate systems. Can you imagine how inferior our cars are...

    Seriously though, THIS would stop you from buying a car that you may otherwise LOVE?

  • Have any of you had problems with the CD player acting up? I got my Solara about 2 to 3 months ago. From the day I got it, it never worked right. Here's an example. 50% of the time that I put a CD into the drive whether it was a burnt CD or a production one, it would come up with an error. Let's say I was listening to a CD and flipped over to the radio to check weather or traffic for a minute, then switched back... Error 99.999% of the time. They switched the CD player out, but this one is just as bad as the one before. Just seeing if I'm the only one with a problem.
  • I have a 99 Odyssey EX with auto A/C and I like it better than the one in Solara. You may leave the Auto mode for switching cold and hot air but manually adjust the fan speed. In Solara, once you change the fan speed, the auto mode is off. I leave it in Auto which is the default once you start the car. I think this is the evidence of cost cutting.

    For the CD changer, mine is working all right and smooth. If I remember right, you need to select the empty slot before insert the CD. If not, the system will assume the slot it is on. I will double check and confirm that. The one in Solara is much better than the Escape I rent for a week. Escape need to shuffle one by one instead of press the slot number for this. And it takes some time before accepting CD. I don't have problem on switching between CD and radio so I guess is bad luck? Have you read the user manual of operation or you just figure it out by yourself? More than often the problem can be resolved by reading the manual. Just my suggestion since it works well 90% of the time!
  • To each their own. Frankly, I would not want my automatic system to change the fresh air mixture without my explicit input, since this control has as much to do with humidity control as temperature control. If the automatic system also let me set my humidity preferences in addition to my temperature preferences, I might change my mind, but I haven’t seen an automotive system with that capability yet. If I find pushing 1 button to be too challenging, I may be ready for the retirement home!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The difference in the Solaras torque advantage is GREATER than the difference in the Accords HP advantage....

    Accord: Peak HP by 15 horses
    Solara: Peak torque by 28 foot pounds

    Just something to think about
  • Finally figured it out.

    2k1trd -- you're 50% correct. But your response inspired me. Here's what I found.

    If you use Auto, and manually increase or decrease the temp., the mode (front, front/floor, floor) will automatically switch according to the temp. When the temp goes up, it'll switch from front, to front/floor, to floor. It will also automatically switch back (from floor to front) if you lower the temp.

    Now if you turn off the system, and turn it back on by pressing the Fan speed, this "automatic mode switch" function will still be there even Auto is off. Increasing or decreasing the temp will automatically switch the Mode.

    Now if at this point, you manually hit the Mode button to switch the mode because you don't want to heat up your foot, this "automatic mode switch" function will be disabled, until you hit Auto again.

    Whew. 2k1trd and cooldad can you try that on yours and see if it's the same?? I don't mean to be so anal about this air control thing. But I just want to make sure I'm in control and know how it operates.

    "toyota a/c is crap compared to honda." ????? Is that an opinion or fact? What kind of testing have you done to both systems to come out with such conclusion? Please share with us here. BTW, the new Solara came out in Fall/Winter and there's no exteme hot weather to test the A/C system yet.

    alpha -- you forgot to mention both HP and Torque come out at higher rpm too.
  • Cute is a word I rarely apply to motor vehicles, but I'm making an exception in the case of the 2004 Toyota Camry Solara.

    This second generation of the Solara coupe is cuter than the first ... and the first was pretty cute. ''Ruggedly handsome'' just does not work with this car, especially when the tested model is coated in paint called ''Absolutely Red.''

    ''Redder-Than-Red'' or ''Blindingly Red'' would have worked, too. The tester all but screamed for attention, accentuated by a saucy new design with a V-shaped grille and an aerodynamic, bumper-to-bumper arc.

    Style is important for Solara. Since 1999, the car has been entrenched among Top 10 lists of passenger models preferred by female buyers. The sleeker look for 2004 should do nothing to drop Solara off those lists.

    The arc shape raised Solara's roofline by nearly 2 inches compared with the first generation, and Toyota's engineers stretched the new Solara's wheelbase by nearly the same amount. The realignment translates to improved room, which was much needed in the rear seats. Adult legs no longer press up against the front seats.

    The power plant also has been upgraded. The tested SLE, the top Solara model among three trim levels offered, came with a 3.3-liter V-6 with variable valve timing technology and 225 horsepower. That's a big step up from the 3-liter, 198-horsepower V-6 in the previous SLE.

    The Solara's new engine provided brisk acceleration, with the electronically controlled, five-speed automatic transmission working the shifts smoothly. The gearbox also allows for clutchless manual shifting.

    Four-cylinder Solaras can be had with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic, and the base Solara SE with a manual is a genuine bargain with a starting price of $19,120.

    In truth, the Solara SLE's performance was most impressive once the engine revs were up. The SLE whipped around traffic on surface streets and area freeways like a champ. It sawed off sharp surface-street corners with sports car-like crispness; kudos to Toyota engineers who designed the car's sport-tuned suspension (independent front and rear).

    The Solara's redesigned interior likewise radiated sportiness. A center-mounted gauge display is sharp-looking and easy to read -- especially with illuminated pointers on the gauges. Chrome and woodgrain accents were attractively sprinkled and not overdone.

    The impressive list of standard features included a power moonroof and a sweet-sounding JBL premium audio system with a six-disc CD changer and eight speakers.

    With a new generation come new challenges. Primary among them was an automatic climate-control system on the tested SLE that was consistently about five degrees off in both warming and cooling modes. And recurring warnings from the tire-pressure monitoring system were exceedingly annoying because that jarring exclamation point in the message center always makes the heart skip a couple of beats.

    Trips to nearby gas stations showed that the tires were up to Toyota specifications. Cold weather start-ups were the likely cause of the tire-pressure warnings -- one reason that I have serious reservations about good-intentioned, but sometimes-deceiving, tire-pressure monitoring systems.

    One other gripe: A large adult needs to do some serious bending and grunting to semi-gracefully slip into or out of the back seat area. In fairness, that's a universal problem native to most midsize coupes. And making the car bigger only makes it more expensive.

    Overall, the latest Solara is a positive step in the evolutionary process. Probably the most important thing Toyota could do with the car was make it distinct ... that is something more than a two-door version of a Camry sedan.

    Along that line, the automaker did a good job, producing a stylish, agile, two-door passenger model that makes Solara resemble more of a high-spirited, chance-taking cousin than a bland Camry knockoff.
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    i personally do not use the "auto" mode any way so i really don't care...
  • I have been getting somewhere between 16 and 18 mpg in combined city / highway driving. I have not been on any long trips to be able to check highway only mileage, but this seems a bit low to me. I shrugged it off at first, thinking that I had been a little too happy with the gas pedal when I first got the car, but even when I am careful, the mileage is still in the big SUV territory. Anyone else getting this kind of mileage? I am wondering if the pull left /alignment issue is hurting mileage.
  • I have a 2002 SE 4 cyl and get 32-34 on the highway at 75 mph. Have not checked city, stop and go mileage
  • My car is an 04 V6 SLE. I would expect the 4 cyl to get better mileage, but all the reviews have been pretty glowing about what the V6 has been rated for. Am trying to figure out if I have a problem or if reviews / EPA is so much fantasy.
This discussion has been closed.