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Toyota Solara



  • luthor1luthor1 Posts: 15
    My solara sle arrived today and I will go in tomorrow to drive it and check it out before signing. As this is my first new car what should I be looking for other than the obvious scratches. Also, is it possible to determine the build date from the vin number and if so how thanks.
  • Look inside the door on the driver's side and you should be able to find the manuf. date.
    Definetly take an EXTENDED test drive of the vehicle. Make sure the vehicle will hold a straight line on a flat road. The car should not pull to one side. Trust me (and many others), if you have one that shows this tendency, you will go through many trips to the dealer to get it fixed (and you may never get it fixed).
    Outside of this problem, you should have an extremely enjoyable car to own.
  • luthor1luthor1 Posts: 15
    Thanks, this was my second solara test drive and it was the same as the first. Steering was a bit dead on center but no drifting or pulling either way not quite as linear as the accord coupe, but still good. It has the michellin tires and from what Ive read the potenza's may have been part of the problem. Hope you've been able to get your steering problem taken of, it really is a great car.
  • Glad to hear everything checks out well with the way your Solara drives. You have a good one. The Solara can be a great car to own.
    I too have the Michelin tires. Unfortunately, my cars problem has been unable to correct and at this point with just 4 months left on my lease, I'll just live with it. World Omni is throwing all kinds of offers at me to try and tempt me to buy my car at end of lease. I told them, I wouldn't buy if they gave it to me for half price. :D
    Besides, even if my Solara was trouble free, I'd still want a new car. That's why I lease. So that I can get a new car every 2-3 years and let the bank deal with the depreciation. I could never buy a car, because the thought of a $500+ monthly payment for 5 years just doesn't appeal to me.
    Best of luck and enjoy your Solara.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    Just follow the maintenance schedule in your owne's manual. Anything else is just dealer BS.
  • phelpsmphelpsm Posts: 21
    But if you would have read my whole post (#819) you would have seen that I have checked the manual and I can't seem to find anything about Transmission Fluid being mentioned except for "Special Operating Conditions". If I am wrong please correct me, but that's why I am trying to find out about when or if we should change out the transmission fluid.

  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    I didn't mean to be rude either (I thought I was being helpful).

    Once again -- if your owner's manual doesn't say to change it, don't worry about it. Simple!
  • luphyluphy Posts: 31
    I seem to recall that the side airbags in the Solara only protect the torso right? I can't find any documentation of this anywhere though...anyone know for sure? Has anyone been in a side impact that triggered the side airbags? Anyone know the cost of replacing the front and/or side airbags?
    Also, I recall someone posting a message previously that they disconnect the sensor to the passenger seat that tells the car whether someone is sitting in it or not. If the passenger front airbags are similar to other cars, I would think it has a sensor to tell whether someone is sitting in the passenger seat or not and will then decide whether to deploy the passenger front airbag (and probably the side airbag, too?). I have no documented evidence of this, but I would strongly suggest that no one disconnect the sensor to the passenger seat's 'occupant sensor' just to prevent a little light from flashing on the dash everytime you have something heavy on the seat - and potentially compromising your passenger's safety in the event of a crash.
  • bee12bee12 Posts: 3
    I am buying my first car and my aunt wants me to buy a solara. I on the other hand, like the cougar. I know you are all Solara fans but, for the extra money, should I go against what I want?
  • 99solara99solara Posts: 51
    Yes we Solara fans, but owning a vehicle does not always make you a fan. Sometimes ownership will drive you away from a bad choice. Consumer reports shows the Cougar as a big black dot (poor Reliability). This is a factor that Toyota seems to do well in year after year.
    All of this being said, you should get what makes you happy. After all it is your car and your $$.
  • phelpsmphelpsm Posts: 21
    I own a Solara and my girlfriend has a Cougar. They are both really nice cars. I'll list the most noticeable differences that we have come up with.
    - More comfortable and roomier seats
    - Larger Sunroof
    - More interior room
    - Just a bit better radio (our opinions)
    - Better handling (tighter suspension but it's still not rough)
    - Blind spots looking over both shoulders
    - Better styling

    Acceleration is about the same on both cars (both have the v6). She does have an automatic vs my standard.

    All this is our opinion but I wouldn't mind answering more direct questions if you have any and would like to contact me via email.

  • Luphy, thanks for you advice on the passenger side airbag and the passenger seatbelt light indicator. However, my Toyota service center assures me that the passenger side air bag is not controlled by the passenger seatbelt warning light. The passenger air bag will deploy in the case of a front impact wether someone is in the seat or not. Therefore, I have decided to pull the dash apart (easier done than said, i mean that :)) and remove the little light bulb that causes the passenger seatbelt light to flash. Was this a good idea? I dunno. But I did it anyway and will simply replace the bulb before I take it to the service center for any maintenance.
  • I took my Solara in last week for the 30K mile service. When I picked it up it was driving without a pull for the first time in nearly 25K miles. Not sure what they did, but it drives like the car I had expected it to all along.
    The service costs me $150 with a coupon. Not sure if I paid too much, but regardless it was well worth it. Now I can fully enjoy the final 4 months of my lease.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    is a beautiful car -- but the engine is harsher and the quality simply isn't there, compared to the Solara.

    If Ford would tighten up on this car, they'd have a real winner.
  • nrl76nrl76 Posts: 30
    I am coming up on the 30K mark and was thinking of having the service done. Where do you live? I have not seen a $150 coupon for this service.
    What eles did they do that was noticeable?

    Thanks for the information.

    '99 SLE
    Red\Gray - 29,000 miles

    PS - I am in LA/Santa Monica
  • nrl76-
    I am in Atlanta, GA. It was a dealership special. Let me know if you are in the Atlanta area and I'll give the dealership info.
  • I have read so many postings that discuss the problems solara owners have been experiencing. "clanking " noise when gong over bumps, constant pull to the left ing the steering, squeak in the seats, and unresponsive service department at Toyota dealers.

    I was all set to purchase a 2001 Solara sle until I read about these problems. Is this a car I should avoid? Would a test drive of the car aI am considering tell me if these issues are a problem, or do they develope over time? Have these problems been experienced in a 2001, or do they exist only in 1999 and 2000 model?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • nrl76nrl76 Posts: 30

    I have a '99 SLE and it had the Strut Tower clunk. It was a quick fix by the dealer. I would not call it a major problem by any means but make sure that you listen to the suspension when you go over bumps in the road.

    '99 SLE
    Red\Gray - 29,000 miles
  • gdanczykgdanczyk Posts: 26
    After reading all the posts and from personal experience, I'm convinced the pulling left problem is tire related. All other problems posted seem to have been fixed by the dealers. Car service at dealers is going to vary slightly for each dealership, but in general Toyota has been excellent in my experience. What are your other options?
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