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Toyota Solara

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  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    Some have said new tires will get rid of the pull problem. Since you have it, it is more than likly bent suspension parts, and cannot be fixed. Do you have the Michelins???

    Olds Alero to the Solara! LOL! Your just asking to be disappointed. Not alot of problems. Pulling drifting, at all speeds, Canc's chugging down the road, almost all having paint problems, and the dreaded SLUDGE prone engine!!! If you have seen the Money Pit, with Tom Hnaks, where he buys a nice suburban house, only to have it start falling apart under his feet, then this will give you an idea what being a Solara owner has been like! Buyer beware!
  • Olds Alero: how is the front suspension?....any pull?.
    I understand the front suspension is pretty good in that car
  • bezaharbezahar Posts: 20
    Of course to counter webguyster negative comments. Make sure that the car's had regular maintenance (takes care of sludge.) If it has paint chips (you'll probably get them anyway) use that to have them take the price down some. And when you test drive it make sure that the car doesn't pull. Follow those 3 steps and you'll more then likely get a very good car.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    bezaher...What you may see as negative, can also be called wisdom, from experience.

    It is like a parent telling a teenager something to prevent them from making a mistake, that they will regret, and they don't listen. They eventually learn by making mistakes. Buy the car, and check back in a few months. (If you really like it now, pay cash!)

    If a buyer is lucky, he/she may get the maintenance records from a private party, but no dealer is going to give them to you. My car has minimal problems now, or I have just got used to the idea that my 2.5 year old car is a beater, after almost everything has been replaced, but if I showed the maintenance records to anyone, 1-2 trips to the dealer monthly for 2 years, could be taken as a bad sign.

    If you buy it, and regret it, please post on Edmunds. And remember, webguyster says..."I told you so!!!"

    Good Luck!!!

    ;)
  • Out to get that dirty, rotten Toyota Motor Corp for selling HIM the lemon of a Solara. We all know that web got a lemon; it happens some times and to all car co's. The fact remains there are many more very satisfied Solara owners than there are guys like web. Check the CR reliability records, talk to other people about their Solaras and ask a lot of questions. Our '99 SLE V6 Solara is one of the best cars we have owned (out of more than 45 cars)!! Course then, we don't live in web's neighborhood. He gets right riled when others defend the car - check the old posts here if you want to get the drift on web's line. No offense, web, but there is more than just your concept of Solaras. Time to move on!!!
  • Greetings from St. Louis. I am very interested in purchasing a SolaraI have found a 99 SLE (silver, certified, 40K), and a 2000 SE (silver, 41K, V6 auto). I keep hearing about this 'pulling' business. The cars are both within my price range, both comparably equipped. Any thoughts on which one to choose - I know you have not seen them - or any problems (brakes, allignment, exhuast, paint, electrical) I should be wary of - would be appreciated. The SE looks better and maybe drives smoother. Both cars seem excellent. Going to a Solara (or 00 Nissan Maxima SE 5 speed) from a 94 Probe GT 5 speed. Tuesday is decision day.

    Thanks,
    JazzerMP
  • Everything else being equal probably better to get the '00. '99 was the first model year and first model years always have some problems that are fixed as production moves on. '99's seem to have more of the pulling problems with few reports on this site '00 and after. I have a '00 SLE and love the car after 40,000 km. I have had the slight chugging problem but overall its inconsequental and I think its fixed now after having the computer replaced.
  • They did not get the pull prob fixed on the 2000! Mine is a 2000!!!

    Rbleland (???), sorry if you took my public posting personally. I like Toyota, but have been disappointed with the quality on my car, and my neighbors 99 Camry, which has since been dumped. I owned a Toyota in the 80's and it was one of the BEST cars I ever owned. That was then, this is now. As far ar Toyota Motor Corp, I am rather impressed that when the only Toyota postings seemed to be on the Toyota SLUDGE topic, that the manager from TMC actually took time to contact me various times, and validate that the problems I was having were not isolated to my car. Like you said "No offense, web, but there is more than just your concept of Solaras. Time to move on!!! " If you were to take your own advise, you would not be posting here. I have said it before, that I would have appreciated some feedback, from people other than car salesman, and the like, that post here, and had acually had some feedback from people that had real world driving experiences, such as things that were wrong with their cars, as well as a running thread of how nice it looks in white, etc, before writing my check!

    Jazzermp, if those are your two choices, I would recommend the Maxima. They are both, IMO overpriced, but I have yet to meet anyone that has a Maxima have any complaints about purchasing one. You will enjoy the 4 doors, also, as I have found that from the few passengers I have had in the rear seats, I have lost (and found) much plastic trim, some I have no idea where it came from, from the people entering and leaving the vehicle. A deciding factor may also be the availabilty of parts, and your dealers hours. I have been, and will continue to be a Toyota customer, as my local dealer is open 5 days a week, until midnight, 5pm Saturday, with no appointment needed, and I have only gone for a minor trim part at 10pm, the mirror in the visor fell out while driving near the dealer, and they needed to order a new visor. Otherwise they have had everything imaginable in stock, with no appointment.

    So if anyone thinks I got a lemon, I may have, but the dealer was always there to fix it, so far! Sorry if it sounds like I am anti anything, just posting my experience and opinions!
  • PS...everything else being equal, I would not recommend any of the potentially "sludgeable" engines. If you can, try to spring for a 2003, if you choose the Solara, with the better engine design, to prevent being required to over maintain the car. You may not even be aware of the potential or rel life, costly, problems many people encountered, and the recycled trade-ins, but they are archived in Edmunds. Some of the threads are viewable if you are new to Edmunds, but not certain about all of them.
  • Thanks, everyone, for the quick responses. I'm on my way to see another Maxima SE and a new 2002 Solara SE V6 which has been marked down. Thanks again!
    JazzerMP
  • I found the Solara while helping my assistant shop for a new car. She ended up with an Alero, and I bought the Solara.

    She has had countless problems, some were electrical, new alternator, new battery were needed. there were oil leaks, etc. etc. The car is already getting noisy, the interior is cramped and has lots of little nooks and crannies to collect dirt and dust. The chrome is also fading from the wheels.

    My '99 SLE has been virtually problem free, except for a minor issue with the wireless alarm remote when they installed the CD changer. It is still dead quiet, not a squeak or rattle, extremely comfortable, runs great and fast, and the A/C is twice as powerful as the Alero's - important these days here in So. Calif.

    I REALLY need a 4-door car now for business reasons, It is going to be very hard to part with the Solara - I have put it off for a year so far, but I must do something soon. After this great performance, I am really afraid that my next car won't be as good as this one - regardless of the price.
  • Your assistants car sounds like my Solara! LOL I checked out the Alero when GM decided to can Oldsmobile. MSRP it came with EVERYTHING, that was extra on the Solara. For the same MSRP, I could have had the same Solara SE model I currently own. I am not much on all the frills, like outside temp and leather seats and the big dimming mirror, but for the same price it would have been nice.

    Have you looked at the new Camry's??? They are very roomy, and certainly will have Toyota's quality!
  • ... how people think that ANECDOTAL information is better than FACTUAL information.

    TRUTH: the Toyota Co. acknowledgement of the sludge 'problem' is in response to a SIENNA owners' letter-writing campaign. The lead complainant also sued the manufacturer of her previous mini-van (GM, I believe), and is in the process of suing HER OWN LAWYER.

    TRUTH: I have queried the Camryman forum, along with a Lexus forum regarding the 'sludge' problem. My responses (including one from a purported Toyota tech), all say the 1MZ-FE engine has no sludge problem IF YOU CHANGE YOUR OIL REGULARLY - ie. every 3K -5K miles.

    I have 42K on my 2000 SE V-6, and change my oil regularly. Lo and behold, I have no sludge problem. My Solara is wonderful, and outside of a drought in the tri-state area that limits my ability to wash my car as often as I'd like, I have no complaints.

    QUERY: Is there any possibility that the drivers of mini-vans don't take care of their cars - ie. do regular maintenance?

    I would hazard a guess and say that Solara/Lexus owners end to take better care of their babies. Also, one has to ask: does ONE bad car mean that the entire line/company is bad? If so, then EVERY car manufacturer sucks...

    Just my two cents, and my apologies for the rant...
  • It amazes me that you would suggest maintenance("TRUTH: I have queried the Camryman forum, along with a Lexus forum regarding the 'sludge' problem. My responses (including one from a purported Toyota tech), all say the 1MZ-FE engine has no sludge problem IF YOU CHANGE YOUR OIL REGULARLY - ie. every 3K -5K miles.")The owneres manual suggests otherwise, and that would make the annual maintenance cost rise sugnificantly. Read the book lately??? You seem to know way too much about the sludge issue and the people involved.

    Isn't there a saying about 1 bad apple...???(fill in blank yourself)

    Anyone know where the big black plastic thing under the dash, between the passengers feet and glove box, pops in, as mine fell out the other day driving home, and it seems to be connected to something way up in the dash board. Thanks.
  • My only comment on this alleged problem is that the local Toyota dealership (in business over 20 years here and has some 6,000 cars sold/on the road) has had NO cases of engine sludge!! One engine was replaced by Toyota for a similiar to sludge problem; however, the owner of the vehicle admitted he had not changed the oil in about 60,000 kms (over 37K miles). The owner was, however, a very opinionated and vocal type and Toyota decided to get hem out of their hair by replacement of the engine anyway. The local dealer has heard of the alleged problems (mainly in the U.S.), but no problem here. More/nastier lawyers in the U.S.???
  • If there is no potential sludge problem, why did Toyota send all those letters (3.3 million x's 2, I believe), saying that there was a sludge problem, and that they would cover the problem for 8 years unlimited milage, for those effected??? The nasty lawyers...not!!! LOL

    So where you live, if your vocal, and opinionated, you get a $7000 engine? Doesn't add up. Who would admit to not changing their oil for 60,000kms, and who's "hair" at Toyota was this person in? Who is "their hair"??? Does not seem to make any sense!

    Anyway, I am glad Toyota did change their engine design to be less maintenance sensitive, so that consumers may follow the oil change intervals in the manual, instead of what Jiffy Lube says. Would be nice for people buying the used ones to know about it, before they make their decision to spend their hard earned dollars. They are everyday cars for most people, not the weekend Ferrari! ;^)
  • jr86jr86 Posts: 1
    I must be lucky, because I will have owned my pearl white SLE V6 convertible for two years in October. I have no sludge, no paint chips, no rattles, no unusual cowl shake, no bass problems. I absolutely love the car, the way it looks, the way it rides, and the way it handles. I would recommend this car to anyone. In fact, one my friends, a Sebring owner, read all of the negative comments on this board, drove my car several times looking for these problems, and promptly acquired the Solara. I don't mean to belittle the problems that have been voiced by others on this board, but I have seen none of them in my vehicle.
  • Yours must have not been built on a Monday or a Friday! LOL

    What about cowl shake?
  • I'm just telling you what I was told. The "sludge" problem was mainly in the U.S. and the Cdn. owners were included in the letter campaign (I'm told). Anyway, it matters not to me - my family has a very good car in the Solara. I'm tuning out on this board as there is so much negativism here and being the Internet, no one can prove whether its truthful or not. I also own a Subaru and sure don't find the Subie sites to be so dominated by negative people. Adios!!
  • webguyster - I am really sorry that your car is one of the few that is having problems. I had a Buick (my last American car forever)that LIVED at the dealer for weeks at a time, and could never be fixed properly, so I can understand how you feel.

    However, your use of EVERY possible subject and posting to rag on your Solara is getting really tiresome, and I am sure that many other of the members feel the same way (some support, here!)

    It is clearly obvious that you are in the very small minority, so do something about it! Get a Lemon Law Attorney and make Toyota give you a new car, a rebate or ?? At least take SOME action in addition to incessant sniveling.

    Regarding the Alero - I travel and rent cars constantly - every American car I have every rented - be it a Ford, Chryler or (gasp!)GM product - made me Thank GOD for the Japanese and Germans, and to yearn to get back into my Solara. You want to really feel like a sucker - go ahead and buy Domestic! You'll get what you pay for - and less!
  • I think webguyster just likes to complain, I personally think that he would get much more enjoyment by selling his Solara going out and buying an early 90s Hyundai (my prior car.) That way he'd have so much more to complain about, making his life that much more complete.

    Talking about rentals that is actually one of the things that did push me towards getting a Solara. I actually rented one while on travel, and it was so much better then any of the other rentals that I'd had it stuck in my mind when I eventually did buy my car. Though I had wanted the convertible, they were still pretty rare so I ended up with a stick. The only thing I might have gone for was a TRD which they had in the show room but I couldn't quite justify the extra cost.

    00 Red SE-V6 5-speed
  • I have a 1999 Solara SLE V6 with 69,000 miles.
    Yesterday, I had to have my Rear strut plates,
    left wheel bearing and left rear tie rod end replaced. The car was making a clunking noise going over bumps and also a rhythmic whine when cruising. Total cost $826.62 !!!
    Anyone else have to have such major rear end work on their Solara?
    I love the car, but I have also owned many other cars and never have I had to replace the rear strut plates after so few miles. The car has never been recked and is not driven over bumpy roads.
  • I've had my '02 4cyl SE for almost a year now, and it's still as quiet and comfortable as it was when new. I drive it only 3-4 times a week, but that just makes me enjoy it even more, I believe.
  • Sorry to hear about your car. Even I have yet to have this problem. What about the right side. Is it fine??? Did the service people want you to do both sides?

    It doesn't have anything to do with...
    Recall 00V154000: Rear Axle Hub Failure

    Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles. Due to improper heat treatment, the rear axle may not have adequate strength in some areas. After extended use of the vehicle, the rear axle shafts could fail or break.

    Dealers will inspect and replace the rear axle hub assemblies.

    Owner notification is expected to begin late June or early July 2000. Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331. Also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

    does it???
  • Sorry if it sounds like a lot of complaining, but again, these are my auto experiences with my Solara. Something interesting, when reading some bios, that some of the people that post here raving about the Solara, do not even drive one. The Solara is their spouses, or their friends, grandmas, or aunts, or they work at a Toyota dealership, etc, etc. The other people that post asking for suggestions, or info, or that are having problems, or asking for info, usually get answers, like I have had mine for a month, no problems!!! Smooth all the way! Thats a big help. Or my favorite it drives better than my Lexus, or something like that.

    I also drive many rental cars, and they are typically fleet cars, acquired, and produced for the car rental companies. They are generally not top of the line vehicles, or premium vehicles, and although similar to what you will find on the auto lot, usually are not the cars of choice.
  • jraysjrays Posts: 20
    This gets so tiring....

    Complain, complain, complain. That's all we hear from certain participants on this board. Nothing constructive is suggested and no problem seems to ever be resolved. The rest of us, who actually own Solaras, have nothing to complain about, so we are left hearing the daily rants of someone not smart enough to get rid of a car they seem to hate.

    I've had my Solara for over 2 years with ZERO problems. And that's the NORM, not the exception! I'm very picky and would take it back in a second for anything that I thought needed repair. This is by far the best car I have ever owned. It's stylish, quiet, and I find the quality top notch. Believe me, if it was a lemon, I would be the first to take action. I would not dare let problems go on for years and complain constantly about something that I, as an adult, could and should take care of very easily. Grow up. Sheesh!

    What purpose does it serve for someone to constantly complain about something, but not do anything about it? Could it be the person likes to complain or is there something else we don't know about? I'm not sure about the rest of you, but from now on, I choose not to acknowledge the habitual complainers. Maybe they will just go away or better yet, buy a different car.

    Anyone considering buying a Solara should read all the posts and give the small amount of complaints their fair consideration (which is about zero).

    Okay I'm ready to be trashed now by you know who...
  • It is nice to hear somone chatting about there car! And that the Solara has 0 problems all around. Get real dude. Did you not have Lexus truck before??? Maybe I am incorrect. Sorry if I am. A few new posters asked some questions about the Solara, got any feedback for them, or just like reading my posts?

    One of the more recent posts was a potentially very dangerous problem, with the rear and of his car. No feedback for him/her, except, sell it if you don't like it, because you have had 0 problems with yours. Nice feedback! Very charming.
  • ... as Freddie Krueger might say...

    ok - let's go over this again WebG - I researched my car for a year before settling on the Solara. I had to know EVERYTHING about it before I plunked my hard-earned cash down, and that included the 'sludge' thing. Hence, I discovered that the majority of complainants were housebound-types who can't spell 'internal combustion engine', let alone know what maintenance for such a beast would require. I ran the VIN for other publicly-issued recalls, and it came up clean.

    Once again, I do NOT want this to get mean - I really would like other prospective Solara buyers to understand that Japanese-engineered cars are not bullet-proof, and to make informed, educated decisions by test-driving as much as possible. Take an hour to study the car's lines/panels, listen to the engine at highway speeds w/the radio off, et cetera [all of which is covered VERY well by Edmunds]. But you REALLY seem to be pissed off now. I see that you are looking at unloading your lemon - congrats! It's about time, and hopefully, you will get something that will make you happy.
    But you seem to be attacking other Solara owners now, albeit, they are getting angry at you, and you may be defending yourself.
    And as for the millions of Toyota letters admitting guilt - hmmm, let's see... I remember MTV getting hauled over the coals for NOT putting a warning prefacing Beavis & Butthead because of some moron of a woman's letter campaign - ie. this CARTOON is dangerous to kids who might set themselves on fire. I also remember FOX getting harassed by some Puzzled Parents Group for the coarse dialogue in Married W/Children.
    One member of a Lexus club (40 members strong) wrote to tell me that only ONE of their members had a sludge problem - a '99 pre-owned vehicle.
    Let's put this in perspective: Toyota puts out a letter and a deal that absolutely can't hurt them if their cars are regularly maintained (more on that) - no more sludge problems, or you get extra coverage. The Big Blue Oval Ford has lawsuits of: the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis police cars that burn to death their occupants after a collision; extra-large vans that lethally roll-over while performing emergency turns at 35mph; and let's not forget how many South/North Americans died before the Firestone tire recalls went out.
    And as for the manual... I'm sorry, WebG, but common sense tells me: no matter what the manual says, if I change my oil MORE often than what is required, my engine should be happy for a longer amount of time. And that is coming from a guy who refuses to throw $23-25K of his hard-earned ducats on an impulse buy.
    My apologies for the length of this diatribe. You may go back to your regularly scheduled program.
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    I guess the 5 spd has been disscontinued for the 03 Solara V6 for some reason.Hopefully the 04 models will have the manual option...
  • In your post #2126 you attempt to discredit the comments of people who are tired of your ceaseless negative comments, by inferring that your Solara experience as an owner is superior those of us whose Solara is owned by "spouses, friends, grandma, aunts or work at a
    Toyota dealership". You say you have reviewed the bios of others who post opinions contrary to yours; thus you know my Solara is owned by my wife (because my bio is complete, as opposed to yours - more on that later). Notwithstanding the ownership of the car, let me assure you that I personally drive the Solara 50% of the time, do all the long-distance driving in it and do/have done all the maintenance on the car. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. I have had over 45 vehicles in my life so I'm not exactly a neophyte on cars.
    As to your issue with the bios, your bio says you are "webguyster", your name is "wp", you live in the U.S., and your drive a "Toyota". Great bio, web, that tells us a lot, ie. nothing. We really don't know if you are real or not?? Maybe, it is possible, you are a troll. I'm not saying you are, but, and I quote from a troll website, "a troll places provocative postings to a newsgroup intended to produce a large volume of responses. The content of the trollposting generally falls into several areas. It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction of common knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of a newsgroup or a broad request for follow-up posings". You are anonymous, web, and you sure are provocative and have got alot of posters "dander" up. The best way to deal with trolls or troll-like people is to ignore them and they eventually lose interest and (hopefully) go away. I think most posters to this site are either already ignoring you or are about to.
    Don't bother twisting my tail on your response, because I have no intention of replying to your comments (unless you offer some proof you are real). I hope you find something better to do with your time.
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