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Toyota Solara



  • silversolarasilversolara Posts: 113
    I am not a car salesman - i leave that in the capable hands of Cliffy. i've owned my 2000 SE-V6 very happily for 38K miles (drove from Swarthmore PA to Princeton NJ daily for work), and outside of the paint chips, have no complaints.
    Superlatives? how about a smooth ride with a 200 hp engine/manual tranny that allows me to pass the occasional slowpoke easily. A great stereo. A non-sludging engine. A car that STILL draws envious stares from my IT buddies.
    As for the Subaru - I haven't fully grown up yet, and would LOVE to rally around in a WRX: it's a rough ride w/out a moonroof and other comfort amenities, but can take a turn down a dirt road pretty well.
    Emotional about what I don't want to see? How about I researched my car choice for a year, while you bought your car in an angry haze? Dude, no matter how you slice it, your rants still are VERY anti-Toyota. If you wish to continue to bad-mouth the car/the company ad nauseum to prospective buyers/visitors, then I have no problem writing about how much I enjoy my car.
    Canc - no, my ex didn't get the car :). Marriage is an experience every guy should experience at least once...
    WebG - we'll have to agree to disagree. Just don't be surprised to see me counter you occasionally.
    And once again to the rest of the forum, my apologies.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    Anti-Toyota, no! Just expressing my opinion, and personal experience driving the Solara. Take it for what it is. If you perceive my experiance as ANTI, or bad, that's your perception of the facts I share about my driving experience. I am not anti, or pro, just sharing car talk, with other car enthusiasts. I would have appreciated hearing someone give an un-bias opinion before I became a Solara owner, and I would not have gone by reputation that Toyota makes a superior product, only to have a reality check later. I do still like the way my Solara looks, in certain light, and as far as my I.T. buddies, they all drive different cars, none Toyota (maybe a Lexus or two), and some drive a different car daily, to suit their mood, or the season! As far as envious stares, I think not! Would like to think so, but dont get 'em around here.

    Happy Motoring!
  • curlyqcurlyq Posts: 54
    I owned a new 1999 Camry for 11 months prior to buying my new 2000 Solara. There is NO comparison in the paint quality between these cars made less than a year apart. The Camry had few chips, comparable to other brands I've owned. The Solara however, has the worst paint quality of any car I've owned. That's the facts. Plain and simple!
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    Over on the Sienna board, we discussed fuel filters. There seem to be TWO filters on the Sienna. One is a "fuel pump filter," which is inside the fuel tank. The other is on the fuel line, under the hood, in easy reach.

    Maybe someone could check their Solara; please correct me if I have this wrong. I think the "liefetime" filter is the one located at the pump, while the line filter could be changed if need be...
  • silversolarasilversolara Posts: 113
    I began checking this Solara forum in '99, and back then there were very few complaints about the 'new' Solaras, and a few differing opinions from the Honda Accord coupe owners. There would have been very little for you to base a judgement. Back then, the complaints were about the itty-bitty coin box and the lack of 'road-feel'. Your car, by far, is the most problematic that I've read in this forum.
    I'm not a big believer in 'bullet-proof' reliability from any carmaker, hence, I don't push for imports vs. domestics, or Toyota vs. anybody else. I'm just very happy with my car.
    Is there any possibility that you can trade yours in and get an Acura CL from a different dealer? Or perhaps try the Infiniti G35 or Seabring?
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    Very interesting information about the fuel filters. I'll have to check it out.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    change in the engine compartment one (most likely it is located underneath the air box) about every 60,000 miles.

    The frist time it's done, let a mechanic do it, as the flare nuts are on extrememly tight.

    The filter at the dealership should cost you $30. A Purolator filter should cost about $20.
  • jraysjrays Posts: 20
    Webguyster. It seems we struck a nerve, but you are on here constantly berating the Solara and some of us a little tired of it. I researched my car for several months, so I got exactly what I wanted and there were no surprises. I'm very happy with my 2000 SLE and have had zero problems. It's a shame you didn't have the same experience. As for my rants, there are none. I went back and checked my posts. I think you should go back and read all your posts and you may detect a trend. You are entitled to your opinion and I'm sure we will continue to hear it, but don't expect the rest of us to just sit back and let you run down Solaras like they are all as bad as yours. Not gonna happen. You're very unhappy with the car. Why keep it? Is the aggravation you feel you are going through worth it? I know you like having the last word, so have at it...
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    No chance of trading, as I paid this baby off, and am not willing to take a 60-70% loss on depreciation, after 2 years, and 36,000 miles. I plan to drive it 'til the wheels fall off (not just the center wheel hub covers on the 16 inch alloys, that don't stay on), even if I get another car, and keep it as a second. If I switched brands, to say Acura, or Infinity, or even DC, I would probably loose more, and get the speech about not many people come to a , to buy a Toyota. Toyota may at least give a reasonable trade value to maintain me as a customer, or at least make it look good on paper, like there repeat buyer program, if there really is such a thing. But reality is it's a keeper, as my past trends of buying new cars every 2 years is waistfull the older I get. Yeah, I remember the coin box days! Mine isn't flush, and is too small, but that is not an issue, like it was for ral(screen name)or something like that!?!

    Jrays, dude, 1 word for ya'...PROZAC!

    Curlyq, I spoke to Bruce Ertmann, from the sludge forum, and he told me that the paint is different, than the other Toyotas, and Lexus. It is a common Solara compliant.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    Of the 7 Toyotas that I've owned, 2 were Camrys and I currently have a Solara. Curlyq is correct about the paint. The paint on my Solara is really bad, uneven (orange peel) and chips easily. However, in just about every other way the Solara is superior - better styling (I know this is subjective), better sound proofing, better handling, more comfortable (much less tiring on a long trip), better sound system. Also, the 97 and later Camrys have a certain plainness that the Solara doesn't.

    Webguyster. Don't feel that you've been mislead about Toyota and made a mistake buying one. Every objective measurement of reliability (JD Power, Consumer Reports, etc.) shows that Toyota is one of the most trouble free cars made. This is NOT the same as every Toyota being trouble free. All it means is that a buyer is less likely to have trouble with a Toyota.
  • luphyluphy Posts: 31
    Was browsing through the general maintenace manual yesterday and saw that it was recommended that the differential oil be replaced at 24 months (along with coolant, ATF, air filter). Has anyone had their diff oil changed - can it be done at home - if so, where is the drain located and what fluid is required? Thanks.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The differential is connected to the transmission. After draining both the transmission and differential, they both fill through the transmission fill hole. One overflows into the other. They must be done at the same time.
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    And if it's like the Sienna, you should have the engine running while draining...
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    My dealer recommends I change the engine coolant. Do you, and if so, what are your change intervals?
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    It's probably best to change out coolant at least every 2 years. Toyota's coolant is very good, but expensive; an alternate could be Havoline.

    (If you have the 1MZ (V-6) engine, there are two coolant drains on the engine besides the radiator drain. Be sure to have some thread sealant on hand if you remove these.)
  • curlyqcurlyq Posts: 54
    Well I heard from "the office of the President of Toyota" today regarding my Solara's paint chipping problem. 23,000 miles and nearly 150 paint chips while driving in the Chicago suburbs and Toyota tells me my paint is NOT defective and therefore, not covered under there warranty. However they were kind enough to fax me an arbitration form. Some customer service? Guess I will have to look into other options including class action lawsuit and local TV Station "Problem Solvers". Customers should not accept this poor quality of paint when spending 20-30K on a new vehicle.

    Webguyster, since you are in my area, are you interested in pursuing Channel 2 problem solvers?

    Any other owners interested in pursuing a class action lawsuit over the paint chipping issue?

    Lastly, has anyone gone through arbitration with Toyota? Anyone won?

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Just stick to Toyota.

    Even if Havoline, Dexcool, etc...look somewhat red, it's not a good idea to mix coolant formulation as they may not be compatible with each other. This can (and has) damage many cooling systems in the past.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    I would, however I have a new hood after a skid under a truck, with WORSE looking aftermarket Sherwin Williams paint, at a Toyota Cetified bodyshop, in Dundee, owned by Resnick Autogroup! Chances are if you are in the area, you may have bought your car at the same dealer. Not sure if media cares, cuz they are supported by advertising, but I'm at

    P.S. Watch out, cuz theres a couple lurkers that jump on you in this thread if you give your actual experiances, or opinions with this over-priced, "Lexus like quaility" (LOL) car!

    As far as arbitration, from reading the various forums, I have not heard of anyone ever winning.

    IMO, you seem to be somewhat like myself. I would not mind the defects this vehicle has, if it were not as expensive as it was. If it were MSRP'd at $15,000, like a Corolla, I would be singing songs of praise, for the money, chips, and all. But the fact is, it cost much more, and factor in tax, and the bells and whistles, and you have a $30,000 plus "sport coupe", and not the "relaiable Camry genes car" Edmunds totes it as.

    For you and myself, we live in the middle of the country, with 4 seasons, so for others reading, they may not understand, like, say, if they are in sunny California, or some other place that, that this car, IMO, just doesn't hold up as well as other cars I have had, at least paint quailty wise.

    I do still like the simple, swoopy lines of the design!
  • silversolarasilversolara Posts: 113
    How bad is the driving around the Chicago area?I'm coming from the Philadelphia/SoJersey area (practically no snow this winter/drought conditions right now), so I am under the delusion that Boston has the worst roads/driving conditions/drivers.

    WebG - $30K w/ bells and whistles? You mean for the convertible, right?

    If you guys were able to re-do your choices, which cars would you get?

    by the way - i won't join you over the paint lawsuit; a LOT of other makes with the same environmentally-safe paints have the same chipping probs. the touch-up paint doesn't bother me... but then i don't have 150 chips.

    however, i will wish you both good luck if you decide to try the legal route.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    Chicago is the L.A. of the Midwest. Only nobody usually getting shot at, like in L.A.. Boston is easy driving compared to Chicago. Don't know if this is a universal joke about the seasons and driving conditions, but we have winter, and construction! The highway system was built for 2 million'ish people in the metro area, not 8 million'ish!?!

    $30G's for the car. If you, or me, figure multiple taxes, title, plates, warranty, and even finance. Yeah! Look at your paperwork, cuz unless you got a REALLY, REALLY good deal, ask yourself, "How much all together did this car cost me!?!"

    If I were to re-do my choices, I would have kept my 1997 Dodge Avenger, Indy RED!!! It would now have 72,000 miles on it, and I would have saved the cash! For all the minor things I did not like about that car, that resulted in me trading at 36k, the Solara is far worse build quality, IMO. As for the Avenger, it ended up being scrapped by Dodge, and rebadged Sebring Coupe, after its 5 year run!

    Anyone see the 2003 Solara yet?
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