1987 Toyota MR2 for first car?

ausamo2000ausamo2000 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2014 in General
Im thinking of buying a MR2 as my first car.
Im going to go check it out this Thursday but its supposedly in good running condition.
Would this be a good first car? i assume the parts are relatively cheap and i think the rear engine placement would make it harder to work on it?
Tell me anything else about this car that you think would be good for me to know!

this is the MR2 i am going to be looking at


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well there's a lot to look out for on any old car. Basically you want one that looks well-cared for. Many older MR2s have been thrashed to death and when you inspect the actual car it'll be pretty apparent to you if the car has had good maintenance or not. The car you're looking at looks a bit rough, so service records would be important here. Also looks like its been repainted, so you might bring a little magnet along to test for prior body filler/damage.

    These engines are pretty sturdy but you should ask about when the cam belt was last changed. Also check the oil filler cap and dipstick for any signs of head gasket failure (milky look to the oil or oil filler cap). The transmissions are good but they can develop 5th gear problems (pops out of 5th when you let up on the gas) around 100K.

    best thing to do, if you like the car, is to take it into a shop and have a pre-purchase inspection done. At this age, every used car you look at will need some work--it's just a matter of picking out a used car that doesn't need too much, all at once.

    Remember, a $4000 car that needs tires and brakes is a $5000 car.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,693
    These are incredibly simple cars as far as engineering goes, but, yes, they are still a bear to work on because of the constricted space. Common point on these, other than the typical car-type stuff, is the alternator. Rain water collects on the drip tray under the vent of the engine cover and drips right down on the alternator pulley. Telltale sign is a slight rattle while running. Getting that alternator out is not easy, but doable with a lot of patience. I replaced the clutch in about 4 hours and the kit can be bought on ebay pretty cheap, so while not ideal to have to do it, its not all that bad. Of course, the flip up headlights can be a problem, too.

    I agree with shifty. That paint looks awfully shady. Not that it should turn you off. Just look over it closely. When I bought mine several years ago, it had been repainted, had the hood replaced, and had a bad clutch. But I only paid $2k and it had just 114k miles, so no real harm.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

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