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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer

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    ckb2004ckb2004 Member Posts: 11
    Heads up for those of you having on going problems with your 2004 SLE convertible top and front end problems. I have been refused warranty work twice for this car once for the top less then a year after I bought it. Finally got a new top by going to a new dealer...and now a toyota dealership in Seattle, wa has refused to look at the front end for alignment , third time, and the leaky top...am now going to start legal proceedings..anyone else having these problems? I have had a new strut , rear wheel bearing, and all the front end warranty work done., and some interior frame work done. car only has 22000 miles on it when this took place a week ago. Because I am a flight attendant commuting between two states for work, I need to be able to have warranty work honored where ever I am....Thank you
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    mstree01mstree01 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for posting the details on the back up camera. Now I know what I'm going to ask for for Christmas!
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    dooerdooer Member Posts: 3
    Bridgestone tires on our 2004 solara are in need of replacement. The car has 17000 miles. Has anyone else gotten such lousy mileage out of these tires?
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    jbug32jbug32 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought this convertible a week ago, and after one rainstorm noticed that some water leaked inside the driver's side window.
    The car is at the dealership now because the convertible top was not operational, and the tabs which the top goes into had to be realigned. I thought this is what had caused the small leakage, but now I am beginning to wonder. I will repost after I get the car back.
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    tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Did you rotate them? Also, what was the psi in the tires? Ours has 18k on it and there is about 1/2 of the tread left. I keep the preasure up around 35psi though. The last tiem the car was serviced by Toyota, the car came back with 24psi in all four corners...
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    codylabradorcodylabrador Member Posts: 18
    I really like the looks of the Solara convertible but would like to see a factory or aftermarket TRD option for dual tailpipes. Do any of you owners or Toyota followers know if a dual tailpipe option will be offered in the near future?
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    madtippermadtipper Member Posts: 6
    I'm from massachussets and the snow should be coming soon I'll be happy to post a letter for you once we get a nice big snow strom
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    madtippermadtipper Member Posts: 6
    I bought a 2006 SLE and I love it my first car ever I always had a truck but I dont need one anymore so I bought a car I agree with you on visibily I had a ram and now the car took me a while to get use to it I still wish you could remove the back seat head rest also I'm trying to find rain gutter for the window I hate when the water comes in on me when I open the window
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    kittylady5kittylady5 Member Posts: 13
    I got one for my 05. It looks like it was put together backwards. the nice part should face the front. I saw one on the Toyota website and mine looks wrong. Also when I get to speeds over 120km/hour it flops backwards. it does tilt backwards for easy backing up. It just won't stay up. I'm frustrated with it and had holes drilled into my car for it. The service dept. were swearing at it trying to get it installed.
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    kittylady5kittylady5 Member Posts: 13
    Mine looks like it was put together backwards and it flops backwards at high highway speeds.
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    kittylady5kittylady5 Member Posts: 13
    Mine flops back too at highway speeds. Maybe this is why it is being discontinued. The screen is supposed to stretch back and hook on either side of the headrests. The picture is wrong. I noticed that compared to mine, the picture has the nice finished frame facing the front seat. Mine looks like it is backwards.
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    plengpleng Member Posts: 14
    Not sad any more! One month after our 2004 SE gave its all protecting us from an errant pick up truck (message 857), we just drove home its exact match (except the new one is an SLE).

    Thanks to Ricj, DIMITER, and newmoo... who sent suggestions on how to find the color combo I wanted.

    The two local dealers were not very resourceful in finding what I wanted (red w/dark stone) and said that absolutely none were available. It seems they were only looking in their "zone", and indeed none were available there. I got on the Internet and found Toyota dealers who use AutoTrader and phoned a half dozen in cities less than 300 miles from my home. Two matches were fairly far away, but one dealer two hours away (and not in our "zone")said he could get one diverted to his dealership if I wanted it - and this worked out.

    Moral of this story - go beyond the efforts of your local dealer if he is not really looking everywhere for what you want.
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    ejohnson2ejohnson2 Member Posts: 1
    I have also had the same problem.I am just over 20K on my bridgestones and they will probably need replacement by 25k, if i am lucky. I am looking for a good replacement for the 215/55/17 that are on right now. Anyone know if you can put on 215/50/17 or maybe even a 225/55/17. Not much selection in the 215/55/17 area.
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    poofgonpoofgon Member Posts: 4
    To all,
    Just bought my car (Toyota Solara SLE Convertible 2006) on Friday Nov 4th. WOW, what a wonderful car! Never owned a convertible but always wanted one. I went to the dealer and found two convertibles. One a 2004 (didn't want a 2004 after reading about the recalls) and one a 2006 (white.. tan top). I test drove it and just fell in love with it. However, I didn't want a white convertible but looking for the light blue with charcoal interior. Two days later it was at the dealer waiting for me to drive it away. You don't see to many of these cars on the street right now anyway. Fun to drive and worth the money!
    Poofgon
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    ktremktrem Member Posts: 9
    lol
    I had the same problem with the rain dripping in on me as I opened the window. Please let me know if you find rain gutters!!!
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    poofgonpoofgon Member Posts: 4
    ktrem,
    I haven't had the problem with rain dripping into the car with the window down yet but it really hasn't rained very hard.
    I was wondering if you treated the top of your convertible when you bought it and what you used.
    Also, did you buy sensors for backing up? I heard they were about $300.00 and wonder where I should purchase them.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks.
    Poofgon
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    masksavmasksav Member Posts: 13
    Here's my take on a few of the post and questions.

    I have a 2006 SLE with the Navigation System and 1000 miles on it.

    After a lot of research here and the Solara Guy web site I found the best option for backup issues is to install the Eclipse BEC-104 camera. It's plug and play and cost me $191.00 on E-Bay. When the car is put in reverse the picture of what's behind you displays on the Nav screen display.

    As to the top I first cleaned it with Ragg Topp cleaner then treated it with Ragg Topp protectant which I sprayed on in 3 coats. The kit was $30.00 on-line and is sold by 1/2 dozen places.

    As to the paint and interior Zaino.

    As for performance I have had no problems......no slugishness....no rough shifting....no hesitation...and my gas mileage is about 23mpg mostly in town.

    The last thing is the rain dripping in. I have owned many soft top convertables and they all do leak in when you open the windows. This is something you just have to live with as there is no way to attach a rain gutter. What you have to think about is how great it is to ride around on a 70 degree day with the sun shining and the top down. This makes putting up with a few rain drops worth it.
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    ktremktrem Member Posts: 9
    great car!!!
    i purchased ragtop - it is awesome!
    I found backup sensores on ebay for $100
    they work great
    I am use to the back view now also, i just take extra time backing up and looking good
    let me know what you do!!
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    poofgonpoofgon Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for your help!
    I will check out the Ragg Topp cleaner and the backup sensors soon.
    Since you also have a 2006 and navigation system your SAT must be Sirus. Correct? Did you get any "free" subscription months with yours when you bought it? I tried to use my SAT button over the weekend and it doesn't work. The dealer told me to call "XM" and they would give me 3 months free but I have Sirus. Anyway, the car is going back to the dealer for a few minor details and you bet the SAT will be up and running when I get her back. :)
    Poofgon
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    poofgonpoofgon Member Posts: 4
    I will...Thanks
    Poofgon
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    pepperatlpepperatl Member Posts: 1
    Just got my 2006 SLE Convertible with the navigation and XM radio. Love the car but I'm bothered by the XM radio display of song and artist which truncates names to 10 characters and spaces, even though the display appears designed to hold 30-40 characters. I know it's not XM, as my wife's Honda display more. I feel like i'm always playing "Name That Tune". Anyone have any idea? Can it be changed?
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    masksavmasksav Member Posts: 13
    I have XM which was an option on my car. If you dont have the tuner the SAT button does nothing. The dealer gave me a free 6 month subscription.
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    rednebredneb Member Posts: 5
    I have owned a 2004 Solara SLE with traction/anti-skid control since April of 2004. I drove all though the winter of '04/05 here in snowy New Jersey. I find traction contol to be very good and the skid control to be outstanding. You can't make this car lose control in the snow. I like trying to throw it into a skid in an empty snowy parking lot. A little 'beeping' sound comes on to let you know the skid control is working. The rear end will not come around. (I think the proper Toyota name for this is Vehicle Dynamic Stability Contol) The application of technology to automobiles is impressive.
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    thebugthebug Member Posts: 294
    Poofgon, I've had my 06 SLE convertible for about 90 days now (picked it up on 5 Seo 05), and I love the way it drives. Since I picked it up, we've had about 60 days of good top down weather (75-93 degrees), and record November temps. But, in recent days, it has gotten cold.

    The good thing is, it will only be cold for about 2.5 - 3 months. We get about 9 months of good top down weather here, and it rarely rains (maybe in August). The summer temps are a little too hot (100-110+) for top down driving during the day, but nights are perfect.

    I'm going to take it out today (top up of course) to see how it fares in the cold. It will be it the forties (that's cold for us) today, and in the thirties when the sun goes down (burrr).

    I got the black w/black top, charcoal int. What color top did you get? And, you're right, you don't see many of these out there (that's a good thing). I've only seen about six or so. and never one in light blue.

    I will only drive it on a rainy day if I get caught out there, but never intentionally. I have a car that I use just for rainy days because of the way it handles in the rain, and besides, it's parked outside anyway. I wish you many top down days, and much success with your new convertible.

    thebug...
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    pjksrpjksr Member Posts: 111
    Hi everyone. My wife should replace her 1988 Honda Prelude soon, and she would like a convertible. The Solara is her top choice in value and looks and would compliment our 2002 Sienna.

    The one thing that stops her, though, is the transmission. She'd like a manual-only, so has put off looking at the Solara for now, despite my encouragement.

    What are your opinions on the Solara's transmission, if one wished to use it as a manual transmission? Also, there isn't a clutch pedal, is there?

    I appreciate any comments. FWIW, I'd think she's grow to like the automatic transmission, but, but... :confuse:
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    resoloraresolora Member Posts: 1
    Help,I dont know what to do. I have a 2000 Toyota Solara V6. Which I bought at 28k. I was just told I need a new engine. First of all the reason I brought it in the dealer was cause in the morn It smokes is blue but it does not smoke anymore that day and also it does not do it every day. And I did not was not normal. There was no check engine light on or anything. I am at 58K and I do have regular oil checks they said since they found slung in the engine its my fault and they warranty is no good unless I come up receipts of all my oil changes. Is this true. Not only that they want me to auth a tear down for 900.00. I still have payments on the car. is the true is there anything I can do to prolong the life of the engine. I have been told 3 times it the valve cover seal that needs to be replaced not the engine?
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    madtippermadtipper Member Posts: 6
    Well New England had it first big snow storm and it was the frist time I drove my 06 SLE skid control outstanding braking outstanding climbing a big hill no way! I was all over the place I suppose Im so use to my 4x4 that I had and trade for my 06 I expect the same climb not the same :cry: so it looks like I'll have to find a beet up truck for the winter because I live in a hilley town.
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    dubyadubya Member Posts: 4
    Are you using snow tires? I live in New England also and have seen over a foot of snow last week. I didn't drive on a lot of hills but I had no problems using Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires on my '06 SLE. It is clearly no 4x4 but it seem to go pretty well in 3-4 inches of snow.
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    mke60mke60 Member Posts: 18
    I drove my new Solara for the first time in a foot of snow last week. It handled hills beautifully. No special tires - just the ones that came with the car. In fact, I went around several SUVs and trucks that were spinning and getting no traction on the hills I have to drive on. I love the traction control. Tried to fish tail on purpose a few times, but the car just wouldn't do it. Also love the "manual" transmission feature as I learned to drive in winter weather on a manual transmission.
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    socalgrl05socalgrl05 Member Posts: 2
    I recently went from a standard to an automatic solara convertible. I started out like your wife, wanting only a stick, but the convertible i liked best and heard the best things about was by far the solara, so I just went for it. And honestly, I hardly even miss my stick. The solara has great pickup and is fun to drive w/out needing a standard transmission (unlike my last car). It has a shifting option but no clutch, and it's kind of like a stick for people who can't actually drive one, so it's really not that fun, I don't use it much. but it's nice to be able to downshift once in awhile. but honestly this car is so enjoyable, you don't even need the stick!!! ;)
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    socalgrl05socalgrl05 Member Posts: 2
    I leased a red '06 Solara SLE in early Nov. so I have had it about 6 weeks. I absolutely love it, the interior is awesome and it's so cute on the outside, it reminds me of the Lexus SC 430 but for 1/2 the price. The one issue I'm having is that after a couple of weeks I started feeling like it was shuddering frequently, mainly at lower speeds, but not necessarily when I was going over bumps or anything.
    I took it in and they said that the tires were out of balance, so they rotated and balanced them. It's better but I still feel like it bumps more than it should. Is it me? I drove a 98 civic before this for 5 years, so I don't know if there is something about the suspension that is taking getting used to? Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions?
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    solarafunsolarafun Member Posts: 2
    Yes my Solara Convt. leaks also. Especially on the passenger side. My wheel well fills up. My question to you is when you wash your car is it parked on a hill? If so let me know and I'll tell you what I have come up with.
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    kyconekycone Member Posts: 2
    I've read the posts on this boards for the last two months and am thinking about buying a Solara convertible as more of a toy to drive around town with my wife and 9 and 11 year old daughters. I live in Cincinnati so 4 inches of snow on the ground is a blizzard and don't foresee any issues in the snow having read the posts

    I'm concerned to hear about the roof leaking at times and wanted to know how big of a problem that is or is it just more of a minor nuisance?

    Do other people have problems with the shuddering/stability of the car at low speeds or over bumps as some of the reviews have suggested.

    MANY THANKS FOR ANY INSIGHT AS A 48 Mo. LEASE IS A LONG TIME TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS. THANKS!!!
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    masksavmasksav Member Posts: 13
    Sorry to tell you guys with all of these problems but I have known! I'm in Central Fl so when it rains it rains heavy I HAVE NO LEAKS. Of course when you open the door when the top is wet, water will drip in as there are no rain gutters, but every convertible made does this.
    Good luck and Happy Holidays.
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    anniezmaanniezma Member Posts: 20
    I fully agree...I'm also from New England and bought my 2006 in April of this year...I love it!!! We've had a couple snow storms here and it's handled beautifully. I've also not had any problems with water or leaks. I still get lots of 'looks' too...even with the top up!!
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    kyconekycone Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the feedback! I just test drove the SLE an hour or so ago and am leaning towards getting it. The residuals are so high on Toyotas, it makes the lease so cheap vs. the competition. Thanks again.
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    tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    My wife has one of the first '04's made. It has about 20k on the clock now and we live in Southern Connecticut. First, the car is very good in poor weather. It has VSC, yet I have never seen the VSC light illuminated. Just last week we had a decent day so I washed the car in the driveway. While I was drying it I noticed a few water dribles on the inside of both the driver and passenger windows. The water seems to be coming from the apex where the a-pillar meets the roof. Not enough to panic over, it is afterall a convertible. If there is an adjustment to be made, the dealer can do it at the next oil change. Other than that, the car has been completely problem free....
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    spokanecalspokanecal Member Posts: 9
    My wife and I own a 2004 SLE Convertible with VSC that was manufactured in May, 2004 and we bought it in June, 2004. We love the car and have had absolutely no problems. However, our car has been babied. It has only 8500 miles on it and as soon as we get snow and ice, it stays parked in our heated garage and we drive our 1999 RAV4 4wd.
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    a58a58 Member Posts: 15
    I brought an 06 SLE convertible in April, now has 13,300 miles. In my previous post I talked about an alignment issue with my top that was fixed by the dealer. No problems since and no leaks; however, has with tryesmoker, I do get a little dribble in the same area when washing the car, no issue with it and it does not happen when raining. Must be from the hose pressure.

    I have had the VSC kick in when a truck blew a tire in front of me going about 75mph on the Howard Franklin bridge here in Tampa. For those who live here, you know it is a common for things to be flying on this bridge besides cars. Anyway, I had to make a severe move to avoid the flying rubber, the car handled unbelievably. It was has if I wasn't driving. I saw the VSC light come on and think, although not sure since I was in a little panic, heard a beep also. The car kept on the road with no sway or loss of control. It did not over steer. It felt like the moves you see watching an Indy car moving in and out of traffic.

    I will not buy another car without this option.
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    mauleskyrocketmauleskyrocket Member Posts: 1
    On my 2006 solara cnvtble I get between 24-25 mpg based on the odometer and fillup amount. The computer is about 2 mpg more optimistic. Yet when I fill the car, I never get a reading above 234 miles for "range". This clearly is wrong. I wonder if this is a bad computer or bad software or both. Thx.
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    masksavmasksav Member Posts: 13
    Has anyone had any luck finding an Ipod interface that will work on a 2006 SLE with navigation & XM. I've bought 2 and neither work (USA-spec & Blitzsafe)You can hear the XM playing in the background when you are listening to the Ipod
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    solarafunsolarafun Member Posts: 2
    I honestly have to say that I love my Solara. Yes I would by another one. My roof leak problems were cause by my local Toyota Dealership. They misdiagnosed a problem thinking my top was the problem and it has never been right since. I have been very happy with my car otherwise. Since my car has been back and forth to the dealership (trying to fix the roof) I have had the opportunity to drive the newer model Solara several times. I liked everything about except that the back window is much smaller. They also added headrests in the back seat which restricts your view even more. Other than that... Nice car!
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    larrymitlarrymit Member Posts: 80
    I also agree. Only time I ever had a leak was when I took it through a "brushless" car wash, which is not recommended by Toyota.
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    wjovelwjovel Member Posts: 17
    I absolutely love the car, I have one question about satellite radio, I know they come pre wire for XM Radio so you can play it thru the radio. I want to install Sirius satellite radio on my car can it be done? Or if I Install Sirius I wont be able to listen on my radio. Thank you in advance for your responses and advice.
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    anniezmaanniezma Member Posts: 20
    I've handwashed my car since I got it last April, but now with the cold and the sand and the salt...I was forced to find a 'clean haven'...I tried the brushless carwash and it came out great and I didn't have any problems with water leaking!! My sister has a BMW convertible and takes it through cloth (ScrubADub) carwashes all the time...I wasn't that brave. One question though..if Toyota recommends against the brushless carwashes is it because of the power of the sprays? How else would you clean your car in the Northeast if not through a carwash..does Toyota recommend cloth carwashes???
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    mke60mke60 Member Posts: 18
    I, too, during the cold weather take my Solara through a car wash that only uses cloth brushes (Wash Depot). I have had my car since March, 05. I have had no problems and the car doesn't leak. This car wash has water jets that shoot down at the car so it is basically like driving through a hard down pour of rain.
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    vinmontevinmonte Member Posts: 1
    I am considering buying my first convertible and was looking at the solara today. My sister owned a bmw convertible and she warned me that after a year you get a lot of noise in the cabin of the car. I was wondering if this is a bmw issue or if the solara also will have the same issue. It really bothers me when an interior has rattles from loose hardware etc. If someone who owns a solara convertible could advise I would appreciate it.
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    larrymitlarrymit Member Posts: 80
    After a year and a half and 22,000+ miles, I don't have any rattles. But don't expect a convertible to ever be as quiet as a hardtop.
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    ktremktrem Member Posts: 9
    Does anyone know of any screensavers for the 2006 solara convertible?
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    masksavmasksav Member Posts: 13
    "Has anyone had any luck finding an Ipod interface that will work on a 2006 SLE with navigation & XM. I've bought 2 and neither work (USA-spec & Blitzsafe)You can hear the XM playing in the background when you are listening to the Ipod "


    I thought I would bring this one back up as I have yet to find one that works. Anybody had any luck?
    :confuse:
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