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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer



  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Sidewall failure is usually related to potholes or too close encounters with curbs etc. A co-worker had a 9-3 conv. with the sport package and this became routine for him due to harsh New England roads- or lack of them..
  • plengpleng Member Posts: 14
    I have found the windscreen to be very effective in reducing wind turbulance on the driver and front seat passenger. With the windscreen up, top down, and front windows up, my 5'-1'' wife's hair is barely moved at speds up to 60 mph. With the side windows lowered, there is more air into the car, but not the violent blast I have seen on other convertibles. The windscreen removes easily and can be stored in a zipper bag provided so you have several choices based on how you use the windscreen. I believe windscreens are common on newer roadster sports cars such as the Honda S2000. The windscreen has greatly contributed to my enjoyment of the car.

    The instructions indicate the windscreen should not be used if there are passengers in the rear seat.
  • plengpleng Member Posts: 14
    Does anyone know the proper way to wash the top? I don't want to use a cleaner or soap that will harm it.
  • toppertopper Member Posts: 13
    Dealer called us as well and said that the cables were in. We have an appointment Tuesday morning to take the car in. They said they would need the car for two days.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Dude, calm down & turn your caps lock off..
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Post #267 refers to prior post deleted for spamming and soliciting, which is verboten in Town Hall forums.

    thank you

    Shifty the Host
  • rksolararksolara Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the comments pleng, particularly regarding the instructions advising not to use the windscreen with rear seat passengers. My main interest in the windscreen was to reduce turbulence affecting the rear seat passengers.
  • rudy331rudy331 Member Posts: 27
    Dealer replaced both cables on the top yesterday. Everything seems to be great! Definite improvement--very little wind noise and very tight. They completed everything in one day.
  • rudy331rudy331 Member Posts: 27
    We use Meguires car wash on a regular basis with no problem. I have also purchased convertible top cleaner (can't remember the brand) from Advance Auto Parts for more stubborn marks or stains although I haven't had to use it yet. Comes in a spray trigger white bottle with blue label.
  • rudy331rudy331 Member Posts: 27
    I have not yet seen the windscreen. I assume it is being sold at the dealer?? May consider this option.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Without a chalkboard, it is difficult to explain how the windscreen works and how it could not work for rear seat passengers. In a nutshell, the turbulance has to do with a vacuum created by the passenger compartment. As the car moves forward, it creates a backdraft, pulling air around the windshield (and windows when up))and pulling it back into the open area. The only way to effectively block the backdraft os to cover the "hole", which would require, for lack of better terms, a wall behind the rear seats.
    If wind is an issue, save some $$ and buy the coupe.
    As far as washing the top, unless it is dirty, don't. It is fabric, and just like anything fabric, exposure to water and soap and whatever else will only cause the fabric to break down quicker.
    As i recommended awhile ago, visit a local marine store and get some top and canvas cleaner for the occasional spot that may appear.
  • napickardnapickard Member Posts: 4
    Has anyone upgraded the 04 Solara convertible to XM radio.
    I contacted the dealer and heard I need to pay $488 to replace
    the tuner on a car that's suppose to be XM capable.
    Makes no sense to me.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    I cannot speak for cars without navigation but i know the nav equipped cars are already compatible. There is a button on the right side of the screen which activates the service.
  • napickardnapickard Member Posts: 4
    Mine is without the NAVI and I got a quote from the dealer for $600 to add a tuner and antenna; Unbelievable. I think I'll try the Roady2 when it comes out in a few weeks.
  • toppertopper Member Posts: 13
    So the cables worked. That is great news! Thanks for letting us know. Our Solara went in today and should be done tomorrow. I'll let you know if we get the same results.
  • lfmlfm Member Posts: 35
    The Solara Convertible with Nav is not XM capable. It requires the same hardware as a non-NAV does.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    It is capable..in other words the software is in the unit somewhere, whether or not you need any other adapters, antenas etc. is a different story..
    Those with the nav system, has anyone noticed that FM reception is not that great?
  • rgihlergihle Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2004 sle and have been reading your postings since before I got the car (I couldn't test drive one because there were none in my area until mine). I love the car and the only problem is the top. The dealer was wonderful (although I did receive a lot of teasing and disbelief about the wind noise before they double checked. Yet, their disbelief did not stop them from double checking). They contacted Toyota and ordered cables (thanks in major part to my knowing that there was a problem due to your postings- I used to have a LeBaron and there was less windnoise there than on my SLE. That's how they knew something was up so I brought the car in). Toyota is making sure they replace both sides.
    So thanks for the info. I will keep reading to see how it goes and if there are any other things I need to be aware of :-)
  • napickardnapickard Member Posts: 4
    I went back to the dealer this morning to complain about the misleading window sticker. It says it's XM compatible and requires a subscription and an antennae. Only when you look into the owners manual do you see a tuner/receiver ($488 for the part) is also required. Buyer beware! Otherwise luv the car.
  • diver577diver577 Member Posts: 3
    My Solara Convertible has a NAV system and I had the XM system installed. The dealer charged about $690. Initially the dealer put the antennae in the trunk (not the best place for XM reception) They relocated it on to the trunk lid, it works much better now. The XM is great I have it at home and in a new GMC Yukon XL.
  • sf77sf77 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyong know how the two rear power windows on the 2004/2005 Solara Convertible controlled and where the buttons are located?
  • diver577diver577 Member Posts: 3
    The only way I have found is to use the all up/down next to the convertible open and close. The front windows can be separately controlled on the door handle the rear windows can only be controlled with the all up/down button.
  • toppertopper Member Posts: 13
    Right after I posted my last message, Toyota called and said the car was ready. So it actually only ended up taking one day to replace the cables. Toyota seems to have come through on this. The repaired top seems to be working perfectly so far. Wind noise has been markedly reduced and it fits on to the window correctly. After waiting for 8 weeks were a little worried, but now am very happy with the new ride! Thanks to all for keeping up the posts!
  • sf77sf77 Member Posts: 2
    Wow that really sucks! I e-mailed Toyota back in 2003 and told them that I thought an automobile that costs over $30K should at least have a button for each rear window control. There are times, if you have a couple of people in the back seat, that one may want some air while the other may not. They agreed with me and I thought the new model would have corrected this primitive approach; but alas, your response tells me they didn't listen to any feedback.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Huh? Who cares. I sure am not taking that car if i plan to be riding with adults in the back seat anyhow..If your backseat passengers don't like it..tell em to take the shoe leather express to their next destination....
  • parkgtparkgt Member Posts: 4
    As has been suggested in some other posts the best pricing seems to be at the smaller dealerships in the medium sized towns.

    Living in western Arkansas I emailed and called over twenty dealers in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, KC, Dallas, Little Rock, Phoenix and many in between. Finally found the best deal in Conway, AR. I purchased a Red Gray/Black SLE with a MSRP of $31,281 for $29,125 OTD with all the details handled over the phone in less than 30 minutes.

    It delivers in a week and my wife is very excited to get a convertible as she has wanted for years.

    This is the first higher quality convertible for under $30,000 I have found in several years of looking. I sold an Infiniti G35 Coupe to get it for her. Hope she likes it!
  • mickygmickyg Member Posts: 4
    I just placed an order for Solara conv SE and had a few questions..
    -I chose the cosmic blue with black top without actually seeing it ..anybody have any impression of that color combo?
    - they told me i couldn't order the NAV system with an SE model...is that correct?
    - is the sound on the cd player still good if you don't upgrade to the JBL system?
    I got mine thru a local dealer in Asheville, NC and they simply take $1,000 off the MSRP so I got it for 25,724 (i only took the mats as an option)
  • toppertopper Member Posts: 13
    Spoke too soon. Seems that the wind noise has been replaced by a rattle in the top from the right rear. Very noticeable rattle that suspiciously sounds like new cables vibrating. Rudy331, have you noticed your repaired top making this noise? Try listening for it next time you drive and let me know if you have a similar rattle. We are going to take the car back to the dealer.
  • solara4solara4 Member Posts: 12
    <<they told me i couldn't order the NAV system with an SE model...is that correct?>>

    I thought someone said on this or another board that you could get it with the other trims but the NAV option which is already over $1K with the SLE trim goes up to almost $3K with the lowest trim. But if you go to http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/2004/camrysolara/models.html and click on interior, the NAV does seem to be only an option with the SLE trim.
  • icangelat03icangelat03 Member Posts: 45
    "I chose the cosmic blue with black top without actually seeing it ..anybody have any impression of that color combo?"

    Mickyg - I ordered the first convertible (SLE) to come out of my local dealership, and because of knowing the owner, got the color changed from black exterior/black top to the cosmic blue/black. I was told that the nearest one (I'm in chicago) was in the Minneapolis area. So far I have not seen another one on the road. I absolutely love the color combination and have received numerous compliments on it. If you are interested, I do have pictures that I could send to you.
  • icangelat03icangelat03 Member Posts: 45
    I have posted this on the general solara discussion with no responses. Just wondering if anyone here can help me out.
    "I recently purchased a SLE convertible, with dark charcoal interior and am disappointed with the "woodgrain" interior, it has a reddish tint that doesn't match anything else inside the car. I have heard that it is possible to replace the panels with silver ones from an SE or SE sport. Does anyone know where I can find more information on this? Thanks"
  • mickygmickyg Member Posts: 4
    Glad to hear the blue cosmic w/ black top looks good. i have not seen a pic anywhere so that would be great if you would e-mail me some pics at: mikegrands@aol.com. thanks!
  • chriskchrisk Member Posts: 1
    I ordered the Cosmic Blue SLE with Black top about two weeks ago. I am dying to see what it will look like. Can you send a pic to cnkinney@comcast.net as well? Thanks!
  • rudy331rudy331 Member Posts: 27
    I have noticed an ever so slight rattle on occasion on the driver's side. I also noticed that they somehow managed to get black grease on the carpet, the back seats and on the tan top on the passenger side. I will be making calls this morning to rectify. Also, you might want to take a look at the interior lining. I noticed that the lining seems to be more pulled away around the perimeter and I can actually pull it back and look up into the top now which I couldn't do before. Also discovered that it attaches with velcro around the back window. Let me know what you find out and I will keep you posted as well. My husband tells me I'm being too sensitive and picky and if I didn't want rattles to buy the hard top.
  • trekrider1trekrider1 Member Posts: 9
    Your husband is off the mark. You're not being picky!Did Toyota give you $1000's off to take the car "with rattles?" NO. And I am sure you paid top dollar for your ride. Bottom line is Toyota needs to fix the top. As for the grease and grime in your vehicle left by the techs, utterly ridiculous. There is no excuse for a car being returned to a customer in that condition. Call the service manager ASAP for a detail job on your car.
  • mfullmermfullmer Member Posts: 773
    Ordered SLE Convertible, Absolute Red/Ivory, Navigation, VSC, Mats.

    There are three on their way in the next couple of weeks and I hope to get one of them!

    Paid MSRP at Marietta Toyota.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Easy there champ....While i agree that having grease on the seats is a bit careless, going in and acting like an [non-permissible content removed] will get you nowhere.
    Remember, we all own early production models to which they are not building that many in total. As a result, the Toyota techs at your dealership are learning on your car. It is not good or bad, it is just the way it is. It is the risk taken on low production models. With persistance and a decent attitude, they will fix your car correctly.
  • trekrider1trekrider1 Member Posts: 9
    Hey Tyresmoker,

    Nowhere did I say go in and act like an [non-permissible content removed] about the grease and grime on the ride, or getting the top taken care of. You just need to be persistant in getting things handled that's all. No need to be a jerk about it; be polite, professional. Obviously Toyota is working on a fix for the top issues and it's going to take some time. Honesty would also help from the service staff. If they don't know the time frame on the fix, tell customers that. Follow up, keep in contact with customers who are reporting problems. Dealers make big bucks in the service department and if they want to keep us coming back they need to be professional in the manner they handle a repair job; warranty covered or not.

    As for the grease and grime... the service manager needs to be aware of these situations. The tech is being paid to do a job, from start to finish. That includes returning my vehicle clean and in the manner it was delivered to them. Hence the word, SERVICE. I am sure you wouldn't want a mess left in your vehicle like this so why should any of the rest of us who take care of our cars?
  • yankees338yankees338 Member Posts: 28
    I'm looking to purchase a 2004 Solara Convertible SLE. I test drove one this morning and wanted to find out how the seats were on a long car trip or over time. Are there many settings? Is there good support? I know that the rear is very roomy for a comvertible, but is that enough to make it confortable for a long car ride?
  • toppertopper Member Posts: 13
    Our dealer managed to get black dirt/grease on our tan back seats too. I looked and the interior lining is pulled away around the perimeter. But to be honest, I don't remember what it was like before. I did not find velcro around the back windows. We've left two messages regarding the rattle to the service manager now with no call back yet. I don't think this is being too picky because it didn't rattle before.... or maybe I just couldn't hear the rattle over the wind noise. I'll let you know what happens.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Do they have one at the amusement park on that ride that goes around and around with the firetruck, motorcycles and the dune buggy? You know the one, with the crazy horn sounds?
    Why i ask is according to other posts that you left, you state that you are 13, so how exactly did you test-drive one the other day?
  • rgihlergihle Member Posts: 7
    I was supposed to bring my car to the dealer tomorrow to have the cables changed. After reading your posts, I contacted the dealer. Apparently I was already on their call list becuase Toyota has come out with a new part for the top (I dont know if it is in addition to the cable replacement or instead of), but it does mean that fixing the top is a continuing process at Toyota. I am rescheduled for next week- the new part has not come in yet. Your dealers should be aware of this too, or should call Toyota to get the parts for you. I told my dealership to let me know if we need to reschedule--- that I would rather have it be right then have it back fast. Hope this helps. Let me know if you find anything else out.
  • mfullmermfullmer Member Posts: 773
    If you "test drove" one, why would you not know if there were many "settings"? On that note, settings is just a term that means where the seat sits. Any car has that. If you are looking for how many adjusments it has, the Toyota site is a good place got look.

    I think it's great to become an informed auto enthusiast at a young age (I've been one since age 10 and it has helped a lot. Too bad no internet then :-( ) However, dude, get real, ask intelligent questions and be up front about them. Most people here (although there are many here just to boost their ego) are happy to talk and answer any question related to cars!

    Happy riding.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    I think they look really good. I spent some serious seat time in good 'ole I-95 beach traffic a few weeks ago and noticed a bit of soreness once i reached my destination.
    Lack of a power passenger seat and no pre-sets is more of an issue than anything though.
  • mfullmermfullmer Member Posts: 773
    If you can get a passenger power seat on the Camry, why not the Solara.

    This will be the first car I've had in a long time without memory seats but, if I really think about it, I will be driving it 85-90% of the time so it's not such a big deal.

    Now we just need to get Toyota working on a hardtop convertible version. Bump the price up $5k and I think it would sell like hotcakes!

    I'm getting antsy. I know it's only been since Monday but there were three cars just like I wanted here in the Atlanta area. 1 was presold and my dealer has been calling the other two. I'm afraid they'll be gone. The next batch comes in on 8/8. Don't want to wait that long. Now that I'm waiting every "topless chance" I have makes me more and more anxious. The mornings have been beautiful - low to mid 70's. Perfect weather for commuting topless!
  • norainnorain Member Posts: 8
    Hi, I'm new to the forum.

    I ordered an SLE cvt on Apr 17th. Am told it will come in next week. Long wait. Paid sticker in Massachussetts. Getting Silver/Gray/Black. Any add-ons worth getting, and what are they worth? Extended warranty? Do Toyotas really need them? How about Lo-Jack (anti theft recovery on the East Coast only I believe). Any others?

    By the way, this has been great reading everyone's experience.
  • rgihlergihle Member Posts: 7
    There is only a max 3 year warranty from the factory. With the exception of the extra rust proofing, purchasing extended warranty's depends on your comfort level and the mileage you will put on the car. I have always had convertibles and have always had extended warranties (but I am not mechanically inclined and put about 100-150 miles per day on a car, so it works for me. You might think that high mileage would render an extended warranty unnecessary, but it doesn't. Sometimes the extension covers particular parts which are not covered if you don't have an extended warranty. Even though I have high mileage, I put a lot of stress on a car, so it helps if all parts on my car are covered).
      AS for the rust proofing, in Mass this is necessary. Toyotas come with a basic package, but your dealer should have let you know that the warranty for the basic rust proofing is not valid in states such as Mass (where salt is used). There are a couple of other things it doesn't cover. If you get the extra rust proofing treatment/warranty then you are covered for your state. Check with your dealer.
        Always remember there is a huge markup on the extended warranties, so while sticker might not be negotiable on this car, the warranties are. The dealer makes a lot of money on them.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Rustproofing...huh? When is the last time you saw a car with rust on it? Holy throw your money away...The warranty is not valid? That salesman ate steak that night....
    As far as the warranty, the powertrain is good till 60k. If it does not break by then due to a manufacturers defect, chances are it won't. Do yourself a favor, take the $1k that you would spend on the extended warranty and put it in a separate shoe-box marked "toyota repairs". In about seven years when you send the Toyota packing, you too can enjoy lots o' steak dinners as well!
    Try the windscreen, i am too cheap to buy one as of this moment, but when the first one shows up on ebay, I will be bidding on it. With the windows up, it is not bad but the windscreen would make highway driving very nice.
  • mfullmermfullmer Member Posts: 773
    Don't bother with the rustproofing, no matter where you are. That comment about the warranty not being valid where there is salt is pure rubbish. In fact, the only way to do a job correctly would be to drill holes and inject it which, arguably, can HASTEN rust buildup. With the amount of galvanized metals and the manufacturer rustproofing it is unnecessary to give the dealer this extra profit. That is exactly what it is along with the "paint sealers" and "upholstery protectors".

    If you do feel you need rustproofing, find a body shop to do it properly.

    As far as warranty goes, I won't buy them because I never have a car until the powertrain warranty expires, which is 6 years, not 3.

    These dealers are getting MSRP for these vehicles, better than any other vehicle, so let them be happy with the profit from that.
  • norainnorain Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I'm on the fence about the warranty but am leaning away from it after your comments. If a car starts to give me problems I tend to want to sell it. Covered or not, I don't want to be hung up visiting a service department over and over again.

    I've never paid for rustproofing. In fact, I am considering keeping my existing car so that I can store my SLE for the winter. While it sounds all good on the surface, can garaging for the winter cause any problems? Does it have to be started occasionally, etc?
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