How long can I drive my Toyota?

acorn1acorn1 Member Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Jennifer - you should first get someone else to recheck the compression, because if the first mechanic didn't do all the right things, such as remove all the spark plugs and hold down the accelerator pedal when doing the test, he can make a mistake in his measurements.

If the compression is correct and the engine is worn out, then you should find that it is very cheap to replace your engine with a reconditioned one - it should only cost you about $1200 - $1300 or so, and that is a lot cheaper than buying a new car.

However if you do have to replace the engine, I think you should reconsider your driving habits or your car maintenance, because to me a car with only 110,000 miles on it should still be in excellent condition if it was well maintained. Do you change the oil EVERY 6 months? Or are you wearing it out by pulling a heavy load with that Tercel -- like a trailer or caravan -- all the time?


  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    If low compression is in fact your problem, since you're using oil, its probably one of two things:
    your pistons may have holes in them, in which case they'll have to be replaced.
    More likely, your rings, which are metal seals between the piston and the cylinder wall, are worn out. In either case, you'll basically be looking at rebuilding the engine. If you take it to your mechanic to do this, he will take the engine out of the car, take it to a machine shop, have them do the work, and then put it back in the car. You then get stuck with both the mechanic's bill and the machine shop bill. Find a good automotive machine shop, and have them do the work and you will be paying a lot less to have it done.
    Toyotas are the most reliable cars on the road, so I agree with Acorn that you should have gotten a lot more life out of your car. What gives here, Jennifer?
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Go easy on jen. Yes, toyotas are reliable. But in every model it's possible to have a defect. The preceding advice to find a machine shop is sound.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    Find a good shop, and have the leak down test performed. Should be able to diagnose which part is worn.

    Compression isn't that low.... Can you find out what is correct for your motor?

    You could cheat a little and run slightly thicker oil. Also have someone follow you and tell you if they see any smoke. Is the smoke there when you are throttle on or off?

    Start saving for a new one, anyway.....
  • sugardogsugardog Member Posts: 41
    I have never gotten up to 100,000 miles on any car and I bought my first new car in 1965.
    After 7 years and 110,000 miles, frankly, I feel that you got your money's worth from this car, after all you did not pay much for a Tercel.
    I feel what you currently are experiencing is just the beginning. Things which are likely to fail from this point on are:
    wheel bearings, cvjoints, rack & pinion steering,
    alternator, starter, water pump, radiator, heater core, control arm bushings, ball joints, transmission, fuel injection, control module(computer), control sensors, air conditioning, to name most.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Never gotten a hundred thousand? I got 124,000 out of a 78 Grand Marquis, I have a 95 T-Bird with 144,000, and still going, My grandfather had an 84 Silverado with well over 100K (we'll never know for sure cause the odometer broke), and my Grandmother's 92 Bonneville, while only at about 75,000, is still in great shape and is looking good to make 100k or more. While I'll admit every carmaker cranks out a lemon every now and then, Toyotas have the best record in the industry, and getting 200K out of one shouldn't be all that unusual, especially with what we did with a Pair of GM's and a pair of Fords. Almost any car can get more than 100K if the oil is changed every 3,000 miles, ect. ect. Spend a little money on preventative maintainence, and your car will stay happy for years to come.
    dhanley, you're right, I'm probably being to hard on Jennifer. Sorry jen.
  • wenyuewenyue Member Posts: 558
    Getting more than 100,000+ out of an old toyota (pre-90's) is the norm, not an exception. And now (90's and beyond) getting almost 200,000, (in few instances 300,000+ miles) on a Toyota can be achieved.

    The key to any car's long life is (1) careful break-in period for the first 1000 miles, (2) regular and detailed preventive maintainance. (3) a good driving style.

    With all these things, getting 200,000 miles on a Toyota shouldn't be a tough goal to achieve. One of my family friend, has 87 Camry with 186,000 miles on it, and it still runs like a charm (he just can't stop saying good things about it). He is so impressed that he bought a 2000 Toyota Sienna, and convinced his mother to get a 2000 Corolla.

    Good luck you all.
  • countrylawyercountrylawyer Member Posts: 11
    Figure out what's wrong (if anything) with your engine, then fix it if you can afford it. I'm at 216,500 on my 1984 Tercel, and although it looks like the Wrath of God, it still gets 30+ m.p.g. and for seven months out of the year is comfortable to drive (no a.c. since 1989 at least, and the driver's window doesn't roll down any more). I just took delivery of a brand-new car on Friday, but I'm keeping the Tercel as a fall-back.
  • chen2chen2 Member Posts: 3
    Put 225,000 miles on a 90 V6 Camry and then gave it to my daughter. It is still running well. Never had any engine problems, though I did have to replace a brake caliper a few times.
  • jslickjslick Member Posts: 3
    As stated in subject header, my 84 Celica is climbing past 181K. However, I think it's about time to replace the timing chain set, as it's been rattling for a couple of years. AC is still very good; added freon in 8/99, for the first time ever. The cold output sure impressed an Atlanta valet, one recent hot August night. He thought it was much colder than a lot of new cars, probably due to the difference in refrigerant types.

    Parts I've replaced in 10 years:
    - idler pulley
    - water pump
    - alternator (probably because of my Alpine amp)
    - rear wheel bearing
    - radiator (got a new lifetime metal unit for 100 bucks. Now I'll have to go another 300K miles to use it up!)
    - heater fan
    - tie rod ends
    - misc brakes and tires
    - rear shocks
    - exhaust and muffler (twice)
    - fuel pump went out, because I let the car sit idle for too long, and the tank got rusty, thus clogging the check valve

    Total 10-year maintenence cost, excluding the regular 3500 mile oil and lube: about 3500 bucks.

    The part I really hate is that the timing chain set and labor will cost more than the car could sell for. But, after 10 years, I'm ready for a change of style. Funny how I feel unfaithful, in saying that.
    DAMN cheap.
  • rajorshidrajorshid Member Posts: 2
    >>I'm at 216,500 on my 1984 Tercel, and although it
    looks like the Wrath of God, it still gets 30+
    m.p.g. and for seven months out of the year is
    comfortable to drive (no a.c. since 1989 at least,
    and the driver's window doesn't roll down any
    more). I just took delivery of a brand-new car on
    Friday, but I'm keeping the Tercel as a fall-back.

    What brand did you buy? Toyota?
  • dave1442397dave1442397 Member Posts: 12
    My frien just traded her '86 Celica with 246,000 miles, for $500. I think she got her money's worth. Of course, she kinda forgot to save for a new car, so she leased an Audi A4.
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    hid the last post because of the LOOOONG URL. It skews the page. Just click on the blue part "Hidden Response" to see the original post.

    your new host, Bruce
  • jeijei Member Posts: 143
    I got over 279,000 miles on an '85 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon. I bought it new, maintained it regularly, replaced 2 radiators, a clutch, a starter and the power steering rack. I donated it to charity last winter when it blew its head gasket; repair $ outweighed the worth of the car to me. I was sad to see it go, even though it was very rusty. I hope Toyota builds something like the SR5 wagon again; the RAV4 is too cute and didn't feel as solid or responsive.
  • ekoc30ekoc30 Member Posts: 1
    Since 9000 miles my 2000 Camry burns a quart and half of oil every three thousand miles. This was determined to be normal consumption for Toyota. They said one quart of oil every 1200 is acceptable. This was even posted on there web site. I sure wish they would have told me before I purchased the car. My first and last ever Toyota. Going back to Honda.
  • rascal8rascal8 Member Posts: 54
    I thing that rate of usage is considered "acceptable" by the manufacturers but I have owned 3 long mileage Toyotas and none of them burned oil AT ALL. We currently have a Toyota and a Honda and neither burn oil. If I had a car that burns oil like that I would sell it at my first opportunity. It can only get worse.
  • garthgarth Member Posts: 66
    doesn't mean there's something wrong with your car. over the life of the car, you might spend and extra $70 on oil.. big deal.

    otoh, if you're not the type of person who checks the oil every few fillups, you could be in trouble, but who doesn't do that?
  • mazda323mazda323 Member Posts: 66
    ekoc30, I don't think that the oil consumption you are getting with your 2000 camry is acceptable. Of course, Toyota will argue that it is acceptable cause it's cheaper for them. Maybe your car was assembled on a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning. Follow rascal8's advice and sell it asap.
  • toylovertoylover Member Posts: 2
    I think you have nothing to worry about. It is within their published standards. I would just document it with the dealership during an oil change on an R.O. This will safegaurd you if something happens outside of the Warranty Period- 5yrs./60K miles. Toyota would be smarter if they felt you had a problem and fix it instead of finding that the engine dosen't have enough lubrication and then the engine blows!!! Hummm...a oil leak/gasket fix or a entire engine tell me which is cheaper.

    Try to put newspaper under your car to look for leaks. If there is one, point it out to the dealership. I'm sure with a '00 model you are still under the warranty mileage.
  • mazda323mazda323 Member Posts: 66
    It's cheaper for Toyota to ignore the problem and hope nothing blows up before the waranty is over.
    Here's what I would do: drain a little more oil so the car's oil level drops under what is normaly acceptable, then ask for repairs.
  • wenyuewenyue Member Posts: 558
    Oh come on, drain the oil below normally acceptable level? That's not a good thing to do, nor the ethical thing to do.

    I would get it in writing for Toyota or the dealer or whoever said that the oil consumption isn't a problem. So if it ever becomes a problem, you can take it to court.
  • mazda323mazda323 Member Posts: 66
    Not under the minimum level! Only under what is considered normal according to the dealer. As for this being ethical or right, well.... :(
  • cardboardkillcardboardkill Member Posts: 1
    My 87 pickup has 148k miles on it without any major problems--it never burns oil! In fact, I would expect another 50k at least except I was just in an accident and am waiting for the insurance coy to tell me that they are totaling the car. It's a shame since the engine is still fine, just the body that's heavily damaged. I was thinking about buying a Saturn SL2; I actually liked the manual shift and ride more than the corolla. Then I read all about saturns tending to burn oil... Think I'll buy another Toyo.
  • wenyuewenyue Member Posts: 558
    This is an copy-paste from one of the posts I ran across. Thought I would give it a new home.

    "my father has a toyota pickup 1984 that has 675000
    miles on it, he's changed the oil every 3500 miles
    since it was born and the worst thing that happened
    was a distributor cap cracked when he was washing
  • vervekaverveka Member Posts: 9
    I've only had American cars and am now considering Japanese. Not that I'm very dissatisfied with American cars but would like to have a VERY reliable car this time around. After reading all the posts on the HOnda board, I'm scared to buy one. I don't mind doing regular oil changes but I'm not into paying for valve adjustments and other things that are expensive. my friend has a HOnda and said that every 15000 miles HOnda suggests you get this $400 preventive maintenance check - OUCCHH!! From what I've just read, Toyotas don't really require much. Am I right??? Or does Toyota want you to do the same high-cost preventive checks?
  • cp4hcp4h Member Posts: 18
    The best thing you can do to save money is to learn to do the preventive maintanance yourself.
    If you don't want to get your hands dirty, find a corner garage that specialize in Toyotas. Go for those that hired ex-toyota technicians. They usually will do the same maintanance package for 30 to 40 percentage less than what the dealers will charge you.
  • wenyuewenyue Member Posts: 558
    The toyota dealer's service department around the corner suggest a $199 15,000 miles maintaince special. I wondered about that. Even $200 sounds little too much. Looking at the list of the things they do, I have decided to do it myself, and the material should cost me about $30.
  • bmaigebmaige Member Posts: 140
    I have owned three Toyotas, starting in '74 with a Corolla, which we put almost 200,000 miles on and gave to a young couple that had their only mode of transportation wrecked by someone hitting them. Last I heard it was still going and still had enough power to get him a speeding ticket, which it did. We then had a Tercel wagon we drove for 128,000 miles, and I bought a '92 Tercel new to commute to and from work (around 100 miles round trip) that has 164,000 miles on it, and is still going strong while getting around 40 MPG. Right now the AC is out and I didn't think I would have it fixed, but judging by the miles some of you have on yours I've just gotten mine broken in good, so I'm convinced to fix the AC and keep it for a "run around" car. It still drives good, uses not a drop of oil, the engine is strong, and here in the deep south, an AC is virtually a requirement during the summer. That, plus the fact it runs on regular gas and gets lots of mileage helps.
  • mazda323mazda323 Member Posts: 66
    Like your mechanic, I would advise against putting $1200 in your old Tercel. That sounds like a lot of money to spend on a beater. After all, it sounds like your'e planning on running this car into the ground within the next couple of years. Form what I gather from your post, the Tercel still drives good, even if it leaks/burns oil and needs a valve job. It still gets you from point A to point B. Don't put money in the car (unless it's related to safety i.e. brakes).
    When the engine does fail, and, to quote from your post "when it wouldn't go one more inch in any gear", then perhaps you can can reevaluate if it's worth spending money on your Tercel.
    Of course, if you are obsessively attached to your old car, then by all means, treat it to a new engine/paint job/stereo-with-CD... You'll feel good and be much happier!!!
  • dbungard2dbungard2 Member Posts: 4
    Has any Camry owner experienced excessive tire wear on General HP400 high performance tires? I
    only have 19K miles and they are worn out. Toyota
    says that this is typical on the Camry V6s. Since Toyota puts two different tires on the
    Camry V6, General HP400 which gets 20k miles and
    the Dunlop SP4000 which gets 40K miles, shouldn't Toyota put the Dunlop tires on my car at 1/2 the
  • unitunit Member Posts: 1
    My mother-in-law is offering to sell her 1994 Toyota Celica ST 2D hatchback to me for 7,500.
    It has 65,000 miles. It is in good condition.
    She purchased it as a program car and hasn't had any trouble with it.
    However, if I purchase it how many miles can I really expect out of it since it already has 65,000? I would like at least 200,000 miles without any major repairs.
    Advice would be appreciated.
  • lucky20lucky20 Member Posts: 35
    The vehicle you have mentioned, has below normal miles on it for its age & appears to be priced fairly but not a steal. I personaly look for this type of buy. But I have an advantage over you in that I own & operate an independent repair shop & can easily repair my own vehicles.
    With my experience repairing Toyota's & currently owning a 90 2 wheel drive PU,w/148,000 miles, I consider the Toyota line to be one of the better built autos on the road.
    I would be willing to speculate that the above mentioned Celica should take your for a ride to either side of 150,000 total miles. But there is no guarantee. The life of a vehicle is directly related to the stress it experiences. Hard braking, acceleration, & cornering, as well as poor maintenance schedules will dramaticly shorten the life of any auto. I have 3 customers w/over 300,000 miles on their Toyota's,(1 PU & 2 Camry's). All three, not only drive moderately, but stay on top of any needed maintenance.
    Good luck w/your decision.
  • jcdkyjcdky Member Posts: 1
    I own a 95 tercel 5sp Dx with 180000+ miles still going great no oil burning here this car is rock solid and with proper maintenance I'm hoping for at least 200000 more miles before trading.
  • md_techmd_tech Member Posts: 84
    The only thing that had to be replace on my Toyota were the CV boots and the converter seal. The CV boots at 30K and the converter seal at 56K. The converter seal was still warranted it helps to know the right people in the service department...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • ved3ved3 Member Posts: 43
    Dear Kristine,
    based on the way you talked about your Tercel,
    you seem like a sweetheart. You probably took
    good care of your car and in return it took care
    of you. Maybe god was watching how you cared for
    it and the car is connected to god somehow.
    I understand why you didn't have the heart to
    trade it in. You did the right thing.
    How old are you? Are you married?
    I think somebody suggested that you would be
    happier if you replace the engine since you're
    so attached to your Tercel. That might be a
    good idea. What ever you decide on, good luck ok?
    Take care
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603

    Actually, what it appears Kristine9 is saying is that she has been told elsewhere that it will cost $1200 to replace the engine in the Tercel. The only advice she's gotten here is not to put that kind of money into it. There may be more advice to be had around here, but that is all that has been offered so far.

    How old she is, whether she is married, and whether "god" is involved with her car is not relevant to her question, or to this discussion.

    Let's keep to the question of how long can a Toyota be driven, okay?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • fcbcdwfcbcdw Member Posts: 7
    I had 90 Toyota Corolla DX had 145,000, the engine blow and I sold it to my mechanic for $1000. 92 Toyota Camry LE had 138,000, mechanic said the transmission is going to blow, sold it to dealer at $3600.

    Toyota had been reliable, the engine blow in the Corolla the main reason is I ignored the warning light on the oil. 92 Camry, the major reason my mechanic said is the freeway problem. The Camry had been driven on the 710 (Long Beach Freeway in S. Calif.) it is so bad. The freeway had too many holes and too many problems. Camry usually has very good transmission.

  • xeromanxeroman Member Posts: 2
    I have had 3 Toyotas (1 82 Tercel w/3ac engine, 2 79 Celicas w/20r engine)
    I have had 3 Nissans (1 79 280zx, 1 82 280zxT, and 1 Sentra)
    have a GMC Jimmy now and none of them suffered from oil leaks.
    So never beleive for a minute that an oil leak is acceptable...
    By the way All of them had over 100,000 miles on them when I bought them.
  • jeijei Member Posts: 143
    I disagree with the earlier post that the Tercel was the "bad child" of the Toyota family! I had a 1985 Tercel "SR5" 4WD wagon that I got almost 280,000 miles out of before it blew a head gasket and I donated it. It ran very well until about 265K, when the power steering quit, the cooling fan didn't work reliably and the rust really took over. When the head gasket went, I decided that this was the end because of all the other work needed. All the electrics still worked, the seats were still comfortable, and it started right up and ran every day! If it hadn't been so rusty (New York uses a lot of road salt) I might have put a couple of grand into rebuilding.... I still see a number of Tercels around. Wish I could have bought another one with only 80,000 or 100,000 miles and no rust. One of the great comfort / utility cars of the last 20 years!
  • tailplanetailplane Member Posts: 7
    I just sold my 87 Corolla 5-Speed. It had 177,000 miles and ran as good as new. It never leaked, or burned a drop of anything. We never had a single problem with it for 14 years. All we did was routine scheduled maintenance. After 13 Upstste, NY winters the body was destroyed, and no longer repairable, but she still purred.

    p.s. Bought a 00 Protege ES 5-Speed. I'm in love again. :)

  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    Locate the differential lubricant drain plug on my V6 '96 Camry? Has anyone ever changed the lubricant in their differential? My Haynes book says 30K miles? Any response would be appreciated...owe you one...etc...
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335

    I don't believe you have a separate drain plug for the differential. Check your owners manual, but there is probably only one drain plug for the whole transaxle. OTOH, if it is an automatic transmission, maybe it uses ATF in the tranny and gear oil in the differential. In either case, they will be under the vehicle, between the front wheels somewhere...

  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    Also, take a look at this topic and consider posting your question here?

    Transmission Traumas?

    There are lots of knowledgeable folks hanging out there....

    Your host, Bruce
  • wheelleswheelles Member Posts: 4
    I own a 1992 Toyota Celica ST that I purchased new and drove for a couple of years. It currently has 17000 miles on it as it's been in storage for nearly six years. All fluids were replaced when it entered the garage in 1994, as well as fuel stabilizer the following year. It gets started about every other month but hasn't been on the street in over five years. What maintenance problems can I anticipate next Spring when I plan on putting it back on the street as my primary transportation vehicle?
  • braganzabraganza Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1995 Camry 4 cylinder. It does have a seperate drain and filler plu for the differential fluid. In my car it is just a bolt that is located on the under rear side of the transmission and another bolt for the drain plug at the bottom. It uses the same fluid as Dexron III as transmission fluid. You will need a long (about 3-4 feet) half an inch pipe attached to a funnel so that you can pass it from the top of the engine and into the side of the transmission where you remove the bolt. Fill till it begins to leak out of the side hole.

    Check a local auto parts store for the Hanes manual for your model of Camry and it should indicate the location. The Toyota dealer recommended changing the differential fluid every time the transmission fluid is changed. Since the Camry has a drain plug for the transmission fluid, I change it once a year as it just costs me about $6 for the fluid. The transmission fluid filter in the Camry does not need to be replaced. It is just a metal mesh. I checked this with Toyota. I hope this helps?
  • ogbonnaogbonna Member Posts: 25
    I bought a 1985 van New I had an accident at
    300000+ (totaled via insurance comp) and it was
    still kicking.....(I drove it until the salvage
    people picked it up)...
  • marlene4marlene4 Member Posts: 1
    ... radiator hose clamp failed ... hose disconnected ... "cooked" the engine, warped the head. Toyota tells me I "drove the car too long" ... to which I responded, "I guess I should have answered my cellular phone when I noticed that the radiator hose was calling."

    I can't believe that my Camry drove for approximately half the life I expected ... and we use synthetic oil and transmission fluid ... it's not like we treat the car badly.

    I had contacted Toyota about the repairs ... and stated that my car has only gone half of it's assumed lifespan ... I requested Toyota pay for the labor, and I pay for the parts ... Toyota's response, "You're out of warranty." I told the supervisor that it's hard for me to believe a company like Toyota wouldn't stand behind it's product.

    As I still owe 2 years of payments on the car, I had no choice but to repair it ... but I can assure you that Toyota is no longer a future option for me with this kind of "no customer service."

    Very disappointed,
  • rainer1rainer1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a Corolla 85 with a 1,3 l motor that now has got 165 000 miles on the meter. An unbelievable car! It is never anything wrong with it - it just keeps going. The only service I am doing on it is oil (synthetic) and filter change every 7000 miles.
This discussion has been closed.