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Toyota Solara 2008

innapropriatusinnapropriatus Posts: 6
edited May 2014 in Toyota
I am going to buy a 2008 Solara Convertible SLE. I want to know where I can go to find some aftermarket performance items. I ordered it with 18" TRD rims, lowering springs, strut brace and exhaust. I am looking for a cold air intake, slotted brake kits, and a billet grille...
I have tried ALL the obvious internet searches and it seems that no one is producing goodies in the after market....YET
Any ideas?


  • Almost ready to buy a new 2008 Solara V6 coupe; but after reading some of the concerns starting to have cold feet.

    I have a 2000 Solar SLE V6 Coupe which has 106,000 miles and runs great and I have had no issues. Every one tells me the car will be good for at least another 100,000 miles. I would have kept the car longer but because they are discountinuing the Solara I thought I would by a new one. After reading all the post, I am having second thoughts. It sounds like Toyota's quality is not what it used to be. Has quality really suffered? Do you think it wiser to keep the 2000 (which runs great) and just run it into the ground. Any thoughts would be helpful.
  • I had the same cold feet--but in the end I read all the reviews and did a LOT of research. I finally settled on the 2008 and picked one up this past weekend. I could not be happier with my decision, this is by far the finest car for the dollar available on the market today. I have a good friend who owns a Mercedes, and used to sell Beamers...he rode with me and gushed over the attention to detail and the quality of the ride and performance.
    I hope this helps you out...good luck

    PS...the Solara is being suspended, not discontinued. There will be a one year interruption in production and then in 2010 a brand new version will come out.
  • buppersbuppers Posts: 25
    I went through the same scenario... I have now had 4 Solara's. The most recent had been a 2005 SLE V6 that I liked A LOT. I considered a 2008 only because they are discontinuing Solara's. After exhaustive research and looking for the best deal, I bought my new '08 3 months ago. I could not be happier! My '08 is a great car and was an easy purchase because I knew exactly what I wanted. Go for it, if you like Solara's this may be your last chance.

    *(I hadn't heard the 'only suspended' rumor before. I hope that is true. Anybody have a source for this comment?)
  • I am currently shopping for one. I really wanted one in 2000 but ended up getting an Accord instead. I now want a RED '08 low end 4 cyl. Test drove it Saturday and loved it. I am just concerned about the 4 cyl output. My 4 cyl Accord is great. However, we have a 4 cyl 2006 RAV-4 and it is too weak of an engine. The salesman I had told me that they MAY produce the Solara for the 2009 model year. It has not been 100% decided yet.
  • nextgennextgen Posts: 8
    Don't think twice about a 2008 Solara Coupe 4 Cylinder. Get it, I had an 02 and it was totaled. I wrote the book on how to put Porsche engines in the Classic VW bug ( google me Joe Cali Porsche or VW ) and like power, but I also like saving money. I was going to get a Mini Cooper S but when my Solara was broadsided at 60mph and I was doing 25mph when it happened and it was hit on the drivers front fender, I thought twice about a small car. I was hit by a Volvo SUV, the police called it a double impact, because I was hit so hard the rear of my car hit the Volvo again blowing out all my windows totaling the car. I was very lucky and was only bleeding from my eyeglasses being smashed into my head from the impact of my head hitting the side window. NO side airbags in the 2002's the 2008's have four side. SO back to a big car and bought a nice silver coupe with sunroof. THE CAR GETS 33MPG Combo Highway City and 40.5 mpg on a 400 mile trip I took. The Smart car gets that mileage and is 3 times smaller. OK the down side. The car is not slow on accell. but the reason you get the great mileage is because of the 5 speed auto with overdrive. The tranny is made to upshift fast to save gas, which may put you in a higher gear then you would like for power. Example: the RPM's at 79 are much lower then my wifes RAV 4 and my old 2002 with the same engine but when you are doing 2000rpms at 70mph you have no power to pass. Therefore if you step on it, there is a lag in time for it to down shift, then it takes off. It is a trade off. Were are you going to get a car of this amazing style, size and ride with such good gas mileage. Gas is going up every day. If you don't care about the gas mileage and want power fine then the Solara is not for you. BTY from an inside source the reason the 2008 is on it's way out is because kids don't want what they call an old mans car and adults want 4 doors. I paid $21,500 with the sunroof loaded and love it especially since I drive 70 miles a day to work. I fill up once a week when I reach half tank.
  • Just got back from the dealership. My Solara has just 7,000 miles on it and already a leak? They are ordering parts & say it is a leaky seal. I was told it would be an all day job. Luckily, it is covered by warranty. Does anyone know how this could have happened? Did I do something wrong? Any advice on what to look out for on the repair? Thanks, Carolyn
  • nextgennextgen Posts: 8
    Carolyn, may I can help. Did they say what was leaking? Was it water, oil, transmission fluid or anti freeze.

    What ever it was, it was not your fault.

    I had a 2002 Solara coupe and all I replaced was a tail light bulb.

    Is your car a convertible?? Leaks on those have been a problem.

  • Hello Joe, the power steering fluid is leaking from the steering rack. I was told there was a leaky seal. They told me they were ordering the parts and not to drive it too much so as not to damage the pump. I was also told the repair was an all day job. Geez, I hope I didn't ruin anything.
  • nextgennextgen Posts: 8
    I did some checking and I found some early years Solara did have some steering gasket leaks, but mostly in cars with higher mileage then yours. Don't worry the problem is quite rare, there are many Solaras on the road with over 200,000 miles and little or no problems. My car is getting 31 mpg on my trip to work and 41 on long trips, with the price of gas you have a winner.
  • Awwww, you're sweet. Thanks for easing my worries. You're getting better mileage than I am. I get 18 in the city & 27 to 29 on the Hwy. Maybe I need to increase my tire pressure. It is going in tomorrow AM for repair. I question why they didn't just keep it there rather than risk my taking it home. It is leaking pretty bad. They just told me to drive it as little as possible or risk the pump getting burned up. Guess they didn't have a loaner car. Thanks again. Carolyn
  • solara31solara31 Posts: 14
    I have a 2006 Solara SLE V6 with 24,000 miles. I have never had to take the car in for warranty work/repairs. The car has run flawlessly for me. I previously owned a 2002 Solara SE that I bought used with 29,000 miles on it and drove it to 63,000 miles. Again, I never had any issues with the car.

    The Solaras are ceasing production I believe in August, so 2008 is the last model year for the line (stinks!).
  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    :shades: Check out the insideline article: :shades:

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    I just took ownership of a 2008 Blizzard White SLE convertible and really am impressed with this car the more I drive it. The Grandkids like the back seat as well. Can't figure why there isn't much in the way of message board/forums for this car - even here in the Edmunds Carspace section. Not much in the way of postings for the newer Solaras in any other internet areas either!
  • I have an 08 Solara SLE convertible and there is a persistent front-end rattle when the wheels encounter several small bumps in succession. The dealer has replaced one strut and mount and has added a shim kit to the braking system. Apparently the entire brake-pedal system was a bit loose! Still the front end sounds and feels very fragile even on a city street that's a bit rough. Anyone else with this problem??

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    I only have 400 miles so far on the convertible but so far so good. The only wierd sound is when I put it into reverse and back out of the garage. The car makes a strange brief sound just as the car moves rearward. I guess it is a normal sound though.
  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    Having around 800 miles on the 08 I am wondering just how accurate the distance to empty readout is. At about a quarter of a tank left the DTE screen says there is about 75 miles left to empty. This at 30 plus mileage per gallon. Then when I fill up I only could get in 13.5 gallons even when topping off after repeated stops and restarts of the pump. The in car fuel gauge reads above full but the dte gauge reads 300 and some miles to empty - not what I would think 18.5 gallons at 30 or even 25 mpg should be reading. Has anyone noticed this anomaly?
  • nextgennextgen Posts: 8
    I saw a recent show on TV reporting on exactly what you stated. It seems in Europe cars are made to show exaclty how much fuel they have in the tank but in the U.S. Even if the empty light goes most cars in the US were able to go another 30 to 50 miles. It is like a built in margin of safety. I guess in the U.S we wait longer to fill up and can get into trouble. The Avg. miles per gallon works fine. That I have check the old fashion way by math. But even those figures are related to driving the car at least 3/4 tank to get a good average.
  • I'm wondering if anyone else has encountered this. Last week my wife and I drove at highway speeds from Miami to northern FL. The gauge indicated 77 the entire 6 hours. When we stopped for gas and restarted the car, the gauge read 59. We then drove highway speeds to northern TN and the gauge remained on 59 the entire 6 hours. Then we checked into our hotel, restarted the car to move it, and the gauge displayed 37 (it was indeed cold). We did 2 more 6-hour stints a few days later and encountered the same thing - no change in the gauge reading for hours even though we could tell by opening the window that it was getting colder outside.

    I took it to my local Toyota dealer (St. Charles, IL), they ran some tests that Toyota says they should run in such cases and said all checked out fine so there's nothing more they can do. They also stated the following conclusion on my receipt. "Cause: Subzero temperatures are causing temp sensor to remain at subfreezing value". When I reminded them that the problem occurred in warm temperatures, they stuck to their guns insisting that this is what their mechanic found. I was (and still am) furious. Next I called the Toyota Customer Assistance Center (800-331-4331) and opened a case. A case mgr. called back and listened sympathetically but said there was nothing they could do if the dealer couldn't find a problem. This is the 5th Toyota my wife and I have owned (she drives an '07 RAV4) but it will be our last if Toyota won't fix our problems under warranty - and that's what I told both the dealer and corporate.

    If you've seen the same problem, please let me know. Maybe I can get someone at Toyota to listen if the problem is bigger than just me.
  • By the way, the air temp in itself doesn't seem like a big deal but we also noticed that when it got colder outside and we turned on the heat, it was warm in the leg area and chilly and drafty at chest level so we had to keep kicking up the heat as the temp gauge became more and more out of whack with the real temp. When we restarted the car and the temp gauge changed to an accurate reading, the draftiness went away. This happened over and over as well. The heating system was set to "auto" which automatically switches between combinations of defrost, vent, and low heat as it sees fit - I would guess that the computer is involved. The dealership told me the system uses a thermostat for the heating/cooling system not the outside air temp but I'm not convinced. As near as I can tell, the outside air temp problem also impacts the heating/cooling system operation.
  • arnoldxarnoldx Posts: 2
    bought sle conv. on april 17 in seattle ,drove to santa fe to register and then to nyc ---mostly interstate---even on interstate the front end bounced ,hopped and was so skittish whenever the road was slightly rough i thought the windshield/top and steering wheel would just fly away---i expected some "downgrade" of handling/road sense/feel ,etc as i owned conv's before but this is totally scary---and here in nyc it's exacerbated to where i rarely drive it--still have a '95 camry 4 dr.w/134k on it and it's rock solid by comparison---
    there are other glitches so i haven't brought it to dealer yet but figured i'd ask if my experience is the norm (hard to believe) ---no,i did not test drive one---hell, had 3 camries in family---so what's to test---expected a slightly jittery sedan not a hip hop front end---will be grateful for any info/ideas/opinions/experiences,etc---
    ps---mileage is 4200plus and had problem from day one---
  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    You don't say what year you bought but my 08 sle convertible does not exhibit any of the problems you have. I would suggest though, that in the future you test drive any car -the exact car -which you are considering purchasing as each car from every maker has its peculiarities and some can be rectified and some are so off putting that they preclude purchasing.
  • There is Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) out that addresses front end shimmy on some 08 Solaras. Check this out as it may be the root of your problem.

    TSB Number:TSB-0106-08 NHTSA Number:10025856 TSB Date:June 11, 2008 Date Added to File:September 10, 2008
    Failing Component:
    Toyota: front suspension- some 2007-2008 model year avalon, camry, camry hv, and solara vehicles may exhibit a steering wheel flutter and/or a body vibration (floor or seats) at highway speeds (approx. 65-75 mph [105-121 km/h]).
  • toygaltoygal Posts: 1
    Have you gotten this resolved? I have a 2008 Convertible. From time to time the inside termperature gauge does not register properly. Yesterday, when I pulled out of the garage, it registered 80. Made a couple stops. Started up, it registered 82. A couple more stops it finally went to 84. The temperature was in the 90's, as high as 92 at one time. I would have teken it straight to the dealer if it had been convenient. I fear they will only be able to fix it if it is registering incorrectly. Would be delighted to see if you got your problem resolved. thanks.
  • larryo3larryo3 Posts: 5
    Unfortunately, Toyota didn't come through for me. They said they ran their check on it and saw no problems. They also said it had happened due to the frigid temps we were having at the time. Since it happened all the way from Florida to Illinois, I questioned that and they just got nasty with me. I called their corporate group and they said there was nothing they could do if the dealer can't find a problem. If you have any more luck than I did, I would appreciate a follow-up note. Good luck!!
  • I have a 2008 Solara. When I got it in August 2008, I noticed right away that the outside temp gauge didn't seem to report the correct outside temp. It would show 66 when the outside temp was 90 using a thermocouple measuring system. I took it to the dealer and they changed the sensor located at the front of the car just behind the front grill, after keeping the car overnight. They reported to me that it was working now. Not! Same problem the next day and for several days. I went back in a week later and they spent an hour with two electronics techs and their computer trying to figure out what was happening and could not find anything wrong. Then another week went by and I went in and got up to the service manager and showed him the problem. In the mean while the service advisor had contacted Toyota Field Service and reported the following back to me.
    1. The temp gauge will only change after you have been driving over 16 mph for 200 seconds, and then only by 1 degree. If you drop below 16 mph then the 200 seconds time period is started all over again.
    2. If the car has been off for over 1 hour the temp gauge will then report the temp at startup.
    3. If the temp at startup after 1 hour is high because of engine heat affecting it, then the gauge will start going down more rapidly to match the actual outside air temp flowing over the sensor.
    The service manager and I took a ride on the freeway for about 20 minutes when the reading was started at 76 and indeed the reading increased every 200 seconds by at least 1 degree and sometimes 2 degrees. It was at least 100 that day so for our entire ride the outside temp was still not being displayed correctly, ending up at around 88. The service manager then contacted Field Service again and got basically the same answer. The service manager called me the next day and his quote was "What a piece of poop", but he didn't use the word "poop". Toyota didn't use any programming algorithm that makes any sense and their own Field Service staff doesn't have any good answer. In other words Toyota's answer is "Pack it where the sun doesn't shine".
    There seems to be other rules that apply here but I haven't figured all of them out yet.
    I hope this helps others understand this issue. Good luck.
  • larryo3larryo3 Posts: 5
    Thanks for the additional info on their algorithm. I think Toyota should revisit the design of their entire gauge package. I tracked my actual MPG over the span of about 7 tankfulls and calculated my average to be about 25.5 but the AVG MPG gauge said I was getting almost 29. The error was 13+% but Toyota said that was normal - their error range is 15%!! What good are gauges that have 15% error?
  • You are right about the MPG gauge. I have tracked it over 33 fillups and have found that it reads about 2 to 3 mpg's higher than the actual mpg calculated from the mileage and the number of gallons. I also have noticed that the clock is fast. In a month it can gain 1 minute, so I have to constantly keep setting it. In this day and age you would think that Toyota could find a crystal oscillator that could keep this clock accurate. Also the "range" display is always low as to how far you have left to go before you need to fillup. But I can attribute this to being on the conservative side so that you don't run out of gas in some inconvenient location. I guess having been an electronics engineer before I retired I just notice things like this a lot more than the average driver. My last car, a 97 Lincoln MK VIII, had all of these gauges also, the clock ran fast, the mpg's were higher than actual, the "range to empty" seemed to be fairly accurate and the outside temp gauge was a lot more accurate and responsive than the Toyota. But what do you expect from a car company? Electronics have always been a big mystery to all but a very select few within any car manufacturer. At least they have supplied the dealers with a fairly good set of diagnostic tools (hopefully). But then the techs can only replace what the diagnostic tools tell them to replace. And when that doesn't work the techs are completely lost. Module replacement is all they can do.
  • I am about ready to trade my car in. I bought this car a year ago. The problem I am having is the car is hesitate really bad sometime. I haven't found anyone that can help except for one, and that what is happening is when I speed up the shift is changing the same time I go which I am told will get wrose. I like the car and Toyota has just brushed me off and they checked it and told me no one has complained about this problem, and they told me nothing is wrong with me and they were supposed to set me up with a toyota person that specializes in problems well that never happened. Has anyone else has this problem.

  • I know this is a busy board but how long does it take to get a repsonse?
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Hi, crazy3,

    The engine hesitation problem has been mentioned a few times in the Solara Forum (you can find their posts by typing "hesitation" into the search box at the top of the Toyota Solara Forumpage. About a week ago, one of our members mentioned that his hesitation disappeared after changing out the air filter: K&N Air Filter.


    Need help getting around? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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