Toyota Tercel problem

Posted in the Autos Forum

Imbroke

Mahaffey, PA

#1 Jan 29, 2008
I have a 2 door '91 standard transmission tercel, who has served me very well. I used to get about 30 mpg(highway)/20 mpg(city but lately I've noticed a severe drop in these numbers (by a factor 2 - ie. half of what they were). It is also starting to use a lot more oil than it used to. I understand it's an old car, but we're talking about 5 quarts in the month.
I've also noticed that the temperature gauge is not moving at all, and the heater doesn't really blow hot air even when the car supposedly is warm. I guess this means that the thermostat is gone, but could it mean something else too (higher gas and oil consumption perhaps)?
Last summer I had an incident where the car almost overheated, and in fact stopped on its own while driving. After having checked the coolant, I found the reservoir was empty. I figured that was the problem, refilled it and didn't think any further about this, as it again was driving fine, although thinking back now it was a little rough at times.
As you can probably tell, I'm no ace when it comes to cars and their maintenance, and I'm afraid it has come back to bite me in the a....
Besides the heavy gas and oil consumption, I've also noticed white smoke coming out of the exhaust, which from what I've read so far on this board (and others) could mean that coolant is getting leaked into the motor and combusting it (which would explain its consumption). On top of that, I've also noticed in the last month or so that it loses it's power even with the slightest incline (going up a hill). On flat roads there's no apparent change.
I took it to a local shop and they claim that cylinder #4 is blown, and I will have have to exchange the motor, which could set me back $1500+. Now, I'm a student with no money, yeah I know what's new, but I'm really dependent on having a vehicle so what do you guys recommend? Is it possible to just replace the blown (4th) cylinder, or is it a lost cause already? Could it be that the faulty thermostat is causing these problems? Again, I don't know much about cars, but if the thermostat isn't working wouldn't it mean that the car doesn't "know" when it's warm or when it's overheating? I also read somewhere here on these boards that a faulty thermostat by cause the coolant to overflow. Any truth to this?
Any advice from you would be much appreciated, I could really use some good news right about now. Thanks in advance for your help.

A desperate Tercel Owner
Rich Tow Service

United States

#2 Jan 30, 2008
If you need a lift let me know.
dan

Corry, PA

#3 Feb 1, 2008
Sounds like you need a new motor.
Email me if you are interested in selling the car as it is.
I live in Corry.
donahued@localnet.com
Meno

Ottawa, Canada

#4 May 31, 2008
There you go.
Meno

Ottawa, Canada

#5 May 31, 2008
Just joking, your thermostat is stuck in the open position so the engine will run cold and never heat up ,when your engine is runing cool your pisons never swell to seal the engine ,and thats why it burns more oil.Bring your car in and have the thermostat replaced,their in a bad location on the tercels and not easy to replace , and put a toyota themostat in, it will last till the car dies. When you bring it in you tell the mechanic you want the themostat changed and thats it ,don`t let him screw you.
Toyota is bankrupt

AOL

#6 May 31, 2008
Sorry dude, but you better get rid of that Tercel, a 91?? Toyotas frlom 1991 SUCK, they are all rusted out and you need to ditch that thing, its probably not worth more than $50. Try buying a Dodge Caliber, it will last a long time with the chrysler lifetime warranty and the 2.99 for gas is even better buy a CHRYSLER.
Truckin

United States

#7 Jun 1, 2008
The only "lifetime" guarantee that will come with purchasing a Dodge Caliber will be a lifetime of regret. Head on down to your local rental car shop and rent one and see what I mean. Those are crude excuses for a small car and at best they manage to get the same fuel economy of a full-size sedan.
Toyota is bankrupt

AOL

#8 Jun 1, 2008
Shut up, you attacked me on every thread, I think chrysler 2.99 for gas and caliber gas mileage works well and lifetime warranty is also very good you cant miss! warren truck for life!
Truckin

United States

#9 Jun 1, 2008
Toyota is bankrupt wrote:
Shut up, you attacked me on every thread, I think chrysler 2.99 for gas and caliber gas mileage works well and lifetime warranty is also very good you cant miss! warren truck for life!
You are just spewing rubbish and posting under a ridiculous name. The $2.99 gas only works if fuel prices remain high (which they may not) and the warranty for life could easily be rescinded when Chrysler is sold (which it will be).

Since: Aug 07

Trumbull CT

#10 Jun 1, 2008
Truckin wrote:
<quoted text>
You are just spewing rubbish and posting under a ridiculous name. The $2.99 gas only works if fuel prices remain high (which they may not) and the warranty for life could easily be rescinded when Chrysler is sold (which it will be).
Fair to say the 2.99 is only good if prices remain high. I happen to believe the price will stay elevated until 2010 which gives the three year buyer a bargain. Fair enough Iíll give you the Caliber and Avenger suck, although the R/T isnít really that bad. Also, my jury is out on the lifetime warranty. I have beat myself silly (not the pelvic region) looking over this bit. IT really is interesting if one opts to buy and keep it for an extended amount of time. Further, I doubt the new owners would or could really axe that warranty coverage for current owners. They will probably have to suck up the cost. Remember, they still managed to come out with the 300 and that really is a decent vehicle. Its style is top notch and the reliability seems to be living up to the status quo.

Hey, give the airplane man a chance; they gave him a hefty sum to penetrate a mucked up and worn out German hair pie.
Truckin

Greensboro, NC

#11 Jun 2, 2008
Roadrunner, I listened to all you had to say. Ford has the airplane man, Chrysler has the Home Depot boy.

Nardelli has done nothing for Chrysler! He slashed nameplates, jobs, mucked up a major supplier, and now he offers "soft" improvements like cheap gas and lifetime powertrain warranty (which has all sorts of loopholes, read it). If he was purely focused on profit and operations then I'd give him some credit, but right now his "improvements" are tiresome and don't solve the ROOT CAUSE of Chrysler's ailments.

Most of the good things at Chrysler happened long before Nardelli took his $200 million parachute and bailed out of Home Depot.

Since: Aug 07

Trumbull CT

#12 Jun 2, 2008
The crazy thing is that I know the airplane man is at Ford and Nardelli is from the HOmo Depot. Absolute screw up on my part.

Hey, I still think they have some potential.
lil 88

United States

#13 Oct 17, 2008
I have a 1988 toyota tercel. My 17 yr. old is driving it to college. We are experiencing black smoke from the exhaust and it starting to overheat and a few times it wont crank. We are getting an oil change today and hope it will help. I need to find a way to keep it going at least till Feb. when she is 18 and wants to get another used car. Would STP help it?
Unbiased Observer

Canton, MS

#14 Oct 17, 2008
Toyota transmissions are prone to failure.
toyotaman

United States

#15 Jun 1, 2014
i hav a 88 toyota tercel and it runs great it just smokes out of the tailpipe. any comments on what this is or how to fix it??
Craig

Oklahoma City, OK

#16 Jun 1, 2014
toyotaman wrote:
i hav a 88 toyota tercel and it runs great it just smokes out of the tailpipe. any comments on what this is or how to fix it??
Has anyone stuck a banana up the tailpipe? We have a furious three dollar bill that posts from Canada. He sticks and gets stuck with bananas and all kinds of fruit regurarly so he should be able to give "advice" on the matter.
Anonymous

Richmond Hill, Canada

#17 Jun 2, 2014
Craig wrote:
<quoted text>Has anyone stuck a banana up the tailpipe? We have a furious three dollar bill that posts from Canada. He sticks and gets stuck with bananas and all kinds of fruit regurarly so he should be able to give "advice" on the matter.
ROOT:
Are you just a garden variety pervert, or do you post your homophobic fantasies simply because you lack maturity and intelligence to act like an adult?
Advice

Windsor, Canada

#18 Jun 2, 2014
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
ROOT:
Are you just a garden variety pervert, or do you post your homophobic fantasies simply because you lack maturity and intelligence to act like an adult?
Your friend Root has reworded your post and is now doing his proxy server impersonation thing in another thread.
Obviously more than just a garden variety pervert, if you ask me!

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