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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 3002
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Monday, 20 January, 2020 - 05:59:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello All,

As some of you well know, I have been on a search for a new-to-me convertible for some time now. Well, I finally found one, a 2004 Toyota Solara SLE with 74K miles (119091.5 km) on it:

My 2004 Solara in Arrest-Me Red

Just like I joined here, I tend to join marque-dedicated forums for cars I own. I have already joined ToyotaNation, but it seems a bit on the slow side.

I figure multiple someone elses here are very likely Toyota owners and may be involved on one or more Toyota-focused forums. Any recommendations for particularly lively (but also useful) ones would be appreciated.

Brian
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ross kowalski
Prolific User
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 1306
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Monday, 20 January, 2020 - 22:03:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Brian,

I my experience owning Toyotas you will not need a Toyota forum.

Forum entry example...

"To achieve a vehicle life exceeding a quarter million miles, it is absolutely essential to change the crankcase oil every 3k miles or at least once in a while"

Or

"Failure to properly warm your engine before driving will result in engine life exceeding a quarter million miles."

And

"To ensure the blocking rings in your transmission last the life of the car, you must always shift your transmission when necessary while driving using the clutch as needed."

Our current off road car is a 07 Toyota TRD FJ cruiser. It has just over 200k miles and runs as new.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 3003
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 00:28:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Ross,

You've hit the nail on the head as to why I ultimately came to the decision to buy this car (along with the fact that I love arrest-me red paired with a tan top and taupe interior). I wanted a stylish transportation appliance known to just go and go and go. The car is rebuilt after an accident, but the quality of the work is, by my checking, superior. With the low mileage it has it should continue going for many years.

My want of a forum or forums is for the odd esoterica that doesn't seem to be well documented. Things like where the drain lines for the top along the back are located and how best to occasionally clean them out and the like.

I've known enough people who've owned Toyotas, some of whom were not meticulous about "care and feeding," and even those examples kept going and going and going.

What I can't understand, really, at this point in history is why every automobile maker that makes mass production cars cannot seem to pull off the rock-solid kind of reliability that Toyota (and some others, mostly Asian, but not all) have been known for for decades now. Mechanical engineering for something like a motorcar should not be "rocket science" when it comes to transportation-appliance reliability, even if the vehicle is quite different than straight transportation appliance.

Brian

P.S.: I stopped changing oil in any car I own every 3K miles a long while back (with the exception of the RRs, which get too little use to have change based on mileage intervals). Consumer Reports ran an extensive series of tests and had an article on just how unnecessary this is, not to mention wasteful and environmentally unsound. After seeing comments on RR forums about having one's engine oil tested with a sample from changing time, I did that and not just for the RRs. Every time it comes back saying there is significant lubricating life left, and that's at 6K change intervals. On the newer cars with engine oil "wear calculators" I replace when they tell me it's time to replace. The old saw about "once every 3K" really doesn't apply with modern oils and even semi-modern cars.
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Omar M. Shams
Prolific User
Username: omar

Post Number: 1927
Registered: 04-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 03:27:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Brian,
I change the oil every 50,000 Km on my Dodge Durango. My last Dodge Durango had over half a million kms on the clock when i sold it. Still the same factory engine and still strong. The oil I used was Mobil 1.

Toyotas learnt the hard way. When I was a teenager a Japanese product was ridiculed the world over for being crap quality. We are like that about products made in China today. In a very short space of time, Japanese products became the best in the world. The Chinese will also go the same route in years to come.

You will need a Solara forum just to fully understand the workings of the convertible top.
My Azure has a Mercedes roof (they all do) and it frequently goes wrong. If I couldn't fix it myself I would be broke by now.

Start to get to know the roof mechanism as this is the likely area of failures. All else will be bullet proof.

Take care
Omar
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 3004
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 09:40:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Omar,

Do you mean 50K km (31K miles) or 5K km (3.1K miles)?

The pattern you describe for Toyota was also repeated for Hyundai. They were the crappiest of the crap when they originally entered the US market. The Sonata of that era was lucky to last 10 years, the second 5 of which were pure torture, and the first 5 of which were problem after problem. Fast forward to today, when that same maker and model is consistently at the top of the heap. Their Genesis brand is, by any objective and subjective metric, very, very good.

When it comes to many things, it seems that many want to judge what is in light of what was when enough time and change has occurred such that the two are no longer connected. When I was a child, which was the 1960s, "Made in Japan" was a joke for almost any poor quality product. The Chinese have already proven that they are perfectly capable of making top notch products when that is their intent. There is always a niche for low quality products and someone is always looking to fill it. In the car world one need look no further than the Yugo (and Trabant, going further back).

It is a mistake, regardless of the product or the country of origin, not to look what is and to focus instead on what was. That's how those at the top of the heap at any given moment in time often find themselves toppled from that position.

Brian
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ross kowalski
Prolific User
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 1310
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 11:08:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Brian,

One reason about the difference between Japanese and American companies is the Quarterly report. In the USA if you get the quarterly numbers up you get a bonus and a new Tesla, this encourages short term thinking like getting cars out the door with whatever quality.

On the other hand we do offer folks with good ideas money to make things like Tesla.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 3005
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 11:17:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Ross,

You'll get no argument from me regarding the "what have you done for me lately" management style endemic in the USA, and which has been so for far longer than I've been alive.

Long term planning and projection are not our strong suits, nor is patience.

Brian
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Omar M. Shams
Prolific User
Username: omar

Post Number: 1928
Registered: 04-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 - 05:19:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Brian,
I meant 50,000 km. Fifty thousand.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 3006
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 - 05:27:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Omar. I just wanted to ensure that this was indeed what was intended, as that's the longest oil change interval I've ever seen.

It certainly exceeds my personal comfort level, but it just goes to demonstrate both how far refinements (no pun intended) in lubrication science and mechanical engineering for engines have come.

I've never run synthetic oil in my Buick, and it's over 200K miles now and runs like the proverbial clock. There is no doubt that synthetic oils do have change intervals significantly longer than conventional ones. But even conventional ones can have change intervals far longer than the old, "every 3K miles/5K km." This is just an old convention that many are unwilling to let go of. Another of those what was versus what is situations.

We are not driving our grandfathers' cars (as daily drivers, anyway) nor using lubricants anything like what was available for same.

We've come a long way, baby!

Brian
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Omar M. Shams
Prolific User
Username: omar

Post Number: 1929
Registered: 04-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 - 05:40:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Brain,
We certainly have mate.
I inched my way to 50,000k by having oil analyses done on my used oils after 30, 40 and 50 thousand Km. All results showed the oil to still be very good to continue to use. I bottled out at 50 and did not want to push the envelope any more. If i had stronger testicles I would have taken it up to say 60 or 70 but i figured the Engineer in me could not allow me past my comfort zone. Even now I doubt myself around the 40,000Km mark but I have learnt to grit my teeth and see it to the full 50 before I do oil changes. This regime i use only for one car in my fleet as this car is used daily by my wife. The rest of my cars get annual oil changes regardless of mileage and they are not running on synthetic oils. Some of my cars do 100km a year and others do 10,000km per year.
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Graham Phillips
Frequent User
Username: playtime

Post Number: 220
Registered: 03-2019
Posted on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 - 14:59:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

G'day everyone,....

Well in about a week I'll be doing the 970,000klm service on my Nissan Pathfinder, 95mod 3.0ltr V6.

I do a oil-filter & air filter change every 10,000klms.

Every 100,000klms I do an engine flush:

50% light oil- 50% kerosene and do an oil change with the flush,... go drive 50klms drain, re do flush, until comes out clean,.. then change oil filter and put in new engine oil, good to go for another 100,000klms.

So far I've never needed to do more than two flushes.

Everything is original except the consumables and one replacement radiator.

Original drum shoes and disc pads were replaced at 400,000klms, 1st replacement set are STILL fitted.



Graham.
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Mark Herbstreit
Frequent User
Username: mark_herbstreit

Post Number: 206
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 - 19:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

My 92 Toyota Soarer is a mere pup with a headache free 365,000 kms under its belt. Still quieter and smoother than most modern cars. The door hinges are an indicator of the impressive build quality.

hinge
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 3007
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Thursday, 23 January, 2020 - 01:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mark,

Here's another case where Toyota sold this car under the Toyota name in some markets, and under their Lexus luxury brand in others. Here in the USA that car was the SC300 coupe.

There's no doubt that when Lexus appeared on the market here in the USA they were an instant threat to all the high-end luxury car makers and took a big-bite out of the market share quickly. They had a better launch than the Infiniti brand by Nissan, but both have been major players for a long time now.

It's funny how many comments I've seen while looking around about the Solara that it was "a Lexus without the price tag." I can believe it, as the thing is built like a tank and clearly has the same styling cues as were being used in the Lexus convertible of that time, though the Lexus was available in hardtop convertible only.

A 16-year old convertible that feels solid is a rare thing indeed, and I love the "Cadillac-like" thunk when the doors close and the still quiet quality of the cabin, due in large part to the multi-layer top.

Brian
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Omar M. Shams
Prolific User
Username: omar

Post Number: 1978
Registered: 04-2009
Posted on Monday, 06 April, 2020 - 03:19:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Brian,
During your quest for a 4 seater convertible - why didnt you buy this amazing car????

https://bringatrailer.com/2015/06/26/one-of-300-1978-cadillac-deville-le-cabriolet/
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Patrick Ryan
Grand Master
Username: patrick_r

Post Number: 2218
Registered: 04-2016
Posted on Monday, 06 April, 2020 - 06:13:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Omar,
She looks like she has been driven straight off the set of the iconic movie “Casino”
What a wonderful car.

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