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285 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 140626 15-Feb-2014 17:28
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Or one that knows someone who has one. 

 

 

 

I currently am driving a '03 Runx (1.5) ...and while it's good , I found the tranny to be quite harsh ...even harsher than my previous 1993 corolla.

 

The engine is very economical yes , but the tranny just seems rubbish. The shift from 1st to 2nd when you're coasting ( give it gas to go, then let go off gas to let it coast to 2nd) ..is hard and feels like someone had just rear-ended you (I actually looked in the rear view mirror lol).

Anyways, the car is fresh yes, only done 71000 KM  , but I'm just considering lightly on selling it and then getting an older vehicle with less electronic linkage like the Altezza.

Yes I do want comfort and realize I have to sacrifice a bit on fuel economy and that's fine. 

The car I"m looking at now is the Altezza/IS200 ....and judging from trademe, they're all in the vicinity of 140-180,000 KMS  (Screw the 200K+ ones..i'm skipping that(.

My question is, how reliable are they ? I know they're japanese...but it's still a luxury brand (altezza is a lexus) ..and luxury brands cost a f** ton to fix when broken. 

 

Also , I realize that the engines are all belt driven..instead of chain.  Will it cost $1000 to replace them ? 

Basically I'm a recent graduate ( 2 years ago to be precise).  I live out west and work in Newmarket and I use my car to work everyday. 

Fuel consumption is somewhat important but I also realize that I won't get the 6.8/100 KM that I"m getting with my Runx ...but is 9 or 10 doable in a combined 50/50  ? 

And parts...how difficult is it ? Or are all parts only obtainable from Japan ? 

The engine that I'll be looking at is the 1G-FE (2000CC) ....not the 3S-GE (2000CC) .....I realize tho that all have BEAMS on it ?? wtf is that.

So yes,...... fuel usage, fuel type , reliability, cambelt ,......enlighten me geekzone altezza owners/6degrees  :) :)

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  # 987872 15-Feb-2014 17:28
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Hmmmm. Here we go.




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Ultimate Geek


  # 987915 15-Feb-2014 18:19
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I have an Altezza and love it, it's a great car to drive and have never had any problems with it. although I have the  3SGE so probably won't be much help to you as your looking at the 6 cylinder engine.




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  # 987919 15-Feb-2014 18:23
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System: I have an Altezza and love it, it's a great car to drive and have never had any problems with it. although I have the  3SGE so probably won't be much help to you as your looking at the 6 cylinder engine.


What sort of mileage are you getting ? (and plz specify the ratio of city/highway lol)

Do the brakes wear out quickly ? Is the AC still working fine ? and what kind of oil are using ? The ones I'm looking at have done around 140,000 so might have to use one of those thick oils.

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  # 987937 15-Feb-2014 18:56
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They are just a Toyota, the Lexus thing is just a badge. All the engines inc the 3L JZ go back to at least the early 90's in Toyotas. They are nothing special, you won't need expensive oil or anything like that.

The 3S ones are a bit more fun to drive, but if you're looking for an auto anyway that probably isn't so important.

From memory they eat front balljoints, but don't know of much else that goes wrong.

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  # 987945 15-Feb-2014 19:07
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http://lmgtfy.com/?q=toyota+altezza+problems

That might be of help. It doesnt look to bad of a model.

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  # 988013 15-Feb-2014 21:41

Is the harsh shifting the only problem with your current car? If so then consider getting the gearbox fully serviced. It might be as simple as just a brake band needing adjusting. Or maybe it has never been serviced at all. Very common for servicing to be neglected on automatic gearboxs.

As for the Altezza, they would attract a price premium because they are rear wheel drive. (boy racers like rear wheel drive cars). This could mean that you will be paying more both to buy and insure compared to other cars of the same age / Km travelled. Also with any automatic car with high Km you have to consider how likely the auto box will fail and require replacement / rebuilding. A full rebuild can easily cost 2.5K

My recommendation is to simply get your current car fixed. But take it to a workshop that can rebuild automatic gearboxes in house. There are lots of garages that can't do many auto gearbox repairs out there. They will often just remove the gearbox then take it to another garage that can work on them.


N.B. I don't have anything against Altezzas, I just think buying a high Km automatic car is a bad idea. Since often the cost of repairing / replacing the auto gearbox can almost write off the car if it is an older or high Km model.



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  # 988049 16-Feb-2014 00:03
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Aredwood: Is the harsh shifting the only problem with your current car? If so then consider getting the gearbox fully serviced. It might be as simple as just a brake band needing adjusting. Or maybe it has never been serviced at all. Very common for servicing to be neglected on automatic gearboxs.

As for the Altezza, they would attract a price premium because they are rear wheel drive. (boy racers like rear wheel drive cars). This could mean that you will be paying more both to buy and insure compared to other cars of the same age / Km travelled. Also with any automatic car with high Km you have to consider how likely the auto box will fail and require replacement / rebuilding. A full rebuild can easily cost 2.5K

My recommendation is to simply get your current car fixed. But take it to a workshop that can rebuild automatic gearboxes in house. There are lots of garages that can't do many auto gearbox repairs out there. They will often just remove the gearbox then take it to another garage that can work on them.


N.B. I don't have anything against Altezzas, I just think buying a high Km automatic car is a bad idea. Since often the cost of repairing / replacing the auto gearbox can almost write off the car if it is an older or high Km model.



Well there are other nitbits that all 'fresh imports' come with. Rattling noises, small creaking noise when turning/going over bumps ...sounds like the bushing is abit worn. I heard that this is common with all makes and model that comes from Japan as JDM cars are designed for the Japanese roads...which is very different than NZ roads....they have soft roads there. 

If i have to 'rebuild' the tranny...i'm just gonna sell this car. 

 

I mean I bought a toyota for reliability in the first place. And at 71,000 ....technically the car is still a baby. You can even see the fluid colors..they're all transparent, clean etc. 

 

Besides...when you said "service the tranny"....don't you basically mean just replace the t-fluid ? That's the only way you can service a tranny. You can't change the internals...that'll cross into the 'rebuild' territory. 

 

And at 71K .....it shouldn't even need replacing. Not till 100K .  ...Heck on the dipstick there's a sticker that says " Lifetime fluid. No need to change/replace unless under extreme conditions..use Toyota WS" ...........not that i'll never replace it...but one would think with that kind of message the car would go at least 140K without needing a tranny drain.

 
 
 
 


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  # 988053 16-Feb-2014 00:24
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The only "problem" with Altezzas that I am aware of is what was spoken about above with the factory ball joints on the front wearing out easily. I have had to replace the ball joints but that is the only work the car has needed apart from maintenance. The fuel economy is not the best on the 4 cylinder beams but can't give you particular numbers.




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  # 988090 16-Feb-2014 08:45
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I bought a Mitsubishi 10 years ago and noticed a harsh auto tranny .

Freaked me out for the next 6 years.

Gave it to dad in law 4 years ago

Still goes

Yes I have spent more than the cost of the car in other serving costs but the tranny hasn't gotten any worse or better.

Jap cars don't suddenly die on you, your Toyota might be fine




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  # 988163 16-Feb-2014 12:18

When I said "fix the current car" I wasn't meaning rebuild the gearbox. It could be as simple as a fluid and filter change. Normally the filters on auto gearboxs are in the oil pan, meaning the pan has to be removed and refitted to replace the filter. Also the gearbox shares alot of sensor inputs with the engine. Accelerator pedal sensor being 1 of the main ones. This means that an engine fault can cause gearbox problems. And don't be too trusting of the "lifetime fluid" label. As BMW and Volkswagen used to do the same thing and they had gearbox problems as a result. Have heard that some mechanical warranty companies now say that all European cars must have the gearbox oil replaced for the warranty to remain valid.

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  # 988213 16-Feb-2014 13:16
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I have a 1999 Altezza (6-cyl), and can provide the following insights:

1. It's pretty reliable, but probably equivalent with Toyota's generally. But it's regularly serviced, so any problems get picked up pretty quickly.

2. Notable problems: I can confirm the front ball-joint problems, having just had one replaced. I think it's the second one replaced in the nearly 8 years I've owned it (nearly 150,000 kms). I've also had to replace several ignition coils. Each one has cost me about $250-$300 to replace, so in a 6-cyl car it can be costly over the life of the car, if all six go.

3. Mileage: I don't track this regularly anymore, but I can give some anecdotes. I used to drive open-road mostly, 45kms to work each way, five days a week. A single tank of gas would last me a week, with change for a wee bit of city driving on the weekend. It would probably add up to about 500-520kms on a 50L fill. These days, it's mostly city-driving, and I don't fill the tank anymore, but I'm not getting 10km/L, it's probably around 7km/L. When I drive long-distance, I can sometimes get around 11-12km/L. This is on an automatic transmission, not hooning, and on regular 91 unleaded.

4. Parts: should be pretty easy to source. I can't recall any issues servicing my Altezza. It's a lot better than the very odd 1984 Toyota Celica I used to own which seemed to be a frankenstein-model and used a hodge-podge of parts from other models.

Overall, the Altezza is a great, fun car to drive, even in an auto, though the manual model is even more fun.

BTW: BEAMS stands for Breakthrough Engine Advanced Management System. Or marketing, in other words...

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