1989 Toyota Corolla GTS 1.6 4A-GE Twin Cam from North America
Trustworthy, economical, quick
One fuel injector failed.
Drivetrain has some slop.
Oil leaks from distributor and transmission.
Rear shocks worn from years on a long gravel road.
Cruise control doesn't work.
Milky oil, changed head gasket to discover that it had just been condensation under the valve cover from driving short trips in winter.
Check engine light comes on occasionally for faulty EGR valve.
Has been a reliable daily driver since I bought it. Yes, I bought the car with 290,000 miles. I figured that if it had gone that far, why not a bit further?
Previous owner was a Toyota certified mechanic, he rebuilt the engine and replaced the transmission.
I average 30mpg, the tiny 10 gallon tank lasts me several weeks.
So far the largest expenses have been my fault, I misdiagnosed the failed injector as bad CV joints (shuddering at speed), so I replaced the joints to no effect. Once I figured out the real problem, a new injector was easy to install. I bought new shocks, haven't installed them yet though. Changed head gasket for no reason, milky oil from condensation that I misdiagnosed as blown head gasket, only cost a few bucks and a weekend though.
On a positive note, this thing is quick and fun to drive. Power sunroof works fine, heater is powerful, good sound from factory system, seats are comfortable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st August, 2010
2nd Oct 2010, 14:40
Update: Odd problem when weather is damp, the instrument cluster lights up when I hit the brakes, even if the car is off! I suspect the brake light circuit is energizing the running light circuit via bad connections in tail light cluster. Think I may have fixed it, with new bulbs and liberal use of sandpaper, silicone sealant and WD40.