The alternator tends to go out around 70,000 - 75,000 miles (as was told to me by the previous owner who had owned the car from 35,000 miles. He has owned three of these cars and had nothing much to complain about.
I paid $1500 for the car three years ago. It was in mint condition. EVERYTHING worked, air, cruise, etc. It did have a strange sound from the drive line (has the push button All Wheel Drive engagement). I was somewhat concerned, but this person had all the paperwork on the car and he assured me it was fine. And it was.
Have replaced the CV joint on right and both CV boots and a new Toyota battery (pricey, but the original battery was still in there according to the mechanic).
The drivers seat has depressed foam, so I bought a great looking (and very comfortable) kitchen chair pad to put me up in the proper position.
For the last year or so, on occasion I put one of the original keys (3 keys) in the ignition to start it and there is dead silence. NO click, etc. I then do the battery cable thing with my pickup running and immediately the car with start like normal. Had everything checked out. NO problems could be found, but the car continued to do this on occasion.
Christmas Eve 2007, in a blizzard, the battery light and the emergency brake light came on and stayed on for 40 miles or so. No power loss or performance problem during the drive in the blizzard. Didn't see them again for a day or two, but periodically, they come back on and eventually, the car did lose power when the lights came on, but then I could drive it again with lights on and no power problem. I had everthing (battery, alternator, etc.) checked by the mechanic (non dealer) that has been working on the car for the entire time I have owned it.
Two weeks ago, I stopped on a country road to visit with a neighbor and we left our cars idling for about ten minutes (I had driven ten miles from my home, no problem, but the lights were on). Eventually the car started to sputter and choke and when I pressed the accelerator pedal it died. It would not start and I called the tow truck. When the mechanic got in it again the next day it started right up.???
NO OTHER PROBLEMS.
I live in central Wyoming and the car has been here all its life.
I LOVE THIS CAR!!
It has zip, cruises nicely on the Interstate 70-75 miles per hour and barely slows down on the really BIG pulls.
It is quiet, with little vibration or sounds other than the very slight low pitch "whine" of the drive line and transfer case (?). Of course wagons always have sort of an echoing sound compared to sedans.
It consistently gets 30 mpg and is absolutely FUN to drive and park. I live on a high bluff with 300 yards of gravel road that is steep and can be difficult even when dry. My four wheel drive 1/2 ton, can't make the hill, unless I engage all wheels. This car buzzes up that hill without engaging all wheels! AMAZING for something with more than a quarter million miles on it, eh?
It is stable around corners and heavy enough that I feel very safe in it.
I want it to LAST another ten or more years! Any ideas on how to FIX the electrical issues?