1990 Toyota Supra 3.0L inline 6 from North America




All I've had go wrong in the 8,000 miles I've owned the car is that the coolant level seems to drop now and then and I have to add a little.

Unfortunately that is probably a bad sign, since this is a Toyota Supra. So... Bring on the Head Gasket.) :

The rest of the car is cherry. It is 14+ years old and under 50,000 original miles. The body and paint and interior has held up with 14+ years of life.

General Comments:

If you are going to buy a Supra, and you want to keep it for a while. Check the Head Gasket either BEFORE you buy it or soon after because that is what will go wrong, if anything, with your car.

I have no idea how Toyota has gotten away with out making it a priority for a recall. Ah well.

Still the Supra is the greatest performance sports car in the last 25 years. Almost hands down. (In this fella's opinion).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2004

8th Jul 2006, 01:02

In short, Supras of any year are outstanding. Any true Toyota lover will agree to that.

1990 Toyota Supra Turbo 3.0i turbo from UK and Ireland


Fantastic looks with superb performance


Exhaust manifold was blowing when I bought the car. This is a common fault caused by the manifold bolts which strip the soft aluminium threads in the head. The answer is to have helicoils inserted into the head which means the head has to be removed.

Valve stem seals needed replacing. These were done at the same time as the above.

The car had a chronic thirst for coolant at first, typical signs of a blown head gasket. Replacing the radiator made no difference. The cause was eventually found to be a split turbo coolant outlet hose.

One headlight sticks in the upright position in warm weather.

Rear wheel-arches are starting to show signs of age, again it seems that this is a common fault.

General Comments:

These cars are currently superb value for money. If it wasn't for the renowned head-gasket problem they could well be worth a lot more.

The six cylinder engine is very smooth although it isn't keen on being revved too high. That said there is no real need to do this anyway due to the bucket-loads of torque available at low revs.

The turbo-lag is particularly noticeable which leads to an interesting time, particularly in the wet!

The car is practical as well, as long as you don't intend on carrying too many passengers. There's plenty of room out the back and the split rear seats fold down.

The ride is firm, which can be annoying, however the suspension and steering feel well set-up and you can really throw the car into corners without losing grip.

I'm not sure of any other second-hand car in the UK with the same level of performance (0-60 ~6s, top speed ~150mph), such good looks, air-con with climate control, cruise control and as many electrical gadgets as you could wish for for less than £1000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2004

1990 Toyota Supra turbo from Australia and New Zealand


A high maintenance, high performance super car


Since purchasing the car I have had a long and expensive list of repairs that needed doing. The most annoying of the problems is a tendency to overheat when the car is driven at high speeds for only a short time.

The radiator will lose all of its coolant and the mechanics that I have taken it to seem to only guess. Their guesses are costing me a lot of money with radiator changes, and thermostat changes. The car shows no sign of any problems, the viscous fan works to manufacturers specs.

Other problems include replacement of the tail-shaft centre bearing. This is a common problem. Other Supra owners complain of this as well.

Front brake rotors and pads have a tendency to overheat rapidly with manufacturer's specified unit. The pads glaze up and seriously reduce braking performance.

I have since changed the pads to a higher performance set and the rotors to a slotted type to help with cooling, but no noticable difference has been made. Only the fast erosion of funds from my bank account.

General Comments:

Though the car is prone to problems, I really enjoy driving it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2001

2nd Dec 2001, 10:46

My 1986 Celica suffers from overheating when pressing on, only around 90-100mph & in summer. No great water loss & no reason at all, I just slow down a bit now. Perhaps a strange Toyota thing?

10th May 2002, 14:03

My Supra turbo (1990) loses water when driven hard, I have been told this is due to a blown head gasket-it was doing it when I bought it and it has not changed at all three years later... Something I am willing to live with considering the cost of a new head/skim ect!

4th Nov 2004, 18:20

I drove my Supra for two years with a head gasket problem. It was blown however it only go hot when you drove hard. It would loose very little water and when it did it burned clean. No water in the oil or oil in the water. A smog shop diagnosed the problem and it was rather cheap to fix. My second supra had a blow head gasket and warped head when I bough it. Supra's are notorious for head gasket and head problems. Don't LET IT GET HOT... I have learned. Also always have the head resurfaced when getting the gasket replaced.

18th Nov 2004, 16:07

Don't get it HOT, or, preferably, change to more reliable head gaskets. Toyota's are just thin and very aging.

That's my opinion on this subject.

5th Jun 2008, 22:47


Get a Turbo timer, lets the engine cool a bit as per. man. rec.. works with mine.

1990 Toyota Supra 3.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Impressive, but sadly not reliable


After 3 days of taking delivery the gearbox had to be rebuilt by the dealer.

Managed to get through 4 radiators.

Head gasket (as per a normal Supra!).

Radio-cassette code locked up without incorrect entry.

General Comments:

Servicing expensive, e.g: spark plugs £20 each!!

Don't buy one when it's due a plug change!

Breakdown cover very useful which had been provided by the dealer (opportunity to drive the rest of Toyota range!!).

Impressive performance & well built (except the engine!),

Sadly the gearbox from the 2.8 could not handle the 3.0 Turbo!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2001

13th Oct 2001, 09:44

You got a badun!!!

7th Jan 2002, 18:34

I'd say you had some very bad luck my friend. I've got 3 of these (1987 and two 1990, all turbo)

I've run a considerable amount of miles on them and they are all excellent. I did have the head-gasket problem on one, but the others have been fine.

All are well over 100,000 miles at this point.


M. Donohue

Atlanta, GA (USA)

1990 Toyota Supra Turbo 3.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Rocker cover gasket blew, but apart from that nothing else has gone wrong.

General Comments:

Great car for the money. It goes quickly, handles well for a large car and still gets noticed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 1999