1984 Toyota Tercel Deluxe 4WD Wagon from North America


The car that would never die


Master Cylinder needed to be replaced at 190,000.

Engine was replaced around 100,000.

Rack and Pinion replaced at 220,000.

General Comments:

It's hard for me to believe that I actually loved this car at one time. It belonged to my best friend in college - back in the 80's when it was still new. I even got my first driver's license in it. My friend finally gave it to me three years ago.

Now we have a love-hate kind of thing going. I hate how much noise it makes, and it always feels like something is about to go horribly wrong with this car. The reality, though, is that I've only spent $1,000 in repairs in three years and 45,000 miles. Except for a occasional problems with the battery, this car has started up for me every day for over three years. Not bad for a car that has well over 200,000 miles on it and is about to celebrate it's 20th birthday. My friend replaced the engine about 10 years ago, but I think it was his own crappy maintenance that led to this.

One pain about this car is that the battery dies very quickly if I leave the lights on. Once I left them on for ten minutes and I needed a jump. Even just leaving on the dome lights for an hour will kill it. Then I have to drive the car around for a good 30-45 minutes or else it won't start the next time I drive it. It's a new battery, not-too-old alternator, everything has been inspected and no one can identify the problem. And in fact, the car had this same problem back in 1987.

I like the way it has the feeling of a compact car, but you can still fit tons of crap in it. It's actually a pretty comfortable car, even after all this time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2003

1984 Toyota Tercel Wagon 1.5 from North America


Both half-shafts have had to be replaced, as boots tore on both.

Timing belt or one of the pulleys has failed, have not yet taken apart the engine to see which. When the engine went so severely out of time, it pumped all the engine oil out through the air cleaner and down on to the car frame. I talked to a neighbor who previously owned one of these, she advises that she had the same thing happen because they use a plastic drive sprocket for the timing belt.

General Comments:

I will repair this car and continue to use it. I was generally happy with the car until the engine went bad. I am a Rural Mail Carrier, my fuel and repair costs are much higher on my Ford Aerostar van.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2001

7th Oct 2002, 18:29

Wow! I also have a Toyota Tercel 4WD SR5 Wagon. About a week ago it went not so well. Most of these cars take a lot of abuse in maintenence. I've had the engine replaced once and I bought for $1800 with 145,000 miles in 1997. I've heard a lot of good things with these Toyota Tercel's. A werek ago mine caught on fire and I still drove it for a week. I also had the same problem of the oil coming out of the carburetor and there is leakages everywhere. I don't even know how it is running. True these cars are amazing!

1st Nov 2003, 20:20

All I can say is that my '84 Tercel wagon SR5 is still kicking butt. It has 300,000 kms on it and it rocks through the snow up here in Whistler, BC, Canada. The 4x4 takes me wherever I need to go, and I will keep this beast going as long as I can. Rock on, Toyota!

6th Jun 2004, 19:41

My mom bought a 1984 Toyota Tercel about 5 years ago for just $80. Since then the only problems with this car have been a few flat tires and an alternator. This car now belongs to my fiance who has tuned it up to run even better and put an exhaust on it. I love this car, I don't think it will ever die!! The only thing right now that is going on with this car is that either the starter or the starter solenoid are going out... not sure which... but this car rocks!!!