1988 Toyota Tercel Reviews

1988 Toyota Tercel 1.5 from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired190000 miles
Most recent distance264000 miles
Previous carJeep CJ7

Summary:

Even the Energizer Bunny would be impressed with how long this car has lasted!

Faults:

Packed wheel bearings and changed all fluids at 200000 miles.

Had carburetor trouble at 220000 that caused its one and only trip to the shop.

Replaced water pump, timing belt and radiator at 250000 miles.

Replaced speakers at 260000 miles (you have to get creative to find things to work on with this car).

Thinking of replacing the 11 year old battery, but it hasn't given me a reason yet, so as usual I'll have to find something else to work on.

General Comments:

Almost 265000 miles, and it runs and steers like new, and doesn't leak a drop of anything. Uses a little oil, but the owners manual says that's normal even when they are new. I've always used Mobil 1 synthetic oil, and changed it every 3000 miles along with the original "Toyota" oil filters.

The seat and tiny foot pedals are uncomfortable, but other than that, the car is perfect! I just finished a 1900 mile road trip with no problems, other than not being able to find anything good on the radio. The endurance and reliability of this car is amazing!

I used to know every parts salesman in town, but after driving the Tercel for 5 years, I've lost touch with them all!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2010

1988 Toyota Tercel DX 4 door hatchback 1.5L from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5L Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired109500 miles
Most recent distance109500 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Basic transportation

Faults:

Exhaust system rusted off.

When I first bought this car, it didn't run properly.

It had no power to the point of being dangerous to drive on the street. At first I thought it needed a carburetor rebuild. I did some research to find out the E3 engine had a carbon build up problem due to leaky valve stem seals. I performed a compression test to verify if the combustion chamber had a good seal or not. I got high 180's across the board, which told me that the combustion chamber had a good seal, and was not effected by the "carbon buildup" problem.

Upon further inspection, I found that the car just had its timing belt replaced. Who ever replaced the belt did not position the crank and cam relation correctly. I adjusted the timing belt on the correct markings. Now the car runs much better. I can actually drive this car on the road now.

General Comments:

I think this is a cheap car that gets good gas mileage.

It's perfect for students and point A/B transportation.

It's doesn't have a lot of power, and isn't very good looking, but it's basic.

The 4 door hatchback seams to have enough space for 4 adults, and a medium sized trunk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2010

1988 Toyota Tercel 4wd from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired213000 kilometres
Most recent distance225000 kilometres
Previous carNissan 300ZX

Summary:

Excellent choice for all season driving

Faults:

The radiator fan seized, but the car runs cool and will not overheat unless idling for several minutes. In a traffic jam I would have to shut down!

The CV boot and Axle were recently replaced. The boot came off when I was off-roading. It was not ripped and I was able to put it back on.

General Comments:

This car is great in the snow and mud!

I put aggressive snow tires on and came close to getting stuck when I purposely went into deep snow and bottomed out. It still pulled out after a couple tries!

Decent on gas, but could be better.

This engine has a carburator and can be a bit slow to respond to my acceleration requests.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2005

1988 Toyota Tercel DX 2-door 1.6L from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.6L Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired100 kilometres
Most recent distance410000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Classic Japanese Endurance

Faults:

Rust, but what Toyota doesn't?

General Comments:

Went 410000 kilometers on the original engine and transmission.

16V engine (carbureted) engine gave very good fuel economy.

Wasn't the fastest car on the road.

The engine started burning a bit of oil at approx 270000km, maybe a half quart a month, no big deal.

I'd recommend getting one if you can ever find a used one for sale. Excellent car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th February, 2004

4th Aug 2006, 05:36

Great website. I found a 1987 4wd tercel, in great shape for sale, however it doesn't pass smog in California, it has 170k and the women says its in really good condition. I need to talk to some mechanics tomorrow about why it doesn't pass smog, she says it needs an fuel pump, that its leaking. Even though, with this problem, I think it is still worth the $550.00 the woman is asking for it. She has all the records and is the second owner. Any comments about what could be wrong, maybe the carburetor needs work, as to why it won't pass smog?

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 8 reviews