1993 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5 from North America




When I bought it, it had 86,000 miles on it. I knew the engine would need some attention in the future, as it smoked a little on start up. Also it was leaking about a half a quart of oil on every fill up. Aside from those 2 problems, the car was in very good shape.

The engine finally crapped out at 145,000 and my mechanic said all it needed was a head job (about 400 bucks). He said the compression is still at factory settings & he fixed the leaky oil problem.

I just rolled through 161,000. The motor does not leak oil any more, however it does burn about a quarter quart of oil every fill up. I read online that this is a common problem with this vehicle (no one can tell where the oil is going).

I drive it almost daily, & fall of 2014 I drove it on a 3000 mile round trip vacation thru the Ozark Mountains. The engine performs well and I have no real issues to speak of. Keep up with your regular maintenance and it'll go forever.

General Comments:

My A/C works well, but I had to replace the compressor around 150,000 miles. My mechanic got a good used junkyard compressor for 35 bucks. He also recommended I change out the radiator, which cost me about 80 dollars for a new one.

I don't know if I will ever sell this car because it is SO cheap to repair and is VERY reliable. The best highway MPG I got was on a trip to Dallas with a slight tail wind - 32 MPG doing 75mph. I average 27-28 MPG city. Plug changes every 8-10k miles. You will know when it's about due for a plug change because the engine will idle rough. I think I might try some iridium or platinum plugs this time around, and see if they last longer than the cheap 3-4 dollar plugs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th March, 2015

1993 Toyota Tercel DX 1.5L 3E-E from North America


Why is it still running so well?


So, for the two years I've owned it, what has gone wrong?

- I had to replace the front shocks; only changed one of them, the other is still in my trunk, and it's been a year now.

- The clutch broke at 170 000km.

- I have changed the back suspension.

- Replaced the brakes twice; once when I bought it, and also last month.

General Comments:

This is the first car that I actually owned, and it's still running like a champ! I bought it for 650$ at 150 000km (~93 000 miles), and it was rust free, running well, except that I had to change the brakes.

Since then, I've had a lot of fun with her.

Since it has no power, you have to rev it to get some reaction, and there are not many 20 year old cars that could've survived all the beatings I gave to this car. It doesn't cost me much on gas, and on maintenance too.

For a first car, this thing is great! The whole engine is original, and it works just fine; it isn't burning oil at all! I just don't understand how the car made it through these two years.

I'll keep this car until it dies, and I hope it'll last forever! Tercels are a great car, cheap and reliable, and perfect for broke students, just like me!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2013

1993 Toyota Tercel Base from North America




These cars suffer from defective valve seals. Oil will mysteriously start vanishing, yet it doesn't blow smoke except for a blue puff upon cold starting. Requires an engine rebuild.

General Comments:

The 1993 is rough riding and uncomfortable, very noisy. However, it is a base model (mine was) so I accepted that. However, after meticulously maintaining mine & then finding out that at 60K I needed an engine rebuild, well I wasn't happy. Not to mention the fact that I complained to Toyota & they gave me a crummy $500.00 dealer credit if I wanted to have them to the rebuild. If you buy one of these dogs, be sure to get ready to replace/rebuild the motor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2010

22nd Feb 2013, 19:17

I will never buy another Toyota again. Bought a 93 Tercel for my girlfriend, which had about 174k miles on it, and the engine blew up within a week. I will stick to my American cars. I know you import lovers will probably say something.

26th Feb 2013, 00:05

Was the timing belt ever changed?