1994 Toyota Tercel Base from North America - Comments

18th Aug 2001, 22:35

My Tercel engine wore out at 113K miles. Oil consumption similar to yours was the main culprit, with mileage dropping off at the same time. I had a crate rebuilt engine installed, and have had no problems in the first 7K miles following. The price of the engine/clutch/struts (had a few other thing done while she was torn apart) was comparable with buying a used Tercel of similar vintage. Was worth the money.

4th Sep 2003, 00:39

I have a 1994 Tercel and I am still in love with it. Sure I had to replace the water pump at around 70k-75k miles, and it does burn a little oil; no big deal. The only other things other than the battery that have been replaced are the spark plugs (twice), plug wires (once) & a headlight. The inside light doesn't work 1/2 of the time, but that's no big deal either. This car has 145k miles on it and it is still going strong. When I bought my "piece of crap" Kia I didn't trade in my Tercel;l I kept it for my daughter who is driving it now (except when I have to drive it 'cause the Kia is in the shop; which has been pretty often). Lighten up, at least you didn't make the mistake and buy a Kia.

5th May 2004, 12:01

I had the same problem with my dome light as well. In fact, it wouldn't come on at all. I checked the fuse and bulb which were fine. The problem is the contacts in the bulb housing. You can either remove and replace the entire assembly (2 screws), or do what I did.

After removing the housing, I took a multimeter and found where the discontinuity in the circuit was by probing the contacts. I polished off the corrosion and solder-jumpered a short wire to the bulb contact. The dome light works perfectly now.

3rd Jan 2005, 16:15

My 94 Tercel has 100k+ miles on it; I experienced the standard water pump failure at 80k, but none of the oil consumption problems described. I did have an exhaust leak that required a $90 fix. It's a good car that has served its purpose too well. I wish it would die so I could justify getting a new car.

30th Sep 2005, 07:21

You cannot adjust the valves on any modern engine (unless Toyota was still back in the stone age in 1993). The overhead cam engines all have hydraulic lash adjusters which are non adjustable. I know other people who have also had low mileage (under 100K) engine failures on Tercels, and had to replace their engines. However, those people did beat on their cars severely, so were bound to have problems, regardless of what they were driving. But, I have seen many other cars (not Tercels/Toyotas) take worse and survive. I have no inclination to necessarily defend Tercels, but get the feeling this vehicle was probably beaten too. No car is invincible.

3rd Oct 2005, 16:27

Why spend nearly a thousand dollars to repair a worn out, 11 year old car that's maybe worth a tenth of that on a good day?

11th Jun 2006, 00:55

I own a 1994 Toyota tercel manual. I didn't realize how much I love this car until I bought another one, because I got scared of a little blue smoke. This vehicle has been nothing, but good to me and throughout the ten years I have owned him I've only invested about $1,000 for tires, oil changes, and yes one fuel pump in TEN years. I think that is great. I would definitely recommend this vehicle.

25th Jul 2006, 20:05

I have a 1994 Tercel and its been good to me. I bought it when it had 128,000 miles in 11/2003. No big problems, only tires, a new battery, and fan belts. My problem is a couple of times the coolant container was dry and I filled it up with coolant. About a day after I did this, the carpet on the floor of the car on the passenger side was soaked and the coolant container was empty. Someone said it might be the heater core and another said it was the condensation from the a/c and the drip tube was missing therefore, the condensation was being emptied onto the carpet. Anyone having this same problem? How do I repair it?

27th Jul 2006, 00:07

I had a Tercel... it was maintained regularly... but it died at 140,000 ARG oh well...

18th Jan 2007, 12:37

We drive a 1993 Toyota Tercel with 265k miles. Although it is on its third water pump, it requires far fewer repairs than any other car I've heard of. It has never broken down. By 175k miles it was using a quart of oil every 500 miles. Our mechanic said it was cheaper to add oil than have the valves or rings replaced. Then it started losing power and going through spark plugs at around 220k miles. The brother of my boss is a Toyota mechanic, and said the problem is common. His first advice was not to have a valve or ring job done, because taking off the head and putting it back on will warp the block and the engine will be even worse off. He recommended just using synthetic oil. We started using Mobile 1, drove it on a 1400 mile trip (going 80 through West Virginia), and then it passed emissions. It doesn't have the power it used to, but just this week at 265k, it passed emissions again. It is a great car. Synthetic oil is expensive, but it is much cheaper than major engine work.

27th Mar 2007, 15:21

My 1995 tercel has 232,000 miles and I love it. Sure I've done normal maintenace, but nothing major. It does like to drink oil. Does any one know how to change the water pump? I'm having a difficult time.

28th Apr 2007, 19:03

My 1994 tercel has 83,000 miles. Sure I've done normal maintenance, but nothing major. It uses oil. Water pump requires replacement. I would like to try doing it myself. Can anyone tell me how this is done?

4th May 2007, 18:03

I do not own a 94 tercel, but, my mother does. The car has about 60,000 miles and makes noise like a bearing is going bad in the water-pump area. I found this site and it looks as though I am right about the water-pump. The car needs the timing belt at this time so I am in luck to do both at the same time. Water-pump changing on these little cars requires small hands and the removal of the timing cover. If you have to ask on the Internet how to do it, it probably means you need to have someone else do it. Otherwise, get a manual and get dirty. It's just taking junk apart and putting it back together again. The only secrets about water-pumps is not to torque the thing down so tight that you CAUSE a leak and don't make the fan belts so tight that you ruin the new water-pump bearing. I hope this helps someone...

20th May 2007, 09:41

I just purchased a 93 tercel that seems in excellent shape with 162,000 kilometers on it and had the motor replaced with a junkyard motor 2 years ago. It has surprising power, but yes the only problem is the oil burning and it scared me till I read the synthetic oil solution on this site. Thanks!! I will definitely get the synthetic oil for it today. I was wondering if I should put the slick 50 treatment to it as well. The only other thing is that it pulls to the left just a bit. I picked it up for just $500.00 bucks and am getting $230.00 off of that by using the Citi Master Card drivers edge card. This card puts cash towards any used car you purchase, at least here in Canada. Great site!!