16th Oct 2001, 09:41

I have a 1985 Tercel 4wd wagon, too. My wife and I purchased off the showroom floor in '85 with 5 miles on the odometer. It now has 120,000 miles on it and I'm proud to say that the only engine part I have replaced is the starter. I delivered pizzas in it and have raced through the forest with it against a Toyota truck and generally abused it over the years. All the while, commuting to work and taking summer road trips in it. I love this car!!! I am now planning on giving it to my son for his transportation needs. It has two rust spots behind the rear wheels, I wore out the heater blower motor, and the rubber on the brake pedal is worn out. That's the worst of it. I think I'll change out the original fan belts next summer. Did I say I love this car?

26th Nov 2002, 08:02

I also have a 1985 Toyota Tercel Wagon... 4WD. I purchased it about two years ago when my 93 Geo Metro died (at about 100,000 miles). The Tercel, in addition to being 8 years older, also had 150,000 miles on it, AND cost me more than I paid for the Metro when IT was only two years old!!! I come from Alaska, where these old 4WD Toyotas are in high demand. Up there where it is so cold for much of the year, it really separates the well-made cars from the cheap ones. You should see how many ancient Toyotas and Subarus (4WD wagons and small pickups) are running around with hundreds of thousands of miles on them!

I love my Tercel, and I hope it does last forever. I can honestly say it has never let me down. Whoever had it before me took really good care of it (it had no dents, no cracks in the windshield, no rust, the paint job is still beautiful and shiny, and the seats have no rips or worn spots- it even had the original 1985 manual!) I got it at the Toyota dealer- I think it says a lot for a car when the dealer will still sell one that is almost 20 years old!

A nice thing about this car is that if you have half a brain, you can maintain it yourself... it is so simple. I did a tune-up on it myself when it started hiccuping up hills, and that fixed the problem completely. I now live in New Orleans, and it was broken into one night- it only took about ten minutes to remove the broken window and install a new one. Oh, yeah, I drove it all the way down here loaded with all my stuff (a rack on top, too), and it did GREAT! It doesn't have A/C (didn't come with it), and the heater core is clogged so the heater only really works down to about fifteen below... which I don't have to worry about now. It is a manual, the four wheel drive is in great working order, and I think it is the most beautiful car ever. I only wish they would make them again, I would get a brand-new one! We have a '98 Camry also, but I just can't see getting rid of this car, it is so reliable and from what I hear, it has many more miles in store!

I rolled this car while taking a sharp turn on an icy road. Not a speck of damage (I think it was due to the huge rubber bumpers, which I wish all new cars had- and the snow I landed in). I walked away without a scrape.

I have replaced the shocks, the brakes, and the exhaust pipe. I had to put a little stop leak in the radiator. I had a small oil leak, but it is pretty much nonexistent now after a nut was replaced.

If you find one of these cars, cherish it! It will last you for I-don't-know-how-long!

6th Feb 2003, 22:12

I own a 1983 Tercel 4x4 wagon with a sunroof and aluminum wheels. It has 215,000 miles on it and has so far been a good little car. I've put struts, a clutch, and CV joints on it and use it to commute about 50 miles every day. It's a little under powered and has a few rust spots and dents, but this is to be expected. My grandpa has 4 of these and has had nothing but good luck and fun in them. I recently went up a steep dirt road up a mountain in it and it did as well or better than my friends Landrover! It goes great in snow and I plan to drive it until it can no longer be repaired. Every one at school knows it as the Red Rocket. It's a legend!

30th May 2003, 06:06

My car is 1995 Tercel SR5 in great body shape, no rust, alloy wheels etc. It's my fishing car and, as all these folk say, will go anywhere even though it has 270,000k on the clock. Does anyone know if I can retrofit power steering from a wrecked corolla? Why all the desire for more power? Just be patient, relax and enjoy the car for what it is, cheap efficient transport. Neil NZ.

24th Nov 2003, 00:19

Boy, am I glad to hear that our 85 SR5 4x4 is from such a great stock!

We bought ours in January of 2000 with 160000+ miles, an assortment of mix-matched worn out tires, bad brakes, shocks, an upper engine oil leak, a leaking gas tank, a smashed and corroded right front turn signal and a cracked windshield. The cooling fan was on its last wind and rust had started to chew on the fenders around the wheels and at the bottom of the lift gate. With a $2000 expenditure, we purchased the car and had the tires, shocks/struts, and brakes repaired.

The "winter beater" served us so well that we have kept it for our family car ever since repairing everything, but the windshield. We have had to repair the starter twice (not our fault), installed a new alternator, replaced the same head light twice and a broken strut from a pothole around our son's school.

With 196000 miles, It has gotten us through many blizzards here in western Michigan. It has hauled us to several campsites, carried various loads of "stuff", and constantly gets over 30mpg!!! It still loses some oil, and the front passenger door handle snapped off during one of our deep freeze cold snaps (double digits below zero with wind chill added in for discomfort).

It will be a sad day when I lose my Tercel! I wish Toyota would have kept up production of this mini-SUV! I prefer the shift on the fly system to the AWD offered today. If anyone has the chance to even drive one of these wonderful ugly ducklings, please treat yourself to a thrill ride through any terrain! The 6 Speed manual will get you through just about any situation! Enjoy!

25th Apr 2007, 20:25

I have a 1985 Toyota Tercel 4x4 wagon it has almost 300,000 miles and still runs beautifully.

29th Jul 2008, 10:03

We've had our 1985 Toyota Ter. for 9 years and it has been a great reliable car since we purchased it. It's not the prettiest of cars but it starts in the winter; not to mention the 4 wheel-drive. In the snow I can go anywhere during the winter months. Presently, we are experiencing the temp light and oil light coming on. Although, the engine is cool, we have difficulty keeping the car running when its stopped at a stop sign; it's necessary to compress the gas pedal to keep the car running. Has anyone had this problem with their Toyota? Can't seem to find out what the problem is and would like our Toyota to pass emissions for this year.

Thanks for your help.

A 1985 Toyota driver.