Used Toyotas Tips

Read these 6 Used Toyotas Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Used Car tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Why won't my Toyota Camry start?

Toyota Camrys & Flywheels

If you're interested in buying a used Toyota Camry, you can rest assured it's one of the most reliable used cars on the market. Here's one tip to keep in mind, though: Camrys are known for eventual flywheel problems. Essentially, the "teeth" in the flywheel break and this causes the engine not to turn over properly on ignition. The cost to fix a Camry flywheel is usually under $500. This isn't a bad price considering the Camry's reliability means you probably are not paying for repairs that other used cars require.

Keep in mind that Toyota backs their cars for up to three years or 36,000 miles, so if you encounter flywheel troubles within that time or distance frame, it may be covered under warranty.

   
What is the correct usage of a child car seat?

Child Car Seat Safety

Parents in the northwestern part of the United States who may be looking for used cars in Seattle, Washington not only have a plethora of used car dealerships, but also some excellent resources on child car seat safety. According to Seattle's Swedish Medical Center, here is some helpful information about purchasing a child car seat.

Here are some of the highlights of correct child car seat usage:

  • Always use a car seat when transporting your infant or young child.
  • Familiarize yourself with car seat instructions as well as your vehicle's user's manual.
  • Child car seats should always be placed in the back seat.
  • Use proper harness slots to latch the car seat in place. Be sure the straps lie flat.
  • Once buckled in, test the security of the car seat by tugging on it. It should not move in any direction.
  • Keep the car seat tilted back to about a 45° angle to keep your baby's head from flopping forward.

   
What is AWD?

AWD: Good for Bad Weather

If you live in an area where there's a lot of snow or rain, it's wise to choose a used vehicle that has All-wheel Drive (AWD). Toyota's Sienna LE, Honda's CR-V, Ford's Escape and the Lexus RX 300 are all great examples of reliable AWD vehicles. AWD gives you added traction on the road during bad weather conditions, keeping your vehicle from spinning out of control. You'll pay a little more for this option and the fuel efficiency decreases a bit, but in the long run it's well worth the expense. Safety measures like the AWD function end up saving money in insurance costs ... especially since they can help you avoid having an accident.

   
What should my mechanic look for when inspecting a used Toyota 4-Runner?

Inspecting Your Used Toyota 4-Runner

Investing in a used Toyota 4-Runner is well worth the expense. It's a good, solid vehicle, capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. Here's another expense that's well worth it: When (yes, when, not if) you get your 4-Runner inspected prior to purchasing it, have your mechanic run the following diagnostic tests.

  • Oil leak check underneath
  • Check rotors
  • Check brake cylinders
  • Compression check (makes sure that the engine is in sound condition)
You should always have an inspection done before you purchase any used vehicle, but request these tests for sure if you're looking at a Toyota 4-Runner -- particularly if it has over 100,000 miles on it.

   
Why does my four-cylinder used car vibrate at a stop light?

Bad Vibrations?

What's the difference between a used Toyota's four-cylinder engines and their six-cylinder engines? A few more vibrations at stop lights. A four-cylinder engine gives you four bursts every time the crankshaft turns twice. A six-cylinder gives your six for every two. The result? Less vibration. You'll notice the vibrations more at a stop light rather than when the car is in neutral or park, since the engine is, in essence, suspended in the latter two modes.

If the vibration bothers you, you can have your mechanic try adjusting the idle up or down by about 50 to 100 RPMs. This small adjustment can have a sizable effect on the amount of vibration.

   
Are used hybrid cars less powerful?

Toyota Hybrids: Packing in the Power

Many used car buyers are wary of choosing a hybrid because they fear hybrids don't have as much power as standard gas engine vehicles. Here's an interesting comparison that debunks that myth:

The Lexus RX400h and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid have the same 270-horsepower system. Honda also has a powerful hybrid Accord, which is the fastest hybrid on the market today. Additionally, Toyota's Volta boasts a 408-horsepower system. These hybrids are actually a more efficient system because combining a gasoline engine with battery power gives engineers who design them more control over how each vehicle will perform -- from fuel efficiency to speed, regardless of the size of the vehicle.

You'll pay a little more for a used hybrid vehicle because of the new technology, but over time you'll be saving money by reducing the amount of gas you'll need to buy. Besides that, most would agree that helping take care of the earth is priceless!

   
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Sherril Steele-Carlin