Previa vs Domestic repair costs

Bob Sco

Previa vs Domestic repair costs

by Bob Sco » Sat, 08 Apr 1995 04:00:00

Having only Toyotas for the past 15 years (except 1 Nissan mistake, all
Japanese cars are *not* created equal), I've become use to extremely
reliable cars.  When the Previa came out for model year '91, I had
to balance a number of factors; including the Prev's higher cost, the
"funky" engine design, the versatility of the seats, relability I've
seen in my other Toyotas. With the Dodge Caravans, et all, eating
transmissions like candy, the choice was easy.  (Car Talk's joke at
the time was: Why does a Caravan seat seven?  So the other six can
get out and push.)

Well that was 4+ years and 65K miles ago. The Prev's been to the dealer
for a recall to check something with the AC, a recall to beef up the motor
for the monster wiper arms, it's 60K* tune-up & of course to buy some
new blades for those huge wiper arms.  Add in new tires & alignment,
& new front brakes ($90).  That's it.

At the 60K tuneup (plugs & adjust's, $160), the dealer replaced the
shaft running from the engine to the assy's under the hood. It was
starting to make noise, n/c under warranty. I do my own fluids &
filters; oil, coolant, *** & rear end. Those are all easy, but
done from underneat the car. Under hood items, A/C, alt, p/s,
look easier to work on than a lot on transverse mounted cars, & the
oil & water pumps on the Prev look downright easy to do.

So short-term the Prev's been a dream, long-term maint looks better
than most.  Plus it has chain driven cams, so forget a timing belt

The dealer's hourly rate here in Seattle is the same as the local
independant mech's are getting.  So ask your uncle what
"high cost of repair on Toyotas" he's seen?

good luck-
Bob Scola                    | Last Halloween, one kid showed up at my

                             | very authentic. He took 40% of our candy.