New Vehicle in the future

Extra maintenance

– Last Updated: Jan-23-08 1:18 PM EST –

There is definitely more to break or need maintenance in a 4WD.

Some of it you can take care of it yourself, though. If you can change the oil, you can change the fluids in the front differential and the transfer case (as well as the rear diff and manual transmission, if that's what you get). I take care of those myself, and they only need to be done every 30K miles or 2 yrs. Valvoline makes some pumps especially for these uses, and they work great.

What I really, really wish is that manufacturers could come up with some good way to totally protect the metal from corrosion. &!#*@ing winter road salt slop.

Oh, I totally agree with you about not keeping it till it's run into the ground begging to be put out of its misery. Been there, done that, and won't do it any more. Not worth all the shop time (including being without a vehicle), scrounging for parts that are not available, and, especially, the unreliability on road trips.

I would like to know if the new engines
installed in the older smaller and (presumably) lighter models have gotten even better fuel economy?

Rav 4 kicking a BMW’s butt?
That right there is funny!

That’s what I’d like to know
But I suspect they might not fit. There’s not a lot of spare room under the hood.

Meanwhile, I just try to drive very smoothly and use momentum where safely possible. The extra width is nice, but I do not consider it indispensible.

BTW, you haven’t lived till you’ve heard someone (average size) complaining about how cramped she was in her Chevy Trailblazer, compared with her previous Suburban. This person later turned in the Trailblazer for a Tahoe because “it has a lighted vanity mirror.”

Not that much extra work with a 4wd.
That is, if you don’t get into mudding, rock stuff, or trying to take it to the limits. For hauling stuff down forest dirt roads, its great.

Tacoma all the way
I think a truck makes too much sense for hauling just about anything. If you don’t haul a lot and live in a city, then a RAV4 might be a better option.

I have a friend who bought an FJ that he’s no longer quite as enamored with. Sorry I don’t have better scoop than a “I-have-a-friend…” but that’s as close to any other FJ info I can come.

I’m actually in the market to swap my Tundra for a Tacoma (better mileage, plus I no longer need the big truck as much as I did before) so I’m kinda partial.

I’m with keep the old
care for it and use it for many more years. That is the best financial and environmental position. Think of the energy required to make a new truck? You don’t really need new, and who’s to say the new one will be more reliable? Maintaining a vehicle wisely can ensure hundreds of thousands of miles. Just be proactive with service and it will be no less reliable at 330k than it is now.

I walk my talk here with over 400k on my veg burner. I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years and would jump in the rig and drive to Alaska tomorrow without hesitation.

Lower insurance, no payments, etc. Invest what you don’t pay the bank for a new truck. I say re-think this. A new truck won’t do anything your current one can’t probably. If you were going to trade it, you’d have been money ahead to do so 40k ago. Drive on!

I was kidding, man. No offense. ;~)

Keep the current Taco
Tacos good. You’ve got a huge user knowledge base and good aftermarket support.

You don’t need 4x4 you don’t need the FJ. Never understood a 2wd SUV. Get a minivan.

A new Taco might be nice, but is it really worth it?

3 series has 40 less horses then my RAV. The RAV V-6 engine is a Lexas transplant. Even took on a 5 series on a back twisty road. Have the stone chips on the hood to prove that one. Couldn’t shake me,but he was either afraid of it,or couldn’t drive. For a small SUV/Crossover its a fun ride.


just bought fj cruizer
We just picked up an FJ Cruiser. Base 4x4 automatic with offroad package (locking diff, shocks, tires)

We installed a Gobi Stealth Rack instead of ordering the factory rack.

Blind spots are mostly a non-issue. So far it’s a sweet ride.

Some questions regarding your 111
I’m in Louisiana and am looking into a relatively small, light, maneuverable kayak for fishing, recreational paddling, and occasional photography. The paddling locations I’d be using would be bayous, slow-moving rivers, flat lakes/marshes. I’m going to try out the boats before I buy of course, but I’m strongly considering (in the SIK and SOT categories, respectively) a Predator K111 or a Manta Ray. I understand you own two Loon 111’s and that they’re pretty equivalent to the K111. I was wondering about what you’d think about a 111 boat given my needs? Also, even though the boats evidently have rather large cockpits, I was wondering how storage is in them? Since I fish, I’d like to be able to fit a cooler in there to take some home. Thanks for any help you can give…I really would appreciate it.


I’m in the “keep it” camp

– Last Updated: Jan-30-08 3:13 PM EST –

I understand your desire to not mess with breakdowns and the like now that you aren't economically forced to, but really, 130-thousand is practically brand-new on a modern car, and Toyotas are known for being reliable. If you took just a tiny fraction of the money you'll be using for payments and set it aside for some "special" preventative maintenance, you can eliminate many of the little and bigger troubles that tend to go with an older car. Have your mechanic change the brake fluid and polish the brake cylinders when you have brake work done, and you'll never have to fix brake-fluid leaks. Same goes for the clutch controls, if they are hydraulic. Change the antifreeze every year (or every five years with the new stuff) and the radiator and heater core should last as long as the car. Change the transmission oil every 30k, and double-clutch your downshifts if it's a manual type (down-shifts are a lot harder on the synchros than upshifts, but some people often double-clutch both ways to insure that the synchros never wear out), and the transmission's life is forever. Same goes for the differential - it'll last longer than it needs to as long as the oil is clean (the oil picks up most of the grit that it ever will in the first couple of thousand miles, so the first oil change is the most important). When the drive-shaft U-joints go out (which they will) have your mechanic install replacement joints equipped with grease fittings and you'll never face that repair again. Change the fuel filter now and then, as well as the belts (usually just a single belt nowadays), and the radiator/heater hoses, and all the "normal" stranded-on-the-side-of-the-road stuff will be as good as what you'd get with any new car.

It sounds like a lot of bother, but it's not with a little planning, and you can do it all for the cost of a couple of payments. If you take your new-car money and invest it, its value will go up over the years. Put that money in a car, and the opposite is true.

You already know all this, of course, but you asked what we'd do, and presumably, why.