The Toyota Motor Corporation, more commonly known as Toyota was actually a side branch of the larger Toyota Industries that made its first products in 1934. Toyota started making cars after the Second World War with some guidance from the big US car makers at the time. In the 60s Toyota released the Corolla which was a huge success and the best-selling car of all time. From there it was onwards and upwards and in 2020 Toyota was 9 th largest company in the world by revenue. Toyota do a lot more than just cars and have a stake in multiple other car brands. Not only that but Toyota very much lead the world in creating a hybrid vehicle and have certainly helped push other manufacturers to work towards green motoring.
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When it comes to being reliable Japanese cars always seem to be ahead of the rest. German brands like Mercedes and BMW often get all the positive press for never breaking down but it’s the quiet Japanese that often do a better job. But is Toyota a reliable brand? Does it fit alongside the likes of Honda for being “bullet proof”? Well, here are some common faults and issues you may or may not have heard of.
Most Common Toyota Problems
In the last few years there have been issues with the low-pressure fuel pump used in a range of engines. It essentially stops working and sets of a raft of warning lights as well making the engine run very badly or even stop. This was a official recall so make sure you have checked with the manufacturer.
In 2007 there was a class action lawsuit against Toyota about “sludging”. This covered much older cars from the late 90s to 2002 but there are still reports of sludging issues and the engines being prone to it. There is various bit of information out there but many point to high engine temperatures and lack of oil changes. This can lead to blockages which lead to less engine oil moving around. This gets “cooked” in the engine and turns into sludge and collects in the sump. The tricky thing is using detergents etc to clean it can move smaller parts into smaller pipes causing even more problems.
The bushes in the front struts and the anti-roll bars wear out too early meaning the car can be in good condition but still in need of repair. The issue is normally diagnosed by the clanging noise from the front. It isn’t huge to fix but not cheap either.
The 10th generation of this long lived and well loved car has a common issue with he water pump. The pump itself just stops working so the engine can overheat, if unchecked this could literally wreck the engine.
There are a number of reports of the front brakes on the Toyota Auris making a squealing noise when slowing down. Toyota have come out saying it doesn’t affect the safety or function, but it is clearly very annoying.
The Prius is a very important car in the sense it brought hybrid driving to the masses. So, with that in mind it is understandable that new tech will have a few issues. There are a wide range of smaller faults noted like the top-level display failing due to bad soldering and issues with the fuel gage. The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve has also been a problem for a lot of owners. This causes the wrong levels of gases in the engine and leads the ECU to prevent it running as it should. There are also complaints about Prius windscreens cracking and getting damaged very easily and even headlights turning off on their own.
Certainly, a very popular car that has been around for a long time but one that has had issues. The main issues lie with the 2007 model. There were a number of reports of engine failure in very serious ways along with overheating issues. While not engine related the 2007 model was also plagued with steering issues too.
The 2013-18 models seem to have been sold with a faulty battery that can catch fire. This is being investigated in the US and is rare!
There is a known issue with models from 2004 onwards in the 2.4 litre model. The issue is caused by the bolts on the cylinder heads being tightened too much. The problem with a head gasket going is that unless you stop soon enough you can cause serious overheating issues and even warp the engine block.
Unfortunately, there are a number of gearbox issues over a number of iterations of the popular RAV4. 2007, 2006, 2008 and 2001 are all bad years for gearbox problems. Newer versions are also reported to still have issues too. Complaints about a whining noise are very common. The main cause seems to be a lack of gearbox oil.
Are Toyota Reliable?
Generally, Toyota maintain and have helped to build the Japanese reputation of reliability. There are certainly issues with certain models at certain times, but they are not overwhelming and not common in all cars. As a brand Toyota produce great cars no matter how you choose to buy one be it a new lease car or something older as a used car.