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2000 Solara
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My 2000 4-cyl Solara has had Mobil 1 5W-30 oil changes at least every 3,000 miles. 1/4 of them I change the oil myself and basically do a double change. Before removing the filter, I fill the engine with either mobil 1 or another cheap oil. Let it idle for fifteen minutes or maybe drive it around the block to get the oil deep into the engine. Then I let it sit and drain until the dripping stops. THEN I change the filter and refill with 5w30 mobil 1. I equate this process to flossing or brushing its molars. :D

The second fenatical thing I did early on was to put in a K&N air filter to improved mileage and engine response. It did just what it was advertised to do.

The third thing I have done is to use Bosch Platinum +4 (four tipped) spark plugs. They also improved the mileage and response of the car.

The car is at 107,000 plus miles and counting. The engine, transmition, and drive train seems to run as well as when it was brand new. Cosmetically it is excellent as well.

Is there anything else I can do to help preserve this wonderful car?

Thank you to all of you who have posted about your experiences with squeaking steering wheels and sticking gas pedals. I just discovered your forum last night and learned how to fix these two annoyances.
 

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That Acura Guy
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2,383 Posts
I have heard of oil flush. Its like a bottle of this chemical that you put into your motor before you change the oil. You dump it in with the oil and run it at idle for 10 mins then drain the oil and everything is suppose to come out. Well most of it. It will save u that extra oil that you put in before your oil change. DO NOT DRIVE AROUND WITH OIL FLUSH CHEMICAL IN YOUR OIL. Hope that helps:D
 

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MDT Toyota Tech
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413 Posts
flushing the tranny often will help out alot.
Using BG Quick Clean about every other oil change will help prevent deposits in the engine.
Just make sure your engine is well tuned and you shouldn't have any big problems ahead.
preventive maintence is the main thing that will help the engine and transmission last for quite some time.
 

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2002 Camry
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2,231 Posts
So you want this car be a time capsule or something and last until the aliens come. I have some nit picky tips for you thatm ight help it a little.
1. Every oil change or so, use a cheap turkey baster to suck out your brake fluid reservoir and then refill with new brake fluid. Do the same to the power steering (flush the baster first of course with PS fluid). This gets out some dirt and water and puts in new additives.
2. Use distilled water in your coolant changes. Tap water is too "dirty" minerals in it etc.
3. Flush the ATF every 30,000 or 40,000 m. I dont remove any hoses etc. Just change it, run it a little, change it again, maybe once more and you are done. (Use only the recommended fluid recommended in the owners manual; in later Camry, Toyota says you MUSt use only their T IV transmission fluid and nothing but! So this wont be cheap ($4 a quart).)
4. Keep the engine and trans clean. This will help you spot leaks and give you a grin when you look at the engine. Also your mechanics might give your car prefernetial treatment if you need them because your drive train isnt filthy.
5. If you have to replace something major like timing belt, replace the incidental parts too - this means replace the idler pulleys and tensioner device (might prevent you snapping abelt one day) And the water pump (i consider the water pump a normal replacement item like an air filter, some last a long time but so much trouble to get to id change it).
6. I sit on a towel on my drivers seat (yes i remove it when carrying passeneger). You only have to look at the mashed towel to realize the wear your saving.
7. Cover your dash when you park it. Keep the interior clean esp the carpets and seat. Dirt = wear.
8, Rotate the tires every second oil change (5,000 - 6,000 miles). Front to back and back to front.
9. I inflate my tires to the maximum stated on the sidewall. This gives you wiggle room for pressure variations from temperature, etc. in case you forget to check the pressure for a few weeks. And remember even good tires lose a pound of pressure per month anyway.
8. Be sure to clean the areas on the body that often get overlooked. These areas are under the rocker panels 9thing under the doors), the bottom of the rear feneders and the wheel wells. in the spring hose these areas but good. I put a double coat of wax on these body areas (except not wheel well of course).
9. Use silicone on all the door seals. Silicone spray that is. Every oil change soak em with the spray and a rag. And clean them at the same time especially in the folds in the rubber. Best to do this right before you wash it because some overspray is inevitable. Dont forget the door window seals.
10. When fixing the car or changing parts always use anti sieze on the bolts. Esp spark plug threads, exhaust manifold bolts, starter bolts etc. (One of the few important exceptions, DO NOT use anti sieze on the lug nuts, if a mechanic puts an impact on them he can easily overtorque it so keep the antisieze off.)
 

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Camry
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6,925 Posts
marc780 said:
So you want this car be a time capsule or something and last until the aliens come. I have some nit picky tips for you thatm ight help it a little.
1. Every oil change or so, use a cheap turkey baster to suck out your brake fluid reservoir and then refill with new brake fluid. Do the same to the power steering (flush the baster first of course with PS fluid). This gets out some dirt and water and puts in new additives.
2. Use distilled water in your coolant changes. Tap water is too "dirty" minerals in it etc.
3. Flush the ATF every 30,000 or 40,000 m. I dont remove any hoses etc. Just change it, run it a little, change it again, maybe once more and you are done. (I think in your year and later Camry, Toyota says you MUSt use only their T IV transmission fluid and nothing but! So this wont be cheap ($4 a quart).)
Do not use Toyota Type IV or what ever transmission fluid in your 2000 Solara I4. The suggest fluid is Dexron III I don't know what the V6 uses, but the I4 is definitely Dex III/Mercon type ATF. Don't forget to drain and refill the differential when your servicing the transmission. It uses the same fluid as the transmission. The power steering uses Dex III ATF also, so don't pour power steering fluid in there.

If you're going to take fluid out with a pump out of the brake reservoir, don't keep using the same bottle. Brake fluid absorbs water over time and you want teh bottle to be freshly opened.

If you are using Mobil 1 synthetic and changing your oil ever 3000 miles, you are probably wasting money. You can easily go 5000 miles or more on it granted you have a good quality filter also -- avoid Fram filters. Stick with Purolator, Toyota, Mobil, Wix (Napa Gold) filters.

For your air filter, go back to using paper filters and ditch the K&N type. Paper filters filter better than K&N type. K&N does improve mileage and power slightly but doesn't filter as well as good quality paper filters.

Next time you change spark plugs, don't get Bosch plugs. Get Denso double platinums (P/N PK20TR11) or NGK plugs. Also get NGK or OEM wireset while you're at it.
 

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2002 Camry
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2,231 Posts
ok I stand corrected, TouringCamry is right. My wive 2001 solara insists on T IV but i was wrong to assume it was earlier, I will change it to read "use recommended". Even though im fairly sure T IV would work fine anyway shouldnt it. (?)
 

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Camry
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6,925 Posts
^ That's strange. For my 2000 Camry, the suggested fluid is Dexron III and since the 01 Camry and Solara have the same engines, the recommended fluids should be the same.

I think the 2AZ and possibly the 3MZ, or 2002 and newer Camrys and Solaras recommend Type IV fluid.

To be certain, the recommended fluid type is stamped on the transmission dipstick.

I don't know if the fluids would work the same or not. I would stick with the recommended fluid just to stay on the safe side.
 

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Gen 4 XLE v6
02 Toy Solara V6 MT
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3,192 Posts
Routine maintenance: you got a 5sfe there, so it will last another 100K miles if:
1. you flush your tranny every 30K miles, or if have not done that, then just drain and fill every 15K miles
2. Seafoam it every year
3. replace your timing/alternator/ac fan belt/power steering belts
4. i'd go with denso platinum's, (i don't like bosh, they actually give us less mpg)..i hit easy 500 per fill up, and i fill close to 16 gallons (before the gas empty light comes on).
5. use a fuel injector cleaner with your oil changes.
 

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If you keep up on your maintenance, you have very little to worry about from that end.

A big factor in making your car last is also how you drive it. Drive very gently as the car is warming up.
 

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MDT Toyota Tech
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413 Posts
I wouldn't recommend filling your tires to the maximum on the sidewall, because the pressure will go up with heat thus causing more of a problem for tire wear in the middle of the tire and possible chance of a blow out. Use the chart on the door for the proper pressures.
 
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