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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be a tad bit premature, but I'm really close to pulling the trigger on buying my friend's Sequoia. Long story short, she's moving out of state and is selling her car before she moves next weekend. She went to Carmax, they offered her $10k so I can buy it for $10k if I want.

Here are the stats: 04 SR5 2wd, leather, JBL, hitch, premium alloys, blue with silver trim, homelink, keyless entry, etc. I think that sums it up. It has 85k miles and has been serviced by the Toyota dealer for each service (religiously). She's a small, older Japanese lady and it's never towed or really dont anything more than shuttle kids to Soccer practice. The interior is in great shape (one issue noted below) and the exterior is in good condition. Some surface scratches and two nickel size dings. Never been wrecked, but the bumper was replaced because she backed into the corner of her garage one day.

Anyways, I was all set to get it since she said it's really nice, and I trust her since I know she gets it dealer serviced and she's really on top of things. I also noticed it would need new tires.

Anyways, she let me drive it and I found a few issues:
1. The tires need replacing ASAP. The front tires are completely worn on the outer tread on both sides. She did have them rotated last October so I'm not sure where the majority of wear came from (from when they were on the rear or when they were on the front).
2. At any speed higher than 57mph there is a really bad tire rumble noise which causes a light vibration felt through the wheel. I'm not sure the cause, but I likely attribute it to the state the tires are in. My friend doesn't recall every doing an alignment and can't remember when it started, she just thought it was normal for an older car and the dealer never said there was a problem. She also spends most of her time under 57mph.
3. On the hwy the car pulls to the right, not horribly, but pretty obviously
4. The middle bench seems to have an issue tumbling forward. The 60% side has no issue, but the 40% side falls down, but won't tumble forward. It seems the latching mechanism is stuck/frozen on the side closer to the middle of the car. I could feel the side closer to door lifting up, but it seemed the latch was stuck on the other side. I didn't investigate it, but I felt getting a screwdriver in there or seeing if there's some other override. It may just be gunked up.

Other wise the car is great. Engine and tranny are great. Suspension at low/mid speeds feels fine (I assume shocks are ok, but anything's possible given the wear of the tires).

I'm hoping new tires and a good alignment will resolve this, but after searching online it seems the Sequoia is just awful when it comes to things related to tires/alignment. For what it's worth, she had the tires replaced 29k miles ago with the OEM Dunlop's.

I looked on autotrader and similar cars in retail were retailing for $15k so i think it's a good deal, but I don't want to purchase a car that I'm going to continually struggle to keep in alignment as I'm really obsessed with my cars driving straight and smooth on the highway. It seems the recommendation is to use non-standard alignment settings, but that seems risky and unusual.

Finally, since new tires will be an immediate purchase, what size can I size up to on the stock rims?

Here's a pic:


PS - I'm under the assumption I'll need to also replace the timing belt around 90k miles. Since this is a third vehicle (08 BMW M, 06 Prius), that'll probably be sometime early/mid next year.
 

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It almost certainly is the tires and alignment.

As for the seat, the latch may just need to be unstuck and them sprayed with a lubricant like wd40, but hard to tell without seeing it.

I have an 04 and have had zero problems with it, it's a great car! Only time it was ever in the shop was for the ball joint recall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I have a local alignment specialist who has the best Hunter alignment equipment. They'll make sure everything is dialed in to exacting specs.

Thanks. I forgot there's one other issue which is the light that surround 'D' when you put it in D went out, but that's not a biggy.
 

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For tire size - I wouldn't go any bigger than the stock (265/70/16) size. You may have an issue with tire rub in the front if you go much bigger.

Cheers,
Adelaar
 

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When I bought our used 2001 SR5, it had on 265-75-16 tires on...no tire rub at all; but I replaced them with factory recommended sizes.

Anyways, can't really perform a proper alignment with the tires that are on there. Most likely, the problems will disappear once you change the tires and then you get an alignment. You can see if she'll drop the price for the cost of tires and alignment.

As for the seat, did you release the 40 seat and continue in one full motion to flip the seat all the way up? If you pause at where it folds down, then it won't let you continue to the fold up position. You have to bring it back up to seated position and start over to lift it up. Try that first if you haven't.

For the most part, sounds like a decent deal. Has she had the timing belt done yet? Better factor that in.
 
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