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Scared To Buy A Used 2001

6086 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  iRt
Hey y'all; been wanting a more reliable vehicle and Sick of throwing parts at the two dodge dakotas i have so i'm saving towards something else. Here is a 2001 Sienna for $2500 (hope to get them way down from this). History report on it looks great but the man has no maintenance records for it. He's the 2nd owner and idk how well it was kept up. The van looks really great, white with very little blemish. 163,768 miles on it.

I knew about the corolla being able to go hundreds of thousand miles as well as the camry. So i'm researching and find out about the dreaded 'oil gel' issue. That's a huge deal for a company that's supposed to make long lasting cars, yeah. I doubt the seller will want me removing his valve cover gasket. If he has cleaned the engine (haven't looked at it yet) then it'd be hard to tell from the outside.
How do i verify the van has this issue or not? Think this van will go for 300000 miles easily? Look into my future and say for sure :) Thanks guys
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I am an original owner of a 98 XLE and it has been outstanding.
The body has held up well for life in Michigan, Toyota's starting with the 92 Camry, have had best in class body corrosion protection.
I now have 175k miles, requiring minimal repairs that were mostly easy and inexpensive (rear hatch handle, passenger door release adjustment, and rear exhaust assembly). The most I have spent was replacing wheels and rims (due to rim corrosion) was ~$750 delivered from tire rack. I also found replacing the spark plugs was quite easy with plenty of clearance for the rear bank and have done it twice. I also have cleaned the throttle body and used fuel system cleaner as PM.

The only difficult repair was replacing the front valve cover gasket and plug seals. It was more involved than I anticipated and needed a torx socket along with a difficult plug seal insertion without a specific tool. If I could do over I would skip the seals since they were not leaking. Slug was not an issue though I always used quality oil with changes 5k or longer with synthetic. Never add oil and down no more than a quart at changes.

Only previous non-maintenance part replacement was the rear brake backer plates that due to its two piece welded construction had started to corrode and distort the shield due to the two part construction. The replacement part was a single heavy gauge part.

I have original struts/shocks (no issue) and timing belt, since manual does not list a replacement time for normal service. Water pump wear out will likely determine the full timing kit repair.

I do have a air conditioning leak that I need to sort out and a front exhaust leak to repair.
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The owners manual supplement that details warranty and maintenance, page 31 says under Timing Belt "If the vehicle is operated under extensive idling or low speed driving for long distances as in heavy commercial use such as delivery, taxi, or patrol car, replace the timing belt every 90,000 miles". Apparently the belt quality improved to the point that routine replacement was no longer needed, though service departments reference an earlier time when this was not the case.
FYI, the manual does give 90,000 or 72 month replacement guideline for the non-turbo Supra.

My experience on water pumps is they start leaking when the bearing wears out and is typically gradual.

Thanks for the belt idler diagnostic suggestion. Would an old washer hose work?
page 29 in 1998 is the schedule maintenance Introduction and oil change intervals.
98 is quite different and has a maintenance log for every one up to 120,000 which at the 90,000 detail (page 45) repeats the note on timing belt for special operating condition referenced to page 30. Below is a link to Toyota owners manuals that has the exact pages I received at time of purchase. Your maintenance table though looks familiar, possibly from an earlier Toyota manual (had a 96 Camry with a timing belt) since it isn't in my 3 manuals no the online manuals. Maybe they changed belt suppliers or just changed their minds. Looking online at other manuals; the 97 Camry manual has similar for special condition though at 60,000. FYI online the 1999 and 2000 supplement has a different format than your images, though has the 90k replacement.
I would think if they changed their opinion that they would have issued a TSD, but never saw one, accessed via alldata. Maybe dealerships protested the lost of a $1000 repair opportunity, so they brought it back.
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