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Old 05-08-2019, 04:27 PM   #1
seatech30
 
Drives: Yaris 2008 Sedan
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Posts: 75
Question Bought a used yaris, now to get it back into shape, need some feedback. [LONG POST]

Hello Everyone,

I recently found a yaris 101k miles on it, and took a look. I checked the shocks, breaks were spongy (figured, I could fix this, already did,) checked all the fluid levels, ran the car on the freeway, it actually seemed peppier than my original yaris (262k now). Both are 2008 AT base sedans.

Anyways, things I missed were the coolant, gas pump, front bumper, transmission rattle and behind back seat modelings:

_____Coolant_____
The coolant was green, I didn't want to pop open the coolant cap because it was under pressure when I took a look at the car. I've already emptied out the green stuff out. Used an extra 3 quarts of distilled water during the draining to "flush" it out a bit better. I undid the radiator drain cock and the block drain cock, I ran the extra distilled water through each of these, as well as through the reservoir tank. Let it all drip out. I recovered 4 quarts plus the 3 quarts of distilled water, 7 quarts total came out. Which means either there's 1 quart still in there or the system was not filled to spec, 5 quarts. I closed the radiator drain cock, put in distilled water till it came out the block drain cock, closed that one up, then filled it all up with distilled only. I ran the car in idle at 2500 rpm for about 20mins, till it reached around 205F. I wasn't sure what temperature the fan come on (another thing I forgot to check before buying) but thankfully I was logging with torque, and it shows the temp dip after reaching 205F, I must have missed the fan turn on. This is the same temp my original yaris turns the fan on at too, double checked afterwards.

I plan to drain the distilled water once it cools off. My plan is to refill with distilled water again and use a Prestone flush+ cleaner, run it for a while, then drain that out, and do another distilled water only fill again. After I drain this one out, if there's any hint of green, I'm planning to do a second Prestone flush+ cleaner (bought two) then another drain and fill with distilled again, and finally drain and fill with toyota LLC. Is this overkill? Has anyone used the Prestone flush+ cleaner on their yaris, I was unable to find anything on this?

_____Gas pump_____
When I took off the back seat to take a look, I noticed the cap/lid that hides the gas pump, was not properly seated. I'm hoping this is a matter of loosening the gas pump, and positioning in a different (correct) way then tightening back on, so the lid can sit properly. Any ideas on this? I can take a picture if needed.

______Front bumper_____
Completely missed that the front bumper was missing the bottom scrape guards, and one of the bottom covers under the radiator. The bottom of the actual bumper plastic has signs of semi-deep yellow scrapes. I'm assuming they drove onto a parking bump or curve rather aggressively.

______Transmission rattle_______
The reason I was searching for another yaris if because my car has had a vibration issue for the longest time since 130k miles or so. When I test drove the car, it didn't vibrate at all. As soon as, I drove it off after paying and filling all papers, it was vibrating, thankfully not as bad as my original. I plan to do all 3 motor mounts and hope that this will sufficiently dampen the vibration.

______Behind the seat back moldings______
The moldings were apparently removed at some point and not reinstalled properly. I'm assuming this a bad sign that something was changed, belts? I took the time and trouble to take all the moldings off and install them correctly. Didn't see anything amiss.

______Engine oil_______
I noticed the engine had more deposits than mine, and it was also overfilled. I plan to do a fuel cleaner, and maybe an engine oil cleaner additive? I need to research the latter more. I already drained the oil out and filled in with synthetic 5-30, I plan to redo at 3-5K miles. I plan to do the engine cleaners maybe 100 miles before I do the next oil change. Any feedback on this would be great.

This is my first time buying a used car, and all in all I can say I failed quite hard, missed too many issues, and overpaid. Hopefully the car doesn't have any severe issues.


Some things I've already taken care of:
One of the rear breaks adjusting hardware was incorrectly installed, basically running with 3 brakes. Decided to clean these out completely and reapply brake grease. Readjusted and brakes work perfect now.
Checked spark plugs, some deposits on the threads, cleaned up, regapped to 0.044ish applied anti seize, retorqued.
Engine oil changed.

Sorry for the long post, and I greatly appreciate anyone who takes the time to read through it. I welcome any feedback on any of the topics above, or if I should split this post into multiple posts, let me know.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:44 PM   #2
johnwk
 
Drives: 2010 Yaris LB
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
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Sorry to hear that your new Yaris came with some surprises, but I'm glad your approach is to fix them yourself!

I've used Prestone Flush+Cleaner, because I bought my Yaris with high mileage and no evidence that the coolant had ever been flushed. 4,000 miles later, everything's working normally—no temperature issues or leaks. Most people I've talked to about it said it was probably unnecessary, but your situation may be different given the green coolant.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:46 PM   #3
seatech30
 
Drives: Yaris 2008 Sedan
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwk View Post
Sorry to hear that your new Yaris came with some surprises, but I'm glad your approach is to fix them yourself!

I've used Prestone Flush+Cleaner, because I bought my Yaris with high mileage and no evidence that the coolant had ever been flushed. 4,000 miles later, everything's working normally—no temperature issues or leaks. Most people I've talked to about it said it was probably unnecessary, but your situation may be different given the green coolant.
Thanks for the response. I guess I knew I was already in the creek, might as well make the most of it. Big hopes on the engine low mileage.

I ended up doing only one bottle of prestone flush+ cleaner. First I drained, filled with distilled water, ran up to 210F ish. Before I realized the coolant flows at about 186F, but I also wanted to make sure the fan worked, which turns out was so quiet with the heater on high that I missed it. But it turns on around 205F. Waited for the car to cool off, about 2 hrs. Drained again, added the prestone flush+, topped with more distilled water, ran up to 205F again, saw fan spinning. The prestone flush+ was spilling/foaming out the reservoir (whoops) so I let the car cool off by the curb. When I drained it, I wasn't sure if the cleaner "burned" or actually loosened a lot of black stuff because it looked very dark. I filled with distilled water again, and ran up to 186F until it started climbing to 190F meaning the coolant (water) had been thoroughly cycled. Cooled, drained. Water still looked pretty dark, so filled with distilled water again, and repeated cycling. I was ready to do the second flush+ if the water wasn't clearer at this point, luckily it was significantly clearer, but not as clear as I'd expect. I said F it and mixed up a 67% coolant mix hoping to even out the distilled water already left behind. I came up a bit short -24F I think it was, so I added a bit more at 70ish%. This time it ended around -42F. I'll add some distilled water next time it needs to be topped off. I'm planning to do a flush around 30-50k miles just to be on the safe side. Ran the car up to 205F and the coolant seemed fine and dandy. And that concludes the coolant journey.

I did a throttle body and MAF cleaning. This seemed to increase my idle a bit, but the vibrations were still present. I've ordered parts for all mounts, should hopefully come in next week, I already got 2 of the 4 in. I also ordered the exhaust rubber holders to try and see if that has an effect on the vibration, will do the motor mounts first, though. I bought and received the front stabilizers, but will install those after the mounts and exhaust holders. I discovered a bolt laying on top of the transmission, another loose bolt on the battery bracket and another loose bolt on the brake component (forget the name) under the battery next to the driver wheel. I plan to do a much more thorough look through for more loose bolts. Seems the car may have been abused a bit for the front stabilizers to have been messed up as they were.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:04 PM   #4
tmontague
 
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Congrats on your purchase - good on you for doing your best to find a solid used car on your own armed with knowledge. I think many of use were in the same boat when we bought are first used car. Thought we knew what to look for only many years wrenching and learning later that we had little idea and either got lucky or sucked it up. I thought I knew what to look for when I purchased my first car ('02 Hyundai accent) but now realise I had very little idea.

The good news for you is that most Toyota engines (especially the 1zz, 1nz etc) are actually very tolerant to things like low oil and oil changes not being done on time. The later can be seen by the amount of varnish when you remove your oil fill cap and even more so if you remove the valve cover. I purchased an AWD Pontiac Vibe (rebadged Matrix) '05 for out family car with a 1zz in it. I knew it was only fixed if something broke and it was a student commuter car that wasn't maintained great. Fixed up everything and swapped all fluids. This engine is the dirtiest engine I've ever owned but runs extremely well and is crazy reliable for being a 14 year old car with 350k km on it.

The previous owner likely missed some oil changed and the seller probably added oil before selling to look like it was maintained (hence the over fill) Good idea to swap the coolant back to the pink stuff. I personally don't think a rad flush is needed with any specific product. I would do what you did and drive around until the engine is at operating temps (thermostat opens fully at 180F and fan kicks on around 202-208F give or take) with it fully filled with distilled water. Drain and refill with distilled water. Continue until what you drain is clear and then drain and fill with proper Toyota coolant.

You could use an engine cleaner/flush before your next oil chance and it may help somewhat but I have never used them so cannot speak with experience. This theoretically could expose potential oil leaks due to bad/old seals if it cleans too well. IMO on the 1nz engine if if it just oil varnish, an engine flush/ cleaner is at best only an aesthetic thing and won't improve performance of the engine. It has potential risks though.

If your engine has full on sludge in it then a flush may be your only time sensitive option and cross your fingers. Just put a decent 5w30 synthetic oil in it and change as often as the owners manual tells you to. Your engine won't look much cleaner but it won't perform any worse from that.

Toyota doesn't have the coolant mixing issues seen with GM's dexcool so you don't have to worry about "sludge" in your cooling system as long as the green coolant want fluid and somewhat clean. There are many ways to "flush" the cooling system posted on this forum but unless it is extremely hot out, it is virtually impossible or take way too long to get the coolant up to a temp where the thermostat is full open and coolant is fully cycling the engine and rad.

The transmission rattle/vibration is likely an engine mount but potentially could be a dirty throttle body which is fairly easy to clean. Also a dirty MAF sensor but you already cleaned that. Swapping out the engine mounts for cheap aftermarket ones isn't a bad idea due to the cars mileage and vibration. Or simply inspect the original ones in the car by removing them one at a time and using a screwdriver to try and move the rubber in the engine mount to see if it is cracked.

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:35 PM   #5
06YarisRS
 
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^ What he said. Congrats on the car. What fun would it be if it didn't need some TLC? When I bought my '08 LE, I almost walked away as the car's oil barely registered on the dipstick and what did was pretty black and a little more viscous than I like to see. I cleaned my engine by buying several jugs of SuperTech conventional and completing about 4 oil changes in a row, each at about 1000 km. I buy filters in bulk from RockAuto, so each change got a new filter. I don't usually go over 8000 km on my OCIs but I went nearly 10K on this last change. The oil on my dipstick at the time of oil changes is almost the same color it was when it's put in. The first couple of consecutive changes I did resulted in oil that was quite black. So, as Trevor - above - says, these engines really are tolerant of some neglect. Despite being neglected before I bought it, my '08 runs super quiet and has lots of power for a dinky 1.5L.

I used to do the full distilled water flushes. Never used a flush product.Then I just started doing drain (remove the rad cap and pull the lower rad hose) and fills with premixed Toyota fluid. I change my coolant about every 18 months and it's always crystal clear.

I would also do a couple of drain and fills of the ATF with Toyota WS. Others will advise not to touch the trans. I disagree. I did replace the filter on my '08 but haven't yet on my '06, but it's also had a few drain and fills. I may actually pop the trans pan off and see if there's room for a bung/temp sensor and while I have the pan off, I'd throw a filter on there.

Best of luck with your car. They're definitely worth the relatively small expense and effort to spruce them up and maintain them.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:20 AM   #6
seatech30
 
Drives: Yaris 2008 Sedan
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Posts: 75
tmontague, thanks! I do believe what I referred to as deposits is in fact the varnish you mention. It's maybe twice as thick as that of my own. I'm assuming since the car is low miles, they didn't really worry to do the changes on a time basis as they should have. The oil that came out, seemed no different/dirtier than when I do an oil change on my original, so I'll play it safe and just do another oil change without cleaners sooner than later maybe 4k miles.
It certainly has been a learning experience and hope I don't end up paying too much more for it, haha. Have to start somewhere I suppose. I wrote down a lot of notes (checklist) for next time.
The coolant was nice and liquid, so not worried there either.
I'll make sure to inspect the mounts. I was actually thinking I should probably put those on my old car to see if they help it with it's vibration.

06YarisRS, thanks! I was thinking to do a drain and fill on the trans, after I see some improvement after the mounts. Don't want to sink too much money all at once to realize it wasn't worth it. I also want to change the brake fluid. I hate to admit, but I've been running the same coolant in my old yaris for about 100k miles now... I've topped it up as it seems to evaporate. I definitely owe it a drain and refill soon.
How are the rockauto filters? I've been doing the k&n ones from amazon when they've dropped in price, usually grab 3-6 at once. I'll take a look and compare prices.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:30 AM   #7
06YarisRS
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatech30 View Post
06YarisRS, thanks! I was thinking to do a drain and fill on the trans, after I see some improvement after the mounts. Don't want to sink too much money all at once to realize it wasn't worth it. I also want to change the brake fluid. I hate to admit, but I've been running the same coolant in my old yaris for about 100k miles now... I've topped it up as it seems to evaporate. I definitely owe it a drain and refill soon.
How are the rockauto filters? I've been doing the k&n ones from amazon when they've dropped in price, usually grab 3-6 at once. I'll take a look and compare prices.
I get it. If you do decide to do a couple/few trans drain and fills, I'd recommend doing it once, driving for a while - maybe a several days, and then repeating. I think this is less likely to 'shock' the system. Although my understanding of automatic transmissions is in it infancy, I believe that too much fresh fluid at once can clean clutch packs etc too agressively, resulting in slipping.

Your coolant is probably still ok, but likely due for replacement. The main reason I like to do mine is to replenish the corrosion inhibitors. I think its freeze protection and cooling attributes probably last a lot longer than the corrosion inhibitors.

I could be wrong, but my personal opinion is the K&N filters, although probably excellent quality, are way over-priced for what they are. But, maybe you're getting a super deal buying in bulk. Similarily, Fram's excellent quality Ultra filter is great and I'd use it in a heartbeat, but, again overpriced. That said, I'd be hypocritical for admonishing anyone for spending disproportionally more for a high quality product that will do the absolute best possible job and that has that tangible 'feel good' factor. I've done that many times myself, and sometimes still do. I like the EcoGard filters from Rock auto. They're usually under $1.50 CAD each and when combined with other parts in the order, shipping cost is negligible. The EcoGard filter reminds me of the Kia OEM filters; for one it's the same color, is a solid and hefty, well-constructed filter and comes with a shrinked plastic cover. For my turbocharged 1.8 Yaris, I will def be using a higher end synthetic media filter. Will probably go with the EcoGard S6311 synthetic media cartridge filter, unless I convert to a spin-on filter setup as there are a lot more options in the spin-on configuration. But, for stock, these standard EcoGards are a fantastic value.
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Last edited by 06YarisRS; 05-18-2019 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:11 PM   #8
komichal
 
Drives: Yaris 2007 1.3 2SZFE 64kW
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CZ
Posts: 143
Hello there,
virtually all used cars have some surprises - it only depends how nosy the new owner is and whether he/she strives for catching them all!
Not to mention that 10+ year old car simply HAS to have some issues. From that perspective your trade was quite a bargain I would say! As long as there are no repairs needed that would cost a fortune....
I guess your roads are not enriched with salt during winter, right? Your car will have long and happy life with you! I am trying to give my car everything it deserves but the winters here are salty and the protection against corrosion is weak AF for these cars. Comparing to 15 year old Volkswagen Golf - there is not a single rusty stain there while on Yaris... doh!
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:53 PM   #9
seatech30
 
Drives: Yaris 2008 Sedan
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by 06YarisRS View Post
I get it. If you do decide to do a couple/few trans drain and fills, I'd recommend doing it once, driving for a while - maybe a several days, and then repeating. I think this is less likely to 'shock' the system. Although my understanding of automatic transmissions is in it infancy, I believe that too much fresh fluid at once can clean clutch packs etc too agressively, resulting in slipping.
I was planning to do it once, and again until maybe 50k miles. Thanks for the heads up on the aggressiveness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06YarisRS View Post
Your coolant is probably still ok, but likely due for replacement. The main reason I like to do mine is to replenish the corrosion inhibitors. I think its freeze protection and cooling attributes probably last a lot longer than the corrosion inhibitors.
Good point on the corrosion inhibitors. I'll definitely do a change on the old yaris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06YarisRS View Post
I could be wrong, but my personal opinion is the K&N filters, although probably excellent quality, are way over-priced for what they are. But, maybe you're getting a super deal buying in bulk. Similarily, Fram's excellent quality Ultra filter is great and I'd use it in a heartbeat, but, again overpriced. That said, I'd be hypocritical for admonishing anyone for spending disproportionally more for a high quality product that will do the absolute best possible job and that has that tangible 'feel good' factor. I've done that many times myself, and sometimes still do. I like the EcoGard filters from Rock auto. They're usually under $1.50 CAD each and when combined with other parts in the order, shipping cost is negligible. The EcoGard filter reminds me of the Kia OEM filters; for one it's the same color, is a solid and hefty, well-constructed filter and comes with a shrinked plastic cover. For my turbocharged 1.8 Yaris, I will def be using a higher end synthetic media filter. Will probably go with the EcoGard S6311 synthetic media cartridge filter, unless I convert to a spin-on filter setup as there are a lot more options in the spin-on configuration. But, for stock, these standard EcoGards are a fantastic value.
I was getting them around $4 which seemed good compared to others I would buy before. Their design did change a while ago though. The ecoguards did catch my eye! however, they show as US$3.57 (ECOGARD S4476) still cheaper than k&N, so i'll likely try them out. Would like to try for 10k miles with one of these and mobile 1 extended mileage oil. The cheapest standard replacement I see is the ACDELCO PF1233, which had decent reviews on amazon and actually is the same price with FS, so I may try these as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by komichal View Post
Hello there,
virtually all used cars have some surprises - it only depends how nosy the new owner is and whether he/she strives for catching them all!
Not to mention that 10+ year old car simply HAS to have some issues. From that perspective your trade was quite a bargain I would say! As long as there are no repairs needed that would cost a fortune....
I guess your roads are not enriched with salt during winter, right? Your car will have long and happy life with you! I am trying to give my car everything it deserves but the winters here are salty and the protection against corrosion is weak AF for these cars. Comparing to 15 year old Volkswagen Golf - there is not a single rusty stain there while on Yaris... doh!
I mainly let my guard down because I got blindsided by the prospect of a 101k mile car. The car doesn't seem to be terminally ill yet. I'd say end of the day, I'll end up putting about $500 in parts and fluids into the car. I probably overpaid about $1k for it though. oh well. Hindsight yadda yadda.
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:10 AM   #10
TypeReaL
 
Drives: 2006 Yaris Hatch
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by seatech30 View Post


I was getting them around $4 which seemed good compared to others I would buy before. Their design did change a while ago though. The ecoguards did catch my eye! however, they show as US$3.57 (ECOGARD S4476) still cheaper than k&N, so i'll likely try them out. Would like to try for 10k miles with one of these and mobile 1 extended mileage oil. The cheapest standard replacement I see is the ACDELCO PF1233, which had decent reviews on amazon and actually is the same price with FS, so I may try these as well.



.
Wix or a Toyota OEM oil filter cut open and fram or an acdelco and youll understand always found those on the used cars I bought always first thing to go
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