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markquinton

To Buy Or Not To Buy?

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Hi Guys

I'm going to look at a 2003 Avensis T4 Saloon with the semi-auto transmission on Saturday. By all accounts it's immaculate and only has 57k. It was up for sale with a buy it now for a ridiculous price on ebay of £4200 but he didn't manage to sell it. I have spoken to him and he's winning to go down to £3250 as he needs to sell it soon.

Thing is i'm dead scared about the Oil consumption issue, it's not had a short engine block and the owner says it doesn't use any Oil whatsoever and has FSH.

So what do I do? Should the fact that it looks mint and has low mileage be the deciding factor or should I dismiss the idea purely because it's an early 1.8 that might suffer the Oil loss problem? Will it be covered under extended warranty if it's low mileage?

I've also never had an automatic but I understand form a few on this forum that there are quite good in the avensis? Do they suffer much from a big reduction in mpg, I know old cars did but I expect these don't lose much compared to the manuals versions. Is the automatic recommended, i've heard the manual is a bit clonky (is that a word?).

Any advice? Sorry i've been asking so many questions on this forum. Thanks for your help, I just don't want to buy a lemon as i don't have the finances just incase it goes majorly wrong.

Thank you all.

Mark

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How long has his name been on the log book ? I would view it in the flesh and take a good look all round it be cheeky too, see how low in price he's prepared to go.

I not keen on semi auto's but thats a personal thing only, plus i do not like flea bay.

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Yeah i'm going to have a good look at it on Saturday. It's had 4 owners in the past which seemed a little high but then again i'm always changing my cars and there's been nothing wrong with them.

I've found ebay fine if you know what you are doing and you don't buy blind. I've sold some very good motors on there at good prices. It's ideal if your budget can't stretch to forecourt prices.

What's you reason for not liking the semi-auto's, just your preference or are they prone to faults etc?

Thanks

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Mark.... you keep making reference to a 'semi-auto'.... does the car have the regular gear slector settings ie: P - R - N - D etc? If it does then it is a full automatic.... you stick the car into D and off you go. If the car has the extra side to the gearbox where it has a + and - then it has a manual option. My car is this way and has the Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) The CVT system is really superb and is as reliable as any auto transmission can be so don't worry about it so long as the Oil levels are topped up properly.

As for the diesel engine I cannot comment.

The price does seem low so make sure you run a HPI check before parting with any payment. Good luck thumbsup.gif

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Sorry I mean the automatic with the sequential shift available to one side, i'm not sure if this is a cvt setup, i've seen references from people saying the gear changes are practically seamless however i'm not sure if it's a CVT or not.

It's the 1.8 consumption issue i'm really worried about which is a shame because i really want one and this one looks like it's a cracker, but i don't want to be stuck with a car that needs a new engine in so many miles. If not i'll have to get a mazda 6 petrol instead but really wanted an avensis for the smoothness and relaxing drive.

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Hi Mark,

I have a 1.8T3x auto,and they are a nice car.First off,I would suggest you have a look at Toyota main dealers if you decide to go for a Avensis,they are usually good,and the car will come with full toyota warranty including Toyota owners club membership with breakdown cover.You may pay a bit more but I think it is worth it for peace of mind.I have had two hefty claims sorted with no quibble.

As regards the car itself,the plus points are...gearbox is very smooth,very comfortable with many airbags,feels built like a brick out building.... :thumbsup:.

The gearbox is full torque convertor,with sequential function.

Minus points...Well,It hasn't got much in the way of acceleration as you would expect for a largish car with a 1.8 engine,but it does feel nice and smooth.Consumption I find is about 27mpg around town/about 36 on a motorway run.Tyre noise is noticeable at speed,not as quiet as a Vectra on the motorway.

Mine has done 36,000mls,no Oil use yet.Toyota insure against the high Oil consumption issue for 7 years or 112K if the car has full service history.

I would recommend one...Go fot it!

Hope all this is helpfull to you.

Phil.

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Thanks for the reponse.

I would buy from a main dealer if that was possible but unfortunately i've only a budget of £3500. The car I am looking at is mint but as it's an 03 plate it will be in the last year of the 7year extended warranty for the Oil problem. That's what I'm most concerned about. I'd be interested to see how many people on this site with avensis' between 03-53 have NOT experienced the Oil consumption problem, is it just scaremongery or are most of them affected.

Can I also ask what you 2 big claims were for under warranty?

Thanks

Mark

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Hi Mark,

My two claims against the Toyota approved warranty were:

1....It had a noisy power steering motor gear assembly,so it had to have a complete steering column...approx £1200 at Toyota's prices.

2....The drivers seat height adjustment ratchet failed...new seat base...approx £600!!

I think you will find these faults are uncommon.Also i think a Toyota Tech would tell you percentage wise the Oil consumption problem is low.However I think if I was buying a 03 plate car I would want a comprehensive warranty or investigate the history of the car very closely.I have been told by Toyota that the problem can occur up to mid 05,mine is 05 reg!

Good luck,

Phil.

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