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2007 Toyota Yaris 1.3 VVT-i Zinc

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Hi guys

Thinking of buying this car...anything I should be aware of? My poor little 2003 Yaris is falling apart (back box decided to separate itself from the rest of the exhaust today) and after buying a new clutch, alternator, 4 tyres, wheel bearings, Battery and drop link bushes I think she's telling me 'get a newer car!'.

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Mine's a 1.3 2006 T3 manual. Issues I have had with it have been constant squeeking and chirping from the drivebelts, its done it for the last 5 years and worse when cold or damp weather - tried changing belt but no luck - seems a common problem with early Mk2 cars. Headlights now deteriorated through sun damage to the extent I will have to replace them both, as they are so foggy and cloudy that Meguairs PlastRx can not clean them up and they could fail the MOT soon for "having a product on the lens that seriously reduces light output" - and this headlight deterioration affects most Yaris from 2006 to 2008 with later models seeming less affected.

Clutch has always been very poor with biting point down at the bottom of the pedal travel so that I have to mash the pedal into the carpet to avoid crunching gears - they seem prone to this issue according to Honest John, and bleeding the clutch slave cylinder does nothing to improve the situation, thats just how they are. Getting Reverse gear from standstill can be embarrassing often as the gearbox grinds into reverse. 

My replacement exhaust back box now rattling again with baffles corroded and rusted out - when they break they break at joint between backbox and centre pipe, and the backbox then drops down at the front and hits the road, as its only supported from the back, but not the front - bad design so you know about it when the backbox does separate from the centre pipe - it goes with a right bang as it hits the road. 

Had issues with front brakes binding and sticking caliper piston, needing caliper replacement earlier this year, passenger side only affected.

Door mirror front cover fell off and got lost so had to buy new one and spray it to colour of car myself.

Various rattles from the dashboard and glovebox area, the A/C developed a leak at the pipe union by the condensor and leaked all the gas out, so now no longer works.

Roof mounted aerial rubber perished from the base upwards, and all coming off exposing wire part underneath.

Brake light bulbs a pain in the **** to get out to replace - very poor design meaning they are really fiddly and awkward to get the bulb holder out of the cluster.

Steel wheels rusting behind the hub caps, so looks untidy through the holes in the hubcap.

Oh and its only done 36000 miles from new too, but despite all the niggles, its never broken down, although I prefered my Mk1 1.0 CDX T reg over this French built Mk2 model.

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Sounds very much like a neglected car, door mirror covers only 'fall off' if they've suffered an impact, headlights only fog/mist/yellow when the UV coating has been remove through abrasion such as incorrect washing procedure the same goes with the steel wheels, heavy duty tfr's used by hand car wash establishments are unkind to unprotected ferrous metals. Don't expect cheap after market exhausts to last anywhere near as long as oem. 

Some early 2008 models suffered from 'crunching' gearboxes but you'll be able to tell on your test drive. I would check underneath for rust as some seem to rust especially those that have spent their lives on the coast, check for service history, regular oil changes are a must. 

The mk2 1.3 is a very good car if cared for, the zinc and t3 share the same spec but the zinc comes with factory fit 15" alloys and is only available in venetian silver or black with either a 1.3 petrol engine or a 1.4 diesel, hope that helps.

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One other thing I forgot to mention - the suspension bushes front and rear can get very creaky when going over bumps and around bends, again, seems worse when damp weather, but car has always passed MOT with no advisories for worn bushes - they are just a bit irritating, but I learn to live with all the noise they make, as they are just old, and my mother's 64 plate Yaris Icon has creaky bushes too, but not quite as bad a mine though.

As far as headlight lens deterioration, I see an alarming high number of early Mk2 Yaris on the roads with severely yellowed and fogged up headlights, and I have only ever washed my car with proper car shampoo and used Meguiars Plast Rx with a soft cloth. The fact is, as far as I am concerned that Toyota used poor quality plastics for this model's headlights that do not stand the test of time and are severely damaged by sun exposure. My older Mk 1 T reg suffered the same issue, as do many other Mk1 Yaris, and a good deal of other older cars with plastic headlights can also suffer this issue, but the later models of Yaris Mk2 seemed less affected, as I dont notice half as many newer than about 09 Plate with severely yellowed and cloudy headlight lenses, and have not noticed any Mk3 Yaris yet, so only really Yaris older than 58 reg.  Who knows , Toyota may have got wise to this issue and used better more UV resistant plastics.

On the underside of my car, the rust is not too bad, some surface rust on inner sills towards the rear of the car, surface rust on rear suspension components and on the bottom of the boot floor, but as already mentioned, they do rust VERY badly if kept near coastal towns with salty environment, as I have seen pics of one that failed the MOT with corrosion that was very bad. 

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@StevieJ  Re: creaking try this:

This also happened to on our 2007 Yaris, I used 'Wurth Rubber care on all rubber bushings and cv boots under the car. This stuff softens/rejuvenates the rubber components and also got rid of the creaking when driving over speed humps.


I also use White lithium spray grease to lubricate the bearings that sit on top of the front shock absorbers, this cures the creaking when pulling away slowly as 'shavestick' mentions in his post. To do this I turn the steering full lock and then 'pop' the bonnet, using a large flat screwdriver I gently prise the driver's side black rubber/plastic cover that sits on top of the strut on the inner wing, then using the straw to spray grease onto the bearings (it's a bit hit and miss at first and you may need to do this on more than one occasion to hit the spot by angling the straw downwards slightly.) I then turn the steering to the opposite lock and proceed to do the same on the passenger side. The alternative is to strip the front suspension down and replace the bearings due to the grease drying out, I know which option I would choose every time!


Hope you find this tip useful.

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