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Trev C

Toyota Previa Air Conditioning

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Hello all,

I am new to the Forum.

Having had many troublesome cars and currently run a dire T5 window van, I have decided to try and find a decent example of one of the best cars I have ever owned, A Previa!.

Back in 1996 we bought a 2 year old GX seven seat, drove all over Europe in it, was a geat car, wish I had never sold it.

I am now looking for another but have a couple of questions. We want a UK 7 seat version, late year, low mileage as possible.

Was the version with rear air conditioning brought to the UK?

If so, was the rear air con version available with twin sunroofs?

I have seen some "Solair" Versions advertised with rear air but not sure if they are just refering to the rear heater. None of the ads carry images of the rear roof lining.

Hope you can help?

Regards,

Trev.

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UK Previa = 3 versions

1. GS - Basic version one after market electric sunroof fitted in front no air con 8 seats

2. GL - Dual sunroofs, air con 8 seats

3. GX - Dual sunroofs, cruise control, air con, some came with a cooler box 7 seats two in the middle 3 at rear.

Solair and Motiv were just marketting names given to the GL spec at different times to try and boost sales, they are essentially just hybrids between the GL and GX. Solair means sunroof with aircon, not too sure what Motix stands for

Same engine in all, NO rear air con to my knowledge. After 94 all got ABS but GL and GX spec seem to disappear after 97 where most after that seem to only be GS models, well from what I have seen anyway.

ALL use the superbly reliable 2TZ-FE petrol engine.

NOW for rear air con you need to look for an import which come in 3 version

1. The Estima - identical in every respect to the UK previa but with much better options

2. The Estima Lucida and Emina - two cars essentially the same but from different Toyota factories. These are narrower by 110mm than the Previa although they retain the same basic shape. HOWEVER they are fitted with the 2.2TD 3C-T or later 3C-TE diesel engine which suffer seriously from cracked cylinder heads.

So my advice is if you want the same reliability you had in your Previa but with all the bells and whistles try and get your self a proper Petrol Estima.

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UK Previa = 3 versions

1. GS - Basic version one after market electric sunroof fitted in front no air con 8 seats

2. GL - Dual sunroofs, air con 8 seats

3. GX - Dual sunroofs, cruise control, air con, some came with a cooler box 7 seats two in the middle 3 at rear.

Solair and Motiv were just marketting names given to the GL spec at different times to try and boost sales, they are essentially just hybrids between the GL and GX. Solair means sunroof with aircon, not too sure what Motix stands for

Same engine in all, NO rear air con to my knowledge. After 94 all got ABS but GL and GX spec seem to disappear after 97 where most after that seem to only be GS models, well from what I have seen anyway.

ALL use the superbly reliable 2TZ-FE petrol engine.

NOW for rear air con you need to look for an import which come in 3 version

1. The Estima - identical in every respect to the UK previa but with much better options

2. The Estima Lucida and Emina - two cars essentially the same but from different Toyota factories. These are narrower by 110mm than the Previa although they retain the same basic shape. HOWEVER they are fitted with the 2.2TD 3C-T or later 3C-TE diesel engine which suffer seriously from cracked cylinder heads.

So my advice is if you want the same reliability you had in your Previa but with all the bells and whistles try and get your self a proper Petrol Estima.

Thanks Propnut,

I was sure when we had the Previa GX we saw a newer version with rear A/C in a Toyota showroom.

Never mind, I will mainly be using the Previa for work with just me in so fornt A/C will suffice. Seems the GX's for sale are ranging from £1,000 to £2,500 for a 94-96 model, regardless of mileage.

I cannot seem to find any late model 98/99's around and seem to recall these models were designated "Si" rather than GS or GX.

Thanks again,

Trev.

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You are right there was an SI but was same spec as GS and there were a few other models I forgot about.

Take a look

http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/toyo...=908&page=7

To be honest I find my front air con cools off the entire car pretty quickly but good luck on finding one, you could be right they may well be available.

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Thanks again Propnut,

Was the Crusie standard in all cars or just the GX?

Despite having a host of cars since the Previa, including a brand new BMW M3 and X5, I am quite excited at the thought of getting a 10 years+ old Previa!

Trev.

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To my knowledge only the GX had C/C but I am sure there are models that had it fitted as a buyers option.

Just remember that these are no longer the car you remember, they will now have heavy mileage and lots of wear. Mine, although a very good runner, requires constant attention. Fortunately I can do all the work myself. Consider this when buying.

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Hello Propnut,

Ours was a 94 model 28,000 miles and two years old when we bought it in 96. I think we sold it around 2000 with 54,000 on it.

I was considering looking for a model with under 80,000 miles on the clock with good service history.

Looking at the forum reviews, even the Yanks seem to praise them! Some have done up-to 500,000 miles in them and seem very happy.

I guess I will need to do a few test drives.

Trev.

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Yes they are truly superb cars, which is why I hang onto mine.

Whatever you do STAY AWAY from the Japanese diesel imports they may look like a Previa but that is where the similarity ends especially in terms of engine longevity.

The Petrol 2TZ-FE engine found in the Previa was purpose built for the car, the diesel engine was not.

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Thanks Propnut,

Despite high fuel costs, I am looking for the petrol version. The diesel VW T5 I have refuses to return more than 27mpg. So gien the fact that the 174PS T5 Road Tax goes up-to £300 next year, petrol is around 10p litre cheaper and insurance should be cheaper, I may be better off.

I did not want an import as I do not like the styling differences and risking not be able to get spares. My Brother-In-Law works for a local garage and they can do most of the work for me. Having said that, why we had our original Previa he din't half slate it. Never stopped him borrowing it mind!.

What MPG do you get from your Previa's?

From memory we used to get

22 around town

25 touring

30 if nursed

Trev.

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Hello again,

Can anyone recomend a good workshop manual for the Previa?

Trev.

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Hi Trev

I don't know so much about 30mpg, 28 is about my best and I have completely redone my engine so it is as new. 19 - 22 around town 23 - 26 is my average on the open road of course depending on how heavy I am on the old pedal and how loaded the car is. There are one or two people around who are claiming 30 - 35 but they are being a bit Hans Christian Andersen, if you get my drift. Toyota themselves only ever quoted 27mpg as best and manufactures are generally a bit lenient with the truth when it comes to consumption.

Personally I shied away from the 7 seater as the become completely impractical once you raise the rear seats for loading. At least with the 8 seater you can carry 5 people and a full load of baggage, tents, bicycles etc.

I have the official Toyota workshop manual for these cars, the very same the Toyota techs use but I also have the Haynes and Chilton ones as well. In my opinion the Chilton is the better of the two and it has less mistakes. The haynes has one glaring mistake with respect to adding sealant to the block when changing the head gasket which is just unforgivable on such a big job. The Chilton can be had off eBay or from Amazon or you can use the online version here.

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/09008...irInfoPages.htm

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Hello Propnut,

We drove 6,000 miles in Europe and averaged 25. If you nurse it on flat roads you will just about nudge into 30.

Thanks for the info on the head gasket change. Hopefully we may never need to do this, though if we do we are pre-warned. Any idea what Toyota would charge for the same job?

I must say it is annoying trying to search through all these ads, espescialy those with poor thumbnails, only to find it is an Estima or Lucida.

What other car do you have PN?

Trev.

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If you nurse it on flat roads you will just about nudge into 30.

Hmmm...maybe back in 1996 not quite sure about a 10 - 15 year old beast though but hope so for your sake. Getting a manual model make make this more achievable today.

Sorry have no idea what Toyota would charge but would imagine £1500+. I have never used a garage in my life so don't keep tabs on their hourly rates. My other two cars are Nissan's. I will only ever buy Japanese as I like reliability with simplicity.

German, French and other European cars rely too heavily and unnecessarily on electronic gadgets and wizardry. Japanese cars use what they need to which is why when you look at reliability league tables you find, Japanese cars consistently at the top e.g. Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda.

Have just replaced my 1997 Primera, which got written off with a 1998 model of the same car. I am not from this part of the world originally and where I come from cars are a tool not a status symbol. As such I buy only what I need to do the job required and refuse to pay more than a few hundred quid for a car. The mindset of changing cars every 3 years absolutely amazes me. Why people want to consistently throw their money away in depreciation is mind boggling.When the modern combustion engine, tuned and maintained will easily cover in excess of 500K miles I believe in extracting every iota of value out of any car I own. That way an £800 car kept for 6 - 8 years in fact owes me nothing and has cost me nothing and if I amortise the cost against the period owned generally comes out to a few quid a month vs the hundreds/thousands of quid lost to those who engage in car snobbery. As they say arrogance is stupidities twin.

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Hello Propnut and all,

Thanks PropNut for your wise response. Will have to be an Auto, do not want a manual. To be honest if I get 20+ mpg I will be happy considering what the Previa can haul around.

Agian considering after paying the initial deopsit in the form of VAT upfront, I have been paying £586 a month for the misfirtune of owning a T5 Van for four years. The second one of which as stated fails to return more than 27mpg. A far cry from the 35-40 of my original T5.

So if I manage to sell the T5 for £10,000 + VAT (cost me £24,000 + VAT) I can buy a decent Previa for around 2k have money in my pocket (or rather bank) for repairs and cosnsidering petrol is around 50p a gallon cheaper and that the raod tax next year will be £115 less for the previa, running costs in comparison should not be far out.

My brother suggested when I get the previa, change the Head Gasket as a matter of course, even if it has only covered say 60,000 miles. I asked why why when some people over 100,000 miles are still on the original!.

IS the Previa petrol a Chain or Belt driven cam?

Trev.

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Trev

The engine has a cam chain which, if the Oil has been kept clean, will last a very long time.

The head gaskets go because ignorant muppets put tap water in the radiator. This causes calcium deposition within the small water ways which in turn results in hot spots and consequently "hasta la vista baby". My advice

1. Flush the cooling system thoroughly with Citric acid, then clean water.

2. Change the radiator, new ones can be had for £70 on eBay and are good.

3. Refill the system with a 50/50 mix of DISTILLED water and antifreeze.

4. Buy a top end gasket set from eBay for £40 and just keep in in the cupboard.

If you brother were a real mechanic he would say do a complete top end job on the head including relapping the valves, change the valve stem seals and of course all gaskets. Just changing the head gasket is well lazy.

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Thanks Propnut, sound like a good Idea.

I have seen a 1994 GX 65,000 Miles £1200.

Do I use Citric acid as in what brewers use?

Is the Rad easy to change?

Distilled water in Halfords is £1.49 for 500ml I paid €0.40 (32p) for 500ml in Auchan Supermarket France!

My Brother thinks I am mad for buying a Previa in the first place and thinks I should go for my Original Replacement for the T5, a Mercedes Vito V6 Diesel!.

Previa it shall be.

Trev.

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Sounds good

I didn't know brewers used it but Citric acid is Citric acid. Read my guide here

http://www.estima-motoring.co.uk/Forum/ind...hp?topic=2934.0

Whatever the price use distilled water. What you spend today will save you a fortune tomorrow. If you have a rain but you can use rain water as well as long as you filter it first. Rain water is naturally soft.

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Hello Propnut!

Rang the dealer with the 65,000 mile £1200 Previa, within seconds of speaking to him got a bad feeling and decided the car was probably suspect, no service history or past MOT's to support low mileage.

Have seen a Solair for £2400, full supplying dealer SH and 80,00o miles. May have to up my budget.

Can I ask, does anyone know how/is Cruise control easy to fit?

Something I use a lot on my other Vans/Trucks/Cars.

Trev.

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Service history is irrelevant on cars this age and you can always confirm the mileage by doing an RAC vehicle check. Will cost you £5 and is well worth it on any car you buy. I was going to buy a 99 Nissan Primera a short while ago until the vehicle check stated it had been an insurance write off.

Never retro fitted a cruise control so couldn't tell you but would imagine it would not be worthwhile attempting on a car this age.

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Thanks again PropNut,

Shame there is no "THANK" button on this forum, I am sure looking through the posts and forums you would have a good few, if there were one.

Trev.

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Hello Again,

Finaly managed to buy one after being messed about a great deal by sellers. One ad even stated at the end "no time wasters" and what a time waster he turned out to be.

Anyway

Previa GX

2000 W plate

65,000 miles

FSH (Main Dealer)

1 Owner

9 Months MOT

NO Tax (RFL)

Reasonably Clean

Toyota Radio/Cassette/Multi CD Changer

Tow Bar

28 day Dealer Warrranty

Paid £2150

Collect Tommorow

Trev

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Hello PropNut,

Collected today, drives like a dream. Only problem Ihave found is some vibration at high speed.

I had seen a

1994 model, GX 93,000 miles £1200 ono but was unsure about seller

1995 model, GX 99,000 miles £ sold for £500 on ebay - missed the bid

At the above prices I could buy one as a spare!

But very happy with the one I got, due to being younger, well maintained and low miles. Will look at flushing/poss change the rad as per your recomendations.

The model I have does have rear a/c above the B pillar. From what I can gather all GX's 1997 MY onwards gained twin A/C, coolbox and a change of velour trim (I prefered the original fabric as it seems not to suffer so much from wear).

The only problem I have now is taxing it as the plate change and change of classification from Disabled means I cannot tax it on the new keeper slip.

Regards,

Trev C

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