Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1980 Toyota Tercel


I found a 1980 toyota tercel. 90,000 original kilometers. Second owner. Rare. Original engine, AirCared. $1500

I wonder what kind of problem would it has?

Bad brakes?
Bad CV joints?
Worn-out clutch?
Dry-rotted tires?
Rust in the fuel tank?
Gunked-up carburetor?
Excessive engine sludge?
Worn-out wheel bearings/ball joints/tie rod ends?

The possible problem areas on a 30 year old car are almost endless.
I really hope that you are not planning on driving this car every day, at least until you have had the chance for your mechanic to check everything very carefully. In fact, I would suggest that you not even start the engine until you verify when the timing belt was last replaced.

Good luck!

Rare? Who cares, don’t spend $1 because it’s ‘rare’. What does ‘AirCared’ mean? VDC has lots of good info on the other potential isssues.


I’m sorry, I still don’t understand what that is. Air conditioned?



It’s kind of a lousy car and Toyotas weren’t known to be good in a crash back then. You will probably have to change the rear part of the exhaust system every year too.

It’s very rare, because it wasn’t exactly a desirable enough car for car-people to get hold of and preserve. And because of that, I don’t think it’s worth 1500.

Remember, “rare” means “no one makes parts for it anymore because there’s no money in it.”

That’s impossible to answer. VDC only listed a tiny fraction of what might be wrong with this car. There’s no way people on the internet can know without being able to look at the car itself. For all we know the car’s so rusty that the first bump you hit will break it in half. Or maybe it belonged to the one guy on the planet who is a Tercel enthusiast, and it’s in better than showroom condition. No way of knowing.

This car could cost you $0, or it could cost you upwards of $20,000 to get it road worthy. It all depends on what its particular issues are.

Tercels were bad new. That’s why they don’t use the name plate any more. Problems ? Parts, ride, over priced. The body, unless kepted in an air tight container would be suspect too IMO.