1994 Toyota Previas


In 1999 I bought a white 1994 Toyota Previa in Phoenix with 68,500 miles on it for $9500. It now has 225,000 miles and over the years I’ve replaced struts, shocks, brakes, accessory driveshaft coupler bushings, recently some front-end work ($600) for clunking; maybe other relatively minor work over the years. Now it needs another set of accessory driveshaft coupler bushings and a couple tires, passenger side mirror, & cruise control kicks off sometimes even when not under load.

I like it so much, more than any other van I’ve seen: aerodynamics, interior space, arm rests that adjust to any angle between straight up and straight down–why don’t all cars have those?–so, thinking my white one might not last forever, I bought a green 1994 Previa last March with 65,000 miles on it in Ft. Lauderdale (a little rust, not a lot) for $4000. It drove me home to New Mexico fine, but since then it’s been in the shop a lot: 3 oil leaks (valve cover gasket, distributor shaft o-ring, I forget the 3rd place), struts, front & rear brakes; now my mechanic says the air conditioner is making noise and might need a new compressor; and the 2 rear tires each (separately) went out at highway speed (no injuries, but I wonder about keeping the 2 front tires.

I don’t want to sell either while in need of repairs, but one or the other has been in the shop since March. The green one is an LE & has sunroof and moonroof, recent paint job (before I bought it), and captain’s seats in the middle row, & only 75,000 miles on it, so might be easier to sell.

Which should I sell? Or both? How long can the white one with 225,000 miles last? How do I decide when to quit putting money into either of them and go through the stress of another car search?

Yep, you can’t afford two “significant others”. Decision time. Take sheet of paper. Draw two columns, one for each beloved. Write down each pro, con, and cost, for each. Compare. Decide.

If it was me, I’d sell them both and look at a Mazda 5 - similar type of vehicle. I know it’ll lack some of the Previa’s features, but you’re pushing you luck with 2 needy vehicles.

Well while they are interesting vehicles in their own way they don’t command much in the way of prices. The newer Previa you bought in Florida wasn’t driven very much and is probably experiencing a few things that can be a result of that. I have to say though that an A/C compressor in Florida sees a lot of use, gaskets dry-out, shocks wear out and tires all eventually need replacing.

I see it like this-if you plan on picking one to run until the wheels fall off then keep the one with low miles, as it has a long way to go. If you don’t plan on keeping either until that day continue on with the the white one and sell the green one. It’s an easier sale anyway-people will be interested in it with such low mileage. Few, if any will be interested in a car with 225,000 who need something dependable for a family. The white Previa isn’t really worth anything anyway.

What would I do? I’d sell both and get something modern like a 1998 or newer Sienna, which is a much improved vehicle. That’s just me though :slight_smile: