Question '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

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Thread: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

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    Question '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchased and happy! Any advice?

    Hey there. I'm new to this forum and have been searching and searching and can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

    Looking for a larger vehicle for my family, I came across what seemed/seems to be a great deal on an '01 Sequoia SR5. I had been looking for a smokin deal on a LandCruiser, but am considering this rig.
    Here is what I know. (or am told, and for the sake of argument, lets take it at relatively face value for now)

    HIGH MILES, = 230,000

    Originally owned by an older couple who seem to have just driven it to work every day, 120 miles a day for nearly 8 years. (I would be buying it from a guy who has had it less than 6 months, and is a long time friend of theirs...and hasn't driven it much.)

    Pictures of the rig (It's 2.5 hours away from me, so I have not seen it hands on yet) show it to be very clean and well kept. I'm told that not only has it not bee smoked in, it hasn't been eaten in either!

    It has supposedly seen very good maintenance over it's life and timing belt/water pump have been done...however I am waiting to hear back as to *when* exactly it was done.

    Ran a carfax and am satisfied with the results.

    Seller has been very open and answers all my questions timely.

    Being sold for a VERY good price under bluebook

    The only problem noted is a small exhaust manifold leak on the right (I think) side.

    For the price, it is definitely worth it, but I would rather not get it and have to start working on it right away. I'm trying to get a feel for the Sequoia's reliability and longevity. (i.e. you see LOTS of very high mileage land cruisers out there that seem to be going strong after 250-300k, but not many high mileage sequoia's)
    I am a mechanic and aircraft mechanic, do all my own maintenance. Automatic transmissions are about the only thing that really scares me, and I really don't want to mess with the bottom end of the engine.
    I spoke with a service guy at a Toyota dealer and he seemed to feel that the vehicle was solid for many more miles if taken care of (he hasn't seen the vehicle personally, just going off of my verbal description) but I would rather hear from "real world" people than just the dealer on this issue...I don't tend to do much with dealers.

    At this point, from what I have found, so long as I am satisfied on it's maintenance history, and how recent the timing belt was changed I will probably buy it. But I'm looking for any red flags that might be raised due to the mileage of the vehicle.

    I will obviously give the whole truck a good looking over, and test drive...what other things are there to look for? What oil leaks are "normal", for instance.

    In my searching, I've come across just a couple references to a tranny issue with the overdrive...owner states tranny runs great right now.
    Also, the dealer told me the engine was a NON-interference engine, but I've just been reading the opposite is the case...maybe he misunderstood my question.

    I've come across only two posts that only mention their rig being hi miles (one was 290k, the other was like 270k or so and the one that blew a timing belt at 275 or something)

    Anyway, I appreciate your comments and thoughts. Sorry for the long post.
    I have a '94 Toyota pickup 4x4 with 235k running great that has been one of the most trouble free rigs ever!

    Anyway, thanks.

    -Geej
    Alaska
    Last edited by Geej; 08-08-2009 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Vehicle purchased

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    That is a lot of miles! I hope your getting it for about 3-4k. Doesn't seem worth it to be paying much higher. I just bought a 120k mile '02. From what I've researched, broken handles, occasional tranny, VSC/ECU issues, occasional a/c problems. But most of the major issues I tend to see them on the 03 & newer models. They seem fairly reliable but it sounds like you may know how to work on it if anything goes wrong.
    Btw-I think I just read that the Seq is bigger than the Landcruiser. Plus less wind resistance.
    Good luck. Let me know if you get it.

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Actually it would be for 5k, but considering this is Alaska and all vehicle prices are quite a bit higher (compared to the comparative bargains you can find in the "states") I'm thinking it's not so bad. From the pics you sure wouldn't now it was driven much. I've only seen one other that is even near this price, it's not quite 200k and they are asking just about 9k...and that is in Washington...other than that I haven't seen one under 11k it seems. Of course, this is rather high miles. Interesting that you mention most major issues seem to be 03 and newer. I have an automotive diagnostic computer and access to a shop with plenty of tools, so most things don't bother me too much. Not that I want to be wrenching on more than I need to. Yes, I do think it's a tad bigger, however I feel more comfortable with the "proven" reliability of the LC AND the ruggedness of the 4x4 system and off road ability. Not that I will be wheeling much, but up here, we aren't always dealing with nice paved roads. If I could find a nice post '95 LC in good shape for 5k, i'd buy it, but most folks up here want WAY more than that for them. (The last one near me was a 97 with over 200k and a KNown rear main seal leak and they were asking 9700!! Must have gotten close to that as it didn't last too long)
    A/C we don't need too much up here. Is the VSC the traction control system? I can probably deal with that if it's sensors and stuff. What exactly tends to go wrong with those? I'll have to search some.
    I can do basic tranny service, fluid/filter changes, etc...any tale tale tranny issues or things to look for? Or it either works or it doesn't?
    Anyway, thanks!
    Look forward to hearing more, I will probably make the call this weekend. If I don't get a lot of negative info, I will probably drive up to Anchorage this weekend and take a look and baring any surprises buy it.
    Thanks for the responses!

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    VSC=vehicle stability control I think. They tend to malfunction. From the limited research I found, it is roughly 1500 to replace. My light is occasionally going on & won't come off until I restart the truck.
    I would research the tranny but I think your ok. They either go or they don't. For 5k, if something major goes, at least the cost is cheap enough to part it out & go buy something else.
    I've been looking for a good used Sequoia for the past yr. About 7 mo's ago, prices were at their lowest. $7-8k got a 120k mile Sequoia. Now I notice nothing is under 10k (for the past 2 months). All of a sudden resale has picked up.
    You may want to go look at that Sequoia before its sold.
    Btw-I've done searches for Landcruisers in CA & AZ & can't find any. They are limited & have a strong following.

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Yeah, that's what I thought. Yes, resale on these and all toyotas are really high. Something like this seems the only way for a "poor boy" like me to get into something newer. I just found out the timing belt was last done at 140k and it now has 228k, so that means I will have to do the timing belt (kit) within the next few miles. I can do it myself and I get a good discount at CarQuest. Unless something comes up, or I find new data to scare me off, I will probably go up Saturday to look at it and proly buy it.
    Thanks for your replies...
    I'd love to hear more opinions!
    Thanks

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    nobody else has any opinions?

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Before buying it, I'd put it in the air and look it over underneath for myself.

    Some of the late model trucks have rusting issues, I'd look real hard at the frame. I'm not sure if Sequoias are prone to the rust like the trucks, but regardless, it would be worth checking out. Look for signs of tampering. Make sure all the lights light up when you turn the key on, you don't want a truck that someone has jury-rigged for one reason or another. I'd scan it with a cheapo scan tool to make sure there aren't any codes in history.

    The VSC problem seems to be all over the place. They did update the software but it requires a new skid control ECU, it's not capable of flash programming apparently (cheap *** move on Toyota's part). There's a member on here with a 4x4 that could be having ADD actuator issues--if it's a 4x4 make sure it shifts in and out of 4HI and 4LO without problems. Check the front CV boots to make sure they're in good shape. See if it has the updated front calipers. Stick the transmission, see how the fluid looks and smells. Get a good look at the maintenance history, make sure the shop(s) that performed any work are reputable--if possible visit the shop.

    There's nothing wrong with an old car--I just bought a 93 BMW 5-series with 287,000 miles, it has at least another 100k in it, and it runs great. A Toyota should do just fine, if not better, at that age. I highly suggest that you look at it thoroughly before committing though, it is an old truck and it will have problems! Make sure that any issues it has are issues you can deal with.

    The basic motor design has been around a long time. It's a basic DOHC 32 valve V8 that has been around in various forms since the early nineties. No fancy drive by wire system, no variable valve timing, just a good ole rubber band. It's pretty basic, and that's a good thing. Lots easier to fix if the SHTF. The transmission has been around forever and aside from the failing rear planetary gearsets, is pretty bombproof. Make sure you do the water pump and all the pulleys when you do the timing belt. That stupid rubber band is the only bad thing about these engines.
    Last edited by JBH1989; 08-07-2009 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Forgot some things
    8/03 UCK35; 65k

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I plan to look it over pretty good. I have a Mac Mentor (aka OTC Genisys) so i can scan it with that...I don't have the current Asian card, but I can run a global check.
    That new skid control ECU, was that a fix that was done under recall or service bulletin, or just a fix option if it goes bad? It is a 4x4, so I'll check that system as it is a system that will be used alot where I live. How will I know if it has new calipers (visual id? Sticker under the hood?) The good news is that this is essentially a one owner vehicle and it looks like they (and the current owner who knows the original owners and hasn't had the truck long) took very good care of it. Older vehicles don't scare me, and this will really be the newest vehicle I've owned, man, '01 seems almost brand new to me! Just trying to do due diligence on a vehicle that I don't know much about as far as reputation. I love toyota's and my truck has been awesome, so hopefully the family traits hang in there.
    Thank you for your input...
    I'll probably head up to look at it tomorrow, so any more input folks have, let me know!
    Thanks

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Basically, look through the front wheels at the caliper. The older caliper has a "wing" at the top of the caliper. See the attachment from the Toyota TSB. The older calipers eat rotors for lunch, the pad surface isn't large enough so they build up heat and warp the rotors, and boy oh boy do they feel like the truck is coming apart. I did a front brake job on a 02 Tundra a month ago, it was like night and day after the rotors were replaced. They are quite possibly the easiest brake job in the world to do though, so for monetary sake, you can just keep the old calipers and just change the rotors and pads a little more often. Not too big of a deal. The parts cost about $120 for two PBR rotors and Akebono pads.

    The updated ECUs apply to the 03+, and they were replaced under warranty only; it never made it to recall status. As far as I can tell, Toyota has dropped the ball on the hyperactive VSC in the earlier models and has not released any updates.

    All in all, they are very good trucks. I haven't seen any major problems other than the transmissions, but they seem to rear their heads early, since it's got that kind of mileage I wouldn't worry about it at all.

    I've got two old cars and this new one, and I like the older ones better :mellow: It'll probably be just fine.
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    Last edited by JBH1989; 08-07-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Ok, thanks for that. I'll be sure to look at it. That is one thing about high mileage cars, if they are in good running condition after this many miles, you kind of hope that any of the issues would have show themselves by now and be largely solved. there are always wear items, but a lemon should have died long before. Nice to know that the tranny issue seems to be one that shows up early (at least earlier than 230k!)...I don't like messing with auto tranny's, though I know a really good tranny guy near me. As far as the VSC, we'll just hope it is good. The VSC was on these first year Sequoia's? One other question, I've been trying to read between the lines (as far as the different years go) but is there a way to lock the center diff on an '01, or does it only lock in 4lo? On this year, the t-case does not have the viscous clutch (or whatever it is) for 4hi right?
    Thanks!

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Well my friend's 02 Tundra went out at 40k. Most people have issues before 80k, so the trans should be okay. It's a tricky unit to rebuild but otherwise it's easy to service (esp. if the pan has been dropped before). One thing, check and see if the trans pan has a gasket or RTV. If it has RTV, be suspicious. If it has a gasket, the pan has been dropped before. I haven't driven an 01 with 4wd, but according to AllData it has a center diff switch like the rest. It can be locked in 4hi and 4lo. Locking the center diff disables traction control as well. Yes, an 01 does have the picky VSC, but since you have a 4wd with an unlocking center diff, you can use 4wd wherever you want. The later transfer cases have a torsen lockable LSD--yours should too.
    Last edited by JBH1989; 08-08-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Having owned a 2002 Sequoia (currently at 93,000 miles) for about four years, I'd say wait for the Land Cruiser. Other than the motor itself, the rest of the rig is not up to the usual Toyota standards -- it'll nickel-and-dime you just like a classic American vehicle.

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    Smile Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchased and happy! Any advice?

    Thanks for the posts!
    Well, I bought it. Made the trek up to Anchorage this morning and took a look. Well, it looked good, very good. One thing I liked about it is it was "clean" but not in any way detailed...which helps support the good upkeep through it's life. There was not a DROP of oil leaking anywhere from anything, but it's not like things were queaky clean as if it had been washed off. The engine was super smooth with plenty of power. The exhaust leak he had mentioned was present but not very bad at all. (now I get to see how bad the exhaust bolts are froze on. ) Everything wokrked as it shood. 4wd hi/lo, on one dirt patch I accidentaly verified the VSC works properly. Tranny shifted great, fluid check on the tranny was good. All fluids for that matter were good. Suspension was very tight, ride was very good, brakes were good, tracks strait, brakes strait. No rust to speak of under the car. Front calipers were the original style.
    As to the diff loc, I could not find one on this truck, looking at the quick guide, it looks like the center dif only locks when it's in 4 lo...4 hi is unlocked, apparently with that torsen setup. On that note, is there a way to add the diff lock option? No, not a nesesity most of the time, but it would be nice.

    I appreciate all the input, please share whatever else you might think of, I need to learn all I can on it.

    As to waiting for a Land Cruiser, I understand what you are saying and who knows, maybe I can yet trade up from this. For the price up here, hard to find a LC, unless I'm willing to go with a '93 or earlier. The really cool thing was I drove up my little Escape to anchorage to look at this truck and posted an ad this morning I would be up there if anyone wanted to look at it. Lo and behold, someone bought it...and for the same price I got this Sequoia! Pretty sweet swap for the day.

    It's loaded with everything except leather, which isn't so bad...at least you wont sit on a freezing seat when it's -20 out...yeah, seat heaters are great, but they take time to warm up!

    As of now, I have the drivers side exhaust gasket to replace and in about 2k miles or so, I should do the timing belt. Any input on the exhaust gasket would be appreciated...easier to get from the bottom? I have a friend with a lift!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Geej; 08-08-2009 at 11:25 PM. Reason: purchased
    -Geej
    ------
    '01 Sequoia SR5 4x4 230k
    '94 Pickup V6 4x4 225k

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    Sounds like the stars lined up and you got a great deal.

    As for the exhaust gasket, if you have a friend with a lift use it. It may be possible to do it from the ground, but I wouldn't kill my back if I had access to a hoist.

    Not sure about the diff-lock. My manual must be wrong, shows a button right next to the 2/4WD button. Must be for the later models.
    8/03 UCK35; 65k

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    Default Re: '01 Sequoia High Miles ... purchase or run?

    The button next to the 4wd button is the VSC Off button.
    -Geej
    ------
    '01 Sequoia SR5 4x4 230k
    '94 Pickup V6 4x4 225k

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