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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I have an '04 Sequoia SR5. I bought it used in '06 with about 50k miles and now it has almost 90k miles. It's a basic model...cloth seats (which I prefer over leather), no sunroof, no entertainment system, aftermarket nerf bars, etc. The best feature of the vehicle is that it's paid for! We went through Dave Ramsey's program and paid the thing off 3 years early. :D

Aside from the terrible gas mileage, I like the vehicle. We have had no problems with it. My husband does all of the maintenance. He just did the rotors and brakes. However, I am considering getting rid of it. Since purchasing it, we have added a third child to our family. Although there is more than enough seat room, I was wondering how you parents are making the vehicle more functional for your family? My 7 and 6 year olds ride in low-back boosters and my 18 month old rides behind the driver in her forward facing seat. The older kids are not capable of sitting next to each other at all! Usually one of them sits in the back row and the other sits in the middle row, middle seat next to the baby. I keep the seat behind the passenger flipped up so that one can have easy access to the back, but it causes the other one to step on the seat to get to the their middle seat. (Does that make sense?) That part drives me nuts because I am a freak about keeping a vehicle clean and stain free. My husband suggested removing the seat behind the passenger seat for a while. I don't that idea. I thought about letting my oldest child be in charge of sitting there and flipping the seat forward for her brother, but my husband doesn't like that idea because he thinks that it will wear out the hinge on the seat. Really??

I have considered adding an overhead DVD system, but my model has the endless sunglasses console. Ugh! What was Toyota thinking? I was reading on here how some people are cutting off the last two sections of the sunglasses console to install their systems, but I can't stomach cutting into it because I want the ability to put it back if needed. Is there a way to remove the sunglasses console completely without damaging the headliner? I guess that would require finding new plastic pieces that surround the temperature cluster up front and the dome light. Junk yard perhaps?

I'm just trying to find inspiration and encouragement to keep the vehicle and not sell it for a (gasp!) Sienna minivan that has mommy conveniences such as doors that slide open with the click of a button. :)

Thanks!!!

Terri
 

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On the overhead DVD...ours came with an aftermarket DVD in the console and 2 headrest monitors/screens. I had never thougt of that but I love it! Not only does it solve the endless console/headliner problem, but it makes your rear view mirror useful when the DVD is running. I've even sat in the 3rd seat and viewing it is fine. I don't know the difference in cost but it's worth a lot to me.
 

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well, thildeb1 I can relate with trying to keep the vehicle clean with kids! I hope you decide to keep the Sequoia, as they are a great all purpose family wagon! As far as wearing out the seat from moving it up and down for the kids: I don't think so...it's built very well and I think all you need to worry about is cleaning the foot prints and food off of them like I do. I do understand the frustration of not being able to access the rear seats as easily as a minivan. For that, the Luxury Edition would have suited you well as it doesn't have the middle seat in the middle row (it just had a removable center console). I don't know that it would be easy to find that seat, and the dealer would probably charge a fortune to replace it. I have three kids, and two of them are still in car seats...and we wish we had the Lux option.

Anyway, as for DVD option...I wouldn't worry to much about the upper console. Those parts are probably not all that expensive to replace if you had to butcher it a bit for a DVD. I would highly recommend talking to a reputable (not Best Buy) Auto Audio installer in your area for some advice on what they can do. Alpine makes a really awesome drop down DVD system that would be great...but may require removing some of that "scaffolding" for lack of better words. If you have lines on the roof, you may be able to have it steam cleaned or something? Or as mentioned above, there is the headrest version monitors too.

Oh, and your comment about bad gas mileage?? I'm not sure what you consider bad, but some other brand SUV's in our size and weight are getting much less. I'm curious as to what you are getting mileage wise? My Land Cruiser only got 11mps's down hill with the wind behind it. With my Sequoia I'm getting about 17 mpg's in town and 22+mpg's on the highway trips..which for a truck weighing 5300lbs is pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your comments! By bad mileage, I mean 12.5 average. The most we've ever gotten is a little over 16 on the highway going to Florida. I work from home and take care of my kiddos so unfortunately I do a lot of city driving, lots of starts/stops/braking. I do try to brake and take off easy though. My husband thinks that the mileage is actually a bit better than calculated because the tires are not original, perhaps taller. Mph on the gauge does not match the mph on the TomTom; GPS shows I'm going faster. It was like that when we bought it and we replaced them a few years ago with similar tires that we got an excellent deal on. (Couldn't shell out $700 at the time for a full set of shorter tires.)

After I posted this, I got to thinking that the kiddos being little is just a stage and I know that this vehicle will outlast their young years. I can't stand those nerf bars though because they become so slippery when wet. I'm thinking running boards. I too like the idea of the headrest DVD system. Right now we have the dual screen setup that attaches to the back of the headrest. We replaced the factory radio with a Sony that has an aux jack on the front so the movie sound can be heard through the speakers. When I clean it up, it makes me want to keep it!

Thanks again!
 

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Wow, that is bad mileage...even if you had 285/75 tires..that is bad. You can also get that kind of mileage if you are running the wrong octane...for example if you run 91 you are throwing your money away...and should run 87 for best economy and performance (unless you have a supercharger than run 91). If you haven't had a tune-up lately, I would check to see when the last time the spark plugs were changed and air filter was changed. Might also want to do a fuel system treatment if you think you might have some carbon build up. I would also highly recommend switching to a synthetic oil (personal preference), but you will see better mileage and have a smoother running motor.

Yeah, I don't like the nerf bars either. I would look into a factory type running board. A company called Automotive Elegance from back East sells the TRD edition running board, and it is actually made by ATS. It has built in lights which is really cool and they are much cheaper than stealership prices. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips! Spark plugs were changed around 70k miles as well as rear diff fluid. Also using a K&N filter and Mobil1 synthetic. We always purchase the lowest octane gas, but I will ask my husband about using a fuel system cleaner. Even though it's never failed the annual emissions test, my husband has talked about replacing the O2 sensors.

I'll have to check out those running boards. Stealership. Ha, that's funny. We owned a pop-up camper for about a year and the dealer wanted about $200 for the trailer wiring thing. We found it at Northern Tools for about $50. Parts and paint/body are where dealerships make the bulk of their money and not from the cars. Crazy.
 

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Sounds like you are pretty well covered. Have you had any codes on the dash or check engine light to suspect the 02 sensors? Anyway, keep up the good work with it...sounds like you take very good care of it.
 

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Thildeb1 - I have 3 in car seats (ages 4, 3 & 3). The first couple years we put the oldest in the third row and the twins in the middle row... because that was where the "latch" system was. We switched to all 3 in the middle row. It's much better. It's easier to get them in with lots more space for dogs and kid stuff. If the two older boys don't get along, can you seperate them with the car seat in the middle?... or will that just be torture for the little one?
 
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