June 12

How Reliable are Toyota Sequoias?

Auto Repair, Toyota


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik we’re talking cars. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So Bernie, you’ve been doing car repairs for over 30 years, we have this little series running where we’re talking about the reliability of all sorts of different vehicles. Today we’re talking about the Toyota Sequoia. How reliable are Toyota Sequoias?

Bernie: I’d say to put it very simply, very reliable.

Mark: All right, that’s pretty definitive. What kind of competitors are there in this category, what does this vehicle even look like?

Bernie: Well it’s a full size SUV, let’s while you say what does it look like, let’s just share a photo real quick, so there is a 2005 Toyota Sequoia, as you can see it’s the full size, pretty much full size SUV, equivalent I would say to a Suburban, actually probably not as big as a Suburban, but maybe a Tahoe, a Chevy Tahoe, Ford Ex, a little smaller than a Ford Excursion, not an Excursion that’s a massive vehicle, the Expedition, the Ford Expedition. You know a little bigger than an Explorer so kind of in that category of mid to full size SUVs. So for competitors, I mentioned them really it’s the Chevy Tahoe Suburban type vehicle of the Ford Expedition/Explorer category and how does it fair?

Mark: How does it fair against those?

Bernie: I’d say very reliable. I’m not such a big fan of the Ford products, there are a few issues that they have that are I would say, put them on a much lower scale of reliability. I put the Toyota way up there. I find the Tahoe’s and Suburbans are really highly reliable as well. They’re all kind of equivalent quality vehicles.

Mark: What about some of the other Japanese and Korean makes?

Bernie: You know for some reason I can’t think of another imported vehicle that’s of this size and of these sort of model years that’s equivalent to it.

Mark: So this is bigger than like a Kia Sedona, this is larger.

Bernie: Yeah, this is larger. This is a body on frame truck, this is a full, actual real truck. Now I know that Nissan has the Nissan Titan, the pickup but I don’t believe they have a SUV version of that but the equivalent pickup trucks in the Nissan and full size Toyota are comparable.

Mark: So what kind of problems do you see with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well not a lot and I will say to be fair, we don’t see a ton of them because there’s not a lot of them on the road. They’re not a huge selling vehicle like a, there’s a lot more Tahoe’s and Suburbans and we work in a lot of Ford products. We don’t see as many of these vehicles and really I mean, very few issues with them. They are very reliable. I always look at research and what other people are seeing on them, there’s a few complaints of transmission issues in the earlier years, so earlier meaning around 2001 up to about 04, that vehicle I showed you in the photo is 05, by that time the transmission concerns seem to be non existent. But there’s very little it seems to go wrong with them and all we do on them with the clients we have is basic maintenance services, brakes, oil services and whatever other maintenance items are required.

Mark: Does this vehicle use a timing belt?

Bernie: Yeah, it does. Up to around 2010 on the 4.7 litre V8, they’re all timing belt engines so that’s something you need to address; 08 and newer there’s a 5.7 V8, those are all chain driven and once you get into the 2010 years and up, they’re all chain driving engines. So but yeah, the belt is something that definitely needs to be done and usually I think the service interval is about 168,000 kilometres which is a 105,000 miles I believe. So that’s when you need to replace it.

Mark: what about timing chains, do they ever need service?

Bernie: Not unless, not normally, I mean a timing chain, there’s no replacement interval on it. It’s meant to las the life of the engine, however long that is and sometimes that’s really up to how well you take care of your engine. Timing chain engines you really got to be rigorous with your oil changes, follow the maintenance schedule of sooner. Don’t leave it too long. It’s, that’s when the timing chains wear. There’s a lot of plastic guide rails and pieces and that’s when they deteriorate. So you really don’t want to do anything to cause your timing chain, timing chains to need replacement because they are so expensive to do

Mark: What about the resale value on these vehicles?

Bernie: Really high and that’s actually, I’d say that’s where the Toyota’s have an edge over the Suburbans and Tahoe’s and especially the Fords. Toyota’s always, they’re higher price to buy generally speaking for equivalent model, so you’re going to pay more to buy them but over time, the depreciation on Toyota’s is generally a lot less. So the good news is if you buy a brand new one you actually retain more of your value in the vehicle but when it comes to buying a used one, they often cost more money to buy but they’re, they are durable, they’re reliable. So you’re paying money for that. But yeah, the resale value is good for Toyota. I remember for years, the Toyota Forerunner actually had the highest resale value of any vehicle. You buy a new one for say $50,000 you can sell it three or four years later for $45,000 so that’s outrageously good resale value and I’ve heard that the FJ Cruiser which is a kind of unique little sport utility vehicle, again they have extremely high resale value. So that’s one thing that’s very positive about Toyota’s.

Mark: This would be a vehicle you’d recommend?

Bernie: Absolutely yeah, it’s a great vehicle. If you’re looking for a good quality, large SUV, you can even get these with three rows of seats, so you can haul a big family around, they’ll use a lot of gas, it’s a big vehicle but again super reliable, very nice ride, they’re available in a range of models right up to fully luxurious so, just short of a Lexus in terms of luxury features, so pretty amazing, very good vehicle.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for a Toyota Sequoia they get the mark of, the stamp of approval from Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. If you’re needing service on your Toyota products these are the guys to call 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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