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Old 10-03-2003, 01:56 PM   #1
WRXVII
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Default Getting 91 MR2 - anything to worry about?

I am about to purchase 91 MR2 with 195,000 miles for $1700. Car seems to be in good shape with exception of hard to turn steering wheel. Is it normal for a steering wheel to be that hard to turn? It took me a lot of force to turn the steering wheel even when the car was moving. What is the common problem on 91 MR2s? please help ^^

Thanks in advance
Tim
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Last edited by WRXVII; 10-03-2003 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:21 PM   #2
totoherbs
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Ya... when flying around sharp turns on a nearly 200k+ mile motor watch out for oil starvation....
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:22 PM   #3
TimStevens
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Where are you in upstate NY? I'm around Albany and have a 91 also.

Many MR2's don't have power steering, and if that's the case yes the wheel is hard as hell to turn. Mine is that way and parallel parking the thing is a very good upper-body workout

Big thing to watch out for is the second gear synchro. They go early and often. A tranny fluid swap will help bunches, but it's expensive to fix. Learn to double-clutch and rev-match well and it won't bother you, though.

Another thing is the coolant system. Pretty reliable, but if it hasn't been flushed regularly you could be in for trouble. Same goes for brake lines.

That's about it really. I've had mine since '96 and had an alternator go, two ruptured coolant lines, and I think that's about it for major repairs... great cars.

-tim
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:32 PM   #4
Pre-diddy
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Yea, one common problem with MR2s is oversteer. Keep a sharp eye out for it.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:39 PM   #5
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be prepared to spend a LOT for repairs.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:50 PM   #6
TimStevens
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Quote:
Originally posted by soundwave
be prepared to spend a LOT for repairs.
Yes, if you pay for others to do it. Not so much if you do it yourself.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:50 PM   #7
billzebub
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mr2faq should be able to help...My bro-in-law just bought a MARK 1 MR2 (85-89) and he found a "what to look for" list on there.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:52 PM   #8
WRXVII
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens
Where are you in upstate NY? I'm around Albany and have a 91 also.

Many MR2's don't have power steering, and if that's the case yes the wheel is hard as hell to turn. Mine is that way and parallel parking the thing is a very good upper-body workout

Big thing to watch out for is the second gear synchro. They go early and often. A tranny fluid swap will help bunches, but it's expensive to fix. Learn to double-clutch and rev-match well and it won't bother you, though.

Another thing is the coolant system. Pretty reliable, but if it hasn't been flushed regularly you could be in for trouble. Same goes for brake lines.

That's about it really. I've had mine since '96 and had an alternator go, two ruptured coolant lines, and I think that's about it for major repairs... great cars.

-tim
It's an automatic transmission.....
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:13 PM   #9
TimStevens
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Ahh, well then the only thing you'll need to worry about will be the chiding comments from other MR-2 owners j/k
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:15 PM   #10
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There's probably 195,000 things I can think of, but it's a fun car....
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens


Yes, if you pay for others to do it. Not so much if you do it yourself.
That can be said about ANY car.

My cousin spent $9k to buy his '91 MR2 and another $5-6k in repairs in the last 2 yrs...
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:04 PM   #12
TimStevens
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Quote:
Originally posted by soundwave
That can be said about ANY car.

My cousin spent $9k to buy his '91 MR2 and another $5-6k in repairs in the last 2 yrs...
Yes, absolutely, but much moreso in MR2's because things are hard to do. Coolant flushes cost almost 2x for my MR2 what they do for my WRX, little things like that, all because it's mid-engined and generally a PITA to work on

And FWIW I've owned mine for over 7 years now, put well over 70,000 miles on it, and have maybe $3,000 in repair bills, most of which were performed by mechanics before I learned my way around a socket set

-tim
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:10 AM   #13
WRXVII
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$3k in repair cost seems like a lot to me considering the value of this car is only about $1,700.
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:21 AM   #14
TimStevens
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Over 7 years on what is now a 13 year old car? I'll break it down, as much of that was more or less expected:

Alternator - $600 at about 80,000 miles, not unusual IMHO
Brakes - $600 for new rotors and pads - and got reamed by Midas
Coolant fixes - $500 twice
New clutch - $800 - original clutch lasted over 100,000 miles

Other than the brakes, and perhaps the coolant fixes, I don't think any of this is out of line. These are the kind of expenses you have to expect in a car that old with that many miles.

If I had done my brakes myself the cost there would have been closer to $400 total instead of $1,000, and the alternator would have been around a $200 fix instead of the $600 I got charged.
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Old 10-04-2003, 03:05 PM   #15
WRXVII
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Also I've noticed that CEL is on.... should I be concerned with it? not really sure what the root cause of the CEL is.....
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:03 PM   #16
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Could be lots of different things. If it's not blinking it's probably not too serious, but it's definitely worth getting checked out.
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Old 10-05-2003, 01:50 AM   #17
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First, Is the steering manual or power?

Second, take a paperclip. In the engine bay at the passenger rear side there is a diagnosis port. Jump TE1 and E1 with the paperclip and dechipher the codes at: mr2manual.teq.org/diagnost.html

If you have more questions check out board.mr2faq.com...
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