The introductory part of this repair guide for the Toyota Tercel is intended to teach you more about the inner workings of your automobile and save you money on its upkeep. Routine Maintenance and Engine Performance & Tune-Up will probably be the most frequently used in this repair guide. The first section contains information that may be required at a moment's notice. Aside from giving the location of various serial numbers and the proper towing instructions, it also contains all the information on basic day-to-day maintenance that you will need to ensure good performance and long vehicle component life. Engine Performance & Tune-Up contains the necessary tune-up procedures to assist you not only in keeping the engine running properly and at peak performance levels, but also in restoring some of the more delicate vehicle components to operating condition in the event of a failure. The other sections of this repair guide cover repairs (rather than maintenance) for various portions of your car.
When using the Table of Contents navigation, refer to the bold listings for the subject of the section and the smaller listings (or the index) for information on a particular component.
In general, there are some qualities of a proficient mechanic which must be kept in mind when a non-professional does work on his/her car.
- A sound knowledge of the construction of the parts you are working with; their order of assembly, etc.
- A knowledge of potentially hazardous situations; particularly how to prevent them.
- Manual dexterity and common sense.
This information provides step-by-step instructions and illustrations whenever possible. Use them carefully and wisely - don't just jump headlong into disassembly, review the complete service procedure first. When there is doubt about being able to readily reassemble something, make a careful drawing (mark vacuum hoses etc. or matchmark components such as a driveshaft to the rear flange) of the component before disassembling it. Installation always looks simple when everything is still assembled.
Always replace cotter pins, gaskets, O-rings and oil seals etc. with new ones. Non-reusable parts are indicated in the component illustrations by a diamond symbol.
CAUTIONS, WARNINGS, AND NOTES will be provided where appropriate to help prevent you from injuring yourself or damaging your car. Consequently, you should always read through the entire procedure before beginning the work so as to familiarize yourself with any special problems which may occur during the given procedure. Since no number of warnings could cover every possible situation, you should work slowly and try to envision what is going to happen in each operation ahead of time.
When it comes to tightening fasteners, there is generally a slim area between too loose to properly seal or resist vibration and so tight as to risk damage or warping. When dealing with major engine parts, or with any aluminum component, it pays to buy a torque wrench and go by the recommended figures.
When reference is made in this repair guide to the right side or the left side of the car, it should be understood that the positions are always to be viewed from the front seat. This means that the LEFT SIDE of the car is the DRIVER'S SIDE and RIGHT SIDE is the PASSENGER'S SIDE. This will hold true throughout the repair guide, regardless of how you might be looking at the car at the time.
Always be conscious of the need for safety in your work. Never get under a car unless it is firmly supported by jackstands or ramps. Never smoke around, or allow flame near the battery or the fuel system. Keep your clothing, hands and hair clear of the fan and pulleys when working near the engine if it is running. Most importantly, try to be patient; even in the midst of an argument with a stubborn bolt, reaching for the largest hammer in the garage is usually a cause for later regret and more extensive repair. As you gain confidence and experience, working on your car may become a source of pride and satisfaction.