Long-term wrap-up: Shijil’s Toyota 86 costs rounded up
Firstly, my genuine apology to readers out there who have been eager to hear further updates on my 86. Some have poked me a few times via comments on my previous articles and finally gave up, but work life and other commitments held me back from drafting an update.
To start off with my final report (yes, you read this right), the little 86 ran just fine since the last report with no mechanical issues to report and has served as my auto-gearbox daily driver. A busy work schedule had taken over most of my slots, which meant I didn’t get time to have fun on track or go for a spirited drive. I did however take it on a cross-country trip to Liwa and one thing I can say for sure is that this is not a vehicle to do your grand touring escapades. Wind noise at high speeds along with my loud aftermarket exhaust made it feel like I was strapped onto the wing of an aircraft at takeoff. Top speed achieved on a lonely empty stretch of road was 210 kph, which is apparently the ‘v-max’ speed of an automatic 86. I even had a bit of a “hoonigan” moment with it on the sandy plains of Liwa — good memories!
Since everyone already knows it’s a fun thing to toss around (despite the lack of power), there were few teeny tiny things that played ping-pong with my nerves. For a start, the interior is very cheap on the base model I had. The stock audio system sounded like those cheap radios of a 90’s Japanese car and the speakers rattled the door card, should you even desire a little bit of bass to the ears. Keyless entry worked at a proximity of like 10 metres (even with a new battery) and it refused to lock using keyless at any of the ENOC fuel stations for some weird reason. The door hinges were replaced a few months earlier for Dhs 250, but were loose again and back to the duty of crushing my knees. My a/c also smelt of dust upon hard acceleration, which no a/c treatment at Dynatrade or my friend’s garage managed to fix. There is also a common issue with early builds of 86 where the window rollers inside the door starts to leave deep ‘scratch stripes’ on the window glass.
The driver-side weather stripping had a minor gap somewhere, which caused some audible wind noise at higher speeds and droplets of water to enter inside during car washes. So that’s about it on the list of ‘issues’ to report really. Oh yes! I had finally fixed the broken lower part of my front bumper and got a nice rear spoiler as well. Subtle touches!
At Dynatrade on the 100k mark, an oil change with manufacturer-recommended 0W-20 grade oil cost me Dhs 650 including an a/c evaporator cleaning to get rid of the dust smell, which was back after few days again. They also indicated that my fuel injectors were weak and spark plugs are overdue to be changed. Oh dear!
A spark plug change on a typical car takes few minutes and is an inexpensive affair. Not on 86 though. Due to the ‘boxer’ layout of the engine, the spark plug leads are buried deep inside the engine bay on either side of the engine where it’s very hard for bare hands to reach and replace them. So, replacing spark plugs meant either lifting or dropping the engine to access them. This means the least quote I got for this minor maintenance was in 4 figures which made me postpone the replacement.
Luckily the next month, there was a service offer from one of the local performance garages in Dubai who specialises in Subarus. Their idea was to remove all the components on either side of the engine bay and then access the plugs without poking the engine. This service cost me Dhs 1,100 for plugs and labour. The package also included a change of transmission, diff fluid and engine oil. I was once again reminded to consider replacing fuel injectors which could cost anything north of Dhs 2,600 as per the experts.
If you’re wondering that the injector replacement is due to high mileage, it’s not the case. It seems once again early builds had injector issues even on lower mileage vehicle, so much so that they even hesitate to accelerate in the worst-case scenarios. Mine was just a rough idling after the spark plug change, so I thought to give the trusty fuel injector cleaner a shot and voila! Rough idling disappeared and car is smooth again to eat up many more happy miles.
After my office relocated further away, my longer commute wasn’t comfy with its noisy ride and lack of cruise control. When the annoyance got to my nerves, I decided to let go if it and hopped onto an econobox as my second car for commutes, as I already have a manual Ford Focus ST for fun. Eventually, my ST became my only car and it still is a better commuter than the auto 86.
To sum up all the running costs, other than the regular maintenance, the new spoiler and second battery change cost me Dhs 350 and Dhs 240 respectively. I had also changed the faded stock headlights to an aftermarket unit for Dhs 1,560. Installation of all these was another Dhs 200. Fuel injector cleaner was Dhs 50. Insurance for the second year was Dhs 2,300. Total non-fuel expenses spent on the car stood at Dhs 12,645.
If I factor in the purchase price and depreciation, it adds up to Dhs 19,645 by the time I sold it in mid-2018. I had the car for exactly 19 months so that a running cost of Dhs 1,034 per month. It’s not that bad! If you buy one brand new on finance, your monthly payment would be more than twice this amount. As a tip from my side; if you’re in market to buy an 86 now, getting a used one makes financial sense as the depreciation is pretty steep as well. There are quite few out there at prices as much as a new Yaris, if not less! Avoid the grey-import Scions.
So to summarise, with the Toyota 86, you’re up for a great driving experience with low cost of ownership and fuel bills. Now that the econobox I bought after selling the 86 has gone as well, I toyed with the idea of getting another sports coupe, but nothing quite seemed to match the fun, affordable package 86 has to offer. So in that respect, the 86 is in a league of its own and Toyota needs to be applauded for delivering that.
Original Mileage When Bought: 79,890 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 99,400 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 9.9 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 250
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 1800
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 7795