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Hi, just saying hello as a new owner of a 2.4 Alphard, 2007 vintage with rear camper conversion but still tin top. Only had it for 3 days and just finding my way around the various controls and driving characteristics. Things aren’t helped, of course, by Japanese being the language of choice of the computer but I’ve sent off for an English translation of the manual which I suspect might ease the pain.

 

I confess I quite like the van thus far but I think I’m going to have to work out how to make the ‘beds’ a little more comfortable if I plan on spending nights here and there. At the moment, sitting drinking coffee in the front seat while staring out over Plymouth Sound is a good start.

 

Many questions to follow!

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2 minutes ago, WideCharlie said:

Hi, just saying hello as a new owner of a 2.4 Alphard, 2007 vintage with rear camper conversion but still tin top. Only had it for 3 days and just finding my way around the various controls and driving characteristics. Things aren’t helped, of course, by Japanese being the language of choice of the computer but I’ve sent off for an English translation of the manual which I suspect might ease the pain.

 

I confess I quite like the van thus far but I think I’m going to have to work out how to make the ‘beds’ a little more comfortable if I plan on spending nights here and there. At the moment, sitting drinking coffee in the front seat while staring out over Plymouth Sound is a good start.

 

Many questions to follow!

 

Hello Charlie,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

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Thanks Roger and David for the welcome messages. I am slowly getting to know this new vehicle and gradually compiling a list of disappointments (you know how it is) but trying to fight off buyer’s remorse. My wife is much more sensible about things and wonders why I’m surprised that a dealer in second hand Japanese imports would be disingenuous. 
 

Onwards and upwards!

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There is one particular importer in Birmingham who sells them as if it were a one off thing (by-pass any obligations) yet keeps putting them up on FB and offers zero warranty or guarantee's but there are others who will offer a 3 year warranty...

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5 hours ago, WideCharlie said:

Thanks Roger and David for the welcome messages. I am slowly getting to know this new vehicle and gradually compiling a list of disappointments (you know how it is) but trying to fight off buyer’s remorse. My wife is much more sensible about things and wonders why I’m surprised that a dealer in second hand Japanese imports would be disingenuous. 
 

Onwards and upwards!

 

Hello Charlie,

 

Disingenuous ?

 

I agree with your wife. Don't despair.

 

Have you never bought a pre-owned vehicle before ?

There is always the case of buyer beware.

Did you perform a comprehensive inspection, or have an AA or RAC Inspection, prior to purchase ? 

 

If you have bought from a recognised trader you have some legal protection under various consumer laws so take it back.

 

Some dealers are very good, others are not.

Please do not mention the dealer's name here, in public, but for my awareness, could you send me a PM and let me know.

 

Share your issues list with us, perhaps our members can help fix some of the problems.

 

In our eagerness to acquire a very desirable luxury set of wheels many of us tend to overlook the fact that the vehicle we buy is often over ten years old, and may come with some issues.

 

As winter is approaching one of the first jobs is to ensure your starter battery is in tip top condition.

 

Most important, is check it is undersealed. If not get it done immediately.

There is a chap near Saltram House that could do the undersealing if necessary.

 

You may like to know that most official Toyota dealers will not work on grey imports.

 

However, as a backstop, Snows of Plymouth will

 

 

 

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Welcome Charlie!

 

Don't despair, everything is rectifiable and as Rojie says, these vehicles as good and solid as they are, are getting on a bit so even the best ones often aren't without their occasional issue.

 

If it's of any consolation, when I bought mine, I did so without really giving it the look over it deserves (got a bit caught up in the moment!).  Whilst it was on the whole an excellent van and the sellers were v genuine, it did very quickly end up needing a new radiator and front driveshaft seal (was leaking some gear oil as well).  Since sorting those issues and giving it a full service it's been good as gold however.

 

In fact I mostly daily drive mine, and to have something that's going to be 15 next year and be turnkey reliable is quite something.  Toyota's for you!

 

If you have any particular queries just reach out on here, all a good bunch and very helpful 👍

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Good morning Dave. And it’s clear your wife has impeccable taste 😉 although I have to confess that the thought of commuting  to work gives me the shivers, whether by Merc or Toyota. In truth, I prefer motorbikes to four wheels but given the prolonged wet weather here, maybe not. 

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Wish I had taken my test on a bike when I had the chance so now only restricted to a chicken chaser or trikes (had 3).

Dont expect much help from toyota MD's, as I went to one the other day and asked the dude what are the specs for the engine oil and he replied I cant tell you that, but I can sell you some...

We use a mechanic who makes extra cash on the evening and weekends and if it dosent involve too heavy stuff then I do it myself, its just another car but without the workshop manual, you could find MOTORPARTS DIRECT very useful for parts, best to go in the shop as they dont list it all on the net and the quote me cheaper if I go in the shop!

You want an insight to your car watch this guys videos, quite good.

 

TC's Anything Goes

 

 

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Thanks for those tips, Dave. I too use a local guy for my car and I try hard not to do any mechanical jobs myself on the grounds that I’d turn one simple job into three difficult ones. With my bikes it’s different. They are easier to work on and I like them so much more. It’s never too late to take your test, you know. You’d have a head start as a trike rider.

 

I’ll track down those videos, thanks. 

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1 hour ago, dave murrell said:

Wish I had taken my test on a bike when I had the chance so now only restricted to a chicken chaser or trikes (had 3).

Dont expect much help from toyota MD's, as I went to one the other day and asked the dude what are the specs for the engine oil and he replied I cant tell you that, but I can sell you some...

We use a mechanic who makes extra cash on the evening and weekends and if it dosent involve too heavy stuff then I do it myself, its just another car but without the workshop manual, you could find MOTORPARTS DIRECT very useful for parts, best to go in the shop as they dont list it all on the net and the quote me cheaper if I go in the shop!

You want an insight to your car watch this guys videos, quite good.

 

TC's Anything Goes

 

 

 

oil 5w 30, or 5w 20, or 10w 30. Toyota prefer their own brand (surprised?).

5w 20 is the best for fuel economy, according to the Owners Manual (JPNZ)

 

4 lt without filter, 4.5 with filter.

Did you go to Snows ?

They are normally excellent.

 

You may have asked the wrong question.

Perhaps which type may have been better, rather than the actual spec (albeit that is what the W rating is).

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1 hour ago, Rojie said:

 

oil 5w 30, or 5w 20, or 10w 30. Toyota prefer their own brand (surprised?).

5w 20 is the best for fuel economy, according to the Owners Manual (JPNZ)

 

4 lt without filter, 4.5 with filter.

Did you go to Snows ?

They are normally excellent.

 

You may have asked the wrong question.

Perhaps which type may have been better, rather than the actual spec (albeit that is what the W rating is).

It was that having the S class I have an abundance of quality engine oil (albeit diesel) because I do all the maintenance on it myself and was trying to figure out if I could use in the Vellfire V6 hence the reason for the specs.

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A bit of a puzzle has arisen concerning what I think is called ‘indirect lighting.’ 
 

I have two switches marked ‘room’ - one on the front dash and one on the rear of the tv casing. In addition to the central roof light, they activate the uplights in the side column structures (3 per side). The front switch turns them on and off, or is supposed to; the rear switch turns them on and off and also acts as a dimmer. However, no matter what combination of switching I use, I can’t switch off entirely the three uplights on the nearside. They remain illuminated but only dimly even when the car is stationary, engine off and all locked up.

 

So, is there a way of switching these three off completely? Or are they supposed to remain on, dimly, at all times? Seems on odd thing if that is the case. 

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Ok, forget all that nonsense please. When I went to the car this morning the lights had gone off. So either they are on a long timer or they are light sensitive and switched off when daylight finally appeared through the drizzly murk. Whichever, the problem ceases to be a problem although the puzzle remains.

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5 hours ago, WideCharlie said:

Ok, forget all that nonsense please. When I went to the car this morning the lights had gone off. So either they are on a long timer or they are light sensitive and switched off when daylight finally appeared through the drizzly murk. Whichever, the problem ceases to be a problem although the puzzle remains.

 

I don't have a TV casing, but my dash switch has four settings.

Off, dim, medium and 'bright'.

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Well, curiouser and curiouser (said Alice): the damned lights have come on again now that it’s dark. Just the three on the nearside, shining very dimly out of the three ‘columns’ with no other lights on and the car not touched since a brief bimble this afternoon when those lights were definitely not illuminated. So, my thinking is that they are sensor operated but surely there must be a way to turn them off? Surely? It doesn’t make sense for them to operate of their own volition, so to speak, whenever it gets dark. 
 

Any ideas?

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1 hour ago, WideCharlie said:

Well, more curious and more curious (said Alice): the damned lights have come on again now that it’s dark. Just the three on the nearside, shining very dimly out of the three ‘columns’ with no other lights on and the car not touched since a brief bimble this afternoon when those lights were definitely not illuminated. So, my thinking is that they are sensor operated but surely there must be a way to turn them off? Surely? It doesn’t make sense for them to operate of their own volition, so to speak, whenever it gets dark. 
 

Any ideas?

 

I suspect your toom lights are set to dim; therefore you cannot notice them in normal daylight.

I had a bulb failure in one of mine, which did not prevent the others operating correctly.

I do not believe mine are sensor operated, and there is no mention, as far as I can remember, that they are in the Owners Manual.

Do the off side ones work at all ?

 

Have you had your OEM head unit replaced ?

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Hi Roger - it doesn’t seem to matter whether the room lights are set to dim or bright, those three column lights on the nearside persist in dim mode when the car is stopped and everything else is switched off, doors locked and me off to do some shopping; the offside column lights and the central roof light associated with the tv work fine and do not continue to glow even when their brothers on the nearside glow as described; I’m prepared to believe that we fooled ourselves into thinking those three errant lights were, in fact, no longer glowing in the daylight and are therefore not sensor operated, but my wife swears they weren’t glowing this morning although I can swear they were at 7am; unfortunately the latest storm makes me uninclined to go out and check and, besides, it is darker than a solar eclipse at the moment; the head unit is original although the Speedo/odometer has been converted to mph; the radio has been ‘amended’ to pick up UK stations; the owner’s manual that I have is no help with this issue.

 

Peering down the column openings with a dental mirror, I can see three points of light in each nearside dim light. Would these be LEDs? If so, they will be drawing very little from the battery and it’s no big deal but I do have a neurosis about things not working the way they should. I will check those pesky lights once more if we ever see daylight again in this neck of the woods. In any case, I suspect my local garage will be asked to sort the problem out some time in the new year. 
 

Dave: yes I too have struggled to find any information on these issues and, as I said, the owner’s manual is no help.

 

The saga continues!

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1 hour ago, WideCharlie said:

Hi Roger - it doesn’t seem to matter whether the room lights are set to dim or bright, those three column lights on the nearside persist in dim mode when the car is stopped and everything else is switched off, doors locked and me off to do some shopping; the offside column lights and the central roof light associated with the tv work fine and do not continue to glow even when their brothers on the nearside glow as described; I’m prepared to believe that we fooled ourselves into thinking those three errant lights were, in fact, no longer glowing in the daylight and are therefore not sensor operated, but my wife swears they weren’t glowing this morning although I can swear they were at 7am; unfortunately the latest storm makes me uninclined to go out and check and, besides, it is darker than a solar eclipse at the moment; the head unit is original although the Speedo/odometer has been converted to mph; the radio has been ‘amended’ to pick up UK stations; the owner’s manual that I have is no help with this issue.

 

Peering down the column openings with a dental mirror, I can see three points of light in each nearside dim light. Would these be LEDs? If so, they will be drawing very little from the battery and it’s no big deal but I do have a neurosis about things not working the way they should. I will check those pesky lights once more if we ever see daylight again in this neck of the woods. In any case, I suspect my local garage will be asked to sort the problem out some time in the new year. 
 

Dave: yes I too have struggled to find any information on these issues and, as I said, the owner’s manual is no help.

 

The saga continues!

 

All very interesting.

Initially I had a couple of issues; mainly me not noticing I had left the room lights on dim.

I replaced my starter battery before realising this ! Good news actually, as I now have a spare battery always on smart charge just in case !

 

The 'lamp' I replaced was not a LED; best described as a festoon bulb !

 

I have no idea where the dimming circuit is located.

I would think there is only one; but there may be two.

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