Home Travel Stories Gas Logs 1986 TOYOTA Tercel 92-1 bbl MPG= 25 City
1986 TOYOTA Tercel 92-1 bbl MPG= 25 City PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Saturday, 25 December 2010 20:26

1986 TOYOTA TERCEL 92-1 bbl MPG= 25 City


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

Metric= 1.5 L engine- 9.4 L/100km City


MPG when new 31 MPG City/ 38 MPG Hwy

The EPA figures for the Tercel with 5 speed were 31 MPG City, 38 MPG Hwy and 33 MPG overall. The new EPA system revised the numbers to 26 City, 34 Hwy and 29 overall. A real life user's figures netted 31 MPG on the EPA website where owners can post their MPG. This figure is out of reach of the feature OOCC Tercel profiled here.


The OOCC Tercel is over 20 years old but it is not by any stretch of the imagination a collector car even had it been in immaculate condition which it wasn't. It's also not a one owner car. It is also hideously ugly by design which is exacerbated by wear and tear over time. But the car provides some more gas log stats for our files and hence makes it into this section.

The EPA figures for stop and go driving in a Tercel with overdrive manual 5 speed are an impressive 31 MPG which is possible for a 2,000 pound car with a small 1.5 L (91.5 c.i.) engine. Probably because it is pushing 200,000 miles and suffers oil leaks, oil burning and a virtually dead #3 cylinder, the OOCC Tercel posts much lower gas mileage for stop and go rush hour gridlock driving. The Tercel was being run in hot weather with 35 PSI in tires. The OOCC Tercel was empty except for the driver while driven to work and back in rush hour commute on a 14 mile round trip. The car was also used periodically to haul quite a bit of weight. Averaging out the proportion of miles it had heavier and lighter payloads probably put the overall average weight carried at about 200 pounds.

Even when it had a fresh spark plug the OOCC Tercel never broke out of 25 MPG CITY. With a fouled plug it dropped as low as 14 MPG.

The OOCC Tercel in is an all original but severely beat on example of a four door hatchback. It has original drive train and correct sized tires. The car came from somewhere on the east coast winding up in the Deep South. One door is permanently closed after an accident caved it in. There is rust along the leading edge of the rear hatch and starting in wheel wells. The license plate is attached with old wire. The cassette player is jammed, allowing occupants to listen to the same cassette tape endlessly.

There is a slow leak in one tire likely from a damaged wheel rim. The coolant resembles thick sludgy tan mud such as you might see in Yellowstone Park. The mushy top radiator hose eventually leaks through the multiple layers of duct tape wrapped around it. A new layer is added and this contains the evil brew that surges through the radiator. The engine is a disaster with the number three cylinder showing 50 PSI. This cylinder requires frequent plug changes whenever it gets too oil soaked to fire. You can tell that this condition has recurred when the entire car shakes under acceleration. The garage that ran a test on it had a terse recommendation, "needs: engine."

86 tercel eeds engine

Odometer Gallons fill?           MPG (uncorrected)
197,703  5.8 Full  
197,873  6.8 Full              25.0 MPG
198,097  3.4 x 0
198,199  3.5 x 0
198,000  1.7 x 0
198,307  3.6 x 0
198,364  3.6 x 0
198,406  5.2 Full              25.3 MPG
198,543  9.2 Full              14.8 MPG
198,745  3.4 x 0
198,815  1.7 x 0
198,861  1.8 x 0
198,882  3.6 x 0
198,800  0 x 0
198,961  3.1 x 0
199,016  2.9 x 0
199,072  3.1 x 0
199,137  3.4 Full                25.8 MPG
199,222  3.4 x 0
199,000  missing entry
199,487  3.4  
200,012  5.59 Full  
many missing entries

203,218  8.2 Full


Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 October 2016 14:13 )