toyota yaris reliability

Toyota Yaris Reliability: How Many Miles Will Your Yaris Last?

Did you know that Japanese auto brand Toyota sold a total of 222,782 automobiles between March 2017 and 2018? Almost 40% of these sold units were cars.


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With a total sale of 91,084 domestic and import cars, Toyota was no doubt the best-selling brand for this category during that time!

This goes to show how U.S. motorists love Toyota. Especially Camry, which for 15 years now, has been the number one most-sold car in the nation.

But what about the Yaris? Can the Toyota Yaris reliability rating live up to your standards?

Indeed, we can’t deny Toyota’s reliability (it sits right below Lexus in this ranking, after all). But as a responsible Yaris owner, you still need to have an idea how long it’ll last.

That’s what we’ll share with you in this post, so, keep reading!

First Thing First: What Makes a Car Reliable?

There are many things that make a car reliable, and there’s no one-answer-fits-all to this question. But we can say that a car is reliable if it doesn’t require more than the usual repairs. These include oil changes, brake replacements, and wheel alignment.

Great mileage, steady handling, and smooth drives also contribute to a car’s reliability. Don’t forget injury-protecting (even life-saving) safety technology.

Of course, you as the driver also play a part in this. How well you maintain your ride, which includes tuning it up without delays, also impacts the machine’s reliability. In fact, take good care of it enough, and you can see its gauge display up to 200,000 miles!

So, what about an unreliable machine? Well, it’s one that makes you want to tear your hair out in frustration. Because it keeps running into unforeseen problems and unplanned breakdowns.

That’s why first-time buyers should consider expert advice when it comes to automotive buying. Also, keep in mind that reliability doesn’t always equate to being the most luxurious.

Measuring the Toyota Yaris Reliability

Now that you know what goes into a car’s reliability, you have an idea how your Yaris can fare. But let’s break it down further so that you’ll have an even clearer picture of what to expect.

A Brief History of the Yaris

The Toyota Yaris first came to light in 1999. Back then, it still had the Toyota Echo nameplate. It was the brand’s efforts to offer fuel-efficient but more compact cars. This is one of the reasons it was quick to rise to popularity.

In North America though, the Yaris nameplate itself came out in 2007. So, the 2018 Yaris marks its 12th year in production. That should already give you some inkling to its reliability (and celebrated popularity).

Reliability of the Current Yaris

If you’ve got yourself the 2018 Yaris, you’ll be happy to know that in terms of fuel economy, the latest model is still frugal. You’ll also notice how quick its reactions are to gear changes. That means you won’t have issues merging with freeway traffic or slowing down as needed.

It also boasts of respectable handling, especially when faced with zigzagging roads. Best of all, the 2018 Yaris hasn’t had any recalls yet.

How About the Older Models?

Say you have an older Yaris model. Aside from the above-mentioned factors, you also need to consider how the previous owner treated it, in case you bought yours used.

In general, though, both the first-gen (2007 to 2011 models) and the second-gen (2012 onwards) models offer exceptional fuel economy. Their 1.5L, 106-HP-producing engines allows them to deliver sufficient driving experience. Light steering, coupled with easy parking and a sporty enough engine, further makes them a reliable road companion.

The Common Problems You Can Expect with the Yaris

If you haven’t had any headaches with your Yaris yet, then good for you. But like with any other machine, Toyota Yaris problems can still arise.

Don’t worry though, since you can fix some of these on your own, so long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty (and greasy). At the same time, you should also gauge your skills and know-how, as there are some repairs you should never DIY.

In any case, here are some of the Toyota Yaris common problems to look out for:

Brake Pedal is Too Soft

If you notice that even the slightest pressure on the brakes make the pedal sink far down, it’s possible you’re running out of brake fluid. In most cases, a quick fluid refill or replacement is all you need.

Noisy Brakes

Squeaky brakes are some of the most common Toyota Yaris complaints. These sounds often arise from the brake wear indicator already hitting the rotor. As such, it’s best you replace your brake pads before you hear the next noise.

If you hear a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, stop. This often means there’s nothing left of your brake pad.

Stop driving and contact a mechanic right away. Driving with such worn pads can put you and other people on the road in serious danger.

Faulty Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Many owners of second-gen Yaris units also complain about malfunctioning ABS or even brake failure. A lot of these have to do with the tendency of the rear wheel bearings’ speed sensors to corrode early. The good news is, replacing these corroded sensors often fixes the problem.

Air Conditioning Headaches

Another common problem area of the Toyota Yaris is the air conditioning system. Many owners report of the AC not blowing cool enough air. Some also complain about the cooling system taking a long time to bring the interior temp down.

Majority of the time, refrigerant leaks cause these issues. But electrical problems with the Climate Control feature are also to blame. A busted AC compressor is also on the list of the top causes of Yaris AC problems.

Prompt Repairs is Key to Keeping Your Yaris Reliable

Knowing the common Toyota Yaris problems and dealing with them right away can help you get more miles out of your subcompact. You should also arm yourself with the right tools, supplies, and model/year-specific Yaris service and repair manual. This way, you can perform many of the easy and money-saving DIY fixes on your ride.

Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew through. Some Yaris issues (like dealing with refrigerants and replacing a windshield) are best left in the hands of pros. Attempting to give these issues a go may put a Toyota Yaris reliability at risk.

Want more car repair and maintenance advice? Feel free to visit our auto repair blog then!