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Discussion Starter #1
Back in mid-January of this year I purchased my first MR2. A pretty red convertible with 96K miles on it. It seemed to run well, but since I purchased it used and did not know what little things might need tweaking I took it to a repair shop. I spent about $1100 getting the rear tires replaced, spark plugs, serpentine belt, and a few other minor things replaced.

I drive about 60 miles a day and all seemed well for a month or so, then one day driving into work the SMT warning light came on and stayed on the rest of the way into work. It seemed to ride well even though the light was on. Wanting to avoid dealerships, I took it to a local repair shop. They replaced the neutral safety switch and all seemed well once more for another two weeks or so.

One morning after backing out of my driveway I tried to shift from reverse to first gear and the engine cut out and both the SMT and engine warning lights came on. Since I was blocking the road and panicking a bit, I turned the ignition off, then on, then fiddled with the gear shift until I was able to get it into first. I pulled up into the driveway and turned it off. I took another car to work and did not get around to investigating the problem until a few days ago after returning from a trip.

Since returning I discovered I can get the car into neutral no problem, but when I try to reverse the engine dies and those warning lights come on again. Since I have it parked in my garage with no space to go forward I have yet to try first and avoiding reverse. I am not skilled enough to work on this problem and intend to have it towed to a place that can work on it. Before I try taking it back to the repair shop I have used so far, I thought I would ask if anyone knows of a reputable repair shop in the Charlotte, NC area (even if it is 100 miles away).

I appreciate any helpful suggestions my fellow MR2 owners might offer me here!

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks corday for your reply! So, those warning lights would come on if it was going off fast idle too soon? I hope it is that simple.
 

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Post 1996, the number one thing for any issue is to pull the OBD2(check engine light) codes. The cheap Bluetooth readers off of amazon work great, and the Torque app has a free version that works just dandy for that. Once you have codes, you can then research them on the incredible edible internet and usually find a solution. Sometimes its a simple fix or part replacement, other times its something a little more involved. That'll be the first order of action for most anyone, anyways.

As far as reputable MR2 specialty shops near Charlotte, you're in luck. Theres Backyard MR2 Parts in Monroe, NC. Curvesaregood(Aaron) is extremely fair and knowledgeable. Hes on these boards as well as facebook.
Another option but a little further in Asheville, NC is Phoenix Motorsports ran by MR2Guru(Harry). Another great, well known guy in the community.

Best of luck getting your 2 back healthy again.

Alsokevin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Kouji!

Since my initial post I pushed the car into my driveway and then tried going forward. The car went forward and the SMT warning light did not come on, however, the engine light did and stayed on.

I ended up calling a nearby Toyota dealership and asked if they had any techs who felt up to the task, and who had experience with MR2s. They said they did, so I had it towed there Friday. They called me later in the day and told me the computer that controls the SMT was faulty and quoted me $1000 for a replacement OEM part (on back order with no ETA yet) and $400 labor. Ouch!

I'll try connect with the MR2 shop in Monroe before the dealership gets the part in and does the work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One more update to this repair story. Got a call from the dealership today saying the MR2 was ready to go. They told me a shorting #2 reverse switch was what damaged the computer. So, after replacing that switch and the computer I'm told everything now looks to be in great shape. Total parts and labor - $1654. Here's hoping she remains problem free until I get all the repair bills paid off :)
 

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Glad to here that the spyder is shifting again. I live in Charlotte also, near Mint Hill. Maybe we could have a mini meet and discuss spyders. And maybe have a Beer or two.
 

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Oh man a Charlotte meet would be awesome. I'm 1.5hours from Columbia, and every time I decide to go, something happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, the MR2 saga continues with a new sad twist in the story. So, today (July 20), I take my MR2 in for an oil change (reached 99,700 miles), and also ask the Toyota tech to check on the grating noise when I shift up from 1st to 2nd. For the past week or so it grinds going into 2nd (unless I quickly shift from 1st before revs get up). It also grinds shifting down from 3rd to 2nd, unless I let the computer down shift for me then it rarely grinds down shifting. So, the Toyota tech replaced the transmission fluid (said it was a milky color), but little improvement. The dealership quoted me around $3800 parts and labor to replace the transmission with a Toyota refurb, and a long-as-you-own warranty. I just cannot bring myself to invest that much more. Going to sell or trade it in :-(
 
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