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Scion FR-S / Toyota 86 GT86 General Forum The place to start for the Scion FR-S / Toyota 86 | GT86


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Old 05-24-2021, 10:45 AM   #1
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A few basic questions

I'm looking to get either a new 2020 86 GT, BRZ, or a 2022 GR86. I actually like the styling on the '20 86 GT the most, but based on some preliminary searching it seems if I want to get a car with the features and color I want it to have, I'm unlikely to find that specific combination sitting on a dealership lot anywhere in the US. So, probably 2022.

That said, I have some questions.

I noticed that in the newbie Q/A thread it said, effectively, that you can't drive this car in snow with stock tires. This puzzles me. The car clearly has a snow mode (which I understand isn't the same as saying the car can handle snow) and it's really not all that powerful compared to a lot of other things out on the road in the snow, not on snow tires.

So what exactly does that mean? Is that meant to say you can't drive the car (as in drive it as it was meant to be driven) in the snow on stock tires or essentially that, even in snow mode, the car is effectively uncontrollable on stock tires in snow? If it matters, the car I end up with will be automatic (I need the wife to be able to drive it - hoping to get her bitten by the sports car bug) and I have more than a little RWD in snow experience. By that I mean I can keep my pickup straight on the road without sand in the back (but I still load it down after the first "real" snow.) I'd also point out that 99% of the time I will take the truck in bad weather simply because it's just way better at handling that, and at shrugging off little dents to the body panels without lamentation.

Somewhat related:

I see from a lot of posts here and from the very low mileage on a lot of the used cars that many people run these as weekend/track cars and little else. I'm more the "any excuse to blast around in the fun car" driver. Most of the time I'm happy to drive slow and sane - after all, you can't see people staring at the car if you're flying by at warp speed. How safe/sane is the 86 in rain? Are there other concerns about foul-weather driving? Basically, how good is the traction control (this wasn't something I wanted to really "test" on the test drive I took.)

There are some models of cars that have design flaws that result in them rusting through rapidly if exposed to wet roads and especially if they get a little road salt on them (even the best cars deteriorate rapidly if road salt isn't removed promptly). Are there any flaws like that in these cars?

And finally:

Are there any common defaults or problems I need to be aware of? As a quick example, my S10's parking brake and starter solenoid are common problems of the model. As long as I use a soft touch with the parking brake, and expect to replace the starter every few years everything is fine. (The solenoid is mounted to the starter as a complete unit, thus the heat from the starter kills the solenoid - another option is to replace the unit with a racing model that has a remote solenoid).


I test drove an 86 (non-GT) at a dealership in a different city a little bit ago and really liked it. To me it felt entirely tame and controlled in normal driving - with a definite wildness available at higher RPMs. It didn't seem like it would be too much of a handful in rain or snow (in fact this test drive was in the rain). Kansas weather can turn on a dime, so if I have to worry about getting caught in a downpour or a sudden snow flurry it greatly limits the available driving days. I haven't been 18 in more than that many years, and my lead foot has lost a lot of weight since then.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:00 AM   #2
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The car can be driven in snow on the stock tires. Just the same as how you can drive in the snow on bald drag radials.

It's not advisable, and the "snow mode" is not making assumptions about the car's readiness otherwise. If you anticipate driving in snow, have snow tires on the car, period The stock tires are very hard and will not do well on snow in cold temperatures. If you think there will be a random flurry and don't get snow frequently, drive extremely carefully.


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Old 05-24-2021, 11:02 AM   #3
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I'm looking to get either a new 2020 86 GT, BRZ, or a 2022 GR86. .
@Spektyr welcome to the forum.

As someone who has driven an 2013 AT FRS in what passes as snow in Atlanta, GA, no, the car is not safe in snow on summer tires. There are plenty of folks on here that daily their car through snow ( @Tcoat comes to mind) but the car is properly equipped.

I have since changed to all-seasons and have not had any issues. Driving it on the Primacies though, I had to abandon it in the driveway of an accommodating stranger and pick it up later after the snow had melted to drive it home. I have real experience driving RWD in snow (not "Atlanta level" experience) and it was not good, even with Snow mode turned on. With Snow mode and appropriate tires it is not an issue.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:06 AM   #4
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The stock tires are very slippery even when it's warm and dry. These make winter driving pretty much impossible to do safely. You might be able to maintain control on an empty road but inclines without a running start and emergency maneuvering/braking won't be possible. I always recommend snow tires all cars driven in the winter. Being in Kansas your snow is more limited and having the truck to drive, that means you'd likely only have to deal with unexpected snow, so a good set of all season tires for the winter might be a better value. Again though, stock tires are total shit for everything except gas mileage.

I'm not aware of any common issues on the newer years. Older models had weak throw out bearings and the first year of production had oil starvation problems and a recall for bad valve springs. But it's been 8 years since those were built.

I daily mine. But I refuse to drive it in the snow also. Rusting out isn't a particular issue but I don't want all the salt and shit on it. Mine is VERY heavily modified. I have a second car I drive when the weather is bad. Previously I didn't drive it at all in the winter but this year I got another set of wheels so I'll have some variety of all season tire I can drive on when it's cold, but not snowy. I have sticky summer tires for the rest of the year. Summer tires don't like cold, they get very hard and can actually be damaged by driving on them when it's cold. I live in Nebraska

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Old 05-24-2021, 11:21 AM   #5
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You might be able to maintain control on an empty road but inclines without a running start and emergency maneuvering/braking won't be possible.
This pretty much nails my experience. Had I been the only person on the road I would have likely been fine. The second I lost momentum (my route is moderately hilly) I would slip. That was usually caused be someone pulling in front of me, or stalling an incline, etc. Even the slightest tap of the brakes would send the rear out into a drift. It was manageable, but barely.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:24 AM   #6
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The biggest issue with winter driving is the summer performance tires. Until the 2022 model becomes available for purchase we won't know for certain what tires Toyobaru has chosen. But they will be performance oriented and would not be a good choice for snow. That being said, if you want to learn how to really handle the vehicle, go drive it in a snow covered parking lot (or used car lot).
As for common faults, check back after we have a couple years of experience with the 2022 model and we'll see what shakes out.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:34 AM   #7
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The biggest issue with winter driving is the summer performance tires. Until the 2022 model becomes available for purchase we won't know for certain what tires Toyobaru has chosen. But they will be performance oriented and would not be a good choice for snow. That being said, if you want to learn how to really handle the vehicle, go drive it in a snow covered parking lot (or used car lot).
As for common faults, check back after we have a couple years of experience with the 2022 model and we'll see what shakes out.
I dunno... The primacies aren't a performance tire by any means. Though I highly recommend replacing them with some performance tires... Or anything really

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Old 05-24-2021, 11:53 AM   #8
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It's a RWD car so if you haven't driven one you're in for a ride. Have to be careful in rain (I haven't driven in snow). No mashing the pedal and have to be careful on everything.



As far as common issues go, you're going to have to check out the Issues/Warranty recalls on the forum. I believe there is also a service bulletin work.


The only major issue is the valve spring recall in the early models which destroyed the engines.


I haven't kept up with the other years but in my 2013

  • Notorious TOB for a few years after mine
  • Window indexing issue where it rubs the door seals
  • Window doesn't seal sometimes so you can hear more wind noise
  • Dash trim is lifted because of heat
  • Door rattles from speakers/driving
  • Tail light condensation issues


New issues for me:

  • Timing chain cover is leaking oil
  • Cam plate leaking oil
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:02 PM   #9
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Spektyr indicated that because of limited remaining inventory he was probably looking at a 2022 model. New engine. Revised chassis. Can't even be purchased yet. We have no idea at this point what old faults have been carried over and what new ones will show up.
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:24 PM   #10
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Spektyr indicated that because of limited remaining inventory he was probably looking at a 2022 model. New engine. Revised chassis. Can't even be purchased yet. We have no idea at this point what old faults have been carried over and what new ones will show up.
Most of those issues didn't even carry over in 2014 much less the new version. It will have all new issues of it's own for the first year.
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by YamahaR86 View Post
It's a RWD car so if you haven't driven one you're in for a ride. Have to be careful in rain (I haven't driven in snow). No mashing the pedal and have to be careful on everything.



As far as common issues go, you're going to have to check out the Issues/Warranty recalls on the forum. I believe there is also a service bulletin work.


The only major issue is the valve spring recall in the early models which destroyed the engines.


I haven't kept up with the other years but in my 2013

  • Notorious TOB for a few years after mine
  • Window indexing issue where it rubs the door seals
  • Window doesn't seal sometimes so you can hear more wind noise
  • Dash trim is lifted because of heat
  • Door rattles from speakers/driving
  • Tail light condensation issues


New issues for me:

  • Timing chain cover is leaking oil
  • Cam plate leaking oil
The only problems I've had on the '13 is the TOB, the window indexing, and CRAPPY lug studs that strip out if you look at them too hard.
Hopefully all of these terrible problems have been corrected by now.
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:45 PM   #12
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Regardless of tires, you should always assume road conditions aren't safe when it's raining (for whatever reason). So follow best practices, like driving slower than on a nice, dry day, trying to use smaller, simpler adjustments when making turns, etc. Also, not just on rainy or snowy days, but simple cold days (like if your area ever gets to 30-40 degrees in the morning) when your tires aren't properly warmed up, they could lose traction on cold road surface.

I'd also recommend taking the car to a road handling course of some kind (autox or just a handling clinic if you can find one near you) to practice and learn the limits of the tires.
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Old 05-24-2021, 03:16 PM   #13
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Ah, that makes sense. I hadn't considered that the stock tires would be that much more slippery than the usual stock tires most manufacturers put on everything. You expect high-performance radials on some stuff, but at the 86's price point I'd just assumed middle-ground all-season tires.

I learned to drive on RWD: 1970 Ford LTD with the engine bay you could practically climb into to work on that big V8. I've had a few pickups, a few V8 sedans old enough that they were built when only "silly little imports" had FWD - I've even owned a Fiero GT. (That thing was a handful in the rain.)

I'll freely admit my wife's Honda Fit will run circles around my S-10 on ice - that little hatchback is practically a snowmobile in bad weather. But RWD is just more... fun. AWD is pretty cool too. I'd snap up the GR Yaris if they ever brought it to the US.


My philosophy on driving a car like the 86 is pretty laid back - just A to B it if you aren't confident in the road surface. On a nice day, on a nice road, well that's more the place to play. But professional drivers don't run WOT on a dirty track - they bring out the yellow flag and a crew to clean up the problem. Those are guys with thousands more go-fast hours than I have, so I'm not about to think I've got a better idea about how to drive a car than they do.

It's a bit more than just wanting something pretty that makes a nice noise - I want to be faster than at least some of the other cars on the road (the more the better) but at until/unless I get the wife hooked on quick cars it's just waaay better to get into something inexpensive and fun, rather than something that'll suck the eyeballs back in your head and try to kill you on the way to get groceries.
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Old 05-24-2021, 04:26 PM   #14
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Ah, that makes sense. I hadn't considered that the stock tires would be that much more slippery than the usual stock tires most manufacturers put on everything. You expect high-performance radials on some stuff, but at the 86's price point I'd just assumed middle-ground all-season tires.

I learned to drive on RWD: 1970 Ford LTD with the engine bay you could practically climb into to work on that big V8. I've had a few pickups, a few V8 sedans old enough that they were built when only "silly little imports" had FWD - I've even owned a Fiero GT. (That thing was a handful in the rain.)

I'll freely admit my wife's Honda Fit will run circles around my S-10 on ice - that little hatchback is practically a snowmobile in bad weather. But RWD is just more... fun. AWD is pretty cool too. I'd snap up the GR Yaris if they ever brought it to the US.


My philosophy on driving a car like the 86 is pretty laid back - just A to B it if you aren't confident in the road surface. On a nice day, on a nice road, well that's more the place to play. But professional drivers don't run WOT on a dirty track - they bring out the yellow flag and a crew to clean up the problem. Those are guys with thousands more go-fast hours than I have, so I'm not about to think I've got a better idea about how to drive a car than they do.

It's a bit more than just wanting something pretty that makes a nice noise - I want to be faster than at least some of the other cars on the road (the more the better) but at until/unless I get the wife hooked on quick cars it's just waaay better to get into something inexpensive and fun, rather than something that'll suck the eyeballs back in your head and try to kill you on the way to get groceries.
The stock tires are not really a middle of the road type but actually a quality upper end one. They are used on several Lexus models and and top end Prius. It is the fact that people associate them with the Prius that they get such a bad rap. They are actually a pretty nice tire but being a summer only performance tire not an all season they do not deal well with the cold at all. Add snow to the mix and you may as well be running around on old steel carriage wheels.
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