I own a 2000 year Camry (bought second hand in 2003 from Dealer) and I live in north east. I have very minimal car experience, worse, have a bad back, so difficult to do any work.
My car was earlier - a 15 days/month or so earlier - was giving kind of a rrrrrr noise from the exhaust side. I got the oil changed and the mechanic told me to change the a/c filter (since it was dirty), nothing more. I had to pass it at that time.
Over the last few days, I see smoke pouring out under the hood - could smell faintly a rubber smell, and I found the following: 1) coolant tank was empty. 2) steam was coming out from a hole in the Radiator.
I bought Prestone Coolant and filled the tank (to the level indicated). When I drove for almost 2/3 miles, Check engine light came on, the Engine Temperature went to HOT (all the way top). After 6 miles, I stopped. Now smoke was pouring under the bonnet. I was told that the check engine might be ignored, so long no smoke is coming out and was encouraged to try driving again.
The next day when I drove again, the same thing happened. After returning back (a total of 12 miles today), I found that the Coolant liquid tank was completely empty.
The local mechanic says it might cost anywhere between $500 to $2000 to repair. Toyota earlier said that the car is not worth more than $2000.
At this point, I can neither afford a new car, nor undertake an expensive repair.
Need some help, advice and pointers to identify a good mechanic, so I that won’t get ripped off.
Thank you everyone,
Appreciate your time and help,