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'94 Camry wagon w/broken AC & cracked windshield for $1895 worth it?

Hi all
I am looking to buy a car for the first time and there is a used car that I found through a private owner (only owner of the vehicle) that has 188K miles on it, a crack in the windshield, a broken AC and is missing two wheel covers. He has all of the service records. He is asking $1895. What I wonder is if it’s worth it…in other words, would I be able to get the AC and other problems fixed at a low enough cost that the price he’s asking (or hopefully a little lower) would be good? Or, would a problem like replacing the AC be an expensive one?

Thanks for your help!!

That’s too much money for a 94 Camry with 188k miles on it. The windshield alone could cost $350.00 if pay for it yourself. And AC could cost up to $1,200 if something like the compressor requires replacing.

I just purchased a 97 Accord with 143k miles on it from the original owner for $1,200. The vehicle did have some slight body damage and was going to need a brake job. Other than that everything works. Even the AC.

Tester

The thing about this car is Camry “wagons” are really quite rare. They are also generally very good cars that hold up well. This is a '94 so it is pretty old. How complete are the service records? It is easy to price a new windshield, just call a local auto glass installation company and ask the price.

The AC could be a simple minor problem or it can cost a bunch of money to replace the AC compressor. How important is having AC?

I have no clue if this is a fair price or not, but if you are interested in the car I’d have a mechanic inspect it for you. Ask for an opinion on the AC problem and a report on the overall condition of the car.

I agree with others. Only buy it if it checks out okay and you can live without the AC. I think if the AC was a minor repair, the owner would have done it. A major AC repair would cost you more than the car is worth. AND if you decide to buy, talk the price down.

Edmunds says that this car in clean condition is worth $1740 from a private seller if it is a loaded LE with a V6. I’ll bet it’s not, and it clearly is not in clean condition. I would just forget it. But if you are really interested in it, take it to a trusted mechanic for a prepurchase inspection. He will likely find more problems. In its current condition, I doubt it is worth more than a few hundred dollars. If your state requires a safety inspection before registration, this is especially important. The window alone will likely fail inspection.

All great advice. Thanks very much. I’m going to skip this one and keep looking. I’ve lived this long without a car, I can live a little longer!

I agree with Mr. Sanders that a mechanic will likely find more problems with this car and I also think that it’s overpriced.
If the windshield was not broken, the A/C operative, and the car is straight then it might be worth it.

The owner has probably been presented a laundry list recently of needed repairs other than the obvious and that’s why they’re trying to unload the car.

The car is overpriced in my opinion, but the seller will likely get what they want or close to it if for no other reason than that it’s a Toyota. I regularly see cars like this in used car lots priced around three grand simply because of the Toyota badge on the hood, but I think it’s ridiculous. I would pass on it. There are better, newer, cleaner, lower mileage cars out there for similar money.

It’s Just Too Old To Put Money Into And That’s Probably Why It’s For Sale. Make An Offer And Buy It And Drive It As It Is. If That’s Not Attractive To You Then Save For Something Newer That You Can Put Money In And Expect A Return.

CSA

I suggest that you look for an newer, unpopular car like a Chevy Cavalier. You can find a loaded 2000 Chevy Cavalier LS with around 120,000 miles in clean condition for around $1800. It will likely last a lot longer than that Toyota would. This is just one example. I’m sure that you can find other models from around the turn of the century that are less than $2000.