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97 toyota camry 225k miles

So this car has high mileage but runs great. Doesn’t show any signs of breaking down. It’s selling for $2100. I just need to know if it’s worth it. PLEASE HELP! I’m only 17 so its hard for me to tell by myself. Thanks guys(:

It’s even harder for us to tell via cyberspace!

All I can say is that IF the car is in decent condition, the price is a good one. However, if you are judging its condition solely on it “running great” today, you could be very disappointed a couple of days after buying it.

I would advise that you consider this car only if the seller is willing to let you take it to a mechanic of your choosing for a pre-purchase inspection. Among other things, the mechanic might be able to spot an impending disaster with the transmission. (When the trans needs to be overhauled, it would likely cost as much as the purchase price of the car!)

If the seller has nothing to hide regarding this car, then he/she should be willing to have the car checked over at your expense. If they balk, keep looking.

Just one other bit of wisdom for you–don’t be fooled into thinking that Toyotas run forever. This is a 15 year old car, and virtually any part of it can fail without warning, even if a mechanic gives it his blessing.

Good luck with your search for a good used car!

@VDCdriver is right - no pre-purchase inspection, no purchase.

Thanks guys. I look into it. This was extremely helpful.(:

Ask if the transmission has ever been replaced / rebuilt…If not, it’s deep into borrowed time…

If it’s an XLE V6 model with leather, moonroof, CD changer, heated mirrors and traction control, it’s worth about $2100 in my area. If it’s a CE with a 4cyl stick shift, AM/FM/CD and cruise control, it’s worth about $1200

Ask if the transmission has ever been replaced / rebuilt…If not, it’s deep into borrowed time…

BULL…Maybe all the cars you buy have tranny problems at 200k miles. But this car and this year…as long as maintenance has been kept up the tranny should probably last another 200k miles. Plus you’re assuming this is an automatic.

it is an automatic

Let me add to the other good comments that…I think that if you can only afford $2100, you first limit your choices to cars that are cheaper new but equally reliable. You can then move up in years, down in mileage and make what ever inspection you have to make, more meaningful. I have seen cars (my neighbor) that were maintained meticulously and still gave poor service. Why ? The way they were driven. Look for an owner/seller who is a conservative operator of a cheap “reliable when new”…like Civics, Ford compacts, Corollas, Yaris, Sentras older Toyota, Nissan and Ranger 4 cyl pick ups, etc.

IMO, transmissions are vulnerable to early failure, even with good maintenance under hard driving conditions. Other then needing a new clutch, I would lean towards a model with a manual transmission, AC and as few other options like power windows etc. as possible.

Here are my thoughts as the owner of a 98 Camry (4 cylinder):

IF it passes a good thorough inspection (be SURE that this includes compression tests), then you may very well have a reliable car on your hands - for its age. At this point, anything could go, and the badge on the hood is no guarantee of anything - proper prior maintenance is far more important.

That said, this generation of Camry had a significant (in my mind, at least) issue with its front suspension - the strut mounts have a nasty tendency to fail prematurely. You can get a good number of miles on a set, but they’ll make all sorts of noise on you in the process. It was bad enough that Advance Auto Parts advertised “97-02 Camry Strut Mounts: Much Longer Lasting than OEM” in a giant banner in the front window here in SW Ohio. The parts here are cheap - even labor isn’t bad, but I’d look to either DIY the job with lifetime warranties on the parts, or get a shop with a lifetime parts+labor warranty (AAA runs such a shop here). I’m at ~140k on my car, and its on its 3rd set of mounts, ready for a fourth.

Oh, and be certain you test drive it, too - IMO, the handling on ours is atrocious by modern standards (it wasn’t my choice of vehicles)…

But can they generally be reliable and could you get several years worth of service out of it? Certainly, that is possible…

We are trying to sell our 97 Civic 5-spd with 220k. Also runs great. We put it on Cars.com but I did not get a single call until we dropped the drive below $2000. So I think that’s the magic number for getting interest in an older car.