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99 Toyota Camry with 225000miles should i buy it!?

I’m already through the process but haven’t actually signed the paper work, i want to get a 99 camry for $3300 including tax title license… is this smart?! my brother whose great with cars checked it out and said it looks great! It’s a steal. And according to KBB its says its worth at least $5500. I’ve heard Camry’s are reliable but i’m so nervous to buy it. What are some of the things i should be aware of? On Auto Checker it rated a 82.

Please Help

Has all the maintenance, especially oil changes, along with timing belt, etc. been done on time? If the seller doesn’t know, I’d worry.

That’s the one thing i didn’t ask… the timing belt. i’m going to call him now. I believe so with the oil changes. There’s only been two owners to this car. One had it for 100,00 and the other for the rest of the time, it was owned in FL and IL.

Do they have proof (receipts) for the oil changes? There were issues with oil gelling/sludging in some Camrys, especially those that didn’t get their oil changed adequately.

no i didn’t ask for them! he got the camry from a dealer.

You need to ask for ALL the paperwork ! There is a lot more to car maintenance than just oil changes. Given the timing belt issue has already been mentioned, also consider the following:

Brake Fluid
Several Transmission Fluid changes should have been done at this point (drain and replace only)
Coolant Changes
Fuel Filter(s)
Spark Plugs (it may be due for a 3rd or even 4th set by now)
Spark Plug wires
Distributor Cap & rotor
Air Filter
Accessory belts
A/C service history (if applicable)

If there is a paper trail to prove that the above items are squared away, I would say go for it. I’ve heard that Toyotas will last 300 grand no problem.
A mechanic (or your brother) should be able to tell if the oil has been changed regularly, even if the original owner doesn’t have every single receipt to prove it. Take a look at the dipstick yourself, healthy oil will be very, very light brown and watery looking. Dirty oil will be really dark black and gooey.

If you’re still nervous to buy it, or if the above things have not been taken care of, keep looking. Good luck.

No sale. The car does have potential. A baseball coach had this player with great potential. He hadn’t reached that potential after three or four years. To make a long story short, the coach said something about the guy’s potential is killing us. You should be aware that stuff could fall off the car. Stuff won’t, but an old car can nickel and dime you to death. Great buy for $1,200.

With a car this old, the previous owners’ maintenance practices are at least as important as the car itself. You need to get a professional inspection by an independent mechanic familiar with Camrys. (I don’t know if your brother meets this standard.) If the car has been well maintained so that it is in good condition, it would be a good buy. Why are they willing to sell it so far below KBB?

Whats that old saying? Oh yeah, beauty is only skin deep, but ugly is to the frame rails. The mechanicals are past there prime.

I have an '00 Camry V6 with 120K miles. 225K miles is a bunch of miles. Can’t comment on the price, but it seems high with that mileage. It would be nice to have all the service documented, but this is a 13 year old car, with lots of miles. It would be a thick file, just for oil changes.

Get a mechanic to inspect the car. If there is no record of a timing belt change, then you will need to have the belt replaced ASAP and negotiate the price with the seller. Can’t tell you if this is a great deal, the car is just too old, too many miles, and too little info about the car is available to assess the condition of the car. That’s why a good inspection by a good mechanic can answer some of these questions, but not all.

The price is twice what it should be at this mileage. It’s not a steal, it’s highway robbery. Reconsider.

In addition to the price being far too high for a car this old and with this amount of mileage, the OP has to consider that ANY car with this much mileage is going to need ongoing repairs, in addition to regular maintenance.

Don’t fall for the myth that, because it is a Toyota, it will be invincible. While Toyotas are very reliable cars, after that many years and miles–and particularly if all of the maintenance has not been done on schedule–you will have to budget at least $1k per year for the inevitable repairs that the car will need. The aforementioned Toyota engine-sludging problem is one example of what lax maintenance can cause, and another very expensive repair cost is what will result from failure to replace the timing belt on schedule.

As to knowing the maintenance record, DO NOT accept anyone’s word for it.
Only documentation can give you an assurance that the car has been maintained properly, and with a 12 year old car, the file folder of maintenance receipts should be quite thick by this time. My policy is–no documentation, no purchase!

And, even if the car does have a “paper trail” for its maintenance, you will still need to have any candidate for purchase thoroughly inspected by a mechanic of your choice. A good inspection will turn up collision damage that may not be obvious to you, and it can also reveal developing mechanical issues.

Camry’s are noted to be very very reliable vehicles…but ANY vehicle who’s maintenance schedule is suspect…I’d pass…Maintenance is the key to keeping a vehicle to last 300k+ miles…Before I bought ANY vehicle with that many miles on it I’d want detailed maintenance records…OR the price would have to be so low that it still might be worth taking a gamble.

225,000 miles? $1750 if it is in otherwise PERFECT mechanical and cosmetic shape and passes state inspection to drive it legally. (given its age/wear and tear etc.)

You should be nervous buying any car with that many miles.

I own a 2001 Camry and it is a great car, however it just turned 50,000 miles so I can not comment as to longevity/durability.

At Any Price, A Car This Old With This Mileage . . .
With Thorough Inspection By Competent Mechanic Versed In Toyota Idiosyncrasies - Pig In A Poke.

Without Thorough Inspection By Competent Mechanic Versed In Toyota Idiosyncrasies -Stuck Pig.

If this car located in a state that slathers road salt on the roads during the winter ? - Put A Fork In It.

I agree with mleich, "You should be nervous buying any car with that many miles."
I’d say that if you had been the owner for the past 100,000 miles, that’s one thing, but obtaining the car from a stranger . . . ?


I agree with the others. There’s no way I’d pay any sort of real money for a car with a quarter million miles on it.

Way, way overpriced for the age and miles. will give you a quote for a vehicle you’re trading in. In fact they’ll Guarantee that quote at participating dealerships.

According to them…the Camry with 225k miles on it and in excellent condition…it’s worth about $1,700.

Autotrader quote is for wholesale auction price…but the markup to retail isn’t 100%.

I’d offer them at MOST $1500.

I’m a Toyota fan in general and I would rather buy ANY car with fewer than 100K miles than a Camry with 225K miles for $5500. And I bet there are a few out there.

"I’m a Toyota fan in general and I would rather buy ANY car . . . "

. . . slowly catching on . . .