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Did I get a good deal?

Paid $4200 + TTL for this super clean 2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 2WD with 202K at the time and fairly new Michelin LTX tires and a Tow package. It had a Timing Belt change sticker at 92K with a really clean engine compartment as well.
It had a small knock so I had my mechanic check it out and he put on 2 new lower ball joints. After that I did the timing belt, water pump, valve cover gaskets, upper intake manifold gasket, sway bar bushings front and back, rear shocks, new front rotors and pads, NGK Iridium plugs (are they as good as they say?)
Well it looks like I put about another $1300 into it including the labor (good buddy $40hr) but I’ve heard these 4Runners last a long time with regular maintenance. But now I’ve spent $5500 and I’m wondering if I could have bought something better for that money. I hate the buyers remorse crap and want to keep the chin up with the positive thinking. But then again I also hate a vehicle that is a “money pit”.
I’m hoping to get another 100K out of this. What do you think?

Um, I’ve never met anyone that didn’t think he got a good deal on a car. Think of it this way, you brought the car up to standards the same as what you would have had to do with any used car of that vintage. Now you know what you’ve got.

Sure, you could’ve gotten a better deal. But you didn’t. Are you happy with the truck? Then keep being happy - you could also have gotten a worse deal.

You bought a 2002 car that is 11 years old with over 200K miles. You have to expect to put some money into a used car that age with those miles. A timing belt job is just normal preventive maintenance. The other parts are all the things you’d expect with wear and tear. I think you will have a good vehicle good for some more years and miles. Of course, you could have an alternator fail, a radiator crack, a fuel pump quit, an AC compressor fail, etc. At that age and miles you’ll need to budget some money for repairs. All these items will bite the bullet at some point, but they don’t mean it is a bad SUV. Just an old one with a bunch of miles on it.

I’d also suggest you replace all the fluids. You likely got new coolant with the timing belt. In addition you should change out the auto transmission fluid, the rear differential fluid, and brake fluid.

@Personage last year I bought a 62K mile car in very good condition for my mother. The car had been very well maintained by the previous owner and I checked it out with a fine tooth comb before committing. I even hooked up my scanner while he watched, just to make sure there weren’t any nasty surprises. I drove the car and everything seemed pretty good.

Well, I still spent over $400 in parts to make it perfect (fluids, brake pads, plugs, a noisey water pump, idler pulley, etc.) No labor charge, of course. Can’t pay myself. Afterwards, the car is absolutely quiet, everything’s up to date. I’ve done some checking, and most of these cars sell for more than I paid, and with significantly more miles!

I suspect the previous owner thought I was a sucker, because that water pump was pretty noisey, but he should be missing his car right about now! My mom has a pretty nice ride.

You need to look on the bright side, like the other guys said.
You now have a a truck in excellent condition that will hopefully last you many years!

I just liked everyone’s comment and it felt good, really good. So now for the really BIG question.

Should I get that Hip Replacement? Got a lotta mileage on it.


This is somewhat off topic . . . My uncle had 2 bad knees for several years.
He recently got his first knee replaced (apparently the worst knee is replaced first, then rehabilitation begins) and he’s more mobile and happier than before.

Hmmm. You’ve got to talk to the doc on that. You only live once though so if you are in misery its worth a shot. It is not easy though and depending on your age, health, bone density, etc. determines the chance for success. You have to make sure that they measure properly or one leg will be longer than the other so you need a gooood surgeon. Don’t take it lightly but don’t be in misery.

As stated…You bought a 11yo vehicle with 200k miles. The work you did is not that unexpected.

The biggest factor in an older vehicle is how well it was maintained BEFORE you bought it.

Now that you have…enjoy and drive on…

NGK Iridium plugs (are they as good as they say?)

Iridium plugs LAST longer then standard copper plugs…THAT’S IT. You can extend the change interval from 40k to 100k miles. They do NOT give you better performance or better gas mileage…they just last longer…PERIOD.

Thanks for all the great feedback!!

This summer I bought a 2006 GMC 1500 SLT 4X4 EX Cab 5.3V8. It is a clean truck with around 230000 on it. I paid $9000.00 out the door. I did have to fix the AC. $500 in parts and labor. This truck looks like new and drives like new. I look at it this way. Yes I could have got a older truck with less miles. But they were more money. This truck had great care and I know what I am looking at. Also a 2006 with low miles were going for $15000-$20000 at the time. So I think I got a good deal. I will put 150000 to 200000 on it. When I sell it , it should sill look good and I will get $2000 grand or more for it. So I will pay $7000 for up to 200K of driving plus maintance(they all have to be maintaned). So did I or you get a good deal ? Its all in how you look at it. Take care of it and enjoy!

“Should I get that Hip Replacement? Got a lotta mileage on it.”

Whoever the low life was that flagged me, it was not off topic since this was the second question!! Sheesh, take a pill or something.

@Bing I feel for you. I also got flagged with an “off topic” on this thread. I’ll probably get flagged again for even mentioning it!

@db4690 Both your posts looked on topic to me and useful. I mean he didn’t want a statistical analysis or anything. Just wondering if he did the right thing and a little tongue in cheek I thought.

Blue Book value in my neck of the woods for your 4Runner is $5400 in excellent condition. Considering you fixed a large number of things and came within $100 of that, I’d say you should feel pretty good about it.