On the horns of a Dilemma

I have a 1997 Toyota Camry. It has 185,687 Miles on it. The engine runs really well but it just failed a recent emissions inspection. Apparently it needs a new Charcoal Canister and a Solanoid E (Located in the Transmission). The repairs will cost over $2,000 if I include an new timing belt and water pump.

My questions is, should I put the money into this car or consider buying a new one.

Any help would be appreciated.

Can you comfortably afford a new one without taking out a mega loan? If so, get the new one. It will have enhanced safety features over the 97 anyway, so it’s not a bad thing to get.

If not, a $2000 repair job is going to cost you a lot less than a $30,000 car + loan interest. You do the math :wink:

You only need the charcoal canister to pass emissions. They are probably telling you to change the timing belt based on mileage, and to change the water pump at the same time because it’s cheap to add on to a timing belt job. I don’t know why they want to fix the tranny, are you having problems shifting? Unless the car shifts poorly or is leaking coolant from the water pump, I would consider just doing the emissions fix and keep driving it. Even if it does shift poorly and leak coolant I would consider just doing the emissions fix. Keep driving until it really dies, and save the rest of the money for a down payment.

Have you had a repair bill this big in the last 2 years?

If the car’s in good shape otherwise and you’re averaging less than $1-2000 a year in repairs you should fix it and keep the car.

For most work a good independent shop will cost less than the dealership.

Thank you. The reason for the transmission work is that the Solenoid E has failed and it is housed in the transmission. In order to replace it they have to open the transmission. It works fine.

Thank you, I have not had such a bill in the last two years. I appreciate your input.

A new car will cost you at least $400 a month. If these repairs will get you at least 5 more months of service, then it’s worth doing, from a purely economic standpoint. If you’ve had a mechanic check it and there is nothing else that is ready to fail in the next 5 months, and if you still like this car, then I agree with circuitsmith.

Good Point

I believe I would keep it. I would like to know more about the transmission and why it needs work, maybe it does not. You should be good for another 100,000 miles with mostly just maintenance.

Note: If you, or anther driver, is in the habit of topping off the tank when they fill it up, that is likely the reasons for the Charcoal Canister.

Thanks for the advise. I am on my way to a trusted transmission shop right now. I was told that the
solenoid E (Which failed emissions testing) is located in the transmission and in order to repair it the transmission has to be entered into.