Replace my 1997 Toyota Camrey?

toyota

#1

My Camrey has 95,000 miles on it. Since I moved to a city I use it primarily on weekends and average 6-8,000 miles a year. I thought it was sounding rough and brought it into the Toyota dealer where I’ve been taking it for 8 years. I trust this garage. They told me that the front exhaust pipe is leaking, the front brakes are thin and rotors are rusted and the valve over gasket is leaking–total cost to fix is $1270. Last year I put $1500 in it for something else. I know Toyota’s ofter last for 150,000 miles but the car value is less than $3000 so I’m hesitant to put more money in this. My sense is that I’m right but would like confirmation. The repair guy said if it had 150,000 on it he would tell me to forget it but thinks it is sort of on the fence. Do you agree? And, then my next question is what do I buy? I’ve read the Prius reports here and not convinced that’s what I need. Would appreciate any advice.


#2

Get a second opinnion and estimate from a reputable independent. The price sounds high.

Sounds like you simply need a brake job (on the front), a new exhaust pipe, and valve cover gasket. See if you have a PCV valve (my '91 Camry did not…strange but true) as a plugged PCV valve can allow excess pressure to build under the valvecover and contribute to leaking.

These things on a car this age are not an indication that the car is worn out. The leaky valvecover gasket is not serious. Everything else is normal wear and tear. It’s worth fixing.


#3

Agree; at this age and mileage the items indicated are typical. But an independent garage can do this for much less. Please shop around.


#4

Your car has low mileage for a '97 and if the oil is changed regularly and the vehicle is not operated in an overheating condition that car should be good for far more than 150k miles. I disagree with the fence straddling comment.

Price this job around and I think the price can be beaten. Go to a general muffler shop and ask if they can do something about the exhaust pipe leak. The valve cover gasket and brakes are a common and comparatively inexpensive repair.
If the car were mine I’d fix those things and motor on because those problems you mention are nothing more than normal wear and tear items that can occur with any car. JMHO anyway.