Selling a used car with problems


how do I sell a used car that needs a ring job, but will probably run another 100,000 miles anyway. I have a 91 toyota camry that smokes in the morning upon starting. it really is a decent car, but I cannot stand the smoke and have bought a prius. how do I market this sweet little beast? or should I just donate her?


It might not need rings. Smoke on start-up is usually a sign of worn valve guide seals. Quite common on high-mileage Camrys, and not horribly difficult to repair. As you said, it could run another 100K like this, and many do.

Offer the car for sale and let the potential buyer determine its condition.

If it smokes all the time, even when warm, then maybe it needs rings, but I don’t think so from your description.


By the way, you should not have trouble selling this car. Older Camrys are still in demand, and 100K miles is not a lot considering the age. Many buyers of these cars are well aware of common problems, and will know exactly what that little puff of smoke in the morning means.


Smoke on cold mornings is common to all cars. Constant white smoke probably you have anti-freeze leaking to the engine (blown head gasket is one cause). Contant blue smoke probably you have valve seals problem, or burning oil.