Should I sell my car?

1994 Toyota corolla. 240,000 miles. Single owner- me. Service every 3000 miles for the life of the car. Car needs repair. How much money do I put into this car at this point, and when do I decide to sell it?

Carol, More Information Is Needed To Determine If The Repairs Will Renew The Vehicle Or Just Extend Its Life.

I’m afraid you’ll have to break it down for us, items and costs.


…and has that “every 3,000 mile service” included more than just oil changes?

For some reason, we seem to get a lot of people on this board who think that frequent oil changes alone will keep a car running. Exactly what type of maintenance has this car had? When was the timing belt last replaced?

routine services were more than oil changes.
spent $1400 in the last month for tires, rear brakes, exhaust system work.
fairly recent: battery replaced muffler replaced,clutch replaced.
Timing belt replaced 2006, about 50,000 miles ago.
Currently putting on 10 - 12,000 miles per year
Car towed yesterday because it wouldn’t start. Would turn over but not start.
We are trying to think about how much we are willing to pay/or not for this next repair. Don’t know what the problem is yet. Thanks

My compliments on what sounds like good maintenance.

Once the current problem has been identified and you get an estimate for the repairs, come back to this thread (bookmark it so that you can find it again!), and give us the details so that we can give some opinions based on the actual problem(s) and the repair costs.

Since you appeared to have looked after the car reasonably well, I would repair it. Corollas have extremely long lives, if cared for properly. Some time ago I rode in a Corolla taxi in Asia; this vehicle had 1.4 million kilometers on it (875,000 miles!).

Most repairs represent a few monthly payments on a new car, so a basically good car can be repaired for a very long time before it becomes uneconomic.

You have to decide how critical day to day reliability is and if you still like the car. It appears you do.

Based on the no-start situation, it could be a fuel pump or clogged fuel filter. However, have a good mechanic test it out and locate the actual root cause.

If your car at this mileage was anything but a Toyota, Honda,Subaru or Mazda I would likely recommend you sell it. Like people, some cars have better genes than others.

Its the fuel pump. Cost $900.
I neglected to also say that the car still gets 30 + miles to the gallon. Seems like the engine is ok…
We are leaning toward fixing it…any further thoughts?

If it were me, I’d fix it, if only to give me time to choose a replacement car without being in a rush (which can often lead to regrets over a bad deal or car choice). You’ll get some of that $900 back when you sell it, too.

16 years and 240K from a fuel pump is pretty good service. Can’t fault the car for needing a new one at this point. I’d fix it and keep it. You have to expect some part failures and repair costs on a car this age and mileage.

Either budget $100 a month for repairs or start making $300 dollar a month car payments to yourself. Put the money in a bank account and use it for repairs or to pay for the new car you’ll need eventually.

You will regain most if not of all of that $900 if you repair the vehicle and then sell it either in a week or a few years.

Otherwise your car is not worth much in non-running condition.

Carol Jo, Maybe There Is More Going On Than Just The Fuel Pump.

An “after market” (non-Toyota brand) fuel pump can be purchased for less than $150 and has a 2 year warranty. The labor to install it can’t be too terribly expensive. Places like Autozone and Advance Auto parts stock or can order after market parts such as fuel pumps.

Is this car being repaired at a Toyota Dealership? Often times on this site it is recommended to find a well-reputed independent Toyota mechanic in your area.

I would think that a fuel pump could be replaced for a half or a third of that $900, parts and labor.

Is the $900 estimate just to diagnose and replace the fuel pump?


Give it a few more years and it will fall into vintage car area, then the price may go back up a bit as it becomes collectors piece. My boyfriend is thinking similar with his BMW. Cars are funny like that aren’t they…