When do you decide to part with your old car

I’ve had my 2006 Toyota Camry since 2005. So it’s been 16+ years and only have 120K miles. It is still on factory brakes both front and rear, and factory clutch. I am getting concerned that I’ll soon need new brakes and new clutch. Clutch alone is expected to be $1700+ and brakes should be about $500. Car has cosmetic many cosmetic issues, it may have other mechanical/electrical issues due to its age. Is 16+ year old car worth investing $2300+ at this stage of its life? Or is it better to put that $2300+ toward a new car? I know there’s no right or wrong answers, but I’m seeking your opinion and your life experience that determined the timing to part with your old car and how it worked out for you. Many thanks.

I would probably do the repairs, though you may want to get an independent inspection to see what else is in the near future. Yes it could turn into a money pit, are you thinking new or used replacement?

Treat yourself,buy a new car :smiley: :smiley:


Brakes and clutch I would definitely do as long as the car is not rotted out from rust underneath. At this age and mileage a car could be in great shape if driven in Arizona or a bucket of rust if driven in Western, NY. Provided the body and frame are in relatively good shape and the motor and transmission are as well, then brakes and a clutch should be worthwhile.

FYI, $1,700 seems a smidgen high for the clutch on this car. If you are feeling intrepid you could do the brakes yourself and save some more money. They shouldn’t be hard to service on this car.

If there’s significant rust, esp if it is affecting structural parts, that’s probably a show-stopper. Suggest to start by getting a pro opinion on the rust situation. If that’s ok, ask your friends, relatives, co-worker for a recommendation for a good indendent shop, take it there and ask for a “general inspection” service. That will provide a list of everything needed to bring the vehicle back to excellent operating condition. Then ask them for a quote to do everything. You should be able to obtain a discount on their labor rates if you provide them a lot of work. If the quote is too high, ask for a quote at another of the recommended shops. A 2005 Camry that has been gently driven, as yours probably has per your description, that should be good and reliable for quite a few more miles.


It depends on maintenance history also. I did oil changes, trans fluid changes, differential oil, coolant etc, so I was confident in the car till I got rear ended. Then it was time to say goodbye. Could have gotten the 03 with 197k miles fixed, that was when I decided to pull the plug. The costs you are considering do not mean a terrible car, and they are not unusual maintenance expenses. Can you live with an imperfect looking car?

I just spent $1200 in brakes and tires on my 04 truck with 144,000 miles. A couple years ago I spent $1300 to fix the AC.

Does that answer your question?

Fix it and drive on if you still like the car.


If I like it, is dependable, and rust not an issue, and no major repair issue, I’d hang on as long as feasible. I got rid of my Riviera when it had 520,000 but when I looked back on my records, I would have been better off to dump it at 300,000. I like a relatively new first car though with low miles.

If your car is a total rust bucket, or has body damage from past accident(s) then I’d think twice about putting a lot of money into it. However, if it’s in good overall condition, and runs well, then you should continue to maintain it–which means doing things like brakes, tires, etc. when needed. In today’s overpriced car market, I’d avoid buying something else unless absolutely necessary.

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My wife and I generally drive 'em into the ground but I’ve also wrecked a few. At one time I was driving a Mercury that needed front end work and got about 13mpg. I bought a used Corolla and got rid of the Mercury. Saved a good chunk of the monthly payment in gas.

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It depends on how long you plan to keep the car. It could easily go another 100,000 miles. You are driving about 7500 miles per year, and you could keep it another 13 years if you want to.

For me it’s a simple equation, for $2,300 is it cheaper to keep the car than it is to make the monthly payments on a new car BUT do you stll enjoy driving your old car?

For myself I have 3 cars, a 2004 and a 2005 with higher mileage and virtually no sale value that I love driving and a more modern 3rd car for when “You really have to get there”.

So the real question is do you really love your Camry or is it time to bite the bulllet.

This is NOT the time to buy any vehicle

You WILL get hosed


Yeah, normally I’d say you’ve put in plenty of time, get what you want. But right now is a bad time for car shopping. If it’s in good shape, safe and reliable, and meets your needs, I’d put in the maintenance $$ and keep driving.

If the AC still works and the engine still runs (I’m not in an area where rust is a concern), I usually repair them until I’m just plain sick of driving them lol. Brakes, and clutches (and even auto transmissions, up to a point, it seems), I consider a wear item.

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Always consider the value AFTER repairs are done with paperwork to prove that the repairs were done. Then decide if the cost of the repairs cost more the value of the vehicle AFTER the repairs, not before the repairs.

Then consider tax expense of taking ownership of a replacement vehicle. In some b**e States fees can be quite high.

Also remember that if you are the original owner of a vehicle that this does some good to the resale value, especially if you have a smart buyer and you’ve owned it for this long. But being the original owner carries value that is only valuable to you.

You don’t know the history of the replacement car that you’ll be getting unless it’s new. Some people accelerate fast from every stop. This puts a lot of extra wear on an automatic transmission which results in sediment building up a lot faster. It’s more important that fluid changes were done in this case and most people don’t change the fluid. So you could be looking at a transmission that lasts 2/3 as long as your car’s transmission would have assuming you had an automatic. If you’re buying a manual the wear on the clutch could vary a lot depending on who drove it.

In the same predicament of wether to replace our old Mazda we had a full inspection done that in this case showed the car was still in really good shape. Our mechanic had been telling us we’d need to think about a clutch since 90,000mi and with 194,000mi it was still on the original clutch. After the car was donated to the auto tech program at the community college several students learned how to drive stick going around campus. Kept the car for 19yrs because it really didn’t need more than wear items and had been reliable.

When my tires are worned. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

If rust is not an issue and the car is dependable otherwise my vote is for fixing it. Especially considering the current car market prices.

I keep my cars to usually 300k miles or more and at some point just become bored to death with them so it’s time to move on.