point where its not worth the fix

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888
Location
Chicago
I think my camry is finally at that point now. I no longer drive the camry, I gave it to my parents to drive. Its worked great for them in the past 4-5 years. Couple minor 24 hour breakdowns but nothing too serious. Just to sum up the car. -96 camry, had a salvage title when i bought (now has about 150K) -needs exhaust work and CEL on cat eff. -rear suspension is gone. -rear quarter is starting to rust out bad -leaks at rear main seal (2qts per month/800 miles) -some power windows dont work. Last 5 years i've done. - radiator, coolant - front brakes - front axles - timing belt, valve cover gasket and serp belt. - distributor At this point with all things said i think this car is worth $1000. To fix that rear main seal should be like $500 and to get it emissions ready is another couple hundred in parts. Car doesn't need to see emissions til 2016. Oddly enough the car starts and drives every single time. Time to let this go right? In my head i've pretty much confirmed it, i explained to my parents that its time to get a newer car. Maybe use it for this final winter and call it quits.
 
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36,463
Location
ME
The problem is that you're the tech support but not the driver. BTW I figure it's more of a $2k car, just for the name.
 
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3,335
Location
LONESTAR state
My dad had a 1995 ford windstar he bought it new ( his very first ford ), blow head gasket twice, fix here and there, 4-5k into it, its only worth 500 dollar, but we plan on keeping it for ever. My dad pass on to my big brother, then to me, then to my third brother, now to my little brother lol. at the end its not how much you spend on to keep it on the road, but the memories you got it from the car, if you have no memories or nothing to cherry on, get rid of that.
 
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2,408
Location
CA
Get serious on what is the replacement options Propose how much it costs to fix vs. getting replacement option. Also, if your parents have tax liabilities, run the numbers to see if a donation (which they'll usually writeout at 500 or actual donation price) is about the same financially and saves you hassle versus trying to sell it.
 
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bowlofturtle

Thread starter
Messages
888
Location
Chicago
Originally Posted By: MetalSlug
My dad had a 1995 ford windstar he bought it new ( his very first ford ), blow head gasket twice, fix here and there, 4-5k into it, its only worth 500 dollar, but we plan on keeping it for ever. My dad pass on to my big brother, then to me, then to my third brother, now to my little brother lol. at the end its not how much you spend on to keep it on the road, but the memories you got it from the car, if you have no memories or nothing to cherry on, get rid of that.
While i see the point, but cars in the midwest/salt belt get murdered with RUST. To me it runs good for what the car is almost 20 years old and 150k. The camry was my first car, then it was my brother/dad/mom car and now its just my dad's car. I like the car because honestly its cost me like $150-200 in upkeep every year.
 
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3,508
Location
Delaware
Sounds like you have let these odds and ends repair needs build up. Spread over a few years it wouldn't be as big deal but all at once, ouch. If you did all of those repairs how long would it last you? Also, if it does have a lot of rust you have to think about whether the integrity of the car is weakened and would it be a death trap even in a low impact crash. Can you even sell it with a CEL light on? If it can't pass emissions are you allowed to sell it to a private party?
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
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13,294
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Take it to a cheapo corner exhaust shop to weld in a new catalytic converter and throw some patches on the holes in the exhaust. A jug of Super Tech is like $13 so it costs $5.60 (including tax) to drive it 800 miles. Every 80 miles it costs $0.56 for the leaky oil, doesn't sound too expensive to me at all. Run it til the wheels fall off
 
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6,367
Location
Midwest
It depends. Given the list of issues you gave, I'm guessing the car really isn't safe to drive (rear suspension gone?). Unless you want to make it safe, then it's time to send it to the salvage yard or sell it for parts. It's a nearly 20 year old Toyota-it's not particularly rare or collectible so it may be at the point where it simply isn't worth making it safe.
 
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989
Location
Iowa
There comes a point where the vehicle becomes too much of a money pit. Figure out what the repairs would cost and see if that makes a dent in a what a replacement would run. If the monthly cost makes sense, I'd opt for the replacement option.
 
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3,018
Location
texas
you are talking $400-500 alone in parts, wouldnt even guess at the labor but its probably pushing 2 grand. i say turn it into tractor pulling loads of mulch from the back 40 to the front yard. you dont need to fix anything in the case. grin
 
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7,417
Location
FL, USA
If the rest of the car is in good shape, and it runs well it might be worth fixing. 150K is not a lot for a Camry. Switch to a High Mileage oil, maybe a thick 30 or thin 40 weight. See if the leak improves, if not then replace (if you decide to keep).
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
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13,294
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
We don't do emissions in my state but isn't a car pardoned from emissions after its 20 years old? Possible 25??
Every state is different, even here in AZ where it's not super strict on emissions requires emissions on cars unless they're 1966 or older, or registered as a historic vehicle (I believe 1989 or older) AND insured as a classic car
 
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4,911
Location
Southeast
it all depends on the rust. to me it sounds reliable, and in my experience you can do a lot worse than it's doing for $2k. If the rear main can be fixed for $500, I would do it. That is only 1-2 car payments. If you later sell, having that leak resolved will pay for itself. I would make an honest assessment of the rear suspension.... if you are DIY, shocks and bushings are not a lot of $. Maybe fix, maybe not. Then I would start saving the equivalent of a car payment. say $400 a month or more if they can. They may hang on to it and fix, or they may change their mind, but $400/mo a) builds a down payment and b) reminds them what it's like to have the payment. Both aid in the decision.
 

mjk

Messages
1,482
Location
Wishin' I was in Wi
A lot depends on the finances, more so than the cost of repairs. I'd be tempted to probably scrap it at this point, but again, I know nothing about the details behind the scenes. Regarding some of your repairs... a. rear main leak - try ATP AT205 before spending big dollars to fix the seal. There are a few other products like Bars that may at least help the issue. b. 2 Monroe quik struts for the rear. Would just get the Monroe Matics, at this point in time. c. If air and heat work, windows aren't the biggest issue in the world. d. fix exhaust for as cheap as possible, then drive till 2016.
Originally Posted By: bowlofturtle
I think my camry is finally at that point now. I no longer drive the camry, I gave it to my parents to drive. Its worked great for them in the past 4-5 years. Couple minor 24 hour breakdowns but nothing too serious. Just to sum up the car. -96 camry, had a salvage title when i bought (now has about 150K) -needs exhaust work and CEL on cat eff. -rear suspension is gone. -rear quarter is starting to rust out bad -leaks at rear main seal (2qts per month/800 miles) -some power windows dont work. Last 5 years i've done. - radiator, coolant - front brakes - front axles - timing belt, valve cover gasket and serp belt. - distributor At this point with all things said i think this car is worth $1000. To fix that rear main seal should be like $500 and to get it emissions ready is another couple hundred in parts. Car doesn't need to see emissions til 2016. Oddly enough the car starts and drives every single time. Time to let this go right? In my head i've pretty much confirmed it, i explained to my parents that its time to get a newer car. Maybe use it for this final winter and call it quits.
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,335
Location
LONESTAR state
Originally Posted By: bowlofturtle
Originally Posted By: MetalSlug
My dad had a 1995 ford windstar he bought it new ( his very first ford ), blow head gasket twice, fix here and there, 4-5k into it, its only worth 500 dollar, but we plan on keeping it for ever. My dad pass on to my big brother, then to me, then to my third brother, now to my little brother lol. at the end its not how much you spend on to keep it on the road, but the memories you got it from the car, if you have no memories or nothing to cherry on, get rid of that.
While i see the point, but cars in the midwest/salt belt get murdered with RUST. To me it runs good for what the car is almost 20 years old and 150k. The camry was my first car, then it was my brother/dad/mom car and now its just my dad's car. I like the car because honestly its cost me like $150-200 in upkeep every year.
in that case, I would buy a better car and keep this, one day it turn into antique lol
 
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