Which to keep?

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18,174
Location
NH
I think my wife is ready to move on from her car. 10 years is a good run around here, plus she never really liked it. She likes it less now that it feels worn out.

'99 Camry versus '11 Camry. Which should I keep for myself? Which costs more to fix for anticipated repairs? Which is harder to work on?

1999 Camry thoughts:
  • I had thought of passing the '99 down to my son but he got a CRV instead; my daughter is 14 and so I'm not sure it makes sense to hold onto for that long.
  • No side impact airbags, say what you will, I like airbags. Does have ABS.
  • 229k on the clock. Not sure if burns or leaks oil; I add a quart over 5k. Actually I know it leaks, but it doesn't mark its territory, so it's not a bad set of leaks (despite changing a bunch of gaskets, this darn thing likes to leak from, well, everything).
  • Automatic transmission with 1,500lb towing rating. I plan to keep a small utility trailer around.
  • Headlights suck but get me by
  • Has a power seat! pretty nifty.
  • I replaced the struts about 4 years / 80k ago and despite being Monroes they still feel ok?
  • Automatic transmission with 229k? prior owner never changed the fluid, but I sure did. Seems to be ok but first start of the day it needs to idle in park for 30 seconds or drive does not engage properly
  • but it's old and no longer has to pass emissions testing
2011 Camry thoughts:
  • This was to become my car at some point when we bought it in the first place. It'd be strange to not follow through on that plan.
  • Has all the safety things I want, plus some I don't (VSC, TC, TPMS)
  • Has enough paint damage that I don't think it'd be a big deal to park anywhere anymore.
  • 224k on the clock. No oil consumption
  • Manual transmission with "towing not recommended" in the manual.
  • Headlights are ok but it's got one of those stupid backlit dashboards.
  • I think the struts may be bad, as it shakes on the highway
  • Original clutch at 224k
  • 224k on the original cat. Odds that'll go another 100k w/o replacement?
Both have no major dents, both wander about the same on the highway. Both feather the rear tires significantly over a 5k rotation; alignment does nothing to fix. Both have the typical interior damage you'd expect at this age; both driver seats are kinda kaput. Both have the typical rust underneath, not sure which is worse. Maybe the '99, today I noticed some heavy scaling on some power steering lines. But the '11 has a lot of scale on the emissions stuff in the rear.

I kinda prefer the '99 to be honest. Lower beltline makes it easier to drive. I've gotten old and driving a manual isn't as fun as it used to be--plus the 6MT in the Camry is nothing to write home about. But it's older and I know very few people who'd think that was a wise decision. To be honest both are towards the end of their better years. To be honest I'd like to get two new cars... but that's not in the budget.
 
Messages
2,773
Location
Caldwell Idaho
Keep the car for ten year and the warranty. Why care about depreciation. I keep the wife and daughter in reliable later model vehicles.
 
Messages
2,773
Location
Caldwell Idaho
If it's just an appliance to you, ok, but many people get bored of driving the same car after a few years.
Actually you are right. I spent my life working at an equipment rental corporation. I see any vehicle as a number . Semi truck ,forklifts, Back hoe . pick up trucks, the bosses car, a Ferrari, they are all numbers. Hang around with airport people and their Jets are no more than a number.
 
Messages
2,773
Location
Caldwell Idaho
Actually you are right. I spent my life working at an equipment rental corporation. I see any vehicle as a number . Semi truck ,forklifts Back hoe . pick up truck the bosses car, a Ferrari, they are all numbers. Hang around with airport people and their Jets are no more than a number. I try to keep my vehicles ten to 20 years . Depending on many factors. I have little love for a motor vehicles.
 
Messages
2,369
Location
Texas
Keep the 2011 Camry so you can teach your daughter how to drive a stick in a couple of years. When she destroys the clutch... no harm/no foul. EVERYONE should know how to drive a stick, I taught both of my kids and they thank me for it now. IMO people who drive sticks are better drivers, even when they are driving an automatic, because they learn to be more engaged and skillful in their driving.
 
Messages
550
Location
Canadia
A few thoughts:

- Regarding towing, do you have an idea as to what the wife's new vehicle will be? If it is something capable of towing your utility trailer, you could cross that consideration off of the list.

- I get the preference for the driving feel of a '90s Japanese vehicle. I still miss my manual '95 Civic, even though it wasn't anything particularly special. With that said, I would really rather not miss out on 20+ years of safety advancements, particularly if my wife is to drive or be a passenger in it. '90s Camrys really don't fare well in serious crashes. Small overlap survival has come a long, long way since then. (And yes, I have an '03 Explorer. The darn thing just won't die, and at least it is heavy).

- Although clutches, struts and cats aren't cheap, I can't even be bothered to worry about repair items in that price range anymore. They represent so few new car payments that I'm almost glad to spend the money on that sort of repair.

- If the manual in the '11 makes you dislike driving the car, I would reiterate what others have said, and sell both. Replace them with one vehicle that makes financial sense for you.
 
Messages
7,261
Location
Roanoke Virginia
That’s a hard choice there. Both sound like good vehicles. You know me I’m an activist for old vehicles. I prefer manual but auto is good too. I do think you should keep both in a way one you always need extra cars plus you could teach your daughter stick shift on the 2011 model which is a very useful skill even in these days. You could keep the 1999 for you to drive around especially if insurance and annual registration isn’t that much. 🙂 just my thoughts hope they are helpful.
 

supton

Thread starter
Messages
18,174
Location
NH
I'm the only one who drives the '99 Camry.

Not selling both and getting only one car. Not an option. We need two cars. End of story. A third makes sense with a to-be teen driver before long, and that vehicle can be a complete pile, but we each need wheels. My job is 54 miles from home and her seasonal job is 150 miles away. [Thankfully that's like once a week in the fall, but you get the idea.] She still drove 25k last year despite the lockdown; if I hadn't had WFH I'd be over 30k myself.

If anything I'd prefer to have 4 cars, but I just found I lost yet another air filter from rodent damage--apparently I have too many vehicles as it is. Stupid rodents! I would love to build another garage and store countless old vehicles, but not on this piece of land (plus, that costs money).

She has her eye on a hybrid Camry. She can't wait for the next two weeks to go by (got our second shot this week) so she can go test drive. So I am quite sure she is ready. She is not a fan of used cars. She would much rather buy new and drive for 10 years--it's what she's done twice already. My Tundra would be traded for whatever she gets and whatever Camry we didn't keep would likely be a private sale.

Just to ward it of: any suggestion of "buy this" has to be in a shade of green. If it's not green then it's a no-go. End of story. She has one weakness and after having live with a blue car for 10 years I'm ok with letting her pick her next car--she was a good sport on this one.
 
Messages
3,615
Location
Ohio
I'd say to sell the 1999 and keep the 2011 for a few more years.
There is nothing wrong with buying new as long as you buy it right and keep it at least 10 years.
I'd start by looking around for any new leftover 2020's you could live with, and offer them book value for it.
Hit up the right dealer at the right time. They'll go for it. Ask me how I know.
You eat most if not all of the first year of depreciation, plus you get the pleasure of creating your very own used car.
Keep the other one going until you can shore up your finances, then, rinse and repeat.
 
Messages
225
Keep the 2011 Camry so you can teach your daughter how to drive a stick in a couple of years. When she destroys the clutch... no harm/no foul. EVERYONE should know how to drive a stick, I taught both of my kids and they thank me for it now. IMO people who drive sticks are better drivers, even when they are driving an automatic, because they learn to be more engaged and skillful in their driving.
Yep I agree, keep the 2011, if it has no troubles why not keep it for another 10 years
 
Messages
770
Location
Alberta
In the past I kept a couple of cars and an F-150 too long, and spent too much on repairs. Seems (for me at least) that once they get to high mileage and higher years, the repairs never stop. One thing after another, and I don't have the patience for that anymore. I have a couple older cars, but they have low miles and so far are o.k.
If it were me, I would sell both Camrys and buy something newer and lower mileage. New is nice, no accident or bad maintenance history, and full warranty. Just need to buy sensibly and keep for a long time.
 
Last edited:

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,418
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I think keep the 2011, that car has been bulletproof. I think you can far surpass the miles of your Jetta.

It's too bad about the rodent damage. What I think would be best is to park the 1999 with a full tank of gas and a bunch of Stabil, tires filled to 50 psi, and let it sit for the daughter since it's not very rusty. Finding an older used car for her in 2 years might be hard to find a low rust one.
 
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3,082
Keep the 99 and drive that B til she dies. There is a true feeling of freedom, at least I get in the 06 Sentra!! when you don't even care to lock the doors!
 
Messages
225
I think keep the 2011, that car has been bulletproof. I think you can far surpass the miles of your Jetta.

It's too bad about the rodent damage. What I think would be best is to park the 1999 with a full tank of gas and a bunch of Stabil, tires filled to 50 psi, and let it sit for the daughter since it's not very rusty. Finding an older used car for her in 2 years might be hard to find a low rust one.
if you cant get stabil because the price is high, some naptha mixed with marvel mystery oil or 2 stroke oil works lol
 
Messages
833
Location
NC
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Pick up on one and leave the other one behind
It's not often easy, and not often kind

Did you ever have to make up your mind?
 
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