Would you sell this car?


Old 10-15-07, 10:37 AM
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Would you sell this car?

My husband and I have a car that we affectionately refer to as Caroline the Camry. She was born in 1997, and has just turned 180,000 miles.

She has been a good car, with some minor problems. We had the air conditoning replaced 2 years ago. There are about 3 oil leaks right now, but our mechanic says they are not bad enough to repair. They leave some spots on our driveway, but there aren't puddles.

Our mechanic also has told us that he works on Toyotas regularly with many more miles on it than Caroline has.

Caroline's main issue is her appearance. In the summer she had injuries to her front and rear bumpers. Also, because she is burgandy, her paint is oxidizing on the roof and the edge of the trunk.

We have a dear friend who works for an auto body shop as well as doing work on the side who can make the needed repairs and paint the car at the "friend" price of $1200. He is EXCELLENT at what he does, and has done work for us before, so I have total confidence in him.

We are considering doing this as we'd like to keep the car. Did I mention she is our only car?

We don't have debt other than our house, and we'd like to keep it that way. If we were to get a "new" used car, we could try to trade the Camry or sell it to an individual and put what little cash we have with it and get something for about $5000.

If this was your car, would you have it painted and fixed up, or would you sell it? How much would a new paint job and the repairs add to the value of the car?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:43 AM
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Um.. if she has no other issues.. give her the makeover and let her run.

1200 is less then a years worth of car payments.... If she starts giving you problems.. then get rid of her. Your not gonna get a whole lot in return for her anyway.

Last edited by DIYaddict; 10-15-07 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed
Old 10-15-07, 11:55 AM
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I would probably be thinking about getting another car but 5000 is probably not going to buy anything much better but even if you take out a small loan you could easily get yourself into a newer low mileage car if you only have one car you might as well have one thats reliable and while toyota camrys can [usually] go well over 200k with out any major problems there is the possibility that it could need some major repairs at about any time.
I dont think you would ever recover your cost on the paint job and body work, would sell it as is.
Old 10-15-07, 12:19 PM
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Okay. We have one keep vote and one sell vote. I appreciate the input. Maybe I will get more advice as the day progresses. Thanks guys!

Also, I should have said.......my husband is for selling the car. I am the one who really wants to keep it. When I said "we" in my post, I guess that was the "royal we".
Old 10-15-07, 01:57 PM
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to sell or not to sell

Altough Toyotas last for ever mechanically, cosmectically, they are prone to the same problems as other cars. I would probably say to replace it, especially since you have no other debt than your house. My in-laws had a97 camary, 225,000 on it and the frame was rusting through. Good luck
Old 10-15-07, 02:44 PM
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Cosmetics don't get you to the grocery. I would keep it as is and when it develops a fatal breakdown you can give her a nice service at the auto crusher and probably still get a few dollars from the crusher.
Old 10-15-07, 06:14 PM
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You don't say where you are located, Donna. Are you in road-salt-rusty-car territory?

I would keep it, but only fix the necessities until it has a major failure as Goldstart opined. We're on our second Camry and the previous one was a '95 that we traded off at about 175,000 miles and it ran like new. I fixed oil leaks at the distributor shaft and cam and also had the kit to fix the leaky oil pump drive, but traded it off before I got around to doing the fix. If it's properly cared for yours could go another 100,000 miles. I especially like the Camry four cylinder.
Old 10-15-07, 08:12 PM
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Donna, I'd keep Caroline if I was you. Steve, my 93 Grand Prix, is bought and paid for. Haven't had a car payment in 10 years.

Last edited by twelvepole; 10-17-07 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Nonbeneficial content edited
Old 10-16-07, 08:13 PM
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Sorry, but the truth is that Caroline's book value is zero$ but priceless to you so drive it until her wheels come off at least you know the car and it's history if buy a used car you never know what your getting and the odds are that it's not good or it wouldn't be for sale.
Old 10-17-07, 03:31 PM
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Toyotas last a lot longer than the things that make up the cosmetics. I'm still waiting on my Celica (235,000) to give out mechanically. You have to appreciate how they're designed and put together when you can those miles out of them.

In your case you wouldn't recover the paint job and repair costs when you resell. But you can't recover the cost of a new vehicle if you resold it right after you bought it either (usually).

The repair costs you would get back simply because you could continue to run the car and although they do "nickel and dime" you somewhat the car stays functional for a reasonable price. All of us can't buy new as often as we would like.

The consideration is the paint job. I see it not as a value to recover the cost of (because you won't) but the day to day value to yourself to have the car looking nice. If it's worth the 1200 for that reason, I would fix it up and keep it going.

Hope this helps,


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