price to fix oil leaks?

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  #1  
Old 10-22-07, 08:49 PM
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price to fix oil leaks?

We have 3 oil leaks in our 97 Camry LE. We are getting an estimate tomorrow on how much it will cost to fix these. We have had them for about 4 years, but they are starting to leave stains on the driveway.

What causes these oil leaks?

What should we expect to pay for the repairs?

We don't want to get "taken" because we don't know much.

Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-22-07, 10:25 PM
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oil leaks

well first off you need to find out if it is actual oil from engine, or power steering fluid, or tranny fluid, not in your car but could also be transfer case fluid etc, like half the time
just fixing a leak will involve major labor like lifting engine so unless you plan to keep this car for a long time, i'd say its not worth it.
 
  #3  
Old 10-25-07, 03:01 AM
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Just in case anyone was wondering, we got an estimate on fixing the leaks. I think there were three, along with a brake issue. Recently our brake light had been staying on, and apparently we were leaking brake fluid.

My husband called yesterday and asked if I was sitting down.

The grand total was $1900!!!! That's IF they don't find anything else while they are in there. I totally trust my mechanic, so I am not concerned about being charged for work he hasn't done.

We have decided to patch up this car. If tried to take what she's worth and get something else, I would be disappointed.

I figure that old cars are like old spouses. Yes, they have some problems, but I know what they are, and I am used to those problems. If I got a different used car, I'd have to get used to its problems!

My mechanic confirmed this by saying that I could spend $10,000 on a used car and have to turn around and do the same thing to it. He really didn't seem to care one way or the other if we had this work done, but I know he's right in what he said.

Thanks guys.
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-07, 05:26 AM
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$1900 sounds more than a little steep. Did you get a list of what was leaking? The most likely spots on your Camry (this is if it's the 4 cylinder) are the distributor shaft seal (left end of the head), the cam seal at the right end of the head, and the oil pump drive seal. All three of these could be fixed for way less than the figure you were quoted. My guess would be that to get up to $1900 it would have to be front or rear main seals, but even then that figure seems high. Might want to get a second opinion. Brake light on could have been low fluid level simply from normal wear on the brake pads.
 
  #5  
Old 10-25-07, 08:15 AM
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I will check on exactly what was leaking. Thanks.

I know we were told the engine would have to be lifted out of the car.

As far as the brakes go.....I know the rotors will have to be turned.

Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 10-25-07, 09:14 AM
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Is it because I am a woman that I must be the brunt of so much sarcasm on this forum? I have been a member for a while, but have never received so much grief as I have over this car.

This last reply had NOTHING in it that could help me.

I am a full-time mother and my husband teaches school. A nice living, but not wealthy by any means. We have had to sacrifice, and one way we have done that is by sharing a car.

I am concerned about the oil leaking in our only car because it has been going on for 4 years now. I couldn't care less about my driveway having oil stains on it. I see the oil on the driveway as a symptom of the problem with my car.

My husband and I have been under the impression that because of the volume of oil leaking, the life of our car is being compromised. Is this not the case? Is oil leaking not something that needs to be fixed to prolong the life of the car? I don't know. That is why I am asking.

We like to do things ourselves when we have the knowledge to do so. We have learned when we are way in over our heads, and we recognize this as one of those times.

I would love to have information from those who are politely willing to give knowledgeable information..like the tow guy.....not from smart elecs.

Thank you.
 
  #7  
Old 10-25-07, 06:17 PM
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not to be a smart elec but isn't it smart alec ?

having driven elderly vehicles most of my life (ok Junkers ) let me offer you some advice

check the fluids DAILY . only takes a min or two and can save a big repair bill and a visit from tow guy .

since you have oil leak , don't wait for a quart low before adding , you can top it off (I never let mine get more than a pint low .)

stay on top of maintenance and you can keep her running for quite awhile
 
  #8  
Old 10-25-07, 07:17 PM
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I would suggest taking it to a Toyota dealer for a diagonstic check and find where and what is causing the leaks, although we all hate to go to the dealer in some cases it is the best place to find what is wrong, then you can decide who you want to fix it. They usually charge less than $100 for the check. Have a good one. Geo
 
  #9  
Old 10-25-07, 07:54 PM
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you can buy a lot of oil for 100 bucks
 
  #10  
Old 10-26-07, 05:55 AM
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I would hate to see the repair bill from a dealership for all the items Donna wants to fix on the car (she sent me the laundry list; it included all the items I previously guessed plus some more). Would probably be $3000. I'm with Mango - a hundred bucks will buy you over an hour of labor time (and a lot of oil) at any independent in town and most won't charge it if you get the repair done.

And Donna, I'm removing the offending post in this thread.
 
  #11  
Old 10-26-07, 10:40 AM
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I was only suggesting the dealer for the diagnosis not the repairs. Have a good one. Geo
 
  #12  
Old 10-26-07, 11:50 AM
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I appreciate the input here. We have decided to have all of the repairs done and keep driving the car for as long as possible. Tow Guy is right......the repairs are cheaper than car payments would be over a year's time!

The shop where we'll have the work done did the estimate for free.

Thanks also Tow Guy for removing the offending post.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thanks again.
 
  #13  
Old 10-26-07, 05:55 PM
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how much oil do you add to the car now say in a months time? obviously major oil leaks should be fixed but if it only uses a quart or less a month cant really see spending 1900 to fix when you could easily drive the car another year for the cost of 12 quarts of oil.
you may have the oil leaks fixed and the car still may use some oil its a high mileage engine that probably burns some oil and replacing every gasket and seal may fix external leaks but unless they are doing a complete rebuild dont be surprised if your still adding oil after the leaks are repaired.
you could very well spend 10k on a high mileage used car and be in the same situation but I dont think you would have any oil leaks to worry about on a low mileage used car for a long time.
 
  #14  
Old 10-26-07, 09:13 PM
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As tow guy said, there are more than oil leaks being repaired for $1900. That includes a new radiator, brakes, timing and serpentine belts, etc. There is literally a laundry list.

Thanks for the help guys.
 
  #15  
Old 10-26-07, 10:01 PM
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Thumbs up the toy is a good car.

I must say i comend your desidion to keep the Toy, the camry is a terific car and can last hundreds of thousands of miles. i have personaly seen over 400K on the clock of a 94. hard to beat some of those numbers, and yes, it was an OE engine. good luck with it and your service man was right, it's cheeper to keep her..

Leeland07
 
  #16  
Old 10-27-07, 07:21 AM
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WOW!!! 400,000 miles!?! What is an OE engine?
 
  #17  
Old 10-28-07, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Donna J View Post
WOW!!! 400,000 miles!?! What is an OE engine?
OE stands for Original Equipment. It simply means that the engine had never been changed or rebuilt. And yes, that is very good mileage, but I have heard MANY such stories about Toyota Camrys...particularly that famous 4 cylinder engine. Owned one myself once...my mom drove it for years and put over 150000 miles on it....I drove it for a few years after that and then gave it to my sister who DOES NOT take care of vehicles. She drove it for a couple years and trashed it. Sold it to a local shop which brought it back to life (probably did about the same thing to it that you are about to do to yours) and resold it at a pretty good profit and I still see it driving through town every now and then. I think it had like 235,000 miles on it when we sold it....that was a couple years ago. No telling how many it's got now.

I think it's totally worth fixing up an old car if it's a good one (which yours is). Think about how much you might pay a month on a car (not even including the extra cost of mandatory full coverage insurance) and if you just banked that money you would have enough to replace EVERY part, including the engine and transmission, on your old camry several times over before you would have had the newer car paid off. And then, in five years, when bejay is finally finished making payments on his 10K car he is left with a run down old junker that is going to either need to be traded for a newer one or start putting some serious mone into. You, on the other hand, are left with a car that you have, over the past five years, replaced most of the parts that could possibly fail you and are therefore left with a practically NEW car.

Anyway, that's just the way I like to look at it.
 
  #18  
Old 10-28-07, 07:11 AM
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You didn't mention the mileage on the car but if you're about 200,000 miles into the engine I think a used engine from an importer of Japanese engines would be a far less expensive alternative than repairing oil leaks. A good used engine could be purchased in the neighborhood of 6-800 dollars and all your related items would be less because it would be included in the labor charge for installation of the engine.
 
  #19  
Old 10-28-07, 02:08 PM
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Wow! I don't know where you're getting engines from, 'wind, but around here most import used motors are going for between $2000 & 3000. I would be surprised if you could even FIND a good used 4 cyl Camry motor. And the used one is as likely as not to have 100,000+ miles on it, i.e. could very soon need to have cam seals, oil pump seal, et al replaced anyway. I think Donna's has about 175,000 miles on it, so it could easier go another 5 years with proper care (and the needed repairs she's planning.

Among other things, she's planning radiator, CV axles, and some other items that are definitley not in the purview of an engine swap-out, so she's not spending anywhere near $1900 for the egnine-related repairs.

Donna, if you have the time - just for the heck of it - try calling a couple of local recyclers (aka auto junkyards) and ask them about availability and price of a 4 cylinder engine for a '97 Camry. I'll have to try to remember to ask the guy I know in this area.
 
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