Disabled and need help with decision Camry or Cavalier


Old 03-24-09, 12:34 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Roseville Mich
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Question Disabled and need help with decision Camry or Cavalier

I have a 1994 camry and I have an oil leak coming from the power sterring I think its from the resofreior [no squeeks or hard turning even when the resofreior was reall really low} now that it is full it is fine but still small leak, changed the oil pan gasket like I was told but car now leaks only when I drive it fast 50 or 55 for 2 or three miles I thought my engine was going to blow but gauge read fine. When the car is cold does not leak anymore .I know it is a seal but where ?I have a chance on buying a 95 chevy cavalier 93,000 the guy is willing to trade me my Camry as is but I only have untill noon tommorrow to let him know. Last week he offerd to trade me a 1999 buick century beautiful car but I declined because I felt like I might be ripping him off . I found a machanic at a garage who will do my breaks and go through my camery and find the oil leak wich is on the passanger side just below the corner of the oil pan according to the ground for 50 bucks but can not help me untill Thursday I just bought the Camery 2 months ago for 3,000 and 114,00miles. [ I love older cavalers and know they too are good cars but should I jump on this guys offer? He is well informed about this oil leak. Can some one give me some advice it took me 3 years to save up 3000 dollars I am disabled and don't know what to do.Should I jump on this Cavalier or trust in the reputation of camerys and think this oil leak is not serious? I took it to the dealer today and they wanted 98 dollars just to tell me were the oil leak was coming from plus 45 dollars for a power wash so they could see where the leak or leaks were coming from. Any and all advice would be appreciated thank you God Bless you all!!! thumper 777
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Old 03-24-09, 03:55 AM
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OK........Gonna start by assuming (dangerous word) that your car (Camry) has a 4 cyl engine.........The dealer wants $90 to tell you where the leak is, probably cause he's gonna have to pull the timing belt cover.......Cam seal,crank seal, and the oil pump drive has an odd shaped "O" ring that splits after time.....all possibilities, but someone's gonna have to take it apart to find out.
As far as trading because you have what is probably a minor problem.......What makes you think these other old cars don't have their OWN "minor" problems????
Methinks you'd be jumping out of the pan and into the fire.......Let the dealer examine it......and if I'm right about it being in the timing belt area, have him change the belt and water pump at the same time.......Then you'll know where you stand with the car
Old 03-24-09, 05:45 AM
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If I had a Cavalier and you a Camry I could trade you even for, I would certainly give you the Cavalier and take the Camry.

Wrench mentioned all the most likely leak sources - crank seal, cam seal, oil pump seal. They are all in the same general location under the timing cover and as he says, the only way to find out is to have a look.

I'm not a big fan of dealership service departments as I've already mentioned, but their time is worth something and they don't want to spend an hour finding out what is wrong only to have you decide not to repair it (or take it somewhere else); happens every day to dealers and independents alike.
Old 03-24-09, 06:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Roseville Mich
Posts: 14
Camry vs Cavalier

Thank you Mr. Wench. Yes it is a 4 cyl. and the dealer wants 90 plus dollars an hour and will put it towards the cost of the repair I have about 300 bucks to my name wich I am very greatful to have since I ge t 675 amonth and rent is 500 plus utilities. I'm broke and don't have the money for or the machancal no-how to fix such repairs. However You are right Mr. Wrench I HAVE to find out FIRST where and what these leaks are. then I can make a better informed decision and if you are right do you have any idea what I would be looking at in repair costs? oh yes, I would love to be able to do some of this repair myself with the help of this site, but unfortunatly circumstances have put me back in the wheelchair again. I think I will try and get a look see at that cavalier. Thanks mr. wrench thumper 777
Old 03-24-09, 07:52 AM
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What a conundrum: No money - and - have to decide by noon. (But WHY the rush?)

How much does that guy want for the Cavalier? $1500 -2000? A lot depends on if any serious rust or not. Worth fixing old cars if no rust. If rusty -forget it. Can have dangerous rust to where even suspension and steerign anchorage points can rot off. Have witnessed such stuff. Even happened to me. I could have been killed a few years ago because of this!

Are you in any position, since you are disabled, to really get a good look at that Cavalier, including underneath, to know what you would be buying?

Is everyone certain so much dismantling needs to be done to at least see where the Camry oil leak is comning from? You'd think the dealer could get it up on a lift, perhaps spray clean the oily area and see where it comes from, and know from experience what type of seal might be involved, and it's expense to fix.

IF you only had a little extra change laying around or had a good friend/relative where you could buy the Cavalier (only if it is some splendid deal you hate to pass up!), to buy it as insurance, and then after checking out the Camry, if you find you'd rather keep and fix the Camry, then sell the Cavalier for a little profit, if possible. Tell friend/ relative who spotted you the money you will give them the profit money.
Old 03-24-09, 09:02 AM
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Would be tough to narrow it down without removing the timing cover. If the upper cover is removed you might discover a leaking cam seal, but there's no gaurantee, of course, that either the cranks seal or oil pump housing isn't leaking and that requires removal of the lower cover that involves more labor.

Have you checked with the independent garages in the area? Their labor rates can be quite a bit less than a dealer, although they are not likely to diagnose if for free either. Also with a dealer, any parts that are required would be Genuine Toyota Parts with the associated price tag.
Old 03-24-09, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
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would probably stick with the toyota as there is a good chance you will have some problems out of either of these vehicles so might as well keep the one you have, think the toyota will have less problems to fix given time.

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