2003 Camry needs rebuilt engine

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  #1  
Old 06-02-16, 02:26 PM
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2003 Camry needs rebuilt engine

Hi, my husband's Camry started making some clunking noises end of last week. He didn't go anywhere over the weekend, but it stalled on him last night and ended up having AAA tow it to the mechanic. Mechanic says it's the engine and a rebuilt will run around 4K. Also needs 4 new tires, which we knew and were planning on bringing it in for a couple weeks ago, but procrastination got the best of us. The car just turned over 100K miles, so I'm sure it's got plenty of life left in it, right? We've had it since '07 and his dad had it for a couple years before that, no problems.

Here's my problem. I drive a 2006 Grand Caravan that got a rebuilt transmission last summer, is burning oil like nobody's business, has around 110K miles, and is starting to rust around the edges quite a bit. We've got a 13.5 y/o son that we were thinking of saving the Camry for (before this happened, DH was just gonna drive it until then). So we're trying to figure out the best option on our tight budget.

Do we fix the Camry, keep the van, and pray nothing else happens? Do we fix the Camry, trade it in for something a little newer and not worry about the kid's car until we have to?

Neither of us drive far on a daily basis, but DH does have to travel out of state by car for work sometimes. I guess I just hate the thought of spending 4K to fix something when I could put that toward a down payment! (Or toward my kitchen remodel, which is where it was supposed to go!!)

Sorry for the whine! Any thoughts?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-02-16, 02:54 PM
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Best idea is go to KBB.com and see what your car is worth. in our area it is between 4 to 8000$ depending on condition. I don't see much value in car.
 
  #3  
Old 06-02-16, 03:20 PM
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2003 Camry is not worth $4 000 engine rebuild.
Also, I seriously doubt that that engine needs rebuild unless it was abused beyond any reason. That I do not know. Btw, there is another 2003 Camry noisy engine post here. Is it same car by any chance?
If yours is 4 cyl, those are bullet proof engines and run forever. I have very hard time to believe your mechanic opinion. Unless it has timing belt that broke and damaged the head, but then it's rebuilt head, which is normally around $ 500-700. Not $4K.

I pulled list of interference engines for Toyota, roughly your year.

1.6L SOHC Non-Interference
1.8L Diesel Interference
1.8L DOHC Gasoline Interference
2.0L Non-Interference
2.2L Diesel Interference
2.2L Gasoline Non-Interference
2.4L Diesel Interference
2.5L Non-Interference
2.8L Non-Interference
3.0L Inline 6 (Except 1998 2JZ-GE) Non-Interference

Chances of yours being one of the balded out engines are slim to none, so I am really not sure what your mech is trying to pull.
 
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Old 06-02-16, 03:21 PM
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The Camry is worth between 2900-3700 and the van around 1500, according to NADA.
 
  #5  
Old 06-02-16, 03:25 PM
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Hmm, thanks for the thoughts ukrbyk. I trust our mechanic, but I do think it's odd that he just started hearing this noise last Thursday, and now he needs a new engine??
 
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Old 06-02-16, 03:25 PM
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My bad. That was 2004 Camry.
read up, OP

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...ne-noises.html
 
  #7  
Old 06-02-16, 03:29 PM
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Don't hmm. Those cars run forever unless intentionally killed. Or, negligently killed. You know better than I do, how well vehicle was maintained. If it was maintained about right and it's 4 cyl engine, I do NOT believe it needs new engine. I am sitting here and going through the worst case scenarios - bent connecting rod; bad crankshaft - all those are half day replacement parts and few hundred bucks cost.
Sounds like a quicky job to me. Offer rebuilt engine for $4K, then get one certified from Japan for $600 and drop it in, which is about 8 hr job. Harvest difference.
 
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Old 06-02-16, 03:49 PM
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I'm "hmm"ing because I'm now doubting the mechanic. The oil gets changed regularly, but I will admit that other than that, it probably has not had the best maintenance. I think I am going to have it towed to another shop for a 2nd opinion. Thanks for you input, I really do appreciate it, I apologize if it sounded like I was brushing you off, I wasn't!
 
  #9  
Old 06-02-16, 07:11 PM
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Mechanic says it's the engine

That is a very vague statement - what is the fault with the engine?? and why ??
Is it a 4 cyl or a 6 cyl engine ??
 

Last edited by 2granddaughters; 06-02-16 at 07:30 PM.
  #10  
Old 06-02-16, 08:08 PM
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No, no worries or needs to apologize. I live in community where those cars are staple. I have 4 cyl Camry. "don't hmm was more - don't doubt. At that little miles I really doubt there is something serious with that engine to the point that entire engine has to be replaced or rebuilt.
Either way, car is not worth that repair cost. I am sorry, I mean no offense. It simply does not make financial sense.
 
  #11  
Old 06-03-16, 04:45 AM
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I second all the comments re: the Camry 4 cylinder. Generally durable and long-lived unless abused, although there's always the 1 in 10,000 that has a fatal breakdown. I'm a long-time Camry owner and I would not put $4k into that car if that is in fact what it needs. None of the Camry gas 4 cylinders are interference.

Fixing the Camry for trade-in will be a losing proposition if you have to put $4k into it. No way you're going to recover that cost in trade-in value.

Time for a second opinion methinks.
 
  #12  
Old 06-04-16, 02:03 PM
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Mech simply does not want to do a specific repair. Top end or bottom end. It's quick bucks to swap out entire engine.
 
  #13  
Old 06-04-16, 02:53 PM
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You're thinking too much old school, Igor; we're living in a throw-away world.
 
  #14  
Old 06-04-16, 03:06 PM
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ya not many shops will do anything to the bottom end of an engine now days but put a short or long block in or possibly a used engine many wont even do that.
 
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