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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Canal Fulton, OH
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No these cars last forever if maintained properly. Keep the car if all that is needed is regular maintenance items.
This is a 1998 car. It is at least 12 years old. As an owner of a 1999 Toyota Camry with 180k miles, I can attest that over time some oil leaks begin to crop up. Over time, I have replaced all the seals that are exposed when changing the time belt. I have replaced the valve cover gasket, the oil filler cap rubber seal, and the oil pan gasket. No leaks at all now and the car runs fine.
However, what I have learned over time is that when an oil leak springs up, it usually starts leaking slowly, then the oil migrates to a different place other than its source due to gravity. This makes it very difficult to locate leak source UNLESS the engine is cleaned first.
Even if one wants to put an ultraviolet liquid into the oil to help isolate the source of the leak, even with the ultraviolet leak detection liquid in the oil, leaks ( especially multiple leaks) are hard to spot unless the outside of the engine is clean. In that case (clean engine), spotting the source of leak(s) is easy with an ultraviolet leak detecting liquid in the crankcase oil.
Repairing the usual 12 year leaks yourself in an old Toyota is fairly inexpensive and easy. If that's all that's wrong, repair the leaks and keep the car.