New Car Fever is Breaking - Without Aspirin! - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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New Car Fever is Breaking - Without Aspirin!

So my 2000 Solara is getting on up there in years and miles so I thought I would begin shopping for another car. I already knew I didn't want to pay thirty-something grand for a brand new car with a bunch of junk on it that I have never once missed in my current car. I don't want or need backup cameras, Blue Tooth, Onstar, big screen displays, driver/navigation aids, big plastic covers to hide the engine, or who knows what else they have included in that price tag. To make matters worse, the new cars look horrific, like a bulldozer, with that huge, honeycomb grill with bigger-than-life fog light cutouts. I included a photo below for any who haven't seen it. At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I never was really in love with My Solara's lines but the two-door style of it and a few other Camrys looked a bit more sporty.

I'm about ready to change out the valve stem seals, radiator, lower engine mounts, all the rubber bushings in the suspension, and just keep driving my current car.

Is anyone else wondering how many toothbrushes it will take to detail the new grille or am I just getting too old to appreciate the new look?
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2000 Solara, SLE V6 auto, 490,000 miles
1998 Tacoma, TRD, 4WD, 101,000 miles
1998 Camry V6, standard, sold @240,000 miles
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post #2 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 04:14 PM
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Greatly articulated. My wife and I are driving Toyotas that design-wise are closer to the last Checker Marathon (final year: 1982) than to the You-gonna-die Angrymobiles of 2019... and loving it.
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post #3 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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LOL! Those 2019 grilles do look angry. I actually get angry looking at them! How could Toyota have done such a thing? What committee agreed it was a great new look and signed off on it? The honeycomb grille is bad enough( we have lovebugs in this area and they are horrific to clean off a slick grille) but the fog light cut-outs are injury to insult. The proportions are horrible. Oops, just remembered I forgot to take my medication this morning.....ahhhhh, much better.

2000 Solara, SLE V6 auto, 490,000 miles
1998 Tacoma, TRD, 4WD, 101,000 miles
1998 Camry V6, standard, sold @240,000 miles
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post #4 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 05:26 PM
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If my Camry is gone, I would go out and get myself a 2006-2008 Acura TSX or Infiniti G37 instantly.

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post #5 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 06:49 PM
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How many miles? If under 200k the bushings may still be good and the replacement may not last as long as the originals, not even close. That's from a guy that used to make a living replacing them LOL!

I recently replaced the front struts on my Echo and in all honesty they could have gone further and I would question my integrity if I tried to sell them to you, knowing the difference was so small.

Make sure everything is tight, then replace the sway bar bushings and see how it feels, they are usually the first to go. If they look good I doubt anything else needs replacing. I am not saying there is no wear. just that you may regret replacing them when 50k miles form now the originals would be in better shape than the replacements.

Sometimes noise can come from places where a tiny bit of lube is the solution, I recently found an old can of motorcycle chain lube to be an excellent noise suppression application. Took shocks out of my 2000 Echo with 163k miles and put them in another Echo and they are just like new with that little lube on the rubber bushings.

I was a kid back in the 60s and if you got 100k out of a car that was pretty good, now 300k is the norm for the Toyotas of that 2000 era, and I consider then to the some of the best cars ever made in the history of automobiles.
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post #6 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 07:22 PM
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JP, i know what you mean. i loved the gen3 camry's - so much that i bought 2 of them. and if i ever found another 94 v6 with less thank 100k and leather seats, i'd be all over it. i don't care for the new stuff either. the gen4's and 5's are still fine too imho. in fact, i have bought 2 gen5's too over the years but i just can't bring myself to get a gen 8. maybe i'll switch over to trucks or something.
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post #7 of 45 Old 05-21-2019, 10:12 PM
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New Toyotas feel really cheap IMO. And I see problems on them that I never saw on the ones we in these forums drive.

The newest Japanese car I liked driving was the '06 Accord with the 2.4L. It looks good, feels good, is reliable and doesn't have undue problems (they fixed the trans issues by then), the 2.4L is an excellent motor (way better than the 2AZ IMO, and the e-throttle feels great. Still not German but great), and in typical Honda fashion is well-designed to be worked on with a couple weird issues (oil pan FIPG PitA to change with engine in car). I know this is a Toyota forum, but TBH, when was the last time you drove an Accord of any vintage and didn't like it...
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00 Camry 5S-FE 184k smoooth
01 ES300 147k NEEDS TRANS WORK
01 Insight 137k BROKEN CAMSHAFT
02 Insight 178k DC-DC BELLY-UP

08 STS-V 67k 570 RWHP!
01 Viggen 112k 400 FWHP
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post #8 of 45 Old 05-22-2019, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Insight, I drove an 84 Accord for a while. It was a good car. The new Honda Civics look pretty good and have good gas mileage.

Mechanic, I'm sitting on 500,000 miles now so I assume there is an outside chance a few parts might have worn a bit by now. I had an alignment shop check out the critical suspension parts a year or two ago and they said it looked fine but I have lots of clunks and rattles beyond the typical front-end "Toyota-clunk". Most of those are somewhere in the back...sway bar bushings you mentioned? I replaced the rear struts about a year ago.

I hate the thought of going into the rear (right) cam cover again but I would probably have to replace the valve seals to reduce oil consumption. Can I assume the rings are fine if gas mileage is still right at 25 mpg? I've never noticed an "oil-burner" smoke haze in my rear view mirror and I'm never around back of my car when I start it first thing in the morning to see if there is startup smoke. Loosing about 2.5 qts in 5,000 miles. Transmission seems to work fine but surely it's got to be on borrowed time? I haven't completely ignored it but I think it's only had three fluid change in its lifetime. The two hardest-to-reach engine mounts are original but I changed the dogbone and front mount. I hear and feel a clunk up there when I accelerate from a stop so I'm pretty sure the other mounts are toast. I have a transmission shop with a good reputation and they quoted three grand to rebuild the automatic transmission. I probably could do that job but I have never messed with a transmission and don't really want to. What would up my interest a bit would be to have the manual transmission in my brother's 1998 V6 Camry rebuilt and installed in my 2000 Solara. I could have the lower engine mounts and rear main seal replaced at the same time. With a new rear main seal, transmission, and lower engine mounts, the time invested in replacing the valve seals would have a better return. At some point, I'm spending too much on a car with a 500,000 mile engine. The engine has been very well take care of with regular oil changes and a new air filter about every 25K miles. I assume it could go another several hundred thousand miles but perhaps I could break a ring or something any day with that kind of mileage? It's never been overheated or redlined in my ownership and the previous owner was a very conservative adult and kept good maintenance records.

I know we are all about do-it-yourself and keeping our older Toyotas on the road but I don't want to put a bunch of money into some work only to have some other expen$ive part go out.

2000 Solara, SLE V6 auto, 490,000 miles
1998 Tacoma, TRD, 4WD, 101,000 miles
1998 Camry V6, standard, sold @240,000 miles
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post #9 of 45 Old 05-22-2019, 08:15 AM
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I would never think of being critical of anyone that got to 500k miles, great respect is appropriate.

As far as repairs at that mileage , my reasoning is this. If it wants oil to keep running, give it oil. If the seal is leaking but not leaving a puddle in it's normal parking place, keep it topped off. I would not touch that transmission. If it must be done then consider rebuilding a much lower mileage transmission, or just replace with used low mile tranny.

The difference is preservation versus restoration. Personally I would keep an eagle eye for a low miles replacement without rust issues, versus spending anything close to that money on a repair. Not much rust in SE Texas, so local picking would be good. Many grandparents who can afford to have cared for an identical car and passed away leaving a jewel in an estate sale waiting for someone like you. No car dies from a fluid consumption or leak, just keep it close to full. I can't remember when I saw a 7-11 parking lot without every space having a oil spot. Right after WW2 Pop had a Pontiac that burned 5 quarts of oil in 175 miles. No cars made for 4 years so anything that ran was valuable.

There are parts that are not replaced when a tranny is rebuilt, BUT at 500k miles those parts could fail and ruin a rebuild.
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post #10 of 45 Old 05-22-2019, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Mechanic, points well taken. So I can add a loooot of oil for three or four thousand dollars.

I have looked at a few used Toyotas but, even with less than 200,000 miles on them, I think mine is in better shape.

I am intrigued by the concept of putting the manual transmission in my Solara if the automatic currently in it fails. I bought a 1998 V6 Camry new, put something like 250,000 miles on it and traded it to my brother. I think he said it has around 350,000 miles on it now and he's about to get a different car. Will the manual transmission in the 1998 V6 easily exchange with the automatic in my Solara? If it's an easy swap, I might buy my old car back and hold it just in case my automatic gives up the ghost. The two things I expect to go out on my Solara are the transmission, since it's got so many miles, and the exhaust manifold, from too much engine movement due to worn out lower engine mounts. Oh, definitely need to replace the radiator since it's been on borrowed time for the past couple hundred thousand miles.

2000 Solara, SLE V6 auto, 490,000 miles
1998 Tacoma, TRD, 4WD, 101,000 miles
1998 Camry V6, standard, sold @240,000 miles
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post #11 of 45 Old 05-23-2019, 10:56 AM
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I will be getting something RWD. The Infiniti G37 is one on my list. I just can't stand the big mouth Lexus design.

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post #12 of 45 Old 05-23-2019, 11:23 AM
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I very much like the new Camry's and Avalon. I actually prefer to get the new Avalon more than the Camry to get a bit more of that luxury. I admit, the grill of the Avalon is HUGE but if you ignore the bottom half and only look at top half it looks great. However, I WILL still keep my 08 Camry because it is hard for me to abandon a car that I have driven since I got my drivers license and has treated me so well ever since.
  • Camry bought September 2010, infrequently driven
  • Practiced driving in the Camry 2011ish (been the only one driving it since)
  • Got drivers license after a blizzard Januaryish 2012 (If I got it earlier the insurance would've gone up but it went up anyway so my mom let me get it)
  • Mom paid off Camry between 2014 - 2017
  • Camry put under my name August 2018
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post #13 of 45 Old 05-23-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, so here is the top and lower half of the front end of the 2019 Camry, split right at the logo in the grille.

The top half of the car looks sleek and aerodynamic...and also looks like it is mostly smooth, painted, surface that one can wash and wipe off the bugs easily.

The lower half looks like an air plow, or a bulldozer if you will. Nothing sleek or aerodynamic about it and I sure wouldn't want to detail out all the bugs from that honeycomb grille.
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File Type: jpg 2019Grille_Top.jpg (26.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 2019Grille_Below.jpg (15.5 KB, 10 views)

2000 Solara, SLE V6 auto, 490,000 miles
1998 Tacoma, TRD, 4WD, 101,000 miles
1998 Camry V6, standard, sold @240,000 miles
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post #14 of 45 Old 05-23-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Toyota_JP View Post
Hmmm, so here is the top and lower half of the front end of the 2019 Camry, split right at the logo in the grille.

The top half of the car looks sleek and aerodynamic...and also looks like it is mostly smooth, painted, surface that one can wash and wipe off the bugs easily.

The lower half looks like an air plow, or a bulldozer if you will. Nothing sleek or aerodynamic about it and I sure wouldn't want to detail out all the bugs from that honeycomb grille.
It works better with the Avalon. The Camry I like as it is, the Avalon is HUGE but it is "sharp".
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File Type: png 388929a.png (222.0 KB, 11 views)


Last edited by Vangm25; 05-23-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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post #15 of 45 Old 05-23-2019, 01:54 PM
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I think the new car designers are going for the Star Wars look. I notice the Hondas back lights have the look of Darth Vader's machine.
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