Why are Toyota Camry's so Inexpensive - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 5th & 6th Gen (2002-2006 & 2007-2011)/2nd Gen Solara (2004-2008) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 2002-2006 & 2007-2011, as well as Solara Discussion for years 2004-2008. 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 16 Old 06-15-2019, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Why are Toyota Camry's so Inexpensive

We are looking at the Camry and are wondering why they are selling so cheaply. Is there a major flaw that is causing the resale value to be so low? What are the pros and cons of the Camry?

What is the more dependable Camry? I have a Toyota 4X4 and it has always been dependable and the resale value is pretty good. I appreciate any advice about which Camry would be a good buy.

Jim
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 10:01 AM
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Might be the SUV blight. Blinds buyers to sedans.

Many were sold, which may have led to a glut on the used car market.

As for the good buy: the Avalon Camry is a good buy... the Avalon being a slightly stretched Camry. Reason: the ancient original purchasers put fewer miles on them and drove them like... well, like little old ladies.

My wife and I have driven a lot of cars, including a panoply of Tauruses, which were pretty good cars, but we've never experienced anything like our antique Avalons. But then, ours are of the best generation

A Camry that's been lowered, has a 4-foot-high spoiler, fart cans, and lighted wheel wells probably should be avoided.

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OleAvalon View Post
Might be the SUV blight. Blinds buyers to sedans.

Many were sold, which may have led to a glut on the used car market.

As for the good buy: the Avalon Camry is a good buy... the Avalon being a slightly stretched Camry. Reason: the ancient original purchasers put fewer miles on them and drove them like... well, like little old ladies.

My wife and I have driven a lot of cars, including a panoply of Tauruses, which were pretty good cars, but we've never experienced anything like our antique Avalons. But then, ours are of the best generation

A Camry that's been lowered, has a 4-foot-high spoiler, fart cans, and lighted wheel wells probably should be avoided.
LOL, yeah I think that would be a safe bet to stay away from.

I appreciate your suggestion, I will be sure to check them out.

One quick question, do the Camrys have a timing belt and if so how often will they need to be swapped out?
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 10:14 AM
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gen3/4 Camrys best Camrys (arguably). And +1 Avalons and ES based on the same platform

They're old cars that people see as appliances, and how the general consuming public perceives them is what matter most for KBB and the like. So they've hit the bottom as far as depreciation matters. I work on e60 BMW 5-series that have hit the bottom of their depreciation as well, but they're still worth more than gen3/4/5 Camrys because the leather and paint stay nice far longer than the Camry, and that's what people see. The rest of the depreciation on those is due to the unreliability and weird, expensive fixes (ask me what % of the value of one of these I charge to do valve stem seals).

I have a customer who crows about her 2013 Corolla. My mom has one as well. I get 29 MPG in that, and 27 in my 5S '00 Camry (soon-to-be 25 in my V6 '99). The customer asked me why I don't have newer cars to drive, and lend out; I pointed out that my Cmry gets barely less fuel economy than the Corolla, carries more, is way more comfortable (Toyota seats have always sucked but Corolla seats are a special level of hell), and most importantly, I like it.

Personal value doesn't come into play when you're selling a car, unless you don't want to sell a car. I can pick up good-looking gen3/4 Camrys for 1300-2500 all day. "Good-looking" that's what the average idiot buyer looks for. My '00? Looks like crap, clearcoat peeling, dent in rear bumper and fender, but I just refreshed the engine and trans (completely sealed), retrofitted the gen3 oil cooler, and added a transmission auxiliary cooling and filtration system. I use it as my loaner car when customers drop of their cars, because nobody will pay what I'd want for it ($5K or more). Is it the most bulletproof Camry around? Arguably. Is that what the average car-buying chimp is looking at when shopping for a gen3/4 Camry? Nope.
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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 #5 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 10:29 AM
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Timing belt-ness depends on the engine. Our Avalons have the 1mz-fe that has a timing belt, a detail I don't like -- and the 1mz-fe prior to 2003 (actually August, 2002) were prone to sludge. Toyota says change the TB every 90k miles or 8-10 years.

For the sludge-master series, make sure the owner(s) were religious about 3000 mile oil changes.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 10:39 AM
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+1 on ISB's gen3/4's being the best...arguably...(gotta put that disclaimer in there)...
had 2 gen3 v6's of both engines and loved 'em both. they had tb's btw. also had a gen4 and it was a great car too i reckon. i never drove it as it was the daughter's car but she drove it a long time. it was a 4 banger with a tb. non-interference engines and tb's are a fine combo as there's no harm if they break and people do tend to extend that 90k recommendation of tb changes out a bit farther sometimes. i've also had 2 gen5's and they are fine also but not as bulletproof as the previous gens by any means.
find a gen3/4 with the 4 banger or the 1mzfe 6 cylinder around 100k miles, with oil change/maintenance records, clean carfax, and reputable owner and you should have a car that'll last a long time. might not be easy though. it took me 5 months to find the last one i got.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 10:43 AM
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might not be easy though. it took me 5 months to find the last one i got.
tony
You got that right. It took me a year to score my 01 Avalon. It came with every maintenance / repair receipt since new and 62K on the clock. But I paid high market price, $3100 a year+ ago.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks insightbrewery, I appreciate your information. I feel more comfortable about buying a Camry now. I am a little gun shy about the car we buy because of the Nissan Altima. Several years it has the pre-cat problem and I already swapped out one engine for our grandson because of that. I am really glad to hear the Camry doesn't have problems like the Nissan Altima.

OleAvalon, that is really good to know, we change the oil in our car/truck every 3000 miles, so we should be ok there. I am surprised that $3000 is on the high end, I would have thought it would have been higher. That sure makes me a happy camper.

mcgowaw, that is really some great information, I am really glad to know they are non-interference engines, that is fantastic news to me.

Thanks again fellows, I really do appreciate your time and information.

Jim

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post #9 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 02:36 PM
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IME the mileage matters a lot more than the age, unless it's operated in harsh environments. 90K or 6 years for the newer-stye (after 2000) belts. I did a TB on a '99 GS400 a few months ago, it had 58K on the original timing belt. All components looked great, except the water pump was pitted and weeping due to original coolant.

OP, take careful note of what the other guys said above, because these cars have a few well-defined problems. Very few, but very well-defined:

5S-FE: not so much sludge, but valve stem seals last about 100K and will cause oil-burning and blue smoke. Fixing with Viton valve stem seals fixes it essentially forever.

1MZ-FE: sludge, sludge, sludge. Oil change using a high-quality filter and good full synthetic oil only, every 5K max (3K if all you do is city driving). Let the engine warm up properly; this does NOT mean let it sit in the driveway and get to warm idle. You can turn on the car and start driving. As with every modern car, drive gently until it reaches operating temp...but what I mean is, don't shut off the engine before it warms up. If you need to drive 2 minutes to the Whole Foods, walk instead.

All other problems are wear-and-tear on old cars. And with both engines: change PCV valve and grommet every year with OE ONLY. Hope to see you in the OG gen3/4 Camry/gen1/2 Avalon forums.

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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insightbrewery that is a tremendous help, thank you a lot. I will for sure listen to you fellows, I knew you fellows here would know which ones are best and which aren't. I appreciate you.
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 05:36 PM
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let me piggy pack on ISB's engine info and expound a bit on what i hinted about earlier on the gen3 v6's. the 3zvfe is notorious for blowing head gaskets due to the iron block aluminum head dissimilar metal mismatch on heat and cool down cycles as they expand at different rates. basically, steer clear of 92 and 93 v6's but 94-01 are fine, except change the oil regularly as ISB and others say. i'm not a big fan of fake oil and tend to stick to the dino stuff but that's a whole nuther thread for another day, :-)
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tony, that is good to know, I will save this so I don't forget. I appreciate your time and information.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-15-2019, 08:10 PM
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one last thing, it wasn't until 94 that the camry got passenger air bags...
bonus thang: even though the 4 banger didn't get obd2 until 96, the v6/1mzfe 94 had it. the connector was hidden behind the coin change/fuse box. for diyer's, having obd2 is almost a necessity...
happy hunting...
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-16-2019, 03:56 PM
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Of course if you ever drive to the SF Bay Area Insight can take good care of it in his shop! LOL

Yeah I think the move to SUV is putting a lot of price pressures on used cars that people are dumping to go to SUVs.

Ford got out of cars and GM cut back too. Sign of the times.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-16-2019, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
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Of course if you ever drive to the SF Bay Area Insight can take good care of it in his shop! LOL
If only I wasn't a terrible mechanic who spends his nights on TN

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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