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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to get a second Camry for the wife. Maybe something from the
years 1998-2002, with < 100k miles.

Besides having a mechanic inspect the car beforehand, and checking the
VIN for accident history/flood damage, what should one keep in mind
when buying a used Camry?

Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter #2
[email protected] wrote:
> Looking to get a second Camry for the wife. Maybe something from the
> years 1998-2002, with < 100k miles.
>
> Besides having a mechanic inspect the car beforehand, and checking the
> VIN for accident history/flood damage, what should one keep in mind
> when buying a used Camry?
>
> Thanks
>



That is about all that you can do, just make sure the mechanic is competent.

Carfax is not foolproof, but I have found it to be helpful in avoiding a
waste of time with test drives of wrecked and salvaged cars, if nothing
else.

The Camry is a great car. The only downside to the buyer is that they
hold their value well, but there is a reason for that.

Pat
 
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Discussion Starter #3
A sore subject around here, but SOME people are a bit leery about some
of that period regarding an engine sludge problem.

I really know little about the issue, have not researched it at all,
and don't know if it is a true concern or not. But, since I have seen
the issue raised here, you might want to find a reputable source and
research it further and see if there is any reason for concern.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
[email protected] wrote:
> A sore subject around here, but SOME people are a bit leery about some
> of that period regarding an engine sludge problem.
>
> I really know little about the issue, have not researched it at all,
> and don't know if it is a true concern or not. But, since I have seen
> the issue raised here, you might want to find a reputable source and
> research it further and see if there is any reason for concern.



That reminds me... any major recall notices for Camrys, 1998-2002?
 
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Discussion Starter #8
On 27 Jan 2006 10:11:18 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

>Looking to get a second Camry for the wife. Maybe something from the
>years 1998-2002, with < 100k miles.
>
>Besides having a mechanic inspect the car beforehand, and checking the
>VIN for accident history/flood damage, what should one keep in mind
>when buying a used Camry?
>
>Thanks

As has been noted, pay attention to the oil change history. Also pay
attention to the cooling system service history. This is often
neglected and is often a contributing factor to head gasket failure.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
These were the questions I used:

"I'm calling about your car for sale"

Are you the Owner of the car? (deal direct with Owner only)

Why are you selling

Are you the original owner

Does it have a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder engine

What color is it

Does it have a sunroof (moonroof)

What is the mileage

What kind of condition is the paint

How about the interior

Tell me about the maintenance. Have you replaced:

Timing Belt - when, where (by whom), receipt?
Struts
A/C
oil changes - how do you keep track of mileage for oil changes
transmission oil/ filter change

Are service records available? (showing accurate odometer readings)

Smog Certificate, Pink Slip

Has this car ever been in an accident

Private residence required: i.e., always meet only at their home.

Mechanic check:

C.V. Boots
struts
frame damage
oil leaks
brakes
radiator
Air Conditioning
(check power window operation) (antenna) (lights)
 
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Discussion Starter #10
This is the first thing that came to mind for me too. Our Camry will
probably last forever because I follow the recommended oil change
schedule AND use synthetic oil.

To potentially save yourself the mechanics fees, pull out the dipstick
and see if there are any deposits on it (as well as noting the
condition of the oil). If the oil is thin as water and black it would
indicate to me poor maintenance, and I'd thank him for his time and
move on.

Also, insist on at least two keys if it has a transponder. If he
doesn't have two insist he have another made before you buy it.
Without two keys to program them yourself, it's very expensive to have
another made by the dealer.

Good luck! Camrys are a good choice!

Joseph
 
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Discussion Starter #11
[email protected] wrote:
> A sore subject around here, but SOME people are a bit leery about some
> of that period regarding an engine sludge problem.
>
> I really know little about the issue, have not researched it at all,
> and don't know if it is a true concern or not. But, since I have seen
> the issue raised here, you might want to find a reputable source and
> research it further and see if there is any reason for concern.


I googled this a little, and found soemthing about an IAC valve needing
cleaning every year or so. Is this the limit of the engine sludge
problem with the Camrys? Has this problem been fixed in later Camry
models?
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Beware of salvage cars that have that word "salvage" removed by title
washing. Look at today's NPR for informative story about Katrina salvage
rip offs.
Caveat,
Seamus J. Wilson
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Looking to get a second Camry for the wife. Maybe something from the
> years 1998-2002, with < 100k miles.
>
> Besides having a mechanic inspect the car beforehand, and checking the
> VIN for accident history/flood damage, what should one keep in mind
> when buying a used Camry?
>
> Thanks
>
 
R

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Discussion Starter #13
I googled this a little, and found soemthing about an IAC valve needing

cleaning every year or so. Is this the limit of the engine sludge
problem with the Camrys? Has this problem been fixed in later Camry
models?

IAC valve has nothing to do with sludge. Sludge is mostly limited to
the V6 motors anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Camrys weak point is the steering rack, steering hoses have them
checked for leaks.
The older ones 97-2000 or so may have noise from the front shock area
going over
bumps, it was corrected around 2000 or so I forget exactly. The older
ones can have
this fixed with the new part out now. Check CV boots, oil seals will
leak on the timing
belt side of the engine, look for blue exhaust smoke on cold start, fix
with high mileage
oil. Make sure everything electronic works on it.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Rob wrote:
> Camrys weak point is the steering rack, steering hoses have them
> checked for leaks.
> The older ones 97-2000 or so may have noise from the front shock area
> going over
> bumps, it was corrected around 2000 or so I forget exactly. The older
> ones can have
> this fixed with the new part out now. Check CV boots, oil seals will
> leak on the timing
> belt side of the engine, look for blue exhaust smoke on cold start, fix
> with high mileage
> oil. Make sure everything electronic works on it.



Never bought a used car from a person before, what's customary as far
as borrowing the car to get it inspected by a mechanic?

Buy it, with the option to return it if the mechanic finds something
wrong?

Give the guy a deposit, then have the car inspected?

What if the mechanic finds something wrong, I decide not to keep the
car, and the owner accuses me or the mechanic of 'damaging' something?

Should I draft a contract with the help of those Nolo do-it-yourself
law books?

Thanks,

Mike
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I bought a 1997 Camry XLE about a year and a half ago it had app 144
000 Km now has 188 000 Km.

Things that had to be done....

New struts all around, new strut mounts on front. Installed Monroe
SensaTrac struts, they work great except they are a bit stiffer than
the stock ones. I don't mind it too much. And the price was right...
buy the first one and get the second one half price. Did the job
myself. See below about ABS light....

ABS light now on... this is because I did the job myself, however, I
learned by reading this newsgroup that some shops will screw this up
too.. When I installed the rear struts, the ABS sensor wire is just
short enough that you have to stretch it a bit to take the strut out
of the bracket at the wheel area. Disconnect this wire and pull it
out a bit rather than breaking it.... Now I gotta fix my left side
ABS sensor... I will look into the ability of splicing this wire.

Needs new steering rack, it's leaking on drivers side. PS pump also
leaking a bit. Presently using Lucas Power Steering stop leak, but
it's awful thick, and when it gets cold 0 Deg F or colder, pump makes
noise for a few seconds on a cold start. The joys of living in the
frozen north...

Automatic shifter is very stiff going from D to gear 3 and 2. A guy
at work that has the identical car told me that his shift cable broke
at some point and was very expensive to fix.

Front passenger side window up/down switch works well when window has
to go down, but doesn't at all sometimes to bring window back up, in
this case I have to use the driver door switch to bring it back up.

Rear driver side door won't open from the inside. Something's broken
inside door, just haven't been around to fix it yet.

That's my adventure... other than a few small things, this car drives
great, has lots of power, and no evidence of sludge buildup in mine.
Checked underneath valve covers just after I bought it.

I do my oil changes every 5000 Km. I was using Fram filters, but will
go with Toyota filters from now on. I guess Fram filters are crap.
Toyota filters I guess have a check valve in them that prevent
complete draining of the top of the engine which helps on cold starts.

On 9 Feb 2006 12:39:31 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

>
>Rob wrote:
>> Camrys weak point is the steering rack, steering hoses have them
>> checked for leaks.
>> The older ones 97-2000 or so may have noise from the front shock area
>> going over
>> bumps, it was corrected around 2000 or so I forget exactly. The older
>> ones can have
>> this fixed with the new part out now. Check CV boots, oil seals will
>> leak on the timing
>> belt side of the engine, look for blue exhaust smoke on cold start, fix
>> with high mileage
>> oil. Make sure everything electronic works on it.

>
>
>Never bought a used car from a person before, what's customary as far
>as borrowing the car to get it inspected by a mechanic?
>
>Buy it, with the option to return it if the mechanic finds something
>wrong?
>
>Give the guy a deposit, then have the car inspected?
>
>What if the mechanic finds something wrong, I decide not to keep the
>car, and the owner accuses me or the mechanic of 'damaging' something?
>
>Should I draft a contract with the help of those Nolo do-it-yourself
>law books?
>
>Thanks,
>
>Mike
 
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