Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

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angelescrest
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by angelescrest » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:18 pm

Allixi wrote:I'm in a similar boat - 2001 Camry, 123,800 miles. Got an oil change last week and the auto shop told me the struts are worn and should be replaced.

Estimate (parts and labor) for replacement and various other services - $1500! :shock:
They're one of the most costly replacements. Well, I just spoke to the dealer, and they said I don't have to replace shocks/struts until they REALLY need it, meaning bouncing around all the time and other dangerous things. If I were you I wouldn't do it unless I absolutely had to. I live in a mostly flat, straight road kind of a town, so I don't need fancy handling.

neilpilot
Posts: 751
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by neilpilot » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:23 pm

Allixi wrote:I'm in a similar boat - 2001 Camry, 123,800 miles. Got an oil change last week and the auto shop told me the struts are worn and should be replaced.

Estimate (parts and labor) for replacement and various other services - $1500! :shock:
How much of the $1500 is for struts? Replacement front strut assemblies (complete) for your car are $50-90 each from Rockauto. Easy install, and then all you need to do is a front end alignment.

badger42
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:01 am

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by badger42 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:57 pm

Motor-Vac services along with things like aggressive transmission flushes (versus a normal fluid / maybe filter change) are the hallmark of a scammy shop. Do not pass go, find a better mechanic.

sunny_socal
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:34 pm

Allixi wrote:I'm in a similar boat - 2001 Camry, 123,800 miles. Got an oil change last week and the auto shop told me the struts are worn and should be replaced.

Estimate (parts and labor) for replacement and various other services - $1500! :shock:
Any reason to believe their claim? Are your tires wearing unevenly? Does your car feel more bouncy than usual?

Shocks/struts cost the shop relatively little and are also quite easy for them to replace. There's at least $800 of pure profit in that quote.

Allixi
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 4:01 am

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by Allixi » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:39 pm

~$800 for parts ($190/strut x 4) and ~$550 for labor, plus a few miscellaneous items plus tax.

This is from a shop that has very good reputation/reviews.

I haven't noticed any bad shaking or difficulty steering thus far.

aristotelian
Posts: 2385
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by aristotelian » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:07 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:Anything associated with steering and brakes gets priority. Of course running lights.

> white smoke from exhaust in the first few minutes of startup

Often this means there is a head gasket leak between coolant and the cylinder. This is expensive to fix and may get worse, leading to frequent overheating. Might want to diagnose this and consider before spending ANY money on the car.
White smoke especially on startup during cold weather could be steam from normal condensation in the exhaust system. Oil leak is usually indicated by blue smoke.

wrongfunds
Posts: 595
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by wrongfunds » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:40 am

I you yourself are not a gearhead, it is difficult to extract 200K from a vehicle. Or you need a good friend who can serve as your auto adviser. You also need an extremely honest and somewhat competent independent shop.

Otherwise you are an easy mark for the automotive repair industry to be fleeced.

Replacing the car after 10/100 would be still BH way as long as you buy moderate priced cars, get decent trade-in and minimize your stress level.

angelescrest
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by angelescrest » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:04 am

aristotelian wrote:
adamthesmythe wrote:Anything associated with steering and brakes gets priority. Of course running lights.

> white smoke from exhaust in the first few minutes of startup

Often this means there is a head gasket leak between coolant and the cylinder. This is expensive to fix and may get worse, leading to frequent overheating. Might want to diagnose this and consider before spending ANY money on the car.
White smoke especially on startup during cold weather could be steam from normal condensation in the exhaust system. Oil leak is usually indicated by blue smoke.
Hmm, it's pretty much all year round. I will have to pay better attention to see if it's blue, or look at some YouTube videos. But in our garage we usually don't have any liquid on the floor after parking there.

Chip
Posts: 1404
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:57 am

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by Chip » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:33 am

angelescrest wrote:Hmm, it's pretty much all year round. I will have to pay better attention to see if it's blue, or look at some YouTube videos. But in our garage we usually don't have any liquid on the floor after parking there.
This is going to sound a little crazy, but if you are familiar with the smell of antifreeze you could smell the exhaust and see if you pick up a similar smell.

I'm very sensitive to the odor of antifreeze and recently found a very small leak, by smell, at a radiator hose clamp in my truck. I noticed the smell while driving down the highway at 70 mph with the windows open.

sunny_socal
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:13 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:40 am
I you yourself are not a gearhead, it is difficult to extract 200K from a vehicle. Or you need a good friend who can serve as your auto adviser. You also need an extremely honest and somewhat competent independent shop.

Otherwise you are an easy mark for the automotive repair industry to be fleeced.

Replacing the car after 10/100 would be still BH way as long as you buy moderate priced cars, get decent trade-in and minimize your stress level.
Agree. My in-laws follow the 10/100 rule and trade in their car when it hits that mark. They can't turn a wrench so they're better off driving a newer car.

I'm comfortable doing my own work. Indeed my brother is coming over this morning and we're going to do a "brake job" on his car, replace all rotors. Total cost for parts is $83 including tax & shipping. :beer

angelescrest
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by angelescrest » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:00 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:13 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:40 am
I you yourself are not a gearhead, it is difficult to extract 200K from a vehicle. Or you need a good friend who can serve as your auto adviser. You also need an extremely honest and somewhat competent independent shop.

Otherwise you are an easy mark for the automotive repair industry to be fleeced.

Replacing the car after 10/100 would be still BH way as long as you buy moderate priced cars, get decent trade-in and minimize your stress level.
Agree. My in-laws follow the 10/100 rule and trade in their car when it hits that mark. They can't turn a wrench so they're better off driving a newer car.

I'm comfortable doing my own work. Indeed my brother is coming over this morning and we're going to do a "brake job" on his car, replace all rotors. Total cost for parts is $83 including tax & shipping. :beer
I really wish I had the skills.

So you all would disagree with those posting how easy it is to hit 200k+ by doing routine maintenance? 10/100 sounds very convenient, but it also does not sound like a Boglehead kind of rule, unless they are getting good value on the trade in? Trade ins always feel like I'm giving the dealer money, although it's more convenient than selling independently.

wrongfunds
Posts: 595
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by wrongfunds » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:17 am

That is not strictly true. In your particular case, you really had deferred all of the maintenance which was listed in the owner's manual. You need to do the listed maintenance, no more and no less. That is the important part i.e. do what is necessary and avoid what is only padding the repair shop's revenue. With that approach, even if you are not gearhead, you can easily get 15/200 with Toyoda/Honda etc.

If you find an honest independent shop, you need to stick with it. Often, customers try to find the cheapest place e.g, if they get a coupon in mail for $10 oil change, they will take their car to this place when their regular guy charges them $30. If you do not build the relationship with one place over time, you will be at mercy of the industry.

I have found a good shop where there is mutual respect. He knows that I know and I know that he will never cheat me. I have never quibbled about his charges. On the contrary, I keep on complaining to him that he charges me very little. Every time I am there, I always see him refusing payment for small work to his regular customers. This is a dinky little shop attached to gas station but he does a thriving business. There are no amenities. Forget coffee and donuts, heck even the rest rooms are the typical dirty gas station restrooms.

I suspect if you ask your neighbors and colleagues at work, there might be similar shops in your zipcode who can work with you.

multiham
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:28 am

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by multiham » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:44 am

angelescrest wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:18 pm
Allixi wrote:I'm in a similar boat - 2001 Camry, 123,800 miles. Got an oil change last week and the auto shop told me the struts are worn and should be replaced.

Estimate (parts and labor) for replacement and various other services - $1500! :shock:
They're one of the most costly replacements. Well, I just spoke to the dealer, and they said I don't have to replace shocks/struts until they REALLY need it, meaning bouncing around all the time and other dangerous things. If I were you I wouldn't do it unless I absolutely had to. I live in a mostly flat, straight road kind of a town, so I don't need fancy handling.
There is no such thing as fancy handling on the road. We are not NASCAR drivers, but we do have to deal with bad roads (ruts, bumps, weather conditions including snow if you live in a cold area). All of these can cause a car with worn shocks and struts to do something unexpected. I would much rather spend the $ to get this corrected than have to deal with an accident or incident. Just take the car to 2 or 3 recommended service centers and see if you get consistent answers on your shocks/struts. I always error on the side of safety. When I buy tires, I probably go against the grain on BH and look for what tire offers me the best dry and wet handling and shortest stopping distance. I factor in tread life only if there is a tie between tires (and no I'm not buying performance tires).

lazydavid
Posts: 938
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by lazydavid » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:19 pm

multiham wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:44 am
I always error on the side of safety. When I buy tires, I probably go against the grain on BH and look for what tire offers me the best dry and wet handling and shortest stopping distance. I factor in tread life only if there is a tie between tires (and no I'm not buying performance tires).
Agreed on this for sure. I've needed 3 sets of tires in the past year--one set of performance tires for the 3-series (Michelin Pilot SuperSport), and 2 sets of touring tires for the SUVs (Bridgestone Dueler Alenza Plus and Michelin Premier LTX). In all cases, the decision tree goes like this: 1) What are the very best performing 1-2 tires in this class/size, regardless of price? 2) How can I get the best value for the tire(s) identified in step 1?

In all cases, this has resulted in putting the safest possible tire on all my vehicles, at a cost roughly double the very cheapest option, and probably 10-15% more than "good enough". Money well spent.

angelescrest
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by angelescrest » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:18 pm

multiham wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:44 am
angelescrest wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:18 pm
Allixi wrote:I'm in a similar boat - 2001 Camry, 123,800 miles. Got an oil change last week and the auto shop told me the struts are worn and should be replaced.

Estimate (parts and labor) for replacement and various other services - $1500! :shock:
They're one of the most costly replacements. Well, I just spoke to the dealer, and they said I don't have to replace shocks/struts until they REALLY need it, meaning bouncing around all the time and other dangerous things. If I were you I wouldn't do it unless I absolutely had to. I live in a mostly flat, straight road kind of a town, so I don't need fancy handling.
There is no such thing as fancy handling on the road. We are not NASCAR drivers, but we do have to deal with bad roads (ruts, bumps, weather conditions including snow if you live in a cold area). All of these can cause a car with worn shocks and struts to do something unexpected. I would much rather spend the $ to get this corrected than have to deal with an accident or incident. Just take the car to 2 or 3 recommended service centers and see if you get consistent answers on your shocks/struts. I always error on the side of safety. When I buy tires, I probably go against the grain on BH and look for what tire offers me the best dry and wet handling and shortest stopping distance. I factor in tread life only if there is a tie between tires (and no I'm not buying performance tires).
Not even the mechanics are telling me to replace shocks and struts so there's no reason to do it. Tires, definitely; we always go with the best for our conditions.

teniralc
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 8:57 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by teniralc » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:07 pm

atbman wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:50 pm

16) Both headlamps foggy [$20 kit on Amazon and 30 min of your time. But it's more an aesthetic issue.]
I've tried these headlamp kits, also had a person do this (he did this on the side as a small business for himself). It didn't last very long, sometimes a month, sometimes a few months. The haze returned. I had a 14 year old Honda Civic. The issue for me was that the hazed headlamps reduced my visibility at night. When I finally bought a new car, I was shocked (still am) at how much the headlamps have improved with the newer vehicles and also how the clear headlamp allows the light to shine so well. I honestly thought my night vision was getting worse (age), but realized that a lot of that was the old headlamps.

So for me, at least, the issue of the hazy/foggy headlamps is a definite safety issue.

By the way, the young guy who cleaned up the headlamps for me seemed to be pretty straight forward. He told me that the haze eventually returns on these and so if I paid him the $30 to do this, I would need to understand that it could return soon. I had him do it and it "did" return within a month or so.

LeeInTN
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by LeeInTN » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:19 pm

teniralc wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:07 pm
atbman wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:50 pm

16) Both headlamps foggy [$20 kit on Amazon and 30 min of your time. But it's more an aesthetic issue.]
I've tried these headlamp kits, also had a person do this (he did this on the side as a small business for himself). It didn't last very long, sometimes a month, sometimes a few months. The haze returned. I had a 14 year old Honda Civic. The issue for me was that the hazed headlamps reduced my visibility at night. When I finally bought a new car, I was shocked (still am) at how much the headlamps have improved with the newer vehicles and also how the clear headlamp allows the light to shine so well. I honestly thought my night vision was getting worse (age), but realized that a lot of that was the old headlamps.

So for me, at least, the issue of the hazy/foggy headlamps is a definite safety issue.

By the way, the young guy who cleaned up the headlamps for me seemed to be pretty straight forward. He told me that the haze eventually returns on these and so if I paid him the $30 to do this, I would need to understand that it could return soon. I had him do it and it "did" return within a month or so.
I did this with one of the better multi-stage kits a couple of years ago on my (then) 16 year old car, and the haze has not returned. I suppose YMMV.

Dottie57
Posts: 1814
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:38 pm

angelescrest wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:00 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:13 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:40 am
I you yourself are not a gearhead, it is difficult to extract 200K from a vehicle. Or you need a good friend who can serve as your auto adviser. You also need an extremely honest and somewhat competent independent shop.

Otherwise you are an easy mark for the automotive repair industry to be fleeced.

Replacing the car after 10/100 would be still BH way as long as you buy moderate priced cars, get decent trade-in and minimize your stress level.
Agree. My in-laws follow the 10/100 rule and trade in their car when it hits that mark. They can't turn a wrench so they're better off driving a newer car.

I'm comfortable doing my own work. Indeed my brother is coming over this morning and we're going to do a "brake job" on his car, replace all rotors. Total cost for parts is $83 including tax & shipping. :beer
I really wish I had the skills.

So you all would disagree with those posting how easy it is to hit 200k+ by doing routine maintenance? 10/100 sounds very convenient, but it also does not sound like a Boglehead kind of rule, unless they are getting good value on the trade in? Trade ins always feel like I'm giving the dealer money, although it's more convenient than selling independently.
I consider myself a boglehead. However I have no mechanical skills. When a car is past 100k and it breaks down at inconvenient times, it gets traded. Safety first for me.

angelescrest
Posts: 800
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by angelescrest » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:20 am

LeeInTN wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:19 pm
teniralc wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:07 pm
atbman wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:50 pm

16) Both headlamps foggy [$20 kit on Amazon and 30 min of your time. But it's more an aesthetic issue.]
I've tried these headlamp kits, also had a person do this (he did this on the side as a small business for himself). It didn't last very long, sometimes a month, sometimes a few months. The haze returned. I had a 14 year old Honda Civic. The issue for me was that the hazed headlamps reduced my visibility at night. When I finally bought a new car, I was shocked (still am) at how much the headlamps have improved with the newer vehicles and also how the clear headlamp allows the light to shine so well. I honestly thought my night vision was getting worse (age), but realized that a lot of that was the old headlamps.

So for me, at least, the issue of the hazy/foggy headlamps is a definite safety issue.

By the way, the young guy who cleaned up the headlamps for me seemed to be pretty straight forward. He told me that the haze eventually returns on these and so if I paid him the $30 to do this, I would need to understand that it could return soon. I had him do it and it "did" return within a month or so.
I did this with one of the better multi-stage kits a couple of years ago on my (then) 16 year old car, and the haze has not returned. I suppose YMMV.
I just used the 3M kit that was mentioned earlier. Got most of the color and haze out, but it's not perfectly clear. Could've probably sanded stronger in the early stages. Worth the $15 on Amazon I'd say.

wilked
Posts: 1155
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by wilked » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:06 pm

I used the 3M kit on an older Maxima - worked great and was just as clear for years

Almost there
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by Almost there » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:15 pm

pony wrote:
Both headlights foggy...3M makes a kit to fix this...its less than $10 and will make your headlights look new again. I don't think many people know about this.
What is the name of the product manufactured by 3M? Presently both of my headlights are foggy on my 2004 Camry with 99,000 miles.

And my suggestion to the OP: if you have been happy with the Camry, go ahead and get it repaired as suggested above. Also, may I suggest in the future to have your car serviced regularly.

wilked
Posts: 1155
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Post by wilked » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:30 pm

3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AIZ5HY/

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