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new here - how long will my camry last?

Old 10-18-2006, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Default new here - how long will my camry last?

I have a 97 camry LE w/4cyl. I bought it new. It now has 173,000 mi on it. It runs just as good now as the first day I drove it home. I change the oil every 3K. I used Havoline 5w-30 oil up until about 150K then I started using Castrol 10w-30 high mileage. Used toyota filters for a while and then started using Purolator. How long will this engine run?
This is what I have done to it-
Oil changes as above
Air filter a couple times (whenever I think about it or start feeling guilty)
I'm on 2nd set of tires (other than what it came with)
At 100K I replaced every fluid in it. Checked valve clearance and still right in spec.
New spark plugs at 100K (Put the same OEM NGK $$$ plugs in it)
Timing belt at 60K intervals.
The other belts at 120K
CV joint boots at 125K (They were starting to crack)
Finally put front brake pads and new rotors on at 150K !!! (Genuine Toyota pads) Rear shoes still good
New KYB struts Ft & Rr at 150K

The only troubles I've had-
At about 90K it started letting out a small puff of smoke at start up after sitting a while. But only every now and then, maybe once a week for a month or so and then quits for 6 months. I know it's probably the valve guide seals but it's not bad enough to worry about.

It's starting to ooze oil somewhere. Sometimes it will have a drip or two, then it quits for a while again. I haven't been able to pin point it yet. More annoying to me than causing a real problem.

The left front wheel makes a creaking sound at crawling speed when I turn. It is not a rotational sound like a wheel bearing. It's related to turning the steering wheel. It won't do it sitting still or if I jack it up to check it out. Nothing is loose. I've crawled all over it trying to find it. This noise comes and goes too. It's been doing it for 2 years and hasn't got any worse.

I keep the car clean all the time (In & out) I get lots of comments on how good it looks. They usually don't believe the mileage. To me this car is still brand new. It's the best vehicle I've ever owned!!!

So how long will this thing run? Can I top 300K on original engine and trans? I'd like to hear from people with high miles to see what is possible.


Old 10-20-2006, 03:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 438
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

if you take care of it and dont beat on it it should go three hundred k. Ive had two camrys get to that point
Old 10-20-2006, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 473
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

my 95 Camry 2.2- 203K
99 Camry 2.2- 285K
99 Camry 2.2- 62K
02 Camry 2.4- 19K

you take care ov ur car and it'll work hard for you!
Old 10-28-2006, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

Though my 1999 Camry doesn't look as nice as your, but so far she's taken me 215K of hard asphault. I'm very
surprised at how good this car has been with the little maintanance / repairs that have been done to this car.
There are a few parts that I'm currently repalcing now but at 215K, I can't complain. Below are replacement
parts that I can remember since 1999 (excluding oil changes every 4K miles and tires).

Spark & wires = twice
Both oxygen sensor = once due to check engine light
Front Brakes = twice
Front Rotors = once
Timing Belt = twice
Licence Plate Bulb = once
Battery = once
Front Exhaust Flex Pipe = Currently replacing for the fist time. rest of exhaust seems OK
Rear Brakes = Next project after exhaust pipe, hearing a slight sipping sound when braking

I do have a problem that's been existing for a while that I'm trying to figure out. I'm going to post it to
see if anyone can help. I do have a hunch it may be a water pump related problem.

She'll take care of you if you take care of her. GOOD LUCK!!

Old 11-07-2006, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

I have a '94 Gen3 and my X had a '97 Gen4 until some uninsured Illegal alien hit her and totalled it (The X didn't get hurt but the other people...bad news -head on! The Camry held up pretty good considering). Both are/were nice cars but I felt that the Gen3 was a more solid/luxury car vs. the Gen4 being lighter and more of an econobox. Both cars were of the identical trim level 4-cyl LE's.

The car will take you to 300K easy. By then the struts will be shot and you will have to put big money into it and it won't be worth it. That's what I'm looking at with my '94. Timing belts are a given -like tires except for it will instantly total the car the second it breaks where you might get away with a bad blowout if you don't replace your tires.

Break rotors are cheap -I put new ones on every 80-ish K. Aftermarket units run $25 each. Two new rotors and a set of pads and you are out $75 and 2 hours of your time. Big dealio. The rears last 150K easy but are a PITA to get off. I changed them twice. The second times I put on new drums. Also very cheap.

Cat converter went south and took out the pipe before it because of it as I let it go too long. A couple of sensors too. Cats don't last forever. The rest of the exhaust is stock!

The car was in a little fender-bender back when the wife was still driving it (see a pattern here?) and we had 2 fenders/hood/bumper cover put on to replace a crinkly situation. 150K later the radiator started leaking at one of the plastic mounting tabs -enough to just cause the fluid to go down a quart every gas fill-up. I let my GF run it for a while because it was hot out and her car didn't have AC and forgot to mention to check the coolant every gas-up. It overheated on her but she has a brain and pulled over at first bells and called me. I ended up putting a $105 new radiator on it. Couple of windshields -rocks happen in construction country. Can't blame that on the car.

PO blew up the engine before I took control of it at around 55K (never changed oil even once -I can't believe it lasted THAT long -not only didn't change it but never ADDED any either!) And she had an engine out of a wrecked car slipped in. That car had about 10 or 15K more miles on it than mine. That engine is still going fine! The mech didn't do ANYTHING other than put it in. Didn't even change plugs -just new oil and an admonishion to change it every 20K at least....

I changed the oil every 3K since I got it. No problems.

Your "puff of smoke" is caused from the valve guide seals leaking a little bit of oil from the top-end down into the cylinders after you shut down the engine as it flows back down by gravity. Without any pressure coming from the engine it tends to seep by with the pull of gravity a couple of drops. No big deal. It's burned up at start-up and is gone. Think of it as an automatic storage engine fogger. Probably HELPS the engine with its longevity. Most every camry I've ever seen does it when it gets older. Just keep an eye on the oil. A car that burns oil isn't a big deal. It's when it RUNS OUT that it becomes a problem. Check your fluids every gas and get in the habbit of it. You will notice somethign small before it becomes something big.

You have a good car there. Treat her right and she will be with you the rest of your life (That's because it's a deathtrap Captain...) Nevermind my silly Firefly quote. I have a problem -admitting it is the first step...

Old 11-11-2006, 05:14 PM
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Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

WOW, 55k on original oil? Amazing!
Old 12-15-2006, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

Wow that is very cool to hear from you guys ! Me I just got a Toyota Camry 96 with 83K manual transmition and it is in very good conditions ! and is nce to hear How good you treat them !! and now I know I have a very good car in my hands!!

Thanks for the comments !!
Old 12-30-2006, 06:31 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 473
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

The 5S-FE engine is a non-interferance motor; so the timing belt isn't gonna jack up the engine if it breaks. Guranteed; happened twice to me.
Old 01-09-2007, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

Your Camry can last a long time if you take care of it.
I have a '94 Camry DX 5 speed with 238,000 miles, 200,000 that I put on.
It has a lot of highway miles. The original clutch lasted until 197,000!
Nomajor repairs have been done.
It still has the original exhaust and alternator.
Old 02-13-2007, 09:54 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
Default RE: new here - how long will my camry last?

yeah i had a 1991 toyota camry le . It was a beast! 275k miles and no problem what so ever. My parents had to get rid of it because it was leaking oil ( parents were to lazy to go fix) and it had a bit of power loss/ needed a tune up. Other than that , it was a great car. Even after 13 years, we could drive to houston in it and go around on Vacation

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