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Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
07-15-2007, 09:20 PM
Post: #1
Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
Need your expert opinion regarding my in-laws' car. He passed away about 7 years ago and it's been sitting in the garage. His son took it for short drives the first few years, however, nothing done in the last 2 years or so. It's a 1991 model with only 20,000 miles. I'm thinking of buying it and have a mechanic work on it to bring it back to par and will drive it daily.
**Any concerns I should be cautious about? What should my mechanic do? Oil change and tune-up, check brakes, buy new tires and alignment? What about servicing the a/c unit? Your advise is greatly appreciative. Fyi - I plan on having AAA tow it from S.F. to San Ramon, California this weekend.
Regards,
Ben
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07-16-2007, 12:18 AM
Post: #2
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
I would keep it garaged. Given a few more years, you will have a classic. but , by all means buy it.
however, you have the right idea, get it checked over real good before taking it out on the road.
lucky you!
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07-16-2007, 11:38 AM
Post: #3
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
I would change all fluids and maybe a basic tune. That will give you a good place to start to continue the regular maintenance. Check or replace tires. If all else works, just drive it and be happy.

Cary Joe York
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07-22-2007, 02:48 PM
Post: #4
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
Thanks for the input. I had the car towed to my home and the car started right up with the new battery. The front tires will need to be replaced and wheel alignment. I looked at the radiator and there's plenty of water, however, the bottle for the coolant looks low/gummy. Oil looks fine (looks like oi/filterl was changed 500 miles ago - back in Jan. 1999). A/C unit working fine. Brake fluid and power steering fluid looks a little low. How do I find out about the transmission fluid?
*You mentioned about changing all of the "fluids". What specifically fluids are you talking about? The car sounds really good - do you still think I need a basic tune-up (actual mileage is 19,990 miles). Looks like my in-law kept up the oil changes - every 3-5K miles.

[quote=CaryJoeYork)

I would change all fluids and maybe a basic tune. That will give you a good place to start to continue the regular maintenance. Check or replace tires. If all else works, just drive it and be happy.
[/quote]
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07-22-2007, 09:21 PM
Post: #5
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
I would change/flush brake fluid, anti-freeze, P/S fluid, trans fluid, and change oil. As you said the coolant is a little gummy. The other fluids may be the same. That will give you a good place to start and then you can keep up with the regular services. After all it is low mileage and if the fluids are all new and fresh, you are good to go for a long time. After changing the oil, if you do not burn any oil in the next 2000-3000 miles you may consider changing it at 3000 miles and using a synthetic oil. Is it an auto or manuel trans? One other thought, the t-belt is properly cracked and it is 16 years old. Like rubber tires it cracks. I would look into that as well.

Cary Joe York
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07-22-2007, 09:50 PM
Post: #6
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
Thanks for writing back. I'll ask my mechanic to make sure he replaces all of the fluids you've mentioned. Also, I'll ask him to check the timing belt. I heard that if a replacement of the timing belt is needed, they also recommend replacing the water pump since the labor involved is the same. Do you feel it's recommended since it has such low mileage? By the way, it is an "automatic" car. Take care.

CaryJoeYork Wrote:I would change/flush brake fluid, anti-freeze, P/S fluid, trans fluid, and change oil. As you said the coolant is a little gummy. The other fluids may be the same. That will give you a good place to start and then you can keep up with the regular services. After all it is low mileage and if the fluids are all new and fresh, you are good to go for a long time. After changing the oil, if you do not burn any oil in the next 2000-3000 miles you may consider changing it at 3000 miles and using a synthetic oil. Is it an auto or manuel trans? One other thought, the t-belt is properly cracked and it is 16 years old. Like rubber tires it cracks. I would look into that as well.
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07-22-2007, 10:54 PM
Post: #7
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
Well the water pump is properly ok. But if they do the water pump they would have to drain and fill the cooling system with new anti-freeze. So you can save the money on the coolant flush. Or spend it on a pump instead. Just make sure they clean out the coolant bottle. If it is auto trans there should be a dip stick in the case on the front of the trans near the radiator cooling fans.

Cary Joe York
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07-23-2007, 03:00 AM
Post: #8
RE: Garaged '91 Toyota Camry
Great advise. I'll be sure to ask my mechanic about the timing belt which will save me money now since he was going to do the coolant flush. Also, I finally found the dip stick for the transmission fluid. I'll let you know if I need anything else.

CaryJoeYork Wrote:Well the water pump is properly ok. But if they do the water pump they would have to drain and fill the cooling system with new anti-freeze. So you can save the money on the coolant flush. Or spend it on a pump instead.  Just make sure they clean out the coolant bottle. If it is auto trans there should be a dip stick in the case on the front of the trans near the radiator cooling fans.
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