My Camry is (maybe not?) on it's deathbed- Rant

joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,312
113
Pittsburgh, PA
There have been plenty of rant threads lately so now it's time for my rant. I own a 2004 Toyota Camry LE that my dad bought new in 2004. My dad was going to trade it in around September 2014 on a new Camry. Instead of him trading it in, I bought it because it still ran good and it was a nice reliable car. It's also the car I learned to drive on. So between September 2014 and about August of 2017, I put about 35,000 miles on it. And I did a ton of maintenance to it. But around August of 2017, my older sister (who still lives at home) was starting a new job and needed a car to commute. I had other vehicles I could drive, so I agreed to loan it to her, so long as she took care of it, pitched in for some maintenance costs and gave back when she didn't need it anymore. The only other thing I told her she had to do, was check the oil level every two weeks. The car has a 2AZ-FE 4 cylinder and they are known for burning oil. At the time, it only burned around a quart every 2000 miles. Not bad by 2AZ standards. I even sent a used oil sample away to Blackstone labs for analysis and they said it looked great. I still have the paper from them somewhere. I showed her how to check the oil, how to add oil, and how to know when the oil needs changed. I told her I would change the oil. Just let me know when it needs done.


And I maintained the hell out of this car. At the time she started driving it, parts that had been replaced within the past 6 months were- 4 new struts, new Akebono brakes on all 4 corners, new ball joints, all 4 tie rod ends, new front and rear sway bar bushings and links, rear wheel bearings, oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, intake manifold gasket, NGK Laser Iridium spark plugs, catalytic converter, exhaust midpipe, all the exhaust hangers, Denso alternator, AISIN water pump, radiator, serpentine belt, all engine mounts, 4 new tires, new headlight housings, replaced and painted the rear bumper cover, and I know I'm forgetting stuff. When I gave it to her-

PhotoPictureResizer_190311_212811674-1336x752.jpg


Long story short, she never took car of it. Within a month of me loaning it to her, she already wrecked the rear bumper. When I loaned it to her, it had a couple door dings in it. Now there are about 15 mystery dents that she has no idea how they got there. She used a shovel to clear snow off of it and gouged deep scratches into the paint all over the whole car. It's now missing 3 of 4 hubcaps.

She never checked the oil. Never. Every once in a while I'd go out and check it on my own when I had a chance, and oftentimes it was so low it wasn't even registering on the dipstick. Id remind her time and time again to check the oil every two weeks. She'd never let me know when it hit 3000 miles on the oil. Id put a sticker in the window with the mileage on it and tell her "when it hits that number, tell me." I've explained to her at least 30 times that the car burns oil, it needs added between changes. I showed her again how to check and add oil. In this entire time, I still don't think she ever learned the difference between adding oil and an oil change. I've been telling her for a year the car will not last if you keep running it low on oil. She never checked it, never told me when it was due, nothing.

Currently the car sits at 215,000 miles. So today she tells me she thinks the oil needs changed because the oil light came on while she was driving it.

I said "Woah, back up. What oil light? The service engine soon light, or the red oil pressure light?"

She replies, "The red one that looks like a genie bottle."

Me: "Did it go off or stay on? Did you keep driving it? Have you checked the oil lately like I've been ****ing telling you for two years?"

Her: "It stayed on, I kept driving it, what was I supposed to do? No, sorry I haven't had time to check it."

So I go down to the car, it's 2k miles overdue for an oil change, and there is no oil on the dipstick. I get underneath, drain the oil and swap the filter. The car takes 5 quarts on the dot. I think the book says 4.5, but it has always taken 5 to fill it. Here's how much oil drained out, filter included-

IMG_20190311_200931741-2004x2672.jpg


That's a gallon bottle by the way. I refill the oil, and start it, and the engine is just ****ing howling. No knocks, but clatter beyond belief. The oil pressure light is still on. I open the oil cap while it's running to check for blow by and the ****ing cap nearly shot off like a rocket. The PCV valve is new too, that's not the issue.

So basically the motor is cooked, the body is cosmetically trashed as is the interior. The transmission is still good. I'm not sure what to do with it. On one side it has a lot of newer parts, and I have enough maintenance records on it to fill a library. I even have the original window sticker. There isn't any rust on it. On the other side, it's a 15 year old car with over 200k miles, cosmetically it looks like hell. It's really not worth much. I don't have money laying around to put an engine in it, at the same time I'd hate to junk it. It's an easy job to remove and reinstall an engine in it if I could find one cheap enough.

I pretty much expected this to happen as I've been putting up with this **** for two years. I've maintained it as best I could while she's been driving it, but it's not like I can change the oil while she's driving it down the street.

**** I'm just pissed off though.

IMG_20190311_200902806-2672x2004.jpg
 
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WanaBa442

WanaBa442

Greasemonkey
Aug 5, 2017
209
63
New England
It's your car, take it back, make her walk.
If she squeals, give her a bill for $2k to replace the car, or the engine.
You gave her rope, her choice was to make a ladder or a noose..........
It's a life lesson, you learned yours, now it's time to be the teacher.
 
Streetbu

Streetbu

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
May 22, 2011
1,035
113
Central NY
She doesn't give a **** because people have her handed her everything. Find something she really cares about and destroy it then hand it back to her and walk away and don't give a ****. Maybe she will get the point.
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
4,872
113
Spring, Texas
Junk it and tell her to walk.

Edit: I stand by my original statement but add that I'm sorry to see it work out that way. Unfortunately, it sounds like you knew it was coming. I wouldn't put her in another car. I'll bet she takes care of something she pays/is paying for. I would not assist with that. But then again, I'm not a nice guy after all.
 
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joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,312
113
Pittsburgh, PA
Junk it and tell her to walk.
That would be my knee jerk reaction. But I have to think carefully, I don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face. The whole reason I let her use the car in the first place was so she could work this job, get some money together and move the **** out. She's not an easy person to live with. To call her lazy and entitled is putting it kindly.
 
axisg

axisg

Royal Smart Person
Jul 17, 2007
2,357
113
YYZ
Meh it's family. Yeah it sucks but what can you do ? This **** will come back up 30 years from now so take the higher ground and walk away a litter wiser IMO.

Personally if there was someplace to park it then fix it on the backside to keep it as a beater with a JY motor. Then you can let her know for the rest of your lives that she's had to ride the bus because she fooked the car.
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
4,061
113
Shelocta, Pa
I'd charge her for the engine, tell her "Uncle PAT" always offers rides (http://simple.portauthority.org/) then tell ger have a nice day. Hell sell her the car & charge her for the engine change. But I understand what ir's like to get family to pay back/pay for car reapirs & usage. I lost track of everything my brother owes me for fixing/getting/"lending"/paying for so he could drive (illegally most of the time) & my dad smoked my built manual valve body TH350 cause he said manually shifting it was bad (!?!?!) after I told him he had to.
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
5,812
113
Owyhee County
First, you already know that engine is done. It's not even a viable core at this point, IMHO (I've got some Toyota experience). If I were in your shoes I'd say, "Hey sis, I love you and tried to help you out. You didn't listen to my warnings about regular maintenance and generally treated my car very poorly. Your options are to go buy you own car now, or drive this one until it absolutely will not run. Might be tomorrow, might be a year from now. Either way, you'll be walking and paying a tow truck to bring it to me. Then I'll have to clean up your mess." Spoiler alert; you'll be paying for the tow truck.

She'll likely opt to drive it until it seizes, you know, because she's busy. Doesn't matter -- engine's already ruined.

I can't answer what to do with it. The car has the same value running with no oil pressure or with the engine seized. I can understand some sentimental attachment and the idea of not wanting to give away all the new parts and labor. (You may remember my rant about my daughter not wanting to drive the Neon I basically restored for her -- I absolutely get it). If it was just the engine, I'd fix it. But if the cosmetics are that bad, maybe that just doesn't make sense. You have 4 other cars, so it's not like you need to fix it. Might be best to cut your losses. I can't say. That's a decision only you can make.

Sounds like you kind of expected this from her. I know it stings but it's best to just suck it up and write this good deed off. You just got proof that no good deed goes unpunished. She'll always be family and there's dozens of holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals ahead. Don't ever bring this up again, and NEVER GO OUT ON A LIMB FOR HER AGAIN. Sometimes being the grownup is frustrating and expensive.

Sorry your sister sucks.
 
CaliWagon83

CaliWagon83

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,847
113
Orange County, CA
I hate to generalize or sound misogynistic, but in my experience, most (non-enthusiast) women could generally care less about cars and maintenance. Some are super meticulous, and "by-the-book" when it comes to maintenance, but a lot of them, when left to their own devices, will just neglect them and drive them into the ground prematurely.
 

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