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2011 Toyota Camry LE needs multiple repairs - should I repair and keep it?


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Dear Scotty,

I have a US-built (Kentucky), 2011 Toyota Camry LE, 2.5L 4-cylinder 2AR-FE engine, U770E automatic transmission, PZEV emissions system (still within the 150,000, 12-year warranty) with 105,000 miles as my daily driver in Maine. I bought it in 2014 with 30,500 miles for $14,500 from a used car dealer (was just off-lease from Massachusetts).

It now needs new rear calipers (seized up-daily driver in NE winters), new rear rotors and pads, new rear parking brake shoes, a new radiator (very small slow leak), rear sway bars (clunking over bumps-the other suspension parts appear to be OK), and has two separate flanges rotting out in the exhaust system. 

It has never overheated, and I've changed the oil and filter every 5000 miles with Pennzoil Platinum OW20 full synthetic oil since I purchased it. I also changed the transmission fluid at 90,000 miles (ATF was dark, but not burned). It has already received an all around brake job (pads and new rotors 5 years ago), several sets of tires, and a new battery. It does not burn a drop of oil. It runs and shifts well with no trouble codes.

However, I am disappointed in the paint quality from that year (fragile, water-based clear coat with more than a few small chips), but otherwise the car is in decent cosmetic shape. I am also a bit disappointed in the amount of maintenance it has required in its ten years of service.

I am also considering replacing the thermostat, water pump (no problems yet, but I've read the 2AR-FE engine's water pump has been problematic), upper and lower radiator hoses and clamps, and the water pump drive belt, since the radiator needs replacement.


My questions for you are:

Did I do well on this purchase?

Does the Toyota factory warranty on the PZEV emissions system likely to cover the rotting flanges, and/or all other exhaust system components?

Are these additional cooling system repairs advisable to do along with the new radiator?

Is this a reasonable amount of maintenance from a ten year old Camry?

Should I perform these repairs on the car and keep it going?

Are you aware of any other known problems with the 2011 Camry I should be addressing?

How long can I expect this model year Camry to last if I keep up with its maintenance?


I am a dedicated subscriber to your YouTube channel and greatly admire and share your insights with others.

Thank you in advance for your expert responses to my questions!

Most sincerely,


1 Answer

I would get rid of it. The repairs itself- if you decided to get all of the repairs fixed and then immediately sell it, you'll break even.

Sell it at your own risk.

Your comment is contradictory. First you recommend getting rid of the car, then state to "sell it at my own risk," with no real justification of how you even arrived at a "break even" point after repairs. Frankly, this is not very helpful.

Anyone else care to comment with a thoughtful response?

I forgot to get rid of the first sentence by accident. If you were to repair all of the things it needed and all of the things you were considering to replace, you would spending almost as much as you spent to buy that car if you sent this place to a dealer. If you were to sell then, you would be getting all of that money spent back in a way- that is how you would have broke even. I apologize for a not thoughtful response.