When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

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When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby Sick Puppy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:12 pm

I thought I would raise this as a thread to gather the thoughts of others :D

Simply put, when and where do you draw the line with maintaining, repairing and upgrading your car?

I have a 2004 Corolla wagon, 240km. It's in okay nick, but could do with a refresh. It cost me less than $3k three years ago. Good ones here are going for around $6k.

The necessary bits...
* I've purchased engine mounts (necessary) and about to give it a decent service (new fluids and filters, including fuel filter). That's fine, servicing is expected, so meh.
* I'm replacing the sunvisor (repair).
I know the engine and head will likely need a refresh in the next year or so, as the head is sounding tappety at 110kph.

The not so necessary bits...
* I'm about to install foglights (upgrade lol), and was considering buying a remote key (OEM $300+ ouchie lol). I had stumbled across extractors for the lolz ($300ish! bargain :lol: :P )

When do you draw the line, say enough and start looking elsewhere? Three years of reliability, it does the job, it has given me no issues, and there isn't anything leaping out at me saying 'buy me!'. Is it worth spending $1-2k to freshen/replace the engine & exhaust, or should I do the minimum and flick it? Decisions decisions... any advice, thoughts or observations appreciated, thank you!
Project thread here

Discussion thread here
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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby Boosted_162 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:52 pm

When I get bored of it :lol: don't think i've ever daily driven a car for more than 18 months....

Quite often I will spend lots of money on mods/maintenance just to sell it shortly after!
Current: '05 Subaru Outback, '08 Mazda2
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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby RS13 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:34 pm

Over 6 years with my 2004 RunX as well. Kept the oil clean and she doesn't miss a beat. Every time I think about shouting it some nice alloys or converting to manual I remember that I'm not 20 any more and putting money into a car that will never be collectable, runs perfect and gets me around without fuss is just so amazingly pointless.

Only thing I've had to fix outside of wear and tear is the steering rack getting a rebuild at 60kms due to worn bushes.. it really is the perfect example of why Toyota make the best daily drivers.
Daily driver: Toyota RunX/Toyota Caldina
Ex: 2x AE101, 5x KP60, KP61, EP71, 3x KE70, KE72, AE70, AE82, 2x TE71, AE90, AE92, ST170, plus 11 Hondas, 12 Nissans, 6 Fords, 4 Mazdas, 3 Mitsis, an Isuzu and a Lada!

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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby Leon » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:33 pm

I bought a 2002 Corolla with 470k on the clock, and only sold it because I part swapped it for an 86. Otherwise I'd probably still have it in the driveway.
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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby GDII » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:57 am

I bought a 1990 SW20 G-Limited in 2008 to replace my EE90 Corolla. MR2 was pretty much OEM except for the wheels (OEM 15s instead of 14s) stereo head unit and front lip. It's been a daily pretty much ever since and still is.
It's quite significantly modified now except the engine. Although the 230,000km engine got swapped out for a 400,000km engine of the same type. Suspension, brakes, wheels, a few other bits.
I have put 100,000km on it now. It's still a fun car to drive even as I get older, I'm not that old though. :lol:

The wife has a 2005 Demio which I do use a fair amount but to get to work the MR2 is prime transport.
1990 SW20 MR2
Previous 1990 EE90 Corolla
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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby Sick Puppy » Fri May 03, 2019 10:37 pm

Thanks guys, good to know I'm not just being crazy.

I thought it would be cheaper and more effective to just keep a car that is doing the job than look around for a new one unnecessarily. I'll get the timing belt done too - I might be pushing it with extractors though lol
Project thread here

Discussion thread here
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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby matt dunn » Fri May 03, 2019 11:25 pm

We have a 2005 Fielder Z with the 2zz and 6 speed, Basically a Runx wagon, before that we had a BZT Carib Wagon.

We had the Carib for 10 years, and will probably have the Fielder for the same, have had it 7 years so far.

I reckon that for a daily driver road car, if you buy a decent car that you like for a start and look after it,
there should be no real need to keep changing cars all the time.
The Fielder was the first car I have ever bough at retail price from a yard too,
( well retailish, who ever pays retail for anything?)
Maybe if we bought a base spec shitty model we would get sick of it sooner,
but a quick thrash every now and then with the 2ZZ and 6 speed and you like the car you have again.

And we have had to do bugger all to it too, oils, filters, plugs, been through a couple of sets of seat covers,
and lots of sets of tyres.

Project cars are another story, I think I've had up to about 30 or more??
7AGTE - DX20VT - viewtopic.php?t=59733
Discussion - viewtopic.php?t=59751
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Re: When do you draw the line with your car? (Daily driver)

Postby Mr Ree » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:33 pm

This thread poses a very interesting question, and one we have probably all asked ourselves at some point. This post is a bit drawn out, so apologies for that, but most of it is pertinent to the OP's question hahaha.

I bought an NZ new 1997 SXV10 Camry wagon 15 years ago, as I wanted to upgrade from my previous generation Camry wagon. I spent quite a while looking for the "right one" as I didnt want one with any "fruit" due to there being less things to go wrong, lower maintenance costs, and more reliability etc, and I also wanted one with a full Toyota service history so that I could be sure that it would be a good candidate for long term ownership, and this one had been a company car, driven by a 50+ year old lady, traveling between Wellington, and Auckland, and everywhere in between for its entire life, so 90% of its kms were open road kms which was another big plus for me. The interior was like new, no stains anywhere, and the passenger seats appeared to have never had a bum sat in them.

I paid $12k for it, which sounds crazy for a Camry with 130,000km on the clock, but I guess at the time, it was just over 7 years old, so I ponied up and paid for it, knowing that I probably wouldnt find another one that ticked as many boxes as this one did.

As I planned on owning it for as long as possible, and to try and get the most value for money from the purchase, I got it home, and proceeded to semi strip it. I spent a couple of weeks doing a lot of uninteresting preventative maintenance, to try and ensure a long and trouble free life. I removed the door cards and sprayed the insides of the doors in fish oil, and then removed every exterior trim, all weather stripping, mud flaps, lights etc, and cleaned any build up of dirt and fine dust from them, to avoid rust forming.

Im also a big fan of quality audio, so did a fairly basic install with new speakers throughout, a new Sony top of the line head-unit, and a JBL tube sub with built in amp to put behind the back seat. Nothing over the top, but enough to enjoy doof doof without any distortion.

As time went on, apart from your typical maintenance, it proved to be as reliable as one would expect a 1997 Camry to be. The only real issue I ever had with it was when some wiring in the back door fatigued from being opened and shut so many times, which led to a short circuit and burnt out a chip on the integration relay,rendering my central locking/factory immobiliser from working, so I had to buy a second hand unit from a wrecker, and as theyre coded to the specific car, this sadly stopped my remote key fob from working, but apart from that, its maintenance costs were extremely low.

Wind the clock forward a 6 or 7 years, with over 100,000km of trouble free motoring, and sadly, due to living on the south coast, sans a garage, and with the car being constantly exposed to salty air created from the marine environment, it had unfortunately crept in between small gaps that I couldnt wash/wax and had caused some rust to form in half a dozen spots around both rear side windows, and near the aerial and top right hand side of the windscreen :(

Initially, I wasnt too concerned as I am fairly handy, and a bit of a perfectionsist so every 6 months, I would perform some small spot repairs and repaint the areas in question, so that I could pass a WOF, but as time went on, the rust became worse, and it got to the point that I had quite noticeable rust building up, and it was no longer easy to do my bi annual repairs. Sadly these areas werent the only place that the dreaded salt spray had got to, and unbeknownst to me, all of my brake hard lines, power steering lines, and fuel lines under the car had also been badly affected. I was faced with a very big decision, as due to the fact that Toyota no longer offered them for sale, I would need to pay to have all new lines fabricated, and installed, and coupled with needing to get all of the body rust cut out and the car repainted, this meant spending a HUGE amount of money on a car thats market value was somewhere around $2500-3000 at the time. Given the rest of the cars condition, I made the decision to go ahead and get it all fixed, which obviously meant spending what the car was worth just to keep it on the road.

Next to go was my alternator, so I bought a new one.

I also needed to get the cam belt, and water pump replaced recently, but given I wasnt in the position to buy a far newer car, I had to also go ahead and have this work done too.

The clutch is going to be the next to go, the car has done 260,000km now, and its still the original item, but I am going to baby it for as long as I can to try and get another year or two out of it, as I cant do the job myself, and its a fairly big job for a workshop due to having to drop the sub frame etc.

Even though I have spent far beyond what the car is worth, I know that I have a very reliable, extremely well cared for 90's Toyota, with a complete service history, and if I was to sell it, all I would be doing is buying another car with no idea what has been done to it, and would face all of the problems that I already have fixed on mine. So at this stage, I am planning on getting as much out of the clutch as I can, then once that is replaced, I hope to get at least 15 more years out of her. I will report back in 2034 :)

P.S I had to replace the battery this weekend as winter killed my current one, but given it was 8 years old, thats just par for the course

TL:DR Buy a good Toyota Camry, maintain it well, and hang on to it for as long as you can :D
wak thud gush!
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