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Old 03-21-2012, 05:53 PM
 
8 posts, read 28,140 times
Reputation: 18

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Hello Everyone

I have a 1998 toyota corolla VE with 189,000 miles. This year the car needs major repairs: master cylinder, rack and pinion, power steering pump and front right civic axel AND a catalytic converter.

Now the mechanic I went to qouted me a price for the civic axel at 130$. Then for the master cylinder, rack/pinion, pump : 1100.00$
He also suggested I go to a muffler shop and ask for an AFTER MARKET catalytic converter and it should cost me 180-200$.

Now my dilemma is should i go through with this? The engine runs fine. My transmission is fine. The oil does run out fast but ive read that happens to toyota corolla. the car has bumps and scratches on it but it doesnt bother me .

What should I do?
Is this a good price to fix these problems?
Should I try buying the parts on my own and only pay for labor?
Is there a chance that more repairs may appear??

Help.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Newport News Virginia
419 posts, read 959,149 times
Reputation: 178
Try thy out this website if your planning to buy the parts yourself.
As for whether you should repair it, I con not answer that question, sorry.

Toyota Part Source - Your Source for Genuine Toyota Parts and Toyota Accessories

Last edited by Mister Miaugie; 03-21-2012 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 15,823,006 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by valaireuh View Post
Hello Everyone

I have a 1998 toyota corolla VE with 189,000 miles. This year the car needs major repairs: master cylinder, rack and pinion, power steering pump and front right civic axel AND a catalytic converter.

Now the mechanic I went to qouted me a price for the civic axel at 130$. Then for the master cylinder, rack/pinion, pump : 1100.00$
He also suggested I go to a muffler shop and ask for an AFTER MARKET catalytic converter and it should cost me 180-200$.

Now my dilemma is should i go through with this? The engine runs fine. My transmission is fine. The oil does run out fast but ive read that happens to toyota corolla. the car has bumps and scratches on it but it doesnt bother me .

What should I do?
Is this a good price to fix these problems?
Should I try buying the parts on my own and only pay for labor?
Is there a chance that more repairs may appear??

Help.
First find out where the engine oil is going. If it's being burned then you are also looking at an engine rebuild/replacement (my guess at 189,000 is it needs a rebuilt engine) Or it could be a bad oil leak.
Find out BEFORE you spend a dime other repairs. Your mechanic can run a compression test for burning and a real good look with a bright light for a leak.

If all is Ok then consider the overall shape of the body and interior. If you find them to acceptable and you are willing to drive the car out then spend the money to make the car mechanically sound again. It's way cheaper in the long run to repair a good solid car than to buy another car new or used.

Remember repair the car ONLY if you're willing to drive it till it's totally consumed.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Great Plains
25,587 posts, read 28,248,808 times
Reputation: 22713
It is a common issue in that vintage of Corolla. If I understand it, I think it amounts to the piston rings sticking and causing oil burn.

You are driving a 14 year old car and the repairs will cost more than the car is worth. The rack and pinion being the major expense... That would amount to deciding factor for me.

My wife has a 99 Corolla with 176,000 miles. The oil is the major thing. We put a new valve cover gasket on, was a cheap repair even with labor. That went part way on the problem. At the last oil change I added seafoam to fresh oil and hope that will work the on the rings and help with the consumption. It is a our second car, so we use it to scoot around town.

We decided or she decided she didn't want to put any more money into keeping her car. We will keep it and keep oil in it until it dies. She's had it for 10 year and most were troublefree miles.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:51 PM
 
10,485 posts, read 21,481,706 times
Reputation: 6577
Quote:
Originally Posted by valaireuh View Post
Hello Everyone

I have a 1998 toyota corolla VE with 189,000 miles. This year the car needs major repairs: master cylinder, rack and pinion, power steering pump and front right civic axel AND a catalytic converter.

Now the mechanic I went to qouted me a price for the civic axel at 130$. Then for the master cylinder, rack/pinion, pump : 1100.00$
He also suggested I go to a muffler shop and ask for an AFTER MARKET catalytic converter and it should cost me 180-200$.

Now my dilemma is should i go through with this? The engine runs fine. My transmission is fine. The oil does run out fast but ive read that happens to toyota corolla. the car has bumps and scratches on it but it doesnt bother me .

What should I do?
Is this a good price to fix these problems?
Should I try buying the parts on my own and only pay for labor?
Is there a chance that more repairs may appear??

Help.
I am surprised no one else has said this....keep the car, fix it with the exception of the rack and pinion. Disconnect the power steering. With a car that light you do not need it, and it is certainly not worth paying hundreds of dollars on it. It looks like the rack and pinion is the bulk of your repair bill. My Ford Escort does not have power steering, and I do just fine without it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:57 PM
 
1,020 posts, read 2,466,475 times
Reputation: 570
the rack and pinion will cost the most. just for all the parts alone, its over 1000, then you got to pay for labor. I would not do it personally, and I fix my own cars. its not really worth it, I would sell it on craigslist for 500 dollars or sell the car for scrap metal. You can sell it on craigslist for more money and screw someone over, but I would not do that personally.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 PM
 
1,090 posts, read 3,907,429 times
Reputation: 947
Well it is the CV (constant velocity axles and that could be a safety issue. The oil is going somewhere. I would check the PCV "valve", make sure it is not clogged, that is a $5 fix for oil burning issues.

Why do you need a cat converter? Do you have a check engine light?

What is wrong with the master cylinder?

Based on the info you have given, I am suspicious that either the mechanic is taking you for a ride, or is overzealous and is looking for perfection in an old car.

I would fix stuff that is a safety issue (CV, brakes), if the rack is leaking oil I will just top it off, watch the engine oil. It has been said that $1100 per year is a good estimate for a car of that vintage for yearly repairs. Some years are going to be better-some worse.

How much can you get for the car? Can you buy a newer used car with the $$ needed for repairs? You don't have much to loose, just drive it until some major part gives up.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,594 posts, read 24,067,195 times
Reputation: 6358
Are you talking to a specialist mechanic, one who knows Toyotas, or a general mechanic? A specialist mechanic, even a general Japanese auto mechanic, will be able to give you insight as to the potential problems with the oil burning issue, and will know how to solve the problem without just adding parts to the replacement list.

The other question is, are you ready to buy a new car? You know this car and its issues, but if you were to sell it for $500, and were looking to replace it with a vehicle that is used and somewhat inexpensive, you may be in the same situation, having purchased a car that needs repairs. Do you drive long distances, or in other situations where you need a vehicle that performs reliably without issue? Those are factors to determine what you should do right now. I agree that I would fix only what is necessary from a safety perspective, and then evaluate the situation with respect to begin looking for a replacement vehicle. When you have the time to plan to look for a vehicle, it makes it much easier to make the right decision, then replacing one when you need to do so. Although, a newer Corolla would likely be a safe bet, given the service that you have gotten from your current Corolla.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Californicating Midland, TX since 2017
5,952 posts, read 10,023,355 times
Reputation: 4117
Maybe look on Yelp for some 4-5 star mechanics in your area, take your car to each one of them (don't tell them what problems to look for) and see what the consensus is and get it repaired at the cheapest place of them all (if it's still worth it.)
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:43 AM
 
2,737 posts, read 3,640,411 times
Reputation: 1785
If you cannot do the mechanical work yourself, I think you should put it on Craigslist for about $1,000. Sell it for perhaps $800-$850.

The person who's going to buy it is a guy like me, who can do the work and will only have the cost of parts in the repairs. He's also going to know whether or not you're being 'fed a line' about the rack & pinion, and some other expensive repairs your 'mechanic' advised you to do.
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