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White 2005 CE with 208K miles has been a great car. Only major repair was replacing the rack and pinion steering; everything else was pretty much routine maintenance. However, the car is 15 years old and needs a new battery, control arm bushings, new front struts, front brake pads, 4 new tires (in about 10K more miles), and a new rear wiper. Timing belt has been replaced twice at recommended mileages; iridium spark plugs have been replaced twice; oil changes have been done on a regular basis; ATF, brake fluid, and coolant have been changed regularly; and engine and cabin air filters have been changed regularly. Toyota installed a brand new dashboard (recall) at no cost to me, and I just had the ball joints and passenger CV boots replaced. The car has two minor dents, the paint is in very good shape, the seats are in good shape (no tears or stains), and the windshield is good.

My question: If you were in my shoes would you do the necessary repairs and go for more miles or sell the car as is? I think I can get between $2500 and $3000 for it. I'm not sure what the total cost of these repairs would be.
 

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Nothing you list is unreasonable for a 200k mile van or catastrophic. If you are itching for a newer vehicle with more modern safety features, than sure, now is a good time to replace it. Otherwise, do the maintenance and keep driving it.

-Mike

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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My brother paid for transmission services at regular intervals. Logged. When the transmission failed the fluid was black as ink. Serviced (charged for it) means nothing unless you change the fluid yourself. So look at your transmission fluid. If it's red keep the car. If it's really dark or black, get rid of it.
 

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All sounds normal. You say your car is roughly $2500. A new limited sienna is probably more like 50k. A few thousand in repairs is cheaper. I'd keep it.

I had a similar debate with my wife recently. She wanted a brand new car vs our 08 limited sienna. Showed her the math And she was on board. We can also afford a new car easily. I'm just really cheap!
 

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This vehicle sounds like it's worth spending a few coins on it. At a projected $3000 book value, I would repair and ride the axles off of it. However, I work on my own vehicles. I have a 04' Limited that have 225K on it. I'm going to buy a new one when the climate in this Coronasphere is right. But I'm not going to sell my Ace.
 

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Most of steering rack issue is fluid leaking. If leak is very minimum, you can keep driving and try not turn the steering all the way to the end while turning. My 04 has leak issue for 3 years and I only add 5 ml fluid. The new rack parts cost about $750. You can also consider replace a rebuild one and drive couple more years.
 

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The repairs you list sound reasonable for ordinary maintenance. FYI I have a 2004 Sienna with 302,000 miles and I still "trust" it. I have to replace the front breaks which will cost about $500 but if I need a major repair, not maintenance, then I may decide it's time to buy a new vehicle. If I were planning a lot of long trips I think I might also think about replacing the vehicle as I know that at some point the repairs will get more expensive. If your vehicle has been well maintained, has no rust from road salt, has had regular maintenance as you state then hopefully it will serve you well for another 100,000 miles. I figure it is worth it to me to keep a vehicle that isn't costing me much to operate than purchase a new one for $30,000 or a used one that I don't know its history or problems. Hope this helps.
 

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A couple years ago, I obtained permanent residence in Mexico, and could no longer import my 2002 Sienna. It had 222,000 miles, but was flawlessly maintained. If I had a reason to do so, I would not have hesitated to drive it to Alaska with no work on it except balancing the tires. Why did I trust it totally?


Because I always used new OE parts. It is standard in the mechanic business to tell you rebuilt parts are as good as new but cheaper. Lies, lies. Well, maybe they actually believe it, but it is not true at all. Most rebuild parts are good for one year. Really good rebuilt parts for two years. OEM Toyota parts mostly last 90,000 miles or more. And, with almost all highway miles on that car, most parts never failed.


I did what the military called high-rel maintenance on that car. On Military airplanes, they have an engineer developed maintenance list which tells statistically when every part on the plane is likely to fail, then at less time than that it goes in to be replaced, thus seldom do you see failures in operation. Except, of course, when damaged, by flying metal.

On a Toyota mostly driven at highway speeds, there aren't a lot of things that ever need to be replaced except most obvious liquids. At 222,000 miles when I donated it to a Bible Institute, it ran perfectly, transmission shifted like new. For me with my maintenance plan, a 6500 mile trip would involved counting the wheels before I started and filling the gas tank. On my most common 5,000 mile trips I didn't even check the oil until I got home again. That is Toyota quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The repairs you list sound reasonable for ordinary maintenance. FYI I have a 2004 Sienna with 302,000 miles and I still "trust" it. I have to replace the front breaks which will cost about $500 but if I need a major repair, not maintenance, then I may decide it's time to buy a new vehicle. If I were planning a lot of long trips I think I might also think about replacing the vehicle as I know that at some point the repairs will get more expensive. If your vehicle has been well maintained, has no rust from road salt, has had regular maintenance as you state then hopefully it will serve you well for another 100,000 miles. I figure it is worth it to me to keep a vehicle that isn't costing me much to operate than purchase a new one for $30,000 or a used one that I don't know its history or problems. Hope this helps.
Good word! Thanks.
 

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White 2005 CE with 208K miles has been a great car. Only major repair was replacing the rack and pinion steering; everything else was pretty much routine maintenance. However, the car is 15 years old and needs a new battery, control arm bushings, new front struts, front brake pads, 4 new tires (in about 10K more miles), and a new rear wiper. Timing belt has been replaced twice at recommended mileages; iridium spark plugs have been replaced twice; oil changes have been done on a regular basis; ATF, brake fluid, and coolant have been changed regularly; and engine and cabin air filters have been changed regularly. Toyota installed a brand new dashboard (recall) at no cost to me, and I just had the ball joints and passenger CV boots replaced. The car has two minor dents, the paint is in very good shape, the seats are in good shape (no tears or stains), and the windshield is good.

My question: If you were in my shoes would you do the necessary repairs and go for more miles or sell the car as is? I think I can get between $2500 and $3000 for it. I'm not sure what the total cost of these repairs would be.
I would keep it and do the repairs, i own a 2010 sienna le awd 231k miles and i recently did everything you have to do basically. For roughly around $1k. i am betting i could get
300k+ miles out of this car best car i have owned honestly.
 

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White 2005 CE with 208K miles has been a great car. Only major repair was replacing the rack and pinion steering; everything else was pretty much routine maintenance. However, the car is 15 years old and needs a new battery, control arm bushings, new front struts, front brake pads, 4 new tires (in about 10K more miles), and a new rear wiper. Timing belt has been replaced twice at recommended mileages; iridium spark plugs have been replaced twice; oil changes have been done on a regular basis; ATF, brake fluid, and coolant have been changed regularly; and engine and cabin air filters have been changed regularly. Toyota installed a brand new dashboard (recall) at no cost to me, and I just had the ball joints and passenger CV boots replaced. The car has two minor dents, the paint is in very good shape, the seats are in good shape (no tears or stains), and the windshield is good.

My question: If you were in my shoes would you do the necessary repairs and go for more miles or sell the car as is? I think I can get between $2500 and $3000 for it. I'm not sure what the total cost of these repairs would be.


lets say the needed maintenance is 2-3k . the tires and brakes should carry you hopefully 30 +/- or a couple of years plus. thats $125 per month cost to drive. i'd plan on going to close to 300k with a second set of tires and rear brakes in the future and stop before timing belt #3. "if" during this time you happen upon a barn find 2nd gen 07 or 08 that won't need the timing belt go for the slight upgrade.

i'd rather know what i have and make the repairs, then not know what i have and make payments ( interest on depreciation)

also, in the next year or so the market is going to be saturated with used car's therefore used prices should come down a tad. i'd take a well maintained second gen from 150k to 300 before making payments

my 2 cents
good luck
gordo
 

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I look at the balance scale between annual maintenance vs. car payment, until the body condition deteriorates so badly that it isn't worth a repair. If I have to spend $400/mo on a car payment, I can save money by spending less than $4800 per year on maintenance and repair. It's not a straight simple equation, though. Usually, the number is closer to $3000-3500 per year before I get to the point of saying, "Maybe it's time for replacement." It sounds like you have about $1500 worth of repairs plus 4 new tires. If the rest of the car is mechanically sound, I would assume you will get another 50-100k miles out of the van, without issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
lets say the needed maintenance is 2-3k . the tires and brakes should carry you hopefully 30 +/- or a couple of years plus. thats $125 per month cost to drive. i'd plan on going to close to 300k with a second set of tires and rear brakes in the future and stop before timing belt #3. "if" during this time you happen upon a barn find 2nd gen 07 or 08 that won't need the timing belt go for the slight upgrade.

i'd rather know what i have and make the repairs, then not know what i have and make payments ( interest on depreciation)

also, in the next year or so the market is going to be saturated with used car's therefore used prices should come down a tad. i'd take a well maintained second gen from 150k to 300 before making payments

my 2 cents
good luck
gordo
Thanks. I appreciate your advice.
I look at the balance scale between annual maintenance vs. car payment, until the body condition deteriorates so badly that it isn't worth a repair. If I have to spend $400/mo on a car payment, I can save money by spending less than $4800 per year on maintenance and repair. It's not a straight simple equation, though. Usually, the number is closer to $3000-3500 per year before I get to the point of saying, "Maybe it's time for replacement." It sounds like you have about $1500 worth of repairs plus 4 new tires. If the rest of the car is mechanically sound, I would assume you will get another 50-100k miles out of the van, without issue.
Thanks BillG. Good analysis!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
lets say the needed maintenance is 2-3k . the tires and brakes should carry you hopefully 30 +/- or a couple of years plus. thats $125 per month cost to drive. i'd plan on going to close to 300k with a second set of tires and rear brakes in the future and stop before timing belt #3. "if" during this time you happen upon a barn find 2nd gen 07 or 08 that won't need the timing belt go for the slight upgrade.

i'd rather know what i have and make the repairs, then not know what i have and make payments ( interest on depreciation)

also, in the next year or so the market is going to be saturated with used car's therefore used prices should come down a tad. i'd take a well maintained second gen from 150k to 300 before making payments

my 2 cents
good luck
gordo
Thanks!
 

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I agree with what others have said: I simply compare the cost of a new or newer car to the repair cost. Unless the repairs are massive, it will always be cheaper to fix the used car. Plus, the new car will still need maintenance on top of the car payment. And the longer you have a used car, the more you know about it's repair history.

My opinion is that major safety features and innovations have mostly plateaued since about 2000. Since then every car has airbags, ABS, cruise control, AC, etc. Those are the things that make a car comfortable for long road trips. Lane departure sensors, WiFi, backup cameras, parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control are not "essential" for me. If I decide I have to have bluetooth then I can spend $100 on a new radio, which is cheaper than $15,000 on a newer used van.

So my plan is to keep my 2007 for as long as possible. I see it as a vehicle that could, if properly cared for, be like an old VW Vanagon where it is simply kept-up forever, regardless of what the repair is or how much "it is worth." But unlike an old VW, the Sienna will always have those more-modern safety features and creature comforts that I care about.
 

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You have a well maintained high mileage vehicle. Mechanically, if you are okay keeping up with that maintenance as you have been doing you should keep it. The only significant safety feature you may be missing is the side curtain air bags, which I do not think were on the ce in '05. You may take that into account with your decision.
 

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Well maintained front drivers have been known to go 400k, but a quick check of cars.com shows that most highest mileage 2005 vans on cars.com are being sold at around 220k, some at 230k, a couple at 250k, with one outlier of 339k. https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action/?mdId=22101&mkId=20088&page=1&perPage=20&rd=99999&searchSource=SORT&sort=miles-highest&yrId=20199&zc=22046 Take a look at the mileages and draw your own conclusions.

Estimated costs:

new battery $100
control arms $400
New front struts (pre-loaded) $600
front brake pads $200
4 new tires (in about 10K more miles) $400
new rear wiper $20

Approximately $1,800 in repairs?

Whether I'd sell depends on what I was planning to buy. If I was buying a more recent van with <70k miles (before the fluids really need to be changed), I'd sell now. If I was going to be buying another 100k+ mile van, I'd keep it. The devil you know, and all that.
 
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