Request: Need Help Finding a Used Car

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 12th, 2020 2:38 pm
Mar 24, 2015
30 posts
Thornhill, ON

Request: Need Help Finding a Used Car

Hi, I just want to apologize off the bat for creating a post without being able to contribute to other discussions in this forum.

I am not car savy at all, the most I have done before is replace my spark plugs and headlights following online videos.

Today my car engine started giving out and now has a loud rumble. It is a 2009 Toyota Camry LE with about 340,000 kms. I was dreading the day since it crossed 300,000.

I have a budget of $5000 and would appreciate any help anyone could offer. I have only bought 2 cars in my life, the first was a 2003 Civic Hybrid that was bought from a bad dealer - the tire fell off and engine had seized. The other was this Camry that I overpayed for at the Toyota dealership in 2016 since I did not want to get another bad car. I paid about 11k for it.

I need help to find something decent that will last me at least 4 years while my wife and I save up. I checked Autotrader but it seems like every car out there within that price range is before 2010 and has 250,000+kms. I am fine with an older car as long as it will keep my wife and I safe.

I appreciate your time and any advice you have for me. Thank you!

Follow up:
So a quick update, I went to the mechanic and he's a really honest guy, he told me ordering parts and his labour would be over $500. He referred me to a nearby shop that specialized in general repair/mufflers who could do it cheaper. The problem was that I had a hole/leak in a front end exhast pipe. Total came to an easy $140. Guess I will be sticking with my Camry yet. Drives just the same, still clunky and needs the stabilizer links changed but it still drives.

Thank you to everyone who replied. I really appreciate it. Searching for cars on AutoTrader has become a new hobby. Thanks once again for taking the time to help. I appreciate it.
Last edited by Tsx24kb on Jul 15th, 2020 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
8 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2006
3393 posts
Pothole city
A 5000$ car will probably cost you another 1200$/year on average for maintenance.
If you add everything plus your time... I think you are better off renting a smaller Korean car for 48 months @ around 60-65$/week.
In the EV world, range is just an expensive option!
Range anxiety is an expensive problem...
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
12985 posts
You are concluding engine failure from a loud rumble? Could be anything from an exhaust component, engine mount, or yes an internal engine issue. Have you had it looked at?

Find out what's wrong with that Camry. $5k could keep that thing running for years vs another older car that will still need repairs as well.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 28, 2004
23427 posts
^ this

Find an honest mechanic if you don’t have one and take it to them for a look over and quote to repair.

Camrys are tanks (for the most part) and with regular maintenance, mechanically should last a while (rust is another story).

$5K budget isn’t much for another used car....which will come with its own quirks and problems.

FS: Nothing at the moment
Heatware: 63-0-0
Sr. Member
Apr 8, 2020
715 posts
Agree with above
Corolla , Camry can last long and usually is not the engine/transmission that puts them to graveyard
Mar 24, 2015
30 posts
Thornhill, ON
I have dropped the car at the mechanics but as most mechanics, he is closed on Sunday. He's honest, I'm just hoping that the issue is not too big. We will wait and see.

Thank you for your suggestion.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
15001 posts
Think of the Childre…
Replace engine

Apr 28, 2013
326 posts
My advice would be scour kijiji / Autotrader all the time. Look for 10ish year old cars with around 150k or less. Plenty of good deals out there, but you have to know what your looking for and act fast.

5k can get you a nice car, I've bought better for less.