Is my 12-year-old car worth repairing?



John Paul, AAA Northeast’s Vehicle Medical doctor, answers a problem from a reader obtaining troubles with a minimal-mileage 2010 Toyota.

The 2010 Toyota Camry. Toyota

Q. I have numerous concerns about my 130,000-mile 2010 Toyota Camry. Around the past numerous months, the examine motor light-weight (code PO420) has been coming on regularly, and each individual time our mechanic has browse the very same code which indicates a dilemma with the catalytic converter. In excess of this time, we have replaced the oxygen sensors, cleaned the PCV system, and changed the exhaust technique which includes the catalytic converter. The engine burns about a quart of oil for every 600-800 miles, and we have included Techron to the gas. Is the car or truck repairable or is it time to mail it to the junkyard?

A. Ordinarily, a 12-calendar year-aged Toyota with only 130,000 miles must have a lot of daily life left. One feasible problem is the replacement catalytic converter. It has been my practical experience that some aftermarket catalytic converters are problematic. The PO420 code signifies an difficulty with converter efficiency, and I suspect the aftermarket replacement is the difficulty. The oil intake situation should really just be monitored, and the stage topped off concerning oil modifications. Practically any engine that utilizes oil can previous a incredibly extensive time if the oil degree is kept full. 

Q. I just lately experienced my 2016 Jeep Compass’s oil modified at the vendor. The motor vehicle calls for 5W-20 regular oil, and in the past, I generally requested for 5W-20 synthetic oil. I noticed when I received dwelling the maintenance buy mentioned they utilized 0W-20 artificial oil. Is that all right or should really I have them set in the 5W-20 oil? 

A. Anytime achievable I like to use the advised quality and viscosity of oil. The accurate oil, according to the databases I use as perfectly as the Jeep Compass owner’s handbook, does checklist 5W-20 oil, and that is the oil I would use. Will the 0W-20 oil induce any damage? Not likely, but it is constantly ideal to use the manufacturer’s proposed oil. 

Q. I have 34,000 miles on my more mature Toyota Corolla and my auto mechanic tells me that tune ups are obsolete and spark plugs and other components are fantastic for 100,000 miles. What really should be done with my automobile – transmission fluid drain, transform gasoline filter, everything else?

A. If this had been my car, I would adjust the oil at the very least at the time for every 12 months and use a superior repair store. A good quality mend store will normally do an inspection of all of the crucial fluids, air filter, belts, and cooling procedure. At 34,000 miles, your car could be near to needing brakes and tires. Dependent on its age, shifting the brake fluid each individual 3-5 several years is a fantastic thought as nicely as a yearly battery check. If the car or truck does will need tires, either due to age or tread wear, getting the wheels aligned helps make perception.

Q. So a lot of web sites are enamored with the Kia Telluride, proclaiming it will be substantially extra reliable than a Honda Pilot, to use a single case in point. I recall when Volvo very first released the more recent technology XC90 in 2016. It was hyped as SUV of the Calendar year by numerous resources at the time, but has because been exposed as a incredibly problematic auto. Without a authentic background of prolonged miles driven, what are these promises of new introductory cars and trucks actually truly worth? The very same goes for prices of depreciation as perfectly, it would appear. What do you imagine?

A. You are suitable that with out maintenance/owner fulfillment information, you’re only seeking at component of the new motor vehicle equation. The Kia Telluride is a quite good auto and features extremely very well. From its trip and dealing with to its infotainment program, the Telluride is nicely thought out. However, it is far too new to know how that similar vehicle will conduct 5 to 10 years down the street. Concerning depreciation, Kia autos do depreciate faster than a equivalent Toyota or Honda, but I believe that has much more to do (possibly unfairly) with perception of the model somewhat than real car high-quality. 

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Vehicle Doctor. He has about 40 a long time of experience in the automotive business enterprise and is an ASE-licensed grasp technician. E-mail your car problem to [email protected] Pay attention to Car Physician on the radio at 10 a.m. every single Saturday on 104.9 FM or on line at

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