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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I have owned a lot of cars, and some had some light rust on exhaust parts and other unfinished steel parts when new (Ford Oldsmobile etc). But Camry is touted as a super finished and reliable car, and I don't believe it should exhibit that type of cosmetic eyesores.

    I have had a new 2001 Mazda Millenia for 8 months now, and after reading these complaints about rust, I decided to check it for this type of problem. I can't speak for all MM's, but after 8 months there is NO sign of any rust, surface or otherwise under the hood of my car. I think it is a major oversight on the part of Toyota to overlook that type of problem. It would be enough to stop me from buying one, although it was on my short list when I bought my MM. They were also WAY to proud of Camry's pricewise.

    I have no doubt Camry is an excellent car, or I would not have test driven them. But the types of complaints I am reading here give me concern about their quality control.

    Please, no offense intended. This is just my personal thoughts on the subject.
  • ahossaahossa Posts: 152
    I'm Happy to hear they are making an effort to correct these problems.The rust that you speak of is normal.Enjoy your car.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Curious. So even though surface rust on the exhaust manifold is not a reliability, longevity or comfort issue, you still call its existence a "problem." Generally a "problem" is something that affects the function or comfort of a car. Would you say manufacturers of cast iron skillets have a "problem" because of the seasoning that happens after a few uses? Its the exact same concept.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    It is a "problem" of perceived quality. Stainless steel exhausts will not rust. That says to me that Camry does not have a stainless steel, or other high quality exhaust system.

    I have never paid close to $30000 for a skillet. Cast iron or any other type. But I have bought stainless steel skillets and knives for very little. The reason for a cast iron skillet is heat distribution around the food. The exhaust on a car needs high heat dissapation. High carbon steel does not provide that property any better than metals that will not rust.

    I don't know what other components in the Camry are showing rust, but plated and galvanized bolts would not show rust when new. I would therefore conclude that Camrys use unfinished/unplated steel components rather than pay for a better quality part.

    While some of these perceived "problems" may not shorten the life of the vehicle, a stainless steel exhaust system will definitely outlast a carbon steel one.

    To me it shows an oversight in quality control of the Camry. The $30000 full boat Camry's are far from economy cars, and I think should exhibit that in the materials used to build them.

    All that said, I realize that all cars will after awhile show some surface rust on such parts as brake components. But the brakes are constantly exposed to water and weather, not protected under the hood where humidity is probably the only moisture they will encounter.
  • greg130greg130 Posts: 4
    Cliffy1 the rust thats on a new part on a new car may or may not be considered a problem, it was described as that along with the other true problems such as the brakes and headlight at the time of my first posting and was carried on in the last posts as that.

    If you don't think it should be labeled a problem than fine. If you want to compare new parts on a new car that rusts from day one to that of a cast iron frying pan fine. To me it's all a problem that I have to deal with and that's the problem.

    OK, I just went out to the garage and popped the hood on the V6 Highlander and the front pipe gasket is different on this engine but I do see what you mean about the seasoning of a frying pan, the highlanders part is turning black but is not rusty it's black the Camry's is not like that it has rust on it.
    As far as your question what is a VSU valve it could be a VSV valve for all I know it was written down on a sheet of paper by the dealer's service manager the night I had my brakes replaced and it could be either or since I wasn't sure of the last letter he wrote down was a ' U ' or a ' V '. Either way it's in the back right hand side on top of the engine if your looking at the engine.
  • hallagehallage Posts: 24
    We rented a cloth-seat Camry LE for a day and the seat bottom seemed hard. Will the leather seats be any softer? Any other comments on driver's seat comfort. I know George00 hates his seat.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...but waited, and now I see Steve Clifford [aka Cliffy] is taking a lot of heat, so let me say once again that there are untreated, unpainted surfaces on exhaust and other engine parts that are going to oxidize and look rusty. It is indeed only on the surface, and does not affect function, but if you are absolutely determined to believe otherwise, then it is definitely a "problem" and that's that.

    All of our cars, including Mercedes, BMWs, Toyotas, and Hondas, have such areas. The bulk of the exhaust is stainless steel, but many connectors are just iron-based pot metal, and these are going to develop a surface rust very quickly, especially if subjected to rain or a heavy car wash [high pressure spray from underneath the car]. I don't know what the dealer is going to do to satisfy this customer - I already commented that the brake rotor repair was unsatisfactory, and I see that they have agreed.

    If, at the end of the day, you have a car that runs well and feels competent on the road, and they have replaced the rotors and taken care of the headlight, I'd feel satisfied. My guess is that somebody ran this car through the car wash after the brakes had gotten hot, and this is always a no-no. Beyond that, I guess I'd move on, but that's just my opinion...
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    No pressure intended on cliffy or anyone else. They don't build the cars, only sell them. Some of us are a lot more picky about appearance than others, and are the ones who are bothered by rust. Being 60 and having owned about 20 cars I am well aware of surface rust. I am also aware there are alternative materials as well as paints that take care of that appearance problem. I bought black hi-temp spray paint and painted the muffler on my MM, so you can see how picky I am. That could also be done by Camry owners to cover the rust.

    There are also some who never even wash their cars, and to them the rust would be of no importance. Anyway, I don't want to engage in a battle about Camry's. I don't even own one. As I said, I am sure they are excellent cars, I think though they could avoid the surface rust problems if they wanted to.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I'm 57, just purchased car #48, and before this discussion, would have considered myself the most "picky" owner on the planet [e.g. no car of ours EVER gets put away for the night dirty, whether at home or on a road trip]. My endlessly patient and understanding spouse certainly thinks I'm in a class by myself, but clearly not...
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I am only that picky with my own car. I do the maintenance and PM on my wifes car, and wash it about every other week. But as far as it being put away dirty, it would be a lost battle.

    I tell her it looks like a traveling snack bar because there are always crumbs etc in it.

    As long as mine looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor, I am happy. :)
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Has anybody noticed the rear shelf vibrating with 1 inch or more of verticle motion and creating a loud booming sound when the rear windows are down , at about 45 to 60 mph on a 2002 Camry LE ? Just got this car on Wednesday and was trying things out. Quite amazing to watch in the rear view mirror.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Thats a defect. Certainly does not happen in our 02 LE, or any other vehicle we have ever had. It should be fixable under warranty On another note..... we averaged 27.6 MPG on our last tank, a good mix of city and highway, with a just a bit more highway than city. This car consistenly has returned 25MPG since we bought it, and now with about 7500miles on the odo, I'd say its well broken in, this is our best milage to date.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I don't know about the rear deck movement, but the booming sound is pretty simple. A lot of new cars do this. What you are hearing is wind buffeting. It can be cured by cracking one or more of the other windows in the car.
  • I have more of a "process" question: I'm interested in the XLE V6 with option packages 7 & 9 (VSC/traction control and the navi). According to a salesman at a New York City area dealership, Toyota isn't currently building them in that configuration and there aren't any in my area. Assuming that's true, I gather that he could either cast a wider net and try to find the car in the color I want or just order it from the factory. In either case, is it typical to negotiate the final price and put some deposit down ($500? more/less) and when the car arrives, check it out and pay the balance/discuss financing? I would probably want to ensure that the deposit would be returned if the car doesn't show up within a reasonable time.

    Thanks for helping this rookie--the board has been a valuable resource.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    You've got the right idea. It is fairly normal to take a deposit on an order. Generally, the deposit is refundable if the car does not arrive in a specified time-frame or if it comes without the equipment you requested. On a car like the Camry that is domestically built, figure 4 to 6 weeks to get it.
  • Thanks very much for your response, Cliffy. I assume that I would talk to the F&I guy when the car comes in from the factory--the 7/75 Platinum extended warranty is listed on the Toyota site at $1150--do you have a sense of what a fair target price should be? Thanks again.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Figure $875 as a pretty good deal. You might get a few more buck off, but that is a decent number as long as it is the genuine Platinum warranty with $0 deductible.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    The difference between the 02 Camry and any other car I now have or had in the last few years is that the Camry rear windows go all the way down. When I put the front window down on a moderate day, I also put the same side rear down about halfway to eliminate most of the buffeting at the front window, I expected the rear to stop about 2/3 way down. Having the rears go all the way down is a plus for the Camry. It doesn't matter if the fronts are cracked open or not , the booming is severe. Try at 70mph for the full effect. Anyway this situation is easy to avoid ,once known , and is just an observation on my part. This car is more than meeting my expectations.
  • logitech1logitech1 Posts: 32
    Hi, my friend is about to buy a 95 camry V6 LE. do you guys know if there is any bad stories about this model? or anything I should pay more attention to? the car is 200K kilometer (or 125000 miles) now. I am in Canada. Thanks
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Is it EVEN possible for me to be able to get a Camry LE I4 or SE I4 with pkg. 3 and manual transmission? I have looked at the local dealership's website in my area, and it's not even possible for them to order me a SE I4 with Manual transmission, and it's suppose to be the SPORTY MODEL? I live in South Carolina btw. I am, however, able to order a Camry LE with manual transmission, but I cannot get Pkg. 3. Am I just not able to get the Camry SE with Pkg. 3, ABS, side airbags, guards, and visor with manual transmission, or can I go out of the region and order one? I know mudguards are only sold in my region.
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