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Toyota Camry Basic Maintenance Questions



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    That makes no sense. The water vapor collected in an engine is burned off immediately--it doesn't "go into the engine".....or if your engine runs very cold (like marine engines) it combines with oil to form sludge. And besides all that, this white tank would look like the bottom of a cesspool in about 2 weeks if it was collecting water and oil vapor. And besides that, it would defeat the PCV system, which is designed to re-burn crankcase vapors.

    But I'm curious, too, as to what it is. Could be vacuum reservoir?


  • I looked at the white jug again this afternoon and I'm not sure what its purpose is.
    I traced the air intake from the top of the grille where it decends at a 90' angle about 12" straight down into a U shape where it then rises 90' and connects to the filter box. At the very bottom of the U there is a female flange on the under side of the intake that fits into a male flange on the side of the white jug. I could see no other lines or any type of drain plug on the base of that jug. It is located directly under the battery on the driver's side. It's either is a water collection bottle or some type of a vacuum bottle.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    My Camrys both have this bottle. With no drain visible, it can't serve as a water collector. Could it be a resonator for the air intake? (Seems too large for this purpose.) I've never really given it much thought because it's largely hidden below the battery.
  • Okay. we have good mystery on our hands. We all agree it's THERE. Now what exactly does ir DO? The air intake pipe is connected to it. Water? Sound?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Allright, so after seeing a number of posts on this mystery bottle, I decide to go out and actually look at my 2007 LE 4 cylinder to see what you guys are talking about.

    The plot thickens.......I have no mystery bottle under the battery. For that matter, I have no unexplained plastic mystery containers anywhere.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Aha, the MIB got to your bottle! :P


  • I'm the guy who raised the question...

    I have a California edition of the 2004 Camry LE 4 cyl. Could the white tank be a California add-on to the antipollution system?

    The tank in question is large, larger than the coolant recovery tank and seemingly made out of the same material but hidden away under the battery. I owned the car for years before paying any attention to it. There doesn't appear to be any liquid in it. If you have access to a Haynes book, it shows up in the photo of the engine compartment. But without further explanation.
  • Again, I'm the guy that started the ruckus over the white tank under the battery in my 2004 4 cyl Camry LE.

    Moving on... I'll join the eternal fray over when to change your automatic tranny fluid (ATF). Possibly never. And the authority for this is Toyota itself. On my tranny dipstick, at the top, there is a little message printed:

    "Notice: No need to replace ATF under normal driving condition. See Owner's Manual when replacing."

    Perfectly muddy. It's like sin. Don't do it, but if you do, follow the instructions.

    Now every dealer on earth will tell you that you live and drive in a not-normal environment. If you live in San Diego, like I do, they will say 'the heat, the heat...' If you live in Fargo, like I definitely don't, they will say 'the cold, the cold...' And so it goes: heat, cold, rain, dust, multiple marriages, etc. Nobody lives under normal driving conditions according to the service writers. One dealer convinced me to drain and refill (this process leaves some fluid in the works) at 15k. Then I read the dipstick. That was the last I've done and now I have 72k. Am I headed for transmission perdition? Perhaps. Toyota leaves us gently hanging in the wind on this one. I think perhaps it will be responsible to drain and refill every 60 or 70k. In other words, 'never' to me means about 60k.

    No matter where you get this done (ATF change, not sin) make sure they put Toyota Genuine ATF Type T-IV fluid back into it--that's what Toyota meant by reading the manual.

    Bigger issue: it seems there are all kinds of things you have to do every once in a while even when they don't tell you to. For example, I routinely hold on to a car for 10 to 15 years, 170 to 200k. Every 5-6 years I change out all the rubber hoses and belts because rubber ages badly and if you don't replace it, a hose will pop at 3 am when you're 47 miles from the next service area...

    So what do you change on your own initiative?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    So what do you change on your own initiative?

    Brake fluid. It absorbs moisture, so it should be changed periodically (at a minimum every 5 years or 50K miles).

    My Camrys (2004 and 2005) are not California models, and they still have the mystery bottle.
  • Looking at the bottle again this afternoon, it appears to be related to moisture control. Why else would the the intake tube be bent into such a large U and the connection at the bottom of that U? Its purpose looks to be drainage related but I can't find out a thing about it on line.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    condensation in the intake tube perhaps? Although that's odd because moist air in the intake will generally make the car run better.


  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Must be the low pressure nitro
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Oh yeah, that big red button on the dash. Missed that!


  • So does anybody know what the mystery bottle is or its function?
  • And again I'm the one who first raised the question.

    I stopped at a Toyota service department today just to ask. The service writer explained that it baffles sound from the air intake. 210delray, is that what you meant by 'resonator'? It has nothing to do with moisture, just air (sound). Last month I got a similar but vaguer answer from another service writer, who also noted that there are other sound bafflers in the engine compartment. There is a black triangular small box beside the mass airflow sensor (MAS) up between the air filter housing and the engine on fourbangers. This is called a resonator.

    Google 'Toyota Camry air intake baffle' and you will see that there may have been an engine noise problem on some 2003 Camrys.

    My next step to close on this matter will be to stop at a parts desk and have the guy look it up in Toyota's database.

    Stay tuned.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    That does make more sense than a "water trap for the oil", now doesn't it? :P


  • I think I solved the mystery bottle questions or have a good theory to help contribute here.

    I went back to the original post #517 well really its post #466and #477. This got me reading post #511and 512. Now stay with me here, post #511 and #512 sounds like the lady is probably from Guam. And they have a lot of moisture in that part of the world, I think. And she's sounds like she has the same problem as my Camry.

    My Camry is running like crap too. Has been since I got a good deal for it when I saw it for sale all shinning and new looking along the side of the road The seller just said it just got painted and is a excellent car but hated to sell it . Well I'm getting off track here but long story short it missing those hoses that are mentioned in post #520. the ones that collect moisture.

    Now I live in a desert but I thinking if the dealer is right in post#511, because its seems he knows the car best, Hell he made it.Or at least when theres nothing wrong with the car and needs useless service. And this collector mystery bottle is not on mine well the bottle is but the hoses are missing, like in post#.520 and so on... Then this is probably contributing to our problem. Me and Guam lady.

    I know your about to say the "Desert Cars" don't need them parts, but here at night it gets cold and if you ever had boy scout training like me, you know at night to survive in the desert, you dig a small hole or rather during the day, and cover it. Then at night all that condensation builds up in that hole, or as in this case the engine compartment, if the hood is not left open from working on the car the day before. Then you got moisture. Just like the dealer guy said in post #517.

    Anyhow I hope this helps cause I got a lot of rubber hoses that go nowhere and I think I finally figured out why. Thanks for the input.from all other post I haven't had time or space to mention here.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Yes, that is what I meant by "resonator." These are also used in some exhaust systems besides mufflers (they look like small mufflers), and the purpose is the same: to reduce noise.
  • tracedog67tracedog67 Posts: 2

    i have lost the one key to my company car, a 2004 camry. The dealer wants $310 to replace the key set and the computer, do I have any other choice in this matter?

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I assume the key you lost, is the key with integrated security chip, and remote door opener keyfob. When you buy a replacement, it has to be cut, then configured with the car computers for both the security feature and the door opening feature.

    You can get a key that only has the security chip in it without the door keyfob, which would be cheaper.
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