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Toyota Camry Basic Maintenance Questions



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited November 2010
    Without looking it up in the manual, the typical setup is there is a spring loaded belt tensioner, In order to unload the tension on the tensioner, you put a tool into it. I've had vehicles that you use a large pry bar screwdriver, a 3/8" or 1/2" shank socket pry bar, and I've had vehicles with a socket head (like a 5/8 or 3/4".

    You connect the applicable tool to the tensioner, and with the power leverage put pressure in the direction which will unload the tension. The belt will begin to get loose, and with your 2nd hand take the belt off one of the pulleys so when you gently let the tensioner back is moves back easily. Don't let it snap back.

    Take the old belt off, pay attention as to the routing of the belt around the different pulleys. Typically there is a graphic under the hood on all vehicles, which shows you how the belt is supposed to route.

    It can be tight working the belt into the correct position. Depending upon how the belt is routed on any vehicle, you may have to unbolt an engine support bar. Other vehicles you also take out an access panel behind the front right wheel.

    Work the new belt into the proper position to all but one of the pulleys, put tension back on the tensioner so you can get the belt into final position, and ease up on the tool again so that the tensioner is riding on the belt correctly. You also want to make sure the belt sits on all of the pulleys correctly. You don't want it to be off a groove, or your belt won't last long.

    Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, model, make, year, and engine.....this can be a 10 minute job, or more than an hour.

    It can be common to have a bad tensioner, either the pulley on the tensioner is bad, or the spring is bad. If this is the case, then while you have the belt off, you unbolt the whole tensioner assembly off the side of the engine and replace it with a new one, then put a new belt on as described above.

    Good luck.

    Just found a general ehow, watch this:

    belt off

    belt on

    Actually, there are a whole series of these, dealing w/serpentine belt and pulleys.
  • Ooopps! I just broke off the two inner hinges of my air filter housing due to the fact that I bought the wrong size (barely too large) filter. I put the old filter back in and secured the two bolts and ran the engine for a few minutes with some revving here and there and the engine sounded fine. Has anyone else broken the hinges and if so, have you had good luck with maintaining a consistent vacuum/seal just using the two bolts??
  • haven't seen anything on replacing fuel filter nor the pcv? have 05 v6 le 38k, and 04 highlander v6 48k has anyone had these done?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I wouldn't chance it; I recommend buying a replacement upper housing (the part with the hinges).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Neither require regular service. From what I understand, the fuel filter is inside the fuel tank.
  • dano51dano51 Posts: 10
    2006 Camry xle 6cyl what is service recomended at this point .I like to prevent serious things from happening.When should I consider changing timing belt. I am sorry I have 40,000 on it now have done nothing but oil and filter
    Thanks Dano
  • On my 2004 Camry 4-cyl LE there is a strut on the top passenger side that keeps the engine stable. It has many names including 'dogbone' (which it looks like) and 'torque motion control arm'. It has hard rubber bushings at each end, which get brittle over the years and disintegrate, as mine have done. Replacing this 90-buck part should task about ten minutes. Anybody have any difficulties with this operation? Like lining up the bolts once you've put the new dogbone in place? I hate to pay a mechanic for such a simple operation but will if any of you have run into trouble.
  • you didnt mention how many miles were on your car....I have a 2000 camry w/200k on it and never replaced the motor mounts...those are designed for the life of the car unless involved in an accident to which they break away from the motor to prevent occupant injury...if you have some sort of may be a different issue. The part is inexpensive...but a pain if you don't have the equiptment to replace it
  • Hi camryguy3,

    My 2004 Camry 4-cyl has just under 93k on it. The hard rubber bushing in the dogbone is definitely broken--you can see it from the side. Result: not a lot of vibration but a definite thud sometimes when the car is started. I had this issue on a 1986 Buick Century and changed this arm twice during my 14-yeqr ownership of that car. When you talk of special equipment you must be thinking of the lower engine mounts. Changing the dogbone is a very simple operation, involving a rachet wrench period (I hope). I'll do it tomorrow and tell you how it turns out. To change the lower mounts you need to raiser the engine a tad bit and I don't really want to get into that.

    I still would like to hear from folks who have done this, especially if anyone ran into complications.

  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    I don't own the car but I do pay the bills. in fact I first saw the car when it was backed off the covered car transport from Indianapolis..It had 68k miles and was in great shape just like it's owner..Some 4 yrs later the mileage is at 83k, and I took it over to your Toy dealer to have the oil changed yesterday, special deal, and after 8 mos it probably needed it.

    First of all, this is Venice, Fla, home of the "graying of America", and that makes us prime targets for the service dept..Oil change only, okay, don't field strip the car looking for problems. Been there before and here it comes..Reseal valve cover Gasket-$155, Replace drive belt $135, and Replace leaking water pump and coolant $480..My responce, Change the oil and quit fiddling with trying to bankrupt me..

    Belt is okay, no leaking oil gasket and no water leak..all 3 cars in the garage leak nothing.. except a/c condensation..
  • int64int64 Posts: 16
    Hi People,
    I just bought this car(2002 CAmry, v6). It has 49,600 miles on it.
    The car has some breaking issues. when i bought the car I took it to MIDAS for inspection.According to them the rear brake rotors have some problem and needs to be replaced (may be rear brake pads too). The cost will be around $300. I have been looking at some stuff online to check it, and looks like its not a big deal to change rotors.

    I want to give it a try myself. as the Machenic will charge me too much. Is there anyway you guys can help me? I want to know what kind of tools and what size of tools I will need to change Rear Rotors, How to know If i really need to change rear rotors and brake pads? and if possible please share some vedio article about how to do it, And which brand should i use for as rotors and pads? Also, Pleas suggest some Repair shop in Dublin Ohio, If possible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well first off I wouldn't necessarily take Midas' word for it. They are franchisees and some of them are not as trustworthy as we might like them to be.

    Rotors can be measured for wear and run-out and pads can be measured in MMeters for wear and projected mileage. If nobody showed you these things then you don't have to take their word for anything.


  • smenchersmencher Posts: 1
    Hey just wanted to see if you replaced the dogbone.. Was it easy or do I need to prop up the motor?
  • hello i wanted to know do you have to support the motor to replace the dogbone mount on a 2004 camry 4cly. or is it easy as removing the 2 bolts and swoping out the old to the new.
  • henrylhenryl Posts: 15
    I have a 96 Camry and recently overheated and after I relaced the radiator and fluid I am now getting a P0300 Code I have replaced the spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor and still not working/ Any help?
  • zillahzillah Posts: 7
    1.) First of all, I bought this 2001 Camry used because I researched that it was an "award winning" car. I don't know who in their right mind would give this car an award other than a Raspberry. It's awful on so many levels. First one being gas mileage. My average commutes are 40-50 miles and I only get 1.5 trips out a large full tank. This car is bleeding me dry.

    2.) The check engine light came on so I did my usual bit: tried filling it up at a different station and made sure the gas cap clicked into place. A couple times it would go off but then back on and been on ever since.

    3.) Last night this POS damn near killed me in one of the craphole murder capitals of New Jersey. I was turning through an intersection and it started to buck and the front wheels wouldn't move correctly. I managed to not get hit by an oncoming SUV and chug over to the gutter. The TRAC OFF light came on. I tried the simplest thing: hitting the TRAC button. Nope. Nothing. Light still on.

    Any ideas on any of these problems?

    I cannot wait until the day when I can afford to switch back to Mazda or Hyundai.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    When did you buy this used? How many miles? Do you for sure know the real history?

    Fact is, Toyota builds a more reliable car than Mazda or Hyundai, per CR, True Delta, JD Power, etc. etc.

    Sorry about your luck, but you can't judge a whole company by one used car.
  • I have had the tiny pickup coils in the distributer unit short out, and to hard to pin point which one or wire, and so to fix you have to replace the whole distributor unit, its easy to do, and can buy at auto zone or advance auto parts for about $150.00 with lifetime warranty,
  • I have these toyotas and they are good, you are just having bad luck, you need to get your camry to a shop to to run test to figure out whats wrong, theres camrrys get approx 28 MPG in the 4 cyl and 24 MPG in the V-6. and was your car abused before by the previous owner ? After 30 years of owning cars I will own nothing but Toyotas or Hondas, so get it fixed and hang in there.
  • jnibasanjnibasan Posts: 3

    Is anyone familiar on how many air fuel ratio sensor does '99 Solara have?


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