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2007 Toyota Camry Problems and Repairs



  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 257
    5566 Re: Stuck in Park [chuck28] by zaken1 Jan 23, 2011 (9:14 pm)
    Replying to: chuck28 (Jan 22, 2011 9:43 pm)

    I also wanted to suggest that this motor runs considerably better and more economically on premium fuel. There is a device called a detonation sensor on this motor; which automatically adjusts the ignition timing for the maximum possible spark advance without pinging. When regular gas is used; the sensor retards the timing, which stops the pinging, but also reduces the power, economy, and responsiveness. Camry owners tend to be practical people; which unfortunately often means being reluctant to spend money on premium fuel. But those owners who are knowledgable and performance oriented have found that premium makes it run much, much better. Sometimes a major brand like Shell, Chevron, Texaco, or Sunoco will further enhance the running over cheap fuel.

    You also might find that cleaning the fuel injection throttle body and adding a bottlefull of Chevron Techron fuel system and combustion chamber cleaner to the fuel tank just prior to filling it up will clear up running problems which have seemed inherent in this model. It often takes 50-75 miles of driving for this unique formula to take effect; so please don't settle on other brands of cleaner. This one is really different. (Available at Chevron gas stations, Wal Mart, Auto Zone, Checker, Shucks, Murray, Kragen, and O'Reilly Auto Parts.)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    With the advent of EFI and wideband knock/ping sensors (~'01) came the ability to adjust, enrich, the A/F mixture if a knock/ping event was detected PRIOR to the ignition spark.

    No harm is done to these high compression engines due to fueling with regular, just a slight derating, ~5%, of top end HP/torque.
  • mfhornmfhorn Posts: 3
    I started to add some antifreeze to the reservoir today, and noticed that I had the 'green' antifreeze that I was adding, but that what was in the reservoir was kind of a pinkish color. Is that going to cause any problems?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    Not good - you should not mix them. ONLY use the long life Toyota pink.
  • mfhornmfhorn Posts: 3
    edited March 2012
    There's maybe 2 cups or so of the green in there. Should I get it flushed out at the dealer?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    If you just added to the overflow container, just pull it out, and replace with long life pink. If I recall, it is pretty easy to remove the container, or you could even use a baster to suck it out.

    Do you see any pink residue below the water pump, or any splash up onto the bottom of the hood (the noise dampening black cover attached on the inside of the hood)? Just wondering why you are having to add coolant. Sometimes, it is normal evaporation, but could be a water pump leak?
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 257
    I have changed my bank 1 sensor1 and bank 1 sensor 2 sensors. one upstrem and 1 downstream of the catylist converter. check engine lights gone until 100 miles later check engine light came back on. THe car is also smelling like rotten eggs that seem to point to a catylist converter problem. I'm wondering if I need to replace the converter and will toyota confirm its the problem even though the codes are saying sensor which have been replaced by my mechanic.
  • mfhornmfhorn Posts: 3
    The coolant level in the overflow was on the low side was all. My brother in law (mechanic) has worked on the car since my wife got it. I recently inherited it from her & just noticed the level was down a bit. He hadn't mentioned anything about water pump leaks last time he checked it, back in the fall.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you read the shop repair diagnostic manual section you will note that it does NOT say the downstream sensor is defective, only that the sensor output readings are out of range.

    Since the sensor is less expensive, a lot less expensive, to replace I would also go there first. Non-California compliant catalyst are available (Ebay) pretty inexpensively.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 257
    Went to Toyota today to have then check out my sensor problem. I was hoping they would change out the catylic converter as it has been smelling like rotten eggs. The codes have been 2195 and 138 sensors. They want to charge me $1700 to apply the TSB 0114-08 which means they swap out the sensors and exhaust manifold. They said my Denso sensors which I bought from Rock Auto and installed by my mechanic were after market and they do not work in my car.

    I called Denso and Rock auto and they said I have the same sensor that was Original Equip for my car and many times dealerships say that because there is another problem maybe the Cat. or Ecu or electrical and they don't take the time to look for the real problem.

    If anyone has any insight on these sensor let me know. I'm considering selling the car as I'm not prepared to give Toyota that kind of money. This is a 2007 v-6 with 59,000 miles on it. Shouldn't have to be paying for the repair when Toyota has a design problem with there manifold. They new about the flaw while my car was under the 3year 36,000 warranty but of course if your check engine light comes on after the warranty period they won't warranty it. Bad bussiness!!!!

    Need help! chuck
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited March 2012
    These codes are defined as P2195 TOYOTA - Oxygen Air/Fuel Sensor Signal Stuck Lean Bank 1 Sensor 1, and P0138 - Rear Heated Oxygen Sensor is producing excessively High Voltage.

    The two codes are caused by the same problem. The problem is created by a leaking exhaust manifold gasket, or a cracked exhaust manifold; which allows air to leak into the exhaust system. When the oxygen sensors detect excessive air in the exhaust system; they send a "lean mixture" signal to the computer; which responds by richening the fuel mixture. The rich mixture causes a "rotten egg" smell in the exhaust. IT IS NOT CAUSED BY A DEFECTIVE CONVERTER, AND REPLACING THE CONVERTER WILL NOT CLEAR THIS PROBLEM. IT IS ALSO NOT CAUSED BY A BAD OR UNSUITABLE SENSOR.

    Toyota redesigned the exhaust manifold to be less prone to leaks; which will solve this problem. They also had to redesign the air - fuel ratio sensor to work properly with the new manifold design.

    If you do not want to spend the cost of a new exhaust manifold; you can address this by buying a used manifold from an auto wrecker or EBay.

    If you do not want to buy a used exhaust manifold; you can have an independent mechanic or a qualified muffler shop thoroughly inspect the exhaust manifold on that bank and determine whether it is cracked.

    If the exhaust manifold is not cracked; it does not have to be replaced. In that case; all that would have to be done to restore the car to its original condition is to install a new exhaust manifold gasket, and properly torque the exhaust manifold mounting bolts. The leak can then be expected to remain sealed for another 50,000 or so miles, and then repeat itself. But if the exhaust manifold mounting bolts are found to be loose; and the exhaust manifold gasket is not damaged; the problem may be able to be corrected by simply tightening the manifold bolts; and having them retightened every 3 years.

    If the exhaust manifold is cracked; it would have to be repaired by welding up the cracked area. This procedure can sometimes distort the manifold, and make it difficult to seal properly upon re-installation. For that reason; I would recommend replacing the exhaust manifold with either another used one that is identical to yours; or with a used revised design from a newer vehicle.

    This type of flaw is not uncommon. It is certainly not justification for replacing the vehicle. Many, many vehicles have one or more components updated by the manufacturer during the first few years after their introduction. Those people who experience the flaw during the warranty period have the upgrade applied at no cost. Those people whose part does not malfunction until after the warranty period usually have to pay for the upgrade.

    The bottom line here is that Toyota is charging an outrageously inflated price for the part; and for their labor to install it. This kind of theft is a cash cow for dealerships; which is supported by sheepish owners who feel obligated to have the dealership perform all service procedures. It is becoming more and more common in the industry. But neither you, nor any other owner who learns the facts behind the situation, needs to submit to such thievery. If your car does not have a California specification emissions system; Rock Auto sells a brand new bank 1 exhaust manifold and integrated catalytic converter, under Dorman part #674847, for $387.79 plus shipping. This is the new design part.

    If your car does have California emissions; you'd have to buy a used part, as described above.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 257
    Zaken, Thank you very much. You are the only one i can coun't on to get the truth from. I will have my mechanic check for leaks.

    You have given me some hope, chuck
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    If you think zaken1 is good here, you should check out his rock-star performance in our answers section. He is a real asset to our community and members here!

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  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Gee, and I've never even communicated directly with Kirstie. Thank you both for the kind words. They came at a very opportune time; because I had just lost my cool with a new poster in the answers section; who appeared like he was determined to break every rule in the book, at a time when Stever was away on a road trip. It had really pushed my buttons, and I was feeling like quitting the whole show.

    When Karen straightened me out about what I didn't realize about this guy; I felt sheepish. So it was just the time for some warm fuzzies. NOBODY'S PERFECT HERE
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    Nope, nobody is. I've been saved several times by the ability to delete my own posts... or the unusual moment of self control when I just walk away for awhile. We just appreciate the effort, even if sometimes it is imperfect!

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  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 257
    Hi Zaken, according to the TSB 0114-08 under required equipment there is a note that statesm: Software version3.01.000 or later is required. supplier ADE part # TSPKG1.
    DO you know what this is? Is it a reflash of the ECU? If so does it need to be done by a dealership?

    I was also wondering about your opiniomn on airtex/wells sensors? I noticed they are a lot more money. Wondering why?

    I am thankful for all your help, chuck
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited March 2012
    Hi Chuck;

    The software version referred to in that TSB is for the operating system in the dealership scan tool which is used to check for codes. It is not a reflash of the computer.

    Airtex/Wells is trying hard to create an image of producing superior parts. Some of their stuff is indeed better than the competition; while others are not. Their prices are more often set by marketing people than being a reflection of their manufacturing costs.

    In the oxygen and AFR sensors listed for your car; Airtex comes in at the higher end of the price range; but NTK (part of the NGK spark plug company) is higher than they are on AFR (front) sensors. However; Airtex is the most expensive supplier of downstream sensors.

    I really can't say whether their sensors are all that much better. I haven't had direct experience with that.

    But I would like to further clarify the relevance of component quality (and sensors in general) with the problems you've been having. And the answer is ZILCH.

    The codes you've experienced have NOTHING to do with the sensors on your car!!! Sure; the code definitions include the words "sensor is stuck in lean mode"; but this does not mean that a part or circuit in the sensor is physically stuck or malfunctioning. All it means is that the sensor is continually generating a signal that the mixture is too lean; when it usually would be varying from lean to rich. The word "stuck" is inappropriately chosen here (which is not uncommon for automotive publications that are written by semi literate people)

    The sensor is basically a passive device, like a thermometer; which simply registers the percentage of oxygen in the exhaust gasses. If, for example, the fuel filter became plugged, and the engine became starved for fuel; the same class of code would be generated by the computer. But just because the sensor constantly reported that the mixture was lean would not, in that situation, mean that the sensor was defective. It simply means that the mixture is too lean and is not changing. It then is up to the diagnostician to determine why the mixture is lean and whether the cause has anything to do with the sensor's integrity or accuracy. If a vacuum hose or PCV hose broke or became disconnected; it would also lead to this same sort of code. So would an EGR valve that did become physically stuck open. And so would a cracked exhaust manifold, or loose exhaust manifold mounting bolts. And the oxygen or AFR sensor would be reporting the absolute truth in those instances.

    Toyota has a 30 year history of building exhaust manifolds which crack or leak over time; and they still don't seem to have learned how to overcome this issue. The difference is that they didn't always redesign their mistakes in the 1970s; but now they are a lot more concerned about their public image.

    Toyota's fix for this problem is to replace the cracked or leaking exhaust manifold with a part that has been redesigned to not crack or leak, and to install an AFR sensor which was made to work in the new manifold design. However; if an undamaged original design exhaust manifold was used to replace the cracked one, and your existing AFR sensor was transferred to the replacement manifold; the results would be identical to the official fix (until the manifold cracked or began leaking in a few years).

    Many cars have misleading sounding trouble codes. My Geo Metro's computer will throw an "EGR system" code; if the ignition timing is incorrect; or if the fuel mixture is too lean. I used to beat my head against the wall trying to find the fault in the EGR system when I saw that code; until I eventually learned that codes are crude approximations of the possible reasons why sensors report what they do. This is why computer codes cannot be taken literally; and why a broad perspective of how an engine functions and how the various systems interact is indispensable for troubleshooting computer codes.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    "...learned that codes are crude approximations..."


    Factory engineers put a lot of effort in creating a diagnostic flow chart for each "foreseeable" code condition that might arise. If you follow that chart upon having the system generate a fault code, or codes, my educated guess would be that more than 70% of the time the chart will take you directly to the cause of the fault.

    Are there exceptions, certainly.

    For over 10 years my '01 RX300 has had a "habit" of generating a "bank 1, sensor 1, fault code". Back many years ago, ~10, probably when it first happened, I went to Lexus and purchased a new oxygen sensor.

    Before I found time to install the sensor the fault cleared of itself and I put the new sensor away in the spare tire well. It has remained there until just last week.

    Over the interim years the RX has "thrown" that very same code at least 3-4 times. Each time, due to the first experience, I would wait for a period of time to see if the fault would clear, which it did.

    About a year ago I purchased a "generic" oxygen sensor to replace one of the downstream sensors in our '95 LS400. To assure myself that I would be connecting the 4 wires of the generic sensor correctly I heated the sensor on an electric range in order to find the proper connection polarity. The 2 wires for the sensor resistance heater was very easy to isolate.

    So having assured myself that the connection directions that came with the sensor were correct I installed the new sensor.....Oh PISS, I had the same fault code......

    Bad sensor?

    Within a few days I took the sensor I removed, heated it the same way to assure myself of the proper installation polarity of the new sensor. Strange....the "failed" sensor, except for having a higher heater resistance, 16 ohms vs 12 for the generic, seemed to produce an output voltage that equaled the new one when/while HOT and exposed to atmospheric oxygen.

    In the meantime the '95 LS400 sensor fault cleared of itself....


    Had I somehow compromised the sensor element by exposing it to atmospheric oxygen while heating it...??

    It was about this same time that I ran across a post, LS400 oxygen sensor code, wherein a cracked exhaust pipe nearby the sensor had resulted in a sensor fault, seemingly.

    Apparently the crack was allowing atmospheric oxygen to reach the sensor element while it remained HOT even after the engine was switched off. Fix the crack, the sensor stopped "throwing" codes...

    Does this begin to sound altogether too familier...?

    But how could this be happening in my RX without a crack in the pipe, etc.

    Oh....In my '01 RX300 when VSC/Trac activates the engine MUST be dethrottled. Since the throttle plate is HARD attached to the gas pedal the only way the dethrottling can be accomplished is via EFI engine fuel starvation.

    TC activates, throttle OPEN, NO FUEL, HOT sensor, sensor exposed to atmospheric oxygen....

    Do my RX300 oxygen sensor failure code events correlate to VSC/TC activation..?

    Yes, YES.

    Conclusion: Exposing the oxygen sensor element to a high oxygen atmospheric content while it remains heated, HOT, seems, appears, to modify the sensor characteristics for some extended period of time.

    Last week I heated, on the electric range, the NEW oxygen sensor that had remained in my RX300 trunk for the past 10 years and installed it. It took 3 days (daily driver) to clear the resulting oxygen sensor FAULT.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 257
    Just wondering, could the RX3OO have had a cracked pipe or manifold gasket leak that was not detected during this period?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    Might have been but since the new sensor seems to have fixed it for the moment..only time will tell.

    Plus which my memory seems to be that each past failure was the result of an extended VSC/TC activation.

    Additionally the periods between those failures have been measured in years. So it seems to me that a cracked or leaking exhaust manifold/pipe would have resulted in failures a lot more often.
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