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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • lma52lma52 Posts: 1
    I've done numerous tuneups on many cars for the past 35 years. When tightening a spark plug, torque is not as important as properly seating the metal gasket against leaks. Most plug mfrs. recommend about 1 to 1-1/4 past hand tight (zero clearance, or when the gasket first touches the metal seat). If you tighten 15-22 ft-lb per Denso it should be fine. You can check this by tightening with one hand while standing normally without bearing down on the socket wrench, you shouldn't need to do more than this. I would also use anti-seize (small amount enough to lightly and evenly coat the threads) as it will be easy to remove the plug later. The anti-seize should not affect the torque.
  • Just bought a used 2003 Camry last night. The car didn't come with an Owners Manual and I have a couple of questions regarding the headlight and DRL operation. I'm sure this car has the Auto headlight feature but I can't seem to figure out how to enable it. The control stick on the left side of the steering wheel has several different settings that you can select. There's DRL, DRL Off, Lights and maybe another. When I select DRL and it is dark, only the running lights come on. If I select Lights and it's dark, the lights come on but so not shut off when I shut off the car. Can anyone tell me how these things work? I traded in a Pontiac that had this feature and I don't believe I ever changed the setting - thanks
  • If you have the auto headlights, all the way forward should be auto headlights with DRL (DRL all the time, and headlights when it is dark enough). The lights will turn off after a few minutes (I think 5) after you have gotten out and locked your car.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    "When tightening a spark plug, torque is not as important as properly seating the metal gasket against leaks"

    Unless it's a tapered seat plug.

    "Most plug mfrs. recommend about 1 to 1-1/4 past hand tight (zero clearance, or when the gasket first touches the metal seat)."

    Which would guarantee the plug would snap or pull the threads out of the cylinder head.

    "I would also use anti-seize (small amount enough to lightly and evenly coat the threads) as it will be easy to remove the plug later."

    Most vehicle manufacturers specifiy no coatings on plug threads because it can adversely affect the heat transfer characteristics of the plug, causing it to run hot and promote pre-ignition. Most times a stuck plug isn't caused by thread bind, it's caused by carbon buildup on the end of the plug threads protruding into the combustion chamber. A dose of combustion chamber deposit cleaner such as GM Top Engine Cleaner takes care of it. Weekend warriors and hacks like to use anti-sieze on the threads based on the mistaken assumption that it'll make removal easer later on.

    Here's a quote from the '99 GM G Platform manual:

    UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED, do not use supplemental coatings (paints, greases, or corrosion inhibitors) on threaded fasteners or components, or fastener joint interfaces. Generally, such coatings adversely affect the fastener or component torque and clamping force, and may damage the fastener/component.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I agree totally with alcan on not using anti-seize on spark plugs.

    Toyota's own spec for the spark plug torque (I had a '97 Camry 4-cylinder) was 13 ft-lbs. Obviously, if you go with the lower end of the Denso recommendation (15 ft-lbs.), it won't be much different.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Yikes! This is the first time I've heard this happen with the newly designed 4-cylinder, which was first used on the 2002 models. Alcan is right -- it's the valve stem seals.

    I had the problem happen twice on my '97 Camry, the first time at 57K miles (repaired under warranty) and again at 102K miles (did not repair, sold with disclosure on eBay at 111K miles).

    Oil in the top of the engine (under the valve cover) seeps down through the worn, hardened valve stem seals into the cylinders overnight. When you start the car in the morning, the oil is burned, resulting in the blue cloud.

    If your car is out of warranty (5 years / 60K miles), isn't noticeably consuming oil, and doesn't smoke at other times, I wouldn't worry about it. I don't think you'll have a problem with emissions testing at this point (if you have such testing).

    And I thought Toyota had solved this problem with the new engine!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    If your car doesn't have auto headlights (I think only the XLE model had them that year), then the 4 switch positions are as follows:

    DRL off: no lights at all (not recommended)
    DRL: only the daytime running lights are illuminated when engine running and parking brake off. The DRLs are the high beams operating at a lower intensity.
    Parking lights: DRLs plus parking lights and taillights are illuminated
    Headlights: Headlights plus parking lights and taillights are illuminated (DRLs are off). Normal high beams are selected by pushing lever away from you.

    If you leave the switch in the headlights-on position when you exit the car and remove the key, all lights will automatically turn off after 30 seconds (but seems forever). You should not do this if the car is to be left for more than a week (could run down the battery).
  • newbertnewbert Posts: 4
    I have a '92 Camry V6 XLE. When I'm driving and it redlines it acts like it doesn't know what to do. It starts to shift then it hesitates. If I let off the gas just a bit it will easily shift into the next gear. This is an automatic mind you.

    Anyone had a similar problem, or have any insight in what it maybe?

    Other than that I have no porblem with the car what so ever. It runs great. As long as I let off the gas just a bit before redline I can avoid the problem. It only has 105,000 on it. Please help me.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Is this a new problem, or has it always done this?

    If I may ask, why are you revving an automatic to redline?

    Seems to me the easiest solution is to do what you've been doing - ease off the gas before redline.

    Beyond that, I do not know what may be causing this problem.
  • snhoj2usnhoj2u Posts: 4
    Will, those black boxes, as you call them, are the coils. You will see 3 of them. Each coil fires a front and a rear plug on your V-6. The smaller wire you see is the trigger mechanism so that the plugs fire with the correct timing. If you remove the coil you'll find the plugs located underneath...simple, clean, and efficient.

    Be careful when you remove the plastic clips going to the rear plug wires from the coils as they break easily.
  • Dear Sir how are you I got camry V6 XLE 2000 and it got a traction control system and I think there is a problime with it becaues the the (trac off) light is on, so if you can help me with anything like example to recommend a book or manual for maintenance because I live in (Iraq-Baghdad) and we don't have a specialist people work on that we just have some regular mechanics but I dont want to take it there before your advice, am ready to replace it if I have to and I have friends and relative in US so I can ask them to send me any thing from there, I appreciated any help from u and any one like to help and thank you
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The usual cause is either an engine driveability problem, or a defect such as a wheel speed sensor. Unfortunately, diagnosing that problem will be virtually impossible without having access to a scan tool which will access any stored diagnostic trouble codes in the vehicle's onboard computers. Somebody somewhere there must be servicing newer vehicles and have access to a scan tool.
  • Having problems filling the tank with gas. Have to put gas in VERY SLOW or it backs up in the neck and shuts the pump off. Toyota service tech said (if I understood him correctly) it is some type of charcoal filter that is clogged up. The tech also said that it is very rare for this to fail. Estimated cost of repair is at least $450.00. Any info or help is appreciated.
  • Hello Everybody and Toyota Ken again!

    My Camry is only about a month old and I've got around 1200 miles on it. I noticed just the past few weeks that there has been this rattling/tapping/rubbing sounds coming from the driver's side back seat area. I am sure the noise was not there when I first drove it home. I've checked to make sure the seat is properly closed, I've moved stuff out from the trunk, I also checked the safety belt and make sure nothing's rubbing. It is the weirdest thing. Very annoying as well because once I notice it, I can't seem to hear anything else!

    Any idea why the noise is happening? Has it happen to anyone else? I'm trying to make an appointment with the dealer and I just hope they can hear it too!

    Thank you for any insights!
  • clockerclocker Posts: 8
    When I turn my steering wheel sharply in my 2003 Camry LE, I sometimes here a grinding sound. I think it's more pronounced the faster I turn the wheel. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a TSB out on this? What fix did you use? My car has 45,000 miles on it, so I doubt my dealer will cover this under warranty. Over a year ago, I was getting a squeal when I turned the wheel, and I think the dealer did some lubrication to fix that problem. Thanks.
  • migly2migly2 Posts: 1
    Thanks for mentioning this problem. I have the same car with 30k-miles and have the same steering problem. I will appreciate to receive some advise or maybe quick-fix on this.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Be ready for some frustration when you take it to the dealer. They absolutely HATE to deal with rattles, squeaks, wind noise, or water leaks, because they are difficult to find and difficult to fix. Make sure you accompany them when they take the car out.

    Be prepared for "that's normal," "they all do that," or "I don't hear anything."

    Maybe before you see the dealer, you could try driving with the left or both rear seats flipped down to see if you still get the noise. Also, have you checked as to whether the spare tire or the board just above the spare that holds the tire changing tools is tight? At the same time, you may want to see if the jack is tight (under a small cover in the right side of the trunk). Your owner's manual explains how to tighten everything.
  • Hello! I'm about to become a new Camry owner--a used 04 XLE w/ 7500 mi on it. I test drove it and the brakes seemed squishy and soft--more so than my 96 Tarus wagon. Is there any way that this issue can be resolved (either through tune-up or replacement of something)? The car is under warranty, but I am unsure whether the car is standard brakes or ABS. Also, Consumer Reports reported that the 05 Camry received a poor crash test rating when side curtain airbags were not installed--does anybody know if this is the same for the 04 (the 04 wasn't rated), and if so, can side curtain airbags be installed post manufacturing? Your information is greatly appreciated!!
  • lazarouslazarous Posts: 28
    Our 1993 Camry's both front windows stopped working 4 years ago. Then the radio, the horn and the over head stopped as well. What could be the reason? Thanks
  • Sir thank so much for reply and if I could do scan for the onboard computer and got the error type I mean the code and send it to u do u think that will help u to know the type of problime because here in Iraq they can do that, and I already did scan for the onboard computer and after that scan the check engin light turn of and the traction system also but after day or less (check engin) light and (trac off) light appear again that's mean I got problime some where so I will go to the michanic again and let him do scane and this time I will ask him to give me the codes to send it to and thanx again for ur help
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