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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Worth a try.........??

    For those of you having hesitation problems you might try applying a (VERY) light touch with your left foot to the brake in instances where you foresee the possibility of a quick return to "acceleration" mode.

    The 2004 RX330 Lexus shop manual indicates that the transaxle will drop out of O/D the instant the brakes are applied. So just maybe it might prevent the upshifting of the transaxle during brief periods of coastdown.

    The engine/transaxle ECU firmware appears to be sensing that the driver wishes to go into cruise mode when the gas pedal is released or slightly released (coastdown..) and therefore it quickly upshifts to attain the best fuel economy.

    If instead you "apply" the brakes the ECU firmware is more likely to assume your wish is NOT to enter cruise mode but to slow the vehicle. It might therefore leave you in the current gear or maybe even downshift.
  • mmattmmatt Posts: 5
    Peter Pan,
    Thanks!! I bought a $40 Coil at AutoZone (instock) and a cap & rotor while there and it started right up!! Thank you thank you thank you! Car purrrrs like a kitten again!! This is my first Camry and my favorite body style too. I've had 6 Hondas (all very good cars) but I think this Camry is my favorite! Roomy, quite, decent performance, and good gas mileage too.
  • How do I get the radio identification number? I have the "type 3" radio in a 2006 camry se. The manual says select channel 000. How is this accomplished?
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Edmunds set a new forum for discussing this problem. Not much activity yet, but it is a good place to open and entertain this discussion.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "I recently changed the spark plugs and noticed that oil is leaking into the #1 cylinder (I noticed it for about the last 50-60,000 miles."

    I wouldn't jump the gun about re-ringing. There may be some sealing issues with the old sparkplug that came out of that cylinder - especially if it hadn't been properly torqued in the first place. The tube into which the sparkplugs are inserted are sealed from the cylinder head's oil flow by rubber O-rings. At that mileage, one or more of those O-rings may have failed. Assuming the worst, though, no ethical mechanic would install new piston rings on just one piston, nor would he/she install new valve guides and valve guide seals for just one cylinder. If it's happening on one cylinder that you can observe, it's happening on the rest, though it isn't obvious, yet. New piston rings won't seat properly against a glazed cylinder wall, either, so the cylinders would have to be re-honed at a minimum. If wear is sufficient, the cylinders would have to be re-bored oversize and new pistons and rings installed. In short, you may have a minor problem that can be solved in one afternoon in your garage, or you may have a major problem. If you have a trusted mechanic, consult him.
  • just recently my 2002 camry se was jerkying on acceleration..and the check engine light came on, i've got it diagnoise and the code was po770..shift silonoid e was the prob, but also i've check the transmission fluid and the fluid was a nice color red...the way it should be.right? but aways i've took it to the shop and they said that not only the silonoid e was bad but also the fluid was brown and black...?? so i would need a whole new could this be..ive just check it fluid before i took the car to the shop and it was fine...are they trying to rip me off in buying a new transmission? or should i just get the silonoid fix and forget about it...something sounds fishe...someone please i need advise
  • My 98 Toyota Camry sputters / hesitates when driving with constant gas at low speeds - especially around 40 mph. The car runs fine in idle, park, when coasting, when accelerating, and at higher speeds (60 or over). Dealer thought it was the spark plugs, but we got those changed and it didn't make a difference. Any ideas what could be causing sputtering like this?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I meant to reply sooner.

    I looked at my Camry's 4-cylinder engine. It occurred to me that your heat shield covering the exhaust manifold might be missing entirely. This is a thin, shiny steel plate that serves as a kind of "guard" to prevent you from touching the hot exhaust manifold. Of course, the heat shield gets hot also, but not as hot as the manifold itself.

    You mentioned seeing 4 pipes merging into one, but this is not easily discernible with the heat shield in place.

    I'd check other Camrys at the dealer to see if yours is in fact missing the shield. It should be no problem under the warranty to install one if in fact yours is missing.

    The rust on the exhaust manifold is okay -- it's just on the surface and generally won't cause any problems for the life of the car.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    You mentioned seeing 4 pipes merging into one, but this is not easily discernible with the heat shield in place.

    good point. i can't remember if you can actually see the pipes exiting the cylinders, but they converge into one, and i thought that happened in the area covered by the shield. but, this was what i remember seeing on '03s. perhaps it's changed since then?
  • Hello, just purchased a 2002 solara V6 with 25K on it. I am hearing a whining noise that appears to be coming from the rear of the vehicle. It goes up and down with speed, almost like a manual tranmission would sound in gear, but not nearly as loud. I can hear the engine and it is not that. The only other thing I could think of was a wheel bearing, but since this is coming from the rear of the car and those wheels do not move, steering to hear for a difference in sound will not help. Any ideas/similar problems?? Thanks, Jason
  • I just purchased this car (84,500 miles) and was wondering if this year and engine has the infamous Toyota oil gel/sludge problem that I've heard about. Thanks for any help.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    I'm a little suspicious of your shop's recommendation, too. "Clear cherry red" used to be the definitive observation for useable ATF. But with the advent of kevlar-based friction facings, appearance is no longer a reliable indicator. It's not at all uncommon for perfectly viable ATF to take on a dark gray or brown murky appearance in as little as 12,000 to 15,000 miles these days. Smell the fluid on the transmission fluid dipstick. If there's a characteristic petroleum odor, no problem. If the fluid smells burnt (regardless of appearance), then it's definitely time to have it drained and refilled along with a filter change for those trannies still using a serviceable ATF filter. In any case, you can enhance your trannie's life expectancy considerably by having the fluid changed out no later than every 30,000 miles - that's generally the "severe service" recommendation among all car makes. I'd be inclined to at least get a second opinion. An exchange transmission will be around $2,500.00 through a dealer if you have a rebuildable core. If your shop does the rebuild itself or acquires through an independent rebuilder, I have no idea about the pricing, and YOU have no idea of the final quality. Most independent shops don't warranty beyond a year, and many considerably less than that. Final point, your 2002 Toyota transmission uses a proprietary Toyota ATF: "T-IV". There are NO acceptable substitutes because Toyota has not released the forumula for duplication. Substitutes are just their blenders' best guess. Be particularly wary of shops which say it's OK to use Dexron ATF with a supplement that'll make it "just like Toyota's overpriced fluid". It won't. But that shortcut will get the transmission past the shop's nominal warranty period - and, next to making sure your check clears, that's all that type of repair shop cares about.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Get movin'. One or both rear wheel bearings are shot. Even if only one is going, get 'em both replaced - the other can't be far behind.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Yeah, it could be. The only reliable way to tell whether your sample is affected is to pull the cam cover and have a look-see. Black goo on the underside of the cam cover, the rockers and the head "floor" is conclusive proof of oil gelling. If it's on the head, it's in the sump and the oil galleries, too. Do you have a service history on the car? Toyota learned the hard way that 7,500 miles between oil changes is just too long. Their current recommendation for "normal service" is 5,000 miles - even for post-sludgemonster motors. If your motor is sludged up, since you're not the original owner, I don't know whether Toyota's extended warranty for this problem will be applicable. On the other hand, if everything is bright-shiny squeaky-clean (with perhaps just a bit of orange-ish varnish deposits), you lucked into a vehicle who's owner was anal about 3,000 mile oil and filter changes. Best of luck.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "....if the fluid smells burnt..."

    It occurs to me that recognition of ATF smelling burnt or not might be a "learned" thing. Having been around for more years than I like to say I'm sure I know what it smells like but I don't know of any way to relate the "smell" charactoristics in words.

    And "cherry red" is far from how I would describe Toyota's ATF color. More like transparent deep pinkish.
  • That is what I thought it was, but since I never had rear ones go I did not know what to really think. Really bad at between 30-60, not so bad above or below that. That is pretty much all it could be right?
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Camry 4 cylinder engines of that vintage weren't affected as much as 6 cylinder engines.
    Nevertheless, it's not a bad idea to have the check done by removing the valve cover to examine for goop.
    Better still, try and get the maintenance records either from the previous owner or from the dealer who serviced it--if available.
    This sludge issue received much undeserved publicity in the early 2000s, so much so that Toyota issued a SPA (special policy announcement) in 2002 providing free repairs up to 8 years--provided there was proof of at least one oil change per year.
    History has now shown the vast majority of sludge problems occurred in vehicles which were not well maintained. Owners weren't changing oil at all, or going well beyond recommended intervals.
    A number of other makes were plagued with the same undeserved publicity, for the same reason.
    The so called "sludge prone" Toyota engines are reliable as they come--given reasonable maintenance. It's no different for anyone's engines.
  • mca2mca2 Posts: 20
    Well, last night the Check Engine light came on. I have a 2002 Camry V6 SE with 107000 miles. I took it in to the Atlanta Toyota and they stated that both Catalytic converters needed to be replaced and it would cost around 1,600 dollars. This seems a little steep and does this Camry really have two catalytic converters?
  • Hi,
    Looks like the thin shiny plate is missing!
    See the snap below.
  • I can't say specifically for the camry, but it would not surprise me to have a converter on each bank of cylinders. Factory converters will be very expensive, try going to aftermarket. Autozone, Advanced, or Midas should have less expensive converters. It also wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion on whether both are bad.
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