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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    I read the Toyota comments about Camrys and listened to the undercurrent of problems that are kept quiet to keep the image. It was apparent in the Honda and Toyota groups.

    It helped in my car-buying decision. All cars have some problems.

    Thanks again for the open discussion from some contributors in the groups on Edmunds.
  • Although these types of discussion boards are depressing at time and can cause me to second guess myself because of all the negative talk, I still enjoy driving my Camry. I frequently have thoughts about what it would be like to have purchased an Accord instead of my Camry. But then I take out my notes when I was doing my research, read the reviews I have collected, and cruise in my car. And then, I remember why I chose my Camry over the Accord. These type of message boards are an important place to find info and exchange views, but I frequently have to take a break from it and remember that Camry, although not perfect, does offer a beautiful smooth quite ride. If you're into such things.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Thats what sold us on a Camry v the accord.
    Softer, quieter, better seats. Honda had a hard tite ride and their transmissions all shift a little hard.
    Good car and compant tho.
  • I own 94'camry XLE. For the past 2yrs I have a strange problem with my vehicle, desperately in need of advice.

    Problem:
    During low speeds(20-40mph), when I take a sharp right turn my vehicle jerks on the front passenger side wheel(i.e I get the feeling there is a obstruction coming from the right passenger side wheel). I live in San Francisco bay area which has lots of mountainous roads. Also I notice that this happens during downhill rides only and stepping out of gas pedal.
    This happened after 65k miles on my car. Now I put on 80k in my car.

    Repairs done so far:
    Toyota dealer advised me to change the 4 tires and did the same no solutions. After changing the tires I took the car to the dealer said he doesn't see anything wrong. Tried with a local mechanic and asked to change the right wheel axle. no luck yet.
    Can anyone suggest me what can I do to fix this problem. I don't have any other problem with my vehicle.
  • johnxyzjohnxyz Posts: 94
    My 95 Camry LE w/ 129k miles is leaking coolant. Its at an independent shop now be diagnosed with a $450 estimate to replace radiator, hoses and thermostat. Does this seem in the ballpark as being reasonable? The mechanic said the leak was on a seam of the radiator, not at the hoses or clamps.

    I called a Toyota dealer svc dept and the svc mgr stated it is extremely rare for a Camry radiator to rust out and go bad.

    Am I getting ripped off?

    Thanks for any comments. John
  • bioscibiosci Posts: 1
    I have come across some posts about 'sluggish engines'. I have had this problem on my 99 V6 Solara and have found a way to handle it that should be useful to readers: First, I spent $200 having my EFI cleaned. Unfortnately, the dealer never bothered to clean the trottle body too, so I had some sticking of the gas pedal. After awhile, the acceleraion of the car started becoming sluggish again. Second, I added Chevron's Octane Boost/Engine Cleaner. This worked wonders for awhile. Unfortunately, continuously adding this will wear down your spark plugs. Now, I just drive my car on the freeway for a long distance at high speeds. Now, the car purrrs and is very responsive! I keep up the purring engine in city driving by using higher quality gas by Chevron. I think cheap or old gas from Arco was causing alot of carbon buildup. I hope this helps someone out there!

    I was also wondering if anyone who had the nonJBL car stereo system had upgraded their speakers with aftermarket ones and could recommend to me on what fits my car and sounds good? The crutchfield site indicates that all their aftermarket speakers requiring redrilling new mounting holes.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    if a 4 cyl its an easy changeout.

    do it yourself if you want to.

    radiator should be what?
    under $200?
  • xbbusterxbbuster Posts: 145
    Anyone experience a clunk or jerk that seems to be coming from the transmission after sitting overnight? When I back the car out of the garage in the morning and and then shift into drive there's a noticable jerk. After a block or two shifting from reverse to drive is smooth. It didn't do this when I bought the car in August. The service writer at the dealer just tells me it's normal. After calls to Toyota I'm supposed to meet with the regional rep. soon.
  • I just purchased a 2003 Camry.

    I also just realized, after two weeks, that the speedometer is very ood and difficult to read.

    As a sample, mine looks like this...

    20 | | | | | | | 40 | | | | | | | 60 | | | | | | | 80

    How can I identify 65 mph and 70 mph????????
  • I think the decision you made to buy the camry was a good one. The camry is much more of a family vehicle than an accord and in case you didn't know, your camry was built in Japan.
  • Dealer serviced vehicle. 1994 Camry at 680011 miles, 12/28/00 Dealer said waterpump leaking replace $561. At 82362 miles, 1/7/03, in for service Dealer said waterpump leaking needs replacement. Did not check file, my mistake, waterpump/thermostat replaced $517. When I confronted dealer they said part warranty for one year, nothing we can do. Any one out there have a similar problem. I have sent a letter to Toyota USA.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    they have to remove all belts to get to the pump (at least ona V6) but teh entire cost should not be that high. A genuine Toytoa pump form a dealer via the internet is under $100 I beleive and 2-3 hour of labor to install. try to find an independent mechanic to do it. As to warranty, sorry, one year is it and you are out of luck. My original went 120,000 miles on my 92 and was going strong when I had it replaced with the timing belt at the same time.

    Good luck
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Time to change water pump is when the timing belt is being changed since not much more labor. At 65K the dealer refused to change mine said no problem, 1994 camry 4 cyl. it has 102k now, still not leaking. If I own it when the timing belt is changed i will do it then.
    My 1991 civic while doing the belt the dealer charged only $60 to chnagethe pump since it was just 3 bolts (maybe 4)
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Want to ask again - anyone changing them on 4 cyl Camrys?
    My dealer and Toyota say they are "lifetime".

    Also heard rumors the fitting spreads or breaks easily causing the fuel line to need replacement ---$$$to the tank.

    Anyone had any experience with 4 cyl Fuel filters?
  • On my 1997 Camry the driver's door lock isn't working (feels like mechanically blocked). I want to replace it myself (dealer quoted $ 250). Do I need to take off the inner door panel to do that ? I know there are cracks out there who can give me a hint to save some time.
  • My '03 LE is just threee weeks old. We just found out that the keys we have only work for the driver side door and the ignition, not the trunk, glove box and the passenger side doors. The dealership tried to recut a key based on the VIN number, but just didn't work out. So, they said they had to order a complete set of locks to replace it. I don't know if this is an easy job for the service guys or not. My concern is if the replacement will possibly affect anything, as it makes things feel like "not original" anymore. Maybe I am over concerned. But if anyone has similar experience, any comments are appreciated. Also, once the locks are replace, what do they do with the keyless entry I currently have? Do they just need to reprogram the remotes, or need another set of remotes.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    The lock cylanders are a seperate system entirely from the keyless system, so that shouldn't effect anything there. It sounds as though someone lost the master keys and they cut a new set off of the valet key, but not sure. The replacement is pretty easy, so I wouldn't have any worries. Just make sure that you try all of your keys in all of the locks following their replacement. Also, they will all be covered under warranty as well, so no worries on that score.

    It sounds as though the dealer is doing everything right to make the situation right for you. If this is taking a couple of days for them to do, you might ask them to spring for a dinner for 2 to a local restaurant for the trouble, but other than that, it seems they are doing everything right to make all well for you.

    Hope this helps.

    Ken
  • My wife and I recently purchased a 2002 Camry Le V6. We owned a 2000 model before purchasing the newer body style and adding leather. On our way home from the dealership (about 1 hour out) we noticed some wind noise coming from the back left passenger door. We thought maybe the door was not completely closed or the window was cracked open. We pulled over and checked both, but could not find anything visibly wrong with the door. The following weekend we drove to Houston with my in-laws in the back seat. My father in-law commented that the door sound like it had an air leak/wind noise. The following week I took it in for service. Now four months later, and five trips for service I still have wind noise coming from somewhere along the left side of the car. As of now the two different service departments have no idea how to fix it. Anyone else ever seen this in an 02 Camry?
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    This is not something that is common, but when it happens, there is a pretty easy fix. It's normally because there is too much of a gap between the weather stripping around the door and the frame. I say this is unusual because there are between 2 and three seals all the way around. The easiest way I've found to fix this is to go to the home-improvement dept. of your local hardware store and buy a box of thin self-stick weather stripping. On a warm car, make sure that the surface is clean (I use rubbing alcahol) and put the weather stripping around the frame where it will meet the weather stripping on the door. The additional coverage normally fixes the problem.

    Ken
  • I had a similar problem. It was a broken regulator. Replaced window and regulator. No more wind noise. See the "Meet the Members" discussion for a full explanation.
  • -- I’d like to comment on the “transmission clunk” while shifting from reverse into drive. My wife has a 2002 Camry-SE, and whenever I first back it out of the driveway, I definitely hear the “clunk”. It is not coming from the A/C or the antilock brakes. Since my driveway is on a hill, as I back out of my driveway, and turn the steering wheel to back up on the hill, my car comes to a stop without me applying the brakes. If I then shift into drive with my foot on or off the brake I hear the “clunk”. Even if I coast down the hill to try to match the transmission speed with the speed of the engine (which is running faster than normal because it is cold) and then shift into drive, I still hear the “clunk”, although it is quieter. This only happens the first time the car is driven in the morning.

    I have noticed another strange thing happening with the transmission. There is a stop sign a few blocks away that is on a hill. If I am not quick in shifting my foot from the brake to the accelerator to pull away from the stop sign, the car will drift BACKWARDS before it begins to move forward. This is with an automatic transmission. I cannot recall seeing any other car with an automatic transmission behave this way. This happens on most hills. Has anyone else noticed this condition? Could the two problems be related?
  • -- I’d like to comment on the “transmission clunk” while shifting from reverse into drive. My wife has a 2002 Camry-SE, and whenever I first back it out of the driveway, I definitely hear the “clunk”. It is not coming from the A/C or the antilock brakes. Since my driveway is on a hill, as I back out of my driveway, and turn the steering wheel to back up on the hill, my car comes to a stop without me applying the brakes. If I then shift into drive with my foot on or off the brake I hear the “clunk”. Even if I coast down the hill to try to match the transmission speed with the speed of the engine (which is running faster than normal because it is cold) and then shift into drive, I still hear the “clunk”, although it is quieter. This only happens the first time the car is driven in the morning.

    I have noticed another strange thing happening with the transmission. There is a stop sign a few blocks away that is on a hill. If I am not quick in shifting my foot from the brake to the accelerator to pull away from the stop sign, the car will drift BACKWARDS before it begins to move forward. This is with an automatic transmission. I cannot recall seeing any other car with an automatic transmission behave this way. This happens on most hills. Has anyone else noticed this condition? Could the two problems be related?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    all the 4 cylinder fuel-injected models I have ever owned from toyota (camrys, corollas, celicas, pick-ups) they have always told me the same thing, the fuel filter is for life. I have taken some of those vehicles out to 250K miles, and the non-replacement of the filter never was an issue on any of them. Since they are not designed to be changed unless they become completely plugged, it is possible to damage the fuel lines when you replace them. I have a friend who is a master tech at a Toyota dealership, and he tells me that changing that filter is always something they heavily discourage unless an obstruction is preventing the car from running, because it is a fragile connection. I don't think it affects the tank in any way though - the problem is it is a major hassle if one of those fuel line connections break.

    joyce- it helps a lot if you do all your car repair/maintenance with one dealership, because they will sometimes do goodwill repairs for you if you ask nicely and point out you have been going there for a while. Case in point: several years back I had a new alternator put in my car to the tune of $250 or so. It had a 12 month/12K mile warranty, but when it failed a little over two years and 30K later, they replaced it for free because I always took that car there when it needed work. You might try approaching the service manager and just asking them - it is possible you might get at least part of the repair (parts OR labor) for free. Take your invoice from the first repair with you.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Are you sure it's not the ABS that's making that clunk noise while you are backing up? Every car I've driven that's equipped with ABS had a clunk noise that wasn't noisy but audible when you move the car the first time after being ignited. That clunk noise reminds you that the ABS is active. My 97 Camry had that noise. The 2003 Camry I own now has that noise. My Aunt's Volvo 850 has that noise. Some cars I have rented equipped with ABS had that noise. OK, you get the picture.

    In response to your concern about the car moving backwards when you come to a stop sign on a slope, most automatics would do that. It depends on how steep the slope is. When you're on a slope in "D" without stepping on the accelerator or brake, whether or not the rolls front or backwards depend on the idle speed of your engine. If the engine is powerful enough to hold the car, it doesn't roll (just like when you go onto your driveway, your car doesn't move even when you don't apply brakes). It's perfectly normal. The 97 Camry I had was an automatic and it sometimes rolled backwards on the slope. The 03 Camry SE V6 I have now, even though a lot more powerful, still rolls back if the hill is really steep. One trick is to step a little on the accelerator, just enough to hold the car, when you just want to stop it for a few seconds. If you want it to stop it longer and don't want to put it into "P", use your handbrake. When you are ready to go, step a little on the accelerator before letting go on the handbrake so that the engine speed is enough just to prevent it from rolling back and hit the car behind you (if there is one).

    Those are all the advice I could think of now. Hope they're useful. Tell your wife not to worry about the car. It's a nice and safe car to drive.
  • I'm sure the clunk isn't coming from the ABS, as it only makes the sound when I shift into drive from reverse, and only during the first drive of the day. It also seems to be louder in the cold weather. I wonder if synthetic transmission fluid would help, but I'm sure Toyota will say that their fluid is the best in the world and using anything else will void the warranty... Thanks for the info.
  • xbbusterxbbuster Posts: 145
    Is your SE a V6? I have an '02 LE V6 and the "clunk" you describe is exactly how my car acts. I've been to two different dealers and they both tell me that it's normal. Never have they mentioned anti-lock brakes just "it's normal, they all do that" I have a friend with an '02 V6 and he tells me his car shifts smoothly into drive from reverse when the engine is cold. I test drove an '03 V6 at one of the dealers and no jerk or clunk. This may be a common problem with this transmission because they have not offered to do any kind of diagnostic on the car.
  • I have a 03 SE V6 and my car jerks just a little when shifting into drive from reverse, just like all other cars. But I don't hear any clunk. The only thing that differentiates your cars from mine is that mine is a 03.

    I understand how frustrating it is to detect these problems but the dealer always say "it's normal". What I did when I had problems with my old 97 Camry was that I kept on bugging them until they spotted the problem. I asked them politely but made it sound really serious. I told them that I wanted to get it fixed before the warranty is over or similar things like that. My hope was that they would check the problem more thoroughly. And it worked. If not, just try another dealer if there's one around.

    Best of luck to both of you.
  • xbbusterxbbuster Posts: 145
    What did the dealer do to spot the problem? Did they ever find the cause of the cold start jerk and fix it?
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    On the hill holding problem , have you tried holding the brake with your left foot and accel with right . There are millions of drivers with standards who co-ordinate both feet with ease. Good luck
This discussion has been closed.