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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • BTW- Are those manuals from vehicles you owned? Did you buy them from Toyota dealer? I was just thinking, that must be expensive.

    I bought a Chilton's for my car (used it for struts)- but it would be handy to have one from Toyota :)
  • Thanks for the information. I think my Camry problem is more mechanically involved than that. The morning problem goes away but the 40mph problem is there all the time. To me it feels like a problem where the drive shaft inserts into the transmission as if there is an extreme amount of play or looseness. If you let off the gas for a second and the idle goes down and go to accellerate again the transmission like catches the drive shaft (cluck)which you feel throughout the car. This transition should be smooth during accelleration not like it's catching. Thanks again...U.S. Army PA.
  • Your problem definitely sounds likes something wrong w/ your transmission- especially a brand new car. There should be no hard "clunking" in an automatic transmission at any speed, temp., shift point, etc. Older, high mileage ones eventually will, but it is never good thing.

    You said it was a 2002 right? Have you taken it to the dealer? They should fix it under warranty!

    Don't let them give you the "could not duplicate problem" BS. Make the service manager take a ride w/ you so you can show them the problem.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I know that I have seen this (when cold does not shift into overdrive) either in my owner's manual or service manual (the two book set) in writing, which is why I said this is normal operation. If I can remember to look I wil note the language. I did not state that this was normal because my 92 has done it since I can remember but because I did see it in writing somewhere in these manuals.

    And. some engines do have knocks which the manufacturer says are normal. So, who defines normal, manufacturer or what the owner perceives as should be normal?
  • Thanks, I will have the service manager drive the car this evening. Do you anything about the ECU?
  • I believe if you read ALL my posts carefully, you'll see that what I've said ALL along is that MY transmission in MY car is NOT normal.

    I am not saying YOUR transmission is not normal. I am glad (as I said previously) that the symptom I described is stated to be normal by Toyota. I never said I did not believe you. I never said I did not believe Toyota that this is the way they are supposed to operate (after someone stated this is in the shop manual, Paul29, I think- before that it was just hearsay from a dealer).

    But MY transmission CAN'T be normal since it did not ALWAYS do this- began around 78,000 miles... like I said in my first post!

    Normal implies ordinary- when something is out of the ordinary it is said to be ABNORMAL. My transmission would be abnormal because it began behaving out of the ordinary for itself around 78,000 miles!

    If you read post# 961 you'll see that I say perhaps it started shifting harder after 78,000 miles, and I only noticed it then. Either way, it has not been "normal" since that time.
  • I suppose you were referring to my comments about GM's engine knock problem?

    Again, go carefully read my post... I said "GM truck owner's engines".

    I didn't say "some engines". You said that.

    Yes, engine knocking on cold start can be a normal noise. Often, the valve lifters are dry and will "knock" till the oil pump gets enough oil up there- this would be normal (though still not a great thing- thinner usually oil helps).

    GM's problem which I alluded to, has been documented several times as piston slap. Piston slap is "not normal". It is bad, it causes premature wear. If you read any of the posts over there, you'll see that it generally only happens in 1 or 2 cylinders. If normal, why not all 8 cylinders?

    But since GM is the manufacturer, and they are telling owners it is normal, I guess you would side with GM. You stated...

    "And. some engines do have knocks which the manufacturer says are normal. So, who defines normal, manufacturer or what the owner perceives as should be normal?"

    So even though many owners w/ knocking engines have vehicles that burn a quart of oil in less than 3000 miles (on a brand new truck!!), I guess it is normal cause GM says so.

    BTW- If I had said any knocking in any engine, then you would have a point. But I didn't, I alluded to GM's current problem. I don't mind arguing, but please, don't put words in my mouth.

    And I sincerely apologize for not believing the transmission thing was normal, till Paul29 said it was in the toyota shop manuals (and you later said that, armtdm). You were right.

    I have a mistrust of dealer's words (especially Toyota and Ford, since my worst treatment was at these places). And I think other people had said their Toyota dealer told them this was normal, hence my disbelief.
  • Not really.

    ECU is the ignition module, correct?

    I don't see how it could have anything to do w/ your transmission problem- but I could easily be wrong. Is that what you're wondering, anyway?

    Hopefully someone else who knows vastly more than I do will answer.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The ECU isn't the ignition module. The ignition module is a separate item. Actually since Toyota did away from distributors (where it had one central coil, or ignition module), Toyota uses a coil on plug design, which elimates the distributor. The ECU controls the coil.

    The ECU is the main central computer, it controls and monitors various sensors within the engine and to some degree, the transmission. There may be a separate ECU for the transmission, as it was the case in previous Camrys, which according to your profile (1990 Camry), this is the case. You can run a diagnostic on the ECU computer, though since getting rid of my old 1988 Camry...I can't remember the procedure. I think it's covered in the Haynes manual though, or definitely in the Toyota shop manual.

    If the dealership doesn't work out, you can always try a transmission shop. Toyota dealerships aren't always the greatest place to go. For the age of your car, you're better off taking it to a shop which its staff are specialized in tranny repair, and it will be much cheaper than the dealership.

    from fort bragg.....
  • Thanks for the information on the electronic control unit (ECU). Anyway, I took my Camry in today and they say the clunking is normal. Toyota needs to recall these transmissions to be successful with the Camry and I hope consumers read this before they purchase one. This is my last Toyota! I bought the car not to experience things like this. I'll be shopping around for something else the next 6-8 months. Beautiful car but it has to go. Any suggestions? Thanks...Army P.A. Ft. Bragg, NC
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    The Celica was owned by another family member , the others mine. All shop manuals were purchased from Toyota direct except 4 Runner (dealer) . All were reasonably priced IMO except for the 02 Camry.
  • I thought ECM was main central computer and ECU just controlled ignition? Are they actually the same thing?

    Oh well. I am generally lost when it comes to most sensors and sending units anyway. Coolant temp. sensor (ECT?) and oil pressure I am ok with. Start talking MAP, MAF, O2, etc. and it's all greek.

    I know far less about the computer in my car than the one on my desk :)
  • Do you remember about how much they were?

    I'd love to know, so I could find out how much they're trying to overcharge me at the local Toyota dealer when I ask :)

    They wanted $1070 (or some such) to do all 4 struts on my car. The most anyone else in town wanted was $700. I ended up doing the fronts myself. Both struts cost me $95 (incl. tax). The spring compressor tool I borrowed free from autozone- took about 2 hrs (w/ friend). Alignment afterwards was $50. Haven't done the backs yet (the ride feels so good now I can't make myself do it). They don't look any harder to do, though you do have to remove the rear speaker shelf.
  • I too have that dash rattle...sounds like something in back of the radio. At my first oil change in a few weeks I am having them pull it and see what's up. I also have rattles at ears height in the door area on both passenger and drivers side.....very sad for such a supposedly high quality car.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    The manuals vary in price as there can be up to five manuals per platform. You can order direct from Toyota at 1-800-622-2033 in Ca . It is better if you decide which ones you need before calling ie. engine , chassis , electrical , diagnostic , transmission etc ( "normally" you would only need the first two or three for most DIY repairs ). I warn you that they are more expensive than Haynes or Chilton but are much more comprehensive and specific and you have to have more than just a passing interest in your vehicle to justify the cost . Good luck
  • Thanks very much. I would definitely like to have something more in depth than Chiltons. But don't feel the cost would be justified for my Camry, since I probably won't keep it for more than another year or two. Next new car, I will look into this.
  • alexhhoalexhho Posts: 5
    I have a 00 V6 Solara, and don't want to mess around with stock items. I'm just wondering if by adding a front strut brace or a rear sway bar or both would increase the car's handling significantly? And does it matter what brands of bars? Any recommendations and where to get the parts? Thank you for your time.

  • I have the exact same rattle somewhere in my dash. When you find out please post the results. Good news about the wind noise I frequently hear at ear level near the shoulder belt adjustment. It turns out my window isn't shutting properly and is ajar ever so slightly. The window, and electric regulator needs to be replaced according to the dealership. Now that I have the seat rattle taken care of, and the wind noise solved, I just have the dash rattle left.
  • etcbetcb Posts: 42
    Does anyone know when Toyota made changes to the V6 to stop the sludge problem. I just purchaced a 2002 Camry made Aril 02 with a 1MF-FE engine. All I've read says the problem engines were 1MF V6 made before July 2001. Am I out of the woods?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    toyota revised the PCV system I believe or in that area but many people do not feel that this is the problem. The problem appears to be that these engines just beat up the oil and Toyota (for marketing/competition reasons) refuses to change its owners manual to reflect that shorter oil changes are necessary, like 3000 severe and 5000 normal.They just will not change the manual and people that go the 7500 miles as noted in the current manual are the ones most likely to incur problems with sludge.
This discussion has been closed.