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Older Camry Maintenance and Repair



  • ksk123ksk123 Posts: 1
    I own a 1996 Toyota Camry LE. Recently it had been having serious over heating problems, so I took it in to get repaired. The head gasket was replaced and ever since then everything was fine until this past weekend.

    I took the car for a long drive on the freeway, and I noticed the engine started to sound a bit different; the only way to explain this is that it sounded like it was making a higher pitched sound. I also noticed the check oil light started to light up, but only when I was at a red light or stopped.

    I figured I better get the car home, but on the way home the engine started to sound worse. Eventually, the engine started making a repeating, very loud clicking sound. The car suddenly stopped running and we pushed it to a local gas station and got it towed home.

    The next day, I went out and started the car. It does start, but that very loud clicking sound is still there. I also checked the oil, and noticed the level was about a fingers length past the full line.

    Does anyone know what the problem could be? Does it sound like a head gasket issue, since it was recently replaced? I’m hoping for this, because the repair was guaranteed.

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Sounds like you have a major engine mechanical problem.....crankshaft, bearing, piston, camshaft. I would NOT drive the vehicle anymore. I suspect you may have caused serious damage by the driving that you did after you heard the high pitched sound, and the check oil light on. Get a mechanic to check it out. At this point, this vehicle may now very well be burnt toast.
  • rassumrassum Posts: 2
    We have a 1996 Camry 4-cyl with 182,000 miles. We just spent $1500 to get a tune-up and fix an oil leak. Now, the transmission fluid is leaking and the mechanic quotes us a price of $1000 because he says they will have to move/takeout a lot of parts to fix. I am questioning if it really should cost this much.

    Also, twice when my son was driving the car on the expressway, it just stalled out. After waiting 10-15 minutes, the car starts right up and he has no problems. Any ideas on why this would happen? Could it be related to the transmission leak?

    Before I sink more money into this car, I want to get some idea on if the "stalling" issue might cost me another +$1000 to get fixed.

    It might be time to think about buying a new car and help stimulate the economy. I keep hearing about the great deals that are available.

    We have to make a decision this weekend on whether to get the car fixed or buy a new car. Your help is greatly appreciated.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    Now is a great time to get a new Camry. The 2010s are being shipped to dealers, so they really want to get rid of the 2009 models. $1000 is a lot to put into a car with 182k miles.
  • Sell or Keep 1996 Camry

    You said the transmission gasket is leaking. How much oil is on the driveway? Your leak could be so small it isn't noticeable on the driveway or cause a failure of the transmission. Draining the pan of trans oil, removing the pan, and replacing the gasket is a cure for typical leaks on Toyota's. Only tools required are a 10mm socket and small ratchet. Find a good way to get under the car and its pretty easy.

    The stall at highway speed could be a loose wire connector going into the ignition system. On mine, I did a tune-up and put the connector on the ignition but did not click the wire connector into place. It would shut off intermittently.

    Ill try and post my change on MyCarSpace Rearwheeldrive 1990 Q-45.
  • Late response to above head gasket problem.

    You said your engine started making sounds of oil starvation. Since the oil was full and you had recent engine work done, I think they got the Head-Gasket on upside down. This could block the oil flowing from the top of the engine to the bottom. It must pass through some oil holes made in the gasket. Some gaskets look like they can go on either way but there's always a hole or two that wont line up correctly.

    Another test would be to start the engine and run it for a while, then shut the engine off and remove the valve cover. If there is a lot of oil on top of the cylinder head under the valve cover, this is not normal. Or you could shut it off and then check the oil level.

    If this is the problem, take it to another shop and ask them to take pictures of the gasket before they removed it. This will document the incorrect repair, if it is wrong. Then I would let them finish the repair correctly, and sue the other shop for a new engine you will probably need later on down the road.
  • White smoke?

    Are you handy with a spark plug socket and tools? I'd would pull the plugs and see which one is not golden brown.

    A 99 Camry will have a four cylinder or V6. I hope you have the easier 4 cylinder.
  • lewbie43lewbie43 Posts: 6
    I just failed my annual safety inspection because the left directional signal in my 1999 Camry was flashing much faster than the right one when the headlight switch is turned on. This does not happen when the daytime running lights are engaged, only with the light switch turned to the "on" position. What might be causing this? Thanks for any suggestions on how to isolate the problem and fix it.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Whenever you have different speeds of signalling, most of the time it is a bad dual-filament bulb.

    Dual filament bulbs, are used in the front and back of vehicles, where the low wattage filament is a running light that comes on with the headlights, and a higher wattage filament that is turned on when either the brakes are applied (back lights), or a turn signal is turned on (front and back lights on one side).

    If one of the filaments in the bulb breaks, and then lays across the other filament, the circuitry between the running lights gets crossed/shorted to the turn signal or brake circuit.

    Pull the bulbs on all four corners, and look very closely at the filaments. Personally, bulbs are cheap, so if you go to the effort to pull the covers off and get to the bulbs, just replace them. You can sometimes narrow it down which one to look at by looking VERY carefully at the intensity of each bulb at night, when the running lights are on....and then also look at what happens when the brakes or turn signals are applied. Takes two people to do this.

    When you replace the bulb, you have to look very carefully at the two prongs that are on the sides of the brass base. They are a different length from the base end, one closer to the base end than the other. If you look in the socket, you will see two corresponding grooves, one goes in deeper than the other. You need to get the bulb in correctly, or else the wrong filament lights up (for instance, the bright filament might turn on with the running lights, and the dim filament with the brake lights....obviously a wrong condition).
  • rex16rex16 Posts: 2
    My camry's (Auto) gears 1 and 2 drops low or doesn't work in time once my car touches the 60km? I have had the whole gearbox serviced. Is it to do with any of the sensors?
  • rex16rex16 Posts: 2
    I am having similar problems with my car. Did you manage to fix yours. need some advice please.

  • debshanedebshane Posts: 4
    I've been trying to figure this out, so I don't buy the wrong thing. I see 3 fan relays and one a/c relay. Which relay is just the rad fan on the drivers side 1,2 or 3? The a/c relay says a/c. Also, if it's the switch, which I have no idea what and where that is. Would that effect both cooling fans? I can't afford to go have it all tested and it's overheating with stop and go driving, fans not coming on at all, even when I turn on the air.

    Thank you for your help :)
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Your post is a little confusing.

    The symptoms you are experiencing are what? Car overheats (only in stop and go driving), and you notice that neither of the cooling fans turns on......even when the a/c is on? Is that correct?

    What is the significance/purpose of this question:
    "which relay is just the rad fan on the drivers side"
    Is that to mean that the drivers side fan does not work, but the other one does?
  • debshanedebshane Posts: 4
    Yes all of the above. It started overheating and I noticed that the fans were not kicking in, even at the hottest point, not even when I turn on the a/c. If it's the relays (1,2 or 3), then I could get the one for the rad relay alone (don't know which one), and not use the a/c. I just can't afford the testing, the switch and all the relays. Then again, what if it's the fan motors?

    So does this explain enough, or is it more confusing? I wish I just had enough money to go have it taken care of, but I don't. So, I press on to the answer, hopefully. Thanks :confuse:
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Unfortunately, I am travelling this week and don't have access to my service manuals to give you specific advise for that year and model. I'll be back in town by the end of the week, and can look up how it's all wired then.

    In the meantime, did you check your fuses? I'd suspect a fuse first. If your owners manual doesn't tell you which one, I'll look it up and tell you later this week.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Okay, back in town.

    You have a 4 cylinder, correct?

    First step....
    There are three fuses feeding this circuitry. You need to check all three to verify that they are okay.
    - 15A ECU-IG This is in the passenger compartment, drivers left knee
    - 30A RDI FAN These next two, are in the engine compartment, on the passenger side wheel well, up towards the front by the headlight. These two fuses sit between the raidator relay and the engine main relay.
    - 30A CDS Fan

    Let me know whether you find any of them an open circuit.

    Also, verify that your turn signals and wipers work.
  • debshanedebshane Posts: 4
    Yes a 4 cylinder, LE.

    Thank you for that info, the wipers and the turn signals work. I think the a/c fan motor may be burnt out. I did a direct power feed to it and nothing. The other one too. Maybe I did it wrong. So I will check the fuses as you say. Tomorrow I will let you know what if anything is good or bad.

    Thank you,
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I would not think it likely that both motors would burn out at the same time. It is possible, just not something you would expect to find.

    But yes, applying the power directly to the motor is a good way to test that the motors are okay. One of the wires to the motor goes to +positive 12volts, and the other to -engine ground.

    The way this circuitry is built with the relays, the fan motors will either run at half speed or full speed. But ignore that for now. When you test the motors by applying the voltage directly to them the way described above, they should run at full speed.
  • I'm jumping in to the radiator fan question

    If you have a relay not working you can pull it and apply a 9v battery to the in and out terminals, the diagram is usuallyon the side. However it should click if you turn the A/C on with the key in the run position I believe thats how it works. It energizes all relays when A/C is on. Since none of the positions are working it sounds like the fan motor on the radiator.

    Also if you can get to a pull your own parts at a junk yard, you can swap out relay's, no troubleshooting involved, or just replace the motor on the Radiator. I think that's the problem. Use some jumper cables and connect it to the Radiator motor when you get it off your car, to verify working like in the post before.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    There are three relays in the circuit, and there are four 'inputs' that are used to determine what the fan operation should be.

    - IF Ignition is ON 'and' AC Pressure is low 'and' coolant temperature is low, then relay 1 is energized (Norm Closed points), and the Radiator fan is OFF.

    - IF Ignition is ON 'and' either the AC Pressure is high 'or' the coolant temperature is high, then relay 1 is not energized, and the Radiator fan is ON full speed, getting it's power from the RDI Radiator Fuse.

    - IF Ignition is ON 'and' the AC is ON 'and' the AC pressure is low 'and' the coolant temperature is high, then relays 1/2/3 are all energized, and both fans will work at low speed (fans wired in series) getting their power from the CDS Fan fuse.

    - IF Ignition is ON 'and' the AC is ON 'and' the AC pressure is high 'and' the coolant temperature is high, then relays 1/2 are not energized, and both fans run at full speed. The Radiator fan gets it's power from the RDI fan fuse, and the AC condenser fan motor gets it's power from the CDS fuse.
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