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Older Camry Maintenance and Repair



  • 2001 Camry XLE with 11,000 miles.

    Inside passenger door handle suddenly wouldn't open door which can be opened from outside.

    Door locks are fine.

    Would appreciate thoughts about cause of problem and potential repair cost.
  • Check the Child Proof rear door lock switch should be located near the latch on the door
  • The rear door lock switch is working. I can hear it and watch all door locks move as I flick the switch on the driver's arm rest.
  • take it apart. Most likely internal door handle piece made from plastic got cracked because someone applied excessive force opening the door.
  • Check in your owner's manual for child proof rear door lock switch, I was not speaking of the door lock plunger but a switch near the latch assemble in the door frame itself
  • Repair completed for $50 at local body shop.

    Toyota dealership and Firestone both wanted around $200 for parts and labor.
  • what did they fix?
  • It was not the handle that was broken. The body shop owner removed the inside door panel and where there should have been two metal rods attached to two pieces of plastic, he found that one of the plastic pieces was broken and the rod was hanging down loose. Somehow he fashioned a piece of plastic and along with a plastic tie reattached the rod.

    He commented that usually it's the door handle itself that breaks. I now have a spare handle should I ever need it and am quite satisfied, especially after getting two quotes in the $200 range.
  • I have a 2000 Camry I bought a new starter for it I've been having problem with I changed the battery, posts, and then the starter. It started fine after I replaced it but the next day I got a tick tick sound like it makes when the starter goes out. I don't know what else to do I was sure it was the starter the original one did the same thing I tapped it with a hammer and it worked, it didn't work with the new one. HELP!!!!!!
  • Just in case someone needs to do this: kiawah is correct. the flasher is a black square box located amongst a bunch of wires in a white plastic reservoir behind the left kickpanel. once you have located the piece, use a flathead screwdriver to wedge into the center reservoir for leverage and feel around til you find a groove. the groove on the plastic flasher is on the bottom. pull it downwards and wiggle the piece til it comes out. replace with new flasher. i would also recommend disconnecting the negative terminal of your battery for safety purposes.
  • Hi guys, I have a 1998 Camry LE V6 coming up on 130k miles. I bought it with 60k miles on it abt 5yrs ago. It still runs great, and has received regular oil changes and had normal minor issues for an older car (rack and pinion replacement, and a false positive intermittent check engine light are the only notable things). I regularly get 28+ mpg on my regular commute (mixed hwy/city with more going and less stopping). I've been weighing the options of holding onto it vs getting rid of it before things break down, and have decided to take the time to do a thorough tune up and maintain it and see how long it will last. I feel confident doing the work, I have the proper tools, garage space, manuals, and in my previous cars I kept an old Chevy Corsica running past 200k miles, and rebuilt an old ford four-banger. I'm going to have time this summer and a backup car, so that won't be an issue.

    My question for you guys is while I have everything apart, what else should I do at the same time? On my to do list so far are:
    Oil and filter change
    Timing belt
    Water pump
    Tensioner and pulleys if needed
    Possibly oil seals
    Air filter
    Sparks and wires
    Belts and radiator hoses
    Flush/fill radiator

    While I've got it up, I'm checking brakes, inspect brake lines, get new tires put on the wheels, and I might get a second set of wheels with snow tires on them (in Colorado), not sure if I want to drop the cash for that though. The things I have not dorked with in the past are anything to do with suspension or tranny. I feel fine changing out the tranny fluid which I might do.

    Things I've never done before:
    Steering and suspension or anything tranny related. Is there anything I should be looking out for here? I am okay doing the work myself if I know what to look out for. Anything I missed on here or anything that would be weird on this car or pitfalls I might run into? Thanks!
  • Hi Everyone....yesterday my 97 Camry with 184,000 miles just completely died while sitting in traffic ....all lights came on. Could not get restarted. When trying to restart, engine cranks but no spark. It's not the battery as it will turn over several time. I had no problems prior to this and no indication while driving that anything was wrong. Kinda came out of nowhere. I had it towed as I was forced to get out of the traffic! Any ideas before I take it somewhere for diagnosis?

  • Can't belive no response, by now I'm sure the mechanic told you the timing belt broke.

    Just my guess, I hope you can follow up with the problem. I'm interested in learning more when folks get on here with some car problems.

    This is a good site to get good info if folks follow up with the solutions.

  • We have a 98 with 133,000 miles, it's been a great car.

    This past week it started overheating out of the blue early one a.m. Pulled over and stopped immediately and had it towed into a Toyota dealer.

    They're saying it needs a new water pump/timing belt - what we expected, at $845ish BUT also needs a heater core replacement $855 as well as a few other things that can wait, we were told these two repairs were necessary to get the car running again.

    Anyone have any info on the heater core replacement? We're not sure if it's time to look into a new Camry vs. putting more money into this one.
  • c5t4rc5t4r Posts: 13
    edited May 2012
    We have a '97 CaMry 4 cyl with 170K on it. Yes, assuming the car is otherwise sound, its worth fixing..

    What is the actual problem? I doubt you suffered a catastrophic failure of the pump and core at the same time. Is your carpet wet? Do you smell the sweet smell of antifreeze? If not, the core probably doesn't have to be changed to get back on the road.

    I would suggest getting a 2nd opinion on pricing for a car this old because, IMO, the dealer is best used when the car is under warranty and you don't want to void it. Just call around as both prices seem a bit high.

    The heater core on these models are among the easiest to change out. Don't let them tell you they have to tear the dash apart. The core sits behind a little panel on the drivers side near the accelerator. You'll have to pull the carpet back. For an experienced person its a 2-3 hr job at most. They will already have drained the coolant to do the water pump. $855 is way out of line. I paid $400 a couple years ago when I was traveling and time was an issue. I also helped my neighbor change out his garage in a couple hours. His cost was about $125 and a few beverages.

    Take a look at a haynes or chilton manual to get an idea of what they have to do. But again, I'd be getting another estimate or three.

    Let me also say the heater core can easily be bypassed temporarily under the hood by removing the hoses from the pipes that go to the core and joining them with a couple of hose clamps. This time of year that should not be a problem and will buy you some time to get an estimate elsewhere.
  • ledzepplinledzepplin Posts: 41
    Remember: The dealer is a stealer. If you aren't a diy price it around. These responders are right on the money. Try utube for some possible info.
  • steven76steven76 Posts: 1
    So I have a 95 Camry and I have a weird issue. I can not find any answer on google or these forums.

    Basically, my car will lock and unlock itself. I was under the impression that there may be a loose wire or something so I took the door apart and could not find anything (though I could have missed something). I removed the switches on both the driver and passenger door to see if the problem was there, but it did not help. I also took off the door on the driver side and could not see any problems in the circuitry.

    Some things I have noticed:
    Happens more often when it is damp, and fixes itself when it gets dryer.
    When I hit bumps in the road it is more likely to happen.
    Generally it does not do this when the car is not on (when the key is out), though it still happens, just not nearly as often (so I disconnect the battery many times when I park my car).
    It will either strictly want to lock, or strictly unlock (mostly unlocks, but sometimes it changes). It will fight me if I use the automatic lock switch. It will not fight me if I manually lock each door.

    These all lead me to believe it is an electrical problem, yet I can not find the issue. I'd prefer not to take it to a mechanic and try to fix it myself (I'm an engineering student and would love to learn to fix problems like this on my own).

    Thank you to anyone that can help me.
  • c5t4rc5t4r Posts: 13
    edited July 2012
    I have a '97 Camry with 170K+ miles on it. Driving home from work today the CEL came on. I went straight to an O'Reilly Auto and had the code pulled. The result was a P1133. There were no other codes.

    Initial quotes for the sensor were in the $120 range for both the upstream and downstream sensors ($220 total). I then realized, my car has a California emission. The price jumped to over $200 for the front one alone.

    I've done some searching around, and found some much better prices for aftermarket sensors (in the $70 range) at places like RockAuto.

    My question is, is it recommended to replace both sensors at the same time? What are your thoughts on the aftermarket sensors? What's the harm in letting it go like this for a couple of weeks - driving about 20 miles a day? I figure it'll take at least a week to get the parts.

    The front sensor seems easy enough, the rear seems like it might be a bit challenging. Any thoughts or recommendations / tips are appreciated.
  • 92 Camry LE 4 Cylinder.

    When I turn off my car. My side light + tail lights do Not turn off.

    I have to unplug a Battery cable (every time I park) so the battery does not drain.

    I took it to a Mechanic, he charged $240 to change the WHOLE switch and it still has same issue. Unfortunately the Mechanic is 300 miles away, I was visiting my parents.

    Someone told me it may be the RELAY. I took my car to O'Riley Auto parts to buy the Relay and the employee could Not find the Relay location for sidelight & tail lights inside my car. He could not even find it in the Manual.

    Do you know Exactly WHERE the Relay for (side light & tail lights) is located?

    Pls. advise.
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