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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • george00george00 Posts: 81
    I am an owner of a 2002 LE4 who has found the car flawless except for the driver's seat. The problems you describe are shocking. A defective headlight assembly can happen, and once they fix it, it will probably be fixed. But that brakes on a new car should need virtual redoing is to say the least surprising. That there is rust in the engine compartment is simply incredible. I am not an engineer, much less an automotive engineer, but I understand rust as the oxidation of raw metal over time. How can rust appear on new parts? While it sounds far-fetched, if I were you I would run the VIN number through Carfax and make sure I had a new car.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...that are unpainted and contain a lot of iron. This includes a lot of the exhaust system, including some components visible in the engine compartment. It also includes brake rotors. It is obvious to me that the car in question got a lot of exposure to outside moisture on its way from factory to dealer.

    I would worry less about the surface rust on iron-based engine components, and a lot more about why those brake rotors were not replaced. They should have been...I would have insisted on it and not accepted turning the existing rotors.

    This means that they can't be turned again, and thus will have to be replaced [out of warranty, of course, several years from now] before they would have been otherwise.
  • ahossaahossa Posts: 152
    You have experienced the fear that most new car buyers agonize about. Getting a problem car. It seems as though that car was sitting around for a while on the lot. I have seen that commercial offering the 3.9% financing and no where in NYC was there any mention of you must buy a car in stock to get that 3.9% financing.If you bought the Highlander from the same dealer you should have been treated better.What state are you in and what's the name of the dealer.
  • greg130greg130 Posts: 4
    One of the reasons I went back to Toyota is I had a Great experience buying the Highlander V6 Nonlimted with no problems so far. My wife and I love the Highlander and would highly recommend it.

    The Camry is a different story. I talked to the dealer today and they are not going to replace the rusty parts. They keep insisting that it's normal its not going to be a problem and they could show me other new engines with the same rusty parts too.
    Well I don't think it's normal and I don't like it but what can I do, they won't take back the car, I tried, I asked for a swap to a Japanese made Camry and they said no they don't do that, that they would fix everything but yet won't replace rusty parts. So I guess they're not fixing everything.

    I did request that all four rotors be replaced with new one's since I paid for new ones, not cut ones. I'm awaiting an answer as to if and when I can bring it in to have it done.

    This is what you would expect from the big three cars not from Toyota. That's why everyone reading this is looking here They're are tired of it. I was tired of replacing transmisions in my minivan. I was tired of seeing the paint on my truck peel right off since they didn't put enough paint on it, thats why we buy Japanese cars cause were tired of giving all our money back to the dealer for repairs, and paying for poor quality, but I guess that's not true any more at least for me.

    I can only speak about my experience so far so I'm sure this is an isolated case and not all Camrys are going to need a brake job, but if your in the market for one make sure you check out the brakes and other problems listed on this site before buying.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    I keep hearing that the seats on the 2002 Camry are not good for long drives. I test drove the XLE with leather seats and they felt ok ( I'm 6'1 by the way ) any feedback , both positive & negative would be greatly appreciated. I need a new car in the next 3-5 weeks.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Suggest you rent a new Camry with the power seat and drive it for an extended period over a day or two - that will tell you how it feels to you.

    These things are highly personal - you've read a number of comments that tell you that different people have different reactions to the seat shape that Toyota has chosen.

    Before settling on our '03 Corolla, we rented for two days to make sure I could fit and be comfortable - this is another car that has generated some comments, in this case it has to do with the driving position and location of the dead pedal, but the point is the same: try it first, and not just for 20 minutes on the freeway.

    All of the Toyota dealers in our area have rental cars available, and at pretty reasonable rates. Take advantage.
  • joedbobjoedbob Posts: 27
    I am 6'5" and have the 2002 Camry XLE V6 with leather seats. I am more comfortable in the Camry than I am in my 2000 Avalon XLS. The seat in the Camry is smaller than the Avalon seat but the center console is lower, giving you much more leg room. On a recent 1000 mile trip the Camry seats were very comfortable and I never felt cramped or tired. It is a great car.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    First, I can't believe a dealer would turn new brakes. Are you positive they didn't replace them? That should have been a straight warranty replacement.

    Next, the rusted bolts is normal and has been for years. I know the exact ones you are talking about because I had to discuss this way back in '94 with some customers. The "rust" is actually little more than surface oxidation. It will not get any worse. I promise.
  • greg130greg130 Posts: 4
    The brakes were definetly turned it says so on the invoice and I was told this by the service manager that in order to correct the braking problem that they would have to grind down the rotors and replace the pads. he asked me if I still wanted this done since it was going to take another hour and half to do, which I waited for it, took two and half hours total time there waiting for repairs.

    Heres what the invoice says.





    Today I called the dealer and talked to the service director who said they were going to fix everything except the rusty parts, and I do mean parts not rusty bolts.

    Cliffy1 the parts are the VSU valve and the front pipe gasket which is a sheet of metal not bolts.

    As far as surface oxidation that may be true on the VSU valve but not on the front pipe gasket its rusty.

    He also said he would show me other Camry's with the same rusty parts. Which dosen't seem right to me.

    I told him I want them to put new rotors on instead of these cut ones. He said he couldn't believe they did that ( turn the rotors ) and that if he new about it they would have put new rotors on instead. So it sounds like I'm getting new rotors. Of course they don't have any right now and have to order them.

    The headlight is in but I'm waiting for the new rotors now and will get both done in one visit.

    I'll let you know how it goes...
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    What is a VSU valve? I've not heard of that. I also think I know what you are talking about with the front "pipes" but correct me if I am wrong. You are looking at the exhaust manifold right? There is a backing plate that is about 1/2" thick if I remember correctly. If that is the part you are talking about, it is made of cast iron, similar to an old style frying pan. Like a frying pan, it will develop a layer of surface oxidation but it wont ruin the part.

    Take him up on his offer to inspect other cars. He might be right.

    Oh and keep on them to make sure the rotors are replaced. It sounds like you are on the right track so far.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I have owned a lot of cars, and some had some light rust on exhaust parts and other unfinished steel parts when new (Ford Oldsmobile etc). But Camry is touted as a super finished and reliable car, and I don't believe it should exhibit that type of cosmetic eyesores.

    I have had a new 2001 Mazda Millenia for 8 months now, and after reading these complaints about rust, I decided to check it for this type of problem. I can't speak for all MM's, but after 8 months there is NO sign of any rust, surface or otherwise under the hood of my car. I think it is a major oversight on the part of Toyota to overlook that type of problem. It would be enough to stop me from buying one, although it was on my short list when I bought my MM. They were also WAY to proud of Camry's pricewise.

    I have no doubt Camry is an excellent car, or I would not have test driven them. But the types of complaints I am reading here give me concern about their quality control.

    Please, no offense intended. This is just my personal thoughts on the subject.
  • ahossaahossa Posts: 152
    I'm Happy to hear they are making an effort to correct these problems.The rust that you speak of is normal.Enjoy your car.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Curious. So even though surface rust on the exhaust manifold is not a reliability, longevity or comfort issue, you still call its existence a "problem." Generally a "problem" is something that affects the function or comfort of a car. Would you say manufacturers of cast iron skillets have a "problem" because of the seasoning that happens after a few uses? Its the exact same concept.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    It is a "problem" of perceived quality. Stainless steel exhausts will not rust. That says to me that Camry does not have a stainless steel, or other high quality exhaust system.

    I have never paid close to $30000 for a skillet. Cast iron or any other type. But I have bought stainless steel skillets and knives for very little. The reason for a cast iron skillet is heat distribution around the food. The exhaust on a car needs high heat dissapation. High carbon steel does not provide that property any better than metals that will not rust.

    I don't know what other components in the Camry are showing rust, but plated and galvanized bolts would not show rust when new. I would therefore conclude that Camrys use unfinished/unplated steel components rather than pay for a better quality part.

    While some of these perceived "problems" may not shorten the life of the vehicle, a stainless steel exhaust system will definitely outlast a carbon steel one.

    To me it shows an oversight in quality control of the Camry. The $30000 full boat Camry's are far from economy cars, and I think should exhibit that in the materials used to build them.

    All that said, I realize that all cars will after awhile show some surface rust on such parts as brake components. But the brakes are constantly exposed to water and weather, not protected under the hood where humidity is probably the only moisture they will encounter.
  • greg130greg130 Posts: 4
    Cliffy1 the rust thats on a new part on a new car may or may not be considered a problem, it was described as that along with the other true problems such as the brakes and headlight at the time of my first posting and was carried on in the last posts as that.

    If you don't think it should be labeled a problem than fine. If you want to compare new parts on a new car that rusts from day one to that of a cast iron frying pan fine. To me it's all a problem that I have to deal with and that's the problem.

    OK, I just went out to the garage and popped the hood on the V6 Highlander and the front pipe gasket is different on this engine but I do see what you mean about the seasoning of a frying pan, the highlanders part is turning black but is not rusty it's black the Camry's is not like that it has rust on it.
    As far as your question what is a VSU valve it could be a VSV valve for all I know it was written down on a sheet of paper by the dealer's service manager the night I had my brakes replaced and it could be either or since I wasn't sure of the last letter he wrote down was a ' U ' or a ' V '. Either way it's in the back right hand side on top of the engine if your looking at the engine.
  • hallagehallage Posts: 24
    We rented a cloth-seat Camry LE for a day and the seat bottom seemed hard. Will the leather seats be any softer? Any other comments on driver's seat comfort. I know George00 hates his seat.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...but waited, and now I see Steve Clifford [aka Cliffy] is taking a lot of heat, so let me say once again that there are untreated, unpainted surfaces on exhaust and other engine parts that are going to oxidize and look rusty. It is indeed only on the surface, and does not affect function, but if you are absolutely determined to believe otherwise, then it is definitely a "problem" and that's that.

    All of our cars, including Mercedes, BMWs, Toyotas, and Hondas, have such areas. The bulk of the exhaust is stainless steel, but many connectors are just iron-based pot metal, and these are going to develop a surface rust very quickly, especially if subjected to rain or a heavy car wash [high pressure spray from underneath the car]. I don't know what the dealer is going to do to satisfy this customer - I already commented that the brake rotor repair was unsatisfactory, and I see that they have agreed.

    If, at the end of the day, you have a car that runs well and feels competent on the road, and they have replaced the rotors and taken care of the headlight, I'd feel satisfied. My guess is that somebody ran this car through the car wash after the brakes had gotten hot, and this is always a no-no. Beyond that, I guess I'd move on, but that's just my opinion...
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    No pressure intended on cliffy or anyone else. They don't build the cars, only sell them. Some of us are a lot more picky about appearance than others, and are the ones who are bothered by rust. Being 60 and having owned about 20 cars I am well aware of surface rust. I am also aware there are alternative materials as well as paints that take care of that appearance problem. I bought black hi-temp spray paint and painted the muffler on my MM, so you can see how picky I am. That could also be done by Camry owners to cover the rust.

    There are also some who never even wash their cars, and to them the rust would be of no importance. Anyway, I don't want to engage in a battle about Camry's. I don't even own one. As I said, I am sure they are excellent cars, I think though they could avoid the surface rust problems if they wanted to.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I'm 57, just purchased car #48, and before this discussion, would have considered myself the most "picky" owner on the planet [e.g. no car of ours EVER gets put away for the night dirty, whether at home or on a road trip]. My endlessly patient and understanding spouse certainly thinks I'm in a class by myself, but clearly not...
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I am only that picky with my own car. I do the maintenance and PM on my wifes car, and wash it about every other week. But as far as it being put away dirty, it would be a lost battle.

    I tell her it looks like a traveling snack bar because there are always crumbs etc in it.

    As long as mine looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor, I am happy. :)
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Has anybody noticed the rear shelf vibrating with 1 inch or more of verticle motion and creating a loud booming sound when the rear windows are down , at about 45 to 60 mph on a 2002 Camry LE ? Just got this car on Wednesday and was trying things out. Quite amazing to watch in the rear view mirror.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Thats a defect. Certainly does not happen in our 02 LE, or any other vehicle we have ever had. It should be fixable under warranty On another note..... we averaged 27.6 MPG on our last tank, a good mix of city and highway, with a just a bit more highway than city. This car consistenly has returned 25MPG since we bought it, and now with about 7500miles on the odo, I'd say its well broken in, this is our best milage to date.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I don't know about the rear deck movement, but the booming sound is pretty simple. A lot of new cars do this. What you are hearing is wind buffeting. It can be cured by cracking one or more of the other windows in the car.
  • I have more of a "process" question: I'm interested in the XLE V6 with option packages 7 & 9 (VSC/traction control and the navi). According to a salesman at a New York City area dealership, Toyota isn't currently building them in that configuration and there aren't any in my area. Assuming that's true, I gather that he could either cast a wider net and try to find the car in the color I want or just order it from the factory. In either case, is it typical to negotiate the final price and put some deposit down ($500? more/less) and when the car arrives, check it out and pay the balance/discuss financing? I would probably want to ensure that the deposit would be returned if the car doesn't show up within a reasonable time.

    Thanks for helping this rookie--the board has been a valuable resource.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    You've got the right idea. It is fairly normal to take a deposit on an order. Generally, the deposit is refundable if the car does not arrive in a specified time-frame or if it comes without the equipment you requested. On a car like the Camry that is domestically built, figure 4 to 6 weeks to get it.
  • Thanks very much for your response, Cliffy. I assume that I would talk to the F&I guy when the car comes in from the factory--the 7/75 Platinum extended warranty is listed on the Toyota site at $1150--do you have a sense of what a fair target price should be? Thanks again.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Figure $875 as a pretty good deal. You might get a few more buck off, but that is a decent number as long as it is the genuine Platinum warranty with $0 deductible.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    The difference between the 02 Camry and any other car I now have or had in the last few years is that the Camry rear windows go all the way down. When I put the front window down on a moderate day, I also put the same side rear down about halfway to eliminate most of the buffeting at the front window, I expected the rear to stop about 2/3 way down. Having the rears go all the way down is a plus for the Camry. It doesn't matter if the fronts are cracked open or not , the booming is severe. Try at 70mph for the full effect. Anyway this situation is easy to avoid ,once known , and is just an observation on my part. This car is more than meeting my expectations.
  • logitech1logitech1 Posts: 32
    Hi, my friend is about to buy a 95 camry V6 LE. do you guys know if there is any bad stories about this model? or anything I should pay more attention to? the car is 200K kilometer (or 125000 miles) now. I am in Canada. Thanks
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Is it EVEN possible for me to be able to get a Camry LE I4 or SE I4 with pkg. 3 and manual transmission? I have looked at the local dealership's website in my area, and it's not even possible for them to order me a SE I4 with Manual transmission, and it's suppose to be the SPORTY MODEL? I live in South Carolina btw. I am, however, able to order a Camry LE with manual transmission, but I cannot get Pkg. 3. Am I just not able to get the Camry SE with Pkg. 3, ABS, side airbags, guards, and visor with manual transmission, or can I go out of the region and order one? I know mudguards are only sold in my region.
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