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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I heard that this happened sometimes to 80's cressidas, because of the weight of the vehicle - I had a friend who was a Toyota mechanic, and he had replaced a few of those.

    Overall, when Toyota first brought in power rack-and-pinion steering, it was not as heavy duty as it needed to be on some of the models, at least as it was explained to me.

    They had this fixed by the mid-80's, and the '83 celica I just sold had only just begun to get sloppy in the rack, at 250K. The other post was the first I heard that this problem was particularly bad in camrys.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Bill,

    4 CV boots/joints is correct. There is an inner and outer boot/joint on each side of the front suspension.

    I am not sure what I said that made you think that I suspected you were being quoted a price for the split boots. I really am not sure what a good price quote would be. I was just commenting that if you need CV boots, make sure you are getting full boots and make sure they inspect the joints well.

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Test drive another Camry. The one I drove zipped up to 80 with no problem, and had plenty left. Top speed should be near 130.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    I think Camry will edge out Accord but there's still a 21 days left.

    Better go get your Camry
  • Go Camry! The Toyotathon should help sales over the Accord.
  • Remember that with a automatic, when you really depress the accelerator to pass, the transmission normally downshifts to provide better acceleration. You should be doing the same thing with your manual transmission. If you're leaving it in 5th and trying to pass the acceleration won't be great.

    Consumer Reports measures sort of mid range acceleration times (I think it was something like 45-60 mph). I noticed that a V-6 Camry had a faster time than a Porsche Boxster. Someone on an Edmunds forum explained that the Porsche's time was slower probably because the tester simply did not downshift the manual transmission.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    usually perform passing tests in top gear to gauge the efficiency of the gearing... ie... to guage if the automaker has chosen to bias economy or acceleration...
  • at mid-range acceleration is that passing is when a car's acceleration is most likely to be needed in the real world. Like everything that CR does, it reflects the practical concerns of the majority of motorists.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    On when we can see a press release, and/or actual release of the VVTi V6 Camry and the 5sp auto? Will the 5sp auto be available with the 4 cylinder cars?
  • The 5sp transmission will only be available for the V6 models. They look like they're being built this month, so I would guess that they will start showing up near the end of the month or early next month.
  • About three weeks ago I got a $20,455 out-the-door (tax, title and processing fee) price quote for a 2003 Toyota Camry LE with anti-lock brakes, power driver's seat, keyless entry and full set of carpeted floormats. I just noticed today that Toyota is now offering dealer cash back on that model. Does anyone know how much the dealer receives per vehicle in the Northeast? Can I get this vehicle out-the-door for $19,999.99? I'd buy if I could break the 20k psychological price barrier.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    As of November 30 2002 Camry leads Accord by just under 36,000 units! I think the #1 selling car crown is about to go back to Toyota.
    : )
  • The Camry will be the best selling Sedan this year.
  • It was the Accord's last year .. whadya expect? The Accord clobbered the Camry in 01 which was the Camrys last year. Expect 03 to be a much closer race than the last 2.
  • Some dealers will offer to sell you a Camry or other Toyota model for over or under invoice price. If you figure out the invoice price using Edmunds pricing you will come up with a price a few hundred dollars less than what the salesperson will show you on a printout from Toyota showing the invoice price and MSRP. The invoice is on a printout showing the dealers incoming inventory. The invoice is not on a seperate sheet.At least that is what I was shown.
  • steveb84steveb84 Posts: 187
    The invoice is printed on an individual sheet for each vehicle in inventory, and also available on a printout sheet of all inventory.

    The difference in Edmunds vs. Dealer number is usually the advertising fee. The ad feee varies by region. Sometimes a percentage of base price, sometimes a flat fee.

    Car customers should be thankful there is so much information out there and that dealer will work on small percentages in relation to invoice. If consumers only knew what margins other business dealt in they would be scared at how much they make over cost.
  • Took delivery last week on a 2003 XLE V6. Very nice car in most respects, with one glaring exception -- a jolting "clunk" when shifted into drive first thing in the morning. Makes an otherwise classy car seem low rent.

    I revisited a brief discussion on this back somewhere earlier on this thread. A dealer told someone this was normal. Someone else advised having a service manager check it out. Can't see anything exceptional about my car, so I'm thinking it really is normal. Bummer.

    Has anyone had any experience at having this item fixed? Any Toyota people on this thread with an answer? Any estimates on how much damage this will cause to the drivetrain over the years?

    Interestingly, the car does seem to have the ability to dampen this effect somewhat. I've experimented with moving it immediately back to neutral, then back into drive again, and the effect is lessened somewhat the second time. Both times, however, the RPMs are high to warm the engine up -- about 1600. So, if it can dampen it the second time, why not the first time.

    Major things I like about this car: Very reponsive engine and drivetrain (after you get by the "clunk.") Love the 6-disc CD changer. Overall sense of quality about the car.

    A couple of dislikes: You can feel the bass from the audio in the armrests--that seems cheap. The bottom of the seat cushion could be an inch or two longer, for better thigh support.

    But, overall, a sweet car to drive, solid feeling, nice to look at -- Aspen Green, with standard alloys. But can someone deliver me from this "clunk"?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    no sarcasm intended- have you tried adjusting the bass?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    There is no "dealer cash" in the central Atlantic Region (PA, VA, WV, DE and MD). The only incentives are the financing deals. As to whether you can get under $20K OTD depends on the state you live in.
  • Alpha01 -- Yes, the bass has been adjusted. It gets adjusted back and forth a little, depending on which family member is using the car. I prefer the mid-range, which is the "0" default setting from the factory. Another driver dials it down to -3 or -4 because bass gives him a headache. The vibration in the armrests is, of course, more noticable at the 0 setting than the others. Of course, that's just mid-range -- you can also dial it all the way up to +5, but that's unlikely in my family.

    I appreciate your thought, but don't see where it leads. To eliminate most of the vibration in the armrest, you might dial it all the way down to -5. Then, of course, I don't enjoy the music as much, because I like bass. My solution would be for Toyota structual and audio engineers to get their heads together and try to isolate the speaker movement from the armrest, at least as much as possible. I routinely played more bass on the car I sold (Buick Regal) to get this Camry, with no noticable feel in the armrest.

    This isn't a major deal with me, just something I think Toyota can improve on. The transmission clunk is a much bigger deal.
  • Is the clunk happen when you are on a slopping driveway? That's normal if it doesn't happen on flat surface. My Canadian 2003 Camry SE V6 JBL audio system had a very boomy bass and unclear sound. The radio reception is weak too.Hope they take notice and get a better supplier for their sound system. No songs sound good on this system and it is quite irritating. Otherwise, I this car a lot. About the clunk, most cars I owned do have them when I begin to reverse while parking on my slanting driveway.
  • onlyimports -- I believe you're talking about a different situation, where you use "Park" as a brake on a sloping driveway, then it's hard to move it out of reverse the next morning and you get an abupt sound when you do it. I'm talking about an entirely different thing -- after you back out of the driveway and then shift into "Drive," that's where you get this "thunk" effect. At that point, I'm on a level street, so I'm not sure that whether I was parked on a slope or not would make any difference. For the record, my driveway has only a very, very slight slope -- it's nearly flat.

    I haven't perceived the problems with the radio and audio system you mention. I'm happy with the reception and the sound of my CDs.
  • Do you have ABS....sounds like the self check for that system.
  • Austinman7,

    I have a 2003 LE 4 cyl that has the same noise. Some people expressed surprise that this noise was so apparent, because they could barely hear it on their previous vehicles. However, I find it annoyingly loud. Also it sounds "bad" - hard to think that it is normal and not causing any damage. Here is how I satisfied myself, that my noise was the ABS self test.

    Park on level ground. Turn ignition off. Start car. Lock all doors. Put in reverse. I hear a small noise that sounds like a solenoid. I think this must be part of the automatic locking system. Put into drive. Move forward a few feet. I hear the "clunk". Stop the car. Put in park. Put in reverse. I hear the small solenoid like noise again. Put in drive. Drive forward. I don't hear the "clunk" this time.

    Because the "clunk" only happens one time and only after the first forward movement when starting the car, I decided that it was highly likely to be the ABS self test. This seems reasonable to me, but I am still surprised by how loud this is.

  • I am shopping for the 2003 automatic 4 cylinder LE this Christmas and as I surfed the net for reviews and prices, I came accross this report from


    They said most of the complaints were from the four-cycles engine. I think this is a typo error. In my opinion, it should only cover models 1997-2001 since 2002 is a different engine (more horses: 133 against 157HP). Unless 2002 model which is also the same as 2003 has the same problem.

    What do you think?

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    if the there have been 35 reports with 2.5 million cars sold, it doesnt seem to be much of an issue. same thing with the accord seats- low incidence of problem compared to 700,000 sold.

  • I don't really care too. I'll still go ahead and buy the Camry this Christmas. Mathematicaly, that's a very little number of complaints: 0.0014% !!!
  • xbbusterxbbuster Posts: 145
    Check out posts # 4623 to 4626. I had a the same complaint when I left my '02 V6 overnight at the dealer and was there the next morning for a test drive with the service greeter. Into reverse....smooth, then to neutral then to drive with a foot on the brake....clunk. Immediately this "technician" says. " Oh that? Forget about it. They all do that, it's normal, besides you have a five year warranty don't worry." I wrote to Toyota and they called back after a couple of weeks and said somebody would be in contact with me. I'm still waiting. This must be a common problem and and Toyota is just avoiding it with the carmakers' standard response, " It's normal."
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'll be the first to admit that Camry quality is not what it once was, but having said that, it is still very high. For everyone that has this clunking sound "problem"- How do you define problem? If it is a sound that occurs only once during the course of operation of a vehicle, poses no mechanical threat or safety issue, does not impair vehicle operation, does not deteriorate ride, increase noise, or whatever, is it really a "problem" or just an "annoyance"? My 2000 Camry has had trim issues, but those were nothing more than annoyances- NOT problems. The car has been like an anvil in areas where it counts.

    I also wonder if reading boards like this increases awareness to issues that some may never had otherwise- when I go back home for the holidays and drive my parents' 2002 Camry, I'll probably, on some level, be LOOKING FOR THIS CLUNK. Then I can join the bad wagon of people who b**ch and moan about things so inconsequential to the quality of life. Just frekin be happy!

    Face it- by nature of this board, we are nitpickers because we love our cars. Nothing is ever perfect. Live with it. If you regret buying your Camry so much, get rid of it. (I'd buy it from you). If anyone can direct me to a website, or alternate boards here, that deal more with automotive news and insider info regarding mainstream cars, please do so.
  • IMO, a "clunking" noise is hardly comparable to a trim issue. I know for a fact that trim is merely cosmetic. But I am not sure what the noise is. I agree with you, if it is not a mechanical/safety issue, then it is an annoyance. But it seems as if no one actually knows what this noise is. And most of us are too cynical to believe "it is normal" from the dealer.

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