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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    And the relationship between burned sparkplugs and the car's transmission is?
  • Shortly after I bought my 03 Camry LE V6 (new), I noticed a loose-feeling in the steering. Sometimes in utters a low pitched clanking noise also; something that sounds similar to turning the steering wheel when the car is not moving. I've had it to the dealer several times and even a private alignment shop -- everyone claims the front end is tight and properly aligned. I never noticed this in my 00 Camry LE V6.

    Anyone else experience this (problem)??
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Have you or anyone else checked the power steering fluid level?
  • All fluids are checked with each oil change, however, I will check it myself later today.

  • I have a 92 Camry XLE that has been the best car I've owned (249,000 miles on it). The remote that operates the keyless entry and the alarm inadvertently got run over - a lot. Alas the tape has finally worn off and I need to get a replacement. The dealer wants to charge me just to look at it. Any idea who made those systems? I believe it was factory installed. Would I be better off installing a new system instead of trying to hunt down the replacement? Thanks.
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688
    Buy one on EBAY or from your dealer if it was a Toyota factory.

    You should have had two and they should say Toyota on them.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    We've had an unusually hot summer. When my black 2005 sits out in the sun all day, it seems to take quite a while to cool down, even on recirculate. The interior is light so at least the surfaces aren't hot but it doesn't seem like the air coming out is all that cold. I wouldn't expect the charge to be low on a car only 16 months old.

    Anyone think the Camry AC is weak relative to other cars they've owned?
  • Checked the power steering fluid and discovered two levels indicated -- one for a hot engine and one for a cold engine. Since I had driven the car earlier in the day, I can't say it was hot but the temperature outside was a good 82 degrees so it sure wasn't cold. According to the fluid level markings, it's either 1/2 way between max./min. if the engine is considered hot or slightly overfilled if the engine is considered cold. Tomorrow morning I'll check it when I'm sure the engine is totally cold.

    By the way, does the Camry V6 require a "special" power steering fluid or can I just pick up a quart of something generic at Walmart??

    Thanks -- Rick
  • I asked the same question in relationship to the Camry Hybrid. In the Camry Hybrid forum, check messages 2794 and 2792.

    I thought, in the Camry 4 cylinder (not hybrid) I had test driven, the AC was not as cold as the unit I have on my 03 Camry LE V6, however, (according to their experience) several hybrid owners disagreed.

    I'm real sensitive to AC -- it's never be too cold for me. The best unit I ever had was in my 00 Camry LE V6.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you want COLD A/C outlet airflow then turn the temperature control all the way down and then use the blower speed to moderate your comfort level.

    Most modern day systems CHILL the airflow first for dehumidification and then a portion of the airflow goes through a reheat/remix cycle so the outlet airflow isn't so COLD as to discomfort you and your passengers.

    But then if you want REALLY COLD airflow then put a manual shutoff valve in the hot water line from the engine to the heater to remove the reheat capability altogether and/or the results of radiant heating of the airflow from the close by, VERY close by, heater core.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "By the way, does the Camry V6 require a "special" power steering fluid or can I just pick up a quart of something generic at Walmart??"

    Universally available and cheap Ford Type F or Dexron III automatic transmission fluid will be fine in just about any power steering system except a Honda's. (There may be several European systems that are fussy about their PS fluids, too.)
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "...We've had an unusually hot summer. When my black 2005 sits out in the sun all day, it seems to take quite a while to cool down, even on recirculate..."

    An unusually hot summer (polite-speak for days of heckish triple-digit heat?) and a black car put a very high demand on automotive A/C systems. If your car has automatic climate control, cut to the chase and set it to manual, recirculate, the heat control valve all the way to "Arctic Whiteout", and the fan speed set to "Tornado". Set the vents to the upper level, only, to blast your face with cold air. (Ironically, the rest of your bod can be broiling, but if your face and neck are cool, subjectively you feel cool. ;)) Don't worry about suffocating with the system set to recirculate. There is adequate fresh air flow through the cabin, nevertheless. Fuel mileage? PHHhhttT! - Your comfort is worth more than a few extra pennies at the pump, even at 3+ bucks a gallon. (In this life, you don't get extra points for needlessly suffering.)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Actually the more correct or proper procedure, at least initially, would be to turn the system to MAXIMUM COOLING, the blower up to MAX and keep (or return) the system in "fresh" incoming airflow for the first few minutes after the car has sat out in the hot summer sun for an extended period.

    That will help to force the HOT, super-heated, atmosphere from the cabin. Lowering the rear windows slightly will also help. If the interior surfaces have been really HEATED, as well they might, it would likely be worthwhile staying in this configuration for the early, brief, portion of your drive.

    But once the interior has cooled down you should switch the system to recirculate (but NEVER use this mode coolish or cold climates), and turn the blower to a fairly low speed.

    Remember that the longer warm milk remains in the 'frig the colder it becomes. The same is true of the airflow coming from those dash vents, the longer it takes t air to move through the A/C evaporator the cooler it will become.

    In recirculate mode the high blower speed would cool the cabin, overall, just as quickly as in low speed, but at low speed "you" will be cooled, and/or feel the effects of cooling, much earlier, more quickly.
  • Just checked the power steering fluid level (the engine hasn't been run today)and according to the cold level markings, the fluid is right up to the maximum level.

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    BTW, Toyota specifies Dexron III automatic transmission fluid for the power steering system. So a generic is okay, but Ford Type F is not the proper one to use.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    My Camry SE AC is manual and I do turn the cold to min and the fan to max. Have tried various combinations of recirculate with everything closed and outside air with windows cracked or wide open for the first few minutes.

    Drove the wife's Highlander today, which has auto climate control, and my "calibrated" fingers told me that the conditioned air is much colder coming out of the vents than the Camry when both are in re-circulate.

    I'm sure part of the Camry issue is the black exterior (the Highlander is gold). Haven't been able to make an apples-to-apples comparion with comparable outside temps. Next time I have it in for service, I will have it checked out.

    Thanks for all the comments.
  • I have been asking for help on the "problems" thread for a couple of days and people don't seem to have an answer. To sum it up my 99 4 cyl Camry with 117K miles on it is have trouble. :sick: White smoke comes out of the tail pipe at start up. There is no change in the performance (mpg, shifting, engine temperature etc). The car has been serviced regularly and was just in for an oil change about two months (2000 miles) ago. Some mechanics seem to think that it is the head gasket and will cost about $1200-$1300 :cry: to fix. If this is a reasonable estimate, I would like to fix it because I am not very appealed by the $30K price tag on the hybrids and the 07 4 cyl seem to have issues.

    If the above issue is true, then I have several other smaller issued that I would like help with.
    1) I have to put premium gas for it to get the 29-31 mpg. When I put in a lower grad the mileage drops significantly (has not been tested recently - Tested about 4 yrs ago). Is there something I can do or is this normal in the 99 Camry?
    2) The fuel tank release is broken and I need a replacement mechanism. Is it easy to replace? Where can I buy the replacement without going through the dealer?

    This has been a great car for me. I have had it since day one (January 99) and I would like to keep it for another 3-4 years before buying something else. Please help - this is my first brand new car. I can't believe that it would be dying at 117K. My previous car was an 84 Camry that lasted 19 year and had 179K miles on it when I turned it in and the dealer still gave me $800 for it to buy the 99. I would like to keep the tradition of going over 175K. ;)

    Please help. :confuse:

    P.S. If you in the SoCal IE area, please suggest some "trustworthy" toyota specialists other than the dealer. I think the owner of the shop I go to has retired and the new people got me mad because they would not answer my questions like the old guy. :mad:
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    The difference between Ford Type F and any GM spec ATF through Dexron III is the total absence of friction modifiers in the Ford fluid versus those in Dexron that are taylored to GM's AT band and clutch friction facings. PS fluids are simply spec'd as hydraulic fluids - which all ATFs easily meet (Honda's excepted). PS fluids carry no requirement for boundary layer friction modifiers since they have no clutch facing materials in their innards that have to be taylored to achieve smooth shifting characteristics*. I wasn't proposing that Ford Type F be sought out, but it is formulated as a general hydraulic fluid and does fully meet the requirements in all PS systems except Honda's and perhaps several European systems. Toyota's specific recommendation for Dexron III is just as, if not more, likely due to its universal availability. Even mom-n-pop gas & snack shops in East Possum Trot can be counted on to have a bottle or two of Dexron III on a shelf.

    *Many a drag racer with a beefed-up Powerglide run Ford Type F for one reason and one reason only: solid, spine-breaking shifts when the pedal's to the metal of a blown big-block Chevy "Rat" motor running nitromethane. B&M "TrickShift" ATF is nothing more than relabled and outrageously priced Ford Type F ATF.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    That visible white "smoke" is steam - from vaporized coolant. If it's visible at all, it's past time to merely think about dealing with it. If that were the end of it, it would merely be an annoyance with a requirement to keep the coolant level in the radiator topped up. But, that isn't the end of it. Some of the coolant that's being drawn into one or more cylinders isn't making its way harmlessly out the exhaust pipe. It's being forced past the piston rings in the affected cylinder(s) and into the crankcase where the water and antifreeze condense after shutdown and cool-off as a very insideous form of oil contamination. Ethylene glycol (the "antifreeze" part of antifreeze) has very poor lubricating properties and is VERY corrosive to lead containing bearing materials (main and connecting rod bearings). You NEED to get that problem attended to if you want to save your engine. Once a mechanic gets the cam cover off, you'll soon know whether you have additional problems that era Toyota motor is noted for. Sorry, I don't have any recommendations for you for an honest, competent, Toyota mechanic. I'm sure there are some very good ones around. Jawboning with other Toyota Camry owners in shopping center parking lots may give you some leads, though.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Thanks, I didn't know that to the level of detail you provided. So it would technically be okay to mix Dexron III and Ford Type F in the power steering system of a Camry?
  • Thanks ray_h1. Unfortunately it was the head gasket. No oil contamination or coolant problem. A little bit of oil leak through old seals cause some over heating that caused the cylinder head to have a little bit of damage, but all the gaskets and seals were shot. They're replacing all the seals and gaskets and refinishing the cylinder. I won't get the car back until next week. :( At least there was some good news - NO SLUDGE!! :shades: Not happy about spending close to $1400 but it's a lot better than needing a new engine or buying a new car. According to the mechanic, other than the 117K miles already on it, the engine will be as good as new. I guess I can try to get to 200K. ;) Thanks for your input.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    ray_h1, you sure provide some great information in our discussions. Thanks very much!! :D
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "So it would technically be okay to mix Dexron III and Ford Type F in the power steering system of a Camry?"

    In a purely hydraulic application such as PS systems, there'd be no problem either way. Both fluids use a light 5W base oil for cold weather operation and both have appropriate elastomeric seal swell agents to maintain leak-free operation as well as extreme pressure anti-wear agents to protect wear metal parts. The presence or absence of boundary layer friction modifiers* in the fluid has no bearing in hydraulic applications because there're no clutch facing materials involved. How did Ford get away without using friction modifiers in their earliest ATs? The company's friction facings were VERY hard - controlled slippage was a designed-in attribute. Eventually (~1975-ish) Ford "learned" from that "mistake" - hence FM doped Mercon, Mercon V, and Mercon SP ATFs...

    *This chemistry allows initial controlled slippage and then "locks" the driving and driven pieces as they heat up for full engagement. FMs got their start with GM "Type A, Suffix A" ATF fluid and then progressed with the various Dexrons. The Japanese and Europeans signed on to Dexron initially, but eventully realized if they branched out with their own clutch facing materials (and specified proprietary ATFs ;)), they could catch a ride on the gravy train for field service. Now proprietary $6.00/qt. automaker ATFs are a reality. Ain't progress jist wunnerful?...

    For another take, though, Ford appears to backtrack (or at least not aggressively recommend) Ford Type F ATF for non-Ford PS systems. Your call.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Thanks, pat.

    (I still find it annoying doing the slidebar lateral jitterbug to line up text on my legacy monitor... [snicker] ;))
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I don't blame you - that's a real pain. Have you been following the Software discussion? If not, you probably have not seen the announcement that a fix should be implemented 8/16. Check it out: Sylvia, "Forums Software! Your Questions Answered..." #2928, 1 Aug 2006 9:34 pm.

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "At least there was some good news - NO SLUDGE!!"

    Well, you're right; that was good news. But there's somewhat bitter irony attached if you're the original owner... Had there been sludge in your engine, you might well have been elligible for a complete engine rebuild on Toyota's nickel (as long as you could supply evidence of at least one oil change per year). Toyota extended the warranty on the 1995-2001 "sludgemonster" engines to ten years, unlimited miles. By necessity that would've included remilling the head as needed to achieve proper sealing and replacing the head gasket.

    (Ever get the feeling that the powers that control our destinies sometimes have a perverse sense of humor?)
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Thanks also; your detailed knowledge is second to none!
  • I know, just as I was thinking about upgrading, then the car has issues. Then there is the extended warranty, but at least I don't lose the car for an extended amount of time and I don't have to hassle with toyota and the dealer etc. I am the original owner, but technically I am not. Car was a gift from my uncle so I have had it since day 1. The other thing is trying to prove the I performed to oil changes my self. Yes, I may be a girl, but the same uncle did teach me how to change my oil and some other minor things. I just saw a prolonged fight and for $1400 I would rather not. It would have probably cost me more to rent a car during the process!! In the end, I am satisfied and would just like to revel a little in this minor conquest. ;)
    Like I always said - Look around you and try to tell me that God does not have a sense of humor. And if we are truly "made in the image of God" then our "perverse sense of humor" must come from somewhere. :)
  • gsamsagsamsa Posts: 1
    I wacked the driver's side mirror on my US-built 97 Camry and am trying to replace it. All the replacement parts online are for a power-operated mirror, yet my mirror is manual. I can't even find a reference to such a beast. Any thoughts?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Have you tried 1aauto?

    I just ordered a replacement taillight for my Nissan Frontier from them. They sell through eBay also; in fact, they are one of the largest sellers on eBay, and you can get discounts that way.
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