Toyota Camry Maintenance

toyota24toyota24 Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I have a 95 camry v6le which is coming up on a 60k
mile service. Its not under warranty anymore. So does it make
any sense to take it to the Toyota dealer for 60k miles
service? Dealer quoted about 1500$ (in California).
Is it really that high?

I am thinking of getting a quote from Jiffy lube,
Pepboys etc...? any advice on who is better?

So far i 'diligently' took this car to dealer for
every service/maintenance. No mechanical or any other
problems so far.

thanx a great deal for your advice.


  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    This is what I did. At 60k timning belt, drive belts and platinum plugs. Your oil etc should be on your own schedule. Air filter every 15,000-30,000 miles. Transmission every 30,000. I went to and ordered all of the parts from them, genuine Toyota at wholesale prices. Local mechanic I use put them on at about a $500 savings over what the dealer wanted for labor only. No other maintenance is required at 60,000 and do not let the dealer or anyone else talk you into it. I have 128,000 on my 92 Camry V6 SE (same engine as you have) At 120,000 I did the same thing and added the water pump replaced. For belts etc, I would really try to use genuine Toyota parts, my experience is that there really is a difference especially in brake pads. Timing belt at dealer here is $180 (parts & labor) add two more belts ($50) plugs $60-70 + labor) transmission service $30, you can do the air filter yourself.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    You should also have the brake hydraulic system flushed to remove the moisture-contaminated fluid. It's probably the most neglected service.
  • pilot13pilot13 Member Posts: 283
    Is there anywhere in the entire Town Hall where you haven't posted this nonsense about sludge?
    If your motive, with all this frustrated bad mouthing about Toyota, is simply to make them look bad, you have taken the wrong road.
    Unfortunately (for you at least), you've accomplished nothing in that regard. The finger of suspicion points toward you, not poor old Toyota.
    You have yet to learn that in situations like yours (real or otherwise--and in this case, otherwise), the first casualty is most often the truth!
    Take some advice---give it up!
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    When is everyone changing their radiator hoses? I did the top one at 80,000 and it looked great (7 years).

    I found a Goodyear hose from Autozone to be the same length as OE, but the Gates hoses and NAPA hoses were about 1/2 inch shorter on each end, but still fit on , I did not use them.
  • boagboag Member Posts: 14
    I believe that what post #3 was outlining was in the ABS system. The fluid should be changed every couple of years. Some makes state this in the owners manual some don't, but it's cheap insurance.

    I'm a little new to the problem of the sludge, however, I know my sister had a problem with oil pressure on her camry (4 cyl) and I told her it looked like a sending unit or bypass problem. My mechanic was out of town for the holidays so she took it to the Toyota garage. They told her it was sludge and charged her close to $700. She then drove back to her house (approx 200 mi) and she had the same problems. Her maechanic replaced the sending unit and the problem disappeared. Just recently my wife has had friends who have been told by Toyota that they need the sludge removed from their engines. Seems to be a pattern.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I hope it's not too late, but...

    I would NOT take your Toyota to one of the "mass merchants" you mentioned!!

    1500.00 sounds way too high, I would check other Toyota dealerships.

    You might also look for a quality independant that specializes in Toyotas.

    armtdm's advise about buying your own discount parts and then bringing them to a shop to have them installed is a bad idea.

    Most shops would either refuse the work or charge you additionsl labor to make up for the profit they didn't make on the parts. Not a good way to establish a relationship with a shop.

    Kind of like bringing your own ham and eggs into a restaurant, and asking them to make your breakfast!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Excellent advice about buying cheap parts then getting them installed. In the event of a part failure, who warranties it if the shop hasn't made the profit from the sale of the part? They can't return it to a supplier and get a labour credit.
  • toyota24toyota24 Member Posts: 4
    thanx for all your suggestions.

    My dealer said he will provide warranties on
    the parts that I get, IF they are genuine toyota
    So I can purchase parts at and
    then get the work done at a dealer.

    I am not sure, if the dealer will honor the
    guarntee, he just told me that he would, so....
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    I might have misunderstood your previous post. If you bring genuine Toyota parts to a Toyota dealer for installation, there might not be any warranty issues. However, unless the cost saving is really big, you'd be further ahead to let the installing dealer supply the parts, if just for the comfort zone factor.
  • kenjikenji Member Posts: 2
    Regarding #1

    If you diligently' took your car to dealer for
    every service/maintenance and no mechanical or any other problems so far,I think 1500$ is high.
    How much have you ever paid for maintenance(7500miles,15000mies,...30000miles...)? If you have changed anything, it might cost 1500$.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Well, it's obvious you guys have not built up a good relationship with a local mechanic, non dealer that is. Yes, mine will put in Toyota parts that I bring him Know why, because other then simple stuff like filters etc.(if I want genuine toyota parts) he has to go to the dealer to get the parts anyway and he claims he pays (and me) through the nose. He may charge me extra labor but believe me, the savings in part cost (Lone Star Ford 15% over cost) and labor is huge over a dealer. ($300-$400 on a 120,000 mile service, timing belt, drive belts, water pump, plugs, wires) Warranty., toyota has to warranty the parts, I may be stuck for the labor but so far not an issue.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    In this case it might be different. Most shops deeply resent a customer bring in their own parts.

    They would consider a person like that to be the ultimate cheapskate since they typically depend on making a profit on both the parts as well as the labor.

    But...if your guy doesn't care, go for it!
  • boagboag Member Posts: 14
    I assume that there is was sludge to start with so the operation is quite simple. The only difficult step is making sure the check clears. The funny part is that I know my sister regularly changes her oil at 3k miles (because I tell her she is wasting her money) so there is no chance of any build up or break down of the oil. I chalk it up to questionable business practices. However, as on any bulletin board there is no way to verify my comments so we need to accept this as fiction and try to muddle through.
  • boagboag Member Posts: 14
    I had a typo in my previous post. I tried to say that there was "no sludge" in the engine to start with. Sorry for the mis-statement
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Oil/filter only if this is within your normal schedule. Outside of that here's what I would do and have done on my 92 Camry SE V6, 129,000 miles.
    Air filter (can do yourself), fuel filter, drain and refill transmission fluid, maybe coolant if it does not have the long life from the factory stuff in it!. Nothing else at 30,000. Plugs are at 60,000, belts and timing belt at 60,000, Check you manual and go with that.
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Member Posts: 120
    Don't forget those 2 idler pulleys when you change timing belt.
  • rooba10rooba10 Member Posts: 38
    Does the V-6 engine that is free reving engine require belt change at 60K? Has anyone had the belt snapping experience if so at what mileage?

    Honda says 90K for their 2.2L 4 cylinder. Why can't I extend the belt change to 90K? Is it the belt that can't take it, or Toyota says replace it at 60K to make $ more often.

    If the belt breaks, the pistons won't hit the valve as it is the case with Mazda MPV 3.0L V-6 or Chrysler Neon 2.0L engine.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    The Toyota V6 since 92 at least is an interference engine. YOU WILL KILL the engine if the belt breaks. Service Manual (I have one) and owner's manual say replace at 60,000 cost is about $200 parts and labor and do the other two belts at the same time as they must be removed to get to the timing belt. Some belts look great at 60,000 some are cracked and teeth misising and ready to go. If you do not want to replace belts find an engine with a timing chain the next time around.
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Member Posts: 120
    I did a 94 es300 timing belt change ,this included
    the water pump and all pulleys,and the spark plugs
    (it's much easier to change belt with plugs out)
    maybe the above writer meant $2000,I don't
    think there is even a ma and pa shop that
    would attempt that job for $200.
  • rooba10rooba10 Member Posts: 38
    The Toyota service manager told me that the engine is free revving and belt breakage will not hurt the engine. If what you say is true, I will have the belt replaced at 60K as I did in our old '89 Mazda MPV's V-6 engine. I doubt there was that much difference between 92 and 96 V-6 engines,if any. If the pistons are going to hit the valves, I will stick with 60K interval. The Toyota dealer service department said the belt replacement costs $170 (parts and labor).

    Oilcan2, where do you live that they charge $2000 to replace a timing belt?!
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Member Posts: 120
    I think I have your engine confused with my engine
    I have the v-6 4 cam 1MZ-FE.This engine is the
    v-6 used in camrys from 94 to 98.the 93 has the
    3vzfe and 92 shows 2 v-6 engines,the 2vzfe and
    the 3zvfe,the 1 mz-fe is the aluminum block
    engine.I'll call a local dealer and get a price
    on a 98 camry v-6 belt replacement and post it.
    Sorry about the mix up.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Try looking here for clarification re free running/interference engines:

  • rooba10rooba10 Member Posts: 38
    Thank you for the Gate's web site. In Toyota section, for 92-97 Camry V-6 engine, it does have an * which is the sign of Interference engine.

    I will stick with 60K if the engine is interference type, and will stretch it to 75 to 90K if it is not.

    Good help and hints in this site.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Yep. If you can wade through the urban legends, anecdotes, the "my sister's teacher's friend's Chevette has the very same problem as your Rolls Royce" type posts there are some pretty sharp folks hanging out here with good advice. :-)
  • brucer2brucer2 Member Posts: 157
    Be careful about the information given on the Gates site. I looked up my car (Maxima), and it had model years listed that don't even have timing belts; let alone a subtly like a change of timing belt design.
    Make sure you know what model engine, and date of mfg. you have then check with the mfg of you car for, hopefully, reliable information.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    at dealers in South Carloina is about $160, more for all the belts and the water pump.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    for a V6 Camry '92-'97 in the Gates listing. So, it is not an interference engine.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I know my 92 V6 is an interference engien asn since the 92 was the re-design of the Camry the V6 from 92 on is probably the same.

    Ask toyota directly, most service reps at dealers have too many models, years and are probably too wet behind the ears to know their timing belts from their chains or even what an interference engine is!!!!!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Even if it isn't an interference engine, you should still follow manufactures reccomendations.

    So, you decide to save money by stretching the 60K interval to 90,000.

    At 83,000 miles on a dark rainy night while merging onto a crowded freeway, the belt decides to let go?

    Ah...but think of the money you "saved"!
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    60K interval? Should we believe in it? Remember, it comes from a company who thinks a year's worth of driving is only 12,000 miles( 3years or 36K). Ha-ha!

    I'll take my chances on belt replacement. I'm not going to get one until the car reaches a minimum of 80,000 miles.

    Our Camry V6 is not neglected or abused. It sits inside a cozy garage out of the sun and bitter cold. Certainly, in 1996, they had enough technological know-how to make a timing belt that would last greater than 60,000 miles.?

    I think 60,000 miles is too early. I don't know anyone personally who has had timing belt problems. I have asked around, with other owners, and they are going further than some instances over 100K! It must be rare...

    But I realize that others don't feel this way. That is ok. I won't call them fools. They are cautious and they want peace of mind. Nothing wrong with that. Just like those who change their oil every 3,000 mi....

    But please folks, don't have any nightmares of merging into the crowded freeways...and your timing belt breaks... There are far more important issues to be concerned about during those occasions!
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    When replacing a belt at 60,000 or before it actually breaks the advantage is that you can shop for the belt and/or specials on replacing it. When it breaks not only are you looking at towing but replacing at the mercy of the mechanic that you have it towed to at, no doubt, a higher cost.Also depends on who drives the car. If it is your daughter out there with a 90,000 mile belt then maybe this is okay for you but in most parts of this country breaking down and a female driver is not very safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially when $200 can buy piece of mind.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    True, having the belt replaced earlier(than I wanted) to hopefully reduce breakdown may well be cheaper than the alternative of me buying my significant other a cell phone...let's see, $40 per month times 24 months equals...hmmm goodly savings!

    : ^ )
  • stevens7stevens7 Member Posts: 2
    I am considering purchasing a 1991 Toyota Camry, 4 cylinder, with 77k miles. Is this engine an "interference" type...and when is the timing belt due for replacement?


  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I think you are making a mistake.

    Years ago, Honda required 60,000 mile timing belt changes. Along the way, they improved the quality of the belts and the intervals changed from 60,000 to 90,000. After 1997, it's 105,000.

    Now, don't you think Toyota suggests 60K for a good REASON ? I'm surprised they haven't matched Honda in this regard.

    But, you can go ahead and take your chances. I just hope it's you driving when it snaps and not your wife or daughter.

    Sounds like false economy to me!
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    80,000 miles on a 1996 timing belt?. I intend to stay around Edmunds for a few more years and will keep everyone updated....

    If I screw up, then I'll let ya'll know! Promise.

    If nothing happens and the belt gives service to 80,000 miles, then you'll hear about that too !......
  • brucer2brucer2 Member Posts: 157
    Most manufactures know how long different items will last. A plot of the expected failure rate/miles will look like a, somewhat distorted, bell curve. Then they pick what they think will be an acceptable failure rate (say 1% of all belts will by this milage), and that would be 60k miles. So you would have a 99% chance of going farther than 60k miles. The farther you go past 60k miles the greater the chance of the belt breaking. Without knowing what the failure data looks like, or what Toyota thinks is an acceptable failure rate, it's hard to say where, say the, 50-50 point is.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    If not then Honda can easily say 105,000. Who cares and their cars seem to require less maintenance and good advertisiing against toyota. With an interference engine ( assuming they are not) would they be willing to take that chance with the customers money????

    We are talking $200 bucks here, not $2,000. Not worth the worry or hassle just DO IT!
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    for timing belts in most models from 60K to 90K starting with the 1998s.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    My 1990 Mazda 626 racked up a tad over 90,000 miles before I voluntarily decided to have the timing belt replaced. I think the "recommended interval" (not "the required") mileage was 60K.

    I asked the mechanic about the condition of the original belt. He stated that it looked "ok", but that it was a "good idea" to have gone ahead and had it replaced.

    My plan calls for a 80,000 mile belt replacement in my '96 LE V6...thanks for the advice though.

    I also had some other belts and hoses replaced at the same time... It was a fine little sedan.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    Out local Honda dealer goes with the mileage recommendation, but adds a time limit of either 5 or 7 years _ I can not remember which.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Just go beyond the 80,000 miles?

    We could do the Wilcox Timing Belt Test !

    Drive it until it snaps! Hell, we could take bets!

    The thing is, it probably WILL go the 80,000 miles. The 60K reccomendation I'm sure was set to allow leeway.

    Another thing to think about is oil contamination.

    Sometimes the front seal will start to leak and the oil will get on and ruin the timing belt.

    I think that's another reason for the 60K reccomendation. You never know.
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Are interference engines, at least all the new ones, i think. So the 105K mile interval is not a plot against toyota.

  • rooba10rooba10 Member Posts: 38
    Does anyone know how to take out the oil filter without making a mess?

    I don't understand why didn't Toyota leave slight room under the filter so I can slide a piece of cardboard to deflect the draining oil. The hole in the engine mount bracket is worthless. The oil gets on the oil pan, and runs down on part of the exhaust.

    On my second oil change, I let the oil drain from drain hole longer, and used one of those oil absorbent rags, it did better than the first oil change, but it still got some on the pan and exhaust. Not a big deal, I just wonder if someone has better method.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I now have my oil changed. I got sick and tired of the mess, wiping up spills, disposing of the old oil etc...What a PITA !!
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Yea, the filter is a pain but I use the heavy duty blue paper towels and they absorb most of the spill. For drain plugs I installed a Fumoto valve. This takes the place of the drain plug. All you do is push the spring back and move the lever and the oil flows out. Move it back and it is secure until the next change. Beats removing the plug each time etc., they have a web site but do a search for fumoto valves. I love it.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057

    Really really do work if you change your oil often!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Does it hang down where it can get broken off?

    Saw something similar once and it scared me.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    armdtm, thanks for the link!

    I had one years ago on my '77 Chevy Impala. Loved it! Thought Fumoto had gone out of business.

    Isell, according to the website, the valve projects out only 1/2 inch compared to the original drain plug.

    On my Chevy small block, the angle of the fumoto valve was such that it didn't hang down closer to the ground.

    It really depends on the location of the drain plug and the shape of the oil pan.
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