Toyota Camry Maintenance



  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Like I said before, a timing belt will normally last well beyond the reccomended replacement intervals. If Toyota says 60,000 miles, there is a safety factor built into that.

    My point was (and still is) why fiddle with it and take a risk of you (or your family) getting stranded somewhere or having it snap while being tailgated by a semi on the freeway?

    Kind of like driving with bald tires. Will you have a blowout? Probably not.

    I just have to wonder if it's a tight wallet or just stubborness on your part now?

    False economy in my opinion but I wish you another 100,000 miles!
  • froto25froto25 Member Posts: 14
    I would like to change my PVC valve on my 1998 v6 XLE Camry. Does anyone out there know where under the hood the pvc valve can be found? And do you have any advice to keep in mind when changing it?

    Thanks all
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Well, assuming that the 92 V6 is the same design as the one in question it is simple. Looking at the engine from the front, passenger side on left, the PCV is on the rear valve cover just in from the timing belt cover, hose running into it, it seats into the block. Easy to get to and change. Hope this helps. If you know what it looks like you will see it quickly
  • nevermorenevermore Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1993 Toyota Camry with 90,000 miles serviced entirely (including ooil changes). First visit after 7 year warranty ran out, it had a coolant leak detected by leak on garage floor. Dealer provided $1,500 in work including water pump, thermostat, motor mounts, transmission flush, decarbonization (don't ask), timing belt, oil filter "O" ring, rodded radiator, and two new radiator caps. The problem was not fixed, and now car is overheating. After 12 days in their shop, they now say it has blown head gasket. They claim all of this happened at one time, and this can be expected on a Toyota with 90,000 miles. Will I ever buy another Toyota? NEVERMORE
  • nevermorenevermore Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1993 Toyota Carry with 90,000 miles serviced entirely (including oil changes). First visit after 7 year warranty ran out, it had a coolant leak detected by leak on garage floor. Dealer provided $1,500 in work including water pump, thermostat, motor mounts, transmission flush, decarbonization (don't ask), timing belt, oil filter "I" ring, nodded radiator, and two new radiator caps. The problem was not fixed, and now car is overhearing. After 12 days in their shop, they now say it has blown head gasket. They claim all of this happened at one time, and this can be expected on a Toyota with 90,000 miles. Will I ever buy another Toyota? NEVERMORE
  • froto25froto25 Member Posts: 14
    Yes, your location was right on, armtdm. Thank You. The PVC valve has been replaced.
    Car maintence, sometimes its fun to do, but I can't remeber ever liking paying for it. ;)
  • joeln3joeln3 Member Posts: 1
    I have the option to purchase a 95 EL/V6 with 43000 miles for about $9.7K. The car appears to be in excellent condition. It's an end of lease deal with the leasing company where I know the lady who owns it, and she has taken very good care of it. The interior is extremely clean, as well as the engine compartment. Only brakes, tires, battery, and normal maintenance have been done. Any major concerns, or should I jump at it? Looking around, a similar vehicle would cost me about $1300, best I can tell, using Edmunds and local papers...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Seems like a good price, about wholesale book or a little higher. I doubt they sell for $13,000. I'd guess you are getting a fair deal, though.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Only maintenance that you may wish to check into is if the transmission fluid was ever changed. Probably not. Look into the oil filler cap and see if it is clean. You may not be able to see much but worth a try to look for a dirty engine.
  • juzefjuzef Member Posts: 37

    When slowing down using the break pedal relatively harder than usual, since I usually use my cruise control; my Camy shakes. I noticed this last week but thought it was grooves in the road or something. But this shaking is consistant whenever I press down alittle hard, say because the PARKWAY tolls are ahead.
    My car has 63,000 miles on it already.
    (almost entirely highway miles) I've never
    changed the brakes because the Toyota dealer says I don't need to. What could the problem be??
    I'm getting worried. Any advice?

    I will try to take it to the dealer this week, but what should I expect??

    Thank you in advance for any experienced advice.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Causing the shaking. Warped rotors are caused by overheating/hard brake usage, or by incompetant tire installers who fail to torque your lug nuts properly.

    The Toyota dealer will probably suggest new pads and a rotor turn. Not a big deal.
  • godfather2godfather2 Member Posts: 13
    Just bought an 86 Camry LE w/112k miles for only $2200. Car is in great shape for a 15 year old car and the engine runs strong. However, I don't really know too much about the first generation Camrys. I'd appreciate any facts and opinions about this particular model, good and bad.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Good for 200,000 miles and more given a bit of care. You got a lot of car for very little money!
  • dennis1950dennis1950 Member Posts: 33
    My 86 Camry has 130k miles and has been extremely reliable. There is one problem that every owner I have ever met seems to have. Periodically, when starting, the starter gear grinds. It catches the 2nd or 3rd time. This happens maybe 1 time in 50. My mechanic says it's a $1000 to fix.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The grinding noise is a typical symptom of a few ground down teeth on the ring gear on the engine, that the starter motor engages. It requires transaxle or engine removal to access.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    And, eventually the 1 in 50 will become 1 in 25 and so on. Still, it'll probably go a long time.
  • godfather2godfather2 Member Posts: 13
    Here's a bummer of a story. My intermittent wipers weren't working on my 86 Camry when I bought it. I thought "no big deal" to just repair it. So I go to find out that the whole combination switch (that controls the turn signals, lights, cruise control, and wiper mechanism) has to be replaced at a cost of $200 brand new at the dealer (which incidentally is a dealer-item only and no aftermarket part available).

    So I thought I'd be clever and take a gamble and buy a used combo switch at the wrecking yard for $35. Next, I paid my mechanic $50 to install the used part. Guess what? The darn replacement part's intermittent wiper didn't work either. From my understanding, the first generation Camry's had a history of this particular problem.

    Since intermittent wipers are important to have in this rainy area I live in, I guess I'll have to fork over the $200 for the new part and pay my mechanic another $50 to install it.

    I don't think I'll gamble it again with another used part. You live and learn.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    You may wish to have the dealer install it if you buy it there simply for warranty issues. May I suggest ordering the part wholesale from

    I have done so several times, genuine Toyota parts at wholesale prices. At least check them out.

  • fcas2004fcas2004 Member Posts: 15
    Anyone have to replace their front struts yet? I have a 1997 Camry XLE V6 with 34k miles. When I bought it used last year ( had 15k miles) I immediately heard a rattling noise over the front left wheel. Toyota dealer replaced the strut mount indicating that the original factory part allowed too much play, hence the noise. With the replacement part the noise stopped. About a month ago the noise returned. Had it in for an oil change yesterday and the mechanic now says the struts are shot and need replacing for $525. Any thoughts?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    still originals at 134,000 but mine is a 92 when Toyota still built great cars!
  • pilot13pilot13 Member Posts: 283
    Whether it's a 92, an 01, or anything in between, the Toyota product line is as good as it gets! Market share, reliability record, and consumer satisfaction polls tend to support the fact that they're as good as ever.
    Just an opinion from a former "big three" loyalist who still buys big three, but realizes that there are others as good or better out there.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Well, my 92 SE was the best model toyota ever built IMHO, killed the model in 95 or so. Camry has not been redesigned since 92, same ole V6 since 92. Mine has 134,000 but last 5 years been driving two company Maximas. Like Car & Drive say, best 6 cyl engine out there, smooth powerful and my Maximas have never gone into dealer for anything. Last one went 60,000 miles 5 oil changes (synthetic) one set of tires and air filter and not one glitch. Camry's are now simply not built the same, good cars but the reputation far exceed reality now. Need a new engine design on the V6 and new body work. Toytota dealers are training in arrogance with BMW as well!
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    Replaced all four struts on my 92 Carry V6 LE.(Yes, the rears are also struts). Dealer struts ride firm (and very expensive!). Tokico and KYB's are good after market ones. Please don't buy those Gabriel. Did them myself with the KYB ($90 each for the fronts). Ride is 10X smoother.
    If you are going to do it yourself make sure to change that piece of hard foam called Spring Bumper (if its worn or cracked) and the locknut.Be careful when you compress the spring.
    Hope this helps and be safe.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    How may miles on your 92 V6.
    What replacements have you done besides struts?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I'm not sure doing struts is for the do it yourselfer! Without the right equipment it is dangerous work. If the spring gets away it'll crack your head like a melon!
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    ARMTDM- well let me see, replaced all four rotors with slotted ones (KVR), brake shoes are KVR carbon metallics, replaced brake lines with stainless steel, Motul brake fluid, Red line ATF fluid for the power steering, remove/clean transmission pan/filter, Red line ATF for transmission and differential fluids, removed and painted all brake calipers with flourescent orange, install chrome wheel fenders, replaced whole stereo system including all six speakers with Kenwood Excellon unit/speakers and Sony 5 channel amp, Torque master sparkies, Magnecor spark plug wires, installed roofing material all over (same stuff as Dynamat Premium with the aluminum ) took me a whole week, 17" Fitippaldi Polaris rims on 235/ZR45 tires I got her 04Jul92 with over 135K miles now. Change oil/filter every 3K together with cleaning the intake and bleeding brake lines. No sludge, slight loss of power probably due to heavy tires, (thinking about going down to a 225 on the next tire purchase).... Sorry I got carried away. ISELLHONDAS- I borrowed my tool (spring compressor) from Autozone. They need a deposit for the tool for 5 days. And then when you return it, you get your FULL money back. I also have a Haynes manual and it tells you the warning/danger steps. I read at least 3x before doing sometime I've never done before even if I seen it done.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    WOW. I would mention that since you own a foreign car and have the proper modifications (usually attributed to the 4 cyl Hondas) (ie:coffee can mufflers, oversized tires and wheels, lowered suspension etc.) that you could belong to a generic group of car enthusiasts. However, the PC police at Edmunds have reprimanded me (for a previous post) for the use of the term as it could be considered a racial slur (guess we can call Ford and GM Execs anything we want because they are a none entity). Anyway, you no longer have a Toyota V6 it would seem. Bleed the brakes every 3000 my my, I thought I needed a life.
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    not modifications...for these parts have failed in one way or another. I opted for bigger tires for safety(handling and gripping abilities of a V/Z/ZR rated tires). If you still buy parts from Toyota just to keep it as a "Toyota V6", well its your money. There is a world called aftermarket...bigger,better and yes, cheaper. True,its an overkill to bleed lines every 3k, but only started doing it a year ago (just imagine what came out of there last year) I'll keep doing it until its almost clear as the brake reservoir. Good Day.
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    Does anyone know where the radiator drain plug is located? I have looked at both end of the radiator bottom, and have not seen one. It may have one in the middle part of the bottom. As my '94 Accord did. I have not crawled under the car with flashlight to hunt for it yet.

    Some one said drain plug on the 4 cylinder engine is on the firewall side of the block. I can't imagine radiator not having a drain plug. It will take forever to drain coolant from engine block alone!
  • fcas2004fcas2004 Member Posts: 15
    Thanks for the replies to strut problems.

    I searched through the CAMRY PROBLEMS board and found that 97 and 98 Camrys had strut problems. I'm annoyed that the dealer did not acknowledge this when I purchased the car used last years with 15k miles. I specifically identified a problem which was temporarily helped by replacing the strut covers.

    Anyway, the dealer's price of $525 for the struts seems reasonable. Parts directly from Toyota add up to $380 including shipping. This includes struts, insulators and top mounts (insulators and top mounts are covers by my extended warranty).
  • jetskizxijetskizxi Member Posts: 1
    I have a chance to buy this car. it has 16,000 miles on it. its in excellent shape. I am going to be able to buy it for 15,000 dollars,how does this deal sound ,cruise ,air conditioning,ad player,key less entry,power seat for driver. please let me know how this sounds? thanks Jeff
  • rpm9rpm9 Member Posts: 73
    If it has an "ad player", then it's definitely worth $15000! :)
  • anselmo1anselmo1 Member Posts: 163
    It has to be a CD player I assume?
  • xcarnutxcarnut Member Posts: 81
    Does anyone have a owners manual for the '96 Camry V6 with 1MZ engine.?
    I can't find mine and dealer won't answer my question.
    I just need to know if the owners manual recommends the timing belt to be changed at 60K or 90K ?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    It was 60,000 miles in '96. It was increased to 90,000 miles on both the 4-cyl. and V6 models beginning with the '98s.
  • albie6albie6 Member Posts: 3
    My Camry has about 39,000 miles on it. The ride has become progressively harder going over bumps. There is also a rattling noise in the left front strut area. The dealer says that the struts should go 100,000 miles. I think I would like to have the struts replaced. Msg# 125 above talks about the Tokico or KYB ones being much smoother. Does anyone know who carries these and would also do the work? How much would I expect to pay for two front ones installed?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Sounds like you are still under warranty. Get another dealer to look at them and ask to have replaced under warranty.
  • albie6albie6 Member Posts: 3
    The warranty expired at 36,000 miles
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    The dealer won't answer your question ???

    What jerks!
  • viervillevierville Member Posts: 5
    I just had my 2000 Camry V6 XLE serviced for 15,000 miles. I noticed that my dealership did not add any fuel additive to my car. I checked with other dealerships, and they do. What do you think? Is this required? Should I get some and do it myself? If so, please let me know what kind of additive I should use.


    [email protected]
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I think your dealership saved you a few dollars. Unless you are having a problem pretty useless. If you want to feel better get a bottle of Chevron Techron and add it ot the tank.
  • xcarnutxcarnut Member Posts: 81
    Thanks for the info. Now I need to make an appointment to get the timing belt replaced.

    Dealers / Service folks have answered my question but they answer it generically. 60K means you should change belt, none of them would actually tell me if the owners manual recommends it or was it a dealer recommendation.
    Too many dealers are on the conservative side or just rather would want you to do the repairs whether its required or not.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    What year your Toyota is. Sounds like you don't have an owner's manual. It's 60K for the older ones (pre 97 I think) and 90K after that.

    I would just have it done and forget about it for years to come.

    Or, you could be like my buddy wilcox and drive the car until it snaps and leaves you stranded.

    Who knows...? it could go 100,000 miles or more.

    Myself, I don't like getting stuck! :)
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    Timing belt replacement. A couple of weeks ago I was near a Toyota Dealership while in Atlanta. I walked into the repair facility and asked point blank "How many miles before the timing belt should be replaced?". Both the Service Adviser and the guy who replaces them said, "60,000 miles or 5 years". Neither of them asked me what year model I was talking about. Neither of them knew what year model I owned. No clue.

    I know many people that have 80K miles on theirs and have had no problem. I say, that if one takes care of their vehicle, does not abuse it, and does not drive in harsh conditions, then 80,000 is reasonable mileage (for a 1996 V6) before considering replacement.

    Is there any way to quickly inspect the belt's condition? Say like something that might take an hour or less? Seems like someone once posted that it could be done.

    If I had the time and where-with-all, I'd love to spend some time at the bay where the timing belts are replaced and get first hand knowledge of what these things look like after "X" number of miles of service. Wouldn't you guys?

  • cyberheatercyberheater Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1990 Camry Station wagon (118K Miles) that has generally served me well until I got pulled over couple of days ago because my tail lights are not working. It seems that everything else lights up normally (side lights, headlights, etc.)and the brake lights work just fine. The bulbs were OK and the fuse appears to serve several other functions that all work. When I used a multimeter to check the bulb holder, there was no juice coming through on the tail light portion of the dual circuit (brake lights power up OK). I'm new in town and the local mechanic already charged me $26 and wants another $80 to just "check it out". Any ideas?

    Also, does this model have dual sets of brake/taillights? The owners manual sort of hinted at that (had two different diagrams) but I couldn't readily determine if a second set exists on the hatch next to the back up lights (and are completely on-working, including brake lights) or they are not relevant.

    Thanks for any help.
    Muhit Rahman
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    Very intresting thoughts here relative to timing belts. Yet somethings may be overlooked that are very sensitive to the cars operation keyed here is the expression, timing which is inherent to the cars function, yet we seem to be underestimating it's importance.

    As the timing belt runs and the car is put through the arduous task off and on stopping and starting this increases the load on the timing belt and it continuously stretches, as it does the computer is constantly compensating along with the other dependent componets that feed the ecu.

    Yes you could stretch or exceed the time when the belt should be changed, yet don't underestimate the load and wear you're putting on the other dependent components, ie: ecu, o2 sensor, map sensor, maf sensor, throttle position sensors, various regulators, which of course degenerates.

    As the load is placed on these sensitive items they are over compensating, increasing there failure rate, all the while timing is slowly out of sync due in part vehicle is not running at optimun level, replacing the belt according to manufacturer specifications, perhaps is averting failures to other components or increasing there life expectancy.

    So timing belts are not just a matter of picking and arbitrary number we think they should be replaced there are inherent reasons for such a recomendation that are unbeknownst to us, given we are not automotive engineers and have limited understanding in this area
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    The good news is that all V6 3.0 Toyota motors are free wheeling (non-interference). If the timing belt breaks, there should be no expensive internal damage repairs (valves, pistons, heads, etc)

    The bad news is that if the timing belt breaks then there is a chance of being inconvienced or perhaps stranded.

    The question (for me) is what percent probablility will the belt break in my car at 80,000 miles. 1%?... 2.5%?... 5%?... ?

    Currently, I know many with 60,000 plus miles and no problems.......

  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    You have no way of knowing this, but the front oil seal on your V-6 Camry has started to leak a bit. This isn't uncommon. The oil of course gets on the timing belt...not a good thing.

    You're on the freeway going 75 with a semi behind you and contaminted by the oil, the belt snaps...?

    The odds of this happening are pretty rare, I know...still I'll change the belt.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    We might spend a max of 6 days/yr. out on the to those kind of traffic conditions. Based on this assumption, exposure level to Interstate operation for this vehicle is only 1.6%.

    This one owner car is operated in very favorable conditions. I'm going to push it to 80,000 miles...

    Stay in touch...will keep you posted.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Since a timing belt change does not involve a change of the front oil seal, it continues to wear out, and leaks 10,000 miles after the timing belt is changed, the oil of course gets on the *new* timing belt.. not a good thing. You are on the freeway.......

    Extending thinking like this will of course lead to new heights of paranoid maintenance and end up with the driver driving off the road in a perfectly maintained vehicle after spilling hot coffee in his/her lap while yapping on the cellphone in the left lane with the right foot hanging out the window.
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