Toyota Camry Maintenance



  • yankeryanker Member Posts: 156
    some time ago I read a post about blue smoke and the reason for it. Also how big a job is it to replace. Is it really necessary?
  • jinsongliujinsongliu Member Posts: 18
    do we need to change the transmission oil? if we need, how ofen?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Look in your manual. Mine says 30,000 and I use synthetic but some newer cars have a 50,000 miles service service and 100,000 mile normal serice. Depends on the year
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    pep boys sells harada brand - same as oe $15
    pull off trunk trim panel, remove motor, take off one nut, remove old end piece of cable, replace all, feed new cable back in teeth to rear of car, turn on radio to pull cable into motor.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    Someone must know the answer to this - I have asked before without any response.
    I have overhauled several engines in my life. Most of them had valve covers with hold down bolts (screws) on them.
    On my 1994 4 cyl camry I can not find those bolts, so I don't know what tightenes up the cover. I have a very slight oil leak down the back of the block that seems to start at the back side of the engine just under the valve cover gasket. How do you tighten the valve covers?
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    30K,50K or 100K miles... I replace mine when the oil turns to a dark brown color and smells burnt. Get a sample using your dipstick, place a few drops on a white clean rag then compare it with a clean sample (which should be RED if its tranny oil).I use Redline synthetic on my 92 Camry and 98 Sienna. Just my 2 cents.

    p.s. My Camry has a seperate differential fluid drain and fill, Sienna shares it with the tranny sump. So check yours.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I also have a 92 Camry, used synthetic since 25,000 miles and change every 30,000. Mine never really turns brown and never smells burnt. the burnt smell would indicate to me some serious potential problem, shold not occur at 30,000 with synthetic, even if towing,

    Yes, differential in these is separate but the Toyota dealer mechanic and Toyota Home Office had a disagreement on this during a phone call as I was in the room ( asked the dealer to change my diff with my synthetic and he refused saying it was the same fluid).Thus the phone call. . Mechanic swears that although it is a separate drain and fill it is still filled via the dipstick and so in theory, if you drained the diff but filled the tranny via the dipstick with more fluid it would also fill the differential.. Draining and filling the diff separately only gets more fluid out during the drain in his opinion. After having this car 9 years and 135,000 miles I think the mechanic is correct. Just changed my own diff and tranny fluid recently.
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    "...if you drained the diff but filled the tranny via the dipstick with more fluid it would also fill the differential."

    I agree with the mechanic... if it's the 98 Sienna tranny. There is a differential check/fill plug that is used to fill the differential sump. It is the same size ( metric, of course)Allen wrench as the tranny and diff drain plugs. When I replace my fluid, I stop when tranny oil starts to run out of this plug giving the right levels. VERY GOOD!!! Toyota

    Now for my 92 Camry, I am sorry but this does not apply!. You can "topoff your dipstick" and still no fluid running out of the check/fill plug (hole)!!! You need to pump fluid into this plug to fill the differential (1 quart approx). I use a big syringe and then stop until fluid runs out of the plug hole. 15K recommended change interval. For reference check on Haynes 92-95 Camry p.1-21

    If I were you, I'd check for my diff level and if there's fluid, get a sample to see if it is RED (fresh). Good luck!
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Actually, I did do the drain and fill in the differential via the plugs. However, my tranny has been changed every 30,000 but the diff has been done every 60,000. The diff does not incur the same treatment/usage as the transmission and changing it as often does not seem necessary. Well, no problems so far with the 60,000 mile changes on that one, ( all synthetic ATF) plus all the fluid comes out in the diff whereas in the tranny only about half comes out with a plug pull. Haven't changed the filter/screen in 100,000 miles on the tranny, just change the fluid via the plug every 30,000.
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    You mentioned you have Haynes service manual. Does the service manual show the location of radiator drain plug? I have a difficult time locating the drain plug. There are no open area under the radiator to see the drain plug.
  • camryfancamryfan Member Posts: 17
    Everybody says that we need rotate our tires every 5 - 6K miles. Anybody thought of rotating at 3, 9, 15, 21, 27K, etc., instead of at 6, 12, 18, 24K miles (3+6nK instead of 6nK miles, where n=0, 1, 2, until probably 5 - 10)? Experts please comment.

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    O rotate once a year when it goes in for State inspection, around 12,000-15,000 miles. It makes no difference when, all you are trying do is even out the wear. Some people prefer not to rotate and just repalce two tires at a time in lieu of four. My once a year seems to work out well and it requires no additional trips to a garage etc.
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    There is a drain plug cock valve behind the radiator. It looks like a big PLASTIC WHITE wing nut (OEM radiator) located just under the grilles about 3-4 inches from the left of the radiator looking down on it. Just turn it CC (lefty loosey), a pair of pliers may help.You can't see it from the bottom because of those black plastic guards.
    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • geb2geb2 Member Posts: 1
    Just wondering if anyone of you out there has had a similar problem with their A/c's - the A/C front panel button "light" starts blinking after a short period of operation. Of course when the blinking starts, the cooling stops - fan continues to blow. I can push the A/C button to turn it off, then on again, and the cooling begins but only for a short period of time. Then the whole terrible cycle starts again. So far no one can figure this problem out. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    anyone ever have small oil leak down the back of the block? 4 cyl 94 engine?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    1997 Camry 4-cylinder. I needed a new valve cover gasket, which was replaced under warranty. No further leaks.
  • jinsongliujinsongliu Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for your information for changing transmission oil, I have checked both my 99 Camry and 01 Sienna, but unable to to find differential check/fill plug, could you give me more information?
    and do you mean I have to drain transmission oil and differential oil seperatlly.
  • jinsongliujinsongliu Member Posts: 18
    By the way, I think Toyota do not have a transmission oil filter, it is just a frame. do I need to change it also when I change the oil?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Mine is located in the housing directly behind the tranny pan. Drain plug at the rear , filler up higher on right if you are facing front of car. Mine has a filter like a screen if you drop the pan but I have not had it changed in 100,000 miles, I just do a drain and fill.
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    I've only cleaned this twice since I bought the car ( Jul 4th '92). It doesn't need replacement. Take it off and clean it with solvents, i use mineral spirits/WD-40, then air blow it dry. Purolator makes one if you want to replace it, comes with the gasket kit around $15 ( '92 Camry V6 ) at Pepboys. If you plan on doing this job, I recommend getting the transmission pan gasket from Toyota, it doesn't need that messy Permatex.
    And don't forget to put back the magnets. Yes...

    The diff check/fill plugs use ALLEN wrench ( 10 mm ) to take off and located just as armtdm described.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    When you cleaned your tranny screen can you describe how bad the debris was. As I have not replaced/cleaned mine since I switched to synthetic at 25,000 miles (now 135,000) I am curious as to whether I need to look at it. Fluid has been drained and filled every 30,000 but no screen.
    My last drain and fill a few weeks ago I saw some metal on the magnet of the differential plug (that one was 50,000 miles since the last change) but tranny plug is not a magnet as it appears to be in the filter area.

    So, how bad was the screen after how many miles in your case?.
  • jinsongliujinsongliu Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for the info
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    I figured a way to replace the oil filter on the V-6 with no oil spill....

    Remove the drain plug at night, and let it drain all night. In the morning, remove the oil filter. There is not one drop of oil in the oil filter to drip. I know this is a 10 hour long oil change, but to me it is worth not getting the drain pan, engine block or exhust shield all messy.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Explain to me why all the oil drained out of the filter as it is not entirely horizontal, slight angle to it and if the drain back valve is working why would all the oil drain out overnight. I let mine drain overnight as well but have not observed the absence of oil in the filter????
  • loyolaloyola Member Posts: 26
    Checked my log book:

    10-21-97 92000 Cleaned x'mission filter
    03-25-01 132,700 "

    No metal/gear fragments on the screen on both occasions, magnets are doing their job ( metal filings, same as what you get when you throw a magnet into sand ). Some hardened Permatex last time ( I used it the first time ). What surprises me is what looks like synthetic grease ( dark gray ) all over inside and about 1/8 in thick settled on the pan. Dissolves easily with solvent though. Never had x'mission problems. Any idea what it is?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Surprising this was not built up on the screen itself but settled on the bottom of the pan. No idea what it could be unless like oil, if overheating etc it can sludge up???? Assume you never saw any of this on the dipstick when checking fluid?
  • buckleup1buckleup1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 4 cyl. that is sluggish starting in all weather. It feels like only 3 cyls are firing on ignition. After several starts like this the check ingine light comes on.The dealer says its a miscelaneous code and does not know the problem with an over night stay. Does anyone have experience with this problem or know of a service bulletin on this?
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    Ater a hint from one of you guys, I located the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. It was a B$%#@ to get to it. The electrical connection part of the fan, kept cutting into my arm. Toyota could have moved the area to 12 to 3
    O'clock position.

    Most of the coolant however drains from the engine block. I attached a 0.350" ID vinyl tube to the short metal tube, and loosened the 10mm hex nut.

    I still think Toyota could have left an opening in the underbody cover to access the radiator drain plug from the bottom. Replacing the fuel filter would be the next project.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Hard to get to as it is located below the master cylinde

  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    The thin vinyl hose that I used to drain the engine block coolant has 0.312"(5/16") ID, and not 0.350.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    has anyone changed their 4 cyl valve cover gasket? does it come off without disturbing the black plastic piece on the passenger side of the cover?
  • r_scott_gr_scott_g Member Posts: 16

    We have an old Camry with over 333333 km's on it. We've only owned it for a few months, so we're still getting familiar with the it.

    Recently a ticking sound has started from under the hood. At first I thought it was a sticking valve, but it appears to be coming from the a/c pump. Not sure if it's a bearing or what. I'm considering getting a shorter belt and bypassing the pump all-together, as I'm not all that interested in fixing the A/C. Does anyone have any ideas what this might be?

    Just had an oil change done in the Camry. Oil had looked a little dirty, but not terrible. Added a bottle of engine flush outside the doors of a lube place and had them change the oil. After running the engine to check for leaks, they showed me the dipstick. I've never seen such clean oil. And the guy doing the oil change, said the old oil was quite dirty. I drove the car a bit that day and checked the oil. Once again, the oil so clean, it's hardly visible. My oil on my new cars has never looked that clean the day after an oil change. I don't know if it was the result of the flush or not. I'll have to wait a few days and see.

    Just wondered if anyone else does regular engine flushes when they change the oil? I normally don't get engine flushes because I wasn't sure if it helped, and they always charge a premium for such services.
  • jinsongliujinsongliu Member Posts: 18
    hello group:

    I am preparing to change the engine coolant for my 99 Camry, But somebody mentioned in group that Toyota using special red coolant, and you only can get it from Toyota dealer. is that true?
  • zhongliuzhongliu Member Posts: 8
    Yes, you can get the red coolant in any toyota dealer.

    I would like to share my tune-up story with the folks in this
    group. I have a 92' camry with 220,000 miles. Recently,
    the engine developed a problem. When I started the engine,
    it stalled immediately. I replaced the platinum spark plugs
    and the wires not long ago by myself. It doesn't make sense
    these parts will go wrong. I checked the Hayes Toyota book
    which listed possible causes. One of them is the vacumn leaks.
    I checked all the hoses and couldn't find any broken ones.
    If you think carefully, there are many factors to consider.
    It is difficult to separate each other. My strategy is to remove
    each at one time. My focus turned to the fuel system. I added
    a bottle of fuel injector cleaner, but it didn't work. I thought
    about the fuel filter. It hasn't been replaced since I got the
    car (was 42,000 miles), but once the car started, it never had
    any problem, which made me reluctant to do so. I spent several
    days trying to figure out how the engine worked, which made me
    to try to clean the throttle control. The book said the PVC valve
    can make the part dirty. I bought a bottle of cleaner ($0.69) from W-Mart and sprayed the joins of that round disc which controls the air flow coming into the engine. After 20 min. or so, I started the
    engine several times, it failed to start (worse than before).
    I pressed the pedal a little, it started without problem. I guessed the problem is due to the vapor from the cleaner. Since then, the stall problem is gone and my car runs like new again. I will post my experience with high mile cars if anyone wants to hear. My previous
    85' camry got ~190,000 miles, but was totaled.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    where on a 4 cyl camry is the round disc you say controls air intake?
  • zhongliuzhongliu Member Posts: 8
    The round disc is near the PVC at the end of the plastic pipe from the air filter. By taking off the plastic pipe, you will see it. If you press the gas pedal, you will see it exactly controls the openning. I will do the cleaning every time I do the tune-up, which I did not do so before (a big mistake).
  • r_scott_gr_scott_g Member Posts: 16
    I don't think I asked this question before, but excuse me if did already.

    When I have the car running and I disconnect the air intake hose from the throttle-body, the car stalls. I want to have the car running while I clean the throttle-body, but I'm not sure how to do this. I assume a sensor is sending a message that there is a problem, which shuts down the engine.

    I've done this before on a mitsubishi engine and had no problem with car not running after disconnecting the air intake hose.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • 2k_impala_ls2k_impala_ls Member Posts: 311
    I am going to change bothe shafts on my mothers 1994 camry, no abs. I have the parts and wanted to know if after you unbolt them from the transaxle and the hub, do they slide out or does the strut need to be removed. thanks
  • zhongliuzhongliu Member Posts: 8
    The only thing I know for the 92' Camry is there is a sensor in the air filter box. I did have a 85' Camry, but since it was totaled, I don't have it anymore. I think the sensor is used for checking air temperature, BUT it might be used for measuring the airflow volume according to the manual. If the latter is true, disconnecting the hose will cause errors in the ECM. An easy way to find out is to disconnect the hose first, then start the engine and see what will happen. I don't understand why you need to run the engine in order to do the cleaning. In my case, I didn't run the engine. I used a thick phone book and put on top of the gas pedal (this allows the throttle wide open), or you can ask somebody to press the pedal. Hope these will help. My experience is, know your limit. I always leave the work I can't do to the Toyota dealer, e.g., replace a gas tank, etc.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Ah...I think changing your fuel filter after all of those miles would be an EXCELLENT idea!

    Not expensive and not hard to do.
  • dafeverdafever Member Posts: 2
    A couple of months ago I bought new tires for my '99 Camry and noticed it started pulling hard to the right. So I got it aligned last week at a local garage. While it doesn't pull hard anymore, it still "drifts" to the right a bit. The garage is saying that I could bring it in and they'd double check the specs but that this is typical of Camry's due to the specs Toyota has for the toe and camber. Sounds a little suspect to me. Anyone else heard anything like this?
  • zhongliuzhongliu Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the suggestion regarding the replacement of the fuel filter. I asked the toyota dealer one day and the person said it was not necessary. I normally don't do it unless something goes wrong. I think the person is right. You can replace all the parts and the car, of course, can still run. Sometimes, repair shops do this kind of dirty work. Anyway, I will stay away from the filter for the time being. I don't go to any gas stations because poor grade gas will clog the filter and perhaps damage the engine.
  • zhongliuzhongliu Member Posts: 8
    Is this garage a toyota dealer? I don't go to any garages except a trusted toyota. Sometimes, it is hard to find one near you. I have a 99' camry and the engine warning light kept on (not related to the loose gas cap) and I went to several toyota dealers and none of them could fix the problem. Finally, I found one and they replaced the ECM and the problem was gone. I have done several major works there and haven't had any complains so far. The drawback to go to a toyota dealer is you need to pay higher cost. After several failed repairs before, I went back to the dealer. I guess they are factory trained and could do much better.
  • r_scott_gr_scott_g Member Posts: 16
    I did clean the throttle body without having the car running, as it was my only choice. The instructions on the throttle-body cleaner, says to have the car running for some of the cleaning.

    I've succesfully done this job twice on a plymouth colt. The first time I paid a Chrysler dealer lots of money to do it. The next time did it myself for $6. And it made a big difference.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    If the car didn't pull before the tires were replaced, it's possible you got a bad tire. I do believe the camrys have a slight pull to the right, and a tire that's not perfect will agitate the situation. Easy way to check this is to rotate the tires. Odds of getting more than one bad tire are slim.
  • skandracskandrac Member Posts: 1
    I, also, have this warning light on. Does anybody have comments on this?
  • webguysterwebguyster Member Posts: 434
    I have an 00 SE V6 Camry Solara, and the car will never go straight! I have had the tires flipped inside out, left to right etc. It is usually the tires. I notice the best fix was turning the tires inside out. The tire guy explained that the tire is like a Dixie cup, if not laid correctly, thus the pull. Invert the tire, and it should be less noticable.


    My service advisor says with 30,000 miles closing in, I should do 30k maintenance. It suggests new plugs and new coolant. I have platinum plugs, and RED coolant, which is supposed to be long life!?! Any suggestions, as this is $140 difference??
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Your dealer is ripping you off big time. Plugs are platinum and minimum is 60,000 miles some go 100,000. Red coolant is 100,000 to 150,000 mile service life. On todays. cars at 30,000 nothing is needed beyond oil change and filter if that is in your normal schedule. Fuel filter probably 60,000. Air filter is at 30,000 though and you can easily do that yourself. Tranny fluid maybe but newer Toyotas may be longer then mine.

    GO BY THE OWNERS MANUAL. Every dealer in the country will swear they suggest more frequent serive due to "WHERE YOU LIVE". However, whether it be FLA, MAine, WI, or Ca they all say the same thing, just a ploy to build service dept revenue. My 92 Camry has 136,000 miles. Two plug changes in its life at 60 and 120,000, belts at same interval. Air filter once a year, tranny fluid at 30,000, coolant (I have the old stuff) every other year. Again mine is a 92 so different, more frequent service then newer ones.
  • sathiasathia Member Posts: 1
    2001 Toyota camry steering wheel vibrates at 60-65 mph and RPM 2100-2500mph.
    It gone to the repair shop for 6 times. Dealer did the balancing, alingment, swapped the tires
    with another cars (dont have problem) tires, replaced the driveshaft assembly but still the problem is there. If I dont give gass, once the vibration starts, the vibration goes away.
    During morning the vibration doesn't come immediately. I have to drive the car for 5 to
    10 minutes at 60-65mph. I believe the vibration is coming when something gets heated up.
    After the driveshaft change I can feel the vehicle vibrates when I apply the brake.
    The Vibration becomes very very bad if I keep driving at 60-65mph more than an Hour. The tire on my car is Dunlop. occassionly, I could hear a rattling sound when I make a left or right turn.
    Any idea ????
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