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Toyota Camry Maintenance



  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    Our car is just over 5 years old. The battery is original. There is alot of "build up" on one of the battery terminals. If I disconnect and clean the connection, how many minutes do I have before I need to reconnect?

    thanks, wil
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    At the ripe old age of five, your battery is in the final stages of it's admirable life.

    You have two choices now...

    1. Replace it now, under your terms. Look for a sale, go to Costco etc.

    2. Just wait until it leaves you stranded at the least convenient time.

    You know....kinda like a timing belt...:)

    Seriously, the corrosion is a sign of impending doom. I would replace it now before cold weather sets in.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    with a 5 year old battery you are living on borrowed time, Get a new one and pay attention to the CCF number(cold cranking power) , do not get one less then that. can be had under $70 at most auto parts stores with free installation. You ae lucky to have gone that far on OEM battery
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    I appreciate your responses. I'll go find a good battery....oddly enough the Walmart catalog does not have a Camry V6 battery replacement listed! But I'll get one very soon! Perhaps a DieHard...

  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    I posted this once b4, will try again.
    has anyone changed a valve cover gasket on a 94 4 cyl camry?

    does the black plastic piece on the passenger end of the engine interfere? or does the cover come off w/o disturbing it?

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
  • rebeccamorebeccamo Member Posts: 7
    I have owned my 94 4-cyl LE for a few months now, and I have never been able to get it to kick into passing gear. It wasn't a problem until yesterday when a slow truck pulled in front of me. I slowed to 40 mph, floored the gas pedal to pass him, and NOTHING happened. No downshift, no revving of the engine. If I slowly depress the gas, it accelerates normally, and from a stop all gears seem to shift normally. It's going to the dealer to be checked out tomorrow, but I'm wondering what to expect - a new transmission? a sensor? price range? THANKS!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Wilcox---no, not a Diehard...buy something better. My battery man (who builds batteries) tells me Diehards are rather cheaply built low quality batteries (made by Exide).
  • spokanegcspokanegc Member Posts: 1
    Just got a '93 Camry without any owner manual. Could someone tell me the meaning of the "PWR" button on the center console and shown on the indicator light on the instrument cluster in the dash? Thanks.
  • modernjazzmodernjazz Member Posts: 3
    A Camry that sputters/misses after rain--man, do I feel your pain!!

    This should be the solution for you:
    Change your ignition coil. (It's just a sealed coil of wire.) I believe all 87-91 4cyl Camry engines are the same 2.0 Liter DOHC(engine model 4S-FE). I have a '90 4cyl (same engine as yours).

    Here's the deal: If you have a mechanic to do it,(it doesn't need to be a dealer), the details don't matter too much, but here they are anyway. I changed the coil on a friend's Subaru Legacy in 5 minutes, BUT that had an external coil (very easy to get to.) The Camry 87-91 4cyl has an INTERNAL coil (inside the distributor). Unfortunately not just under the cap, but I had to remove the distributor from the side of the cylinder head and disassemble it to remove the old coil and insert the new one. The O-ring on the distributor should be replaced also (it's easy and will stop any small oil leak by the distributor--the O-ring is only around $1.) AND the engine FIRST must be set for the #1 piston to be at Top-Dead-Center before anything is taken apart at the beginning of the job.
    The coil is around $50 for the part through a wholesale mail-order Toyota place.
    The job took me a (relaxed) 3 and 1/2 hours!!!
    Good luck and let me know what happens.

    Hi, everybody!! I'm new here. Could somebody do me a solid and alert others with a sputtering/moisture problem to these words. I want to help others avoid the agida and frustration that I endured until a friend finally correctly diagnosed my Camry's shot coil. THANKS!!
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    I think the PWR button gives you a little extra scoot around town...when it's off, they say you get a little better mileage.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I believe what it does is knock off the overdrive which will keep you in a lower gear for more power. On mine, very difficult to tell teh diff. I just leave it off all of the time.
  • drew911drew911 Member Posts: 8
    The topic of batteries came up on another board. The consensus was that Interstate was an excellent brand, which is also what I use.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    There are only a handful of actual battery mnanufacturers in the country so what you buy as a brand may be manufactured by the same compnay as another brand, perhaps different specs.

    I look for cold cranking power and as a minimum match what was OEM but try to get as larger a number if possible. Brands, Delco great but lately I have goe to the AutoZOnes, Advanced Auto brands and they last just as long as the others in my opinion!
  • webguysterwebguyster Member Posts: 434
    I have a 00 Camry Solara, and have gone through 3 batteries in the 1st year. You must have got a good one! Interstate is what Toyota replaced mine with, and they still went bad, either bad batteries, or parasitic drain. My current battery seems fine, but is the cheapest available. There seems to be only a handful of battery manufacturers, and most batteries, are just branded with anoth name, like Sears DIE-HARD!
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I hope they checked the charging system etc. seems to be a problem in the electrical system and not batteries!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    spokanegc: When the power button is depressed, the transaxle controller requires a higher frequency signal fron the vehicle speed sensor before commanding an upshift (it has to go faster at a given throttle opening before the upshift occurs). Also provides part throttle downshifts at a lower throttle opening. The resulting higher engine RPM provides more "sporty" operation and throttle response at the expense of about a 10% reduction in fuel economy.

    armtdm: I think you were the one who posed a question a while back re GM supercharger oil. It's 5W-30 synthetic engine oil.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
  • username25username25 Member Posts: 1
    Can you share more information about the wholesale mail-order Toyota parts place?

    Also about 94 head cover gasket: I worked on a 92 camry (should be same as a 94 camry), it the cast aluminum cover comes off easily. You need to take off big nuts around the spark plug poles, and tap the cover a little bit. Try to tap on the non-critical sections like the sides or font, DON'T, I mean DON'T, damage the mating surfaces, then it should come loose.
  • pilot13pilot13 Member Posts: 283
    Mr. Shiftright, your advice about Diehard batteries (made by Exide) is well worth listening to.They make batteries for Daimler Chrysler, among others.
    Exide was in Chapter 11 several years ago and was fire saled to a group of ex Chrysler employees at about 10 cents on the dollar. The company has done very poorly on the NYSE because of continual losses, and has been subject to more than a few class action suits from customers (most having to do with reconditioned batteries being sold as new).
    About a year ago, the company Treasurer unexpectedly resigned, and a few months later, the President was turfed out by an overwhelming majority of angry stockholders. Seems that members of senior management were far more interested in Corporate jets, English castles, and other expensive perks, than looking after job 1.
    Interestingly, the former president of Daimler Chrysler is now running the company, and the turfed out President of Exide has turned to religion as a newly ordained minister. Go figure!
    My apologies for the off topic remarks.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    anything about the "quality" of parts you might buy is on topic.

    to usename 25 - do you remember if the plastic piece on the drive belt end of the engine interferrred with the valve cover removal?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Metro Toyota in MI is a place I have used several times. I think the address is www.toyotaparts.com. High priced items are great, inexpensive may not be worth it due to shipping cost but it depends. Last time I negotiated shipping with them. Genuine Toytoa parts at great savins. last Thing I purchased was a new antennae mast for power antennae. Local delaer wanted $57 Metro sold it to me for $27 including the shipping.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    In the late seventies when I mamaged a large Sears Auto Center the batteries were made by Globe Union. Who knows who builds them now.

    The Diehards did one of two things back then...they either lasted two years or they went five or more.

    And, to digress, there was a period when they changed the venting on them.

    Has anyone here ever seen or heard a car battery explode?

    They went back to the old venting system....
  • pilot13pilot13 Member Posts: 283
    Yes, I have witnessed battery explosions, several times---thankfully from a distance.
    I can assure you, it is impressive, and not at all pretty!
    And Exide continues as the supplier of Sears Diehard batteries.
  • webguysterwebguyster Member Posts: 434
    Anyone know why their is a sponge like material, on the top of the radiator in 00 Camry Solara? Mine is tearing, and it seems like a useless accessory, unless possibly to prevent steam from blasting you in the face in case of an over heated engine.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    Let me tell you:

    First went to K mart. About a year and a half ago I chewed their rear ends about not having a reference catalogue at their battery display. The shelves were full of batteries but no part number listings.
    This visit, I found the listing with no problem. But guess what? There was only two automobile batteries on the shelves. Just two! Shelves almost empty! And one of them just happened to fit the V6 Camry/Avalon. It was a Exide "Nascar" and had a price sticker of $79.95 w/exchange, 2years free replacement. I had them scan the UPC and it came out at $74.99. I walked. Those people are just there. And I don't think their management is worth a flip. Didn't even bother to express my dissapointment. Shucks, I ought to offer my services as a consultant to them because they need it here in my town. But it'll cost them! No wonder the parking lot is a ghost town compared to Walmart.

    Anyway, I went to AutoZone like armtdm mentioned. They had the battery. It was 2 year free replacement. Had 30 more CCA's than the Exide and 35 more CCA's than original battery. Installation was included for a drive out price including sales tax of just over $53.xx.

    I'm beginning to give Auto Zone more and more of my business.

  • crownviccrownvic Member Posts: 1
    My 1993 Camry V6 LE is one of the relatively few that have a hydraulic fan. The temperature needle goes up at the drop of a hat, and on a warm day in slow traffic, I regularly have to blast the heater to pull heat away from the engine. I've had it looked at, but no one seems to know how to improve the situation. Any ideas or similar problems?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I agree the sponge material is usless, howevert, I have taken some black silicone gasket sealer and filled in the gaps and sort of covered it over the sponge. Looks much better now.

    Overheating, I too have th ehydraulic fan on my 92 Camry V6. Has not provided a problem (wonder why they discontinued this concept) but inquired once at dealer as to problems, he stated they ahve seen very few but sometimes the hydraulic motor does fail so overheating can only be a few things.

    The hydraulic pump/motor at the fan itself, The power steering pump which drives teh fluid also, the thermostat (mine has two thermostats and two radiator caps) a plugged radiator and last is the water pump. I have replaced all of these except the hydraulic motor on mine. Normal maintenance for me I have never had a problem as yet in 136000 miles. Water pump replaced with belts at 120,000
  • infoseek2infoseek2 Member Posts: 2
    Hey guy's, this message board is excellent for collecting useful info! I think it's great! Question: I have a '93 Camry LE with 118k on the O.D., with my foot on the brake, and the car in gear (as if waiting for a red light) the car tends to vibrate quite a bit, this does not happen when the tranny is in neutral or park, only when the drivetrain is under load, and only when the car is standing still. I suspected the engine mounts might be bad, and upon futher investigation, found the front mount, and the top mount(dog bone) needed to be replaced, which I did, but this did not solve the problem. what else could possibly be the problem?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    If the 4 cyl this may simply be the idle has dropped down a little and the 4 cyl vibrates. If the idle the same or up to spec then something else.
  • infoseek2infoseek2 Member Posts: 2
    I am not sure of where the RPM's are at the time the vibration is occuring, but I will check. Also, be aware of the fact that the tranny is in gear when the vibration occurs, not in neutral, so I kind of question whether or not the idle speed could be suspected. What else do you think it might be?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Can still be idle speed which changes when placed in gear and/or A/C is kicking in our out! Controlled by computer chip I believe
  • slavarslavar Member Posts: 7
    A friend of mine installed a new alarm and gave me his old remote controls. They are exactly like mines. Does any body know the procedure of programming remote controls for 2000 Toyota Camry? It’s 2 buttons control with a red panic button on the other side.
  • ajacatajacat Member Posts: 63
    HI all,

    After lots of testdriving and research on various new cars, this summer we happened upon a '98 XLE V6 that appeared to be in great condition (our mechanic checked it out too) and was a great price, and came with all papers, including original window sticker. It was a single-owner trade at a car lot that buys trades from a local Lexus dealer. 60K maintenance (not inc. timing belt) had been done at 55K, but car was traded in for a Lexus. Has some scratches, nothing major except for a big scrape across the front bumper (plastic or whatever--no rust potential), but probably why Lexus didn't resell it itself.

    BUT. There's a very disconcerting THUD (like the rear axle is about to drop off) whenever I drive over a pothole or bump. Especially from the right rear. Gives me a jolt every time, even though I'm in the driver's seat. Mechanic can't find anything--it's definitely the right rear and nowhere else--not near me or in the front.

    Anyone have any idea what this is or how to fix it? Car drives great otherwise, but this thing just BUGS me and makes me worry that one day the rear axle WILL drop off and I'll be left trying not to say "I told you so".

    I'd really appreciate any guesses, hypotheses, completely assured diagnoses, leads to relevant parts, etc.

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Rear upper strut mounts.
  • ajacatajacat Member Posts: 63
    THANKS. I'll take that to my mechanic on Monday and let you know the outcome. Thanks a LOT, again.

    followup question: how much (ballpark or relatively close in in the parking lot :)) do you think we're looking at to fix them?

  • ajacatajacat Member Posts: 63
    I just found a website (yotarepair.com--not a typo) that had an entry re 'Camrys with noise over bumps'! He said back in 4/99 that the rear noise is the easier one to fix because (if I read him right) the rear struts were produced in the states? [or did he mean the Camrys produced in the states have the problem?] He says to replace the rear ones with Japan spec rear struts. I wonder where I'd find those--sounds like they'd be the ones to try.

    Installing 6 cyl struts and keeping the springs the same doesn't work, evidently (like I know what that means, but I'm just telling you so if you can make some sense out of it).
    Evidently then in 7/99, he posted that "Toyota is working with the manufacturer of the struts made for the US built Camrys. The strut company is owned by a European company that feels that the looseness or dampening for the first 1" of travel is desirable..."

    Probably TMI--but if you have (or anyone else has) any idea where one would get Japan spec rear struts--I'll be asking my mechanic, too, but I'm always doing my own research--I'd be much obliged.

  • ajacatajacat Member Posts: 63
    yotarepair.com next entry below the one I quoted:

    Update: The new upper mounts are available from Toyota in sufficient quantities and seem to be working. 2/00-

    so I guess I have a place to start with finding the new strut mounts :)

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Good luck with it. Keep us posted on the outcome.
  • rchinnrchinn Member Posts: 23
    I have a 2000 Camry that is 16 months old, with approx. 12000 miles. I have changed the oil twice (every 4000 miles), rotated the tires, and that's all I've done. Will need another oil change now. Have not taken it in for any other maintenance service. When do I need to? Can I wait until I have 15000 miles on it in a few months? Or should I take it in now?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    First, please read the owner's manual for scheduled maintnance. The only critical scheduled maintenance for Toyota's seems to be the oil cahnge interval and if you are in compliance with the manual you are fine. Coolant is at least 45,000, maybe longer, tranny fluid is at least 30,000 maybe more for yours, air filter is 30,000, fuel filter probably 30,000 or 60,000 same with the PCV valve. Do not ever go to a dealer and say "DO THE 15,000 or 30,000 MILE MAINTENANCE" It basically consists of inspections of belts, hoses, which are easily visible and you can see the condition yourself. Tire rotation, up to you, I do once a year, arguments on both sides as to whether to do it at all. Brakes, can be inspected starting at 15,000 but normally wait until 20,000 before even considring brake pad issues.

    So at 12,000 miles, oil and iflter only, nothing else is required. Please read the manual, it really is the bible and each car and engine are different
  • rchinnrchinn Member Posts: 23
    According to the maintenance guide, you really don't do anything significant (other than oil changes) until 30,000 miles or 24 months. So I wait until then? And at my rate of 750 miles per month, should I go by time and do this at 24 months?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Coolant is usually 45,000 or 36 months but manual may be different, filters, go by mileage not months. I can't think of anything that I would do by months, perhaps coolant, all else I would do by mileage. (unless you drive so little (like 5000 a year) that items could rot (belts/hoses))
  • tiny6tiny6 Member Posts: 6
    I'm thinking of getting a 2002 Camry. What's the best price going for an extended warranty? I know Honda has a 7 year, 100K miles and 0 deductable that goes for as low as $850. Does Toyota have something similar. Besides responding here, if you wouldn't mind letting me know via emai I'd appreciate it; jamesavery2@earthlink.net. Thanks.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    Who is a good on line supplier for Camry parts, like a taillight? 1994
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    SLUDGE. You may wish to check out the topic engien sludge under the Maint/repair board, seems to occur with Toyotas and Toyota is not honoring warranty! Worth a check at least although there is huge dissagreement as to whether this is a real issue with Toyotas
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    Thats an understatement. I gave up on the sludge topic. Most of it sounded like BS to me.
  • webguysterwebguyster Member Posts: 434
    I just did 30,0000 mile service on me 2000 Camry Solara, SE V6, and declined the coolant change, as it has the Toyota Long Life Coolant. The bottle doesn't say anything about how long the longlife is. It is chemical the same as Dex-Cool, I believe, which can go 100,000 miles before chage. Any comments???
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Another example of dealer needing to keep the service dept. viable. No manufacturer today has a 30,000 miles coolant change recommendation.Minimum I have seen is 45,000 and that is not even with the Dex cool stuff

    Bet the dealer said you needed it because of the climate you live in
This discussion has been closed.