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Toyota Camry Rattles



  • This is a table I had in Excel. I'll try to post it, but am not quite sure how it's going to look....

    6 12/6/2001 Took Delivery of vehicle
    517 12/17/2001 Check driver seat motion Advisor said it was considered "normal" YES
    1,550 1/10/2002 "Replaced complete seat track (drivers seat).
    Removed headliner and shimmed to stop rattling.
    Inspected right rear for rattling in wheel area." Strut ordered YES
    1,994 1/17/2002 "Express Lube.
    Replaced right rear strut/Four-wheel alignment.
    Trunk cover hits hinge on left side/Reinstalled covers in trunk." YES
    4,334 2/22/2002 "5,000 Mile Mini.
    Inspect pulling to right since strut replacement.
    Inspect for rattle in R/F door./Insulate lock cable.
    Rattle in sunroof switch./Insulated." YES
    7,179 4/24/2002 Express Lube.
    11,342 7/16/2002 "Express Lube.
    Rotate Tires.
    Trunk liner falling / Reattached with glue." YES
    14,829 9/10/2002 "Express Lube.
    Trunk liner falling / Attached per TSP BO003-02.
    Inspect right front brakes for noise." "Vehicle operating properly at this time" regarding the brake noise. YES
    16,549 10/8/2002 "Sunroof tilting roughly when hits top. Is no longer flush with roof.
    Right front brake pops when brake pedal is pressed." "Sunroof was ""Adjusted.""
    Parts ordered for brake." YES
    16,959 10/15/2002 "Replaced shim-kit for previous item.
    Adjusted sunroof" Sunroof still not tilting properly and not flush. YES
    17,485 10/24/2002 Sunroof not tilting properly./Removed and calibrated motor assembly. Still not flush with roofline. Water puddles during rain. YES
    18,326 11/6/2002 "Express Lube.
    Sunroof not flush with roof line/Adjust sunroof
    Check for squeak from sunroof when going down rough road/Lube sunroof" Sunroof now flush. New rubber seal was ordered as mine is kinked on one corner. YES
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    sounds like one to sell - the proverbial hot potato!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mpynempyne Posts: 120
    hey im glad i saw this post
    i have a japan built corolla and am having problems with rattles over really small bumps

    so its just not the US built cars
    i was really harsh on theor customer survey

    next car im getting a hyundai
    (sorry hyundai at least acts like they care these days)
  • After all that.....are the rattles gone...or has all the ripping and tearing made things worse....has your dealer mentioned doing similar repairs to other Camry's?
  • Hope you arm yourself with response to the crappy rating Camry owners gave the Camry in CR with regards to squeaks and rattles. I can't wait to hear how your arbitration goes---especially now they they have admitted the proble...I just hope they have a solution for us...personally I think they are just blowing smoke up our....

    This was posted on the Camry board:

    TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- This statement is being issued by
    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.:

    In survey results publicized by Consumer Reports, the 2002 Toyota Camry
    was rated average due to complaints about minor issues with some aspects of
    the car's interior and exterior trim.
    Toyota responded to customer reports of uncharacteristic squeaks, rattles
    and loose trim in early production of the redesigned 2002 Camry. Internal
    surveys and independent reports confirm Toyota's confidence that the issues
    have since been resolved and that Camry initial quality is back to its normal
    high levels. Functional reliability is not an issue. In fact, Camry scored
    well above average in all major operational categories of Consumer Reports'
    survey including engine, transmission, brake and electrical systems, etc.
    Camry remains a recommended model and Toyota and Lexus models continue to
    be at or near the top of their segments as rated by Consumer Reports and many
    other independent quality, reliability and customer satisfaction surveys.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    at least they addressed it.
    GM never does that .
  • They did not address it...just said they did. I called two dealers, each of which had no solution from Toyota on the door oillar rattle issue. I called Toyota (and actually got thru right away) but the rep could not respond to the press release except to say he thought it implied that those with problems were attended to. He could not however explain what action Toyota took to fix the problems or why anyone should assume the rattle reliabilty would return to above average. Their blowin smoke so they don't look so bad with the new Honda coming out.

    With respect to GM, who'd expect them too. You expect rattles on the American cars. Was it not Iococa who said American car buyers don't mind trim falling off as long as the price is low...
  • Toyota Motor products historically have ranged from average to far above average in reliability. The products with average reliability tend to be new models or models of limited production. For example, 1998 was the first year for the redesigned Lexus GS300. The GS300 using a 3 liter straight six which Toyota does not produce in great quantity. The 98 GS300 had a number of problems and even today I don't think its reliability has risen above average. The Lexus ES300 on the other hand uses a 3 liter V-6 which Toyota makes in great quantity for the ES300 and several Toyota models. The ES300 is one of the most reliable cars made. I would expect that after a year or two, the Camry's reliability ratings will increase to above average. Also, squeaks and rattles seem to be a common complaint among many makers today, not just Toyota. Although Toyota drive trains seem to be as reliable as ever, I don't think the build quality of today's Toyotas is as good as it was previously. I think this is deliberate on Toyota's part because they want to remain cost competitive with their competition. That's why they decontented the Camry in the 1997 redesign. Also, I think most buyers are willing to trade a little build quality for more features. Also, many Toyotas are built outside Japan today. Although, Toyota will never admit it, I don't think the cars assembled outside Japan are as well built. It's not a coincidence that Lexus are still made in Japan. However, if you really want high build quality in a Toyota Motor product it is still available - it's called Lexus.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    but in the decontented post 97s are the rear view mirrors that are glued on staying on? I had a VW rabbit that the glue would never hold it on.
    My 94 Camry has the metal post mount - the "glue on" is probably a cheaper way.
  • Then my perspective will be to jump back to the American cars, save $5K and dump them every 4 years before I start to incurr repair costs. Toyota looses in this battle becasue if I am forced into a car that won't last for 7 years then I'm buying the cheapest car with the best coverage...Hyndai is not looking so bad!

    Hope you are wrong!
  • Any fixes...what happened?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    even if the cars are mechanically reliable etc etc etc, is it a reasonable expectation that the car not rattle and squeak when you drive it down the road three days after you bought it new?

    I say the answer is "yes", and if you have to build squeaky creaky cars to build them to last, then maybe you should be building them to last a little less!

    Toyotas have outstanding reliability and longevity, and I think they are worth a premium over other makes in their segment, but I don't think it is too much to ask that they also be quiet and rattle-free driving out of the dealer's lot.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mpynempyne Posts: 120
    Toyota will never admit it, I don't think the cars assembled outside Japan are as well built. It's not a coincidence that Lexus are still made in Japan. However, if you really want high build quality in a Toyota Motor product it is still available - it's called Lexus.

    **i have a japan built corolla that rattles like crazy. so i dont buy the built in japan stuff

    "Toyotas have outstanding reliability and longevity"

    **based on what? past history who cares, whats to say that toyotas of today will last as long? it seems like honda an toyota are dropping the ball.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I hear exactly the same type of discussion over in the Kia and Hyundai discussions, except that over there, the HyunKia owners are saying they are built much better now than they were three years, and I say the same thing to them: you won't know for several years.

    The one and two year old cars are not old enough to tell you if they are more or less reliable than they used to be (unless they really suck), and this applies to new Toyotas as well.

    Personally, I would say that since Toyota's model evolution is so cautious and gradual, it is quite likely that the ones being built now are still pretty much as reliable as those of a decade ago, but I would also say that the 80s Toyos were better in the long run than the 90s ones, just by a bit, and this trend may be continuing. In particular, the more I read about manufacturers, Toyota included, squeezing their parts suppliers tighter and tighter for every last drop of profit, the more those parts are going down in quality and longevity, and after all, the car is only as good as its parts.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I wish I had had the choice of selecting a Japan-built Matrix, but alas they are all built in Canada. Even the Matrix sold in Japan (Voltz) is built here - at the NUMMI plant in CA where the Vibes are produced. I do think the home market cars are built a little better than the ones produced here, and I would have paid a (small) premium to purchase one specifically made over there.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I thought the Canadian plants were pretty good in manufacturing??
    I had a Honda Civic built there, not quite a good as japan but real close - a few cosmetic glue blobs here and there - mechanically ok
  • The Canadian plant (Cambridge, ON) is probably the best Toyota plant outside of Japan. Its far better than the Kentucky plant and the California NUMMI plant. The Indiana plant has proven good quality, though, as my fathers 2002 Tundra Access Cab SR5 V8 4WD demonstrates.

    My 1991 Camry, which was made in Japan, has NO rattles, squeaks or vibrations anywhere in it. It has over 115K miles on it. My 2000 RAV4 (also made in Japan) is the same way, but only has 10K miles.

    My mothers Kentucky built 1999 Avalon is a complete rattletrap after only 15K miles. It may be soon traded in for an ES 300 or a Highlander Limited 4WD, both primarily Japanese built.

    Yes it does make a difference whether or not the Toyota was made in Japan or Canada versus Kentucky. As has been said ad nauseum, there are reasons all Lexus are Japanese made. The first Lexus soon to be built in North America will be built in Canada. This means the Solara is going to be built in Kentucky, so look for it's quality to go down from earlier Canadian built models. The Sienna is going to Indiana, so look for an increase in quality from earlier KY models.
  • bdesaibdesai Posts: 24
    As a current owner of a '98 Camry (LE, 40K miles, AT) I feel that I can say this without insulting all you Toyota fans. While this Camry has remained mechanically problem free, just too many stupid little things have me totally p'd off.
    1. Drivers door does not close the way other doors do (from day one). It needs just a little extra push - I know, I know - picky, picky! Heck ya, I'll be picky and expect perfection. I thought Toyotas were only made after a lot of thought and with great detail in mind ?? Not so sure now!
    2. Both rear doors squeak. Granted we do not use these doors often, I have lubed/oiled them regularly.
    3. Rattle from the B pillar on driver’s side. Taken to the dealer multiple times and had some of the trim re-installed but this problem still continues.
    4. Passenger side door armrest trim cracking. I can't believe this.
    5. Driver side door trim that has the window switches is peeling paint. Again, I can't believe this crap.
    6. Hood does not prop up at all when lever pulled from inside the car. It will open without problems but at times it has been left open since
    it is easy to forget it is open since the hood seems perfectly aligned and no visual clue to remind that it is open.
    7. Ditto as above for the trunk. Both of these since day one and when taken to dealer they said, "Well, that’s the way it is".
    Bottom line for me:
    1. This model Camry is cheap, cheap, and cheap. Plastic quality is horrendous. Plastic trim pieces don't fit perfectly.
    2. The "attention to detail" factor is just plain missing.
    3. Seat fabric feels cheap esp. now after 4 years.
    4. I think Toyota seems to putting its good resources to Lexus and SUV products since they fetch a fat profit, and leaving the Camry’s and corollas to their inexperienced teams. While this makes immediate business sense, not taking care of its core and bread and butter products is going to come back someday and bite their [non-permissible content removed].
    5. '98 Camry: Very amateurish.
    6. I am done with you TOYOTA. When its time to buy a new car, I am going to HONDA. Asta La Vista, baby!!
  • What do the Japanese do on the lines that Americans don't...Can't we snap the plastic in place as well as they do? Are the cars coming from over there assembled differently with different parts and fasteners than their American counter-parts?
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    My guess would be the people who supply the parts are not the same. Thus the parts are not the same - like trim parts etc. Engines tranxaxle are probably the same. In Japan they probably control the vendors more here if like Gm it might be low bid. Seems someone who works for Toyota would log on and tell us.
    On GM cars I used to use the problems were with vendor supplied things like an arm rest or a washer fluid bottle. Sometime you would buy 3 of the things all made to the same drawing number - either GM would not revise the design spec, or the supplier kept screwing up on quality. the parts man at the Olds dealer told me 2 times when buying replacement parts "this one will break too, its the same as the one you have"
  • deni3deni3 Posts: 3
    I purchased a 2002 XLE in February. Immediately
    rattles appeared. Behind the glove compartment,
    both front doors, radio and CD player distortions, and finally the dash itself. Gone to the dealer three times, some rattles fixed, at least for now, others continue. The Toyota
    "price premium" may rapidly disappear.
  • I purchased a 2003 Camry in early October to replace a 1997 Camry. The new Camry has been quite a letdown with interior rattles, creaks and squeeks.

    The loudest of the noises emanates from the passenger side B pillar, which I opened up yesterday. I tightened a loose, partially screwed in metal seatbelt guide and added some foam padding in a couple of strategic locations. However, the b pillar noises have not been eliminated. I noticed that the seatbelt height adjustment mechanism is flimsy and may contribute to the rattles, as the rattles are fewer with a passenger seatbelted in.

    The fascia at the top of the front passenger door is also very creaky. I'll let the dealership tackle that one.

    At 1,300 moderately driven miles, my front brakes have started to squeal and a new rattle has started at the left vent/instrument cluster area. Just when I thought that I did not have the typical Toyota dash rattle!

    I really do not appreciate my new Camry and regret purchasing it. I certainly will not buy another Camry, nor will I recommend one.

    As for "should have bought a Honda": Don't go there - I've owned 3 that I purchased new. They had their share of mechanical problems (i.e. replaced faulty front wheel bearings at 20k miles, timing belt broke at 42k miles, leaky a/c system, defective sunroof, 1979 Civic would never start at or below 10 degrees because of a weak [not defective] starter, etc.)

    To be fair, my 1997 Camry was more mechanically sound and reliable than all of my Hondas. I do not hold such hope for my 2003 Camry.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    don't let a few rattles fool you. If I were you, I would expect the new one to be just as mechanically reliable as the '97 was for you.

    For everyone out there with rattles and squeaks, Toyota has been making a lot of public fuss lately (including JD Power interviews) about how they have done TSBs for all the noise issues, so if you have not already been to the dealer with your rattles, take the car in. You just may find that the dealelr can actually fix them and make your car tomb-like quiet!

    Maybe not too, but it is worth a shot. Since this is such a common problem, they should be able to get you a loaner car too.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Although Toyota seems to have dropped the ball in terms of build quality on their recent products (squeaks and rattles), the reliability of the mechanical systems is probably still as good as ever. My 2001 Solara has a few fit and finish weaknesses, but the only real problem has been a piece of loose trim. No mechanical or electrical problems in 18 months. Based on the 7 Toyotas I've owned my guess is that mechanically the newer Toyotas may be a little more reliable mechanically even if not as carefully assembled.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    which asembly plant is screwing it up?
  • Basically, the Camry doesnt have any advantage over its main competitors like it had years ago. The problem is that people still have that old image in their mind. Times have changed. Other companies such as Ford(which owns Volvo, Jaguar, Mazda, Land Rover, Aston Martini), Chrysler(now part of DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi), and GM(owners of SAAB, Suzuki, Subaru, Isuzu, Holden, Vauxhall, Opel) have really taken these acquistions to their advantage. They have learned the best things from others and taken them to the next level. Reverse engineering is an age old concept, and no one in this group can doubt that a whole car such as the Camry must have been dissected from top to bottom by others in order to be studied. Making good cars is not hard anymore, as most manufacturers use the same suppliers(Johnson Control, biggest auto supplier of seats and various electronics.)

    To sum it up, people should get out of the Camry dream and just go and sit in another car(Intrepid, Taurus, Galant, Altima) and see where the Camry really stands up today. And forget the reliability story, just go and check the Camry Problem group to see the kind of ridicolous problems it has been having, not to mention the new "rattle" syndrome that just came up. Just go and sit and drive a new Taurus. Not only will it hold up(no rattles for 100K plus, but it will keep on going strong). Combine the excellent fit and finish quality to its strong European handling characteristics as well as its cheaper price, the real winner will be apparent.
  • Mike, I saw strides in my Mercusry Mystique in 1995. It tured out to be a bit of a mechanical nightmare. I thought, well the fit and finish is much better, as was the handling and comfort....and it was the 1st model year. Ford never stood behind the product and improved it even when it had initial glowing reviews...even a reccomendation by CR at one point. As my dealer pointed out, they gave up on it. Then come NEW Ford Focus, recognized world wide initially as the biggest piece of crap to come down the pike in some time. This is when I gave up on Ford and went with the Camry with high Expectations. To be honest, if the Camry fails me I'll switch back to Ford and save thousands but I can not justify the switch just yet. Perhaps the Best are going average but when looking at the Focus, it seems the average are falling equally.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    I went out to the Penn State - Michigan State game with my friend this Saturday. We took his new '03 Camry and almost didn't make it. On our way out of his driveway the fuse box fell out of the dashboard. I have never seen anything like this happen even on the cheapest Korean import. He could not shift nor start the car. After some fumbling with the wiring harness, we were able to correct the problem and were on our way. The car did get us to and from the game with no problem.

    Today I go with him to pick up his mother at work. He's parked at the entrance waiting for her and he notices the cover on the visor's vanity mirror is askew. Suddenly the cover comes off as he's trying to fix it. We made several attempts and did get the cover back on. I didn't say anything as I didn't want to make him feel bad, but I'm sure he was embarrassed to have me witness these quality bugaboos.
  • If you look at Toyota products over the last 20 years, their reliability has varied from average to the best there is. The average Toyotas tend to be new models or models produced in small numbers. Those that bought new Camrys happen to have bought a car with average reliability. Though I realize that the squeaks and rattles in a new Toyota are disappointing does anyone really want to switch from Toyota to Ford? Ford products are almost the mirror image of Toyotas. The best Ford products (Taurus, Crown Vic) have average reliability. The worst Ford products (Focus, Cougar) have very poor reliability. The 2002 Consumer Reports issue shows Ford Focus with almost 80% more problems than the average car! You may end of trading squeaks and rattles for multiple transmission failures, blown head gaskets, and other serious problems.
  • Well, after posting #58, I realized that I had left out some very important information.

    I wanted to compare my 1990 Chevrolet Lumina and a friend's 1992 Camry LE. I had the Lumina till 12/2000, when it was hit by a Ford F150 at an intersection. The hit occured at a right angle. The Lumina's bumper basically slid to the right, and the front of the hood became bent. Nevertheless, the car took a big hit, but the funny thing is that it ran like it was never hit. Even the A/C was fine.

    Coming back to the comparison, my Lumina in its 10 years required a water pump, Ignition Module($75), and brakes. Mileage was 145K when the insurance company took it away 12/2000.

    The friend's 92 Camry, however, required a new radiator, CV joints and boots, Engine mounts, Brake master cylinder, an enormous tuneup that cost $450, water pump. His A/C evaporator also developed a leak, thus all the freon escaped. He kept the Camry till 7/2002. Mileage was 150K.

    Basically, we both kept our cars for 10 years and mileage before disposal was almost the same. You can just look and come up with a reasonable conclusion that the Camry was not reliable at all. In fact, I was so sad that my Lumina got hit becuase I hated for it to go. In my experience, that car was basically bullet proof. Everything from the A/C to the transmission ran just like it did on its first day. If you don't call this reliable, I dont know what would be.
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