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Toyota Camry Rattles



  • mcpdjohnmcpdjohn Posts: 44
    I bought a used '97 Camry about 4 weeks ago. I was very happy with the car until I became aware of all the rattles. When I bought the car it only had 25 psi in the tires, so the rattles were diminished. I have spent the last 2 weeks taking off door and dash panels in an effort to identify the cause of these rattles, without success. Then yesterday I found this forum and learned that I am not alone. I read through all of the posts, and my rattles are very similar to some of them. Here is a list of what I have:
    1. Loud (intermittent) viration at left side of dash, possibly back by the windshield.
    2. Radio rattle
    3. Passenger seat belt (retractor guide?) rattle
    4. Headliner rattle
    5. Drivers side door rattle

    I might be able to live with 2 thru 5, but number one is killing me, whether I have the radio on or not.

    After reading all your posts, I tried to contact my local Toyota dealer last night to see if they could help me. As soon as they found out what I was calling about, they put me on hold, permanently. I gave up after 10 minutes. I don't think they want to deal with me.

    I think this is a crying shame. On the surface, the car looks, runs, and handles great. Passed the smog test with flying colors and gets excellent gas mileage. Other than the rattles its amazingly quiet. You can barely hear the engine running. But all of that potential enjoyment is robbed by the orchestra of rattles.

    If any of you have a '97 Camry, and have actually solved any/all of my rattles, could you please post your solutions for me? Also, I'm not up on the lingo (e.g. cowling, pillar, etc). So try to explain it to a non mechanic.

    Thank you
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    In last post I thought the rattles came from B Pillar passenger side on 2003 Camry.
    After removed B pillar completely, removed seat belt retractor,insulated all the wires but the cracking noise was still there. It appeared under B pillar. I sprayed silicon lubricant to all drill holes under B pillar and that worked!!
    Now the car is so quiet
  • slov98slov98 Posts: 112
    There is a tapping 'metallic' sound coming back from the rear, passanger side, it happened one day, the next day it was gone.
     A week later it's back, it used to happen when you're coming to a stop, redlight, stop sign etc.
    I had my oil changed by a toyota dealer and now it's there constantly.
    I'm not going to be taking anything apart since I have no idea how, maybe put a piece of paper under the glass that kind of thing, a simple fix before I go to the dealer
    Both times the tapping started, my radio was turned up, could that have caused it? (the bass thumping)
    I have less than 1500 miles on it, camry 03
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    Try to put pieces of paper along plastic panel side of the car
  • dork4638dork4638 Posts: 7
    I just bought my Camry a week ago, I have about 450 miles on it. There's an incessant rattling noise coming primarily from the rear of the car, it's annoying the hell out of me. Initially I thought it was the seats, then maybe something in the trunk, I'm thinking it might be those two rods running underneath the speakers not connecting properly now. This noise mostly occurs over bumpy roads, even very slight bumps. Took it to the dealer and they told me it was the license plate holder, what a bunch of idiots. I removed the frame and guess what? the rattling was still there. Need to leave the car at the dealer sometime next week I suppose. That's what I get for buying an American made Camry. My dad's 97 Japanese-made Camry has no such rattles and it's got over 100,000 miles...

    Have any of you suffered from this problem? Reading the posts it appears most of you guys are getting a dash rattle. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.
  • dork4638dork4638 Posts: 7
    Took the car to the dealership a second time. The mechanic didn't even bother checking it out after I told him specificially it was coming from the rear speaker area. The guy basically told me since I didn't buy the car from them they weren't going to waste their time opening it up and figuring out the problem. Great service huh? Hopefully at the dealership I purchased it from they will at least make an effort. I know rattles probably don't qualify under the "lemon" law thing. But it's annoying as hell and I'd have no problem selling this damn car (since I bought it for $3,000 below invoice) and buying another one...
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    If I was you I would try to fold down the back seats, have someone on back seat to listen where the noise comes from. Try to fix by your self first instead of wasting time at the dealer.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    You definitely need to call your Toyota regional consumer affairs to make some noise. Or try to contact the service manager first. Although the dealers are independent own, they can't treat you like dirt because the service is nationwide. What happen if you move out of state? They are making a big mistake.

    Anyway, did you look at the truck area? I am not sure about this. But you may take a look to see if there is any lose object in the trunk. It could be a lose screw/nut for the space tire, tire jack and tools.
  • dork4638dork4638 Posts: 7
    canoe2: I actually had my dad sit in the back with the seat folded down. He came to the conclusion it's coming from the rear speaker shelf area. He tried to figure out where it was and whatever it is, it's not something that's exposed so I'll need to take it apart. I thought about fixing it myself, I was just figuring since the car's so new I might as well have the dealer do it. Who knew they'd be so non-receptive...

    lok888: I've exhausted myself searching the trunk. I actually removed the tools and the cover of the spare. I even pushed the car up and down seeing what rattles it makes. There are a couple of rattles, but nothing that a driver should be able to hear while in a moving vehicle (at least I'm assuming so).

    As far as "making noise". I'm giving Toyota one last chance. I made an appt at the dealership where I purchased it from. If I come of out this as bitter as I do entering, "noise" will definitely be heard. I realize it's no big deal, but rattles are annoying as hell (and I only have 550 miles!) and their refusal to help (although they were quite polite in doing so...) is galling.

    thanks guys, I really appreciate the suggestions!

    If anyone here knows how to take apart that speaker shelf are, please let me know. I'm not the handiest guy in the world but I'm not too bad either. Thanks !
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I am glad that you did try my theory. For the rear speakers, I think you have to remove the screws underneath the speaker shelf. I looked once to see if they are JBL speakers.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    trunk rattles

    have someone ride in the trunk

    also wet the underside areas to see if its a weld joint
  • dork4638dork4638 Posts: 7
    thanks for the tip lok888, I'll try messing with it this weekend.

    wain, have someone ride in the trunk? LOL
    or were you being serious ? =)
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Let's us know the outcome. Ride in the trunk? Not too worry. There is an internal trunk release handle inside the trunk of 02-03 Camry. It is illuminated too. Fold down the rear seat if you are not confidence.
  • dork4638dork4638 Posts: 7
    Here's the update on the rattling from the rear of my car. Had a self-professed car-nut buddy ride in the car with me. He guessed (correctly) that it was the rear strut mount being loose. Took it to Toyota today and had it checked out. I told the service manager it was coming primarily from the passenger side but also from the driver's side too. So I get the car back this afternoon and it turns out they only fixed the passenger side and not the driver's side. Smart guys huh? The service manager was extremely polite and apologized profusely for the mistake and I should have the car tomorrow. I'm not sure if the driver's side rattle is still a loose strut mount or the mechanics simply did a poor job putting everything back together. Regardless, the new rattle is even more noticeable than before so the mechanics should have no problem fixing it (they must not have taken it for a test drive after fixing it). Hopefully tomorrow will be my last visit to the dealer for a long time...
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    As posted this spring my dealer lubricated all door seals with a silicon spray. To my amazement many of the creaks and rattles went away. Of course the weather was warming so I'll be a true believer this winter. I was at the dealer to make arrangements to have my radio stack better insulated and thus knock another rattle off the list (see posts above). The tech who lubed my door seals last time said not to use the silicon leaves a sticky residue which will cause a variety of noises to eventually return. The dealership is getting some sort of new lube in and requested to re-do my door seals at that time. I am very hopefull that all I will soon be left with only that door pillar noise that I believe is coming from the seat belt adjustors.
  • dork4638dork4638 Posts: 7
    so the dealer fixed the left rear strut mount. now it's rattle-free. They had to put some form of insulation on it. Turns out some other Toyota has the exact same problem (I'm assuming the Highlander). Hopefully I'll get no more rattles..
  • This forum must not die! I am not sure why the original became a 'read only' forum...especially when Edmunds lets anything become a topic instead of forcing folks to post where appropriate.

    I know I am still not satisfied with my '02 rattle trap and I bet there are others out there who STILL feel the same. If so start posting again!!!!

    Well the magic spray that they sprayed on my door jams did quiet a great many of my door rattles. (My guess is the warm summer weather quieted a few as well) Unfortunately the magic potion wears of in about 6 weeks. I am going to try to determine what the 'spray' is and pick up a can myself. I could be a pri#k and go back every 6 weeks but this is a hassle for me and in all fairness it is not the dealers fault that Toyota decided to implement a crappy design. Note: This is not a silicon spray...I was warned that this (over-time) actually makes matters worse.

    I have also decided to let them pull out my radio and attempt to insulate the surrounding areas---I hope they do not make it worse.

    I only hope Conumer Reports continues to knock Toyota in these areas...its a shame what they did to an otherwise impressive automobile.

    Anyone else find any solutions to the myriad of rattles the Camry contains....or do we need a few more weeks until it gets cold and they become more pronounced again.

    I can't wait to hear about the 2004s....
  • Yes, this forum should be kept going. I have an 03 SE, built 5/03 in Japan and it also has plenty of squeeks and rattles. Its more like the rattle du jour. None are all that serious but they are annoying. Most are intermittent so taking the car to the dealer is a big waste of time.

    One, the squeeky sunroof shade, they fixed based on a TSB issued in 02. So Toyota is shipping 03s with the problem and waiting for custormers to get them fixed in the fiels instead of changing it on the assembly line. Here's my rattle list thus far.

    1. sunroof shade squeeked and rattled when open
    2. squeek from dash right around radio. If I hold the dash here it stops.
    3. clunk/rattle just inside of roof liner around sunglass holder. Need to hit a hard bump to hear this one.
    4. Squeek from left air vent, intermittent
    5. Rattle from somewhere on right side of car, sounds like it is coming from B pillar.

    Toyota's response to my complaint was, 'did you give the dealer a chance to fix these', like somehow they think it is ok to run your car back to the dealer all they time to let them say, 'unable to duplicate'. Maybe others have had good luck with their new Camry's, but mine rattles!!!!
  • Sounds like the same old story.....let us know what happens!
  • totally agree, it should go on!
    My car only got 200 miles when rattle and sqeak or annoying noise began to alert me. Noise came from left side of window, right side of b-pillar and dashboard. So what's going on? Toyota reliable, durable? I don't think so. What can I do with those noises, take to the dealer=wasting my time!
  • I had the pleasure of driving my brother's 2003 Camry LE from Rochester, NY to San Jose, CA. The car had 3800 miles when I departed. Over the course of six days, I did not hear one squeak or rattle during the entire trip. I guess they have corrected the rattle problems in the 2003 Camry edition.
  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    We have put 12,000 plus miles on our V6 rattle free auto.
  • corrected on 2003 Camry? not on mine. I just bought one at the end of August.
  • Voice to dissapointment vehemently to Toyota first---the dealer are really stuck in the middle. Let them know you will also be notifying Consumer Reports/JD Power etc etc. If you do subscribe to CR be sure to indicate you displeasure on the annual survey!!!!
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    My 97 V6 Camry LE (Marysville) has had a glove box rattle since day one - 3 attempts by Toyota Service to fix it have all failed.
    Other little squeaks and creaks in door and dash as well.
    Wrote (an ignored) letter to the local service place about my displeasure over my '$22K rattle trap'. Guess they figure they have buyers by the tail. Or maybe they know there is no fix for this sort of thing so they just shine it.
    Anyway, just rented an 03 Highlander for a week (test drive) and the glovebox had the same [email protected] rattle.

    Gives one serious pause when considering spending ~$30K on a new vehicle...

    turn up the radio! ;-)

  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    I can honestly say that both our 2002 Camry LE V6 and our 2003 Highlander NL V6 have not developed any rattles since we owned them. BTW, the Camry was built in Kentucky. My sister-in-law and her husband have a 2001 Avalon and it has not developed any rattles either. Sounds like the Highlander you drove needed some R&R.
  • was suppose to go in this week to have a myriad of rattles addressed but had to cancel....looks like next week....will post!
  • My car goes in this week - I Hope - to get my door jams sprayed with some magic spary that will eliminate crackles, rattles and the like. I am also having the trim around the radio removed and everything in back insulated......hopefully to eliminate the myriad of rattles and vibrations that eminate from this area. Just when I thought I heard them all a new rattle appeared this weekend. It seams to eminate from the passenger dash area - perhaps the duct work bumping around and making a very disturbing noise. If anyone has experienced this and has a fix, please let me know as I am bringing the car in this week and will pass any info along to the tech.
  • I am really sorry to hear about your experience and hope that you get the problems fixed properly. I have the odd creak in my 2003 but I think part of the reason for that is the sport suspension. The car doesn't float over the bumps like my 1999 XLE did but I am OK with that as this car handles way better.
  • I haven't been on this site lately but I would like to respond to previous comments by saying firstly that I think that Toyotas in general are better than average vehicles whether they are built in the U.S., Canada or Japan. The fact of the matter is that Toyota Plants all over are winning awards for quality and your chances of getting an excellent vehicle from Toyota are alot better than most manufacturers.
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