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Toyota Camry Basic Maintenance Questions



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Just get a local filter at autoparts store. Shipping and handling charges alone will probably double the cost, compared to locally bought.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    A genuine OEM Toyota filter is around $21.
  • dlrevdlrev Posts: 11
    where can I purchase a genuine OEM Toyota filter? I am a car novice so please don't think I'm being sarcastic.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    go to any Toyota dealer, walk over to the parts counter, tell them what you want, give them your credit card.
  • dlrevdlrev Posts: 11
    Anyone use a K&N air filter? I was looking at those but they are around $50. As I understand it you can wash and reuse them basically for the life of the car. Is it worthwhile?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,839
    It's my opinion that a simple, washable drop-in filter, with no additions to the routing of the stock air intake system, is just a waste of money, and possibly detrimental to your car if over-oiled. Taken all by themselves, I've never seen a credible test that shows that you gain anything but noise from these types of filters.

    After all, cars still have throttle plates that open and close, so your intake air flow is restricted by your right foot anyway.

    Now if you want to add a system for COOLER air, or ram air, that might have an effect, depending on how your stock system comes from the factory.

    Modern cars leave very little on the table in terms of air filter design.

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  • dlrevdlrev Posts: 11
    A bit confused by your reply. So you're saying you feel the K&N air filter is NOT worth it, right?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,839
    Not in and by itself, no. It's not worth the money or the trouble. In conjunction with intake, fuel injection and exhaust modifications, it may be of some help.

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  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Not my car, but I do take it to the dealer for oil changes the last couple of years. Car runs good and has accumulated only 14,500 in the last 37 mos..Total mileage is 77,150, and I am not a fan of Toys..

    How ever recently it has developed a wheel shake when braking, which usually is due to warped rotors, but I noticed the other day at 30 mph I got a steering wheel shake w/o any braking over smooth road.. Car is covered by a certified maintainence policy expiring 7/31/09..So my take is tie rod ends, pitman arm, or idler arm..

    Of course they will do every thing under the sun to sell a whole shopping list of goodies and services which the Toy dealers are famous for..The rotors may be warped but at a steady slow speed to find movement in the steering wheel points at steering component issues..

    Any like experiences from owners I would appreciate your feedback..Never owned any foreign cars except 2 Porsches, and 41 Big3 cars..I find out looking this thread that Toys require alot of maintance operations, sounds like a waste of time and money. Over 100k miles one should do brakes, tires, and maybe an alignment. Lots of oil changes however this fluid changing of all fluid systems is a total waste., but then again they may not be built that good we are told..My normal annual mileage for some 40 yrs was around 50k, and if the car required the Toy schedule it was never bought..If it was not broken, why bother to spent money to keep the dealer in riches..My only service areas were suspension, brakes and tires, tire balance..

    The std Toy strut is shot before 50k, except the SE models..
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Or may have a bad strut/shock.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    The service rep assigned to my case, who had never looked at car tried to sell me all new tires, right now.. I left the car with them and when they get their full list of goodies completed, call me..

    Couple hours later I get the call, rotors warped, rear brakes only 10% life left, new pads, alignment, and balance all wheels..====$800.00.. All steering components are good, struts are perfect, etc..I pick up the car couple hrs later and go 2 blks.. from the dealer off the beaten path to a place called Dave's Garage. I had talked with Dave after my Toy service rep had his pitch, and had found Dave's, garage as installer for "Tire Rack", so all will work out..New rotors on frt, new pads on rear, will have 4 new tires from "Tire Rack", balanced at the garage site, then take the car to Toyota dealer for alignment..Total cost will probably be in the area of $725 including new tires and the alignment at Toyota.. The Toy quote didn't include 4 tires or new rotors on front. Turning rotors with 77k is a waste of time..

    It isn't my car but being retired one has time to shop a little. Didn't like the attitude of the Toy dealer service reps, so we will see what happens for the car owner will be gone for 3 wks, just got back from a 5 wk spree..

    Most dealers are a rip, but 90% of the work on my cars are performed at the dealer, in fact I buy tires at the car dealer for they are then responsible for a perfect tire w/o vibration at all speeds up to top end..Brakes are a waste of money at the dealer..

    The only Camry I would buy is the SE and with the so-so dealers I will pass.
  • blkipeazblkipeaz Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Camry w/ 39000 miles, had rear roters/pads replaced at about 32000 miles, now the car shakes when braking, have been told front roters warped.
    Seems like these things should not be occuring yet w/ the milage. Any ideas?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    It depends as to whether you have an aggressive driving / braking style. I have more miles that than, and braking is still perfect and smooth. My teenage daughter is primary driver who is not aggressive at all.
  • dallas12dallas12 Posts: 14
    wanted to know what would be the cost to change all belts basically , timing, drive belts, Power steering, AC etc with water pump and seals. One of the toyota dealer in Dallas has given me a quote for $750. Is that fine or too high? THis is for a camry 99 model 4 cyl.
  • dallas12dallas12 Posts: 14
    Got a quote from toyota dealer for $675.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Try an independent shop (but get recommendations first from friends, relatives, or co-workers).
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,041
    If you own a 2006 – 2010 Toyota Camry and live in the Los Angeles area, please contact by August 12 if you’re interested in being contacted for more information on your vehicle ownership experience.


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  • jmgarjmgar Posts: 7
    The lube places try to sell this routinely at 30,000 miles. My garage mechanic who is very competent, written books on repair of newer cars and says he has worked on standards committees on these items says this is a bunch of hooey.

    What is your opinion on when/if power steering fluid should be replaced ?

    Does the same concept apply for brake fluid ?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I've never changed the power steering fluid on the cars that I have owned. Still, it's probably not a bad idea to change it at 100K miles or so, but not use the "flush" method. Just use an old turkey baster (clean of course) and suction the fluid out of the reservoir. Refill with new fluid (see your owner's manual for the required specs). Drive the car for a mile or so, turning the steering wheel through its full range of motion. Repeat with the turkey baster. Do this a few more times, and you'll have changed nearly all of the fluid in the system. The old fluid can be recycled with motor oil.

    Brake fluid is not an oil and gradually collects moisture over time. It should be changed according to the intervals listed in your owner's manual. If there is no recommendation, 3 years or 50K miles is appropriate IMO.
  • My relative has a 2002 v6 Camry low miles, 45000, approx, and is looking to have car serviced - more for time passed than mileage accrued. Is there any Central Seattle are dealer or service shop (Niasa) which some can recommend? Close to downtown Seattle or Capital Hill would be a plus!

    Also, does this v6 camry have a chain or timing belt? When should it be changed, if at all?

    thanks all help.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I can't help you on the Seattle question since I live in Virginia, but the V6 of that model year has a timing belt. It's good for at least 90K miles, maybe more (it's spelled out in the maintenance manual that came with the owner's manual packet).
  • bma3bma3 Posts: 1
    My 01 Camry with 73,000 miles stalls at lights/stop signs. Dealer tells me that the ECM and four fuel injectors need replacing to tune of $3000. Any advice?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Get a second opinion from a reputable independent shop. Ask for recommendations from friends, relatives, or co-workers.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Unlikely that all of those would fail at the same time.
  • Our 2000 Camry LE V6 (Japan-made) now has over 170K miles on it, and is still running flawlessly, consistently delivering between 25-28 MPG. The engine has never had the valve clearance adjusted (solid bucket tappets, adjusted by shim plates). The engine idles very smoothly, and there is no significant valve noise. However, I'm concerned about the need for a valve adjustment, and the possibility of inadequate valve clearance eventually causing a burned valve. It's almost inconceivable (to me, at least) that a non-hydraulic tappet engine could run for 170K+ miles without any significant wear in the valve train that would require valve adjustment.

    Does anyone have any input on the typical mileage where the 1VZ-FE 3.0L V6 engines require valve a adjustment?

    Has anyone every had a valve adjustment performed on a 1VZ-FE engine? If so, at what mileage?

    Has anyone ever experienced a burned valve on the 1VZ-FE engine? If so, at what mileage?

  • bma3 -

    (It would be useful for you to specify if you have a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder engine; failures and fixes may be different for the two engines.)

    First, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that the ECM and multiple fuel injectors would fail simultaneously. If you use good quality fuel, injectors should last at least 150K miles. EMC failures are extremely rare, unless the car was a hurricane salvage vehicle.
    I would NOT trust this dealer's diagnosis, and especially the $3K repair estimate.

    Camry's have a known issue with sticky Idle Air Control Valve (IAC valve) that causes stalling symptoms similar to what you describe. This is generally more frequent if you do lots of stop-and-go driving, or mostly short trips. The valve can be easily cleaned with a can of spray cleaner (like CRC brand Mass Airflow Sensor Cleaner), and should operate correctly for at least 25-30K miles between cleanings. The dealer will NEVER clean a valve, they will always want to replace it at $200-$250 or more.

    Here is a recommended list of things to do & check. If you can't perform these operations yourself, find a reputable Toyota independent repair shop, or try a different dealer:

    1. Verify that the Idle Air Control Valve is functioning correctly. The most common symptom of an IAC problem is very low idle speed (500 RPM or less) immediately after a start (can be at cold start, or after a hot re-start). Problems with the IAC usually don't trigger the "check engine" light.
    2. Replace the fuel filter;
    3. Run several bottles of a quality fuel injector cleaner (Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus) through several consecutive tanks of fuel. This should remove any significant deposits from the fuel injectors.
    4. Check the operation of the Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve. Any defect in the EGR valve may also cause idle speed & stalling problems. ERG problems may or may not trigger the check engine light.
    5. If it's a 4-cylinder, have a compression check done. Some of these engines develop a valve clearance problem (zero clearance) on one cylinder that can prevent the valve from closing completely, causing rough-running or stalling. This is easliy corrected via a valve adjustment.
    6. If you are not doing so, switch to a "Tier One" gasoline. These are gasoline brands that have passed rigorous engine deposit testing by car manufacturers. Check on-line for the latest Tier One listings. Use whatever GRADE of gasoline is recommended in your owner's manual (regular 87 octane for almost all Camrys).

    Let us know what you find, and what the "final fix" is.

  • It really depends on your maintenance philosophy, and how long you intend to keep the car. The REAL reason to change power steering fluid is to extend the life of the $$$ expensive and difficult to replace power steering rack, which is what the power steering fluid actually "powers". As far as I know, older Mercedes Benz were the only vehicles to use filters in the power steering systems, so in other vehicles (Toyotas included) all the wear debris from the PS pump and the steering rack gradually accumulate in the fluid and circulate endlessly whenever the engine is running. Changing the fluid at 30k miles may be slightly overkill, but every 50K miles is reasonable. It's so easy to do, and so inexpensive, that it's really cheap insurance to protect a $3,000+ steering rack & pump system. A well-maintained and conservatively-driven Toyota Camry should be capable of 250-300K miles without MAJOR repairs to the powertrain, so a little low-cost maintenance of the power steering system would seem to be reasonable investment.

  • Oops ....

    The Camry described in post #573 is a 1998 model, not a 2000. I was somehow thinking of my 2000 4-Runner when writing about the Camry. Actual mileage on the Camry is now 177,000 miles.

  • tasaytasay Posts: 36
    Hi All,
    I am looking to get a good price on struts for my Solara 99 V6. Where on the internet is the best place to get toyota parts?

  • My 2008 4 cyl. Solara states that 5W 20 or 0W 20 should be used, however some of my neighbors stated that the Toyota dealers have put 5W 30 and 10W 30 in thier engines when taken in for service. Will this cause engine issues?
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