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2003 Toyota Camry Exterior

camrysev6ownercamrysev6owner Member Posts: 66
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I've dented my 03 Camry after putting a bike rack on it. I have one of those trunk bike racks. The upper bar rests on the trunk's surface and the lower bar has to rest just below the license plate. The lower bar does not rest on the rear bumper because of clearance needed for the rear spoiler.

I was carrying at the rack's full capacity of 3 adult bikes that day. I guess it might have been the pressure given to the lower bar when going over bumpy roads that gave the trunk lid a dent under the license plate.

Does anyone have an idea of how to fix dents properly? Can I push the dent back out from the inside of the trunk lid?

Looking forward to any replies.


  • mreededmreeded Member Posts: 2
    My 2002 Camry LE is having problems with the paint chipping off the grill in the front. It seems like a cheap piece of plastic with a thin coat of paint on it. I've had it replaced and it's doing it again.

    Anyone else experiencing anything similar?

  • lookenlooken Member Posts: 4
    My Camry is 1 week old. I didn't get the teflon coating the dealer offers for the outside of the car and now I'm thinking I should have in order to help protect the paint. Can anyone tell me if teflon is a good idea.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    This discussion is archived, but you may find the comments interesting.

    Should I have a TEFLON service for a new car or wax it instead?

  • lookenlooken Member Posts: 4
    Thanks Karen. I did review the TEFLON discussion and really appreciate a site like this to get information. I printed out the material and shall follow the suggestions. Thanks for your hosting time.
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Member Posts: 435
    I recently noticed a previous generation late 97-2001 Camry that had one mirror that was replaced with a foldaway Camry one you would see in Europe. I wanted to leave a note and ask where they got that but didn't. I never saw a foldaway mirror on this series of Camry before. Does anyone know where they may have got this... maybe a supplier of European spec replacement parts?
    I'm curious because I may be interested in the Camry but would want to change the mirrors. I recently got a new Camry as a loaner and I put it in my garage just to check space and you have to be so careful because these mirrors stick out so it's hard to get around the car once it's in the garage.
  • stnickstnick Member Posts: 177
    Does anyone out there know if the optional glass breakage sensor thats available for the 03 XLE is a fairly easy installation. I got a price from the dealers parts department, and I assume that it is a plug in module. If anyone knows where it goes I would like to hear from you. Thanks, Nick.
  • camrysev6ownercamrysev6owner Member Posts: 66
    I have a 2003 Camry SE V6, and stones chips are driving me crazy especially after highway driving. My car is silver, so the stone chips stand out even more because underneath the paint is black.

    I remember that when I bought the car in November last year I was told that I could get a transparent plastic film for the hood (not at the dealer though). It can prevent stone chips, and will not affect the looks of the car because it's transparent.

    So I've done some research on the net about such plastic films. There are quite a few companies that make them now. Actually, it has been around for ages, just not used on vehicles. It was used on helicopter blades during wartimes. So I called up the detailing shops nearby and got some price quotes. Ranged from 50 dollars to 185 dollars. I ended up getting the 185 dollars one made by 3M (the Scotch Tape company). The guy tells me that it is thicker than film plastic made by other companies. Also, it can be peeled off with some heat if you need to in the future. That was a great concern for me because I was afraid that a sticky film would be left on the hood if I were to pull it off.

    I will be getting it installed today. If anyone wants to see it, I will post a picture somewhere.
  • canoe2canoe2 Member Posts: 128
    Anyone has tried to install dimmer mirror + compass on 2002/3 Camry ?
  • derrickscamryderrickscamry Member Posts: 1
    Has anybody that bought an 02 or 03 Camry LE opted to have a rear spoiler installed? I'm thinking about getting one and needed a few pros and cons before going ahead with my plans. How much did you pay?, does the paint match?,and do they take out your HMSL on the parcel shelf in the back? Thanks for your help.
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    I have my 2003 Camry SE about a month now. It has a rear spoiler with integrated brake light. It came with Camry SE. I like it much because it gives a sporty look, not sure it helps the car performance.

    Anyway, most dealers cost little over $400 (painted) plus the cost of the cover which covers your third brake light, unless you want your brake light on the spoiler and the one at the rear window at the same time. But it doesn't look good.

    Also, when you go to those express car wash, the trunk area underneath the spoiler may be not wash. I got no problem because I wash mine by hands.

    However, I found the rear spoiler is taking some rearview when you do the back up. It doesn't brother a lot. I just pretended that I have a high trunk. I do put a tissue box and some small stuff animals near the rear window. It is for my baby. I don't see any problem when parking or backing up.

    You can try I think your local dealer would charge you $100 more for the spoiler plus a ridiculous labor charge. Some auto stereo and alarm places would charge $60-$80 for the installation. My brother just added a spoiler for his Civic. He bought it from ebay and it was actually a dealer overstock with nothing wrong.
  • buzzhdbuzzhd Member Posts: 39
    to install mudguards, do I have to remove all the tires? what tools and screws? any instructions will be appreciated.
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    buzzhd - This is a DIY job. The instruction should guild you through. You don't need to remove the tires. You will need a electric drill and screwdriver. For the front mudguards, there are some pre-drilled holes at the wheel well area. You just unscrew the existing screws and put the mudguards on. But there is a trick. You have to turn the front wheels to one side for better hand position. And the same procedure for the other side. For the rear mudguards, it's too bad that there are no pre-drilled holes. You have to put the mudguard on and make a mark with a pencil. You have to drill some holes. For better installation, I suggest that you lift the car up a little bit and you will have more space between the tire and the fender. The whole job should last no more than 30 minutes. Hope this help.
  • buzzhdbuzzhd Member Posts: 39
    thanks lok! I saw $55 from Is it a good price? Or any other place offers a better price?
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    I could find online or at the local dealers. I also bought a cargo net, wheel locks and all-weather mats from them ( Very good customer service there.
  • buzzhdbuzzhd Member Posts: 39
    do you know what parts no for the wheel locks? I ordered one couple of days ago, but don't know if it's the right one, because the rep said factory alloy wheel is 6 spoke. But I got beveled 5 spoke... thanks!
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    It is PT276-00900 for my 03 Camry SE 16" alloy wheels. But call them and double check first. I think they should all fit. What model of Camry do you have?
  • buzzhdbuzzhd Member Posts: 39
    Mine is 03 LE V6. Originally I ordered PT276-00990 Alloy wheel locks (Zinc w/yellow Chromate), but it was changed to 00276-00900 after calling the rep. You think they can fit on my beveled 15" alloy wheels. I noticed yours are the same.
  • vbajwavbajwa Member Posts: 1
    Apreciate any pointers on bumper removal/install
    for a 1997 Camry. I need to replace as I backed
    into a tekephone pole, corner got squashed in.
    Are aftermarket bumper covers as good as orig?
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Member Posts: 934
    I think I'd rather pick up a Toyota bumper cover from a junk yard than a non-oem....
  • goodguyinctgoodguyinct Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know how to install a front license plate on a 2003/2004 Camry LE? There is no front license plate bracket available from Toyota (or anyone else that I could find), and I don't want to damage the front bumper. Thanks
  • dekesterdekester Member Posts: 322
    IIRC, they're ALWAYS listed as a no-cost accessory and are dealer-installed in States that require two plates. Dealer should be able to install one, ar at least GET a bracket for you.

    Years ago when I lived in Florida (a one-tag State) I wanted to add a bracket to my 76 Ford LTD (I always had some kinda goofy message plates I wanted to show off) and bought one OTC at the dealership. That's ALL they sold bolts to attach it with, JUST the bracket.

  • ando0307ando0307 Member Posts: 13
    One tint shop (let's call them Tinter1) who also replaces windows informed me that part of their process to tint windows is to remove them and bake them. Therefore, his quote for tinting my cars (04 camry and 04 sienna) are higher than another one shop (let's call them Tinter2). He justifies his higher prices due to the additional labor of removing the windows during the tint process. He says the tint can stick better. He also hires certified technicians to do the work, unlike others, what he calls "lick-and-stick" shops, like Tinter2.

    Tinter2 does not remove the windows, however, he bakes the windows after installing the tint. I'm not familiar with what is involved in baking a window during the tint installation process. I'm concerned of them doing this from the interior of my cars. Then again, he mentioned that once your remove a window, they don't go in as original by the auto manufacturer. Also, a concern of mine.

    Tinter1 uses exclusively Madico. He says Madico is one of the best currently, in terms of their customer service and produce performance and warranty. I asked about 3M. He said 3M is a little behind of the times in the auto window film industry. However, still good tint, but not as good as Madico.

    I used Tinter1 once in the past (1998) to replace my rear window with a new one with tint after it was shattered. I selected them from the yellow pages one Sunday morning because they were the only shop open on Sundays and I needed to fix my rear window immediately.

    Tinter2 uses 3M and Solargard. He said he would install 3M in my cars. He also does tint installations for 20 dealerships in the South Bay area. He was referred to me by a local body shop.

    Tinter1 and Tinter2 owns their respective companies.

    Which company would you go with?

    I read a lot of good feedback with 3M window film. However, limited personal comments on Madico.

    I would appreciate any comments.
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    ando0307 - Can you tell me the prices from both shops? I have never heard of anything about the bake windows. Those tinted windows (privacy glass) were came from glass/window suppliers and asembled at the factory plant. Anyway, I had a tinted windows done for my Accord ('97 to '03) at local glass & window shop. It cost me $190 for 4 windows and back window (one piece for the back window). I believe it was one of those 3M products. It lasts years with a proper installation. BTW, your '04 Sienna should have tinted windows except the driver and front passenger's side (except the CE).
  • ando0307ando0307 Member Posts: 13
    Tinter1 quoted:
    $289 for 5 windows on 04 Camry SE
    $90 for 2 front windows on 04 Sienna LE
    Tinter2 quoted:
    $200 for 5 windows on 04 Camry SE
    $50 for 2 front windows on 04 Sienna LE

    You're right regarding the privacy glass on the Sienna LE. Therefore, I only need the two front (driver/passenger) windows tinted there.
    It would be nice if Camry came with a privacy glass option.
    Thanks for your comments on 3M.
    So which tint shop would you select?
    From my research, baking the window after installing tint is a common step in the process.
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    Prices are reasonable. I didn't bother my SUV which already has privacy glass in the back. Same thing on the 04 Sienna (just ordered one). It will be too dark for night driving and viewing the side mirror. I don't know why, but we only find factory privacy glass on SUVs and minivans, not on cars. Many people say this helps the A/C run more efficient on these larger vehicles. I had the tinted windows done in '97 at local auto glass & window shop. My car was sold this year but there was no wrinkles or bubbles. Baking the window... that's new to me. And they didn't charge much consider the extra labor to remove the door panel & the glass and put them back. What about the back window?
  • ando0307ando0307 Member Posts: 13
    They don't remove the back window. Only the door windows are removed.
    My concern for removing the glass from the doors is whether there will be problems down the road in terms of automatic window performance or rattling because it will not be the same compared to the manufacturer's installation.
    Did you have any problems with your windows after they removed and reinstalled the windows with your doors?
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    Mine was one of those 3M tinted window film, no bake window, no window removal. For that car (sold now), I had the driver's side power window regular & motor replaced and front passenger's side window replaced by those window shops. My experience was window/glass may off the track plus the window track, regular & motor were not a very good design during those years of my Accord. And the dealer/service always blame you for the aftermarket modification. Ask more people for their experiences. Good luck.
  • slov98slov98 Member Posts: 112
    I actually got an estimate today for my camry, $269 for the top of the line metallic tint, no windows/door removal...I also have not heard of baking the windows

    I can't decide how 50% front and 35% back would look like, the legal limit in my state..anyone have an opinion? I'm leaning towards the uniform look 50%
    2003 camry
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Member Posts: 934
    Better check the legilties in your state. If the cops know Camry's do not come with factory tint and you tint yours and they want to get you...well then you are an easy target who'll get a fine as well as the cost of getting the tint off. I can see their point too, some folks tint the windows to the point of absurdity...the are unable to see out (and safely drive) and the police are unable to see in. Personally, if I get pulled over I want Officer Friendy to be able to see me with no problems....don't want him walking up to my car ready to shoot! The auto companys should just have the window tint available as an option on all vehicles...unless they know already that vehicles with tint bring more accidents and they do not wish to be held liable....

    Anyone who even considers having their '02 or newer Camry windows removed and tinted are brave souls indeed....I mean the car comes with enough rattles, creaks and buzzes off the lot....I can only imagine the cacophony of noises that emerge when it gets when ripped apart and re-assembled. GOOD LUCK.

    PS: I have never seen a non-factory window tint that did not bubble where the rear defroster they just replace the entire back window or apply a film over the defroster or what?
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    No wrinkles or bubbles within 5 years of the installation. It was 35% tinted. It was perfect for the day time heat but kind of dark at night. I think it was (35%) the MA state limit for cars except limos. It was still good when I sold my car this summer. These guys are professionals. They tinted the back window (with rear window defrost) with one film and no removal of any windows. I even put those sunshades and Baby on Board with suction cups without damage the film. But try to avoid those glass cleaner with ammonia.
    I am not thinking this for my 03 Camry since my wife is not comfortable with that.

    I think the auto manufacturers don't offer the factory tinted windows (privacy glass) on cars due to the operation safety and public safety concern. On the other hand, SUVs and minivans have more open space in the passenger and cargo area. They probably think you can't really put stuffs out of sight except with the privacy glass, unlike cars have trunks. Plus, it helps the A/C run more efficient on these vehicles with large interior space. Well, this always makes the folks at the auto glass shop busy.
  • buzzhdbuzzhd Member Posts: 39
    Is it necessary to install mudguard?
  • slov98slov98 Member Posts: 112
    If you travel on dirt roads I think it's beneficial, regular driving probably not

    The worst area is under the rear license plate..always the dirtiest part first since the water just sits there and when it dries, you see the dirt..not a good design IMO.
  • jiaminjiamin Member Posts: 556
    I have mudguards on my cars, and found they only helped very little in most city and highway drive. No matter what, some part of the car underneith will get durty. If we want to protect painted bumper, we use something to block the durt from blowing to the bumper, and this "something" will get durty. As long as this "something" is made of durable material with no paint, and its color is close to that of the durt, I will feel good having it on.
  • epmusaepmusa Member Posts: 7
    Does anybody knows where to get the following:

    1. Front and rear under body spoilers
    2. Side rocker panel moldings

    Check a Los Angeles Toyota Dealer and they said it's known as ground effects. They have them in their catalog w/ picture but no price and don't know where to get them.

    Thank you for the help.
  • lilgreg56lilgreg56 Member Posts: 12
  • hank2hank2 Member Posts: 76
    Guys -

    Talk to the folks who replaced the engine, but for the most part follow 30K miles, except for plugs and oil changes. I assume they gave you new plugs and nothing else ... but ask. Everything that wasn't repaired will continue to wear at the normal rate.

    Dents - If the metal is pushed in, but not creased, you may be able to pull it out with a toilet plunger. Also, there are dent removal kits, that you may get from a hardware store. In fact, you might try talking to a local hardware store, or someone like AutoZone, and ask what they have to take out dents. If the metal is folded or creased ...Oh, oh, better Get Maaco
    (reference to US TV commercial) ... you probably need a professional service, but you may not need to go to the dealer.

    Please add to our knowledge after ya'll determine the best approaches.

  • camrysev6ownercamrysev6owner Member Posts: 66
    Thanks for you helpful information. I went to a placed called "Dent Wizard" and they claim that they can do paintless dent removals. They looked at my dented trunk lid, and quoted a price of nearly $400 CDN !!!

    Well, I guess I would just have to live with the dent, or get one of those kits from a local hardware store. Not sure if it would work, but it's only $30. Even if it doesn't work, I wouldn't feel ripped off.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Member Posts: 934
    Really sorry to hear your experience about the bike rack dent but I am glad you posted. I was considering getting one. I think I may just take the suggestion that I have Uhaul install a 1/4 inch hitch and purchase that style rack.
  • camrysev6ownercamrysev6owner Member Posts: 66
    Yup, it's a good idea to go with the hitch. I've actually considered getting a hitch but thought it was too costly at the time so I went with the trunk rack. BAD DECISION. If I had known that I would dent my trunk lid I would've paid the extra money for a hitch.

    I had two concerns regarding hitches though. The first one was that there would be potential rusting that acts as a substrate which promotes rusting onto the car's underbody. This was only my assumption because I've seen it happen to older cars on the road.

    The second concern was that the looks of the car would be affected because of the hitch that must be attached at all times (another assumption). I didn't like the look of the car with the hitch on it when the bike rack is detached.

    I had been wondering if my assumptions were correct for a long time. Maybe you could give me some input on that.
  • dekesterdekester Member Posts: 322
    would most likely occur on vehicles that are used to launch boats and therefore would have that area in contact with water - in some cases sea water.

    Hitches are generally powder coated these days and protected from the elements.

  • jeff1jeff1 Member Posts: 11
    It's used to remove the paint blob of the touch up paint. Has anyone tried it before? How bout its result?
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Member Posts: 934
    still not sure on the hitch...awaiting firther comments....
  • gearhead4gearhead4 Member Posts: 122
    I have taken my cars to paintless dent repair shops like Dent Wizard and Dent Busters several times with excellent results. The cost to me was always less than $75 (US) per dent. In all cases, I couldn't tell there was ever a dent.
    It doesn't work of the metal is creased or the paint is "broken". If the dent is very close to the edge of the panel, the paintless technique is less effective.
    If you are very talented and use the right tools you can do it yourself, but you could make it worse.
    I have found that most paintless shops will be candid about their ability to fix the problem. The shops I have used guaranteed their results (if I wasn't satisfied, I get my money back).
    In my opinion, few collision repair shops can precisely match the factory paint color and texture, so paintless is the way to go.

  • martman1martman1 Member Posts: 4
    Just bought new 2004 LE-I would like to get something on front and rear bumbers to protect from dents and dings. I have highlander with both front and rear low profile brush guards. Do I have to go customize to get this protection, or auto parts store(moulding strips front and rear? Any help would be appreciated(with names of stores or web sites( The new 2004 LE just has remote for lock and unlock with one press(open drivers side-2 presses all door. I want to change to 1 press all doors open like my highlander Limited with alarm system.Dealership said not possible-any feed on this? Thanks for any help
  • middymiddy Member Posts: 2
    Please note the Camry has a internal glass radio antenna. Most high end tint uses metalized film, which could effect the radio reception. I would make sure to ask for a non-metalized film which is either the cheap dye film or premium non-metalized film.
  • carcruisercarcruiser Member Posts: 6
    My Camery is an 05 and one week old, I got the Teflon protection. I also have an 01 Camery and in the garage the both look the same only right now when I rub my hand over the 05 it feels smooth vs the 01. Time well tell but it is a lot of money for a fell smooth surface, they both shine well and are 4 years apart.
  • bernie3bernie3 Member Posts: 48
    I bought an '05 Camry (Salsa Red) three weeks ago. The owner's manual recommends monthly waxing (that'll never happen!), but says nothing about waiting a certain period of time before waxing the car the first time.


    Years ago, you weren't supposed to wax a new car right away. With advances in paint technology, clear coat, etc., I'm guessing that no longer apllies. I'd like to put a coat of wax on as soon as it is advisable.


    My last car was a '98 Buick which I bought used. I got the longest lasting "beading" effect using good old fashioned turtle wax, in paste form. It would last about 4 months -- with the car kept outside.


    The Camry owner's manual makes no recommendations as to type of wax that I recall. Are there any standard waxes that shouldn't be used on a new car?


    Thanks, in advance, for any help.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I don't think you need to wait.


    I used to used Turtle Wax also, but it's a pain.


    Now I use Eagle One's "Wax as you Dry" spray wax.


    You simply spray it on the car after you wash the car, but before you dry it. Spray on the wax (on a section of the car at a time), and then use a chamois (real or synthetic) or a soft cloth, and voila, the car is waxed in a jiffy.


    Maybe it won't last that long, but it's so easy to use that you can do it every time you wash the car.
  • groovygroovy Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 2005 Camry XLE and noticed that all the aluminum alloy wheels have what appears to be adhesive residue from a sticker or tape. I tried to remove the residue with water but does not seem to work. I'm thinking of removing it with WD-40 but not sure if it will work or damage the aluminum wheels (I have the 7 spoke 16" wheel that came with the XLE premium package). Thanks in advance.
  • tarhe54tarhe54 Member Posts: 8
    I can't find a listing for a trailer hitch for the 04 or 05 Solara. I need one for my motorcycle trailer. Are there any differences in the frames of the Camry and the Solara? As I look at both, they look identical. Are they?
This discussion has been closed.