1999 Camry Engine Failure

dalkeithcdalkeithc Member Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I am totally disappointed with my 1999 4 cylinder Toyota Camry LE that threw a connecting rod yesterday while on the highway. One minute all was fine...the other minute (after a "pop" during switching lanes/overtaking with my newborn on the way home from hospital) I was trying to prevent a highway disaster. Luckily I was able to make it unto the left shoulder without a pile up. Thank god for a brave taxi driver and AAA.

I am now told I need a NEW ENGINE! The car is 3 years old and at 60,400 miles i.e. the engine warranty just expired. This car has been serviced EVERY 5000 miles since new at the Toyota dealership. It was actually serviced two weekends ago at 60,000 and I was going to trade it in for a Toyota Sienna this weekend! As you can guess.... that is now off.

Such a failure surely is not expected from a Toyota. Up to yesterday, the car gave absolutely no problems and remained a dream to drive. Toyota naturally are coyly informing me that the warranty is up at 60,000 miles (so I am on my own); even though the dealer flatly states it must be a engine fault as the servicing on the car was top notch. I was told today by an ex-Toyota salesman that the connecting rod failure is a known problem for the 99 Camry 4 cyl.

CAN ANYONE COMMENT? I guess I might as well join the line for the (36,000 mile engine warranty) Honda Odyssey when I get back the car to trade in!


  • rbruehlrbruehl Member Posts: 85
    Your car is only 400 miles over the engine warranty and you have records of service at your dealership. It wouldn't hurt to talk to the service manager about your problem or the Toyota regional office. My transmission went out on my 1999 Accord V-6 at 38000 miles and they replaced it free of charge after I pressed the issue. They also replaced it a second time 3 months later.

    I bet if you pressed Toyota, they would do the repair to keep you happy as a customer as a "good will gesture". It seems to me you are giving up to easily on a problem that can be resolved.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    I would make it my life's purpose for a little while to get the servicing dealer on the hook for this - the major service was done at 60,000 miles TWO WEEKS AGO?????????????? I would crucify them for that - don't let it end here.

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

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I doubt if the 60K service had anything to do with the engine failure. I love how some people will automatically try to blame life's problems on someone else.

    Still, I have never heard of a Toyota throwing a rod. They build great engines that last much longer than most.

    I would ask your dealer for assistance and call toyota if that doesn't help.

    When a warranty is over it is over. Still, if you nicely and calmly express your unhapppiness they may just help you out.

    Good luck!
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Member Posts: 191
    Recognizing that you had the car regularly serviced at a dealer and that this was a rare catastrophic failure, I hope Toyota either covers the repair completely or pays a substantial part of it. I hope they don't hide behind the technicality of "400 miles out of warranty". Good luck.
  • tbonertboner Member Posts: 402
    Stick or Automatic. Since you say you were overtaking/passing, is it possible you downshifted to the wrong gear?

    I've not heard of these "eating" connecting rods before.

    However, it sounds like you've been a good customer with your dealer and have a pending deal, I'm sure they can do something to help you out. Most carmakers have something like an After Warranty Adjustment.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Was the engine disassembled? What was determined to be the cause? How are the other bearings and condition of the crankshaft?

    Might find something interesting in there.
  • dalkeithcdalkeithc Member Posts: 6
    The car is an automatic!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    and Lord knows I'd see it at my place.

    Definitely press the warranty issue. Talk to the service manager - they have plenty of pull to cover the mileage difference (I did it many times for good customers with good maintenance records). Good luck.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    for their knowledge of the internals workings of an engine.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    That they see sludge when they tear down that engine. This would be covered under the warranty newly issued by Toyota for sludge. Especially if serviced at dealer every 5000.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    the only thing I could think of (poor oil control/circulation) that would cause this.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    they would probably have noticed smoke in significant quantities at some point...

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

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I thought it was the valves that were causing the blue smoke and that the sludge and valve issues were not necessarily related all of the time.
  • tblazer503tblazer503 Member Posts: 620
    If the car had 400miles on it when you bought it, I believe technically your warranty is 5yrs, 60k from the time/mileage of first service... Highly unlikely that a new vehicle had 400miles, but its a chance, in any case, it could bring that mileage gap closer and help some...

    Definitely would press the issue with the sevice manager... (perhaps even mentioning that you want to buy another Toyota soon??)

    havent heard much about it being a "common" problem...
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    "let me test drive the red one." "say, I'd like to try the red one." "red rocks, let's take that!" "I want to be sure it feels right with the unicorn-leather seats and the mind-reading moonroof, the red one has them, let's drive it."

    won't take long if there aren't many cars of a particular model and option package that is popular to get 400 miles on the clock.
This discussion has been closed.