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2007 Toyota Camry Problems and Repairs



  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Can anyone tell why I am getting very poor gas milage in my 2007 V-6 SE camry.

    I have no codes coming up tire pressure is 32 My car has had many shifting issues which the dealership says is normal though I questioned that.
    My last tank I got 15mpg local driving. I do let the car warm up for 5 mins in the morning on these cold winter days in chicago. I've never seen this kind of drop before from summer to winter.
  • barroncbarronc Posts: 44
    I'm having the same problem as you with poor gas milage in my 2007 XLE V-6 Camry. I've had shifting problems with some minor tach spiking as well. I'm averaging 14.5 miles per gallon around town and I live in South Florida.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    There are four known possibilities for the poor winter mileage you are experiencing: One is related to the length of the trips you are making; the shorter the trips you make, the lower your mileage will be. This is caused by the fact that the engine's fuel consumption is always higher during the time before it reaches full operating temperature (because a cold engine has less combustion efficiency; combined with the richer fuel mixtures used during the warm up cycle). It is compounded by the increased friction created by the cold and thus relatively thick engine and transmission oil. In cold weather, it often requires 5 miles of driving before the coolant and oil temperatures both reach normal levels. Only after driving 5 miles will the gas mileage become anywhere near normal. And many people use their car for shorter trips in the winter than they do in the summer.

    The second factor is that most engines experience lower than normal gas mileage whenever the ambient air temperature is below 55 degrees F. This is due to the increased amount of engine heat lost to the atmosphere through the cooling system in cold weather. The colder the weather; the worse your gas mileage will be.

    The third factor is the greater percentages of volatile compounds and oxygenating additives (typically ethanol) used in fuel during wintertime. This is done to reduce carbon monoxide emissions and improve starting. But these compounds create worse fuel economy. If you can find gas which has less ethanol in it; your fuel economy will increase. The colder the weather is; the greater the mileage loss will be with ethanol in the fuel.

    The fourth factor is that Camry V-6 motors tend to carbon up spark plugs in cold starting and idling. The stock plug design was chosen for use in normal driving. We have found that using a plug with the stock heat range; but with deeper projection of the electrodes and insulator into the combustion chamber will significantly improve cold engine running and fuel economy. NGK and E3 both make plugs of this type. But, if the replacement plug type is chosen by an ignorant or inexperienced person; this type of change can potentially cause engine damage.

    Over the years; Toyota has occasionally revised the computer calibrations on their motors, when experience with a given model was found to result in poor performance. When a revised engine control calibration is released by the factory for a given model; an instructional advisory called a TSB (technical service bulletin) is sent to the dealerships. The dealerships can apply this upgraded calibration to applicable models. However; not all dealerships are motivated to keep accurate records of the TSBs they have received; nor to freely apply them to vehicles without some persuasion by owners. It might take some research to accurately determine whether there is a TSB available for your model; but there were several upgrades for shifting and engine response issued during the late 2000s.
  • notmybmwnotmybmw Posts: 101
    Hey, Chuck.....hope things are running better with your Camry!

    Zaken1 gave a good, comprehensive explanation of possible causes for your diminished gas mileage.....but there is one more critical factor for you to consider while "warming up your car for 5 minutes in the morning"!

    During this period of time, your fuel consumption (while cold) is INCREASED for all the reasons zaken1 outlined. On TOP of're going nowhere while warming up.....therefore getting ZERO miles to the gallon.

    Modern engines require next to NO WARMUP, so, when you get into your car on a chilly morning....start it up....and go. Wait just long enough for all the warning lights to go off (about 5 to 10 SECONDS...not minutes), then put it in gear and GENTLY proceed down the road. Don't hammer the accelerator while your car is in 'warm-up mode', but don't be afraid to get moving on your journey. This will help things warm up even quicker than if you were standing still......AND get some "mileage" out of that higher-than-normal fuel/air mixture the car is running on!

    Cheers, from the chilly white north!

  • notmybmwnotmybmw Posts: 101
    edited January 2011
    Hey, zaken1........

    You're not kidding when you say, "not all dealerships are motivated to keep accurate records of the TSBs they have received; nor to freely apply them to vehicles without some persuasion by owners."

    The donkeys in my local dealership, Performance Toyota of St. Catharines, Ontario, practically had to be beaten over the head by Toyota Canada before they would even acknowledge that there WAS a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) regarding shifting problems on the 2007 Camry including the directive to reprogram the Engine Control Module (ECM).

    Performance's service staff, including the manager, did their best to make me look like a fool when I walked in with a print-out of the Toyota USA TSB. Their response: "That's not an real TSB.....that's not even an official Toyota document!" They seemed STUNNED that a "lowly customer" had actually even HEARD of a TSB!

    It took a week of nagging and prodding....AND three calls to Toyota head office (plus a call from head office back to the dealer) to smarten these guys up, but they finally (reluctantly) performed the TSB.

    The thing that really baffled me was that a dealership would be so reluctant to perform a procedure that they were obviously going to be paid by the factory to carry out!

    Once again, these guys proved you don't have to be SMART to own a car dealership......just wealthy!

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, it's Toyota corporate's TSB policy that's at fault here, NOT the dealer.

    Catch 22 involved. Most TSB's state that they ONLY apply with/if SPECIFIC customer complaints, and generally only during the initial warranty period.

    Under these corporate "rules" why would any dealer service personel bother, what would be THEIR modivating factor, for keeping up to date on TSBs...?

    Toyota, by default, is making it quite clear to the dealer service personel that under NO circumstances are they to volunteer information contained within a TSB.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Thank you Zaken, this was a good explanation. I would like to hear more about thes spark plugs you mentioned. How can I know I won't be damaging the engine.
    I am also wondering if you can touch on what my car is doing when I am coasting from 45 mph and going through some gears I am experiencing a severe engine braking which isn't normal. The dealer tries to say it is normal. My questioned then would be why on some days the car is engine braking heavely and on other days it is rolling freely without much effort. I have always said my car seems to be in two modes. Sometimes i can just tell I'm not using much Gas to drive around and the car is in this rolling freely mode and other times it gets into this stiff hard engine braking mode and I feel I have to push deeper on the gas pedal to achieve performance.
    Hope that wasn't to much but trying to get to the bottom of all my problems. Thanks for your help chuck
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The correct replacement spark plugs of the improved type I referred to are either NGK #6176 (also called DILFR6D11), or E3 #E3.68. These particular improved design plugs are the right match for your engine; so you need not be concerned about potential damage. The NGKs are a newly released model; and the price is currently marked up excessively because they are hard to get. I just don't feel right about paying $15 each ($90 a set) for an NGK plug; when the equivalent E3 or comparable plug can be bought for 1/3 that much.

    But your report of the difference in rolling effort at different times sounds very much like this car would benefit from the computer reprogramming TSB which could be applied by a cooperative dealership. Here is information on two TSBs which may be relevant to your problem:

    Vehicle: 2007 Toyota Camry
    Nature of Defect:
    Bulletin Number:
    Bulletin Date:
    May 2008

    Vehicle: 2007 Toyota Camry
    Nature of Defect:
    Bulletin Number:
    Bulletin Date:
    Dec 2006
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There are two distinct, separate, coastdown downshift patterns. The simple one only downshifts when it is required to do so to keep the fuel starved engine from stalling. This one is hardly noticeable most of the time, especially after you grow somewhat used to the effect.

    The second one has to do with fairly aggressive downshifting once you touch the brakes even ever so lightly. Shifting into this more aggressive shift pattern, DOWNSHIFT pattern requires two "trigger" events.

    A) The vehicle is gaining or maintaining roadspeed even with the coastdown fuel cut technique in use, active. In other words you're probably coasting downhill.

    B) You apply braking even ever so lightly, or just touch the brake pedal briefly.

    The system will then shift into the more aggressive downshift pattern in order to aid your braking with engine compression braking.

    You might want to check and make sure the brake pedal light switch is not activating too easily, or with no brake pedal pressure...say VIBRATION.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    HI wwest, I will check the Brake light. What would the cause of the problem be for the brake light going on to soon, and what would the fix be?
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Hi Zaken, I really apreciate your info. and knowledge. I have been trying to get this car right for 4 1/2 years. I have had some TSB's done in the past and other reflashing done to the computer. The dealer doesn't always admit to it because of protecting themselves of the lemmon law. I one time got my car back from the dealer and it was apparent that they flashed the computer because my battery was disconnect at some point. When I got my car back it drove as good as it ever did. Even the Gas milage was better. It lasted about 2 weeks and the car went back to it's old habits.
    Is toyota aware of these spark plugs?
    Thanks again for your help. Chuck
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Hi Zaken, I also wanted to let you know I had check engine light come on and checked code at auto zone. Ingnition coil code came up. Bought a new coil moved the bad coil to another spot and had code checked again to confirm bad coil when the other code came up. New coil resolved the check engine and codes coming back and the car seem to have more power.
    Mt question is it related to spark plugs can I be sure it was the coil and what causes a coil to go bad?
    Thanks for any info. chuck
  • notmybmwnotmybmw Posts: 101
    Sorry, Willard........I can't agree with you on your defense of the dealer in this case.

    Yes, I can fully appreciate that a dealer wouldn't spend money/time searching out TSB's and TRAINING their staff on how to perform them.......BUT, when a customer (me) brings them......a) a complaint that is a genuine safety issue and .....b) hands him a document downloaded from the Internet that has a Toyota logo on it AND the letters TSB.......AND a detailed description of a procedure to flash the eprom on the ECM of a specific range of Camrys based on build date and serial number........they ought to sit up and pay attention......NOT try to make me look like an idiot in front of their staff and other customers.
    Their performance was shameful!

    I don't expect them to "keep up with TSB's", as you put it, but when I do the research, bring the TSB in and hand it to them on a 'silver platter'......along with a description of my vehicle's behaviour that matches the symptoms the TSB describes, I don't expect a "fight" or "pushback" from my dealer......I want cooperation.......if not outright thanks for doing half their job for them.

    Bottom line: I don't expect dealers to "volunteer" any information that puts 'their' product in a bad light......but when I'M the one with the information........and it was sourced at TOYOTA.....I don't expect the DENY, DENY, DENY routine that I got from the Performance Toyota dealership.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Gee, while waiting at my local Chevy dealer I always look through the book of TSB's that he has. Also when driving Olds that dealer also had a book in the waiting area. All dealers should operate this way.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If you replaced the coil; and it resolved the check engine light, along with giving the car more power; you can conclude the coil was definitely defective. Coils usually fail because of poor design or materials. It was virtually unheard of a decade ago for Toyota coils to fail; but times are changing. Now the 3.5 liter Toyota V-6 coils are failing just like old American (and new Ford) coils. Is that progress? I think Toyota (and Ford) are just riding the inertia wave of popular acceptance that makes such events non-issues with regard to the sales figures. Sounds crass; doesn't it. But corporate mentalities are unmoved by certain subtle ethical concerns. If I had such a company; it wouldn't be that way; but that's probably why I don't have the money to start a company.

    It is possible that a spark plug which was frequently misfiring from fouling deposits could damage the coil which fired it. This is one of the downsides of coil on plug ignition; which was virtually unheard of with distributor ignition or even with dual fire distributorless coils. A set of E3 plugs would be an appropriate remedy for such a problem.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Scotty well said!
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Toyota may or may not be aware of these spark plugs; but that is a moot point: Toyota dealerships are forbidden by Toyota from installing any parts which are not supplied as original equipment.

    Incidentally; ND (Nippondenso Spark Plug Co) which is owned by Toyota, pioneered the "needle electrode" design which is now used in the NGK plug I specified. The equivalent ND part number is # 3426 (FK20HR-11). My experience has been that the ND plugs run better than the NGKs; but they also are much harder to find. Rock Auto and carry this plug.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Chuck, I also wanted to suggest that this motor runs considerably better and more economically on premium fuel. There is a device called a detonation sensor on this motor; which automatically adjusts the ignition timing for the maximum possible spark advance without pinging. When regular gas is used; the sensor retards the timing, which stops the pinging, but also reduces the power, economy, and responsiveness. Camry owners tend to be practical people; which unfortunately often means being reluctant to spend money on premium fuel. But those owners who are knowledgable and performance oriented have found that premium makes it run much, much better. Sometimes a major brand like Shell, Chevron, Texaco, or Sunoco will further enhance the running over cheap fuel.

    You also might find that cleaning the fuel injection throttle body and adding a bottlefull of Chevron Techron fuel system and combustion chamber cleaner to the fuel tank just prior to filling it up will clear up running problems which have seemed inherent in this model. It often takes 50-75 miles of driving for this unique formula to take effect; so please don't settle on other brands of cleaner. This one is really different. (Available at Chevron gas stations, Wal Mart, Auto Zone, Checker, Shucks, Murray, Kragen, and O'Reilly Auto Parts.)
  • I purchased the brand new 2007 Camry in 2006 and now have 80K miles on it, mostly hwy. The transmission recently broke down, and I ended up having to replace it, as Toyota will not take any responsibilities since I have over 60K miles on the vehicle. I'm extremely disappointed in Toyota's quality and lack of responsiveness to the issue that apparently, a few other Camry owners have experienced. I have been a loyal Toyota customer, driven Toyota's over ten years. With this experience, they've lost a customer, Toyota and Lexus.
  • tony108tony108 Posts: 16

    What happened to the transmission? Was it slipping? Shifting problems? Did they tell you what's wrong? Our 2007 camry has 91k miles already and I wonder if I should be worried that the same thing might happen.

  • dwb2dwb2 Posts: 24
    I understand your frustration, and I would be the last guy to defend Toyota. My question is this. Have you ever had the transmission serviced? and more importantly, how long should a manufacturer be liable for a vehicles dependability before the consumer is expected to assume responsability?
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    "how long should a manufacturer be liable for a vehicles dependability before the consumer is expected to assume responsibility?"

    Assuming the tranny has been serviced according to schedule, or sooner even, then IMO, a LOT longer than 80k. 80 k is only 4 or 5 years of use. Now if we were talking 180k well that is a different story, altho I would still not be too thrilled to have to do a tranny even then.

    Some newer auto trannys have a (stated) (Subaru) life expectancy of 180k so why should a Camry auto not at least match the competition? I think it is fairly obvious by now that the 6 speed used in 07 and newer Camry's have issues that, IMO, Toyota should take responsibility for.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Sorry to hear about your trans. I have had numerous issues with mine.
    I was wondering did you have problems before the trans went out?
    Also what size is your engine?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In modern day engines knock/ping is corrected for via SFI A/F mixture.

    Other than knock due to engine lugging if the knock sensor detects knock/ping PRIOR to spark ignition it simply enriches the mixture to compensate regardless of fuel grade.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There is NO modern day automatic transmission that requires, or even suggests, any scheduled service or maintenance for the life of the vehicle, says so right in the owners manual.

    Most modern day automatics come from the factory SEALED in order to help prevent dealer or customer "servicing" that more often than otherwise leads to damage.
  • dwb2dwb2 Posts: 24
    Nissan seals all of their CVT transmissions for just that reason. Toyota does not and the trans. pans all have drain plugs in them. My tranny is the 5 spd auto and it has worked flawlessly since the update was performed on it in early 2007. I am sorry to hear of the trans problems of the other person.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited January 2011
    Since a rich mixture burns faster than a lean mixture; your theory that pinging is compensated for by enriching the mixture does not make sense. Enriching the mixture will make pinging WORSE. There are many other factors which create pinging; such as excessive coolant temperature, incorrect spark plug selection, and excessively low fuel octane; that lead to conditions which are severe enough that they cannot be compensated for by any degree of mixture adjustment. The only way richening the mixture could reduce pinging would be if it was richened way beyond the point of efficient combustion, in order to reduce the peak combustion temperature; but that would increase CO and HC emissions to unacceptable levels. That is why knock sensors function by retarding the ignition timing.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Hi Zaken, I really apreciate your wisdom. As far as my Torque converter problems ( severe slow down when coasting) I am wondering what is your opinion on the post by WWest when he says this is engine braking and normal. Though I respect what he has to say it seems he is always on the defense for Toyota?
    Would you say the Torque converter is defective and could you give me any advice how to deal with the dealership to get them to verify the problem. The dealership has kept telling me the car is operating normal which I strongly diagree.
    Thanks again for your advice, chuck
  • My car is a 4 cylinder and there wasn't any noticeable issue before the transmission went out. Coincidently, the trans problem started right after I brought it into the dealer for tire replacements & allignment (??). The mechanic (not from Toyota) says he has seen a few of these newer model Camry's (07+) with the same problem, and it's due to the newer model trans used in these cars.

    Toyota has always pride itself on quality. Assumably, a Toyota trans should last over 5 years & 100K miles, at least. Apparently this problem is not isolated to only myself. My question is why would Toyota sell a faulty product? Unfortunately, I put in too many miles on the car in the first few yrs due to job distance, otherwise I would still be covered within the 5 yrs warranty.
  • notmybmwnotmybmw Posts: 101
    I agree wholeheartedly about Toyota wanting to maintain their "relatively" spotless quality reputation and in a case like this, I'd go after the regional office, if not national, and appeal it on a "special case" basis.

    Forget about going through the dealer; most of them are money hungry b**tards.

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