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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions

rdavid222rdavid222 Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Toyota
98 Camry...Sometimes when
attempting to pull seat belt (to
put on) it will not release.
several tugs or many tugs later
it will release. Others having
this problem or am I one of a
kind? Is a fix required and
available. Thanks for any


  • Yes. I think the mechanism that keeps the belt from playing out when you are in an accident is activated when you tug too quickly. I had to make an effort to pull the belt out slowly in my 94 Camry.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    #1 sounds right. Try pulling the seatbelt out just a bit more slowly.

    conference host
  • 98 Camry ..Headlights...Low beam? right headlight seems quite a bit higher ( goes out farther) and off to the right, sort of on shoulder but out a ways. The left beam is quite a bit shorter. I would guess the right beam is about 30% farther out in front of the left beam. Dealer checked twice , adjusted the alignment a little, but I still get quite a difference in the beams. I once saw a post about a problem with a deflector plate or something causing a similar problem. Just parnoid Dave or do I have a fixable problem?
  • This is not a problem, it's supposed to be this way. It is a safety feature (so I've been told) to reduce the the glare of your left light at oncoming traffic. I've seen it in Camry's I've rented and the Sienna I own.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    We have not been pleased with the illumination of our '96 Camry. I've put a bright bulb in the right side dim socket to help visibility. It helps and on-comming traffic dosen't seem to mind (no flashes). Don't know how fog or rain will effect this...should know soon.
  • I just read a post on the "Camry gas smell problem" topic, and wanted to post here too, as I have the same problem with my 92 Camry.

    It has had a funny odor since I've bought it back in 94 (you couldn't smell it when i bought it, due to the strong deodorizer the dealer used). It's not highly offensive, but unpleasant,and comes off on your clothes. The funny thing is, you can't smell it on your clothes when it's cold outside. It only seems to happen when the cars interior gets hot. You can even smell it in the trunk of the car, and it seems to be even stronger in the trunk. I have tried steam cleaning all fabric and carpet 2-3 times, and have even used Febreeze twice. Still, the smell comes back. Any ideas, please help. I'm really starting to hate my car! Thanks!


    [email protected]
  • My '92 Camry's headliner is pulling out from over the driver's and passenger's front doors, and is starting to droop down. Is there a handyman way to re-attach it ? A buddy told me to get a special upholstery tool and just push it back in, but I don't want to damage it or screw it up. There is trim molding around the edge where the headliner fits, so I'm thinking that I will have to loosen it and fit the headliner behind it as part of the repair.
  • Sorry, I've had no experience with headliners :( So far mine is still holding out (102k miles on my Camry), but I guess i'll be looking for the 1st signs of problems with it.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Since your car smells gas heaviest in the trunk (towards rear of the car), then I would suspect a fault with the muffler or some where along the exhaust. If the exhaust is leaking, broken, or not fuctioning correctly, then the fume would get out under the car instead of behind it. The smell then would make its way into the car and make it smell.

    you didn't say your car had any problem running or starting. So that seems to be the problem is with the exhaust.

    you said that it doesn't smell in the cold. It might make sense if the leak is at a connecting joint. When cold, the seal or pipe shink, and the joint is connected more tightly, so result in little or no leak. Just my guess.

    Take the car to a muffler or exhaust shop, I think they might be able to figure out your problem.
  • I called my Toyota dealer today, and he knew nothing about any similar problems with 92 Camry's. He just recommended I bring it in to be looked at. I also have the question posed to a person on who is a toyota service tech for like 16 years, so I'll let everyone know if I find out anything from him (or from a repair shop, if I can ever get it in to be looked at).
  • cvia1cvia1 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 Camry and the smell gives me headaches--I don't know if it's the leather or plastic--but the new car smell is really strong--
    Any suggestions??
  • I just read a post on one of the Odyssey forums from someone who complained of the same thing. Most of the responders didn't want to get rid of that "coveted new car smell", but if it gives you a headache, it's not worth it. I would say to leave your car windows down or cracked when possible (down in the garage, or down/cracked outside). If you know anyone that has an ozone machine or even an air cleaner that emits trace amounts of ozone, this could also help get rid of the new smell in your car (I don't believe a regular air cleaning machine that only uses a hepa filter without emitting the ozone would help). I would guess it is some chemical that is being released from the vinyl or new carpet/upholstery that is causing your headache.
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    The release of chemicals from the carpeting is the probable cause of the headaches. "outgassing?"
    I have heard complaints from people, when their office gets a new rug, that some are affected by headaches.
    It should be reduced in about a month or so.
    I get a headache from newly painted walls at work.
  • butch11butch11 Posts: 153
    From carpeting you get outgassing of formaldehyde and from the multitude of plastics you get outgassing of a bunch of different plasticizers. If an individual has some immune system issues-particularly liver or kidney related-they will react strongly to these odors.

    In MHO, a ozone generator is a very bad idea-they produce free radicals which combine with moist sufaces and react-those moist surfaces being your lungs. Ozone has sharp and clean smell which is why a lot of people think they clean the air. I would not touch those things. I became an expert on chemical smells in the air by living with a woman who had severe reactions to those odors. A HEPA filter with a carbon filter will definately help.

    For your car, I would suggest just wait and the outgassing will be complete or at a very low level in a few months. Keep the outside air circulation on when conditioning the air.
  • I traded my 91 camry, 4 cylinder DX, in November since it had 91,000 miles on it and I don't like to put money into an older car. Generally speaking the car gave me good service but I did run into some problems. At 22,000 miles a bearing in the transaxle went bad and filled the entire housing with metallic powder. Thank goodness that it was still under warranty and it was replaced with a "remanufactured unit" at no cost to me.I have maintained the car very well during the time I had it. In the last several years , I noticed a loss of some power even though I replaced plugs, etc.. In addition, during the cold weather (middle atlantic region)the transmission would not shift into 4th or OD until it warmed up. This was very annoying especially if you were on the freeway. The dealer said the only way to correct the problem was to rebuild the transmission. Since then I have found two other people that have the cold transmission problem. It appears that this may be a problem with a number if not all older camrys.One other problem I had was the continuos replacement of the muffler. They were all toyota mufflers and they seemed to rust out fast. Otherwise the car has given me good service with no problems.I had no complaints.
  • '99 camry and passenger side door does not close flush - requires a harder closing force. The other doors do not require the same amount of force. Toyota dealer indicated that not a problem - there is a "pocket of air" that makes the last door harder to close flush. Sounded suspicious to me. Looked at striker plate and didn't notice scratches that were different than those found on the other doors. I believe that door is not aligned properly.

    Anyone with similar problem? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    [email protected]
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    You may also want to check with recent purchasers discussing your vehicle in our Sedans conference. Here is a link to one of the topics on the Camry Toyota Camry (Topic #2427).

    There are quite a few other topics in Town Hall on the Camry. You can find them by typing Camry in the Search window on the left.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    on a 1996 Camry V-6? There are no visible spark plug boots?

    There's just some kind of little black box bolted to a valve cover with the plug wire attached to it with a plastic device and another wire of smaller size fitted to it on the other side that disappears under some plastic top engin guard looking thing..

    Has anyone here ever fooled with this?

  • My brakes failed on my 1998 camry. only half the dual system was functioning. i actually kept on complaining that it was not stopping to no avial. Does anyone know of a similar problem or the cause? NHSTA has 50 cases that seem similar. Also ther was a recall in 1997 on the vaccum pump. Anyway how many complaints are needed ofr a recall and how do i know they fixed the 1997 problem? Does NHSTA give folow-up? Thanks
  • 50dt50dt Posts: 1
    i have a 88 camry v6 with 117000 miles,it has been
    problem that the car does not start after a stop
    with engine hot,sometime i have to tap on the starter while some one turns the ignition key.
    i do replace rebuilt starter,replaces rebuilt alternator,replaces spakspug,and timing belt.
    the problem is still the same .please help .
  • I have a '94 XLE, a '97 XLE and, of course, the '00 Solara. On the '94 and '00 everything is working fine.

    On the '97 I am hearing what I can only describe as a "groaning, grinding" noise when I apply the brakes. Even if you brake only moderately hard, the front end noses down a little and when the car comes back up this noise is heard. But only if you continue to apply the brakes. If you let off the brakes as the car comes back, the noise is not present.

    Any ideas as to what might be causing this? I tested all three cars today and only the '97 made this noise. The '94 XLE and the '00 Solara were perfectly quiet.

    Thanks in advance,

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    Maybe the brake pads are getting worn down, or there could be some dirt/dust in there.
    A brake inspection might help to clarify this problem.
  • mark13mark13 Posts: 2
    My Camry needs strut plates after only 12000 miles. This car has been babied. Anyone know of this problem, or why this might happen, short of defects in materials?
  • solara1solara1 Posts: 12
    It is true that the last door on the camry is hardest to shut. there is much air pressure inside of this airtight car. anyone with a moonroof may notice when closing it that your ears may pop. definately a very tight car. I have noticed this in 4 toyotas.
  • alvinralvinr Posts: 2
    Actually there could be one problem here or two.
    I have a 97 Camry 4cyl and 98 Camry 6cly. I found both. Only these two years had this issue. First, issue is a replacement on the strut tops, not the struts but their tops. The strut tops are at the top of the strut and are bolted onto the frame in the engine compartment by three bolt & nuts.(mark13) & (billmahan)
    (billmahan) if your struts are ok then it is the problem below. Your struts tops should be checked also.
    Also there is a replacement on the grinding brakes. nothing is wrong but the brakes grind. All are covered under warranty.(billmahan)
  • alvinralvinr Posts: 2
    Other that those two issues. Both of them known to Toyota and NHTSA. Your dealer should take care of you. My two camry are both excellent cars. The 4cyl has 50,600 and my 6cly has 24000. Excellent machines. Recommend to anyone.
  • The heat on my 98 camry 6 cyl. is poor, only warming the car when I am doing hiway driving. The dealer could find nothing wrong and would not replace the thermostat unless I paid for it. Help!!!
  • tomhantomhan Posts: 10
    I also have the problem with my 97' front struts. My problem is that I've had the car since dec, 96' and I'm past the three year warranty limit. However, I only have 17,000 miles on it. Does anyone know if I can get Toyota to replace these under a warranty situation? Is there a recall involved or is it a known defect that Toyota is willing to stand behind?
  • hboydhboyd Posts: 98
    Our 1995 Camry 4-cyl emits blue smoke upon startup in the morning. I need to add about 1/2 qt/3K. It unfortunately has 75K miles... past the Powertrain warranty. Will Toyota still cover this valve seal "defect" past the original warranty? (BTW, the repair is approx. $750) Are there some dealers out there that will take your side? Toyota says its "normal" wear that is not covered, but this is quite unusual internal wear at 75K on this car's engine. Very disappointed with my "reliable" Toyota. Any thoughts and helpful advice??????
  • hboydhboyd Posts: 98
    Our 1995 Camry LE 4 cyl (Japan Built) has had
    numerous irritating problems/defects... all

    (1) Most notably major is that it's currently
    burning oil (started at only 69K); Dealer will replace bad engine valve seals for $800. All
    Dealers I called said that this is not unusual for Camrys. Most burn a little oil after 50K miles.
    (2) 2 struts/shocks failed (leaked out at 45K);
    (3) ISCV (idle speed control valve) failed four
    times. The engine kept sputtering/dying upon
    (4) Driver's seatbelt retractor failed (would not
    wind-up at 50K);
    (5) Front brake rotors warp every 10K (replaced
    once at 50K). The steering wheel begins shaking at high speed braking. My brake mechanic says Camrys are plagued by this problem.
    (6) Front brake pads replaced 3X due to excessive
    squeaking/screeching noises.

    We are not quite impressed with the Camry's
    overall mechanical reliability.
    However, I can say that the vehicle's interior and exterior materials have really held up well.

    BTW... It has NEVER left us stranded... and we'll
    keep it for a while...
This discussion has been closed.