Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions

rdavid222rdavid222 Member 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


  • fronobulaxfronobulax Member Posts: 23
    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 Member Posts: 254
    #1 sounds right. Try pulling the seatbelt out just a bit more slowly.

    conference host
  • rdavid222rdavid222 Member Posts: 9
    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?
  • brentg1brentg1 Member Posts: 10
    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 Member Posts: 582
    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.
  • mic2000mic2000 Member Posts: 5
    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]
  • jaybird44jaybird44 Member Posts: 8
    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.
  • mic2000mic2000 Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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.
  • mic2000mic2000 Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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??
  • mic2000mic2000 Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • coalcrackercoalcracker Member Posts: 53
    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.
  • mxylplik2mxylplik2 Member Posts: 19
    '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 Member 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 Member Posts: 582
    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?

  • geesellgeesell Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 .
  • billmahanbillmahan Member Posts: 68
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • carlvtacarlvta Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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...
  • tlgoultlgoul Member Posts: 1
    My 92 Celica GT stated "smoking" and required new valve stem seals at 65K, for $700. Toyota fought hard to not pay, but I had an extended warranty, so they paid about half, after four months of hassle. Now at 120K the smoke has started again. Local Toyota mechanic says it is a "known problem" with the engine in the Celica and the Camry from the early 90's, and Toyota has not come up with a fix for it. They want another $700 to fix it again. Since the extended warranty is long gone, I'm just going shopping for a new car...and will never buy Toyota again.
    Good luck to the rest of you!
  • thk311thk311 Member Posts: 1
    I have 95 Camry V6 LE with 140,000 miles on it. I abused my car by driving from Columbus to Cincinnati every weekends, but still runs like a new. I have done oil change every 3,000 miles. Does anyone know how many more miles Camry can run? Does it have a known life time? I hope my Camry can run over 300,000 or 400,000!! Please let me know!
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    as long as you get that belt changed...
  • depawldepawl Member Posts: 6
    My '90 Camry heater fan stopped working on low and then on medium. Now it only works on high. Sounds like a switch problem to me, but I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions?
  • lynne29lynne29 Member Posts: 46
    We had 140,000 on our Camry, could probably have doubled it, but that's another story!

    Go to Toyota website,(I think it's use your VIN # and go to Toyota owners, check the longevity/how-many-miles site. You will like the numbers you can look forward to!
  • danstuartdanstuart Member Posts: 8
    I have a 1994 4 cyl Camry with 60,000 miles. I recently began noticing that after the engine is shut off, it continues to make a very noticeable clicking sound for several minutes. I think this is a fairly recent occurance since I never noticed it before (at least to this extent) It also seems to make these clicks while the engine is running but it is only audible if I am outside the car and not as nearly as obvious as when the engine is shut off. I had the 60,000 mile service including timing belt replacement a few months ago but cannot say for sure if the noise began before of after this service. I have tried a higher octane gas and it does not seem to make a difference. The car otherwise runs fine. Does anyone know what could be causing this and is it a problem that needs to be addressed?
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Member Posts: 88
    And where does the noise come from ? engine/exhaust system? fuel tank?
  • danstuartdanstuart Member Posts: 8
    It is definitely under the hood but tough to pinpoint the exact location. It seems most noticeable in the front part of the engine compartment, i.e. between the radiator and the motor. Two nights ago I drove it by our local dealer and the service advisor said it sounded like the "heat shield" and it was not a problem. Does this make sense? What is a heat shield? Thanks for your help.
  • yankee10yankee10 Member Posts: 1
    My Family is a toyota family. We own 2000 4-Runner, T-100, and I drive a 1999 Solara and i have noticed that the 4-runner and the Solara do the same thing. I was told by the Toyota Service Dept. that this was normal and all it is, is that the car is cooling itself down.
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Member Posts: 88
    heat shields are on the muffler, and maybe also on the exhaust maifold. If it slows down as the engine cools (quick with the hood up), its probably that)
  • etalonetalon Member Posts: 3
    I first posted the question under topic #1029 (Any Toyota suspension problems?), and didn't get any response, so I'm hoping to get you folk's attention in this Camry topic. Thanks in advance.

    We've had our Camry for 3 weeks, and we now notice
    a low frequency tapping sound emanating from the driver side front suspension area (I think). It's not very loud, but it's annoying, and we always hear it. It probably started from day one, we just did not pay much attention since we usaully had the audio on every time we drove it, until one day when the radio was off, the noise suddenly became audible thanks to the quiet interior of this car. It's most noticeble during the first half hour of driving from start up, and also when going over small to moderate road bumps at slow speed.

    Any '99 or '00 Camry owner out there having
    similar experience?
  • tomhantomhan Member Posts: 10
    Refering to your post # 24.

    Hope your still out there following these posts. I had the same problem with the front struts as you. My car had 17,000 miles and was out of warranty according to the three year limitation. I called the california Toyota customer service group and asked them if they would consider my car as a candidate for warranty repair because of the low mileage. I was assigned a case number and told that a local dealer would call me within three days to evaluate the problem. Three days later the dealer did in fact call me and told me to bring it by at my convienance. After taking a test drive, the technician agreed the problem exists and said Toyota had gone through a re-design of the strut mounting blocks. Toyota offered to fix them under what they call a courtesy warranty at no charge. I am very impressed and pleased with toyota's response. Technically, they did not have to fix the car and could have told me to take a hike. I guess this is why I have stayed with Toyota for so long. This is my fifth Toyota vehicle.

    Good luck in solving your strut situation if you haven't already done so. The number for Toyota customer service can be found on their web page.
  • abt2abt2 Member Posts: 2
  • charlesdarwincharlesdarwin Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Camry that has two problems. The first is not Camry specific. My front disc brakes are making a bad grinding sound, but my mechanic showed me that the pads were still good. He cleaned them up--they were very dusty--and the sound went away for a couple weeks. Now that the sound has returned, I am wondering if it is being caused by the metallic pads generating a lot of dust. Does anyone have an idea on this?

    My second problem is in the sound of the engine or exhaust duing acceleration. The sound did not occur when I first bought the car several months ago. Now, any acceleration at all causes a faint growling sound in the exhaust system. I do tend to accelerate quickly and drive hard, and this vehicle is only a four cylinder. Is it more likely that the sound is due to exhaust system degradation or due to some kind of engine problem? I have had an oil change but no tune up since purchasing the car. Is my lead foot causing excessive wear and tear?
  • hok1hok1 Member Posts: 8
    same problems I have with my '90 Camry. In the SUV section under RAV there are interesting posts on how to eliminate the brake noise. Good luck!

    The exhaust thing is not a problem if the noise isn't too loud. I don't know what to say. They told me it was the baffling inside the muffler, not to worry unless I couldn't handle the noise.
  • rtl2rtl2 Member Posts: 7
    I had this happen on my '91 Camry. It was a bad fan resistor. It cost around $80 to have replaced by a local mechanic. By design, when this resistor fails, you still will have use of your fan but only on high speed. Given that this failed during winter on my car, I was happy to have a fan at all!
  • rtl2rtl2 Member Posts: 7
    I had a metallic rattling sound from the left front of my '99 Camry LE V6 that became noticeable on the way home the day I took delivery of the car. The dealership technician found a loose washer on the left front hub.
  • viervillevierville Member Posts: 5
    Do the Day Time Running Lights system on the new 2000 Camry XLE V6 bother anyone. I just hate the fact that I cannot control the lights at all. The DR lights come on in the morning and when I drive into a dark garage, all the lights get switched on. Can't turn them off at all -- Is there anyway I can get around this? I heard that the previous year Camrys have an override switch. Is this true? Thanks.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Someone around here may have some information for you, but another good place to check is over in our Sedans conference. You can use the Topic Search feature on the left to find many conversations on Camry's - chances are that this has been discussed in one or more of the very active topics over there.

    Good luck!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • fcngfcng Member Posts: 16
    Refering to your tranny problem, it is not a problem. Your dealer is just out to get you for the money. Toyota made the tranny stay in third to warm up the engine. When the needle rises for the temperature, the tranny will shift to 4th. I have the link to back up my claim.
This discussion has been closed.