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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    200K? Just keep doing whatever you've been doing!
  • tf123tf123 Posts: 1
    96 Camry outside drivers door handle broke apart. Anyone run into this problem, can we crazy clue it, I doubt it. How easy is it to replace?
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
    try junk yard but check dealer first sometimes they are cheaper
  • kyle25kyle25 Posts: 2
    Froto25, I checked the 2 bulbs in the back and they look okay. I'll check the front ones tomorrow, but if they are also okay, I'll likely just have the pros look at it at my next scheduled maintenance. In the meantime, I try not to drive too much at night.
  • yankeryanker Posts: 156
    I'd like to hear an answer to the question posed by another participant about blue smoke on startup. I have 73000 and just had a tune-up. They tell me it is not a problem.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Blue smoke on startup is usually an indication of worn valve stem seals and/or valve guides. The same symptom may occur when initially depressing the accelerator afted a closed throttle coastdown from higher speed. Not usually a problem unless oil consumption is significantly increased, in which case it'll need valve stem seals and the guides checked for wear.
  • njjeannjjean Posts: 1
    When my 97 Camry (75,000 miles) has been sitting while, and especially when it's cold, there's smoking on start up and a slight clicking noise in the engine area that goes away after the car is underway. Anybody know what that might be?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Smoke due to valve seals worn and the clicking may be due to lack of oil at startup which can be caused by a cheap filter with a cheap back flow valve or none at all. Try a synthetic oil with a premium filter and this may go away. Oil is draining back into crankcase and it takes a while to get to the upper engine causing the clicking noise
  • kafaikafai Posts: 1
    When I break on my 2001 Rav4, it creates a very loud noise at the rear. The dealership replace the drum and the squeaking came back after a month.
    Since Camry and Rav4 share the same plateform. I'm interested to know if this is a common problem for Camry too. If so, what are the solution?
  • Hi,
    I have a 94 Camry ,and it's a great car, I haven't had a bit of trouble with it. I want to buy a 2001 Camry,but want to know if the Camry is still a reliable car. Any feedback would be appreciated.... Are the problems minor,or does it involve engine problems,and so forth.... :) Thanks!
  • Sounds like to me that someone didn't know what they were doing when they put the door handle on your Camry. Haven't had a problem like that.... I have a 94 Camry...
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Reliable but not as reliable or durable as your 94. Look at other manufacturers, especially Nissan and Honda.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
    Many older Toyota Camry owners are trying to decide on buying a new one. Somebody needs to start a master list of changes that we could all add to.
    I think in 97 Toyota examined the car to make it cheaper to produce, and made changes that may or may not have affected the quality. The changes I am aware of are:
    1. Deleted the automatic antenna and replaced it with a stick on one on the glass. This is cheaper but may be an improvement - the motor is expensive to replace.

    2. Changed the bucket seats. Consumer Reports and Edmunds both say the seats in 97 up are uncomfortable for people over 175 pounds. More 99 up Camrys have power seats which may or may not help???

    3. Was the rear view mirror changed to a glue on kind? Every glue on one I ever had fell off after about 5 years.

    Any other changes? Can anyone keep a list? And update it as people add to the changes??
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,721
    I have a '97, so I can add to the list (and yes, the mirror is now the stick-on type):

    4. Rear head restraints are adjustable in '97+, were simply slightly raised seatbacks earlier.

    5. Seat belt pretensioners and force limiters became standard in front starting with '98s.

    6. Side airbags became an option starting in '98.

    7. Prop rod replaced struts on hood starting in '97, struts returned in 2000 models.

    8. Chrome trim around windshield was dropped starting in '97.

    9. Small storage trays on left and right side of trunk dropped in '97.

    10. Trunk pass-through into rear seat made smaller in '97 (but upside is car body is more rigid AND trunk contents are less likely to be thrown into the occupant compartment in a severe frontal crash).

    11. Tilt adjustable feature of front head restraints dropped with '97s.

    12. Driver seat manual height adjuster changed from two knobs (front and rear edge) to one starting with '97s.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Aluminum heads in 97 ?????
    When did Octane requirements change to 87?
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,721
    I believe there's been no major change in this engine since the 1992 models. It has a cast iron block and an aluminum head.
  • tfazziotfazzio Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a used 98 Camry XLE that was an end of lease trade in. I took the car to a diagnostic clinic and the results were fabulous. However, it turns out that the used car dealership (not Toyota) sold the car to me with only the valet key. Since this model is equipped with a transponder, I am unable to just order a new key. I am told that the computer needs to be replaced before I can get a new key. The computer alone without labor is over $1000. Has anyone else run into this issue? And what are my rights as a consumer, can a used car dealer sell a car without disclosing that the car doesn't include a key? Also, does anyone know if Camry's are equipped with a keyless entry system? Thanks
  • You said look at other names such as Honda,and Nissan. Like what? :)
  • eistapeistap Posts: 1
    My 96 camry has 48000 miles and is exhausting blue smoke on first startup for day. It is three months out of warranty. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
  • jkass7jkass7 Posts: 4
    I just bought a 1992 Camry LE (4 cylinder engine automatic transmission) with 78,000 miles on it. I had a mechanic check it out before buying and he recommended a transmission service, replace struts, valve cover gasket. I had the transmission service and valve cover gasket done. Then I drove the car 70 miles and it overheated badly. Had it towed to garage, they couldn't find anything but a fan with a bad connection wrong with it. I had to drive home using the defroster to cool the engine. Any ideas what's wrong? Thanks.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
  • jkass7jkass7 Posts: 4
    Well, it's in the shop. I'm waiting to hear from the mechanic. I don't have a regular mechanic so I am afraid of being ripped off. Or finding out from an honest mechanic that the car really is a lemon.
  • jkass7jkass7 Posts: 4
    The mechanic said I need a new radiator. I'm not happy.
  • anonymanonym Posts: 11
    I have a 93 carry I/ 87k miles. I took a long 250 mile trip and did not notice a crack in my radiator until after I got home and turned my car off, five minutes later the car started steaming. My temperature gauge never read above the half way mark during the entire trip. The mechanic replaced the radiator and checked the head gasket and said it was fine. Now two weeks afterward I noticed a small amount of blue smoke at the start up in the morning. It is only visible from the outside and not from the drivers seat. My questions are: 1) could it be possible that radiator steamed yet my car never over heated or is the temperature gauge broken? I never noticed a loss of power while driving on the trip 2) could the blue smoke of been the result of the overheating or is this completely separate? 3) If it is the valve guides or valve stem seals do I need to have this fixed right away or would waiting a few months cause further damage. The car is not burning oil and I would really like to prolong the $800 repair job quoted by the dealership for valve stem seals. The mechanic who put in the radiator said the blue smoke may just be a temporary after effect of the radiator steaming could this possible be the case? If it were the seals that needed to be replaced then would it be safe to take the car on a 350 mile out of town trip? I welcome any opinions on this issue.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,721
    I had the valve stem seals replaced on my '97 Camry 4-cylinder under warranty. The cost would have been $800-$1,000 according to the dealer.

    IMO, the radiator and valve stem seal problems are separate, and I believe you can safely postpone repair of the latter for a few more months.

    Just be sure to check your oil and keep changing it on a regular basis.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Well, if the overheating caused the head gasket to crack and begin leaking you would probably get white sweet smelling smoke form coolant burning, but most likely I agree with previous post, not related. Valve seals, well, go until oil consumption gets to be a real hassle. That could be when you use a quart every 3000 miles or for you 1000 miles. Other then blowing smoke not a major problem. Assuming that you do not have any sludge built up
  • san123san123 Posts: 2
    Folks, I have a 98 Camry LE. Has 33K miles on it. When I steer it to the right (more than 80%) I hear some noise (grinding/ tick..tick..tick..) from somewhere below. I believe it is from some place close to the front (passenger side) wheel. Steering Left side is OK. I took it to the dealer. Dealer replace tie-rods. Still problem occurs. Took it back to the dealer, and the service manager says that it is normal...I cant believe it.. Has any one noticed similar problems. Please reply.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yes, your car can overheat badly without the heat gauge registering "hot", because the heat gauge cannot read "steam" and cannot read if the water level drops too low. So if your car was overheating on the highway, and boiling off coolant or pushing it out the overflow tank, or leaking out of a busted radiator, your temperature gauge might not show the abnormal condition under such circumstances.
  • martensmartens Posts: 6
    Some of the paint on my rear bumper got scraped off, down through the primer. Three body shops have said it's repaintable; one said, no, the process of repainting these plastic bumpers does not give a reliable result. He said it would probably peel off again, and take more old paint with it. He said the only real way to repair it is a new bumper (The present one is only scraped; no dents or cracks whatsoever.). Who's made the correct diagnosis? One of the other shops did say he could not guarantee that a repaint on this type of bumper wouldn't peel.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,721
    You don't need a new cover; the old one can be repainted successfully. The key words are "can be."

    However, new cover or used, it can be difficult to get the paint to stick to the flexible plastic without the proper preparation.

    I had to have a new front cover installed on my '97 Camry after I hit a deer. The paint started peeling almost immediately and I had to take it back for a free repaint. Three years later, it's starting to peel again, fortunately not too badly yet.

    My advice is to just live with the damage; you'll spare yourself a lot of hassle. Or just brush touch it yourself.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    Had some very minor collision damage on my Camry bumper a few years back and was told the same things by the body shop. I decided to live with it. My car is dark green and now has so many door dings and scratches that I don't notice the bumper. But, sounds like your bumper may be worse than mine was.
  • tzajactzajac Posts: 1
    Just went through this missing master key when I purchased an Avalon.

    Yes you need a computer BUT Toyota will supply the ECM at no charge. However "The customer (you or the selling dealer) will be responsible for the cost of the replacement keys and any labor involved in the installation of the replacement ECM. The replacement ECM is to be provided to the customer at no cost." Your Camry is covered.

    Ask your Toyota dealer re Parts & Accessory News Today BULLETIN 01-07 dated April 30, 2001.

    My car dealer (not Toyota) was very helpful in resolving the dilemma. The auction center he purchased the car from was ready to buy back my car but luckily I found out about the replacement program. Apparently it's a common problem when buying lease returns or auction cars.

    The auction house reimbursed the dealer for the new keys and labor to get it done.

    A win-win ending to a frustrating inconvenience.

    Your used-car warranty may help you resolve this if all else fails. Good luck!
  • r_scott_gr_scott_g Posts: 16
    From looking on the internet, it appears that Camry's sometimes have a shaking problem when in drive with the brakes on. Not sure if this is normally true, but our 1986 does this. It's fine idling in park and driving down the road. It has
    206,666 miles on it, so if it has to shake a bit, we'll put up with it.

    Possible solutions I've heard: vacuum leak or faulty EGR valve.

    I've cleaned the throttle-body on a Plymouth Colt with no problem, but when I disconnect the air intake hose on the Camry, the engine stalls. I would like to give it a good cleaning, but I'm not sure how to keep the engine running. I'm assuming some sort of air sensor is detecting a problem. Is there something I can disconnect to keep the engine running without the air intake hose?

  • natersbnatersb Posts: 1
    The click, click, click noise you are hearing while turning is normally a CV joint. They normally don't go bad after 33K miles but the rubber boot that protects it could have gotten a hole in it from hitting something on the road and dirt got inside and is causing some premature wear. If you are hearing grinding and clicking then it means you will soon need a new one. It is not a cheap thing to fix (maybe $200 with labor) and I can't believe the dealer didn't recognize this as the problem. Which means either they did check this out and it is not the problem or you need to find a different dealer/mechanic. I would be weary of walking into that dealer and asking for this expensive repair based on internet advice without having someone inspect the car and come to the same conclusion on their own, so I would try a different place. Then if the new place says the same thing I did, then you know that is probably the problem and can get it done there.
  • Are the Camrys now known to be sluggish? I test drove a Camry again Friday,the same one I test drove Monday ,and had the radio off,and the engine was sluggish ,and the passenger seat was viberating,and so was the back. Is this normnal now for the Camrys? My car that I have now is a 94 ,and it doesn't do that. I'd really like to get another Camry,but if this what they do now then I'm gonna have to rethink and research more on other cars. Thanks. :)
  • scanner4uscanner4u Posts: 1
    I have a 1992 Camry, that the indicator light on the dash is showing that there is a light out in the back. All the bulbs have been replaced and are working fine. The sending unit was also changed but I still get the light that stays on.
    Any Ideas? Thank you very much.
  • jkass7jkass7 Posts: 4
    I have a 1992 Camry with the same problem. My mechanic told me not to worry about it.
    Does anyone know what kind of problem might cause the steering wheel to vibrate while stopped, for example, at a light? Mine is pretty bad.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I don't see any drain plug under or on the back side of the radiator.

    I see a drain plug and a little pipe on the engine block next to the oil filter. I am sure that plug is for engine block coolant.
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
    Don't forget the high mount stoplight bulb - if its burned out, the brake fault light will be on.
  • My tail light indicator is always on also....
    I thought one day that the indicator went off but no such luck, other than that haven't have problem with my Cam.... ;)
  • dwazdwaz Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a new 2001 Carry XLE V6 about 4 weeks ago. After about a week I noticed a slight rattling noise coming from the back seat passenger side area near the speaker and back window. I have not been able to pin point the exact location since it only rattles while driving over a slightly bump road or when a song is playing on the radio that has some bass. I am concerned that it could be the window not being set tight. Has anyone experienced this problem before? Any suggestions? Should I just play the dealer game and have them try to find the source of the noise?
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
    What holds it on? How would you tighten it on the gasket.

    I have a real small leak down the back of the block
  • scottwmscottwm Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Camry, LE 4, (lease, due back in Nov. 2001) I have 62K at this time.

    The Check Engine light has come on from time to time (it is out now) . Useless!! A faulty warning light. I ignore it. A small rattle sometimes in therith front. Some rumble on braking in a turn , (brakes are fine). The heater is a little weak. The tires that came with the car were junk and replaced them in less than 40k.
    That is it. Best car I have ever driven. Same brakes for 62K. Had them looked at recently and they still have plenty of life. Very comfortable (not amazing, but good).
    I have been thinking of buying a Volvo S 40 after this lease. Safety reasons as I just moved to R.I./Mass and many drivers here are crazy. (nice people, but they need to learn to drive). Nothing a $500 tailgating fine would not solve). I am wondering about the S 40 volvo. The Camry has been so good and wonder if I should stay with this.
    I can buy this one at lease end, buy a new Camry or, I was even thinking of the Corolla.
    Has anyone here had both, a Camry and Volvo?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,721
    I'd recommend staying with the Camry. It has a good crash test record; both the Volvo S40 and Toyota Corolla are smaller and lighter.

    You're not going to be safer with something smaller, even if it is a Volvo.
  • carguypacarguypa Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a dealer certified LE sedan with 12M miles. With a passenger sitting in the right rear seat and going over a mild bump, a noise occurs. The dealer has checked and reported that all fittings are tight and the shocks are fine. Any suggestions what this could be or what else to check?
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
    Spray the underside with water as a diagnostic to try to find it. Spray shocks and springs too,
  • anonymanonym Posts: 11
    I just found out my backup lights do not work on my 93 camry. Both backup lights do not work. I changed out the fuse but that did not fix it. The bulbs do not look burned out. Does anyone know what might be the problem? What should I look for before I take it to the mechanic? Has anyone had this problem and what was it and how much did it cost to fix?
  • dapontdapont Posts: 21
    Right after purchasing my '95 Camry off-lease in 1998, the cruise control failed, cutting out when climbing a hill and not working again until after the ignition was shut off. Toyota replaced it under warranty, but now it's "spiking" i.e. suddenly stabbing the throttle and behaving erratically before I can hit the brake to turn it off. Then it works fine for several months before doing it again. It's scary. Anybody else have the problem?
This discussion has been closed.