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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • captainjcaptainj Member Posts: 31
    I own one of these, here's the scoop:
    25 mpg maximum.
    Starts rough most of the time.
    Bumpy, rough ride, not "smooth" like everyone says.
    Hard steering wheel (not soft/grippy like most cars).
    Front doors need to be slammed shut to close.

    Other than that, it's fine. 68 db of sound at 70 mph, but low frequencies (<500 hertz) can really hurt my ears, even at low speeds (<30 mph), other cars (like Honda Accord) don't do this at all, interesting.

    Because of the bad ride, bad gas mileage, and ear hurting low frequencies, I'm trading the car in.
    I went through the whole deal with Toyota about fixing the bad gas mileage, they will talk to you all day, but they will never admit or fix anything.
  • beachfishbeachfish Member Posts: 97
    I sold the car recently and don't have the receipts, but I think the mounts were $200ish installed at the dealer. They said that it was a common problem.

    Six months or so prior to having the mounts replaced I had them replace the exhaust pipe coming off of the engine because it was cracked and a bit noisy. They didn't think it needed replacing, but the crack opened under acceleration and bugged me. Then it cracked again and they found the broken mounts. At least the replaced the pipe for free the second time around!!

    A former Toyota service manager told me to leave the timing belt alone because they seldom break and it won't do any harm anyway. I had it done at the dealer when it was on sale for $169 or something fairly reasonable.

  • mom2two2mom2two2 Member Posts: 1
    Who else has a problem w/ this? I just bought this as a Certified used car & I'm beginning to think I should have bought new instead. When I go in to have this looked at, I hope it's still covered under factory warranty.
  • mnmriccimnmricci Member Posts: 1
    98 Camry LE w/ 62K. Check Engine Light went ON but went off 1 day after I reseated the gas cap. Four days later, light back on again. No obvious noise, or change in driving, car is running as usual. Any ideas on where to start before the shop needs to look?
    Thanks, Mike
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    The oil leaks are unrelated to the airbag problem. Minor leaks can stay minor for years. Just be sure to monitor your oil level regularly to ensure the small leak doesn't become a big one.
  • lap2lap2 Member Posts: 2
    need help, recently my 99 camry v6 rpm does stay at 1100 when brake applying. also when shift from reverse to D rpm jumps to 1500 then return to 900 and car pull forward. took it to dealer last week service tech says some thing wrong with valve assy, EGR. I don't know much about car, please help explain this. Thanks
  • kippy95kippy95 Member Posts: 7
    Just searched through all the posts about signal light and only one post discussed it. Beside checking the connection, is there anything else I can do to fix the fast flashing signal lights? I have a 99 Camry LE 4 cyclinders with 55K miles. I had switched the bulbs but it only lasted about 2 weeks then came back to fast flashing again. I checked the fuses and all the connections and everything is good. Anyone experienced this problem?
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    Did you change your timing belt at 80K and 180K?

    My 96 V-6 is turning 60K, and I would like to skip the belt change at 60K and go for 80K. Everyone says this engine is the type that no engine damage results if the belt snaps, so I am pushing it. I hate to take my car to the dealer for any reason. So far, I have been lucky.

    How much was the timing belt replacement cost?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Any good independent shop can replace the belt, suggest all belts be done at same time due to labor savings. Look at condition of the drive belts that you can see, they are at least an indicator of the condition of the timing belt.

    If your shop will do the job (ie bring your own parts in) order the belts from at wholesale and have them installed. My dealer charges $194 labor and belt plus another $50 or so if you want the two other belts done.

    I have had mine done at 60,000 and 120,000 but up to you

  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I've had this happen about 3 times. My fix: remove the turn signal bulb (it's always been one of the front bulbs) and clean the contacts with a coarse rag. Stick a pencil (eraser end first) into the socket and GENTLY clean the contact by rotating the pencil. You can also GENTLY pull up the socket's contact with tweezers to make a tighter connection.
  • sebdtwsebdtw Member Posts: 1
    Hi All,
    I just purchased a '98 Camry LE 4cyl with 44,000 miles. The previous owner had the windows tinted at a well established shop. The tinting paperwork shows rear & 4 windows; no windshield tint. But I noticed some ripples, almost like the small distortions you get from tint film. I've taken the car back to the shop that did the tint. They say it has no tint on the windshield.

    I took the car to one dealership. Before I could say 3 words, the service gal shut down all options; saying that the windshield was no longer warranteed because tint had been applied. She implied that the application process may have damaged the windshield.

    I think the windshield is obviously low quality/defective. There is enough distortion to make reading street signs difficult.

    Has any other Camry owner noticed distortions in their windshields?

    The car is out of its 3yr/36,000 warranty, is there still a chance I could have Toyota replace the windshield?

    Does anybody have experience with tinting to believe the application process could ever in any way damage the glass such that it would cause visual distortions?
  • anonymanonym Member Posts: 11
    I recently posted a message regarding small oil leaks in my main seal and some other seal mentioned by the jiffy lube. I was only using about 1/3 quart after 3k miles. After I put down a white paper under the car I noticed that one of the two leaks (closer to the timing belt side of the engine) had a tannish clear tint look with a black oil spot in the middle. Im concerned this clearish tan spot resembles the color of the prestone antifreeze I use. My oil dip stick shows no sign of coolant...and I dont think I have oil in my coolant. The jiffy lube said all my fluids checked out ok..but could I possibly have a blown head gasket??? I overheated the car 5 months ago but it has been driving great since. I have bluish white smoke on start up only. Have only put in about 1/2 cup of coolant in the past 3 mos. Jiffy lube notes no oil leak on the top of the engine. What could this be? please help.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    A head gasket problem would normally cause you to burn coolant not leak it. Should be able to tell by rubbing the stuff between fingers and the smell as to oil or coolant. My 92 Camry V6 has a seepage from the timing belt pulley area. For years this engine (now 139,000 ) used about 30 ounces of oil every 7,500 miles between changes (synthetic) but now seems to have increased suddently to around a quart at 5000 miles. Not sure if seepage or simply using more but still not bad and seepage does not really drip on floor.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    80K should be easy to hit without a belt breaking. I wouldn't go more than that on yours because of the age. I was at 80K 2 years into mine. We have a 97 V6 an employee drives and it now has over 100K on the original belt. I'm thinking the last time we had one changed it was around $200.
  • gounergouner Member Posts: 2
    I have a '93 Camry which just broke 100k. Over the last 2 months 3 of my power windows stopped functioning, and today the power door locks as well (they still lock, just the unlock doesn't work). The dealer said that I have to replace the window motors and regulators (which will cost nearly $1,800), but I think that this problem must be electrical (just a
    hunch). I was hoping that someone out there may be able to point me in the right direction.

    BTW - I have checked all of the fuses, and they check out.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Get a second opinion but this hapenend to mine a few years ago. Expensive but it worked.

    Specialized auto electrical shop will do it also
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    Did the dealer actually check that the power window regulators were broken? Usually, there is a plastic piece that breaks, and while it's not funny, my passenger side broke two weeks before my drivers side. I did the work myself so I know that's what happened. I suppose one more could break just as easily. They were about $300 at the dealership, but I bought mine through a toyota salvage yard for about $150 each.

    Only took about 1/2 hour to change each one. So you would have $900 in parts and $100 in labor if the dealership did it. That gives them $800 to fix the power door locks? That's alot of padding if you ask me. I would try an independant shop, nothing fancy about the windows/door locks on a camry. Nobody makes aftermarket regulators, so Toyota or salvage is your only choice. If I was fixing a 9 year old vehicle I'd go the salvage yard route, and find a mechanic if you can't do it yourself. $1800 is easily approaching 1/3 of the value of your car (on a good retail day)!
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Mine was a regulator, cost $124 part $71 labor to replace, one window
  • gounergouner Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for all of your valuable remarks. Ironically, on the way home last night - both the driver side window and the power locks regained their function. Go figure, however I am sure that was just the warning sign, so I will take the door apart this weekend. Thanks again!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Try flexing the wiring harness between the body and door. After 100K of opening and closing, the wires can fatigue and break.
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    I hear a lot wind noise around the front of the sunroof. The area that I call " the header" right where the lights and sunroof switch are.

    I have looked at the wind deflector when sunroof is open and do not see anything unusual, nothing is bent, torn, or out of place. I regularly apply silicone spray to rubber seal around the sunroof whenever I treat the door seals. At highway speed, the wind noise is high.

    I just bought a 92 BMW 325i. There is no wind noise at all in sunroof area(or anywhere else).

    Does anyone know how to fix this problem? By the way, there is no water leak at car wash either
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    ....but I'm here to announce the new Toyota Camry Owners club now available on Owner's Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Maintenance & Repair.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    Owner's Clubs
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    One way to fix this problem, is to remove the wheel, spray the entire rotor and caliper assembly with brake cleaner spray.

    Let it air dry for about 30 minutes.
    Using masking tape and newspaper cover all areas except the rotor and caliper.
    Spray the area with black primer. Let it air dry for 10 minutes, and put the wheel back on.
  • edwardh6edwardh6 Member Posts: 5
    Anyone had a oil leak in the 4 cyl engine valve cover gasket?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Yes, I had this leak in my '97 Camry 4-cylinder, and it was fixed under warranty. No further problems with it.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    To replace the gasket on the 4 cyl is easy and/or not expensive even at the dealers. First try torqueing the bolts. Most torque specs at the factory are still pretty loose IMHO and tyr tightening them first to see if it stops the leak.
  • iontrapiontrap Member Posts: 139
    Yesterday afternoon, the dash light telling me that a rear tail light was out came on. The owner's manual says that if a tail light is out, the light comes on when the headlights are on but the light is staying on headlights on or not. None of my lights are out, I've checked all of the connections and they are seated properly. I'm not sure what could be the problem. Oh, the Camry is a 2000 LE.
  • edwardh6edwardh6 Member Posts: 5
    Don't forget the high mount stoplight bulb too
  • iontrapiontrap Member Posts: 139
    That's what it was. I just can't believe that I completely forgot about the high mount bulb.
  • mikesimmonsmikesimmons Member Posts: 11
    If the brake light comes on during turns, it may be that your brake fluid is low. The turn causes the fluid in the resivoiur to shift to one side and therefore the float sinks a little turning the warning light on during the turn. The warning light and the hand brake probably use same light.

    If the light comes on when you are stopping you should check it out quickly. It may be telling you of an impending brake system failure.

    Drive safely,
  • logitech1logitech1 Member Posts: 32
    Sometimes when I turn the key to start position, the car won't start, but I can hear high pitch noise from the starter or flywheel. It looks to me like the flywheel teeth are wear out, or starter's teeth are wear out. I asked one mechanic, he told me to fix this problem, he has to remove the whole trany (auto), and replace
    the flywheel. is that true??? what's the reasonable price to fix this? How much for a flywheel?


    P.S. this is a repost since it didn't get any attention in M/R thread.
  • codog1codog1 Member Posts: 12
    I have a '95 Camry LE 4 cyl (100k). I have had minimal problems with it, but they appear to be common (i.e., replaced engine mount, sticky pedal).

    The problem I have now is that when I try to start a cold engine (such as in the morning), I have to keep the gas pedal slightly depressed to keep the engine from stalling until it warms up a bit.

    Once the engine has warmed up, I have no idling or starting problems.

    Any suggestions & estimated cost to fix??
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    Have you changed the plugs? I'm not as familiar with the 4cyl, but the V6 plugs were platinum and good for 60-70k miles. You knew they were going bad because the car would do exactly what you described above. I think the 4cyl needs plugs every 30k miles but I could be wrong. Check the manual though. Easy and cheap fix if it's due for plugs.
  • codog1codog1 Member Posts: 12
    I changed the plugs myself right at 60k like the owners manual says. I think they're platinum tipped on the 4cyl also. They were pretty expensive if I remember correctly.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    They shouldn't have been more than $9 a piece at a dealer for platinum plugs. is a good place to pick up Toyota OEM parts for about 20-25% less though.

    How about the wires? I forgot about those; I changed them around 80K because of starting problems (same as with bad plugs) and that cured it. I don't know what they cost for the 4cyl, but my V6 wires run me close to $80. Seems like these engines don't exhibit "common" symptoms of plugs/wires/etc., they just start funny when somethings wrong. I'd probably change the plugs again since you're in there pulling out the wires.
  • logitech1logitech1 Member Posts: 32
    90 camry LE V6 auto.
    won't start when it's hot/after a long driving. I bought this car about 8 monthes ago, it only happened twice, all in the summer. When I turn the key to start, starter won't crank, and everyting is quite, but I know power is ok. After few tries, it starts. what's the problem?
  • payrewpayrew Member Posts: 3
    I had 2 problems on 97 camry
    1. after only 1 year. my front struts started
    making noise. a dealer had to be convinced to fix

    2. when it would cold start - lots of white smoke.
    they told me to change timing belt. no avail.
    then another engineer discovered a engine warranty
    repair to the engine stem cells. which fixed it since it was under 60k miles.

    3. i had to do all my brakes. transmission etc.

    4. what tires are recommended other than Michelling for 97 camry
  • cduongcduong Member Posts: 70
    I have a '87 Camry with 160,000 miles and it has been very reliable. I change oil/filter every 3000 miles, new spark plugs & air filter every 20,000 miles. Timing belt changed at 80,000 and 150,000 miles. Water pump changed at 150,000 miles (wow). Transmission fluid changed every 30,000-60,000 miles. CV joints changed at 140,000 miles.Battery changed every 5-6 yrs. Other than regular maintenance, NOTHING wrong with the car (I guess I am lucky) and I plan to keep it until it dies (hopefully beyond 250,000 miles)...
    For car mechanics out there: what should I start changing now? i.e. new starter? new alternator? etc... I would rather be proactive than reactive...Thanks for your comments.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    You were taken to the cleaners with that timing belt for white smoke. You also would appear to have a medical background as it is not stem cells that were replaced but valve stems.
    I like Goodyear Eagles HP, seems to handle and wear as well as Michilins.

    You certainly change your plugs very often, guess your year does not have platinum plugs but the ole copper. My 92 goes 60,000 with plugs. Assume tha tyou replaced hoses and coolant as well and PCV valve and fuel filter over the years.
    Is exhaust system still original?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    I had that exact problem a few years ago in my previous car. Unless you haven't done so, check the ignition coil & pickup assembly
  • sierrapksierrapk Member Posts: 19
    ARMTDM, while you were able to recognize "stem cells" as a biological term, you're still off the mark with your response of "valve stems". The valve stems, of course, are an integral part of the valves. PAYREW clearly had his VALVE STEM OIL SEALS replaced, failure of which allows oil to seep into the combustion chamber, and intake and exhaust ports after engine shutdown. This oil burns during engine startup and produces gray or blue smoke. This appears to have been a problem area with the late '80's/early '90's Camry engines, more frequent in the 4 cylinder.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I had to have mine replaced in my '97 Camry 4-cylinder, after I noticed blue smoke on startup. Fortunately, the repair was covered by the powertrain warranty just before warranty was due to expire.
  • yankeryanker Member Posts: 156
    I have 96 camry with about 80000 and get blue smoke on startup. It has done this for about a year and a half and it burns no oil. I used STP smoke goo and it helps. No other problems and I don't intend to spend $2000 on repairs.
  • wainwain Member Posts: 479
    my 94 Camry puffs at startup (93000) but uses no oil between changes.

    a friend in office had same problem and went to dealer -$2500 - oil is cheaper.
  • nicnetnicnet Member Posts: 1
    The lights indicator light on my 1989 Camry Wagon comes on and stays on any time the vehicle is in gear. Looking on info as to where to begin in trying to solve this problem. Thanks

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    Check them, including the 3rd brake light.

    Wedge the "Club" between the seat & the pedal and check again.
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    try a product called auto-rx have used it works very very well check out web site
  • atlanta1999atlanta1999 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Camry with 44K miles. I had the pads replaced at 34K, they are bad again ( obvious bad/soft pads covered by warranty) but now they are telling me the rotors are worn and should be replaced too???

    Anyone else had this problem????
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    Technically whenever you replace the brake pads, you turn down the rotors also. Yeah, replacing the rotors doesn't suprise me.

    Try the TRD HP pads for the Camry. They cost a little more, but last much longer than the soft OE pads.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    Were these toyota pads? Sounds like you do alot of city/stop & go driving and you very likely could need rotors already. Highway driving, I always to 80K out of front pads. Typical autoparts store pads usually don't last near as long even with the "warranty" alot of aftermarkets have.
This discussion has been closed.