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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    on other then OEM pads. Most squeal or last half as long as Toyota pads. You can get them wholesale from some dealers for the same cost or less then aftermarket.
  • camryv6camryv6 Posts: 42
    My 1999 Toyota Camry le v6 just turned 27,000 miles. I bought the car used from Budget Car Sales. The only things I changed was the oil at every 3,000 miles and nothing else. What stuff needs to be changed or serviced? I wont take my car to a dealer to fix because there expensive.I would take it to a friend machanic. If they change fluids like the coolent, power stearing, brake fluid does it have to be only toyota brands.? Any advice is great.
  • Have a 98 Camry 4-cyl.

    1st problem is when driving with the cruise set, and after coming to a stop, when I attempt to get moving again the throttle sticks in the idle position. Have to press it fairly hard to get it to move. If I happen to tap the throttle as I'm slowing (after canceling cruise with the brake), then the throttle doesn't stick. Any suggestions?

    2nd problem is with turn signals. With the headlights are on, when signaling for a turn, the turn signal lights flash about twice their normal rate. With the head lights off, they flash normally. Any ideas?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    1st, using throttle body cleaner might help.
    2nd, look for a poor ground on a parking light or tail light.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    At 30,000 consider the coolant, fuel filter and air filter and if auto tranny a drain and fill as a minimum. (maybe a flush and fill but if you use a synthetic a drain and fill should be fine)

    Plugs are either 60,000 or 100,000, my 92 is 60,000. Timing belt is a minimum of 60,000, maybe 90,000 on your rear.

    Nothing else needs to be done. Do not take to dealer and say do a 30,000 mile checkup. it will cost a small fortune and all they do is inspect. You do not need to use Toyota fluids, I never have. Not a Honda. Brake pads and parts though, purchased wholesale I think OEM are better.
  • Logitech1, I have a 95 Camry 4-cyl and it has the same problem. I was told that it may be the computer sending the wrong signal to the engine and the gas and air mix is too rich at idle when you stop the car after a long drive. There is also sulfate smell coming out from the engine indicating the mix is too rich. My problem is to get the car to act like that when the repair shop have it. I had it in the shop a couple times and they cannot find anything wrong and they cannot get it act like what I descripted. Let me know if you had better luck.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Not all coolant formulations are compatible with each other. Mixing different formulations (especially organic acids) may damage the coolant system including the water pump. That being said. It is recommended to stick with Toyota Red only.

    Because Toyota Red is silicate-free, you can extend the coolant change interval to at least 60,000 miles.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Not all toyotas or camrys came with the red fluid. Important to check for this before doing anything. A toyota master tech once told me the most important maintenance on a Camry was to change the coolant every two years regardless of mileage. None of my camrys had red fluid.
  • camryv6camryv6 Posts: 42
    My car does have the red coolant.And the place where if the car over heats that white tank is omost emty and there is some dirt or rust in there. Can I use Napa antifreeze with Alugard premium silicone silicate inhibitor system coolant. Can I buy the red coolant from toyota and do it my self. Thank
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Are you checking that tank when the car is completely warm and running? Has to be to get an accurate reading. No idea on the NAPA coolant, I only use Toyota OEM parts as well. Always had a dealer do the coolant flush, wasn't much more ($5 maybe) than the cheapo chains and they have a better idea of what coolant to use. Although the red fluid will probably be more expensive. If it has a longer life, you're probably not due for a change regardless of what you see in the overflow tank. Unless it actually is low, which it shouldn't be.
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    Today my 99 Camry with 83k miles had a hard time starting. It just wouldn't turn over until about the 6th try and then it almost stalled,but I pressed the gas pedal and it then slowly came to life. The temperature was about 30. This has happened a few times in the past year; only when the engine is cold,but not this bad. Anyone had a similair problem or any ideas?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Has the plugs been changed? That's a symptom of bad plugs on a Toyota.
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    sebring95; yes at 60k miles. According to the manual,next change not due until 120k.
  • 1.) I had the struts replaced about 18 months ago because I was noticing a lot of squeaking over bumps in cooler weather. Well, the new struts don't seem to help. I still have the squeaks, but it only seems to happen when it's between 30 and 50 degrees! Any ideas what the problem might be?

    2.) When it's cool and damp, again 30 - 50 degrees, my turn signals will not operate until the car has been driven for 10 - 15 minutes

    Other than those 'problems', it has been a great car. I've been told to expect no less than 200,000 miles out of it car with proper care. If things go well with this one I plan to replace it with another Camry of the same generation.

    Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    starting problem: I'd look for something in the spark plug/coil pack area. Possibly a bad wire on one of the coil packs, or a bad spark plug boot.

    squeak: not the struts at all, it's the rear sway bar bushings. The only cure is to give them a squirt of white lithium every once in awhile. Had the same problem on my '92 V6. I found it by crawling under the back and forcing the car up and down (bench press it) and you'll be able to easily tell which bushings are squeaking. They only do it during those temps and replacing them doesn't fix it. Two or three times a year did the job for me. One of the very few annoyances my '92 had in 200K miles, and it did it pretty much right from the start. I've had a '92, '94, and '97 V6 Camry and the 92-94 models were by far the best.
  • My daughter stepped on the rear cupholder in my 2000 Camry and cracked it. The Toyota dealer wanted $67 for a replacement. I haven't been able to find one online. Any ideas?
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    go to junk yard
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Does anyone know if the Purolater specified filter for the 4 cyl Camry (14476) is the same as a longer filter 14477 which has the same diameter and threads size, and looks the same, but is longer?
    camrys have plenty of room for a longer filter.

    Anyone know?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    You may want to try the oil filters for the older Toyota 4 cylinders, the 22821. In 1987, Toyota changed the filters to a smaller design.

    I've previously had some left over filters from my old 84 Corolla (22821) and used them on my parent's 94 Corolla (14476), without any problems.

    The change in filter size is due to a different pleating method of the filter element, which allowed more filter element in smaller size. The Toyota dealership stocks only the current filters only, not the older "style" filters.
  • After 18 months, our 2000 Camry LE 4 cyl automatic still gets under 20 mpg in city driving. (Lucky to get 19 most of the time). Is this in the ballpark? I don't think so but dealer keeps putting off looking into it, saying it is normal. Other Toyota's we've owned have come pretty close to the stated mileage. It feels as if the car is not shifting to higher gears quickly enough, and ocassionally I'll step on the gas and the car doesn't move (especially when first starting.) It also takes alot of pushing on the accel. to get car up to 45--and RPM's at that speed run 1700-1800. What are others out there getting? Thanks
  • Camry is one of the cars I am considering for my daughter - maybe a 96-99. Is there something I need to watch out for? Do the Camrys have a timing belt or a timing chain? Is there a particular year that has more problems than other years? I'm looking for something dependable to get her safely to and from school. Thanks for any input!
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Personally, I would go with an American Car, I did with both my children, daughter still driving hers at school now. Best bang for the buck and easy to find repair facilities at school over a Toyota. I also like the Maxima if yiou can find one that you can afford.

    Daughters friend came here for a visit in Dec,. burned up the engine on her 4Runner, seems she let it run out of oil and no idiot light, just a gauge which she did not pay attention to.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    The Camrys do have timing belts in those years. Recommended change intervals was anywhere from 60K to 90K miles depending on engine/year/etc. If I were buying one of what you mentioned, I would look for a nice 96 model with low miles (60K) coming off a fresh 60K service that included a new timing belt. 97 was when a redesign took effect, and IMHO they are less quality of a vehicle. No major problems really, but seem to have more niggling things, along with a general cheapening of the materials. I had a 92, 94, and 97 model and the latter was the worst. Still a very good vehicle, but just not built the same. If the mileage and maintenance is right, there's very little difference between '92-96 models so you have more room to wiggle if you decide not to spring for the newer models.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I asked this question several months ago, but did not get a response. My 96 Camry has wind noise right where the front of the sunroof meets the roof. The other day, when I pushed the sunroof forward by hand while it was closed, the noise stopped. My question is this: Does anyone know if there is an adjustment to positive stop of sunroof in closed position?

    I bought a 92 BMW 325i several months ago. The sunroof in that car is free of any wind noise.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Unless something is really wrong, Camrys seldomly need repair, just regular maintenance. Buying a domestic will be cheaper, but the Camrys will be more expensive since they'll hold their value better. After owning one, and buying it used (88 Camry V6), I won't hesitate to recommend one.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    I'm not aware of an adjustment, but it should be very quiet. All three of my Camrys had sunroofs and had no windnoise either. If there isn't an adjustment, maybe look at the rubber weatherstripping to see if it looks worn or ripped. Something could have hit it and loosened it, or gouged it enough to cause wind noise. Either way, it should be very quiet.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Unless something is really wrong, Camrys seldomly need repair, just regular maintenance. Buying a domestic will be cheaper, but the Camrys will be more expensive since they'll hold their value better. After owning one, and buying it used (88 Camry V6), I won't hesitate to recommend one.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    94 Camry has 2 bulbs out.

    One is the radio station frquency indicator light (you can see the station number in the day but not at night)

    second bulb - the dash mounted one that shows you the transmission is in "D".

    Anyone know if these are easily changeable or is it a dealer item?
  • loyolaloyola Posts: 26
    your radio light will depend on what headunit you have, on some you can remove the face and change the lightbulb.

    On your dash, you will have to remove the whole instrument cluster to gain access to the light bulb/s at the back of the cluster. I forgot what # is the bulb but very cheap ( <$2 pair). I suggest to check out a Haynes manual.

    If your into it, why not change them all. My instrument panel now lights ups "RED". I have a '92 Camry V6 LE ,141K
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    It takes around 10 minutes to do. Just start unscrewing on the instrument panel (IP) bezel, and carfully pry out. Unscrew the IP from the mounts (a couple screws).

    Un-plug the IP, and on the back are your little twist-off connectors you remove the replace the bulb.

    I highly suggest red 194 bulbs. They do have the sporty look, and clarity is increased greatly.
  • Thanks everybody for your input. We're going to go take a look at the Camrys, along with Altimas and Accords.
  • jj35jj35 Posts: 283
    Last week, I heard about an Oil Gel Special Policy adjustment being offered by Toyota. I first heard about this on the Toyota Sienna Problems site, but have found out that it covers all models from 1997 to 2001. Since I have heard quite a bit about engine sludge development in Camry's thought I would post this here. As best I can tell, Oil Gel is the same as Engine Sludge. The Special Policy is being offered to people who have a 1997 through 2001 Toyota that developed engine sludge and the repair was not covered under warranty. Copies of the repair bill, proof of bill payment, proof of ownership, and maintenance records must be submitted. Call toll free 888-802-9436 for information.
  • atltmatltm Posts: 2
    How do you remove the bevel plate around the radio? I've tried to pry it off, but no luck. I'm afraid to put too much pressure on it in fear it might break. I want to replace the radio with a CD.
    Also, does anyone have a lead on where I might pickup a used power antenna. The antenna quit working on my '92 Camry XLE some time ago and I would like to replace it so I can cover the car now that it stays outside 24/7.
  • jdeibjdeib Posts: 70
    Removing the plate around the radio isn't too tricky. Get a small flat blade Screwdriver and carefully wedge it in between the dash and the plate on the bottom side of the dash. You have to start on the bottom half of the plate. You should be able to pry this out slightly then you need to carefully pull it up towards the top of the dash as if the top part were on hinges. This will enable you to work free the two tabs that hold the top part in place. You will also want to free the two connections that hold in the cigarette lighter.

    Crutchfield has a great how-to guide that covers this. They charge you four dollars for it, or if you buy your equipment from them it's free. I put a system in my '92 and it showed me how to do all of it(door trim removal, rear speakers)so I didn't break anything. As for the antenna, get a new one. ALL that generation of Camry's had that problem. I had mine replaced with a new one at the Toyota Dealer for $59 installed two years ago.

    Good luck.

  • ralpiralpi Posts: 26
    Looking to see if any owners have experienced this problem with their Camry's: when braking fairly hard, as you come to a stop engine will idle/vibrate rough for a second or so, than get smoother. But not smooth enough, in my opinion. It is not the brakes vibrating. I have a 4cyl/auto that is only a couple of weeks old. I took car to dealer close to home, they said "no problem found", but I did not have the time to try and duplicate it for them that day. Will be visiting selling dealer this weekend to have them take a look.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I am ticked off about Toyota's attitude about this DEFECT. Toyota keeps dancing around it. Defect is a defect, is a defect!!!!!! Toyota does not need to educate its customer as it continues to persist about changing oil. People are not stupid AND Toyota is not some rare comodity that requires special care. Toyota is mass production manufacturer. I do own a Camry and it is a fine car. I am lucky that mine is not one of those with problem. Toyota and Honda get errogant when they have a defect. Just because they make reliable cars, it does not mean they are not capabale of making defective part. It is like Acura TL's with 2500 miles having paint peeling off the bumpers, and Acura fixing them under " Goodwill Gesture"!!!!!!!!!!!) The damn things are defective, just fix them and don't come up with phrases that makes the defect customer fault.

    It appears that to be safe with these Toyota engines, the best bet is to switch to synthetic oil right away, and don't wait for Toyota to train you about oil changes.
  • My 02 4 cyl/auto also vibrates/shutters when braking. The shutter is only in the last few feet of travel, and it is does not occur at every stop. I think the engine is idling down to low and vibrating the car when it does. Reminds me of driving a manual and stopping in gear and waiting to the last second to put the clutch in. I am due for an oil change within the week and I am going to replicate for the dealer when I go. Mentioned it to them at 3k miles, but they also said they could not duplicate the shudder. I'll report back after the service visit.

  • 2000LE, Auto, 4 cyl, with 20 K miles on it. A recent trip to Las Vegas, I clocked 31.5 mpg, crusing at 75mph with two adults and two luggage bags. Except that darn wind noise coming from rear passenger door, it's great. Now about that "jello", hummm.
  • imoimoimoimo Posts: 19
    My 1992 camry had the back light warning lights on and the light at the rear not the bottom but at the rear windshield light is out. I'm wondering if I can change the light bulb myself without taking it in to the dealership, but couldn't figure out how to access it. Found a couple of screws under the light (access through the trunk) but still couldn't open the plastic cover. Any advice? Thanks.
  • I have read several of this individual's posts which she has selectively scattered throughout the Edmunds TH forum. I'm not sure what her motivation is, but she clearly has erroneous information. For instance, Camry 4- and 6- cylinder models DO NOT have an engine problem. Based on the number of her posts and the content, it would seem that she is trying to mislead Toyota and Lexus owners within these forum boards. That is a dis-service to the Toyota and Lexus owners, to Toyota and to Edmunds.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    owners manual shows how - I think remembering you just slide it toward the front seat and it comes off. Might have one screw.
    bulb is easy to get to.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    More like if you want to be required to have 3000 or 3750 mile oil changes to have your Toyota go 100,000 miles versus 7,500 for Honda or most American built cars to go the same distance then no engine porblem. Howevver, if you go 5000-7,500 between changes with a Toyota you may, again may, develop OIL GEL in a Toyota!!!!!!!
  • I sometimes need to hold my igition key for a few seconds to over a minuite for my 1990 camry to crank and start. The battery is brand a new Sears Gold. Is this the switch itself or maybe the starter.
  • imoimoimoimo Posts: 19
    I'll try that tomorrow.
  • I had a 1998 Camry with lots of problems. And Toyota did exactly what you said, they tried to treat me as if I am stupid (obviously this is not uncommon for Toyota). Unfortunately, it did not work, Toyota ended up buying back their masterpiece. I agree Honda is not much better either, however, I was lucky that my 1988 Accord turned out to be much better quality and I had to contact Honda only once for a minor matter. And this is why I do not plan to buy another Toyota or Honda again.

    "Goodwill Gesture!" Yes, I heard this so many times from the Toyota field rep, and I really hate it if someone uses this expression (especially when they do not mean it).
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I have heard tire dealers compalin about Michelins adjustment policy.
    maybe people/companies who make products that are overall better than average have trouble accepting reality when something IS wrong, and they blame the owner.

    The honda problems I had the dealer really fixed w/o complaining.
  • rchinnrchinn Posts: 23
    Was told my air filter needs to be replaced. So I went out and bought one. Opened the hood and couldn't figure out where it goes. Somebody help!! Where is the air filter??
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    The big black box towards the driver's side of the engine bay.
  • rchinnrchinn Posts: 23
    I found it!! Thank you very much, vcheng! Who would have thought it would be hiding under there?
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    Important information from CBS News and Automotive News that should be of interest to any family members or friends who currently own or are considering purchasing one of these affected Toyotas, 1997-2001 Camrys are included:

    Automotive News Article:

This discussion has been closed.