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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • Very interesting! About two years ago, when Toyota Motor Sales bought back the 1998 Camry, I noticed and wondered why the person inspecting the car took the oil dipstick out and examined it very closely as if he was looking for something.... Something to blame me for and/or some reason to pay me less (they probably did not like it since they had to pay above market price of the car because of low mileage).

    I wonder if Toyota already knew the problem two years ago and just hoped that it would go away (?!)

    In any case, BBB report from Southern California represents my experience with Toyota very accurately.
  • I just bought a 02 Camry LE V6. It now has 1400 miles. One day I opened the hood with engine running. I noticed a loud engine noise. It seemed like sound of valves hitting something. I wonder has any one experienced this. The level of noise was higher than that of my 96 Nissan Altima with 130K mileage.
  • I am looking at buying my sister-in-law's 1998 Camry 4 cylinder with 160,000 km/ 100,000 miles. It seems to run well and she has done the required maintenance. I want to switch it to Mobil 1 synthetic like my other cars. In view of the sludge problem, should I have the engine flushed at the quick oil change station and install synthetic OR skip the flush and just change over to synthetic???? Thanks for your assistance.
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    You should look at www.auto-rx.com and follow their procedure and then switch the vehicle over to synthetic, this product is very very very good have used it several times worked very well.
  • I am looking at buying my sister-in-law's 1998 Camry 4 cylinder with 160,000 km/ 100,000 miles. It seems to run well and she has done the required maintenance. I want to switch it to Mobil 1 synthetic like my other cars. In view of the sludge problem, should I have the engine flushed at the quick oil change station and install synthetic OR skip the flush and just change over to synthetic???? Thanks for your assistance.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Well, if it is running fine I would just switch.

    However, if you do 3000 mile changes why bother, just keep running the same dino oil.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Valve clearance may need adjustment.
  • Have the dealer remove the valve cover and check for a bend in the air baffle inside the valve cover, where the oil filler hole is. Apparently, when adding oil from the hose during an oil change if the hose tip is forcefully placed into the hole it can bend the air baffle. Then the cam or valve or whatever is up there bangs against it. Good luck.
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    There is a member on the Edmunds sludge board who had his Lexus flushed by the Lexus dealer only to have his engine completely fail later. He had to pay for a new engine. I don't know how good an engine flushing really is. Some people are recommending taking the car to a dealer and having the valve covers pulled and inspect the engine for the problem.

    Also, make sure you get receipts from the previous owner for every oil change and make sure they were done at a Toyota dealer. Toyota has apparently refused to accept service done by Jiffy Lube etc as proof of maintenance.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The fine print every manufacturer has is the serviced has to be done by a qualified or approved technician. Knowing the horror stories (I've heard) of Jiffy lube, it wouldn't be too suprised.
  • If you used synthetic oil you do not want to switch back to reg oil with out "flushing out" the engin, while changing to synthetic oil would have no problem
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I have been going crazy with this wind noise from front of my 96 Camry sunroof since I boought the car over a year ago.

    One day while the sunroof was tilted out, I closed it, and then pushed the slide open botton, then closed the sunroof. The wind noise stopped. It appears that when I close it from tilt position, somehow the rubber seal does not fully seal against the roof lip, and it requires sliding open and closing action.
  • dlaskydlasky Posts: 4
    i have a 2002 v6 camry le do i have to worry about the sludge problem or did toyota fix the engine?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
  • aditkoffaditkoff Posts: 7
    from www.thecarconnection.com;
    SLUDGE FRIGHTENS TOYOTA OWNERS
    Automotive News also reports in its Monday edition that some 3.3
    million Toyota Camry and Sienna owners will be covered for damage done
    to their vehicles engines from sludge deposits. The paper reports
    Toyota has received more than 3000 complaints for the problem, and
    until recently the company had not covered the issue under its current
    warranty. In light of the complaints, the company now says it will fix
    vehicles for owners that can prove;reasonable efforts; at regular oil
    changes and maintenance.

    success?
    Andy
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    The best solution to Toyota Engine Sludge build up, SPECIALLY for the new engines, is to switch to synthetic oil, and change it between 5 and 7K miles.
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    prexisting sludge still it might be prudent to use autorx @ auto-rx.com before switching and make sure that you are sludge free first, I would do this as a preventative maintenance for the peace of mind
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Though it's best to wait 5000-6000 miles, then switch to synthetic.
  • dlaskydlasky Posts: 4
    so even though toyota reccomends oil changes at 5000 to 7500 miles i was thinnking of doing an oil change at 3,000. Shol i change to synthetic oil at 3000 or wait till 5000?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    You should wait until 5000 miles.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Yes, but you don't spend much time at the dealer having it fixed like my purchased new 78 and 84 GM cars.

    I have a life away from auto repair.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Oh my! The Accord is just a barrel of joy compared to the Camry (sarcasm for those that can't tell). We're talking boring sedans any way you want to twist it. I find the Accord more sterile and boring than the Camry, but they are pretty darned close to ultimate sleepers to me. Nice appliances, that's all.
  • I have an odd ticking or snapping noise coming from the rear dash. It sounds as if there are two pieces of plastic that are rubbing against each other. It happens sporadically, but is annoying enough for me to see if anyone has anyone else has the same problem. I've been fiddling with the rear shade, child seat latches, rear seats, and all the plastic trim to no avail. It couldn't have something to do with the rear window could it? This is the only thing that bugs me about my new car ... it's great.

    TIA ... Chris H
  • I know this is trivial relative to engine sludge, but it's bugging me enough to post it. I have an odd ticking or snapping noise coming from the rear dash. It sounds as if there are two pieces of plastic that are rubbing against each other. It happens sporadically, but is annoying enough for me to see if anyone has anyone else has the same problem. I've been fiddling with the rear shade, child seat latches, rear seats, and all the plastic trim to no avail. It couldn't have something to do with the rear window could it? This is the only thing that bugs me about my new car ... it's great.

    TIA ... Chris H
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I found my old Camry with a V6 and row-it-yourself transmission fun to drive a bit, with a nice smooth ride.
  • rob133rob133 Posts: 24
    Got this from the government's NHTSA web page.

    TOYOTA
    Model: CAMRY
    Year: 2002
    ODI ID: 899154

    Summary:
    WHILE DRIVING THERE WAS SMOKE COMING FROM VEHICLE. WHEN CONSUMER SAW SMOKE STOPPED VEHICLE, AND THEN VEHICLE CAUGHT ON FIRE IN ENGINE. CONTACTED DEALER, AND DEALER WAS NOT WILLING TO DO ANYTHING.*AK VEHICLE WAS COMPLETELY IN FLAMES AND FIRE DEPARTMENT CAME AND PUT OUT THE FIRE. *YD
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    only in cold weather? maybe just plastic?

    try spraying armorall SP into the cracks
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    So far it's really only the SE models with the sport steering wheel.

    Potential Number of Units Affected: 19587
    Manufactured: 07/2001 - 11/2001

    Defect Summary:
    VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A THREE-SPOKE STYLE STEERING WHEEL. DURING AIR BAG DEPLOYMENT, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE BOTTOM SEAM OF THE FRONT DRIVER'S SIDE AIR BAG MODULE COVER (HORN PAD) COULD BE TORN AWAY ALLOWING THE BOTTOM PORTION OF THE COVER TO COMPLETELY DETACH FROM THE AIR BAG MODULE.

    Consequence Summary:
    IF THIS SHOULD OCCUR, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE DETACHED BOTTOM PORTION MAY STRIKE THE DRIVER CAUSING PERSONAL INJURY.

    Corrective Summary:
    DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE DRIVER'S SIDE AIR BAG MODULE. OWNER NOTIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JANUARY 2002. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331 OR LEXUS AT 1-888-333-9376.

    ----------
    Sorry for the caps, it's a cut & paste job from the NHSTA site.

    ----------
    Sometimes, I'm weary of complaints, many are legitimate, and their's others that are fault of the driver themselves (which many times proven by the NHSTA, such as the faulty accelerator pedal case in Audi). Though it does raise some eyebrows and lets you know what to watch out for.
  • husker92husker92 Posts: 44
    In regards to the Sludge Monster, what if you bought your Camry used and have no maintenance records from the old owner? SOL???
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Unfortunately, yes.

    Something I regard important in buying a used car, is the maintenance record.
  • cduongcduong Posts: 70
    armtdm... I changed spark plugs at every 20,000 miles because it costs only 5$ for 4, if you do it yourself. Yes, I did change muffler, however, I don't recall that I ever change PCV valve or fuel filter, or thermostat. But I am thinking about changing the thermostat this spring... I also changed trans fluid every 30,000 miles... so far the car is still very reliable after 165,000 miles... knock on wood, I hope to keep it pass 250,000 miles
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    You must have regular copper plugs. My Camry plugs cost about $9-$12 each or about $60. I have changed at 60,000 each time and noticed no real difference after the tune up. I change the PCV and fuel filter around 30,000 and tranny 30,000 also air once a year and oil and filter at 7,500. Of course, been 115,000 since I changed the tranny filter, been doing a drain and fill via the plug.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    It looks like he's using the non-Denso plugs on the 87 Camry, which are copper. I've had good experience with Bosch platinums ($2 each) on my old 88 V6. That car is no longer with me, traded it in at 210,000 miles, even though it has a new clutch, but needed new joints & power steering pump (the killer in cost).

    The 3S-FE motor does physically have a PCV valve like the other gas engines used in the Camry.

    The fuel filter, even though Toyota claims it never needs replacement, I'd recommend every 60,000 miles. I have to warn you, loosening the flare nuts are a huge pain in the butt to be. They are super tight. Have fun loosening them.
  • guevinjguevinj Posts: 15
    My 1998 Camry LE 4 cylinder with 35,000 miles will race (idle at about 2000 RPM) even after a warm start. I can understand the cold idle being about 2000 RPM, but when I restart the car only 10-15 minutes after a warm start, the car idles about 2000 RPM, like the first cold start of the day! This high idle speed makes a lot of noise, too! Isn't this wasting gas? Is this warm idle speed on startup normal?

    At my 30,000 mile service last summer, I told the dealer about this. He took apart and cleaned the throttle body, saying it might have been "stuck", that there was alot of "gunk" in there, and that the cleaning should fix the high idle speed problem. It seemed better for a few weeks after the tuneup, but the warm-start racing has since come back. I do mostly city driving and am only getting about 19 mpg. I think the racing on a warm start is wasting gas. Does anyone know what the warm idle speed should be on a 98 Camry? I've heard that the idle speed is directly related to the coolant temperature. Once it kicks down, it idles about 650 RPM, but on the warm start, it will idle around 2000 rpm for the first few minutes before slowly coming down.

    Also, on a cold start, the car takes quite a while to shift into third gear. I lift my foot slightly off the accelerator to help it shift into the higher gear, but it won't shift until the car has warmed up a bit. I think both of these things are contributing to my low gas mileage. Any thoughts?
  • reddogtxreddogtx Posts: 4
    My transmission went out on my automatic 1992 Camry which is in otherwise outstanding condition with 128k. I have decided to buy a new car but not to use this one as a trade in since I would only get $500 for it. My question is do you think I stand a better chance of selling it for say $1000 to $1500 as is (transmission needing to be rebuilt/repaired or replaced) or spending the $1500 to $2000 to fix it and then try and sell it for $2500 to $3500?

    Thanks in advance for you input
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Worst case, you put $2000 in it to fix it, then sell it for $2500 and you are in the exact same boat. I guess it depends how much you value the difference you might be able to get by fixing it and reselling. Best case you'll come out $1500 ahead.

    You may not get $500 on a trade with it needing a tranny. Possible the dealers won't even trade for it. When I was looking to trade my 92 V6 Camry (which was in great condition, but had 220K miles) I was offered $500 on trade by one toyota dealer and another told me he didn't know if the manager would even let him take it in. I ended up selling it outright for $3000 to a car salesman at another dealership where I was test driving something else. He told me wether you buy this or not, look me up instead of trading your car. It was pretty obvious it was maticulously maintained and in near-perfect condition and the dealership would only stick an auction value on it because of the miles.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    In the 128,000 prior to the failure did you change the fluid and/or filter during that time and where was it done if it was done?
  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    Go ahead and change your tranny fluid. It may come back to life long enought to trade it in.
  • reddogtxreddogtx Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    The car had all scheduled maintenance done on it up until 1998. I did have the transmission flushed in 1999 by Lube Express. ( I sense your going to tell me I should have taken it to the dealer?)

    I did take it to the dealer this last time and they did replace the fluid and I was able to drive it home which was a short distance. They advised me not to drive it though since the pan had metal shavings in it.
  • cduongcduong Posts: 70
    I am trying Bosch Platnium now but I have not observed any obvious benefits. So I will let current plugs go for 30,000 miles then go back to the original NSG (sp?) OEM plugs. About fuel filter... my friend ,is a master mechanic who used to work for Toyota, told me that there is no need to replace fuel filter if Toyota says so... DO NOT waste your money unless you have problems
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I concur with Consumer Reports, they are not worth the money. I tired them in anotehr car, not Camry, and absolutely no diff. + 4 means plus $4 for the price
  • camry02camry02 Posts: 1
    Own a '02 LE V6 camry with about 950 miles. After
    driving about 10 minutes , there is this rotton-egg
    odor which last about ten seconds then dissapears.
    Has any one encounter this problem
  • kenshulukenshulu Posts: 2
    I have a '97 4cyl. Camry(68K) bought used(48K). After starting cold and shifting from reverse to drive, the car seems to hesitate for about 5 to 10 seconds before it feels normal again. This seems to be related to the transmission (auto). I changed the transmission and differential oil twice already. Anyone experienced this problem before? Any help?
  • 35fan35fan Posts: 40
    '93 Camry LE - the top portion of the steering wheel is crumbling - like aged, dried out rubber.
    What are the best solutions? Where to get a replacement?
    I'd hate to replace the steering wheel. The air bag will make that tough.
    Thanks for suggestions.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    A 9-year old car with a crumbling steering wheel.

    If it was mine, I would put come kind of filler on the wheel to hold the 'crumbles' together and fill what has fallen out. GE Silicone smeared around should do it.

    Then get one of those lace-on steering wheel covers and put this on. And let it crumble away under there. Cost about $10 total.
  • bbhavsarbbhavsar Posts: 8
    Does anybody know a good site to buy cloth seat covers for '02 camry? Any help is appreciated. Thanx.
  • I am all set to get a 2002 Camry... I've have a 1994 Camry for 8 years and haven't had a problem with it... It's such a great car that my Mom is going to take my 1994 Cam.....
    What I want to know is if there are any problems with the 2002 Camry? I called the dealership and requested a Lunar Mist Mettalic Camry and once one comes in ;then, I am going to get it... I am just making double sure that there are no problems with the 2002's.....
    Thanx...
    Sunshine60105 :)
  • longo32longo32 Posts: 81
    These are my criteria when shopping for a used car. Usually I wind up with a vehicle that met only 2 of the three,(Not good,just cheap, and old) but we are in the market for a used Toyota Camry XLE, for a family member, and need to now if there are any years that were particularly GREAT in this model.
    From the post I read here, there seems to be no rhyme, reason or pattern to .. problems vs' model years. Perhaps the better question is simply whats the best year one could buy for under $5000.00?
This discussion has been closed.