Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • oh , its a 96 with a 4cyl auto
  • tl565tl565 Posts: 78
    White smoke usually means it is oil burning. This happens if there is ring wear and oil blows by the rings and is burned in the combustion chamber. 72K miles is way too early for ring problems though so hopefully it is something else (and cheaper!) Good luck.
  • lucky20lucky20 Posts: 35
    Questions that need to be answred. What is the oil consumption rate. What is the compression per cylinder. What is the maintenance history,(oil changes). Normaly when white (oil) smoke occurs at start up only, the problem can be blamed primarily on valve stems & seals. If oil consumption is excessive,(greater then 1 qt. in 700 miles), not including leaks, the problem may include oil control rings on the pistons. If a dicision is made to pull the head for valve work, it would be wise to pay close attention to the cylinder wall taper,(ring ridge) & I would also recomend pullling the eng. oil pan & checking the condition of rod & main bearings. A good trustworthy mechanic would be able to render good advice.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    I am copying and reposting the following from a similar topic:

    #0 of 0: Camry engine noise (norest) Tue 02 May '00 (01:45 PM)

    After our 1997 Camry reached 25,000 miles, the
    engine started sounding real loud, and it sounds
    like it is straining. The Toyota Dealership said
    it was a normal sound, that Camrys have noisy
    engines. Has anyone had this problem?

    Anyone have any thoughts for norest?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • nsaxenansaxena Posts: 2
    99 Camry. I have the famous squeaking brakes problem. Car has about 25K miles on it and it has ABS. When I took it for service last time, I asked the service guy to check it out. He did and told me that the squeak was coming from rear brakes and after cleaning the squeak is gone. But within a week the squeak was back. I am again taking it for checkup. Although braking is as effective and sure as it has always been, the squeaking noise drives me nuts every time I brake.

    The service guy also told me that it was due to the humid weather. This is one thing I really do not like about service folks that they always try to give you some kind of a lame explanation even before they have heard and checked out the problem you are mentioning. You have to be persistent and then only they will listen.

    Lately, I am also hearing some kind of rattle from front passenger door area.

    Actually, the Camry is usually so damn quiet that you tend to notice every small sound coming from any part of the car and when you are not able to pinpoint the source of the noise, it is very irritating.

    Well, I think I will get my brakes checked once more and this time I am not buying any crap, the service guys have to offer.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Most likely the noise is from the brake pad. I read some posts about 98-99 Camry's old brake pads squeask because of the material it's made of. I think Toyota reformulated the brake pad material, so get the brake pads replaced.
  • wink6wink6 Posts: 1
    Some may mistake light blue smoke for white. If you indeed have white smoke, there may be some water getting into your combustion chamber. If you have light blue smoke on start up, there is a good chance that you have worn valve seals. Hope this helps.
  • dxc2054dxc2054 Posts: 2
    Hi I have a question in break-in period. I got a 2000 Camry LE two weeks ago which has an Auto Trans. In the manual it says for the first 1k I should vary the rpm between 2k and 4k. But while I use the 'D' drive most of the time, the gear got automatically shifted and the engine speed was between 1k and 2k rpm. How should I let it vary between 2k and 4k then? Should I turn off the overdrive, or should I shift to '2' whenever possible? Anything else should I pay attention besides this and keeping the speed below 55 mph? Thanks.
  • well it appears to be valve stem seals.
    the toyota dealer said to just maintain it well and drive it. oh well. its had oil changes every 3500 miles air filter changed when suggested by the book , timing belt changed at 62k.
    the strange thing is that the smoke started 3 weeks after we got the car. we did have the oil changed just after we got it

  • lucky20lucky20 Posts: 35
    The principal is (my opinion). Do not work the engine (& drive-train) any harder then necessary during the brake-in period. Accelerate gently, allow RPM to vary naturally, do not drive long periods of time at a steady (especially low RPM) speeds. Hard Acceleration & high eng. speeds can cause damage to bearings, piston & rings, cam, & even valves resulting in shorter eng. & drive-train life.
  • fbg1micafbg1mica Posts: 1
    I am experiencing a strange sound and that "bouncy
    feeling" on my 1988 Camry 4-cyl LE. When I asked
    for mechanic's diagnosis, I was told that the 4
    struts need to be replaced as well as the front
    rear row control arm. What really surprised me is
    what I was told that even if it's only the bushing
    that is not functioning well on the row control
    arm, I have to buy the entire assembly since
    bushings are not sold separately! Any input or
    comments that I will get from other owners will be
    appreciated. My car by the way has 110,000 miles.

  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    maybe I can fix the spacing:

    fbg1mica writes:

    I am experiencing a strange sound and that "bouncy feeling" on my 1988 Camry 4-cyl LE. When I asked for mechanic's diagnosis, I was told that the 4 struts need to be replaced as well as the front and rear row control arm. What really surprised me is what I was told that even if it's only the bushing that is not functioning well on the row control arm, I have to buy the entire assembly since bushings are not sold separately! Any input or comments that I will get from other owners will be appreciated. My car by the way has 110,000 miles.


    Good luck, Fernando, hope someone around here can offer you a suggestion.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • seankellyseankelly Posts: 3
    I have a 96 ES300 which is very similar to a camry. I just had the battery replaced at a place other than Lexus. Everything is runs OK, but the airbag light has come on. According to Lexus dealership, that light can come if battery is replaced while key is in the ignition. It sets a code in the computer. According to Lexus that code can be reset. Does anyone know how?
  • kirstenjkirstenj Posts: 1
    Just went to a dealer to check out what kind of pricing he was able to offer. Came down to the following: MSRP $20903, Toyota Discount (yeah,right) $2500, Factory Rebate $500 Total price: $17903. I want to add leather and sunroof which are separate additional $$$. However, he also included $347 into the msrp as a "Toyota Dealer Advertising" cost. Does this sound in the ballpark at all? I'm in California (Bay Area where everything seems insanely expensive). Suggestions would be great. Post reply or Email at [email protected] Thanks for any help.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    This was an answer to someone who said that their dealer told them they had sludge in their engine. They wondered if anyone else had heard of this.

    Im a Toyota Master tech and if you think that the dealer isnt telling the truth one very easy test is to have them pull the valve cover and see if it is sludge up I BELEIVE THE DEALER ...... THERE IS A MAJOR SLUDGE PROBLEM IN THE CAMRYS IF
    THE OIL ISNT CHANGE THAT OFTEN or better yet take it to another dealer for a second diagnois you will get the same answer
  • everydayeveryday Posts: 53
    I was wondering where the sludge issue went...
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    Please learn how to post urls that don't send the page off the screen.

    all others,

    The post above can be viewed by clicking on the blue hyperlink that says, "Hidden Response".

    Your host, Bruce
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Please learn to spell my name correctly. At least.
  • jefborjefbor Posts: 1

    I just bought a demo Camry LE V6 5 speed with about 6k miles on it. I love the car except for a couple of things. First and foremost, the transmission does not shift very smoothly. About half of the time that I am shifting into 3rd gear, I feel like something is "catching" as I engage. Is this a "normal break-in" thing as the dealor has said? I wonder with 6k on it already. Has anyone with a 5 speed noticed the same thing?

    Also, I'm hearing what sounds like a metallic noise coming from the engine on my accelearations. Is this normal as well?

    Thanks to anyone who can help!
  • smokeyjoesmokeyjoe Posts: 13
    I have a 2000 Camry CE, and it is super-quiet.....I agree with nsaxena that even the slightest noise (which would not be noticable in most other cars) becomes very irritating when you can't locate it. One such noise stems from the radio panel, the other around the glove box. Worst noise that I CAN locate? The headrests! They vibrate excessively while you drive and kncok around inside the holders quite a the car is quiet overall, that slight knocking seems to get louder and louder, and thus drivces you crazy. (Heck, my wife just looks at me and says "what are you hearing?!? There's no noise at all!!!")

    As for the break-in period, I pretty much spent half of my time driving with the overdrive the manual says keep the engine btwn 2K-4K RPM, I stuck with that. When driving on the highway, you can afford to do a half&half with the overdrive, as your enging will run at 2K exactly with OD on (@ 55 MPH) and around 3K with OD off. Thus, you don't need to keep alternating speeds, just alternate the gear you are driving in. Driving in 2nd is not necessary (and probably not beneficial to the tranny).

  • ccam206ccam206 Posts: 4
    My 1996 Camry (4 cyl, 39,500 miles)) is making a noise I can only describe as "ch-ch" when going over bumps. It doesn't usually happen on a very bumpy road but more when it is a deeper dip in the road. It seems to be coming from the rear wheel area, both sides. A Toyota tech suggested replacing the lower control arm bushings, which I did but no luck there. Brakes are a year old. I have heard this same noise from other Camrys as they drive by. Any suggestions out there? Pat, thanks for the welcome!
  • georgeh5georgeh5 Posts: 8
    Hi, all;

    I am one of those unlucky camry owners. I have a 99 LE V6. Generally speaking it runs great, especially between 8k to 12k. Now it's close to 13k and I notice a noise/vibration from engine. It appears at any speed over 20 mph. It's rather noticable on high quality road. As Camry is always a quiet car, I feel very uncomfortable.

    I hope you guys don't have the same problem. But any ideas about that? Is it because I drove over 3,000 miles in one week during spring break?


  • dc18dc18 Posts: 6
    Check your tires for uneven wear etc. Camrys are known to be hard on tires.
  • mmhblgmmhblg Posts: 6
    I can certainly identify with all the postings to date. My previous car was a 1997 Camry LE that was on a 3 year lease. By the first year, it had been in the shop 10 times, for problems with the suspension and with the audio system. The dealer (Performance Toyota, Columbus, Ohio) was rude and Toyota customer service ignored both phone calls and letters. I was never so disappointed in a car or in a company (my previous "best car ever" had been a 1982 Toyota Corolla).

    Thankfully, I was able to let this car go back to the bank that leased it to me (they didn't want it, and tried everything to get me to buy it. Eventually, they just sold it at auction).

    My current car is a dream! It is a 2000 Hyundai Sonata GLS and has been superb in every way, everything that I had hoped the Toyota would be and was not. Also, I was able to buy it for about the same payment it took to lease the Camry.

    Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone in my unfortunate dealings with Toyota!
  • jonesb1jonesb1 Posts: 1
    My 1997 camry (63,000 miles) is blowing blue smoke
    on startup. Has anybody had any luck at the dealer getting this fixed as a defect, and not having to shell out tons of money.
  • everydayeveryday Posts: 53
    After the honeymoon, they'll be waiting for your posts at the Sonata Problems forum.
  • jacobj1jacobj1 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 camry with 72k miles on it, when i bought it had 62k miles, i have a problem of black smoke when i drive for some 10 miles on a highway & i stop & again i give gas at a traffic light, i asked a toyota dealer, he suggests to change the valve/seals - cost is $900, but i am not sure whether, his solution is right & am unwilling to spend that money on it, but managing with that car
    Any one has any suggestions for it...?

  • I may be the only camry owner in the country who HATES the car. Among other irritations is the fact that the driver's side well gets unbelievably hot (yes, I'm sure the heat is not on). Passenger's feet stay cool but my side is miserable. Dealer says it's just the design - that the engine is close there and heats things up. But the fresh air always blows hot and the foot well feels like the heat is on. Anyone else experienced this - or better yet, solved it?
  • ccam206ccam206 Posts: 4
    Has anyone had suspension noises in their 96 Camry LE as I have? I have heard the same noise as mine is making in other Camrys as they drive by. I hope one of them belongs to one of you out there so you can lead me in the right direction! I hear it when the car goes over a dip, not really bumps, in the road. Hope someone can help.
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Posts: 88
    mine binds, on a 94 Camry.
    Somewhere in edmunds I saw a posting on how to remove it and replace the antenna parts that come up out of the fender.
    Anyone know where those posts are?
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    Sorry, I don't recall seeing a previous post about power antennas.

    Does the antenna bind because a section is bent?

    I have an after-market power antenna on my car and sometimes it just needs a good cleaning to keep functional. I wipe off the grime with a cleaner then apply a very light coating of conductive grease to keep it functioning smoothly.

    Good luck.
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    Where can you get conductive grease. Seems to me it would be a usefuladdition to the toolkit.

    Thanks, Bruce
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    Conductive grease should be available at an electronics supply store. Maybe Radio-Shack??

    I used this grease when the after-market power antenna was installed.
    Where the antenna mounted to the fender, the paint was scraped off a bit in order to make a good ground.
    The conductive grease was applied to this bare-metal area in order to "keep the weather out" and prevent rust from forming. It worked great.

    A few years ago I had the misfortune of having a major limb fall from a tree and wipe out the windshield and BENT the antenna.
    Needless to say, the antenna is now a fixed length as it no longer moves up and down. I do hear the motor for it working, it needs a new shaft.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I have a 92 SE V6 with 121,000 miles. Suspension noises, especially when temp is below 32 are very common when the car hits a dip or speed bump etc. Nothing to worry about. Had them from day one on the 92.

    Ps. my 92 has been great on tires and brakes.
  • viervillevierville Posts: 5
    I recently had an accident with my 2000 Camry V6 XLE. A car was going on the opposite direction of the road, and decided a quick turn into my side. I hit the car at its rear, and the right front end of my car was severely damaged. I am surprised that the passenger air bad did not deploy. My speed at the time was 30-35 mph. Any idea?

  • johnmcfjohnmcf Posts: 4
    I have the same noise in my '96 - it has been there since new, and has not gotten any worse. I assume it is caused by the compression of the shocks when hitting a bump(I'm not sure if the '96 Camry struts are gas or oil filled).
  • johnmcfjohnmcf Posts: 4
    Waaaay back in post #103, a question was asked about decontenting between 92-96 generation Camrys, and 97-2K Camrys. I have a '96, and my recollection is that the '97's onward dropped the triple door seals(which were only included because the Camry shared platforms with the Lexus ES 300), and the balance shaft was dropped from the four cylinder motor(of course, Toyota claims the non-balance shaft 4 cyl is 'just as smooth' as the balance shaft model - yeah, OK). Toyota apparently reduced production costs around $2000 on the newer models, because the 92-96 generation was killing their profits. Only time will tell if the 'old generation' is superior to the new...
  • johnmcfjohnmcf Posts: 4
    Wow! Another Camry owner with a manual tranny? That makes two of us! Mine is a '96 4 cylinder however, so a comparison to the 6 cylinder is likely 'apples to oranges'. For what it's worth, I have missed more 2nd to 3rd gear upshifts in this car than in all other manual transmissions I have driven in the past 23 years. I attribute this to the looong travel between gears 2 and 3, and a general resistance of the gearshift lever to go into third. The 'resistance' lessens over time, but I still miss the occasional 2-3 shift because of the long travel.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    From your description of the impact, it doesn't seem severe enough to cause the airbags to deploy. In my '97 Camry's manual, it says the airbags are designed to deploy in about a 14 mph impact into a flat rigid barrier. But you hit a moving car, and only on one corner. The rule of thumb is that a 14 mph barrier impact = 28 mph impact of one car into a parked car, assuming the 2 cars are of the same weight. So on balance, it seems your impact was not quite severe enough. Were you injured? If not, clearly the airbag was not needed.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I doubt (but am not sure) that Toyota went through the trouble and expense of removing the balance shaft in the 4-cylinder engine in the '97-'00 generation cars. Plus it seems to idle too smoothly for this to be true. But it's true that other decontenting measures besides dropping the triple door seals were taken in the '97s, such as substituting a hood prop rod in place of the gas struts, removing the tilt locks from the head restraints, dropping the small trays on either side of the trunk compartment, and combining the front parking and turn signal lamps (this last isn't really a downgrade, but it's cheaper than having separate lamps).
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Posts: 88
    Can anyone say for sure if they are still in the new 4 cyl motors?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I had looked at earlier posts in the "Camry sludge rumor" and the "Camry 2" forums. Lots of name-calling, and I have to admit, I was skeptical there was really a problem. Except now my '97 Camry LE 4-cylinder (57,000 miles) was issuing blue smoke on a cold start, so yesterday I called the independent shop that I've used for almost all nonwarranty work on my cars over the last 8 years. The shop owner said the Camry blue smoke was an indicator of worn valve stem seals, and had seen "a few" Camrys with this problem. Then I called the local Toyota dealer (not where I bought the car), and the service writer also said that the valve stem seals were the most likely problem. He asked if I had oil change receipts, and I said that since I had done all the oil changes myself, I had only the receipts for the oil and filters and my handwritten notes on when I had done the work. They took my car today, said my notes and receipts were acceptable, but the service writer did say that they would take off the valve cover to look for sludge first! Just now, he called again to say that the engine was "fairly clean" (5000-mile oil and filter changes) and they were not only going to replace the valve stem seals under warranty, but also the head gasket. The gasket had a slight "weep" at the "front" of the block that was causing coolant to escape and run down onto the exhaust manifold, where it was being burned off (hidden from view). He said that this gasket problem was minor and probably wouldn't have gotten much worse (no coolant leaking into the oil). I asked if there was anything I could do to minimize the possibility of the seals going bad again, and he said to halve the normal oil change interval from 7500 to 3750 miles.
    NOTE: I've posted this in the "sludge" forum also, but hardly anyone seems to be visiting anymore.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    I recommended in some of the the "sludge" posts. I also tried to point out the blue-smoke problem but was attacked or at least semi-attacked. This is a real problem that needs to be monitored by Camry owner. Don't get me wrong, Camrys are great cars but they just have this one fault.
  • car_huntercar_hunter Posts: 17
    I have a 89 Camry LE with almost 100K miles. I had a complete tune up done and fuel filter changed last year. The air filter is new too. However, of late the car has been hesitating and sputtering (as if it is almost going to stall) at idle, low as well as high speeds of 45-50 mph. However, once I am at 55-65 mph, the car runs steady but is not as smooth as it used to be. The ride is a bit rough too. I also had problems starting the car sometimes. This also happens almost everytime it rains. And yesterday, the car failed to start at all. I suspect that the air/fuel line is dirty. Maybe the EFI chamber needs cleaning or the filter screen inside the fuel tank needs to be replaced. Not sure what is the exact problem. I plan to add some additives to the fuel and clean the air system. If anyone has any idea what the problem could be, I would appreciate a response. Thanks.
  • resteveresteve Posts: 1
    I have 1997 Camry v6.When I Checked my tranny oil it was black. I did a complete flush at toyota, after two days it became black again contacted toyota they said it is normal, I don't buy it. Called aamco they said clutch is burning inside.
    Any Comments?
    P.s Tranny shifts like a dream
  • car_huntercar_hunter Posts: 17
    If your oil is dirty and black - does it have a burning smell too. It could be the clutch or the gears. I would suggest that you go for a complete checkup of the transmission to avoid any risk.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Definitely should not be black. Always a reddish tint and almost clear. Never should smell burnt

    Switch to synthetic when you get this problem cleared up. I have been using synthetic since 25,000 miles, drain and fill about every 30,000 of course that only gets half the fluid at a time though.
  • light2light2 Posts: 6
    Help! I'm the Nissan Altima smelly vent owner. I'm now looking at a Toyota Camry but according to the woman who's having problems and not getting answers from Toyota, I'm not sure about non-GM cars.

    Looking at a 2000 Malibu too. Anyone have any good Malibu or Camry experiences?

    Also looking for a good dealer in the West Chicagoland suburbs. One dealer didn't want me to walk out the door without making a commitment. That's baloney ... I'm just looking.
  • bobc3bobc3 Posts: 5
    Hello, I have 99 V6 camry and love it. It is powerfull and smooth and comfortable. I am happy I bought it every time I drive it. Contrary to what other people may say The V6 is worth the extra 2,000. I have only had a couple of minor rattles and such but no big deal. I have 29,000 miles so far in just over a year. So I have driven this car. I don't baby my cars either when it comes to acceleration and the sort. Cleaning is a different story since I think a clean waxed car inside and out is one of the best things about owning such a nice car as a camry or any car. I get 25-26 mpg in some city and mostly highway driving and 29-30 on the highway. My local service department here in sumter south carolina is great! I am in the Air Force here not from here! I highly reccomend buying a Camry. I hope this helps you. Bob
This discussion has been closed.