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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • exit00exit00 Posts: 11
    Well, it seems that your oil changes should have been ok....but I would NEVER use the jiffy lube places. This was where some lady that works with my wife had transmission fluid put in the engine INSTEAD of oil and vice versa....needless to say what happened to her car.

    I never want to generalize about these things, but I've heard of many horror stories of mishaps like the above at jiffy lube. Hopefully, they weren't the culprits of your car problem.
  • To Exit00, that was an excellent question.... and I will never ever ever again have my oil change at any jiffy/quick/speedy lube place. But alas that was the last oil change prior to my cars extreme problem ... and they don't think it made the difference.

    As inconvenient as it will be, I plan to have all my remaining oil changes performed by Toyota, although after this experience, I do not trust them either... but at least they will have the computer records of my oil changes and maintenance and I hope this will have some bearing if necessary. What an AWFUL experience for your wife's friend... that is the type of thing that Toyota implied could have happened to me.... their actual words were "it looks like somebody put axle grease in your engine!"
    Appreciate your comments, thanks tricia
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I am not all that suprised that someone actually put transmission oil into the engine. The possibility is always there, and when there are so many cars out there, it was going to happen soon or later to someone.

    We are human, so are the mechanic. And we can make mistakes. My mother is a registered nurse. She told me that the surgeons in the past, have left operating tools INSIDE the patient and forgot about it. Now it's required that the nurse at charge to account for all the tools before closing the patient up. Scary!
  • tl565tl565 Posts: 78
    This is a great board. I was close to buying a new vehicle and always thought Toyota's were bulletproof. With all of these problems I have read about them, I now definitely have second thoughts.

    I even went to the trouble of renting a '00 Camry to see how I liked it. Even though it was fairly new, it had a lot of the rattles and buzzes that people have mentioned about on this board. The drivers door even squeeked when closing and a little red light was on the dash board, looked like a warning for the rear tail lamps. I was very surprised at how the actual quality stacks up against the Marketing hype. As a result I scratched the Camry off my short list.

    Thanks for all of your participation!!!
  • exit00exit00 Posts: 11
    wenyue - yeah, I agree that with all professions, mistakes do happen everywhere...and they seem to happen more now than in the past. Seems like the quality of work everywhere has fallen in general. Speaking of those surgical instruments left in patients, there was a horror story on one of the tv shows (20/20 I think)....unbelievable what they left in people! And I certainly don't want to bash any company BUT with all the things I have read and witnessed by jiffy lube, I would never, ever take my car there. I have found many other places which are almost as fast and much more reliable.

    t1565 - I would suggest that you test drive a few more Camrys...all the ones I drove prior to purchase had no rattles, etc. Maybe they gave you a demo to test drive which had gone thru some hellish test drives before you. But, I've been around for a long time and I can say this about any car NEVER know if you are going to get a great car for sure. But if you play the percentages, then the Toyota Camry (and most likely all their vehicles) are at the top of the list for reliability. Historical data proves this...though not to say that you can't get a bad one. Hey, 15 years ago we bought a Ford selling car and highly rated at the time...BUT that car required so many repairs (but no engine problems) over the years that I refuse to buy another Ford. Was this typical of Taurus's or did we just have a bad one...who knows.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    exit00: I totally agree. There is no perfect person, no perfect brand, no perfect store. If even the most highly trained profession, surgeons, can do stupid things, then the rest of the world certaintly isn't immune. A lot in life depends on luck. :) There are Kia owners who are totally happy with their cars, and there are also Toyota/Honda owners who end up with lemons. That's the way it is, baby. :)


    Testing a rental cars is a source of good imput about a car's capability and features. But I personally wouldn't expect a rental to have a high degree of fit and finish. After all, rentals typically gets more abused than most. I would test drive the car (from the dealer's lot) that you are willing to buy. Good luck on your car shopping. :)
  • tl565tl565 Posts: 78
    Thanks for the input. I test drove several newCamrys off the dealers lot but I thought it would be better to drive one that had a couple thousand miles on it to see how it held up. My friend from work has had problems with his 98 and I've seen all the problems mentioned here on the board. Sure enough, the one I rented had many of the same problems mentioned on this board.

    Since Toyota seems to charge a premium over other cars I would expect more from it. If the Camry has misc. problems like other cars on the road, than I may as well save the extra $1000 to $2000 dollars for a nice sumer vacation! My point is I used to be willing to pay more for a Camry because I expected it to be troublefree, but that doesn't seem to be completely true.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Posts: 88
    Many posts say people like the 92-96 Toy cars better than the 97 up years because of the "decontenting" that they think has occurred -
    does anyone have any specifics of what they think is "cheaper" on the newer Camrys???
  • linseylinsey Posts: 1
    Im interested in buying a 93 camry with a v6 engine. The car has a total of 120,000 miles on it already and I have heard mentioned that the v6 is not very reliable and that the rods in the engine give out really easily. Please give me some input on wether this is a very reliable car and if the rumors I have heard are true.
  • white exhaust smoke upon startup in morning after sitting overnight. thats the only time 72k well maintained.. any ideas what it might be and what
    attention it may need.. thanks
  • 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!
This discussion has been closed.