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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    This was the first year of the new V6 engine and body design and it is basically unchanged since then and this requires 92 octane.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    The 1996 Owners Manual says:

    On page number 210, Part 8 Specifications, Engine: Fuel 1MZ-FE engine - Unleaded gasoline Research Octane Number 91 (Octane Rating 87) or higher.... For improved vehicle performance, the use of premium unleaded gasoline with a Research Octane Number of 96 (Octane Rating 91) or higher is recommended.

    I interpret "Research Octane" not to be the octane rating found on the pump. There is nothing that says 92 octane is "required". Nothing....

    Also in 97 there was a new body design and different horsepower rating on V6's. If I'm not mistaken, the "recommendation" for fuel on post 96 V6 models is premium.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I also have a different engine #. Plus the SE model and not sure if that had a different manual with it!

    What's important here is that people read their manual and go with that as there are differences.
  • Does anyone have a the V6 with 1MZ-FE engine owners manual ? I am getting close to the 60K service and want to know what are factory service and parts recommended ?
    My observation of the dealer recommendation is they exceed the factory recommendation and many items are not based on specific to the engine and is generalized and help increase their revenue.
    Thanks in advance.!
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    in 92 the 4 cyl was 5S-FE

    The 6 cyl was 3VZ-FE
    This per the official Toyota Repair Manual
  • soonasoona Posts: 3
    Bought a 98 Certified Camry with 22K miles, age 38 months. So 3Y/36K warranty is gone. Because of "knocking" sound on rough roads, I had it checked. Shop says replacing end caps on front struts for $775 will solve problem. Manager says all 97&98 Camrys have this problem and it's not a safety issue since there is no oil leak from shocks. He said Toyota made design changes in 99 to eliminate this problem. But they won't fix it free.

    Anyone have luck in getting Toyota HQ in Calif to help with this? Looks like a design defect worthy of a recall.
  • I purchased my 1999 Camry LE new in June of 1999. Car has only 7K on the odometer and I have noticed the following problems. 1. Surface rust on the steel wheel edges where the hubcaps snap onto the wheel. It is not the weights on the wheels. 2. Spots are forming on the lower inside along the bottom of the glass in front of my speedometer. This was replaced once under warranty no questions asked. It seems to be a design flaw since the spots are formed from the inside. 3. The black paint is chipping off the muffler. The car looks really tackey with the chipping black paint. Will Toyota repaint the muffler with heat adhering paint? Is this covered under warranty? 4. When driving the car over 65 mph, there is a slight shaking/vibration in the steering wheel. It seems that the vibration is coming up the steering wheel from the road. Toyota replaced the tires twice and now have Michelin. The shaking is noticeable at highway speeds over 65 mph. Tires have been balanced properly so I assume this is a design flaw in the suspension. Has anyone else had this problem? Any answers would be greatly appreciated. I plan on taking the car into the Toyota dealer in two weeks for the 7500K service.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'm not a technician, but I try to do as much of my own maintenance on my '97 Camry as possible. In response to your questions:
    1. The rust is nothing to worry about. When the wheel covers are removed/replaced, their clips will scrape some of the paint off the wheels, leading to the surface rust.

    2. I have no idea why the apparent condensation is forming on the plastic (not glass) speedometer cover. But if you have only 7000 miles (!) on a two-year-old car, that means it must sit a lot. Is it parked in a particularly damp location?

    3. I have heard of others complaining about the muffler paint flaking off. I doubt Toyota will do anything about it, as it's a cosmetic flaw, and as such is warranted for no more than a year. Someone mentioned using high-temperature paint to fix the problem.

    4. Vibration in the steering wheel at certain (usually higher) speeds usually means unbalanced front tires. I have access to a tire balancing machine at work and I know from using it that the precision of the machine can be seriously degraded by not mounting the tire/wheel properly on the machine, not applying the balancing weights in the proper locations, and not checking the balance again once the weights are in place. Also, tire balance can change as the miles accumulate (seems unlikely in your case with such low total miles).
  • Thank you for answering some of my questions. Some clarification is needed though.From the day the car was picked up, I noticed spots on the inside of the plastic glass in front of the speedometer. It was replaced once under warranty and now it has happened again. The car is parked in a dry garage so there is no dampness involved. I believe the area isn't properly sealed and moisture is slowly getting through from the air conditioning duct.The tires have been replaced twice by Toyota under warranty. The original General Tires were absolutely the worst causing a terrible vibration 65 mph or higher. Toyota felt they were defective tires. The dealership replaced them with Continental tires which showed no improvement. Toyota then replaced the Continental tires with MichelinMichelin.on was still there but to a lesser degree. I then took the car to a tire shop that sells MichelinMicheliny indicated that the tires were balanced improperly. All four tires were rebalanced and the problem disappeared. Now the problem is back again.The paint chipping off the muffler seems to be a common problem. I have seen many Toyota Camry's with the same problem. It just detracts from the car's appearance and makes the car look cheap.
  • Hi,

    My dear old Camry (170K miles) suffered an injury coming over a big steel plate in the road. A hole was punched in the transmission pan, and the pan needs replacement and of course new fluid.
    What actually happened is that after the bump, the car was running with odd sounds, like roaring and grinding in the engine. It managed to go 12 highway miles (at 60 mph) back to the airport, and restart after a one minute park. It sounded as though it was not finding the right gear as we accelerated awkwardly back onto the highway, and it was gunning and slowing down. We had to pull over and stop. After the engine was off for a few minutes, it started up fine, but wouldn't move out of park. That is, the gear shift would move but pressing the accelerator did nothing in any gear besides gun the motor. The garage has just called to tell me they will replace the pan and fluid for 200$, and then see what happens.

    Here's my dilemma: with such an old but pretty reliable car (head gasket leak, kicky transmission, but never breakdowns), is it worth it to spend 200$ on a repair that may not be all that's needed? We were probably going to get rid of the car in the next 8 months anyway, but if anyone here thinks the pan and fluid are all that are needed, then we are willing to go ahead and repair. The garage did not hazard a guess as to odds that the transmission will not need to be rebuilt or replaced.

    Thank you,

    p.s. I am posting also in other boards
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Posts: 130
    I have those too on a 94 Camry - anyway to remove them without pulling the inst panel off?
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I just changed the fluid by removing the drain plug with a 10mm allen wrench. It was a @#$% to loosen the plug. I used the hole at the end of a 10" adjustable wrench, and locked the end of the allen wrench into the hole to get more leverage. In time like this, having a 8-10" long 1.0" ID pipe comes handy.

    After draining the fluid, I put the drained fluid in a one gallon milk jug to see how much was drained. It appeard to be about 3 quarts. The owener's manual says "UP TO 3.7 quarts"

    After putting 3 quarts in it, I started the car, and drove around, and checked it again after transmission warmed up. The level still is good. So, do not follow the manual and put 3.7 quarts. You will OVERFILL it. The 3 quarts is the volume. This is the first car, I have ever seen with a drain plug for auto transmission pan.

    My next adventure will be changing differntial fluid.
  • I bet he don't even know where to look for a differential fluid plug. And where's the rest of the tranny fluid? Auto's hold more than three little quarts, don't they?
    If you have a 5speed and you put automatic transmission fluid in it...well, are in deep you know what.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If it's an automatic transaxle the rest of the fluid's in the torque converter. And a significant number of manual transmissions/transaxles specify automatic transmission fluid. Suggest you find out what you're talking about before posting.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Yes, drain and fills get only about half the fluid out. A flush will get it all. I can get about 4 quarts if I let is drain overnight. The differential is more difficult and one Toyota mechanic, swears that the differential and tranny fluid are shared reservoirs. I was in on a conference call with Toyota and this mechanic and the service manager on this neither side would agree. I did get the delaer to change my diff free because of it but now that I do my own I am leaning towards the mechanic's opinion. Fill plug is a little hard to find and you need a fluid pump to get the fluid in.
  • As one of the guys said; If you drain the fluid, and only 3 quarts comes out that means you can replace only 3 quarts at a time. As far as using Automatic transmission in manual transmission, this is not a big deal, some cars or trucks do use Dexron II or III; like my old 91 S-10 or my current 93 Ford Ranger. Some cars like Camry with manual use 75-90W gear oil, some like my old 94 Honda Accord use 10W-30 motor oil.

    Finding drain and fill plugs are not big deals items. On Camry, once you take the left wheel out you can see both of them.

    Fivespeed, give people some credit for what they know and do.
  • A Toyota manual transaxle usually contains Multipurpose gear oil. I think that the oil viscosity is around SAE 80W.

    I don't think this is the same as DEXRON, is it alcon? And you are right, some manuals may use transmission fluid. Camry is not one of them.

    Thanks for straighting this out rooba10. You get another 2.5 credits... Alcan still receives 1.25 credits... Jodar96 receives 3.0 credits for a good report... Juliette gets about 0.75 credit due to running car for too long when problem surfaced and not getting back to share the outcome of their recent experience...Armtdm gets the usual full compliment for a gracious amount of knowledge. There, credit where credit is due!

    Seeing how no one has answered Edwardh5's inquiry, I'll respond, "no". You might could drill a little 3/8" hole in the plastic and form a cleaning device using a copper wire and some clean cloth...just put some windex on the cloth and bend the wire to proper setting...I wouldn't do it to a car, but if it bothers you, then do it. Now how much credit is that worth? LOL
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Front wheel drive automatic trannies have a differential with fluid, and if the tranny has trans fluid the differential will also, it will not be gear oil. I have never seen an automatic transmission with a differential using gear oil, they have all been automatic trans. fluid!
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    With your last comments, I should say "Welcome BACK to civilized world."
  • Chalk another additional 0.5 credit for jodar96, the voice of reason. Good luck with your differential...
  • "Juliette gets about 0.75 credit due to running car for too long when problem surfaced and not getting back to share the outcome of their recent experience..."

    New transmission pan and fluid, running fine.
  • Always is a powerful and Narrow word. I like being a Jerk but not always, thankyou.

    I know that you are sore about having to cash out the $200. From what I'm reading from your one line communication on your car, the pan and fluid fixed the problem. And, I know that you remember, that that is exactly the recommendation I gave you when you asked your question some posts ago.

    You are a smart person to come and ask questions. No one should be ashamed to ask questions. I'm glad your car is fixed and we hope that it will give you another 170K miles of good service. Think it will? Peace Brother!

    you too Shiftright....where is my Over the Hill pass?? Pblevine is looking for one too. Do I have to do everything? Chop Chop!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Glad to hear your transaxle problem wasn't terminal. What was the repair cost? BTW, if you ignore morons they'll eventually tire and go away.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    The Service Adviser? The repair facility? The grease monkey?

    If the shoe fits, then wear it.

    Remember: "It takes one to know one".
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Re-read post #373, especially the first line. It was definitely NOT directed toward any service personnel nor the majority of posters here.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    The guy's not a moron, he's just a jerk.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Yep, by his own admission. Hope no-one else took it the wrong way. The good news is the lady with the trans problem was able to get it repaired.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    Does anyone know how to clean the inside of this tank. the previous owner did not flush the reservoir to prevent that dirt/oily/slimy film from forming.

    I tried hot soapy water, and baking soda/hot water. Neither one helped. The opening is too small to get anysize bottle brush in there.

    My next try will be using muratic acid! unless someone here has a better suggestion.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    When I had my valve stem seals and head gasket replaced under warranty (at 57K miles), the Toyota dealer topped off the coolant with ordinary green stuff. This was after I was asked if I had ever changed it. I told them I had, at 30,000 miles, replacing the original red Toyota antifreeze with orange Dex-Cool, which is supposed to last 4 years.

    Well, the mixture of Dex-Cool and plain old coolant dissolved the discoloration in the coolant tank. Of course the Dex-Cool was also essentially contaminated, so I had to change the antifreeze again.
  • flacaflaca Posts: 168
    was this on your 97 camry? I too need new valve stem seals and maybe head gasket replaced. Did the Toyota dealer hammer you about the oil changes. Did they just replace them without a problem? Let me know about your experience. Did they want to see your oil change receipts ? I want to be prepared when I go to the Toyota service with my smoking problem, but I don't want any hassles. I want to extend the lease until the new Camry comes out...but I need to get this fixed without spending a fortune. Thanks.
  • zandorzandor Posts: 67
    Don't even think about trying muratic acid if the thing's still on the car.
    I'll put it to you this way- my little brother used to make noise bombs by putting aluminum & muratic acid in a 2 liter pop bottle. The acid reacts with the metal & produces enough gas to make the bottle explode loudly. It also kills grass pretty well.

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Please see my post #263 in Engine Sludge for the whole story.
  • hrodhrod Posts: 1
    My car is a '96 V6 LE with 142k miles. I have been dealing with your problem in what seems to be its advanced stage. It began with the stickiness and has progressed to include belt squeal. The pump reservoir is full and the belt is tight. The problem occurs sporadically and only when first getting in the car and when the weather is cold. After driving several miles, steering returns to normal. A local mechanic felt sure that a worn nylon bushing in the rack was causing the binding. He said there was no replacing just the bushing, but that a new rack goes in fairly easily and costs about $300 plus labor. Prior to getting this advice, I had called the Toyota dealer for a price on a new pump. He said it would be $360. When I asked if he had one in stock, he said he doesn't stock parts with very low failure rates. He couldn't remember ever selling a Camry steering pump (no, I didn't ask how long he had worked there). Suggestive nonetheless. I am curious if you have figured out your problem since the time you posted your message. As a side note, I have had no other problems of any kind with the car and will probably get another one at 200k.

    #310 of 383 '94 Carry Power steering Problems by lake breeze Jan 29, 2001 (07:36 am)
    Am encountering my first real problem with my '94 Carry 4cycl.(Japan built) 94,000 i. Turning into my driveway the steering suddenly felt sticky. Hard to turn then it released, hard to turn, release, etc. This seemed to be the case turning left or right. No unusual sound was noticed. I'm afraid of course that the power steering pump my
    be failing. The fluid level looks to be o., although it's bearer the fill line than full.
    Question being, what should I expect to pay for a repair. I'm moderately handy(replaced the liters in a '74 Javelin) but I doubt this would be an easy/fast repair. Any thoughts? Thanks.
  • froto25froto25 Posts: 14
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 01V012000


    Manufacturer: TOYOTA MOTOR CO., LTD.

    Mfg. Campaign #: 01V012000

    Year: 1998

    Make: TOYOTA

    Model: CAMRY

    Potential Number of Units Affected: 53061

    Manufactured From: AUG 1997 To: NOV 2000

    Year of Recall: '01

    Type of Report: Vehicle


    Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles built at the Kentucky plant. The accelerator cable housing could be deformed at the cruise control actuator-to-throttle body connection. The accelerator inner-cable could wear away and eventually break.

    This could allow the throttle to return to idle or remain in its most recent position regardless of accelerator pedal operation, increasing the risk of a crash.

    Dealers will replace the accelerator cable. Owner notification is expected to begin during February 2001. 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. Also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

  • jim236jim236 Posts: 1
    As much as I like my Camry, I was bitten by the strut cap problem on my wife's '97 Camry. Both of the front caps broke at 40,000 miles and had to be replaced at a cost of $450. Toyota at least paid for the parts, which saved $150. But they should do a recall. My 95 Camry with 97,000 has been flawless. So overall I can't complain about Toyota products. I know of two others who have had the exact same problem. If it is under warranty, they will cover it. Out of warranty, they only pay for parts. And that is only if you ask.
  • froto25froto25 Posts: 14
    I looked in Walmart for a new battery and couldn't find one for Toyota. So, I went to Discount Auto Parts and they also didn't have one for Toyota. Fortunately, the guy at the back counter knew his stuff. He explained that the only reason that the batteries there wouldn't qualify for Toyotas was a missing built in green light that indicates how well the battery is charged. So, I bought a 72 month battery with better cold cranking amps (Part number: 24F-5) and installed it in my 98 v6 XLE Camry. Its been working great for 4 months thus far, and I saved a few bucks too. So, it really doesn't matter where you get your battery from if you don't care about the little green light charge indicator.
  • bjl5bjl5 Posts: 24
    Does anyone know if the strut problem has been corrected on the
  • bjl5bjl5 Posts: 24
    There is no EDIT button on my screen
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It only appears for 30 minutes after you post, then you lose the edit button.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I have a problem with my 96 dark green Camry. The paint shows every little scatches, and regular Kit or Nu Finish wax do not take it out. I have also tried Kit scratch removal, and 3M swirl and mark removal. I had a 95 Charcoal Geo Prism. I had heck of a time removing the scratch marks on that one too. Once they are there, they are impossible to remove. Maybe this is disadvantage of dark color paints. Any suggestions?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    White, Silver and Beige are the best for hiding dirt and scrathces. Dark colors look great when clean and waxed but are a terrible effort to keep looking good
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    Due to the chalkness of Nu Finish, I think it accentuates the scratch marks on our dark green '96 Camry. Carnaba seems to tone them down a tad better IMO. But it takes a long time to get rid of the Nu Finish residue...
  • pacific1pacific1 Posts: 2
    2001 Camry V6 LE:At about 1800 miles the check engine light came on and the interior of the car smelled like pancake syrup, the problem ended up being a defective charcoal filter related to the exhaust system which was replaced under warranty. After this date the smoothness of the engine has considerably decreased, before you could not tell that the car was on and now it is not running extremely rough, but you can feel the engine is not smooth… it feels like the car needs a tune up and I am only at about 2800 miles now. Anyone with similar problems or any advice?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Why are you waiting to get this back to the dealer, under warranty. Even if someone here gave you the correct advice so what, the dealer would still have to fix it, not something you would do yourself. So, get on the phone and get that appt. to being it in.
  • jai7jai7 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Carry (bought it new) and have about 18,000 miles on it. The steering wheel vibrates when I cross 50 MPH. Also there is a funny noise from inside - kind of humming sound and gets louver with speed. The noise has been increasing over time. I don't know if these 2 problems are related. The dealer says it could be due to tires not being rotated frequently enough, but I don't quite buy it.
    Any insight into these problems will be greatly appreciated.
  • I have a 90 Camry with the driver-side automatic seat belt sticking. It will not retract when I start the car. The seat belt warning light remains flashing. I have made sure the emergency release is not on. Any ideas? Thank you.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The motorized portion will probably have to be replaced. In the meantime, wear the lap belt -- it's better than being unrestrained completely.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    I don't know the solution. Was this a motorized track system that would automatically do something?

    The late 80's and early 90's Mazdas had a similar system. You may want to check with their owners also.

    Don't know if other vehicles possessed the motorized belt or not...
  • If you have General Tires on your Camry, that is the problem. Had the same problem from the day I bought my 1999 Camry LE new. They eventually replaced the Generals with Michelins which corrected the problem.
  • captainjcaptainj Posts: 31
    Gets 21.5. The way I drive, it should be 30+. Anyone have this problem, any ideas? Thanks!
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