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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The trunk support is made of something like masonite, not recycled cardboard. It's no different from that used in the '97, '04, and '05 Camrys, all of which I have had. Never had a problem.

    One key difference though is the '07 uses a temporary spare, so there could be more of a gap between the tire and the support. I'll have to check this out on an '07 my employer recently bought.
  • I recently purchased a used 99 Camry with after market alloy wheels. When I took it to a shop to correct vibrations above 60mph by aligning the mechnic showed me that the wheels (all 4) were out. :surprise: That is they are not completely circular which per him is the cause of the vibrations. I am guessing from what he showed me hes correct ! :sick:

    As I am not the buyer of the wheels I am not sure what size they are ! The tires show a size of P235/40R18. Does it mean the rims are 18 inch. The max size I could find were 17" !!!

    Is this wheel/tire size okay for a 1999 Camry CE. I read the standard size for Camry is P195/70R14. What are my choices to fix this. Repair the wheels or buy a new set. Is going for a complete set of 14" wheels and tyres recommended. Would fixing the wheels or buying new 17/18" cause wear on the car !!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You cannot fix alloy wheels (at least it's generally not recommended). Yes those are 18 wheels and absurdly low-profile tires for this car. Just pitch them (or maybe someone will buy the tires if they're in decent condition).

    Personally, I'd strongly recommend buying a new set of 14-inch steel wheels for the car and the proper size tires, which you've identified correctly. Wheels shouldn't be bought used, unless you know what kind of use/abuse they've been subjected to!

    If you must have alloys, they will cost more (probably a lot more), but to me it seems overkill for a 7-year-old base model Camry.
  • teamharveyteamharvey Posts: 2
    8mm bolts..thanks !
  • it all depends on how much you want to spend. I'd recommend going to and searching for a set of 4 wheels and tires. Then take the price that they quote you for, and go to a tire shop in your area such as discount tires, and have them price match. You could just order on line, but local shops will likely include lifetime rotate and balance. Thats what I did. I went from 14 to 16" wheels on my 93 for 1K installed.
  • Thanks.
    What do you think is a good place to get wheels. Many options for tyres. But confused on where to get OEM wheels without getting ripped.
  • i am on a budget. as is the car is old. dont want to spend big bucks on it. looking for the OEM 14" wheel online, not much luck.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    You have two options for 14" OEM wheels:

    1) a dealer - the expensive, but safest option

    2) an auto-recycler (aka, "junkyard") - make 'em put the wheel on a spindle so you can judge whether they rotate true. After you leave the premises with used wheels, they're generally YOURS unless you make arrangements beforehand that they can be returned if the people who mount and balance the tires determines that the rim(s) is/are unuseable.

    (From your description of the condition of the alloy rims that were on the car, I get the impression that some pock-faced teenie-weenie with a compensation attitude jumped a curb while street racing or otherwise driving erratically and bent the rims out of true. If the tires on that car were involved in my hypothetical account, there's a good chance there's tread belt damage to them, too. As far as cast alloy rims are concerned, metal fatigue is the major concern. Once bent out of true, the strength is compromised. When bent back true (if it's even possible), the strength is additionally compromised. Is it really worth being penny-wise and pound-foolish where the lives of you and your passengers are concerned?)
  • There's always ebay....
  • I have a 1998 Camry with about 68k original miles on a 2.2L 4-cyl engine. My wife was driving and suddenly the car simply died. Towed it to a mechanic and he told us the timing belt broke.

    My mechanical skills are slightly above "remove/replace alternator". I tackled a timing belt on a Chrysler minivan V-6 before - but it was not something I enjoyed! However, in the interests of saving a few hundred dollars, I can suffer some skinned knuckles.

    Is a timing belt on this Camry engine something I might consider doing myself? Or is it one of those jobs that's worth every penny to have a mechanic perform?

  • checked the prices for a 14" standard (steel) wheels + 4 tyres and "basic" 8X18" alloy rims. They cost about the same.
    the tyres on the car are still good. should last for 20k. so want to use them. alloy wheels certainly do add value to the car when selling, and i do intend to sell it in 1-2 yrs.
    the real question is would continuing on 8X18 wheels would cause any damage/wear to other parts of the car.. most importantly the engine and transmission.

    i used the formulas on and figured that these wheels+tyres (P235/40R18) add about 2.5% to the rolling radius than the originals (P195/70R14).
  • davise1davise1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 LE (150,000 miles) with the same problem wen braking I notice a streching sound it seems like its coming fron the drviers side but it happens randomly.
    I haven't go the rotors replaced since butying it new but they do look glazed. I have just started to notice the sound recently. Is there a solution?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    An 18-inch wheel size is well above what came with the car. I wouldn't even consider using them. The car will ride as hard as a rock, and those "rim protector" tires would do little to actually protect your alloys from curb damage. The most you should go is 16 inches, and if I were you, I'd max out at 15 inches.

    Who is the maker of these "basic" alloys? Sounds like too low a price to be true. (Or if that price is correct, then I'd question the quality.)
  • Found the price here :

    I am trying to get 14/15" wheels from pep boys. Tires installed from Costco for reasonable price. But Costco refuses to install any 15" tires for 99 Camry. They will install only the standard i.e. 195/70R14. This works cost effective as well.
    What would I miss not going for something like 205/60R15 but going for the base. Whats the correct base rim size for 99 Camry. Is it 14 X 5.5 or 14 X 6 !! Have to get exact rims to go for tires from Costco.
    I know I am being stingy, but just dont have much to spend on this. Would just like to get the car into good driving shape.

    210delray - thanks you have been very helpful.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Thanks, glad to be of assistance.

    The correct wheel size for your car is 14 x 5.5 inches. I can understand Costco not wanting to install nonstandard tires; there could be liability issues.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "There's always ebay..."

    Oh, yeah - that'd be a really safe bet for something lives depend on...
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Believe it or not, I actually sold 2 used Camry wheels on eBay. But mine were really in good shape. Still, I'd never buy safety-critical items on eBay myself, unless they were new parts.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I have had some good eBay experiences. I guess what I'm saying is that with something as mission critical as vehicle wheels, I'd want to be able to personally inspect before plopping money down. Money can be replaced. Yours truly can't. (not that anyone here would consider that much of a loss...)
  • I would agree, that you wouldn't want to buy used wheels off ebay, but new wheels or even some that are dealer take offs should be okay. Like I said, i got mine from discount tires, not ebay. Though I considered some oem wheels from ebay, I still didn't want to take the risk. If you do go with ebay, just be careful and make sure you ask a lot of question.

    what ever you decide, just remember that the price on the sticker isn't the only price you can get. Always ask for a lower price, and if the sale associate can't do it, ask for his manager and then ask him. They need your business, not the other way around.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I agree totally; that's why I'd never buy a car on eBay without an inspection first. So Western cars are out, since I live in VA.
  • japendle84japendle84 Posts: 1
    Have a 2001 Camry LE w/daytime running lights. At night sometimes headlamps cut on at dusk, sometimes they dont. Is there a faulty dusk sensor or something? Its weird....I start the car at night and DRLs come on for about a minute then all the other lights come on after....Why dont they all just come on instead of being delayed for some reason?
  • toycam95toycam95 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Camry. The engine is running fine on and off no problem but when I turned it on today none of the dash works and the radio or air conditioning doesn't work..Do we know what could be causing this? I was told the main fuses sre fine, but not sure. Does anyone know of anything else it could be???
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The short answer: No. I've replaced an alternator once before (Mercury Sable), and it doesn't compare to changing out a timing belt. I paid a co-worker to do the job on my former '97 Camry after hours (he was a former Toyota tech), and there's a LOT involved, including removing the top engine mount.

    He did a nice methodical job (he let me watch), and it cost me a lot less than the dealer or independent shop.
  • spanishboyspanishboy Posts: 4
    I thought I was the only one with this problem into I ran into all these forums on this problem. I have over 60,000 miles on my 2004 camry and I took my car to the dealer because of the noise I was hearing and feeling from my steering wheel. They told me that I needed to replace the steering shaft /intermediate shaft and that it would cost approx. 465 dollars. It is when I went ot price these shaft on the web that I discovered all these forums on this problem and also found out that there is a Technical Service Bulletin (ST002R-04 Feb. 05)on this problem and that there is a shaft made to correct this problem. I went back to the dealer about this and was told me that my car was out of warranty and that if Toyota wanted to something about it they then would fix it. I called Toyota Customer Service and they contacted the dealer. The Service Manager contacted me and I got the same old story that my car was out of warranty. That if it had 39000 miles they would probably would have fixed it. He did offer me a good will gesture of 15% off the cost. My comment to him was that this was a known problem and I could not understand why Toyota would not fix it since they knew about this problem. I told someone I knew who bought their car about the same time I did andhe say that he was starting to hear the same noise. He had a little over 36,000. He took it to the dealer and they fixed it at no cost. I wrote the President of Toyota North America but as yet have had no reply. I also filed a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. They told me that there was also a complaint on the shaft and steering gear.
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 689
    I knew there was a good reason to buy the 7/100,000/0 deductible.

    It covers steering columns.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    15% off is something you'd get going on-line and looking for a service "coupon".

    why not try another dealership?

    i think this issue affects more than the camry...

    call toyota corporate.
  • r3gisr3gis Posts: 1
    Reply to #231

    The problem is probably in your distributer... I had the same problem in my 92 that now has 158K plus and I've had more trouble with this car than anyother car I've ever owned... I'm 77 years old so you can imagine how many cars I've had...
  • ninjaneerninjaneer Posts: 4
    I need to locate where on the auto transmission is the neutral safety switch. Both reverse (backup) lamps will not light up and other postings indicate that this might be the cause of the problem. Both lamps have tested good with an ohm meter and the fuse associated with the reverse lamps must be good as this fuse also controls other functions that are operating normally.

    Thanks for your assistance and information!
  • ninjaneerninjaneer Posts: 4
    I was able to solve my problem with the backup lamps from a post in another forum. Here is the information for this common failure:

    The first place I look for on this problem is the wiring that is attached to the drivers side trunk hinge. Open the trunk and look for a corrugated cover that runs along the square tube that supports the trunk lid. follow it toward the front of the car where it goes behind the hard felt trunk liner. Right where it goes behind this felt the wires break. repair the broken wires and you'll get your backup lights back.

    I hope this information helps others that have this problem.
  • zollman1zollman1 Posts: 1
    Has anyone experienced problems with the paint on their front bumper? My 1 month old, light silver XLE has had two yellowish/orange spots appear in this area. The first was about a 1/4 inch, circular area, flush with the surface but could not be removed with tar & bug remover, wax/cleaner, or rubbing compound (which messed up the clearcoat). My efforts eventually led to a paint chip which didn't touch up too well. The second spot just appeared and is more like a couple whispy lines, approx. 1/2 inch in length. They appear to be something bleeding through the paint. At first I thought it might be from some smashed bugs or the car wash, but my white 2004 Sequoia has similar exposures with no spots. Any ideas?
  • ninjaneerninjaneer Posts: 4
    Now that I have repaired the broken wiring to the backup lamps I now have to solve this next problem for the backup lamps to activate consistently:

    How do you get consistent PRNDL dash indicator lights on a 95 Camry when you have to jiggle the transmission selector to get the PRNDL indicators to light up? Is it an adjustment or do I need to R&R a part?
  • ninjaneerninjaneer Posts: 4
    Can you replace a power antenna on a 95 Camry with a manually fixed rod antenna? Any recommendations for an aftermarket antenna would be appreciated, but a fixed rod type would be preferred!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You shouldn't have used rubbing compound or gotten too aggressive in trying to remove the spot. I'd leave the small lines alone. If the problems worsen, I'd recommend going back to the dealer, since obviously the car is still under warranty.

    Nothing should be "bleeding through," but do you live in area subject to industrial particulate fallout?
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    I have an 02 Cary bought new. At 2 years old and 20K miles they replaced (under warranty) the engine drive belt. They said it was glazed. I had noticed it squeeling when wet. Now, 2 years later and 20K later I had some squeeling when wet again. I am not sure if it is the same belt. I see two in there. The one they replaced was: 160251 .5 T1 91 T2 13...whatever that means. I can likely assertain whether the top or bottom belt is the culprit. I sprayed Prestone belt dressing on and the noise went away. However, after sitting for a day I now have belt chatter far worse than the squeeling. Is it safe to drive? Should I replace the belt. Will the chatter go away when the dressing burns off or something? If it is the same belt should I even bother with Toyota...I mean a belt should last longer than 20K right---am I better off with a non-oem part? Any idea what it would cost at a dealer? If its the other belt, should it wear out after 4 years and 40K...THANK!
  • gheimurgheimur Posts: 88
    I have fords and replace the belt at 70k, just so they don't break, even though they look and run fine, I know that belt dressing is not to be used on the belts in late model cars. (serpentine type). Call up a firestone place
    or repair place and they'll give u a quote on the cost,
    so will the dealer. good luck
  • sylvebsylveb Posts: 5
    I have a 99 Camry LE with 97K miles on it. I have a problem starting the car. Everytime I leave it for a few days the entire car is dead (no alarm system, power anything). This leads me to think it is a battery problem. However, I have had the battery replaced under warranty with a brand new battery and I still have this same issue. I have one of those battery starter units that can be used to jump start the car without connecting to another car. As soon as I connect it with the battery, the car comes back to life (alarm rings, car can start).

    I am hoping I went with a bad car battery manufacturer and that there is nothing more seriously wrong with the car. Any ideas? Has this happened to anyone?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Might be a failing alternator. Most autoparts stores will test it in car free.
  • sylvebsylveb Posts: 5
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Alternator works fine, my dad had it tested (he knows way more about cars than I do). He's really not sure what it is, and of course, neither do I :)

    Any other possible ideas why this is happening?
  • santosh4santosh4 Posts: 1
    I am kind of holding off water pump replacement to my 2001 Camry LE due to repair costabout 500-600.

    It was first brought to my notice by my dealer's mechanic at 60k maintainace. But when I asked whether it is ok to do it later, I was told that I can wait till couple of oil changes. Later at 65k miles repair 2 months bACK, the mechanic again brought it to my notice. When I again showed reluctance to do repair, he suggested keep eye on heat indicator to avoid overheating.

    Now I am scared that I ignored the problem for too long. Should I have cheked the coolant/water level periodically? Should I take it immidiately to repair shop?

    I haven;t noticed anything drastic in the car, but I am not an expert.

    Your advice will be much appreciated. Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If you have had the battery replaced with a new one, and the alternator has been tested and is good, then it must be that something electrical is on and drawing down the battery. The easiest way to isolate this, is to disconnect one terminal off the battery, and put in a meter to measure the current. Undoubtedly you will see current being drawn with the car off. Start disconnecting all of the fuses, and at some point you should see the current draw drop. Something on that fuse circuit is the culprit.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    There are two life fluids in your car's engine: motor oil and coolant. If you run seriously low on either, you risk major engine damage. If you're unwilling/unable to properly deal the water pump leak at this time, keep a close tab on the coolant level at the fill cap (not the overflow recovery bottle) and top up with 50/50 Toyota antifreeze. Given the miles on your car's engine, it's probably about ready for a timing belt swap, too. (If this part lets go in operation, you roll to a stop. Period. If you're lucky enough to have a non-interference engine, there's no damage other than the necessity to replace the timing belt.) Since the engine's front covers have to be removed for access to the water pump or the timing belt, adding another $60.00 or $70.00 for the price of a new timing belt at the same time would make sense. Why chance paying the full labor charge all over again within 10,000 or 20,000 miles? You can probably save money by having an independent shop do the water pump and timing belt. Look for an "ASE" sign that signifies the shop's technicians undergo ongoing training and certification to stay abreast of current technology. It's just about a given that dealership service will be at the high end for repair costs. I limit my dealership service department exposure strictly to warranty repairs.
  • livindollivindol Posts: 1
    my front cupholder is broken...the piece that folds down in the holder broke off...any ideas on where i can get a new piece?

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I agree with everything you said. The Camry's 4-cylinder engine of that era is the non-interference type.

    One thing I would add is to remove the coolant fill cap only when the engine is cold (like first thing in the morning). This is to prevent getting scalded by hot fluid under pressure.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You really have only 3 choices: to order the part from the dealer and install it yourself, or have the dealer install it. The third option is to find it in a salvage yard. (I wouldn't know how to remove it, however, without breaking it.)

    I doubt you'll find this item on eBay.
  • speed6speed6 Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 Camry and lately on long trips I am getting heat inside the car near the accelerator pedal. After a while car doesn't go beyond certain speed (60 mph) despite pushing the accelerator pedal all the way down. Looks like it is stuck on cruise control. The temperature gage shows no abnormality. I have showed it to dealer but they couldn't replicate it. Appreciate any help I can get.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Just a thought -- hard to diagnose problems over the Internet, but I'm wondering if your catalytic converter (in the exhaust system) might be clogged. That might explain the heat and the lack of acceleration.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    yes, a clogged cat is a good possibility.

    i once saw a vehicle (not a camry) going down the highway with the exhaust pipe leading to the muffler glowing hot red. i imagine some part of the cat liberated and moved down the pipe.
  • ramzey28ramzey28 Posts: 130
    Does this relate only to the 6 speed auto v6 or also the 4cyl auto 5 speed (which was a carryover)?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Only the 6-speed in the V6 model.
  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    Have your alternator checked under load you might have a schrader diode or two that could be weak causing the alternator not to put out full power. You can also put a volt meter between the negative cable and negative battery post to see if you are drawing power from the battery while the key is not turned on. If you only drive a short distance daily this will not charge up the battery it takes about two hours of driving to fully charge a battery. You can possible buy a small battery charger and charge the battery over the weekend. I've found that a lot of people run all over town starting the car several times and only drive a mile or two this will also drag down the battery if so take the car on a good 1-2 hour run to fully charge the battery. :sick:
This discussion has been closed.