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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • sonhongsonhong Posts: 1

    I have experienced the same problem on the new 2005 Toyota Camry. I am writing to let you know that unfortunately that problem led me to an accident. I had experienced the same sudden acceleration forward while braking many times.

    I have a long haul to work - about an hour each way so I definitely notice things about the car. I became dramatically concerned and the problem became more noticeable when it started happening while I was the lead (front/first) car braking at a stop light. This obviously would throw you into moving traffic running perpendicular towards your direction and it a threat to your safety.

    I talked to a serviceman at Toyota about it. He said it probably had something to do with the technology of the braking system but most likely it was just the gears downshifting and that it was nothing to be concerned about. I don't know much about cars so since he was a serviceman I thought it might just be that I needed to get used to the car more. After the accident, I realized how serious the problem really is.

    I was braking (my foot was definitely on the braking and pressing down) near an intersection when the sudden lurch caught me off guard. The lurch would have made me rear end the car in front of me. I don't remember really what happened next but I assumed I immediately moved the steering wheel right to avoid rear ending the car in front. The Camry now was headed into a concrete barrier so I reacted by moving the steering wheel left which made me hit the car that had previously been in front of me. It was extremely fortunate no one was hurt.

    The point though is that this is NOT a minor problem. Even if you are aware of the problem a sudden and unexpected acceleration may catch you off guard and cause you to react in a way that could put you and others in danger. Bottom line, that problem may instigate a response from you that may threaten your life and others around you.

    I felt like you should be made aware of the serious nature of the problem, since I have gone through it.

    -Son Hong
  • topwcmtopwcm Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Camry 4 cyl 5SFE engine AT, with a similar problem...idle seems low when the AC comes on. I have cleaned the throttle body, and replaced the made no difference. Sometimes the idle will increase when the AC comes on, but then slowly decreases, but at other times the idle does not increase when the AC cycles on. I notice this while waiting at signal lights. Any thoughts??
  • treed1treed1 Posts: 1
    I am responding to the message you wrote in 2002 about Toyota Camrys and the 'sludge' problem- I have a 23 y/o daughter who is a struggling actress in L.A., who is leasing a 2001 Camry at the present time. It is supposed to be under warranty, however, she was driving along in traffice this week when the car just 'went dead' and she had to swerve off to the side of the road. No emergency or hazard lights came on of any kind. She proceeded to try and restart the car and it did crank but, as she puts it, " It sounded like a bunch of tin cans grinding together". Not knowing any better she drove it to the next exit and pulled into a Firestone Center where she was told, " This engine is gone, it looks like it is out of oil- when's the last time you added oil?" She couldn't remember the date but suggested it had been longer than usual, which in her case would have been 5-6 months. She then had it towed to the nearest Toyota dealer, who again popped open the hood and told her she had obviously not added/changed oil as needed and she would now need to replace the engine at a cost of $7,000. The warranty would not be good in this case as they felt this was neglect on her part.

    Myself, being a Toyota owner for many years, just found the whole thing a little "off"-
    # 1, why did no oil light ever come on, even when the engine was 'burning up'?
    #2 I happen to have gone over the 3-4 month time period many times with my cars and have never had my engine burn up from neglect.
    Both of my daughters have always been good about getting their oil changed in a reasonable time period, in fact they are better at it than I am for the most part. So I couldn't help but wonder why this Toyota had this much damage from one late oil change. That's when I did a little searching on the internet for any related info, and came across your article and the fact that this almost identical experience had occurred to so many Toyota owners. However ,when my daughter brought this information to the attention of the different mechanics she spoke with to ask if this could be the case, they didn't seem to even consider this as an option- Are they just uninformed or are we making incorrect assumptions on our part? What steps should she take to be sure this is not what has happened to her Camry- It is a 2.2 4 cyl engine, is this one of the ones that had this problem? I this really is a problem of 'neglect' she will take responsibility, but will take it to one of the mechanics who gave her an estimate closer to $2500 for repairs. Unfortunately, neither she or I have that money to spare right now. She did acquire the receipt for her last oil change to prove she had had it done this year. She has put about 6500 miles on the car since that time. If Toyota has repaired other cars in the past with similar problem, we want to ask them to cover this problem as well. Can you advise us? Thanks
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Sorry, not the person you are requesting a response from, but I am familiar with the sludge issues. Your Camry is covered under an 8 year, unlimited mileage policy for a free engine repair should it succumb to sludge. To get this repair done by Toyota, you must prove that you (or your daughter) have performed "reasonable maintenance". I have heard that Toyota considers proof (receipts) of at least one oil change per year as reasonable. The policy is supposed to cover the repair plus incidental costs (such as rental car, tow truck) you have incurred as a result of this problem. I suggest you call the Toyota customer service number that is in your manual and say that you want this vehicle covered under Toyota's Customer Support Program for Engine Sludge. You may also want to try an internet search for Toyota engine sludge to get more background and documentation on this policy.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The 2.2-liter 4-cylinder was indeed affected by the sludge problem, and the 8-year, unlimited mileage warranty was added by Toyota to cover the problem.

    However, it sounds as though your daughter's car may have run out of oil, maybe due to a leak (such as might occur with an improperly installed oil filter). If the car in fact ran out of oil, it would NOT be covered by the sludge warranty.

    I have no explanation as to why the oil light didn't come on, but maybe she just didn't notice it due to the having to get the car off the highway quickly when the engine died.

    Not to be overly pedantic, but you should have your daughters actually pull the dipstick to check the oil level. I personally check mine once a week.

    This is especially critical immediately after the oil is changed, as the mechanic may not have installed the filter properly, or in rare cases, forgot to add new oil. I personally wouldn't drive away from the repair shop without checking first for leaks on the ground and proper oil level on the dipstick.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,236
    I second the checking oil each week or more, e.g., whenever you get gas. I've heard too many horror stories. The other is what a radio talk show mechanic said about his cars...

    He explained to his wife and children that the red light (or orange) that says check engine means stop the car NOW. Turn the key off and coast. It doesn't mean stop when it's convenient at the next exit. He has seen too many overheated engines ruined by driving those last blocks or miles home so it would be "convenient."

    Your daughter has learned a hard lesson. The oil level hadn't been checked in 4-6 months!!!!??? Probably just normal use of oil by the engine since it wasn't being changed often and was using oil past clogged rings, etc. The car ran out of oil.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • psupaulpsupaul Posts: 3
    I had a check engine light and when scanned it said to replace the o2 sensor. Anyone know how hard this is with a 97 Camry? What symptoms would it make when driving the car?


  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    If it's a 4-cylinder, it's theoretically very easy to change it. The only problem is that it may be stuck on so tight that you need the proverbial blowtorch to get it off. There likely would be no symptoms, just your car would probably fail an emissions test.

    If you do manage to get off the old unit, apply a thin film of anti-seize compound on the threads of the new unit. This will make it much easier to remove in the future. Anti-seize compound should be available at any auto parts store. Advance Auto sells it in tiny foil containers that are suitable for one-time only use, so you don't have to buy a large tube of the stuff.
  • mdgurl23mdgurl23 Posts: 3
    Thanks for all of your help, but one more question: is replacing the thermostat generally expensive?? I dont know too much about cars. :) :)
  • I loved my SLE V6 for the first 80K "freeway miles" since I bought it four years ago, and it's been dealer-serviced its entire life, with maintenance schedules followed rigorously.

    In the last 2K miles, it first had a worn power steering hose for $560 P+L, and now the engine service light has led to a Dx ($70) of a "bad computer" ($1250 part).

    These are the first non-routine items in this car's history, so I'd appreciate hearing from other drivers of high-mileage V6's if there's a threshold where reliability has cratered for you. My wife would like to know, too. She drives a '99 Sienna V6 @ 92K miles.

    Thanks in advance.
  • skyholderskyholder Posts: 6
    The center console double cup holder has broken free in the front. Befor the whole thing snaps I wanted to know how to repair it? Is there a good adheasive? Do I need to take the entire center console apart, G-d forbid?

    Great site you have here.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I had a check engine light and when scanned it said to replace the o2 sensor.

    No, it didn't. There hasn't been an engine control computer or scan tool made yet that can detect a defective O2 sensor. What it did was give a diagnostic trouble code relating to an O2 sensor circuit. Post the code and we can go from there. Code #'s P0130 through P0167 all relate to O2 sensor circuits, but none say to replace the sensor. It could be a defective sensor, but could also be a wiring connector problem or, more likely, the sensor providing the data it's supposed to due to an engine driveability problem. If that's the case, proper diagnosis is required rather than throwing parts at it. Read the DTC descriptions here:
  • italia79italia79 Posts: 2
    I know this is a little off topic but I'm wondering if someone can help me. I drive a stick-shift, Volkswagen Golf and I've noticed that the stick-shift is noisy each time I shift. I can no longer shift silently, now I hear sort of a squeaking noise. I don't know if this is a minor issue or if it could be attributed to the clutch or transmission?? I have no trouble shifting, but the noise over the past couple months worries me. Does anyone have any ideas.... Thanks.
  • amihariaamiharia Posts: 1
    I am having the exact same problem on my 1995 Camry V6 LE. My commute is only 3 miles, so usually this does not happen. What I have noticed is onlly after driving for about 15-20 miles, when I get off of the highway and brake, the RPM increases dramatically (upto 4000) and the car tends to accelerate forward. I have to drive with the brakes pressed hard from that point on. I also pulled on the side and put the car in parking gear (with no foot on the pendal) and the rpm was still very high. If I shut the engine off and start again immediately the rpm still stays high at 4000 rpm. However if I leave the car parked for about half hour and then restart then the problem goes away.

    I almost missed an accident because of this too. I told this problem to my mechanic (not the dealer) and he could find nothing wrong with the car. I was wondering if any of you got the problem correctly diagnosed and fixed it?

    btw, the AC on my car is not even working, so that is not an issue.
  • jbuntjbunt Posts: 1
    The AC stopped blowing cold several days ago, even though the compressor kicked on and off without a problem. Occasionally, while it is running it will get cold for a while and stop. When another car I had, Nissan, did the same thing, I fixed it by tapping on the heat exchanger under the dash-board while trying to run the AC. The problem in that case was that the valve would get stuck, and by repeatedly doing this for a while, it eventually started working normally and fine again. I cannot seem to find the heat exchanger though, so I cannot do the same thing. Anyone know if this could be the same problem, and can tell me how to get to the heat exchanger?
  • hrs2hrs2 Posts: 3
    Thermostat about $15
  • a58a58 Posts: 15
    Well, just hit 5000 miles and time for first service. First, let me start by saying I love this car. Having 3 problems though and waiting to see the outcome. Dealer will need a couple of days to resolve so I will post again when I get the car back.

    1. The top will not close correctly. The passenger side is out of alignment and will not lock unless I go outside the car and force it too.

    2. The rubber striping around the front windshield comes off.

    3. the paint sealant form that Toyota put on is coming off the front hood. i live in Tampa which gets fairly hot but the car is garaged both at home and work so the sun does not beat down on it too often.

    While the car is in the shop, I am getting the XM radio installed. has anyone done this and if so, are you happy with the results?
  • xiongwjxiongwj Posts: 1
    Does anyone have similar problem?

    The garage says the computer is not ready for the inspection, so it failed to the inspection. They claim that the battery may be disconnected in 2 weeks, so the data in computer is lost. It is weird because the car was never has problem or disconnect in one year. What could cause the problem with inspection for " computer not ready"?

    Thanks in advance.
  • r8dojocr8dojoc Posts: 1
    I have a 96 toyota camry. has 170,000 plus on it. I am wanting to change the tranny oil myself. is there a filter inside the pan and any helpful tips would be great
  • suzannes1suzannes1 Posts: 11
    Has anyone had trouble with the floor carpeting? Hard to describe.. on the floor of the drivers seat to the right, where the plastic runs down, and continues to the side of the drivers seat my carpeting is buckling out?? Almost as if the carpeting was cut to short. Curious to hear if this has happened to anyone else.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    wondering have you done something like this before?
    If not, I suggest you take it to the shop instead.
    It's a messy job even it's not a difficult job (do-it-yourself type)

    I think it worth paying someone to have the oil change because that's how I feel after working on it back in May (it's not a camry but the work is similiar)
  • jdoug6jdoug6 Posts: 2
    My 1996 Camry LE 4 cyl. passed the CA smog test on 6/1/05. Approximately two weeks ago, the engine light came on indicating a catalytic converter problem. A mechanic has insisted that I need to replace both O2 sensors, as well as the converter.

    You have stated that O2 sensors can be replaced by someone other than a mechanic. Also, how can I be sure that I actually need to replace the converter?

  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    Our '96 RAV just needed a new one. We had it done at Midas for about the same price Toyota wanted for just the part...AND got a 5 year warranty!
  • msloumslou Posts: 1
    the alarm goes off..when i use the remote to open the door and it also happens when i use the key.. i have shut the door with out locking it and it locked up its self. this doesn't happen all the time.the car has the power locks .the alarm went off with windows down and up and no one was around the car.. the alarm has cut off before i can get to this a car battery issue or battery in remote control or a sensor.. thanks for any help..
  • kubero3kubero3 Posts: 1
    Have 91 Camry with about 100k miles. Seems like oil burns up and have to add oil periodically before next oil change. Oil changes are every 3k with Castrol High Mileage. Does not leak. Any suggestions?
  • I have 1997 Totyota Camry. The check engine light came on yesterday. I drove 14 mile to work and now the light is blinking and engine does not have full power. It feel like it going to stop. I checked the gas cap and it fine. Car has 173 K mile. Is there anything that I can replace my self. I know some about car but don't have tester. Thank you for your help
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    A flashing check engine light indicates a fault, usually a misfire, which if not corrected can damage the catalytic converter. You'll have to get the stored diagnostic trouble codes retrieved first so you know which circuit/system is affected. AutoZone will do it no charge.
  • larrymitlarrymit Posts: 80
    I wonder if everyone reporting hesitation problems with their Camry V6 has tried using the recommended premium gas: While my hesitation hasn't been severe, I noticed that it seemed to disappear after filling up with premium.

    Perhaps the hesitation is caused by the retarded spark the engine has to have to burn low octane gas?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    How much oil is added and at what mileage is oil added before the 3k miles? I use half quart of oil between 3k oil changes on my 89 Camry 4cyl with 222k miles, mostly due to minor leaks.
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