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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • My 2003 Camry also collected water on the driver's side - last year. A kind and helpful Toyota dealer in Shamokin Dam, PA, blew air into the drain line, and about a gallon of water flowed out. This year, almost to the day, a similar problem showed up - water in the foam pad, but under the passenger's side, front and back.

    A different dealer checked the hose and it was clear. Some water does drain out from the AC condenser drainage hose to the street. but I can still hear water sloshing around under the dash during braking/acceleration or turns, and the under carpet foam doesn't dry out. The sloshing sound is intermittent.

    I haven't found the right solution yet.
  • Well, less than two weeks has passed since the dealer "fixed" the shifter problem. Now it's back. I can move the shifter from park all the way down with the engine off and my foot not on the brake, and without pushing in the button on the shifter. The Toyota CSR in Torrance said that what I described earllier - my car coming out of gear and rolling down our drive - is "not possible." I feel as though I'm having to fight with them to get my car repaired. The CSR claimed he had never heard of this hapening in 23 yrs. When I mentioned that past Camrys were recalled for this problem, he became short with me. Is this attitude normal? Do you think it's possible that the car could go out of gear while I'm driving it? I'm pretty concerned. Should I have the dealer come and pick it up instead of driving it there, which is about 45 minutes away. I left a msg for the CSR to call me pronto this morning but haven't heard back yet. :(
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It's really only the nap on the carpeting that causes the dirty look. Not a big deal, IMHO. I don't think Camry mats are different from other cars' carpeted mats.

    If they do get dirty, they're easy to clean by thoroughly hosing them out with water and scrubbing (not too hard) with ordinary dishwashing (or carwash) detergent using a plastic-bristled brush. Then rinse thoroughly and hang them as vertically as possible in hot sun, and they will dry in a matter of hours. I don't advise doing this in the cooler months, as they may not dry out completely for a LONG time.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Do not put up with any rudeness! That's a standard putoff line, "Golly, I've never heard of that before!" I checked the recall of which I'm aware, because I had a '97 Camry. Turns out it's not quite the same problem, but similar.

    Check out: and plug the number 97V213000 into the "quick search" slot.

    Make : TOYOTA Model : CAMRY Year : 1997
    Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 97V213000 Mfg's Report Date : NOV 19, 1997
    Potential Number Of Units Affected : 289,326

    The problem was that the ignition key could be removed when the transmission was not in Park. If the parking brake was not applied, then the car could roll if on an incline. It turned out my car was not involved in the recall because only Kentucky-built Camrys were affected (mine was built in Japan).

    I'd march right back to the dealer and show them your problem. If necessary, try to do the same thing on ANOTHER Camry to show them it doesn't occur, in case their skulls are too thick!

    You can drive the car safely; it's not going to change gears on its own (other than normal upshifting or downshifting). You still have to move the lever manually to shift into neutral, reverse, or Park.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    more than likely, the drainline is either re-clogging, isn't exiting the firewall properly, or is crimping. for example, large debris (leaves or pine needles) may clear or partially clear the drain, but as you make a turn, re-clog the line.

    you need to have it checked again, perhaps more thoroughly by someone else.
  • Many thanks to all who responded to my ticking sound plea for help. I removed the plastic hub cap and the wheel. After the hub cap was put back on the ticking stopped.

    But, with the wheel off the rotors were visable. My front right rotor had scratches on it. Not concentric circles like a worn brake pad may make. But, scratches across the rotor which are not straight marks. A shop tech suggested that I replace the caliphers because the calipher may be hanging up. Does this make sense? Could the ticking noise be related to the rotor scratch since both were right front wheel related? Thanks in advance for your help.
  • HI All, my 98 camry just couldnt be started today after I parked and pumped some gas. After a nice guy helped me jump start it, I made it to my apartment...and I kept it running while I was unloading stuffes from the trunk. However, it happened the engine went off on its own. After that, I couldnt start it again. Later, I got it jump started again and ran it for at least half hour on highway, but same thing happened after I turned of the engine---I CANT START it again. Please , please help me!!! Should I get my battery replaced or it is the problem of the alternator?? Thank you.
  • tdbtdb Posts: 1
    My 95 Camry has an ignition miss when started. as it warms up it will quit after 5 minutes or so and won't start back up till it cools off. I've had it at the toyota dealer. and they failed to properly diagnose the problem. The O2 sensor, Plugs, wires and distributor cap are new as well as the PCV. Any ideas.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    if you can get the vehicle over to an autozone or advanceauto or one of those automotive parts store chains, i think most have a tester which they can use to load the battery down and also check the alternator and determine if one or both is failing to perform as they should.

    you should know batterys don't last forever - depending upon climate, 4 years is pretty darn good (in your case, if you are the original owner and never replaced the battery before, it would be 7yrs of use which i think most would find to be excellent).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well, good to know the ticking really was caused by a wheel cover.

    How deep are the scratches on the brake rotor? I would think a caliper hanging up would make a scraping or grinding noise. When you hit the brakes hard on a straight road, does the car pull to one side?

    If you have any symptoms like these and the scratches are deep, I'd get a second opinion from another shop. If the scratches are minor and there are no other symptoms, I wouldn't worry about it.
  • Hi Hscyndi,

    I have the same problem, i'll like to know how you solved it!
    Expecting your reply!
  • Is there anybody out there who knows about Camry XLE, 92 model inside-out!
    Pls reply me. Thanks.
  • In response to 210delray who responded to my plea for help:
    I don't know how deep the scratches are. I should have run my hand over them. I'll do this later.

    Next, Since I had a brake job a year ago my brakes squeeled and squeeked. New pads were put in May2005. They continue to make noise.

    I'll get a second opinion.

  • Hi.. I have a '92 Camry 4 Cyl with approx. 200 km or 120 miles. On start up only, there is blue smoke ( for at least 5-10 seconds ) then normal. There is no loss of oil when I check the dip stick every month. Any ideas on what is causing this? Where should I start to look for a cure? Additives ?

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    We've covered this before. I assume you mean 200,000 km. The cause is oil leaking from the top of the engine through hardened or worn valve stem seals into the combustion chambers, when the car is parked long enough, such as overnight. When you start the engine, the oil is burned, resulting in the blue smoke.

    You will likely need new valve stem seals, at a cost of about $800-$1,000. But if the car isn't consuming oil, runs fine otherwise, and still passes emissions tests (if you have them), then you can ignore the smoke for a long time. You really ought to check your oil more often however.
  • Hey,

    Yet again my 1995 Camry 2.2 LE has a problem. We recently (about 2 months ago) put a new radiator in it. Now with 171k it is leak power steering fluid to the point where it goes through a reservoir a day. What could this be and is it gonna be expensive. There is a leak that I saw one day while changing my breaks on the driver side. It was a drip but must have gotten worse. What is it???? THANKS IN ADVANCE and Happy Motoring!!!!! :sick:
  • After four years, problem with "check engine light." First, dealer changed "air fuel sensor bank" -- solved problem for one week. Went back; codes showed 440/441/446; They changed the charcoal cannister assembly; fine for two days. Any thoughts? Didn't someone say that the problem had to do with their gas filler pipe and it took dealer a while to solve it? I thought I read that on one post, but now that I am searching for it, cannot find it. Any help would be appreciated.
  • My Camry (163k miles) will turnover but not actually start. Is this indicative of a bad alternator or voltage regulator? The battery was tested and is ok.

    I was going to have it towed to a shop and try to get a new or reconditioned alternator or regulator - otherwise have it taken away to the salvage yard.

    It was running fine until this problem a few days ago. It is currently just parked. Time for a replacement car or can this be reasonably fixed?

    Thanks alot.
  • My post 3423 in re an engine check light resulted in a suggestion of "the gas cap may be the problem." I turned off the engine check light, removed the gas tank cap, put the cap on while twisting it so it made a click, click sound and the engine check light came back on. I bought a new cap. The check light returned. I suggested the dealer repair the problem under warranty although the car was about 70 mos old and had 55,000 miles. They paid for the labor, I paid for the parts. I used the word "participation." It worked 1/2 way! Good luck.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    "My Camry (163k miles) will turnover but not actually start. Is this indicative of a bad alternator or voltage regulator?"

    No. The fact that there's enough power in the battery to operate the starter and crank the engine over indicates that the charging system's ok.

    "It was running fine until this problem a few days ago. It is currently just parked. Time for a replacement car or can this be reasonably fixed?"

    Depends on the cause. It needs fuel, compression, and spark to run. Have it diagnosed properly to determine which is missing and how much the repair would be.
  • If you still having troubles with your brakes squeeling, you might want to take your brakes off and have the rotors either turn or have them replaced. This is very common problem when rotors are turn after brakes are replaced.

    good luck!
  • I would like to replaced the A/C on my 92 camry myself. I have taken the vehicle to the mechanic several times and it seems that the problem is never fix. I currently have the R12 system installed and I would like to replace it with R134a.

    1. Oreilly auto parts tells me that if I change it to r134a, I must also replaced the drier. Is this correct/
    2. According to the kit I must also recover the refrigerant oil before recharging the system with r134a.? is this correct?
    3. Where is the refrigerant oil store? drier? and if the AC doesn't work is that means that there is not oil.

    any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • I do my own oil changes. I see that advanced auto and the others lists the fram 4967 as the filter. That filter was on the 92-96 and 97 - 01 models but the one on my 2005 is about an inch longer. Purolator #L14477 seems to be the exact replacement. Also, advance auto brand (made by fram), is AA4386 (the match to purolator's L14477) but not AA4967 which is the match to frams PH4967. I'm sure both fit the threads and work but why would there be two different sizes listed for the same car??? doesn't anyone cross reference or check this??? I measured the one on my car and it's identical to the purolator (which I bought 6 on sale). I don't want to buy it at the toyota place cause they are more bucks and someone makes it for them (not sure who but it's a name brand for sure). I already have to buy trans fluid at the dealer cause they scare you like honda if you use dexron III. Thanks in advance if anyone has changed theres and replies back with what oil filter they bought.
  • I have a second-hand 89 Toyota Camry (100K mls) which ran great since I have had it (4 yrs now) but all of a sudden it started to vibrate and then make noise under the hood too. The noise does die down after awhile. Checked it out and was told it was an engine problem although it is getting oil. The oil light does come on. That the car might last 2 wks to 2 yrs. He could not say. Does anyone have a clue as to what's wrong?
  • alcan - Thank you for your insightful response. You nail it - it must be one of the other factors you referenced.

    I started it up last night after work and the engine struggled but did turnover and start. There was a strong smell of either unburned fuel or exhaust. Is this teltale of anything?

    I plan to drive (or have it towed) to a service station for a diagnosis.

    Thanks again, John
  • my 2005 camry 4 cyl le has a ticking or tapping noise only when accelerating. I test drove another automatic and heard the same noise. The manual did not have the noise.

    Any follow-up on your previous problems?
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    1. Oreilly auto parts tells me that if I change it to r134a, I must also replaced the drier. Is this correct/
    2. According to the kit I must also recover the refrigerant oil before recharging the system with r134a.? is this correct?
    3. Where is the refrigerant oil store? drier? and if the AC doesn't work is that means that there is not oil."

    1. Yep.
    2. Yep - and R-134a takes a special synthetic poly-alkylene glycol ("PAG") oil only. The stuff readily absorbs moisture from the atmosphere so it has to be carefully handled. Any significant moisture in the system will quickly negate whatever money you save doing the job yourself.
    3. The oil mixes with and flows with the refrigerant in operation. Usually if A/C doesn't cool down properly it's because the system's low on refrigerant or contains moisture.

    R-134a refrigerant is not as effective a heat conductor as R-12 ("Freon"), so for a car as old as yours, you may not be happy with its cooling efficiency if you live in an area subject to blistering heat. (Cars designed with R-134a in mind have larger condenser and evaporator heat exchangers to cope with R-134a's lower heat conduction efficiency.) There's an alternative refrigerant, HC-12a, which is environmentally friendly, conducts heat even better than old R-12, needs no equipment updating and is compatible with regular R-12 type oils.

    Finally, Alex, it sounds like your 14-year old car has a slow refrigerant leak that MUST be properly traced and fixed before you do anything else or you will never obtain the cooling effectiveness over the long term you're after. A/C may be a money pit on that car.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    We've covered this before. For the 4-cylinder 2002-05 Camry, the Purolator L14477 is the correct one. The previous-generation (1997-2001) Camry used the Purolator L14476. Note that the Toyota OEM filter has better defined flutes, so it's easier for an end-cap style wrench to get a better grip when removing the filter.

    From what I've read, do NOT use FRAM filters!
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "From what I've read, do NOT use FRAM filters!"

    I've read the same thing over at a motor oil forum. The "terrible" consequences of using FRAM oil filters seem to be criticisms of their construction details unrelated to actual, verified engine damage directly attributable to the use of FRAM oil filters. Indeed, I've not come across any product liability lawsuits filed by contingency sharks about damage to engines, either - and if there was a buck to be made . . . The worst I can personally say about FRAM oil filters is they're overpriced by about a buck. Ironically, FRAM is one of two sources Honda uses for Honda labled oil filters. (If a Honda oil filter says "Made in Canada", it's from a Canadian FRAM factory.) I bought one of these FRAM Honda filters for my '96 Accord from the dealer, but never got around to using it. After I bought my current car ('03 Hyundai Sonata V-6 - Hyundai conveniently uses an oil filter that's compatible with filters for Hondas.) I used the FRAM-made Honda filter on it. Nothing happened - no funny noises at start-up or flickering oil pressure light as the FRAM bashers insist happens frequently. When I changed the oil and filter the next time, out came my trusty hacksaw and I opened the FRAM-made Honda filter up. The dreaded separation of filter media from the dreaded cardboard endcaps had not taken place as promised by the hysterics on the oil forum, nor were there any rips in the pleated paper as also promised. Would I intentionally buy a FRAM oil filter again? No - as I said, they're overpriced compared to Purolator and Champion-made filters.
  • sorry if I asked this question again. I agree that the Purolator L14477 is the right one and that the flutes aren't a perfect fit but once I get the origonal one off (they're always on so tight), the next ones won't be a problem.

    But, don't you wonder why they listed the purolator equivalent of 14476 (namely the fram's 4967) as okay to use on the newer models????

    thanks again for your reply.
This discussion has been closed.