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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    sludge problems I have found that sludge problems are normally from not changing the oil and not driving the car enough. When I say not driving enough every time in the morning when you start your car there is water condensation in your block you might have seen some cars spitting water out the tale pipe or steam in the cold winter. It takes about 5-7 miles of driving to clear out the condensation but a lot of folks drive only a couple of miles and stop and the next and days after never getting out all the condensation(water in the engine block). (Remedy) it's a good idea some saturday morning to take your car on the open highway and run it a 65-70mph for about 15-20 miles round trip to clean out the condensation. It also helps to run all the oil thru the filter helping cleaning the engine oil and possible keeping the sludge down. I have been using synthetic oil for over 20 years and never had any engine problems pushing some engines up to 350,000 plus. Transmission tip make sure to change your transmission oil every 20-25,000 miles on the 2002-2005 toyota transmissions I see that toyota is using a special trans oil called type iv that I have been told it is semi synthetic and has some kind of friction modifier for the new transmissions to make them shift smoothly. If you want to use synthetic transmission fluid Amsoil says theirs will work in the new transmissions????. If you live in cold weather and don't have an engine heater use synthetic oil 5-w 30 it will flow fast and lubricate the engine down below zero. you can go to google and put in synthetic oil it will explain how much better it is for cold weather . I have found that wallmart has the lowest prices for changing synthetic oil.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    The first thing you should elliminate before anything else is to have a load test on the battery and charging system done. You do NOT have to have this done by a dealer either. Most national auto parts chain stores are equipped to check both out while you wait. By the way you do not lose the ability to brake in the event the engine stalls out. You just have to push the brake pedal a LOT harder once any retained vacuum reserve in the vacuum operated power brake booster is bled off and not replaced by normally continuous intake mainifold vacuum. Nevertheless, actual four-wheel braking is always available.
  • Don't I feel stupid! That actually was a plug socket, but the little rubber piece came out! D'OH!
  • cingcing Posts: 2
    Let me start by saying I've changing a many of spark plugs back in the 80 and early 90s, but in my 02 camry (4 cyclinder) where are the spark plugs located. I've searched a the engine, and dont even see the distributor or distributor cap, nor spark plug wires. Would it be under the plastic cover where the oil is poured in? Or is it under or behind the engine itself?

  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    The sludge problem in some 97-02 Toyota's was different from the norm. You can read up on it in some old forums here on Edmunds. Toyota acknowledged the problem with an 8 year unlimited mileage sludge warranty. Owners must still prove proper maintenance to get the warranty repair.
  • Hey, i have the same car jsut bought it myself about 2 weeks ago. I actually found out yesterday how to turn the alarm on and off. First you must have the key in the ignition clicked to the 3rd turn I think. ONce the key is in, simply push the blac little button thats to the right of and above the hood release lever. I usually click my alarm button to hear if its on or off (it usually beeps).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    They are under the plastic cover. The Camry 4-cylinder has no distributor or spark plug wires. The ignition coils are on top of the spark plugs.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "Would it be under the plastic cover where the oil is poured in?"

    Bingo! It mystifies me why automanufacturers feel it's necessary to hide the engine under a piece of plastic with cutesy metalized bright logos. I always felt the intricate castings of the art and craft of well-wrought mechanical engineering were works of art unto themselves and worthy of being displayed and admired when the hood is raised. So far I have not seen these abominations to good taste mounted on Ferrari engines. The plastic cover for my Sonata V-6 resides in a place of dishonor along a wall of the garage - in case the car's next owner disagrees. (or in case I can unload the stupid thing for profit on eBay... As Tim Allen might've quipped on Home Improvement, "Real men don't need sissy plastic engine covers! Aurgh, aurgh, aurgh!")
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,245
    >were works of art unto themselves

    I always figure I'm helping the air flow for extra cooling by removing those silly covers they spent $1.50 on instead of some other feature they could have kept and left off to save a few pennies here/there.

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

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Blue smoke doesn't necessarily mean sludge. It does indicate oil burning. I had blue smoke on cold startup (first thing in the morning), and it was caused by worn/hardened valve stem seals, which were replaced under warranty on my '97 Camry LE 4-cylinder. The engine did not have sludge, and it ran fine till the day I sold it on eBay at 111K miles.

    Wow -- 4000th post!
  • so how much you sold it for?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    $4301, $800 above my reserve. This was in Feb. 2004. It was in very good condition, just had high miles for its age. Also it was the "basic" LE, with no options other than floor mats.

    I recommend eBay highly for selling, especially if you have a car without problems. (I wouldn't buy however, unless I could inspect the car ahead of time.)
  • Hey,

    So... I am getting really fed up with this car. I went to get out of it after getting to the college today and bam! the door handle breaks off right in my hand. The plastic didnt break, the handle just popped out of the assembly. So now my options are leave the window down and DUKES OF HAZZARD it to get in and out, or replace it. How hard is it to replace and if I take my door apart am I going to be able to put it back together, I dont wanna look ghetto. If anyone knows or can help, PLEASE PLEASE DO! Not so happy motoring anymore

  • jdeibjdeib Posts: 70

    If you want to tackle the repair yourself, I believe you can if you have a basic mechanical ability. The thing you need is a diagram of where the clips are that hold the door into place. The easiest place to get one of these is Crutchfield (the stereo catalog place). I had a '92 Camry and needed to replace a power window switch when it was 8 years old and they sold a how to install booklet that showed how to remove all of the door panels (to replace speakers) as well as how to remove the stereo head unit. You may need to buy a inexpensive tool to remove the clips as well. It worked well for me, no broken items. I even decided to replace the stereo after this.

    But anyway, once you have the door apart, you will be able to see what failed and replace it without too much trouble. Either with new or junkyard parts. Don't get too fed up with your car, ten years can put alot of wear on a door handle mechanism. It could be something worse breaking. Your '95 is one of the best car models ever built, but no car is perfect, especially after ten years.

    Good luck,

  • For the last several months my steering wheel on my 2003 Camry with 49,000 miles would squeak when I turned the wheel. The quicker I turned the wheel the more pronounced the squeak. I assumed lubrication was needed. I took the car to the dealer this morning. They lubed the lower bushing in the steering column since that bushing needed lube before. That didn't stop the squeak. They said my clock spring in the steering wheel needed to be replaced for $374. At that price, I intend to try to get along with the squeak. Has anyone else had this problem? Any other solutions out there? Thanks.
  • I have the same problem with my 96 Camry. All my power windows and door locks just quit all at the same time. I replaced the master switch which is all the power door and window switches on the drivers door and it didn't help. Checked the 30A fuse and it's okay. I have the schematic now and traced it back to the same "Power Main Relay". It's the only thing common in the two circuits. I've called the dealer to ask about it and they never heard of it but tell me that most of the relays are behind the "junction box" (fuse box) and you have to pull the junction box out to access them. I haven't done this due to knee surgery. Cheapest I could find to work on it would be $40 hour. Let me know if you find any more about the power relay - ALL HELP APPRECIATED!!!
  • My 97 Toyota Camry LE has got a serious problem, which is like this.
    There is a lot of Cranking Noise when i accelerate the vehicle and i took it to the mechanic nearby, he has drained the Engine oil and noticed the metal deposits in the oil. later he thought the Connecting rod bearing might be broken and he removed the oil pan under the engine cylinders. We noticed lots of Brass metal pieces which are in a few millimmetres size. Then he said i need to replace the Engine altogether.
    Can someone advise me please if they had a similar problem and let me know the possible solution if u know of one.
    My car has 83K miles on it.
    Thanks in advance
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Did the mechanic mention anything about "sludge" in the engine oil pan? If not, request him to pull the valve cover (or one of them if you have the V-6). If there's any sludge, it'll be painfully evident. However, if you're the original owner, it may be covered under a blanket warranty extension Toyota sent letters to affected owners about. The key is whether you're the original owner and whether you took delivery of your car less than eight years ago. Good luck - you'll need it. A rebuilt engine and installation runs about $7,000.00 through Toyota dealerships.
  • Hi everybody i have a 2000 Toyota Camry LE and i am having problems with the door locks and the alarm system. Can any1 tell me where i can find the brain of my alarm (ECU Box). Please help me, manually locking my doors is a real pain.
  • I have toyota camry 2000 with 62000 miles in it. In the morning (after 7-8 hours of rest), the car does not start up normal. I have to press the gas pedal and then start. If I pump the gas pedal and crank up, it starts. Then I have to keep the pedal pressed for few mins and then go.

    Why its happening?

    Pls share your experience. How much it may cost to fix it? I just did my 60K major services. Since its intermittent, they could not reproduce the problem there. But its happening on and off.
  • I have toyota camry 2000 with 62000 miles in it. In the morning (after 7-8 hours of rest), the car does not start up normal. I have to press the gas pedal and then start. If I pump the gas pedal and crank up, it starts. Then I have to keep the pedal pressed for few mins and then go.

    Why its happening?

    Pls share your experience. How much it may cost to fix it? I just did my 60K major services. Since its intermittent, they could not reproduce the problem there. But its happening on and off.
  • Hi,
    I own a 2002 Cmry 5 speed which I purchased new. The clutch just failed at 72K miles. I have owned several std transmission cars and never had a clutch fial before 100K miles. I noticed and reported that the clutch peddle felt stiff. I believe that there is something wrong with the linkage since the car was new and it manifested itself into a premature clutch failure.
    To make matters worse the 2002 Camry requires 11 hours of labor to change the clutch. That is nearly 4 hours more than the previous model. The cost is $1,150.Has anybody elas out there experienced a similar problem?
    I would have never purchased a standard if I was told that the transmission would fail in 72K miles and it would cost $1,150 to replace.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well, I don't know if the stiff pedal really meant anything. I doubt you'll get any responses to your post unfortunately, because so few Camrys were equipped with manual transmissions (I believe only something like 1% were).

    $1150 is bad, but not anywhere near the cost of replacing an auto tranny (for example, $1600 for my '90 Sable way back in 1996).

    Also, on my first new car, a 1975 VW Rabbit, the clutch failed at only 13K miles, and I learned to drive on a stick shift back in 1968, so it wasn't that I didn't know what I was doing. And it wasn't covered under warranty. As a poor graduate student, I wasn't very happy!

    Just a thought: have you priced the work at an independent shop? My Sable was done at such a shop and cost $700 less than it would have at the place I normally go for service work (also an independent). I wouldn't trust national chains like AAMCO, and I only go to the dealer for warranty or recall work.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    yeah in decades of owning VW, Mazda, Toyota and Honda MT vehicles, I never had a clutch go out...and they all had at least 100K, one had 185K which I sold and was still going strong. even if you are very well mannered in driving a MT vehicle, I presume there will be units that fall on the

    i agree with you, drinkwaterxyz should consider looking for an independant specializing in toyota repairs to see how the rair and parts costs would compare.
  • I have the exact same problem in a 2002. This is probably a Camry characteristic. Do you think that this should be related to the drivetrain warranty?
  • I just spent 5 hours replacing6 plugs on my '96 camry. I feel your pain. I used needle nose pliers that had jaws about 3" long. It worked great although I had to use both hands in the back under the intake.
    Persistence will overcome!
  • I have heard that the resistors go bad and can be replaced by soldering if you are up for it. Other wise expect $100.00+ (US) for the dealer repair.
  • After checking out an engine oil leak on my 2004 Camry 4 cyl. engine, my mechanic told me the leak is coming from the oil galley external plug on the front of the engine block next to the water pump. This is basically a small aluminum cap about 3/4" in diameter. The plug covers up a hole made in the block as part of the casting process when the engine was made. It's a little hard to get at but easily replaced. The problem is when my mechanic called the Toyota Dealer to get the part, he was told it has no part number and was not a stocked part! The Toyota Dealer parts person said the only way to get this little 50 cent part is to replace the entire block at a cost of $2,000. How can I obtain one of these plugs? Has anyone else had this problem?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Why not go to the dealer? It is a warranty issue.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    If this turns out not to be a warranty issue, your mechanic could drill and tap the opening for a standard English system plug of the same approximate size. It'd certainly be cheaper than $2,000.00! I'll bet that Toyota dealer was flat-out lying - you can't be the only Toyota owner who's run into this problem (though it's probably a rarity), and Toyota's sure as poop's not gonna go around replacing otherwise perfectly servicible $2,000.00 engine castings under warranty over a 50 cent chunk of aluminum.. Might wanna try another Toyota dealership parts department or, if necessary, a local engine rebuilder with on-sight machining capability. There HAS to be a source for a replacement even if it has to be fabricated.
This discussion has been closed.