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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    I have found out a good trick to help pass smog on older camrys and other older toyota's a toyota person told me to always take put in new plugs if the old ones are poor and to use one of the fuel injector cleaners in a half tank of gas then on the day you are going at smog your car take it on a good 15 to 20 mile drive doing at least 60 to help clean out the engine this gets rid of the water vapor in the engine block and some of the carbon in the engine. It also gets the converter hot and helps keep down emissions. I had a couple old toyota's with 150.000 miles I replaced the catalytic converter and drove it 15 miles at 70mph and went to the smog station and the car passed with room to spare.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "I don't know for sure, but I looked on the under side of the oil cap, and there's some kind of oily buildup there..."

    Depends. If it's a pale, mayonaise-like consistency, it isn't sludge - merely an oil and moisture condensation mixture that's harmless. (When present, it tends to collect on cool or insulated surfaces and most oil caps are plastic these days.) If the glop is BLACK, then it's probably sludge. But this location would be unusual. Sludge is typically found in the bottom of the oil pan or on the hotter engine parts where it can chemically bake to its gelled consistency.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    I've never had to resort to "tricks" to pass California's very strict South-Coast-Air-Quality-Management-District's bi-annual emissions testing in my '89 Toyota 4 cyl. engine (278,000+ miles). Gasoline detergents are already mandated nationwide by the EPA, and the additional premium for platinum-tipped spark plugs is more than offset by their much longer working life. Routine oil, oil filter, and air filter changes at the "severe service" intervals listed in the owner's manual is an established way to avoid premature wear and general performance problems. But for those who let routine maintenance slide, your advice might just squeak them past a smog check. Like the old mid-fifties Purolator TV commercial with a dirty, oil-smudged "mechanic" said, "You can pay me a little now, or a lot later." Thanks for posting.
  • fred3fred3 Posts: 10
    I have a 1997 Camry LE with 107,000 miles on it. For the last 18 months, I've been using it as a spare car, and so only do about 4,000 miles a year. Soon after I started using the car less, I noticed that the gear shift took more effort than before, especially if I hadn't used the car at all for say a week, and more so in cold weather. I asked the dealer about it, and was told that everything looked fine.

    Today, I started the car as usual, but then when I wanted to put it into reverse to back out of the driveway, I discovered that the gear shift was extremely loose - and wasn't shifting the gears at all. I can move it back and forth as much as I like, but it's not moving the car out of "Park."

    I assume I need to get it towed to get it fixed. My uneducated guess is that somehow the gear shift lever has become separated from the mechanism that shifts the transmission.

    2 questions:
    1) Does my diagnosis sound correct, or am I missing something?
    2) Does this sound like the scary (expensive) type of transmission problem that requires a transmission specialist, or is any decent car repair place likely to be able to fix it?

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Try eBay for the manual.

    The warning light means one of your 4 taillight bulbs is burned out.
  • dp2005dp2005 Posts: 1
    1/ I have camry 89 V6 & the check engine light does not work, any idea how to fix this.
    When I put the key in and turn to ON position ( Not start ) every warning light on the panel turn on except the check engine light is not turn on.

    2/ the light on the gear ship (automatic) is not on, maybe the bulb is dead
    anyone know where is the bulb locate.
    thanks, dp
  • brekalbrekal Posts: 7
    I have a rattle that shows up worse when the car is cold, and is almost non-existent (for now) when warm. It has been getting worse lately. Has anyone else experienced this, and what ended up as the solution. The car is a 4cyl auto w/ 65K miles.

    I found a description in another post that nails what I am asking about, so I borrowed the text:

    "The "fast rattle" sound comes only for a second or so during the acceleration from a complete stop or while accelerating on an uphill.
    The sound comes from the right side of the engine."

    Thanks for any information provided.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Sounds to me like detonation - "pinging" from very bad fuel or the ECM failing to retard spark ignition. You need to have any stored fault codes in the ECM read to help diagnose the actual problem. (Has your "Check Engine" light ever illuminated other than a few seconds when the ignition key is initially tunred to the "ON" position?)
  • brekalbrekal Posts: 7
    I reread my message, and see where it may not provide enough info. This rattle is a heavy metallic rattle, not detonation.

    Thanks for the response.
  • Please Help. I bought a 97 Camry (76k miles) and brought it to the dealer for a look-see. I have no maintenance records for it. Dealer says the bottom of the car is leaking everything. I need 3 motor mounts, seals, water pump, something that takes 8 hours to get to, pans, whatever. As you can tell, I don't know much about cars and need a mechanic I can trust. I live in Manhattan. Any suggestions?
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Unload this dog or start writing checks.
  • 92 Camry 2.2L, 155000 miles - lost headlights and taillights while driving at night a few days ago. Lights came back on, then off, then on, and eventually off again while driving home for about 15 miles. If I activate high beams, headlights come on (high beams only) but taillights don't. High beam toggle stick will not stay in high beam position (toward driver). Turn signals and emergency flashers are OK and brake lights seem OK. Is this a problem with a relay or a different type of switch? Where are these located? Are both in engine compartment? Are they on the steering column? Where exactly? Is this a home mechanic job or should I just take it in to a garage where I get work done when needed on this car? Thanks for any help.
  • denmandenman Posts: 19
    I have a 2005 Camry SE with the 3.3L v6. Like the car but I am bothered by this jerking. It occurs when I am slowing down to turn on a street or whatever and if I don't fether the gas pedal ever so gently the car jerks, kinda like a manual trans when you let the clutch out to soon. I have never had a car that did this. Is anyone else experiencing this? Don't know if it's the drive by wire or the 5 speed auto trans. Kinda ruins the driving experience, the throttle is awful touchy. I will say that the 3.3 really hauls [non-permissible content removed], makes a wonderful sound when I get on it. This happens quite frequently. Pre she ate any advice or opinions. Thanks

  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    You might have a loose catalytic converter the inside cone has come loose this has happened to a lot of cars.
  • grrrr1grrrr1 Posts: 1
    I have that problem also. I just found out this morning. When the moonroof closes, it drops down a little bit. I haven't contacted a dealer yet. It's strange because nothing else is wet except the floor on the driver's side.
  • I have a 2002 Toyota Camry XLE V6 that I really love alot and like to drive it and never want to get out of it, but the only problem that Im exsperencing now is, that in da morning when Im leaving for work or the first time the car is driven for da day it seems da transmission doesnt want to go into it's 2nd gear and it sounds like it wines sometime, but after like 5 minutes driving, the transmission is totaly fine after I drive it for like 5 minutes, the rest of the day its fine, no problems till the next morning. It has only 41,000 miles. can you reply back to me or email me back and let me know a clue what I should know or do bout this !! I do have a extended warranty on this vehicle, So I am covered if this vehicle does need to get to the Toyota dealer. please reply !! thank you !!
  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    Symptom: The following warning lights illuminated--"Brakes", "Charge", and "Lights."

    Solution: Alternator Brushes needed replacement

    Just a little FYI. 89 Camry 3S-FE

  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    Are you saying that it won't come out of 1st gear at all??

    Your car is programmed to hold gears longer when the engine is cold. All auto Camrys and MANY other cars do this. Perfectly normal. It helps the coolant reach normal operating temperature faster.
  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    89 Camry V6 2VZFE, 185000 miles

    I have a random misfire occurring. It never follows a pattern, and I only feel it when idling. It is worse when the engine is cold. Any clues?

    Also--hearing and feeling(through brake pedal mostly) a knock when sitting still on an uphill incline in Drive. Any clues? Much worse with A/C on.
  • dino01dino01 Posts: 26
    There is an entire thread devote to this topic do a seach for "hesitation". My camry LE v6 is having the same problem. Been to multiple dealers and call corporate office have been told by them the above symtoms are "by design" and there is nothing they can do.

    BTW. there is an TSB out for this problem. I have it apply but it does help a little bit. The problems are still there.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "I have a random misfire occurring. It never follows a pattern, and I only feel it when idling. It is worse when the engine is cold. Any clues?"

    The usual suspects for misfiring would be sparkplugs, sparkplug cables, and/or coil(s). (6-cyl engines mask this problem quite well at engine speeds above idle unless there're multiple cylinders involved.) But various sensors that feed info to the engine control module could be acting up, too. Instead of going on a throw-money-at-it fest, why not have any stored fault codes read? Most large chain autoparts stores will do that free.
  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    Are fault codes present even when the check engine light has not been on?

  • It comes out of 1st gear after like within like 5 minutes or so....when the car is warmed up. I had a 02 Dodge Stratus and it never did this at all when I would take off and the car was not warmed up. So on all Toyota's then, this is Perfectly Fine?? Well I feel releived from what you told me. If say, I let the car warm up tommorow morning, for like 10-15 minutes and the car is warmed up and I go to take off to work and the transmission still does it, THEN is there a problem?? Or does the coolent gotta really WARM up to the transmission level?? please reply back THANK YOU SO MUCH !!
  • Oh one more thing !! What about the wine noise the transmission does when Im driving??? it's not loud loud, but you can hear it if you pay close attention...
  • denmandenman Posts: 19
    Thanks for the reply, but I do not call this hesitation. The car doesn't hesitate, it jerks. If I mash the throttle there is no hesitation, I think other people were complaining that when they floored their car nothing happened, that's hesitation.

    210 delray can you help?
  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    I think I was not clear enough in my last post--long day of teaching middle schoolers--so my apologies.

    Here's the deal--If your Camry is not coming out of 1st gear AT ALL during the first 5 minutes of driving, you DO have a problem, unless you are driving very slowly. Is this the case? Are you driving faster than 10-15 mph during the first 5 minutes?

    Here is what I should have said: When your car is cold, the transmission will hold gears a few hundred rpm higher than normal--for example it may do the 1-2 shift at 20 mph(cold) instead of 15mph(warm) at the same throttle position.

    Let me know, and we will go from there. Again, sorry my post was not clear the first time. We will hopefully solve your problem soon.

  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    Compare my account to what you are experiencing. I have an 89 Camry V6 auto. When I turn onto my street, going maybe 5 mph, quite often I will hit the gas EXACTLY when the transmission is downshifting from 2nd gear to 1st, and there is a bit of a "whiplash" effect. I have conditioned myself to "hit" the gas more softly as I am completing my turn, and sure enough, it goes MUCH more smoothly. I have had several auto tranny cars to have this quirk--I think it just has something to do with downshift timing.

  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Good question - I don't know for certain. But if codes have been thrown, you'll have a starting point. If not, you're back to square one.
  • denmandenman Posts: 19
    Yea, that pretty much describes it. Like I said earlier you have to really feather the throttle to avoid this and it is somewhat bothersome. I have owned alot of vehicles and this is the only one that acts this way. I kinda think it is related to the drive by wire technology. Thanks for the reply.

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'm not sure what the problem really is, but I doubt the "by wire" throttle is the culprit. I have the 4-cylinder with the 5-speed auto, and I haven't noticed any jerkiness.

    My guess (and it's only a guess) is that the problem is with the transmission itself or how it interacts with the V6 engine. Since I've never driven a Camry V6 (of any model year), I'm unable to provide any more information.

    How about asking your dealer to allow you to drive another 3.3-liter V6 with the 5-speed auto to compare it with your car?
This discussion has been closed.