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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    One quick recommendation if you get the chance take your mothers car and get it on the road for at least 15 miles round trip to get all the oil thru the filter to keep down sludge. people who only drive a mile here a mile there build up sludge in their engine. It takes about 8 miles to filter all the oil and heat the engine to get out all the water vapors built up over night. I recommend doing this once a month or twice which is better. Another good way to keep the sludge down is to run a brand of synthetic oil such as mobil one 5w-30 and the cheapest place to get it is walmart. Happy motoring.
  • I went to the dealer 3 weeks ago to change the brakes. They told me at 63000 miles that I should change the timing belt. I was not prepared for $500 how much they wanted for that. Last weeked I went to my mechanic and he changed it for $220. I asked him if he will adjust the timing using the strobo light and he said that is not necessary, there are some marks on the engine and they just have to be aligned. I read in the maintenance manual that you need to use the strobo light. Yesterday unfortunately I noticed that the car doesn't start like before; I have to keep the key turned on for about 4 second to start. Now I have the following questions:
    1-my mechanic cut corners not using the strobo adjustment?
    2-can I do it myself (I used to do for my old Ford Taurus; I had the manual with the whole procedure and the strobo light)
    3-where can I get the instructions (on the net) how to make the adjustment

    Thank you so much

  • The RS3200 alarm system in my '00 Sienna includes an option to program it so that one press of the Unlock button on the remote unlocks all doors at once.
    The RS3200 Plus system in my '05 Camry doesn't document that option in the owner's manual. Not surprisingly, the sequence from the RS3200 doesn't work.

    Is it possible to program the RS3200 Plus to unlock all four doors from one press of the Unlock button on the remote? Anybody know the magic sequence to make that happen, or am I stuck with the double-press sequence (which I could learn to live with, but it's annoying)?

  • I have a 1998 Camry with 120,000 miles on it. It runs great except the Check Engine light came on about 2 years ago. I took it to the dealer and they replaced the O2 Sensor with a Toyota genuine new part(the disgnostics said that's what it was, I forget the code).. The car ran terrible, they spen two day on it and ended up putting the original sensor back on... then it ran fine again.

    I plan to run this car into the ground... but I want to disable this light cause its driving me crazy...

    If I turn it off or reset it with a diagnostic tool, it comes back on within a day....

    Any help please????

    Thanks in advance!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Black electrical tape worked for me....
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    On the other side of the coin there may be a good reason to keep your alarm system just as it is. By only unlocking the driver's door, you prevent some [non-permissible content removed] from sliding into the passenger seat as you get in. I wish my car had the option of a second press to unlock all the doors.
  • The lights in the heat/ac knobs are not working?
    I thought it might be a fuse but i checked them all and they seem to be fine. Any suggestions on how to fix this problem? Is there an easy way to get to the actual bulbs to replace them?
    Also, on the dashboard shift indicator the "D" light is out. Any easy way to fix it?
  • Yeah, definitely a consideration in many areas, though rarely out in the boonies where I am.
    I've discovered that it can be changed, but it requires the dealer use the ECM programmer. I may or may not get it done. I'll probably leave it for a while and see if I just get used to it. :-)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    If the car runs fine otherwise, I highly doubt the problem is due to the timing belt change. The mechanic at work who did the job for me didn't use a timing light of any kind. I had a '97 Camry 4-cylinder. Four seconds to start the engine isn't really all that bad anyway, but obviously if it gets worse, then you need to address it.

    Good for you for avoiding outrageous dealer charges!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You'll get used to it. Why pay a dealer to change it?

    In the old days, you actually had to put the key in the lock cylinder!

    And before that, you had to manually raise the lock button on each of the 4 doors (been there and done that)!
  • I'm not sure about the HVAC lights, but as for the transmission indicator. You first have to pull off the surround around the stereo (pull from the bottem. There are 2 metal clips, then as you get the bottem out, tilt it up to pull the top out. Disconnect the lighter). Then remove the 2 screws inside that space(a screw on each side of the stereo going up diagonally). Then remove the two screws that are vertical in the instrument cluster. Then carefully start pulling, and it should pop out. Then just disconnect the wires and remove the dash cover. Then remove the four screws that hold the instrument cluster in. Pull out slightly and disconnect it. Then just remove the center column which houses the bulbs for the transmission indicators. Count down to the D, and remove it and replace it with a new one($2.95 from the dealer).

    This may sound hard and a lot of work, but it really isn't that much work. It took me a total of about 5 mins to do it on my 93. Just take your time, and while you have the dash cover off, you can take a look at the HVAC lights.
  • When I start accelerating, until I hit about 10MPH, there's a little bit of a rattle, sounds like it's coming from the passenger's side. Any ideas what might be causing it?
  • Hi,

    I own a 2000 toyota camry with 61000 miles on it. I'm a novice when it comes to car maintenance, so I've few questions for you experts:

    1) What things should I get checked by the mechanic? If I go for 60000 mile service, it will cost me around 600$ which I want to what particular things are of importance because toyota web site only shows things like Replace engine oil and oil filter, air filter, coolant, spart plugs. I bought the car at 40000 miles from a dealer, so I really don't know what things were done by the previous owner.

    2) Should I get timing belt replaced? Should I get transmission fluid replaced?

    3) I'm planning to go for a 15 hr trip very soon what are the other things I should get checked before the trip.

    Please reply.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    There is an Edmunds Maintenance Schedule Reminder tool here:
    2000 Camry Maintenance

    there is also a section in your owner's manual (assuming you have one) explaining what the manufacturer suggests is appropriate service at your mileage.

    good luck
  • My 05 Camry is in the same situation. It happens just after starting, only once. It is really weird. Is that common?
  • Bought a 92 Camry 4cyl a couple of months ago. Here lately it has been getting colder outside. My Camry does not start very easy. The battery is strong, and turns over it just doesn't start right a way. It does start up right away when its warm outside. Any ideas what is causing the problem? :blush:
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    I believe the click may be a relay disarming the right-hand airbag(s) if the passenger seat is unoccupied. I could be wrong, though.
  • amtnamtn Posts: 4
    I'm considering purchasing a 2002 4 cylinder with 47,000 miles.
    What things should I look for? Anything to be aware of? I have read several of the posts and have noticed a "sludge" theme. . . what exactly does that mean?

    I'm looking for a reliable car. Further, I don't like to trade cars so I'm hoping to keep whatever I buy for a long time.

    Thoughts or advice?
    Thanks! :confuse:
  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    Sounds exactly like the 2002 Camry I'm Likely getting tomorrow, 4cyl w/46K in extremely excelent far as the sludge..People on this board will talk and talk about it but they never offer any facts to potential here it is

    1997-2001 Camry 4 and 6 cylinder were prone to sludge....2002 Camry 4cylinder was NOT it is a totallly different motor 2.4L Vs Camry's previous 2.2L motor...However early production 2002 Camry 6 Cyl WAS prone to sludge.. so all in all..2002+ Camry's were were not nearly as likely to sludge, save for early 2002 and maybe 2003 Camry 3.0L V6's..the 2002+ redesign carried over the previously used camry 6cyl..Not the four..

    I got the dealer to come down $400, tomorrow I will likely get it for $12,500
    It checked out clean as a private 1 owner...
    Hopefully i will last at least 6 years...good luck Sean
  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    The 99 camry can use dexron 3 and the newer toyota's use what they call type 4 transmission fluid. from 2002 and on It is part synthetic you can also use mobil one synthetic transmission fluid which help the trans last a little longer. my last toyota transmission lasted 390,000 miles using mobil one trans fluid. It's still running on the same trans. What really matters that you change your transmission fluid at least every 20,000 to 30,000 miles it's better to go around 25,000 miles. Hope this helps.
  • Do you think its possible if I can lease a toyota 2005 camry LE with upgrade of monroof and leather and alloy wheels for just less than $280? I'm willing to pay a down of $1,000.00 12,000miles/year, for 42 months. I live in Birmingham, AL..I really wanted to buy but the basic LE already costs more than $350.00
  • yeah, that pissed me off. My 94 camrys (and my mom's 98) uses DEXRON III and you can get that easily at an auto store and 1/2 price. I too changed my trans fluid at first at 55-60K and then another 50K or so but after that, 25K or so till I got rid of them at 200K.

    Now for my '05 camry, like you said, it uses that T4 toyota fluid at $4 a bottle I think. He said it's part synthetic and is better than DEX III. My question, can I use valvoline synthetic??? or another besides mobil trans???? Like others have said, go to the dealer and get their stuff and just do it. I like to go to advanced auto or autozone and buy their stuff and avoid the dealer if possible. My '04 Honda accord trans fluid costs $5 a quart and they say drain it, refill (3 qts), drive it a few miles, and repeat 2-3X more. That's $60 bucks of fluid to mix/replace the old stuff. Lots of good fluid getting tossed down the drain. thanks
  • I'd change it for sure. You don't say the mileage but I'm assuming since it's a 1999, this is the first change?? The mileage can vary from owner to owner (my '04 accord has 25K in 18 months). I've done that trans pan drop/filter change 4x in two '94 camrys and once in a 98 camry. You just tighten the bolts and it doesn't leak. I'd use dex III by pennzoil or valvoline (not store brand unless your mileage is over 150K then I switched to the cheaper stuff). Also, I changed the fluid and filter at 55K for both as the first time but then changed the fluid once more and then both filter and fluid at 120K. Once I realized that there isn't much metal junk in the filter, I just changed the fluid and that's it. the magnets in the pan and the bolt captures most metal shavings. If the bolt had a lot, I dropped the pan and cleaned it and put a new filter and gasket on. otherwise, I just dropped the fluid after 150k till 200K when I got rid of the cars. If I kept them, I'd do another filter change in the 200's. Don't worry about making a mistake. It's easy (except for putting the pan back with the bent cork gasket but I use a drop of glue to hold the corners which isn't recommended but it worked for me). My brother in law had a isuzu trooper and 50-60K miles or so. It siezed up on him (the trans) cause he didn't change the trans fluid. Change it and good luck.
  • don't think so. check auto zone or advanced auto. I don't think the cabin air filter hit until the 2002 models but I can be wrong. I know the 1994's didn't and I'm almost certain the 1998's don't so yours doesn't either.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "Now for my '05 camry, like you said, it uses that T4 toyota fluid at $4 a bottle I think. He said it's part synthetic and is better than DEX III. My question, can I use valvoline synthetic???"

    Short answer? Don't do it while your car's under warranty. Long answer: there's more to ATF than the base oil blend. In addition to their blend of conventional and synthetic base stocks, the proprietary fluids that are specified in most owners' manuals now have specific "friction modifier" chemistry which affects the progressive take-up characteristics of each manufacturer's proprietary friction facings against the metal friction plates during gear changes and torque converter lockup. (Gone are the days when everyone used asbestos friction facings.) Dexron IIIH and previous iterations are fine for GM and a lot of past trannies, but, to use it in cars calling for a specific ATF, at best you'd have some serious degradation of shift and torque converter lockup feel within several months. At worst, you could be looking at a premature rebuild. Since most proprietary ATFs have neither been licensed for duplication by competitive blenders to be sold through the normal retail channels, nor has the chemistry been disseminated publically, we're stuck. Fair? Perhaps not. Legal? Yep, deal with it. So-called "universal" or "all-makes" fluids that claim compatibility with OEM fluids are only their blenders' best guess. They're not licensed as acceptable substitutes. Don't feel too bad - I only wish I could get away with $4.00/qt for my '03 Sonata's automatic transmission. The Mitsubishi spec. SP-III ATF that Hyundai requires in all their transmissions made from model year 1996 runs $7.58/qt from my dealer's parts department.
  • amtnamtn Posts: 4
    Just curious. . . what city are you in? (If you don't mind revealing.)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,236
    Read the cans. If they say they are equivalent to the T4 Toyota fluid then they are equivalent. It seems we've gotten back to the magic "have to use our product in our specially designed car" phase of automotives. I recall when people were told they had to have oil changes done at the dealer or their warranty wouldn't be honored!!!

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

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I disagree on the Camry for the T4 tranny fluid. I'm with haefr on this; it's not worth it to take a chance. I'm certainly not going to.

    Toyota only specifies proprietary fluids for the tranny and radiator. You can still use generic oil, power steering, and brake fluids (meeting the proper specs of course), unlike Honda. And I think you can use a nonproprietary antifreeze, as long as it meets the Toyota specs exactly.

    The old saying applies, "penny wise and pound foolish."
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Your cold start system needs to be looked into. 87-91 Camrys have a cold start injector and timer. The timer senses cold engine coolant and tells the cold start injector to squirt more fuel to help in cold starts. Your Camry may have the same system and the timer is common culprit. Or a temperature sensor is out of range and needs replacing.
  • My Toyota has over 60,000 on it. Recently started making an annoying noise when you turn the steering wheel in any direction. I describe it as a whining sound. Any ideas?
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