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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • HAEFR: thanks for the tip, but that is what I use. I do not dilute the washer fluid. I use the blue stuff in the gallon bottle. I think I need to tell the dealership not to top off the reservoir when they change the oil (I get free oil changes) because they probably use concentrate. So maybe you have given me a useful tip here. I'll run out what's in there now and refill it from the gallon bottle. Maybe that will help. Thanks!
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Not to belabor a point, but I've seen blue stuff in both winterized and standard formulae. Sniff the blue stuff you have - if it's primarily denatured ethanol, you'll pick up the scent immediately. Another test would be to dip a cotton swab bulb into the stuff and touch a flame to it. If it's alcohol, the bulb will ignite immediately.
  • I went back to the mechanic and explained the problem. He first changed an engine mount (I think is called like that-a rubber thing) that solved most of the rough shaking. After that he checked again the timing belt, he said that even installed another new one to make sure that it wasn't the belt the culprit and he said that everything it is ok but he can't explain the problem that still exists, delay in starting. I just checked today the fuel consumption (I haven't done this in a year) and is not good, 16m/1 gal (60% city+40% highway). Should I go to the dealer to have the codes checked? Thank you.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    I still think one or both camshafts are mistimed in relation to each other, and/or to the crankshaft. If so, that's mechanic error - NOT a bad belt. If it turns out your mechanic screwed up* and the dealer ends up correcting it, your mechanic would legally be obligated to reimburse you for the dealer's work. Don't be afraid to file action in small claims court if necessary.

    *A very common error in high school autoshop class is to turn the crankshaft bass-ackward to align its index with the block-mounted reference to save time and effort. Normal mechanical "slop" will end up with the cranshaft mistimed by a full degree or more - it doesn't take much to make an engine run like stink. (At two degrees mistiming, some engines won't run at all.) The proper technique for ANY engine is to turn the crankshaft only in its operating direction of rotation - even if that means muscling it around 359+ degrees to bring the marks into exact alignment. The worst nightmare you could be facing is if the crankshaft were turned backward far enough, there could be damage to one or more valves from interference with a rising piston. (I really hope that didn't happen to your engine.)
  • I have a 2002 Toyota Camry XLE. When I set the temperature for heat, I get heat on the drivers side and cool air on the passenger side. Can anybody help in telling me what could be wrong?
  • Thank you for the info. I will have this checked out. Also, where is the best place to get a wiring diagram of the car for myself?
  • The Toyota 2003 camry owners manual states that "you must push in the key from 'acc' to the 'lock' position." ".. transmission must be in the 'p' position."
    However, when my camry has been out in the cold weather, it turns on and starts OK, but on short trips - so short that the car interior and ignition switch does not have time to warm up - when trying to turn off the car, the key will not go from "acc" to "lock." Pushing does not help. Driving around for another 15 minutes or so, until the car warms up, seems to be the only way to move the key to the "lock" position so that the key can be removed. This is an "intermittent" problem so the Toyota dealer has not been able to reproduce it. This has happened to me, 3 time over the last month. Has anyone had a similar problem? Any suggestions as to how to fix it? Thanks.
  • Hi! I have a 98 Camry XLE V6.
    I just had a Toyota Dealership repair a check engine light with a VSV Part #90910-12271 for $345 labor and $76 for the part. When I asked the service manager why so much for labor, he replied that the part was buried in the back of the engine where it is difficult to get at. I looked up the replacement procedure for a VSV in a Chilton Manual, and it shows VSVs under the V-bank cover and on the charcoal canister next to the air filter. Is there one in a place I missed? These locations should not take 3 hours labor to remove and replace a tiny valve, right? Thanks for feedback, Tom
  • Hello Again!
    I've had an early Christmas gift!! I ran all the fluid out of the windshield washer reservoir (there was a lot!), bought a gallon of the yellow Prestone washer fluid which also removes ice, and filled the reservoir.

    Today the temperature was 18 degrees when I left my house. I had a bit of ice on the windshield, and I pushed the wiper fluid wand, and guess what? It squirted!!!!!!!! There must have been H2O in the fluid. I am a very happy camper, thanks to you!!

    Merry Christmas, Friend!! :) :) :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    Same thing should happen with the blue washer fluids--they don't freeze down to -20. Check the container label for the low temp. Any of the alcohol-based fluids remove ice.

    Use the washers once every couple days even if not needed. I believe the alcohol evaporates into the air from the end of the squirt tube leaving the water with a higher freezing temperature.

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

  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Thank you for the feedback and the Christmas wish - right back atcha, too! :) :) :) ;)
  • Howdy, I started my 89 camry this morning and it was running as it normally does for about 45 seconds, but then it suddenly stalled, and I wasn't able to start it up again. It's got 378+K and this is the first time it's ever stalled on me. All the electronic components were working fine, so I don't think it was a battery problem. Could this be ice in the fuel line? I appreciate any help on this.
  • Hello, I have a 1996 camry with 175,000 miles on it. Over the last couple months I have had a problem with it vibrating and sometimes stalling. What happens is if I am at a stop, sometimes it will start to vibrate really hard, the RPMS suddenly drop down to zero and fluctuate from about zero - 1,000 (this is at a complete stop) and if I cant give it gas soon enough it stalls. I also noticed that when it does this I suddenly smell this acrid smell. I thought maybe it smelled sort of like gas but I'm not sure. The mechanic said that the car was giving him a code, but it wouldnt tell him what was wrong. We had the engine mounts replaced, fuel injection servie, a tune up, the radiator was replaced, the brakes were replaced, the tires were fixed. The throttle was also cleaned. EVen after all of this the car still has the problem. The only thing is that it is intermittent, so I guess they cant find out what is wrong. Does anyone have any ideas??
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter from a large daily newspaper would like to speak to consumers who are repeat Toyota Camry owners. If you would to speak with the media, please respond to with your daytime contact info. and city/state of residence no later than January 5, 2006.


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  • Hi,
    Just bought a 97 Camry LE, v6. Everything runs fine, however just recently a light came on, the icon looks like the car w/ flashing tail lights. I've cked the tail lights, brake lights and nothing is wrong with them. Has anyone experienced this, or do you know what the light is on for?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Have him check EGR valve for carbon deposits, the deposits may not allow valve to fully close and cause stalling at idle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    High mount brake light checked?
  • 2000 camry engine knocks at 86,000 miles even after recent service. It just started. The knocking stops when cranking with out spark plugs and compression is equil. Engine is free of visual damage on pistons and walls. motor dot camry at yahoo dot com is my engine contact address. Please advise.
  • 89 Camry, 2.5 V6 190,000 miles;

    Problem: While driving, the temperature gauge goes from straight up(right in the middle--its normal position) to about 3/4 of the way to the H and back to normal repeatedly. Seems like it can't decide whether to overheat or run at normal temp. I assume that my thermostat may finally be failing. What do you all think?

    I plan to replace it myself. Are there any nasty surprises or difficulties that I need to be prepared for? Special tools I need etc.?

    Thanks in advance!

    Steve Edge
  • I recently took my 1996 Camry to a mechanic with this problem. Diagnosis was tough and time consuming. Finally the mechanic settled on the camshaft position sensor on a tip from a local Toyota mechanic. The problem appears to be gone and this is not terribly expensive to fix (200-350 depending on new or used parts and labor). To replace on this car you just replace the distributor.
  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    Your 03 transmission takes type 4 toyota transmission fluid and it should be changed every 30,000 miles and I do it at 20,000 miles due to bumper bumper traffic. No toyota transmission is supposed to go past 30,000 miles with out a transmission oil change. Don't use dexron 3 as a fluid change only the type 4 from toyota or you can use ams oil universal synthetic fluid as second oil replacement which is the best kind of oil for the tranny.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "...use ams oil ["Amsoil"] universal synthetic fluid as second oil replacement which is the best kind of oil for the tranny..."

    That's an opinion that Toyota doesn't share - at least for warranty claim consideration. Toyota has not released the T-IV formulation specifics, therefore so-called "universal" ATFs (which are NOT universal at all) are only their blenders' Kentucky-windage guess at compatibility. If the car is still under powertrain warranty, stick with Toyota T-IV ATF. It's a synthetic blend with friction modifier characteristics specifically tailored to Toyota's choice of friction facing materials. The rest of your advice was spot-on, though.
  • Additional Info--the car seems to be overheating ONLY when I have the heat on. Also, my upper radiator hose is hot, leading me to believe that my thermostat is not stuck closed. Anyone have a clue what the problem could be? Thanks in advance.

  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Given the age of the car, if your current thermostat is the original, I'd definetly replace it. Why? Just cuzz. Nevertheless, it doesn't read like the thermostat if overheating only occurs when the heater is used. My guess is a clogged heater core. The heat control valve for the HVAC is a bypass configuration. If it's in full "cold" position, coolant circulates through the entire cooling system except for the heater core. As the heat control valve is progressively moved through its range to full "hot", more and more coolant is diverted additionally to the heater core. At full "hot", all coolant is directed through the heater core, and if the core is clogged, the engine is starved for circulated radiator-cooled fluid. The ringer in all this is the cyclical nature you described. I wonder whether the heat control valve has a "safety" thermal bypass that'll allow brief coolant flow to relieve excess pressure in the event the heater core won't flow. How often do you service your car's cooling system with fresh antifreeze, and what type?
  • I have 2002 Camry with 43K on it. Bought it new in 2001 and it came with Bridgestone Turanza tires. These are $150 tires so in replacing them recently I went with an $80 Bridgestone and now the car has a pronounced pull to the left. I,ve had it aligned and wheels balanced but no good. Haven't taken it to the dealer yet. Has anyone had this problem? Appreciate any input.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    interesting possibility w.r.t. the heater core and a safety relief mechanism.

    are you a mechanic? curious.

    i'm mechanically challenged, not a motor-head, just interested...initially i was thinking maybe just a bad temp sender or connection to same (if there was no actual overheating), but since the vehicle is overheating (how do we know that?) with it set to heat, i like your explaination. could it also be the bypass valve itself, as opposed to the heater core?

    additionally, don't you think the person should check the level of the antifreeze in the radiator (cold), and in the resevoir?

    if the system has never been serviced, a flush and fill with the new stuff in proper proportions seems in order.
  • Hello,

    I own a Toyota Camry LE V6 2004 model with the dealer installed security system, and since last night the alarm is going off every 60-90 mins.

    Wondering if your issue got resolved by keeping the remote transmitter away from the car.

  • The problem was was with the coolant, or lack thereof. I filled the radiatior, now the temp level stays normal. Thanks user777 that is the most obvious problem and I should have realized it.

  • I have a Toyota Camry 2001 4 cyl 64000 miles. Does this car behaves only if I service it at the dealer? I flushed and replaced the steering fluid at a station specialized on oil service. They show me that the fluid is dirty and needs to be changed after 60000 miles. I asked them if the replacement fluid is the right one for Toyota, they said yes. Two days after the change when steering, I hear that high pitch noise (it seems that noise comes from under the hood not from the steering column) and the steering wheel moves very hard. This happens when steering on both right or left side, not every time (4-6 times in 10 days) and I think when it is cold outside. The fluid it is a the right level. What might be wrong? Thank you.
  • I just had my 04 Camry 4cyl. 30,000 mi service, I was told the throttle was dirty and the dealership could clean it for $85. The basic service cost $375. which included $35-40. for the synthetic oil! Shouldn't a throttle cleaning be included and how important is it, Can I do it myself???
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