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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • guevinjguevinj Posts: 15
    I have had a front-end vibration problem with my '98 Camry LE 4 cyl. that NO ONE has been able to solve. I'm hoping someone here on the board can offer some insight/suggestions.

    In February, I purchased four new Toyo all-season tires, had them mounted and computer-balanced, and had a 4-wheel alignment done on my car. When I got the car back, it pulled to the left, and there was a distinct "wobble" vibration in the steering wheel, coming out of a turn and also at highway speeds over 60 mph. After several unsuccessful trips back to the tire dealer to have the balance and alignment re-checked, I turned to a local Toyota dealer. They ruled out bad axles as a source of the problems. As an experiment, the Toyota dealer put 4 new tires from a new Camry (with its new rims) on my car, test-drove it, and found the car tracked straight, with no vibration. They said there was either a problem with the tires I bought or with the rims.

    I went back to the tire dealer with this info. The tire dealer determined that the tires were fine, but all the rims were bent to some degree. They assured me that replacing all four rims would take care of the problem. I did replace all the rims, and believe it or not, I still get a vibration, and the car still pulls to the left!!

    I am completely at my wit's end. I've replaced all four tires, all four rims, had the car aligned and balanced, and the vibration in the steering wheel remains. I've spent more hours in these shops than I care to count. I never had any vibration or alignment problems before I had these new tires put on. Does anyone have any idea what else could be causing these problems?? Thanks for any help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,316
    Did the tire dealer move the front tires left to right to see if that affected the lead in the steering?
    Then did they move the backs to the front to see if that affect the wobble and shaking?

    If the car was okay with the new car wheels on it, the problem is not in the car. Had a friend where (a tire discounter store) put the wrong size on LeSabre to replace a damaged front tire.
    Have you checked that all four tires are same size?

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

  • guevinjguevinj Posts: 15
    No, the dealer has not crossed the front tires, nor put the backs on the fronts. I will go back again and have them try that. However, I don't understand why there should be any need to do this, with 4 brand new tires and new rims that have been set up to spec in both balance and alignment. If everything is new and in spec, shouldn't it be vibration-free no matter what tire is on what axle? The tires are all the same size, P195/70R14, and the air pressure is 30 pounds in each one. I can't imagine where the wobble in the steering wheel is coming from if the rims are, in fact, true (not bent). Might there be a steering problem causing the vibration?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    After playing with this problem for a year now we still have it.

    Only occurs when engine is warm
    Only happen in gear not in Park
    Only happens when sitting at a light or stopped for at least 30 seconds or longer.

    Go to press the pedal and it won't move then you apply more pressure it jump starts.

    If the throttle body was dirty I assume it would stick in park as well? Linkage seems OK. Why only in gear?

    Has anyone solved the sticking gas pedal in a Camry V6?
  • shimmershimmer Posts: 2
    I know of a 1992 camry thats motor went bad at 158000 miles I do not know why but they replaced it with a 1996 factory rebuilt motor it is in good shape other wise I owned a camry back in the early 80's but have not had one since. I have seen some complaints on the camry on these pages but none realy on the 92's I am considering buying this car for 3,200 with the new engine and 4 new tires if anyone has anything to say about the 92 year or the difference in motor's or the price I am considering to pay please let me know it would be greatly apprieciated
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    1/2 quart every 3000 miles

    You're fine. When it's 1 quart every 1000 miles, then you should be worried
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I had the same problem in my cousin's 1999 Acura TL (dealership maintained), throttle body cleaning cured most of it. I still need to go back and clean the spring and linkage also with some throttle body cleaner.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Your tire/s may be out of round and need to be remounted on their rim/s to bring into spec ( can be checked on the balancer ). A tire mounted out of round will give the same effect as a tire out of balance . The procedure imidazol97 gave to correct the "pull" works almost every time assuming everything else is in spec .
  • gonkrazgonkraz Posts: 19
    03 XLE
    Does anyone else have a problem with getting zapped when they get out of their car. It only happens on the drivers side. I've tried touching different parts of the car to avoid the VISIBLE electric charge that comes off the door. Different shoes don't help. I actually had the service writer come out and witness this. He said he was quite impressed but had no answer or help to offer.
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    Try to use ESD strip wire, attach it to metal part of the car and hang it back bumper.
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    Try a product called "Cling Free" spray on the seat fabric. It's sold in most stores. Ladies have bought it for years to spray on clingy dresses and the like. I used to use it on a Ford Ranger that had a big problem with that, especially in winter. I don't notice it too much on my 03 XLE. Nick
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,316
    If the air in your region is low humidity right now, the problem may go away as the humidity increases. The Scotchgard spray may also help with static (read the can label) along with
    cling free.

    I found the clothes I had on affected how much charge was built up. The static is formed when two nonconductors are rubbed together. Polyester pants and nylon jacket on cloth seats in a Buick gave a good shock when humidity was low in the winter. Hold on to the door handle (if i t's metal) as you move across the seat. The might dissipate the charge as you move.

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

  • gonkrazgonkraz Posts: 19
    xbbuster Mar 27, 2003 9:54pm
    I've always had that film issue with my 90 Camry. It only happens when the AC gets run a lot. I've already noticed it on the 03. I think it's because the auto climate control almost always puts the AC on to give you "dehumidified air".
  • nhp5nhp5 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Toyota Camry, 4 cyl. It has 32000 miles on it.
    Lately I have noticed that it uses about a quarter of oil every 2000 miles. The Toyota service tells me that it is normal, but I have a hard time to accept that. Has anyone had a similar experience??
  • reece70reece70 Posts: 1
    I pulled into my driveway and stopped the car. with my foot on the brake I put the car into reverse. the next thing I know the car shoots forward, slams into my front porch, goes up the first two cement stairs, knocks out the iron railing, goes down into the driveway,up onto the grass and finally stops back in the driveway with my foot on the brake the entire time. I had the car in for service that morning to check the brakes and transmission. the abs came on on dry pavement twice and the car would lunge when it would shift gears. the dealer told me nothing was wrong with the car. toyota has also told me nothing is wrong with the car. anyone else having this type of problem that is a huge safety issue?
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    Is your car equipped with 4 sp or 5 sp ?
    If it is a 4 sp, this design should have been proven reliability for many years.
    Could you be able to reproduce the problem ?
  • xbbusterxbbuster Posts: 145
    Whatever is causing the windshield film, your lungs are probably getting a good coat of it too. Of course Toyota would say, "It's normal"
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    old cars do that because the HVAC system is leaking a little bit, which causes the film. That is not such a good situation for your lungs, I would imagine...

    of course, sometimes the interior plastics are still off-gassing, which can also cause this film.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I've been complaining about brake rattles before on my 03 Camry SE V6. Now it's getting worse. I can actually see my hand shaking while holding on to the steering wheel when applying the brakes. And that doesn't only happen when I am braking from high speeds. I don't push my car to the limit, had been treating it really good. Sounds like warpped rotors to me. Will get it checked out.

    Meanwhile, I see a lot of erosion on the disc brakes. The discs are filled with what looks like rust. But it had been a really bad winter here in Canada, and I know it's normal for disc brakes to get the erosion like this (Because I see that disc brakes from other cars are like this too). Just wondering if it has to do with the vibrations when braking? And my friend told me about disc brake cleaner available on the market. Would it really help in cleaning the disc brakes?

    I've also noticed a new phenomenon with my car which I am not sure if it is a problem. Sometimes when I accelerate harder than normal (for example, accelerating when going up a hill), I hear irritating noises from the engine on top of normal engine noises. It's really hard to describe, but it sounds like driving a manual car and accelerating hard in a high gear when the car is slow. I've never noticed the noises when I was using Octane 92 fuel. But I was told by experts in this forum that it was fine to use Octane 87. Any comments would be appreciated regarding this phenomenon.

    Windshield Film Issue - I've had that in my old 97 Camry. And I see it in my 03 Camry also. I thought all cars have the film. I just use anti-fog to clean it up and it lasted for over 2 years with my old car. It made it seem like the car was glassless!
  • I've got a 96 Camry LE (4 cylinder) with 58,500 miles. Whenever I cold start it, it would make a pinging noise. The noise would go away once the engine is warmed up. I'm thinking it might be dirty fuel injectors or needs a new timing belt (I just had a tune up 2 months ago). However, if it was dirty fuel injectors, then theoretically I would be getting the pinging noise whenever the car is on. So I'm thinking it might just be needing a new timing belt and tensioner. Can anyone provide some insight? Thanks! BTW, my local Toyota dealer wants $225 for a timing belt replacement and new seals, but no tensioner. Is that a descent price or a ripoff?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I go through lots of brake cleaner when servicing brake systems. It's an aerosol used to remove fine metallic grit from rotors and drums after machining, and grease/oils from friction materials after installation. It won't delay corrosion of the rotors.
  • xbbusterxbbuster Posts: 145
    Anyone experiencing a clunk or jerk in the transmission on an '02 or early '03 V6? After starting the car, backing out and then putting it in drive. That's when there is a noticeable jerk in the car. It won't do it again unless the car has been setting for a few hours.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    The 225 is not a bad price, just under 200 is better.

    Neither the belt not the injectors should cause pinging IMO. More likely a timing issue, grade and brand of gas.

    But if it does not ping when hot and under load I am not sure I would be too concerned about it.
  • bgteesbgtees Posts: 15
    I'm currently shopping for a used car, one of the cars on my list to look at is the Solara. I've found several 1999-2001 models that are either SE V4, SE V6 or SLE in the mid-teens. Most of them are between 30-50K miles.

    I know this thread only exists for people who are having problems, which is a small percentage of all owners, but I'm just curious how reliable you would consider the Solara to be. I also wanted to get an idea of any known problems I should keep any eye out for. I'll be running a CarFax report on any car I consider.

    The other cars I'm looking at include the Honda Accord Coupe, the VW Jetta and the Honda Prelude. Thanks.
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    Driving Camry V6 LE more than one week, the brake pedal was felt spongy. The Toyota specs for pedal clearance is 2.5" with engine running and depressing 50Kg. Probably when I applied less than 30Kg, the pedal clearance was less than 1" !
    To bring the car to stop from 30 mil/h, it does not require much effort on the brake pedal but I am not comfortable with the pedal travel distance.
    Is it the design issue in new Camry for everyone or just myself ?
    Any feedback would be appreciate.
  • I recently purchased a 1993 4 cylinder Camry with 75,000 miles. I've

    Everything seemed fine until I noticed a dramatic drop in oil (1 qt in 1,000 miles) and began seeing a blue/black cloud of oil in the rearview mirror about once a week. The clould appeared after driving for awhile, stopping for under an hour and starting up and accelerating. No smoke if only a short drive. Everytime I tried to get the car to smoke (ie. idling, accelerating), no luck.

    A mechanic I spoke to said it didn't sound like rings or valve seals and recommended I change the PCV valve. I did so 3 days ago and just noticed a big puff of smoke after driving for an hour.

    I've been reviewing your message boards about sludge and valve seal problems but have a couple of questions. Is this what I have? Was sludge a problem for '93 4 cyl? Is it most likely a valve seal problem? What about rings?

    Thank You

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    doesn't sound right for rings or seals to me either...

    FWIW, the sludge issue only affects 1997 and later camrys with the 2.2

    does your car make "little clouds" right after start-up? Or does it blow a little smoke all the time?

    What you have described sounds very random the way you have described it.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • It's nice to know I've at least eliminated the "sludge" issue. Thanks.

    No, there's no smoking when I start it up (valve seals) or when I'm driving along (rings). It's just a massive cloud of blue smoke (although today I wasn't sure it wasn't black and blue) after it has warmed up. It lasts for about 3-5 seconds and then stops. I've also been watching my oil level and the decreases seem to coincide with the smoking (not surprisingly!)

    I was hoping that the PCV replacement was the issue, but it now looks like I'll have to have a compression test done and it nothing there, then a replacement of the valve seals.
  • ron_toyron_toy Posts: 3
    My 02 V6XLE had started surging when accelerating, especially at lower rpm's. Had dealer check and said it was fine. After 2 weeks, the check engine light came on and dealer found the air/fuel sensor was bad. Cured problem and mileage is looking better. Over 10,000 miles and car is still great; have small rattle when cold in dash (dealer cannot hear it) and trying to determine if bad enough to go after. Sulfer smell has improved with different and higher octane gas.
  • st_pust_pu Posts: 74
    Dear all, in case of accident with injuries, car detail breakdown or flaw, any other serious problem with your car, please go to NHTSA address and fill complaint form. This way NHTSA will request answer from manufacturer. And makers will fix problems soon, and increase quality of cars.
    NHTSA have great database with various complains about each car
    found same issues with transmission, and ignition
This discussion has been closed.