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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • profksprofks Posts: 12
    I believe that the interval for a 96 Camry is 60,000 miles. In other words, you are technically riding on borrowed timing belt time. However, I had a friend who ran his out to 96,000 miles before the belt snapped. There is obviously some slack built into the belt life, but if it does indeed fail, you will be having the car towed in for the replacement.
  • tcjontcjon Posts: 2
    I have an '01 Camry LE 2.2L with AT. When driving through heavy rain conditions +/or unexpected standing water, I suddenly hear a bizarre howling/roaring sound, and feel a very heavy vibration. I pull off immediately and wait about 3 to 5 minutes, after which time the problem resolves, and I can resume driving. (I don't turn engine off...) The RPM doesn't drop. The dealer mechanic said it might be the Traction Control system?! However, I don't think my car even has Traction Control. Anybody out there familiar with this problem, and who the culprit is; and what the solution is? Thanks!, tcjon
  • I'm looking at a 93 Camry LE that has been garaged for the last 3 years. The car hasn't run in the 3 years, (the owner passed away). The car is not on blocks, so chances are the tires will need to be replaced. I'm thinking its worth a thousand, taking into account any neccessary repairs... Any thoughts from the gallery ?
  • Anybody have details on the buy back process?? I'm trying to get my '04 Solara SE Sport V6 bought back from Toyota. What kind of useage fee do they charge, if any? Any other fees involved. How do they compute your refund??? I have had the left pull problem the day I drove it off the lot... Chalk it up as another one bites the dust!!
  • jakee2jakee2 Posts: 2
    My question is about the engine problems with 1997-2001 camry. Does this relate to both 4 & 6 cyl. The way I understand is that the engine can run a little hot and break down the oil causing major engine failures and sludge build up. I am thinking about purchasing a used camry but I am not interested in paying the premium price that camry demands if the engine is questionable.

  • liaisonliaison Posts: 49
    I have an 99 Camry CE and from time to time the accelerator pedal will stick. Anyone else have that problem and what was the solution? Also, there is a squeek in the front suspension whenever I go over a speed breaker on my street. Had something replaced under warranty a couple of years ago and wonder if it could be the same problem. Not sure but it may have been the struts or strut tops.
  • profksprofks Posts: 12
    I purchased a used 99 Camry LE sedan recently with 44,000 miles, fully aware of the reported sludge problems. I DID look at the dipstick carefully, and the first owner had meticulous records of all of the oil changes (which were conducted at appropriate intervals). As insurance, at 45,000 miles I purchased a genuine Toyota oil filter and took it over to the local Walmart where I instructed them to put 5-30 Mobil 1 full synthetic oil in the vehicle and use the supplied factory filter. I plan to change the oil in this manner every 5,000 miles. It is still less expensive than going to the Oil Spot every 3,000 miles and using non-synthetic oil. In reality, it may not make much of a difference using synthetic, but it only costs $27.88 with their filter, or $26 if you supply your own filter (cost approx. $4.50).

    My only suggestion is to get the seller to provide oil change receipts BEFORE purchasing the vehicle - though this is a good idea with all vehicles, it is probably even a better idea with a 97-01 Camry. With regular oil changes the engine life may indeed extend well into that which we expect from a Toyota.
  • I recently bought a 01 Camry CE with 31k on it. While driving back home on highway, I noticed the steering wheel starts vibrating (light but noticeable) when the car runs at 65mph or greater! A friend of mine suggested to have all 4 wheels balanced. The vehicle is still under the basic warranty (5k or 6 months left) and I thought may be it is a good idea to go ahead to have the dealer check it out. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Usually caused by deposit buildup in the throttle body bore and back of the throttle plate. Remove the air intake ducting, have someone hold the throttle plate wide open, spray liberally with air intake cleaner (NOT carb cleaner), and scrub the bejeepers out of the throttle body bore and throttle plate, especially the back side, with an old toothbrush. Clean up the residue with absorbent rags and you should be good to go.
  • Unlike Saturn, I do not think Toyota offers a buy back option. Sounds like if you have been to the dealer 3 times you need to invoke the lemon law...I wonder if pulling to left is covered. I'd think perhaps not but then who knows...wish rattles could be covered under the lemon law!
  • I actually got the Toyota Customer Service folks involved and now it is all the way at the top. I have filed a case with the NCDS, National Center for Dispute Settlement. I have 2 options for arbitration, I can have oral hearing or a documents only hearing. I have elected the documents only hearing, and they told me I can use any supporting information I can find, whether it be on-line or from my own experience with the problems encountered. They have a 40 day deadline for a decision. If anybody else is experiencing the pulling left issue with their '04 Solara, please share it with us. I'll provide all I have.
  • who got a Solara buy back....might want to search...what is the REAL problem or fix?
  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    I bought a 2004 Camry two weeks ago. It did the same thing. I took it back and the dealer balanced the tires and did a four wheel alignment, all under warranty. It is fine now. Take your's back to the dealer.
  • Bought 2003 Camry XLE, 4 cyl., Mar.2003. In July went to start car and it was dead. The battery was replaced. In Jan. '04 car again failed to start one morning. Alternator replaced. The next morning car was dead again. This time dealer said battery and alternator testing as faulty. In addition, dealer said they discovered power seat switch on driver's side was sticking and draining battery. That switch had to be ordered. I took car, was to return it when switch came in. The car was driven one day with no problem. The following evening (a Sunday) it was dead. The next day (Monday) the car was returned to dealer. Switch came in Tuesday and installed in the car. I was told to come and pick up the car, that it was running fine. Got to the dealer's and the thing was dead again. Anyone else had this problem or know of a possible solution? This is driving us nuts!!!
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    The Toyota sludge program applies to 1997 - 2001 for the 4 cylinder engine and 1997 - 2002 for V-6 engine in the Camry's and several other models. Toyota has an unlimited mileage, 8 year policy to repair any sludge problems in these two engines. You may want to check with Toyota to ensure that this applies to used cars and also find out what sort of maintenance information you would need to provide to get covered should your engine sludge. Are you going to have to produce all of the previous owner's oil change receipts?
  • themoon77themoon77 Posts: 102
    With 180,000 miles. Other than the timing belt and water pump, what should I replace or keep my eye on? It starts and runs fine except for a vibraion at idle (it doesn't miss or idle at a high just vibrates more than normal). Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!
  • is the battery really dead or will the car just not start. I nuetral saftey switch went on our would not start every time....
  • This is an odd one. I was going back to college after my winter brake and when I came up to a stop light I hit the brakes the car pulled hard to the left (nearly into the other lane), the pedal went almost to the floor and the car took a little longer than usual to stop. So I pulled over and checked the fluid and such. After pumping the brake pedal pressure returned so I decided to give it another shot. After that the brakes operated normally except for a slightly more "spongy" feeling to the pedal. Any ideas on what is wrong or what I need replaced or was this just a fluke incident?
  • dekesterdekester Posts: 322
    I would have someone check out the entire brake system to rule out any problems that could return and cause an accident. Could be the vacuum line to the booster is leaking.

    I had a master cylinder go out on me once (1977 Chrysler New Yorker - my favorite barge!) and it was like having no power assist. Had it replaced and no problem.

    Brakes are one area that I NEVER skimp on.

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Given the age of the car and the symptom, the most likely cause is a defective master cylinder seal. That'll cause the low pedal and the pull to one side. It has a diagonal split hydraulic saystem like most all fwd cars, and if one circuit fails there's one front brake and the opposite rear brake working.
  • But the brakes still work the pedal has a little more freeplay and that's it after the one time that it pulled and the pedal went to the floor. Plus it has lost no brake fluid.

    I read in the owners manual that you should not leave the parking brake on in cold weather and that's what I was doing (until I read that) could that have something to do with it?
  • tcjontcjon Posts: 2
    I have an '01 Camry LE 2.2L with AT. When driving through heavy rain conditions +/or unexpected standing water, I suddenly hear a bizarre howling/roaring sound, and feel a very heavy vibration. I pull off immediately and wait about 3 to 5 minutes, after which time the problem resolves, and I can resume driving. (I don't turn engine off...) The RPM doesn't drop. The dealer mechanic said it might be the Traction Control system?! However, I don't think my car even has Traction Control. Anybody out there familiar with this problem, and who the culprit is; and what the solution is? Thanks!, tcjon
  • franzafranza Posts: 2
    Just bought a used camry with 22,000 on it, about a week later the check engine light came on, took it to the dealer and they said the oxygen sensor needs to be replaced, and if that didnt work then they said its the cat converter. my question is what would cause a censor to go out with only 22,000 miles.
  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    with 1500 miles and two weeks of ownership when the oxygen sensors went out and the check engine light came on. Took it to the dealer, shut it off, went to the service rep. They said they couldn't look at it that late in the day, to come back the next day. I got in the car and started the engine, no check engine light. I told them about it, and they told me it must have been a loose gas cap. I said I still was coming back the next morning and have them check it out. I did and they said the codes were clear so it must have been a loose gas cap. OK, maybe I messed it up, so I left. The next day was fine, but the day after while driving on the Interstate the check engine light came on again. I went straight to the dealer, but this time I didn't shut off the engine. They put it on the computer and found the oxygen sensor was "weak." Sometimes working, sometimes not. They didn't have a replacement part, although I would have thought they could have taken the sensor off another new Camry. Anyway, I'm waiting on them to call to let me know when the part comes in. The rest of the car is performing flawlessly, although the third day of ownership I had them balance the tires and align the car because the steering wheel shook and it drifted to the right on a level surface. I'm still happy with the purchase, but little things like this take some of the luster off.
  • Well, I am told it is time to change the Pollen FIlter. $30 parts, $30 labor. My question is: Does this really need to be changed at 15K miles and is this a job I can do myself? Where is the sucker located? Can it be cleaned? THANKS!
  • Just wanted to give you a heads-up.
    We recently bought a 2004 Camry XLE V6 with adjustable pedals. There is a constant drive train vibration coming through the accelerator pedal when accelerating under load up hills or when maintaining speed on the highway. The vibration can be a distraction and a big nuisance--especially given the fact that everything else about the Camry is very quiet, smooth and vibration-free. We test drove a 2004 LE V6 and a 2003 XLE 4 cylinder, both without adjustable pedals, and there was no vibration problem. A dealer's service department said that the vibration occurs because the accelerator and brake pedals are not solidly secured to the the firewall like cars without adjustable pedals. Instead, they are somehow suspended and connected to an area that picks up the drive train vibration under load. The dealer has received several complaints and forwarded them to Toyota Corp. As of yet, Toyota Corp. has not issued any service bulletins with a fix.
  • I just found out traces of oil inside the spark plug tube. I also have a manufacture camry owner shop manual but it doesn't tell you how to remove the spark plug tubes. Do I unscrew the spark plug tubes? Is there a special type of epoxy around the thread? The engine of my car is a 3S-FE (4 Cylinder) LE model type. Any suggestion? Thanks in advanced.
  • franzafranza Posts: 2
    Just got back from the dealer, my 2003 camry will be going back again for a new cat converter. they replaced a oxygen censor, and said they still had a code, the cat needs replaced.I asked what would cause this , they said it was the oxygen censor that caused the cat to malfunction.I dont really understand why , but hopefully this will be the end of the problems,i'm a believer in toyota but crickies only 22,000 miles.I also had them check the brakes because the pedal seems to go down to far. They said their was a build up of brake dust and they cleaned it and it should feel better.It does stop better now but the pedal still feels like it goes to far down.
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    My theory was if you have bad Oxygen sensor then unburned gas could cause backfire... damage your converter.
  • dplachtadplachta Posts: 109
    After checking the check engine code, #55, it was found that there was a problem with the NOX sensor. The mechanic said this would require removal of the intake manifold. $250 just for the labor to do that. Called dealer and they said this replacement would run $440, kind of verifying what the local mechanic said.


    Is this important, or can I let it go until I notice a problem or change in performance? I have no symptoms of a problem. Thanks!
This discussion has been closed.