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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Premium gas has always been the recommended octane in the V6 engine since 92 when the new model came out. You can use a lower octane but I believe that you will see the difference in mpg and performance.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    You may have a leaky injector or two. Try some injector cleaner.
  • Which CD player do you have?
  • Ihave the Toyota Radio/CD/Cassette combo with the jbl speakers.
  • Hi

    Can someone tell me what tire pressure I should have for my 2000 Toyota Camry? I looked at the label near the doorframe of the driver's door, and it states 29psi, and for the maximum vehicle capacity -which I assume means the weight of the cargo, it is 32psi for the maximum capacity of 900lbs? Does this mean that I should have the tires at 29psi, and only if I have 5 passengers - a full load (near 900lbs) - that I should add air and make them 32 psi? Or does it mean that the tire pressure can vary, that it can be between 29 and 32 psi no matter how heavy the cargo I am carrying, so that the maximum capacity stated is not related to the cargo weight, but instead it is related the the maximum capacity of the tire. This is very confusing. Please help.

    Thanks in advance.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I have a '97 Camry; the label on mine recommends 30 psi for all conditions, except high-speed driving (above 75 mph), in which case the pressure should be increased to 35.

    Usually when a car maker specifies light load and full-load pressures, the light load is only for 1-3 occupants and no luggage. Anything beyond that and you should go with the full load pressure.

    Personally, in your case, I'd just go with 32 all the time; the lower pressure just provides a slightly softer ride.
  • I have had discussed this with other people before. Do you go by the pressure in the door/glovebox or what is in the tire? My opinion, go by the tire. You do want to use your judgement and get a "feel" for the tire. I'd stay under max, only because of the air expansion. But, too low and it puts excess strain on the sidewalls, plus heats the air too much and can cause a blowout. In other words, one of my cars said run at 28 psi for optimum performance. Now, the tires had a max of 35. When I changed the tires, the new ones were max of 44psi. 28-44? Big difference. I am not running my tires 16 psi beloe max. You have to use your judgement, although tires are overengineered for those load situations anyways. Ever seen those tiny-[non-permissible content removed] trucks pulling those big-[non-permissible content removed] trailers? I bet they weren't 6 ply tires on the rear of the truck.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    If the car's label specifies 28 psi for the tires, you should put 28 psi (or only a little more) in the tires. 35 psi probably wouldn't cause significant problems, except possibly some extra wear in the center rib, but 40 or so almost certainly will cause excessive center rib wear, plus less-than-optimal ride and handling, even if the tire is labeled for 44 psi max pressure.
  • I have a 1998 LE V6 auto (Japanese built) with approximately 40k miles, most of which are high-speed, So. California freeway miles. The vehicle has had 4 episodes (months apart) where in attempting a start, the engine will crank and crank without ever firing. Episodes normally occur after vehicle has been parked approx 8 hours; 1 episode occurred after a cool down of 2 hours. Normally, engine will crank and fire instantly without any throttle opening, regardless of ambient temperature, time since last running, etc, etc. During these no-start episodes, engine will start and run smoothly at high idle (~1,500 RPM) ONLY if throttle is held open ~20%-30%, but engine will stall instantly if throttle is released (no idle). Engine will eventually idle & run normally if manually held at high idle for several minutes. Post-incident trips to dealer result in no stored trouble codes and of course unable to duplicate failure. During most recent episode, engine needed to be held at high idle for over 5 minutes (until temperature gauge indicated normal operating temp) before engine would idle normally. Car always starts instantly and idles perfectly, except during these episodes.

    Also, vehicle has recently developed prominant clicking/knocking/rattling noise from front suspension (sounds like both sides)only noticed when slowly going over speed bumps or other large irregularaties. First sounded like "loose" wheel trim rings (hubcaps), but noise is still present when trim rings are removed.

    Anyone have similar experiences, and if so, what was the resolution?

    Absolutely love the comfort, ride and power of this car, but these reliability issues are troubling. Expected to get 200k trouble-free miles with meticulous maintenance, but now I'm concerned.
  • Of all of the cars I've owned, I go with what's reasonable. In other words, my tires on my cars now are 2 cars with 44 and 1 with 36. I run 38 and 35, respectively. If I ran 28 in 44 psi tires (which I have tried before) the ride is sloppy, the handling is noticeably different, increased rolling resistance, and I am putting excess wear on the outer of the tires (where fwd cars put plenty of wear on those areas enough already). Ever used a dolly with LoW tires, not flat tires, just LOW tires? Big difference in the ability to dolly items. Like I said, my opinion. But I know what I like and put in what's reasonable for my tires. My tire wear is great, but I also rotate regularly. My 40k tires have 50k on them now with plenty of tread left.
  • They might check the iac motor. It does affect cold starts and high idle by bypassing the closed butterfly throttle valve and passing air into the intake. Maybe the idle air control motor is not properly opening, therefore requiring a more open-throttle response. Just a guess there. It could be someting more simple though, but I'd check there. Also, I've read that some noises were caused by shipping blocks not being removed on the v-6's built in Japan at the port. It could be an upper strut support bearing noise too. I don't think these are serious issues (well, the idle issue should be checked out) but otherwise it should be ok. No car is perfect, but I too chose a 97 v-6 for the reliability, smoothness, comfort, and sweet power. For a car with a little under 200 horses, it moves. I'm also expecting many trouble-rree miles, and so far, nothing serious. Have those areas checked, though the idle area might have to be caught "in the act" as if there is nothing stored, it'll probably be hard to duplicate. Those cars do have a mass air flow sensor using a heated coil to tell the computer the amount of air passing into the intake. Sounds like some sort of air/fuel problem, but it might be hard to diagnose, considering the infrequency of the problem.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Regarding your tire pressure posts. George5 asked in post #259 about the difference between the 29 and 32 psi recommendations (light load vs. full load) for his Camry. I said to simply go with 32 all the time; it's pointless to fiddle with such a small pressure difference.

    Now if a person is willing to do what you do, that is, carefully monitor tire wear, your approach might work. But I don't think most people would want to be bothered. So as a general rule, going with the car maker's recommendations would be better than inflating the tire to just under its maximum rated pressure, IMHO.

    My own Camry provides a good example. The '97-99 Camry 4-cylinder came with 14-inch tires made by a number of manufacturers. Some like Michelin had a max tire pressure of 35. Others like General or Dunlop had a max pressure of 44. I had the Michelins and kept them at about 32-33. They wore evenly and I obtained nearly 50K miles from them (rotating them along with the full-size spare). Now I have Kumho tires on the car (don't laugh -- I got a good deal at work). These have a max. rated pressure of 44, yet they are wearing out slightly more in the center, despite my keeping the pressure at 32-33. Otherwise, I can't tell any difference in ride, handling, or noise compared to the Michelins.
  • I agree with you about people not fiddling with tires. For me, my careful monitoring helps extend life and wear, while keeping a proper ride for me. A difference for him in a few psi won't make a difference and I too would go a little higher. I just know that I have had many different manufacturers (I swear a different one for each car, and even changed manufacturers when those wore out) and there are BIG differences in wear and performance, as even you can attest to with personal experience. I guess people just need to go with what a manufacturer states, even if a mounted tire is different than what the car manufacturers expect, so they put those numbers as a general catch-all. Fine for them, but I will keep my careful monitoring of my own tires.

    Later 210delray
  • I just had my transmission go out in my '93 Camry (auto 4cyl) at 104,000 miles. I'm a little shocked. It happened all of a sudden with no prior signals of any problem. It quickly slipped out of gear at about 30 mpg (I was not in the car at the time) and was then parked. It wouldn't shift into reverse but could initially shift into drive, however, after a mile or so it went out of gear. Called Toyota and they told me about the brake sensor bypass by the stick to press to get into drive. This worked so I could get to the dealer but at about 50 mph it would slip out of gear. Dealer says they just want to replace with a rebuilt which would run about $3,600...what a rip!! They don't want to even teardown to see what went wrong. They said the fluid was not problem. I think I'll take it somewhere else for less. Anyone have any thoughts or similar problems? What would make this happen all of a sudden? I had a transmission problem in a Ford Aerostar (terrible vehicle) but you had signals that something was not right prior to its final death. MLM
  • I have a 97 LE, 4 cyl. (48K) whose transmission tend to stall during first forward movement of the car on cold mornings. The car moves forward but the first couple of gears seem to idle. Anyone familiar with this or had this discussed with a dealer? I'll appreciate any responses.
  • I recently (about 2 weeks ago) bought a 1998 Toyota Camry XLE Sedan 4D V6 3.0L with 34,000 miles on it. I am very happy with the car’s acceleration, smooth quiet ride and gas mileage (22mpg city with mid grade gas). However, I hear a thumping noise coming from the passenger side front as I go over bumps. I suspect that the car has the front strut plate problem. I bought the car from a small non Toyota dealer. The dealer I got the car from said the car was off a 3 yr lease which he bought at the auction. The car now has 35,436 miles and is very close to the 36,000 limit. Should Toyota have to fix my car if I bring it in tomorrow? Or should I contact Toyota? Can anyone recommend the best course of action to handle this problem in hopes of Toyota fixing what they have acknowledged as a flaw?
    In Toyota’s Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) for 1998 Toyota Camry XLE Sedan V6-2995cc 3.0L DOHC MFI; ( found this at ) 59. SU001-00 JAN 00 Front Suspension Support Noise - Change Made , and, 28. SU003-98 AUG 98 Front Suspension Groan Noise.
  • 3 years ago I purchased a '94 Camry XLE off of a friends lease for an incredible price. The car had 24,000 miles on it, today it has 108,000 miles. In that time the only major issue is the power steering pump which needed replacing just under 44,000 mi and started leaking again at 89,000 (I refuse to replace it again and Toyota has offered no assistance because the dealer didn't charge me for labor at the first replacement). Other than the power antenna dying at 70,000,the repairs have been a result of normal mileage wear and tear, i.e., front struts, brakes every 40,000 or so, axle boots deteriorating (very common in Southern California due to smog). The car has proved to be very reliable, with very good acceleration and braking. Annoyances are A/C vents placed so that cold air blows in our face, A/C temp controls not fine tuned, first fan click too much air, low cool setting too cold, driver visor doesn't stay up (100,000 mi), trunk lid drips water after rain or wash when open, wetting contents of trunk and leather door panels peeling off of doors. I would rate it very high woth other cars that I have owned in my life. Would purchase another, perhaps Avalon. Felipe47.
  • I Just bought a '96 Camry with V-6 engine. the car has 43K miles, and it is in good shape. One complaint about the car is its tendency to slide side to side on icy roads, and ice patches on Interstate driving.

    It scares me the way it has slight side to side motion like it is starting to spin out of control. My previous car, a 95 Dodge Stratus with 92K miles, never had this trouble. My '94 Honda Accord did not act like this either.

    I think Camry's suspension is too soft. I do not believe the car needs new struts. Does anyone have this problem?
  • Rooba8,

    What type of tires do you have on the Camry? Are they M&S (Mud and Snow) rated? M&S tires will give good traction in most snow situations, but are still not as good as true snow tires. I have owned a 92 Camry V6 XLE, a 98 Avalon XLS and currently own a 2000 Acura RL. Both toyotas did fine in the snow, but I generally did not encounter any true ice conditions. Have not yet experiened any snow/ice situations with the Acura, but expect this car to be quite competent. If you are concerned about traction in icy conditions, the best tire that I have used are Bridgestone Blizzaks. I have used these tires on a rear wheel drive 1988 Mercedes 300 SEL. The M/B slipped and slided very eaisly prior to the Blizzaks. Once installed, the car felt incredibly safe in ice and snow road conditions, but as many automobile experts have stated, ice is ice and requires extreme caution in any driving manuevers that are normally considerd to be routine. Happy driving.
  • sranger94,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I do have bilzzaks on my wife's '97 Dodge GC. The blizzaks probably help Chrysler's weak transmission from too much tire spinning. Blizzaks are amazing on ice and snow. The soft block treads really do a nice job.

    The tires on the Camry are some type of four season tires. I know they are not M+S tires. The Camry has too soft of suspension. It is more like Buick Regal, than Honda Accord. My '94 Accord had very little suspension travel; very sporty ride, but very hard to get in and out of the car. I just hate to stack 8 snow tires/wheels in my garage!!

    My Dodge Stratus was doing fine on icy roads with cheapy $39 General G4S tires from Sam's Club. I am surprized that this Camry is on second partially worn set of tires with only 43K miles. the car has not been abused, and there is no pulling or shimming in the steering. The brakes pulsate slightly, not to the point to raplce the rotors yet.
  • I too had front strut noises from my '97 Camry, mostly when the weather reached 45 degrees or less. I felt that the boot around the upper part of the strut was causing the noise, so with a little WD40 I sprayed the drivers side strut. On the passengers side I also sprayed the boot, inside and out, and also greased around the upper middle strut-bolt, under the hood, and all around the rubber. Driving the next day the drivers side still crunched over bumps, but the passengers side didn't. After raising the car I greased around the middle strut bolt, again under the hood, and the rubber surrounding it on the passengers side. Raising the car allowed for much easier lubrication of the rubber since it wasn't pushing up against the car. Now the suspension is quiet with no complaints.
  • I have a 97 camry LE and found the same Technical Service Bulletins. about a year ago I found this noise from the front suspension. it was minor and didn't much of it. about 2 months ago it got annoying so I contacted my local toyota dealership to look at it. they said I had a broken strut and it would cost over $350 to fix it. they said it wasn't a safety issue so I let it go. today I found your problem in edmunds and looked at for my 97 camry and i found the SU001 and SU003 for my car also. i called toyota customer service (1-800-331-4331 #3) and they said their customer rep from my local dealership will contact me. what is the status of toyota fixing your strut problem?

    what bugs me is that this strut issue was around since AUG 98 and the dealer did nothing about it while my car was still in the 3 years/36k mile warenty. my dealer claimes that when a recall comes in to them, they will fix it without me asking for it. does anyone else have experiance with this situation?

    thank you
  • To:;

    The quality (or lack there of) issue in the Toyota is significant. Toyota's hallmark has been long-term reliability. I believe this is NOT the case now. It may well be a myth perpetuated by Toyota. Owners are likely to have false hope based on this myth.

    Did you know that some owners are experiencing sludge in the engine and being denied warranty claims? Did you know that these same owners are paying $5,000-8,000 for new engines? Did you know that some 2000 Sienna owners are having torque converter replacements within the first few hundred miles of driving? Did you know that others have had total transmission failures after after a few thousand miles? Did you know that there are other problems common to this vehicle? Have you had:

    1) Persistent drifting/pulling to the left or the right
    2) Uneven wear of tires with need for early replacement
    3) Premature brake component wear, including rear brake drums
    4) Power steering problems, including inner tie rod or total rack and pinion replacement
    5) Vibrations, esp. at speeds above 50 MPH
    6) Premature transmission problems or failure
    7) Torque converter replacement, sometimes just after delivery
    8) Sliding door latch problems with sticking and difficulty opening
    9) Oil sludge in the engine related to a contaminated system

    IF you have experienced these problems, please write to the following agencies and file a report detailing your case. THEN, network with others by visiting sites where owners post experiences.

    U.S. Department of Transportation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Office of Defects Investigations
    400 7th Street, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20590


    Center for Auto Safety
    1825 Connecticut Ave., NW
    Suite 330
    Washington, D.C. 20009-5708

    The Complaint Station--click "T", then "Toyota"

    Car Trackers Discussion Forum

    Phil Edmonston's Lemon-Aid Car Guides

    Also, use the USENET groups:

    Charlene Blake
  • there are 2 Technical Service Bulletins:
    SU001 and SU003 for 97 and 98 camries.
    these 2 issues deal with a defect in the front strut. i found 2 postings here that show other customers found these same problems and luckely they were found while their camry was under warenty.
    my car is a 97 with 50k miles (out of warenty). i contacted toyota customer service and they said that if the car was under warenty they would have fixed it, but in my sutuation they can't help (i will need to pay).
    can anyone recommend what i should so for my local toyota dealer will repair the defective strut thats been know defective since aug 98.

    thank you
  • I too had called the Toyota dealer and they said to bring it up and they would look at it. Being 75 miles away and 42K on the Camry I try to fix the easier stuff myself. Since the greasing, the suspension runs smooth and quiet so currently I feel no need to do anything else.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    How you a consumer advocate, or a modern-day Ralph Nader?
  • To recap: my recently bought 1998 Toyota Camry XLE Sedan 4D V6 3.0L with 35,678 miles, exhibited the front strut defect. I was very close to the 3yr/36,000mi warranty expiration. I brought the car into the local Toyota dealer 2 days after my original post here #225. I told the service manager my car was making a loose light thumping sound and he said diagnosis would require examination. I thought this understandable but too open ended. A friendly explanation that I had investigated the symptom and discovered on the internet that the sound often indicates a strut problem. I revealed further that I found on that Toyota had issued two technical service bulletins (TSB s) on the front struts with a thumping sound. The service manager no longer needed to hear the sound. He said he had heard it many times and the repair would take a few hours. I had no appointment so he scheduled me for the following week. I asked the service manager, what if I go over the 36,000 mi limit. He said don t worry about it, you came in early enough. I must mention that this non nitpicking service endeared Toyota to me.
    The next week I was promptly at the dealership. A different service manager was there. He was a pleasant man. I explained the sound to him. He said it was the strut tower and that it needed to be tightened or replaced. Depending on where the car was manufactured determined which of two strut towers were used and thusly a replacement or tightening. Tightening seemed to me at best a temporary fix. In my view, if the defective strut tower got loose once, it would get loose again sooner or later. So, I quickly said I wanted the parts replaced not just tightened. I mentioned the TSBs. I made clear the severity of the noise in that the parts sounded loose and would soon snap off. That got his attention. (by the way, the sound seemed worse on colder wintery days) The service manager then said we ll put it on the lift and see what s wrong first, then we ll talk about it. I came back in an hour and the first service manager was now in charge of the problem and he said they would definitely replace the two front strut towers. I came back in three hours and my car was ready. The service invoice said that the two front strut towers were replaced. The parts and labor for the job were completely covered by the warranty. I test drove the car over bumpy roads for about one hour and was please with the results of the repair. While driving the car for a few days and closely listening for a sound remnant of the problem only good solid tha-dumps sounded out from bumps. Of course, now begins the test of time.
    Please forgive the length of my post. I wanted to give true help to anyone else with the problem I had. The details of the solution were essential to it success.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    I think the answer to your question is that she's an Erin Brockovich wannabe.
    Be that as it may, it seems that the problem is not Toyota (Sludge or whatever), but with the one who delivers the message.
    What do you think?
  • I have a 94 XLE with 75,000 miles. Over the past few months, the ABS light has been illuminating from time to time, and more often than not. It seems the ABS isn't functioning when the light comes on. I just had the car into my local goodyear dealer to get the 'regular' brakes done, and they didn't find any problem with the ABS. Of course when I drove it home, the light came back on. The manual says to take it to my Toyota dealer. Does anyone know what might be wrong here?
  • If the ABS light has come on, the braking system will continue to function normally, but the ABS function will not function. Additionally, the illumination of the ABS light will probably have stored a trouble code in the computer. A Toyota dealer, or independent mechanic, will be able to retrieve the stored code(s)and diagnose the repair.
This discussion has been closed.