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Older Camry Maintenance and Repair



  • heisman98heisman98 Posts: 5
    When the light blinks the compressor definately disengages just like it would if you manually turned off the A/C. Any ideas on what it could be?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You didn't answer the question, as to whether the compressor cycles normally when running at 2K.

    It should be cycling on and off.
  • heisman98heisman98 Posts: 5
    Sorry about that. Yes, it does cycle itself on and off and runs just great when it is working. Sometimes it will work for 20 minutes before the light starts to blink and sometimes it last for 5 minutes before it blinks but it you can hear the compressor kick on and the rpms increase when I am just idleing.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Are the radiator fans turning on, and spinning?
  • heisman98heisman98 Posts: 5
    Yes, both fans kick on and turn once the engine gets hot enough.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    At this point, it will probably require some hands on to diagnose this.

    Things we know/suspect at this point....
    - Your system is cycling at 2K, which tells me that the compressor is able to pull down a vacuum low enough that it turns the compressor off (so low pressure switch is working, compressor is working, compressor relay is working), and it also tells me that the freon level is not overcharged. You also indicate it's cold when running, so freon level seems like it's not to much, and not too little, so that's goodness.
    - The fans are turning on, so that tells me the temp switch appears to be working, the relays and fans themselves are working.
    - You indicated that when idling and the compressor kicks in, the idle speed increases, so we know the idle up VSV is working and EFI main relay are working.

    There's a couple things left which would be hard to figure out are working or not via the internet. There is a revolution detecting sensor on the compressor, which is used to verify that the compressor is turning and how fast it is turning (so it doesn't overspin). This sensor might be bad, or the wiring to the sensor is bad. There is also an A/C amplifier used for control, and the ECM computer.

    The symptom that you mention that when you have this problem, you turn the engine off, and then back on and it works correctly, points me to an electronic control issue, which may be intermittent. Some error condition is getting set after a while of running, which turns on the error light and turns the system off. You turn off the vehicle, error condition is reset, and doesn't immediately return.

    Other than the compressor sensor, I think you're going to need to get this to the dealer to trouble shoot further. Having a dependable failure is most helpful for the dealer to actually see the failing condition.
  • heisman98heisman98 Posts: 5
    Thank you very much for your input and expertise. You have been very helpful. I will see what I can do about getting it diagnosed at a dealership.
    I just have not had much luck at dealerships and sometimes they are not trust worthy. It could be something as simplistic as a sensor and they might want to charge me to redo the entire system.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The reason I'd personally go to a dealer, is that most A/C shops are very good with the basic A/C functions (freon leaks, replacing parts, pressure switches bad, compressors bad, freon recovery and/or recharging, etc). Your basic functions appear with what you are telling me, to be working correctly. It is pointing toward Camry specific electronic controls. Dealers certainly know this and can look up what they may not know.

    You'd probably be hit or miss at a general A/C shop as to whether they know the Camry specifics.

    Good luck.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Is it possible that he may have a problem with the actual control unit on the dash?

    I just purchased a 2006 Camry LE and came from a 200 Olds Intrigue. One of the issues that many Intrigue owners complained about was the A/C cycling on and off. it was caused by a bad control unit. replacing the unit fixed the problem. Since all else seems to be working with regarding to the AC system, maybe the control unit itself is the problem.
  • kfrohlichkfrohlich Posts: 6
    I have a 96 Camry with 167K miles. After driving home from work, I heard the coolant was boiling in the radiator and saw the reservoir was full. There's overflow and some coolant was on the driveway, but the temp gauge was normal (not overheat). I turned off the car and let the engine cool down. The coolant in the reservoir went back to the radiator. I opened and checked the radiator and it was full, but the coolant level in the reservoir was low. I took the car to the shop where I had the water pump replaced six months ago for repair (the warranty was 12 months). The mechanic drove 17 miles and told me there's no visual leak and the car was normal.
    The coolant in the radiator is boiling and filled up the reservoir which then causes an overflow when the engine is hot. Is this really normal?

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Visually check that your radiator fans turning on to cool down the radiator. If they are turning on correctly, then you may have a bad head gasket in your engine which is permitting exhaust gasses to enter the coolant chamber.

    I'd suspect your cooling fans first though.
  • aub789aub789 Posts: 19
    In the last month or so have noticed that my 01 Camry 4-cyl automatic (146k) has a 3-4 second lag in shifting from park into reverse. Only happens when car has been sitting over weekend in garage, never just overnight. Last transmission service 29k ago at dealer. No spotting of fluid on garage floor, and the dipstick reads appropriate fluid level. Is this merely an annoyance, or an omen of a transmission about to fail? Any insight from other owners will be appreciated.
  • glorjcglorjc Posts: 2
    w/128K miles, seems I have a "bad piston" - 2 mechanics tell me this. One says to run it and keep adding oil (a pain), the other says to replace the engine.

    Any opinions? What should I be looking for the cost on an engine with less than 100k miles vs oil for life.

    I love my car, bought it with 9 miles on the odometer, kept up on all scheduled maintenance.

    Thanks for any and all advice
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    and your third option is for someone to take the engine apart to actually see what is really wrong, it it is the piston.

    Is the engine running okay, but just burning oil and smoking out the back? Or are you running on 3 of the 4 cylinders and the engine is making a clacking racket?
  • glorjcglorjc Posts: 2
    The engine is running fine, No smoke, just, what I call, and irritating flutter when I accelerate, makes me think I'm driving a clunker. If it wasn't for the flutter it would run like the day I bought it.

    Is taking the engine apart going to cost as much as a used engine with low miles?

    Thanks for your help.
  • dvernondvernon Posts: 3
    I had all rear bulbs replaced - slight grinding I noted on back rear side - had all brakes replaced a year ago - what can I do to get that yellow warning light to go out on instr. panel??
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Have you checked the level of brake fluid in your brake system?
  • dvernondvernon Posts: 3
    Mechanic checked the brake fluid container under the hood - do you mean to put it up on a rack and see if there is leakage - - :confuse:
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Checking the brake fluid in the master cylinder, is what I was referencing.

    Can you check to see if your brake light bulbs in the rear are operating correctly. You may have a bulb out.
  • chris789chris789 Posts: 37
    The dealer assessed my car for a trade in and offered my $600 on my camry le 1996. The rear wheel make a noise and he thinks one of the struts might of come lose and need rewelding. Does anyone know how much this repair might cost? If its going to cost over $1000 then I might just take the $600.

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I doubt that you'd be rewelding anything. Hard to say what your 'noise' is, but everything is bolted together. For instance, if your strut is bad, then they unbolt the strut, take it out of the vehicle, reassemble a new strut and put it back in, then align the vehicle's wheels.

    You may want to have a repair shop actually look at what is wrong and give you an estimate for repair, as opposed to a used car manager guessing based on a sound.
  • jmgarjmgar Posts: 7
    The passenger side interior door handle plastic lever snapped on my 2002 Camry.

    I can buy a replecement for $20 or so online. Has there been any recall on these ? It would seem dangerous to be unable to open the door from inside in an accident.

    How difficult is it to remove the old plastic interior latch unit ? Do you just pry the unit out to replace, or have you got to disassemble surrounding upholstery panels ?

    Apparently it happens a lot as there are a lot of ads for replacement parts.

    Thanks for any help .
  • tatransamtatransam Posts: 1
    i have a 92 camry it would start at first if you held it to the floor, seemed to be getting to much fuel, so i pinched off the line and started it, then released it. but it finaly flooded out and stalled. rite after that it would not start again, and i ck,d it now has no spark..... any ideas anyone?
  • mitty13mitty13 Posts: 1
    My 96 Camry recently has quit while I've slowed to turn a corner or a couple times while I've been stopped at a red light. It usually starts back up after a couple tries and then drives normally. I've had it into the shop and they said they couldn't find any problems. A few days later while out of town, I heard a clunk noise and the car died and leaked anti freeze. I had it towed and they said it was the water pump and timing belt. I had them replace both and now a week later, my engine is still quitting on occassions. They've tried a few times to run the computer scan, but cannot get it to read anything.
    Any ideas?
  • Hello (new to forum)

    I have 1997 Camry LE, 166,830 miles. Excellent vehicle! Purchased new in '97. I inquired at Sears Automotive about cost for tune-up. I was asked about spark plugs and replacing wires. Approximately $200 total, so I didn't have work done today. I stopped taking my car to Dealer for service in 2007 (only because it was no longer convenient).

    Sears has since done oil changes, transmission service, & minor services. In addition to spark plugs, what parts would be logical to replace for a tune-up. What should I expect to pay? I do not work on cars, but I like to be informed when dealing with mechanics.

    By the way, Sears person also said my car required high-grade oil because of high mileage. Any comments about this?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    When was the engine timing belt and water pump last replaced?
  • Just got a 2006 Camry, 35K miles, excellent condition. Car exhibits vibration starting at 65 mph. Half second on, half second off. Gets worse at 70 and 75. So far have had wheel weight replaced, tires rotated and balanced, and front end aligned. Still there. Anybody have any suggestions? Car does not vibrate during braking and absolutely no vibration below 65.
  • I've never had timing belt or water pump replaced. Dealer recommended timing belt replacement at one time, but just haven't done it yet. Yes, I've heard about the consequences I would face when the timing belt fails, especially being stranded, and the huge repair/replacement cost.

    I had always kept regular preventive maintenance services on my camry until now--budget issues. But I also want to try to avoid major repair situations when possible.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I'd check for a defective tire (out of round, separating belt), bent rim, bad strut(shock), or a front body panel that is loose and vibrating in the wind. Find a garage that has a special road force balancer, as opposed to spin balance. It simulates the load of the vehicle as it rides on a road, and balances the tire while it is under load.
  • The ac/def/heat switch on my 2001 Camry only works on the high setting. Would it be the switch that is defective? Expensive or difficult to repair? :mad:
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