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Older Camry Maintenance and Repair



  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I thought the spark plugs were good for 120,000 miles. I have a 2004 with almost 78K miles and haven't touched the plugs.
  • Yes, I sprayed cleaner on my rims and wiped off the dirt and something have gotten to place it was not suppose to on my rear wheels and now the brakes squeal when I hit them. Is this something a non mechanic type like me can can I spray some lubricant in there and if so where?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Isn't your Camry an LE model older than 2005? If so, these have rear drum brakes, and there's really no way something can get inside the drums.

    Are you sure the front brakes aren't squealing?
  • Yes, drums..maybe it from the front...anything I can do....not sure why I assumed rear but I did clean all 4 rims...
  • oh yea, its a 2002...
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Have you ever replaced the front brake pads? Maybe it's time, and you're hearing the warning squeal from the thin metal strip designed for that purpose.
  • Yes, pads have been replaced twice in 88K miles and was just recently inspected. This happened as soon as I was done cleaning the rims. I figure the cleaner dried something it it should not have or dirt got in there. So, is there a place to spray some lube, should I got to the car wash and spray soap and water in there...other ideas?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    No, don't go spraying lubricant, or any other thin like cleaner, on your braking system.

    Take it to a mechanic, who can give you a technical assessment as to what might be wrong.
  • ok, thanks!
  • When I step on the brake pedal on my 02 camry I hear a squeak. The car need no even be turned on. It sound like it comes from out side the car. Ideas. Is this a problem or just an annoyance?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Have your brakes on all four wheels checked. I would suspect it might be coming from the rear drum brakes.
  • kfields2kfields2 Posts: 1
    i have a new radiator, fans work w/no prob, ( at first they didnt but i found out i had a power steeing prob w/ hole in my line and that caused my fans not to work, and was crazy to me cuz iv never heard of radiator fans workin from power steering ) so fans work great, took out thermostat , and water pump works fine , all hoses are ok , what else coud it be....... plz help
  • Hello,

    I have a 2003 Toyota Camry XLE V6 with 130,000 miles. About 1 1/2 weeks ago, I started the car in the morning after it had sat overnight, and when first accelerating, noticed that the engine revved at a much higher pitch. The noise was not out of the ordinary just a higher pitch. The car seemed to want to hesitate, but would go forward with a bit more gas than normal. The tach registered normal as driving.
    I noticed that it took about 5 to 10 minutes for the temperature gauge to warm up to its normal range. Once the temperature was normal, the problems ceased and the car was fine. No CEL, no odd noises, no hesitancy.... Took to first repair shop who didn't see anything out of the ordinary. If I started the car up to go out for lunch or in the evening going home from work, everything was fine. Problem was only in am when car had been sitting overnight.

    Couple of days later, CEL came on, and car started to hesitate. Repair shop #2 reported a trans error code, but said it was unusual for # miles and age of car. Tran fluid was clear and they said otherwise car was in good shape (well maintained).
    While driving to dealer for opinion #3, car suddenly would not go in to gear, and now not driveable.
    Any ideas on issue, is it failure of transmission, or something else that lead to tran problem?
    Appreciate any reccos on fixing vs. getting new car. I bought Toyota with high expectations of getting to at least 150k.
  • a few weeks ago my car stopped blowing air out of the vents. I was told it was the blower motor. It was not replaced. About a week later it started working again. It would work off and on. It would work when I first started the car, but would crap out once the car warmed up. It did that for a few days. I was told it was the blower motor resistor. I replaced it and it wasn't the problem. I can't find a mechanic that can tell me what the problem is. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited August 2011
    Put a voltmeter on the blower motor, and then the resistor bank, under the different dash switch positions to figure out whether the problem is blower motor, resistor bank, dash switches, one of the fuses, or main power.

    You can't guess over the internet, a mechanic with hands on meter should diagnose the problem very quickly.

    When the mechanic told you a blower motor before, did he diagnose the problem or was that only a guess? If he diagnosed it, why wasn't it replaced...and you are still messing around with this problem?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,081
    A reporter is interested in interviewing an individual who recently decided to do routine maintenance or basic car repairs on their own to save money in the struggling economy. The reporter is particularly interested in someone living in California (Southland), but all responses are encouraged. If you would like to comment on your experience, please reply to [email protected] with your name, location and daytime phone number by 5pm Pacific, Wednesday, August 17, 2011.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I had the 3rd spark plug, from the left if facing engine pop out. I have a 94' camry, 4 cylinder engine w/ 204,000 miles. I know nothing about cars and have not a clue how or what caused this. I am hoping it vibrated loose over time? I purchased a spar plug wire set. While screwing in the first new spark plug I noticed I wouldn't seem to get the spark plug to fully tighten. It definitely screwed in, just never got it to a lock tight position. The little rubber washer in the spark plug socket popped out before I tried to insert it. I put it back in but don't know if I did that correctly. So, when I went to pull the socket wrench/ attachment, I noticed the socket part stayed on the spark plug. I can't just pull it off because its recessed down into the engine in this model. Could the internal threads be stripped or did I not install the plug the correct way? How do I remove this socket? Could I use a strong magnet on the end of the socket wrench or is that ridiculous? Lastly, am I supposed to unhook one of the battery terminals prior to this?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited September 2011
    The battery does not have to be disconnected when working on the spark plugs. It is not uncommon for an extension bar to disconnect from a spark plug socket while pulling out the tools. The solution is to use a strong pair of needle nose pliers to reach in and grab the socket. I say "strong pair" because needle nose pliers come in a variety of configurations; ranging from delicate and precise, to beefy and tough. The best quality needle nose pliers are made by Crescent, Proto, Craftsman, Stanley, S&K, and Snap On. But a well made off brand tool will also work. It is also possible to find extra long nose needle nose pliers; which are typically stronger and work even better for this particular task. They are not as common; but they are available. Once the pliers grip the socket (with one leg inserted into the square opening in the socket, and the other leg on the outside of the socket); the socket can then be pulled off the plug. But it might require a bit of rocking to persuade it to come loose.

    If the rubber insert was not inserted all the way into the socket; it could have prevented the socket from sliding far enough down onto the plug to engage with the matching hexagonal male part on the spark plug. When this happens; the plug will only be turned by the friction of the rubber insert against the porcelain insulator; and that friction is not strong enough to transfer the force needed to tighten the plug. So when the plug gets to the point where it just begins to tighten; the socket will start to slip. If you just pull the socket off the plug at that point, and do not tighten it fully; the plug will eventually pop out.

    Once you get the socket out; look at the open end of the socket and find the hexagonal recess. Then look at a plug and find the male hexagonal part. Now slide the socket onto a plug while it is in front of you, and watch how far on the socket must be moved before the two hexagons mate. There is a subtly different feel to turning a plug on which the hexes are meshed, compared to one which is not meshed and is just being turned by friction of the insert. In time; this will become second nature.

    This is the way to become skilled at this craft; by closely examining the parts which are involved, and learning what issues could arise and how to deal with them.

    Of course; the other thing you could do, without buying any more tools, would be to re-insert the extension bar into the socket, unscrew the plug, remove the socket from the plug and press the insert into the socket until it is in as far as it can go, place the socket correctly on the plug, and then install the plug again.

    But a loosely fitting extension bar and/or a loosely machined socket will repeatedly disconnect when removing the tools. The professional way to install spark plugs is to use a high quality extension bar, and a spark plug socket with a magnetic insert. These sockets are sold by SnapOn tool dealers (listed in the white pages of your phone book); and might also be available from Mac tool dealers or from a parts store like NAPA, which sells to professional mechanics. They cost substantially more than the sockets with rubber inserts; but they are far less likely to cause the hassles you experienced. However; the magnetic inserts are vulnerable to breaking if the sockets have force put on them when they are not straight on the plug; and they are not always strong enough to hold a plug in place. But once you become used to them, they are much easier to work with. And SnapOn tools are guaranteed for life.

    Spark plugs can vibrate loose and blow out, if they are not properly tightened when installed. This usually does not damage the threads; but in some cases it might. However; there is a balance which must be struck in tightening spark plugs: Your Camry (along with most other recent imports and many domestic cars) has aluminum cylinder heads. The spark plug threads in aluminum heads can be damaged by over-tightening spark plugs. So plugs that are not tightened firmly enough; or plugs that are tightened too vigorously will BOTH cause problems.

    It is not that difficult to learn to tighten plugs properly. New plugs for this motor come with a metal gasket on the threaded part. (Autolite plugs used to have the gaskets fall off when the plug was turned with the threads pointing down; so care must be exercised with that brand; but many recent Autolites have their gaskets held in place by the threads; like every other brand.) Plugs with a new gasket will compress the gasket when the plug begins to tighten; this will create a "squeezing" sensation when tightening; in which the plug will turn the last 1/2 to 3/4 turn with a slightly stronger pressure required, but there will be little change in pressure needed during that period. There will be a sudden increase in resistance when the plug actually reaches bottom. That is when to stop turning.

    When reinstalling a used plug; the gasket will not compress during tightening; so the stopping point will be reached more abruptly.

    People who work at oil change places, and new mechanics, often seem to be overly fearful of damaging threads; so they don't fully tighten oil drain plugs or spark plugs. Unfortunately; the consequences of not tightening an oil drain plug often result in the plug vibrating out and the oil all running out on the ground; which frequently destroys the engine. If a spark plug pops out due to not being properly tightened; it can cause a fire if it happens while the motor is running. So the exaggerated fear of damaging threads; along with similarly exaggerated fears of foreigners and terrorism, are ruining people's cars and also ruining our political system.

    The solution to both of these problems is not to become tyrannized by or obsessed with fears; but rather to develop common sense and learn how to work skillfully, become educated about how to do things right, develop balance between extremes, learn to trust your intuition, and make objective decisions.

    There are two different types of spark plugs in use today; some have a flat seat and a gasket on the threads; but others have a tapered seat and do not come with a gasket. These two types of plugs are not interchangeable; they are designed for different types of engines. But sometimes people put the wrong type of plug in an engine; which often leads to the plug coming loose. It is very important to use the right spark plug in an engine. There are literally dozens of different plug variations which all look pretty much the same; but which would not be thermally suitable for your engine. So do not select spark plugs without looking up the recommendation for your car in the catalog published by the manufacturer of the brand you intend to use. It is not uncommon that the plug now in your motor is the wrong one; so don't risk blindly repeating someone else's mistake.
  • miggy2muchmiggy2much Posts: 7
    edited October 2011
    remove plug and socket ,separate the two ,remove rubber inside socket ,,use a lite duty magnet to drop plug back in.use rubber to remove the plug
    as far as plug popping out must be that ur using wrong plug but if ur striped out go wit some Teflon ??
  • Hi,
    im having this problem with my camry where it will crank but not turn on. I noticed yesterday when i would accelerate car, it felt like it was stalling a bit it kind of felt like it was missfiring actually. And this morning it turned on fine and when i was at a light i pressed gas to take off on green, and the car felt like it ran out of gas and shut off on me. I cranked and cranked and nothing. i did notice the smell of gas when i was cranking coming from the exhaust.
    I did have a similar problem over a year ago and i couldnt find no solution to it. i just left car in drive way for over 2 weeks then i tried it and it turned on and worked fine till this morning. has anyone had this problem? or does anyone know what the problem could be?
  • 2001 Camry XLE with 11,000 miles.

    Inside passenger door handle suddenly wouldn't open door which can be opened from outside.

    Door locks are fine.

    Would appreciate thoughts about cause of problem and potential repair cost.
  • Check the Child Proof rear door lock switch should be located near the latch on the door
  • The rear door lock switch is working. I can hear it and watch all door locks move as I flick the switch on the driver's arm rest.
  • take it apart. Most likely internal door handle piece made from plastic got cracked because someone applied excessive force opening the door.
  • Check in your owner's manual for child proof rear door lock switch, I was not speaking of the door lock plunger but a switch near the latch assemble in the door frame itself
  • Repair completed for $50 at local body shop.

    Toyota dealership and Firestone both wanted around $200 for parts and labor.
  • what did they fix?
  • It was not the handle that was broken. The body shop owner removed the inside door panel and where there should have been two metal rods attached to two pieces of plastic, he found that one of the plastic pieces was broken and the rod was hanging down loose. Somehow he fashioned a piece of plastic and along with a plastic tie reattached the rod.

    He commented that usually it's the door handle itself that breaks. I now have a spare handle should I ever need it and am quite satisfied, especially after getting two quotes in the $200 range.
  • I have a 2000 Camry I bought a new starter for it I've been having problem with I changed the battery, posts, and then the starter. It started fine after I replaced it but the next day I got a tick tick sound like it makes when the starter goes out. I don't know what else to do I was sure it was the starter the original one did the same thing I tapped it with a hammer and it worked, it didn't work with the new one. HELP!!!!!!
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