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Toyota Camry Rattles



  • I have a Camry SE V6 and it has most of the rattles mentioned here. I am just afraid that if I tell Toyota about it, they would make things worse. For example, they may scratch the interior finishing while taking apart the dash to check behind it. However, if the some insulation in the back of the dash is missing as mentioned, I would like them to fix that. (I was really pissed when I read about the missing insulation). I was planning to live with the rattles until I read that it was something missing that was causing the noise. I would be really upset to find that insulation is really missing in my car. I mean, I invested so much money to get this new car that I expected Toyota to give me everything it should have in it. (ie. insulation behind the dash) What do you guys and gals think? Should I tell Toyota or not?
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    is there a "list" of the rattles in 02/03 models anywhere?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    ones seem to come up time and time again...

    camrysev6owner - take it to a dealer who has done a good job in the shouldn't live with that stuff for as much as cars cost these days. Several people have posted in here saying that their rattles were entirely fixed by their dealers. But take it to one that you trust.

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

  • dc235dc235 Posts: 1
    I upgraded from a 93 Camry (Japanese built) to a 02 Camry (Kentucky built), and I am very disappointed at the build-quality of my new car.

    I bought my Camry in Aug01, so I would assume it's one of the first ones off the lot. The B-pillars started rattling at about 5000 miles, but it doesn't sound as serious as some of the rattles you have mentioned. Peeling roof trims, cracking shifter console was something that I have never seen on new cars with such low mileage tho.

    However, I have experienced much problems with the dash. The dash assmebly was so poor on my car. The trim piece around the radio didn't even fit snug to the dash. There was a big gap between the dash pieces, and obviously squeak and rattle developed. I took it to the dealer, they fixed it up a bit. The dash pieces fit better now, but a new rattle developed INSIDE the dash.

    I am not sure whether I should ask them to fix it anymore as the dealer just makes the problem worse.
  • I had a metallic sounding rattle coming from the left side of the dash board near the front window. It sounded like it was coming from the area that has the speaker on top of the dash board. It would only make the sound if I hit a bump in the road a certain way and only if the temperature was below 49 degrees. I pulled the plastic cover off the A pillar and then was able to remove the speaker cover. As I ran my hand down the dashboard at the window over the speaker my finger brushed against the VIN plate and made the noise I was hearing. It turns out that the thin piece of metal that the VIN tag is made out of was flexing side to side and "popping" creating this annoying rattle. When the temperature went up over 50 degrees the metal expanded enough that it would not pop.

    Solution I took a flat blade screw driver and pried the plate up near the rivets that attach the tag to a metal bracket. NO MORE POPPING!!!
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    You folks should sell these fixes to the factory for $50 each.
    Somebody needs to start a master fix cure list
  • I have been talking to a few people about this rattle problem and what I have been told is this. It seems that Toyota is aware of this and have pinpointed it to cars that come out of their Kentucky plant. I don't know is this is true or not. You buyers who have this problem what did the sticker say was the final assembly point for your car? Just throwing this out there for discussion.

  • The Toyota plant in Canada is at least on par with the Japanese plants for quality which is the reason for Lexus coming here.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    have to do with rattles in a Camry made in Kentucky?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    accusations are being slung at "American" Toyota plants, and the Canadians wanted to point out they are also Americans that produce Toyotas (although not camrys) and their work has been recognized for its quality. They will be building the RX330 beginning in a few months.

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

  • brought my rattles back worse than ever. I am pissed. If this persists thru the Spring I am having the dealer start to rip the thing apart. If they can not fix it I will sell the beast and with the $$ I get buy a new Taurus which I will dump every three years. It will rattle but I at least I will expect that!

    (had to blow off that steam!)
  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    Stuart: The is no better way to insult a Canadian than to call him/her an American.

    BTW it is a well documented fact --the quality of the Canadian Toyota plant is far above that of its American counterpart.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You likely won't get any rattles in your new Taurus-my 2000 is solid as a rock and going on it's third year and 23K miles. You won't need to dump it after three years either. Reliability is now dead even with Camry.

    Heck, my '90 Taurus I had for 10 years and 98K before I sold it. It never had one rattle in all that time. Toyota zealots may find it hard to believe, but it is my true experience.

    Get a loaded Taurus SES or SEL new with 24 valve Duratec V-6 for around $17-$19K, save a lot of money and wave your rattletrap Toyota goodby.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    "The Toyota plant in Canada is at least on par with the Japanese plants for quality which is the reason for Lexus coming here."

    "BTW it is a well documented fact --the quality of the Canadian Toyota plant is far above that of its American counterpart."

    The above quotes imply that some type of quality measurements are available for Toyota's Japanese, Canadian, and American plants. I would be very interested in knowing these numbers.
  • I was a big Ford fan and greatly appreciated the strives in quality they put into the Mystique (my prior car) My car before that was a Topaz---which I must add though much maligned was always serviced and never had any problems for the 7 years and 90K miles I owned it. Sadly though Ford created the Mystique, a car that drove better and was tighter than most imports but they never worked the bugs out of that mechanical nightmare before they dropped it. Then came out with the Focus; another disaster. As far as the Taurus, 3 people I have known have needed assortments of annoying minor repairs and two needed new trannys with less than 60K. I guess if you have an extended warranty on the Ford you are covered but who needs the hassle of visiting the service center all the time. Now between me and you I'd expect a new generation Taurus to be out soon...but based on the crap they have been putting out I remain skeptical--I expect the current Taurus will end up being more mechanically sound than the new one. I really do feel bad too...the service at my Mercury dealer was superior to any other brand I have owned. Loaner cars, 2 way shuttles, free car washes....still I just feel I got to know the staff a little too well what with all the time I spent there. I will say this, if the Camry does not work out, I'll switch back, save $$$ and live with the extra repairs.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    J E: I was not implying that Canadians were part of the U.S. , just that they are living in the AMERICAS, which makes them Americans. For that matter, mexicans are Americans too. And I was referring to someone else's comments by the way...let's not be so touchy...

    rubicon: JD Power has given awards for build quality to the plant in Cambridge Ontario, as well as several other plants in North America, including a runner-up award to NUMMI in Fremont, CA, which builds corollas, and Tacomas, as well as the Pontiac Vibe.

    Toyota must rate the Cambridge plant highest among factories in foreign countries (foreign to japan that is!) since they have chosen it to build the first lexus ever to be built outside Japan. (the RX330 - production just began last week)

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

  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    Stuart: No touchiness intended--just merely stating the facts about how Canadiens perceive the yankee giant.

    The Cambridge plant--next to home plants rate higher in quality, productivity, more manageable work force etc. than the other non home plants.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    You wrote a sensible summary on the reliability of various Ford models (both minor and major problems such as failed transmissions). You also made a valid point that even when repairs are covered under warranty, there is still the aggravation and time lost in dealing with the service department. Yet, you're still considering trading a Toyota with minor problems (rattles) for a Ford with both minor AND major problems? Even if all of the Ford's problems are covered by warranty, don't you think the aggravation of frequent visits to the Ford dealer is going to be as aggravating as the Toyota rattles? Your plan of trading the Ford every 3 years to prevent out of warranty problems will be WAY more expensive than owning a Toyota for 5-6 years because of the way Fords depreciate. I sympathize with your disappointment in Toyota build quality. My 2001 Solara seems to have some build quality glitches that my previous 6 Toyotas did not (the Solara BTW was built in one of Toyota's fabulous Canadian plants).
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    There are quite a few forums here at Edmunds discussing apparent declines in build quality at Toyota and Honda. If you look at what Toyotas cost 8 years ago versus today in constant dollars, Toyotas are actually cheaper today than they were 8 years ago. This can only be done by aggressive cost cutting. I believe Toyota and Honda have tried to cut costs while preserving their traditional power train reliability. The result has been some decline in build quality. Toyota and Honda could have maintained or even improved build quality and let their prices rise, but they made a business decision not to. Toyota and Honda depend on selling large numbers of cars. If they let their prices rise (compared to their competition) their market would get smaller. I'm not sure that Edmunds posters represent the overall car market. For example, my 2001 Toyota has a misaligned glove box door and change drawer and a loose piece of window trim. Do you think the average Toyota buyer is willing to pay more money to not have these misalignments? Do you think the average Toyota buyer could even detect these trim problems? Even Mercedes Benz does not have the luxury of building the best cars regardless of cost anymore. Compare the current S-class to the previous S-class in terms of the quality of materials and build quality.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Badmouthing Fords by sighting a few people who hav had problems is sensible, while complaining about Toyota rattles is not? Seems to me a bit of double standard going on here.

    Fact is all manufacturers have had and will have some issues cropping up from time to time, for example Toyota's sludge problems, Honda's transmission problems, etc.

    I am not trying to tell anyone that any particular manufacturer walks on water, just to point out there are many alternatives to Camry, Taurus being one, that have been strongly improving in reliability as well as build quality, and they can be purchased new for many thousands less, comparably equipped. And, based on my admittedly small sample of two Tauri purchased ten years apart, rattle free, with zero transmission and engine problems.
  • My new camry start rattles after 1500 miles. It is high pitch rattle, very annoying to me. But it is not always there. It seems emitted from seat belt. It is not loud, as loud as the rattles form key chain, but at a very high frequency so it is obvious especially at low speed when the cabin is quite.
    My taurus rattles like crazy whenever it hit a bump, sometimes I think the radio could drop. It is a design issue, because it seats 6 and there is no support under the panel. The taurus idles very loud compared to Camry which is hard to hear anything until it is moving. The taurus had a blown gasket on its first owner, if it happens to me anytime, I will trash it and buy another car. All in all, camry is better. It is better designed, it has better power even with I4 instead of 3.8 V6 and higher MPG. If it does not rattle, it could be perfect for 18,500 with LE trim. It does has almost everything I desired except heated mirror and ABS.
  • My frustration with the Fords drove me to Toyota where I spent quite a bit more for some things I am finding were more perceived than realistic. I guess I have my moments (perhaps some guilt too) where I say to myself, hey I did not get the crown Jewel I thought I was going to get with the camry and perhaps the Taurus would have been worth the cost savings over said Camry even with the more frequent service visits. I have to live with the Camry for a few years I guess to make a more rational judgement.

    One thing is certain, Ford is not nearly as bad as loyal Toyota/Honda owners make it and Toyota is not quite as 'perfect' as the same loyal Toyota owners tend to protray their cars. My guess is that the Toyota owners have a bit more pride in there cars (?) and are just more defensive.

    Time will tell...
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I can understand your going to Camry based on some bad experience with your Mystique. I had bad experiences with a Chevy Celebrity in the mid 80's and haven't been back to GM since. Fortunately, my two Tauri have given very good service.

    Call me the one of last of the "old fashioned" holdouts, but I will stick with Taurus and likely whatever it's Ford successors are until I personally experience significant reliability issues. As long as there are good (and less expensive) cars that have their origins in fully US owned companies, designed by US engineers, built by US workers and containing over 90% US built components as Taurus is, I prefer keeping as much of the dollars I spend supporting the US economy.

    Ok, I am getting off my soapbox. In your shoes, I would keep after your dealership and Toyota to get your rattles fixed under warranty. While rattles may be considered minor, I find them to be very annoying, as they are a constant, incessant, irritating reminder of a flaw and if not fixed, you get a reminder of the problem nearly every minute you are driving.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    Not sure that I would say Andrelaplume was "badmouthing" Fords. I reviewed his post and the worst single thing he said about Fords was to call the Focus "another disaster". Got out my 2002 CR Car Annual. Of 14 cars in the "small cars" category, the Focus was the least reliable with almost 80% more problems than the average car. Sounds like "disaster" was the right word.

    Also, nothing wrong about complaining about Toyota build quality. In my own post I stated that I thought Toyota build quality had declined and cited 3 examples on my own Toyota.

    I sense that you're looking to make the case that Ford reliability is now equal or better than Toyota reliability. Again, going back to the CR 2002 car issue, in 14 categories of vehicles (small cars, family cars, large cars, etc.) Toyota is number one in 7 of 14 categories (Infiniti is second with 3). Ford is number one in 0 of 14 categories. Still looks like day and night to me.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I was not talking about all Ford vehicles in general, just Taurus. If you happen to pick up a copy of the CR 2003 New Car Buying Guide, put out on the news stands a few months ago, you will see in their writeup that current gen Camry has slipped to "average". The reasons? Primarily rattles. So now Taurus and Camry are both rated average by CR. As far as Focus goes, yes it had a lot of well publicized teething problems. However note, since all cars in general have gotten much better, even a Focus with "80% more problems than the average car" is still likely much better than the average car of just a few years ago.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    You say that you weren't referring to Fords in general, just the Taurus. The first two words of you post #115 are "badmouthing Fords" not "badmouthing Taurus". You dismiss the dismal reliability numbers of the Focus as "teething problems" because it is new. Yet, you don't offer that excuse for the new Camry. I think that teething problems play a role in both sets of numbers. In time, I imagine we'll see the Focus numbers improving to slightly below average or average reliability and the Camry numbers improve to better than average reliability.

    Basically, Toyotas have ranged from average reliability to much better than average reliability. Fords range from much worse than average reliability to average reliability. In other words, the least reliable Toyotas are equal to the most reliable Fords.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I am not defending all Ford products, nor am I condeming Toyotas, Camry or other models. I just can't abide the people who have the attitude that Toyota or any manufacturer can do no wrong, then are astonished when they find out otherwise. Likewise, I cannot abide people who think Ford can do nothing right either, thus dismissing the entire product line.

    I am done posting on this board, back to Camry rattles issues only. Andrelaplume, good luck. I hope you get the rattles resolved.
  • If todays Camry is cheaper in $$$ than the 8 year old one then may I surmise that 8 years ago the Camry's were relatively MORE expensive. Yet they still were big sellers and from everything I have seen on these boards 'better' less rattles and body integrety problems. If they could make a better car and sell it for more 8 years ago why not now? I think they are heading down a dangerous path....I hope I am wrong and some real action is taken soon...not just PR statements that claims wrongs were righted and customers are now satisfied.

    I did not mean to offend any Ford buyers. I truely wish they would get their act together on all there cars...ironically my experience was Ford was making strikes in just the area the Camry is failing...body integrity and plastics, etc....they really need to get mechanical side in order though. Again I am not picking on the Taurus, considered by most to be close to an average performer. Note however it's replacement is not out yet and new releases have not been favorable lately.
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    I think I understand your question about relative cost, but I can't answer it because I don't know how the costs of competitors cars have changed.

    I have a 95 Camry and a 01 Solara. In terms of 1995 dollars both cars cost the same. However, the Solara has thousands of dollars of features that my Camry doesn't (leather seats, alloy wheels, auto climate control, power drivers seat, CD player, JBL sound system, auto dimming mirror). Because both cars cost the same, but the Solara has many more features, I contend that Toyotas have gotten cheaper. However, I also think the build quality is not as good in the Solara - a few pieces of misaligned interior trim and a rattle or two.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of Toyota buyers would be willing to live with a little less build quality to gain lots of features. I know this and Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes Benz know this. As I said before, I wonder how many Toyota buyers could even detect misaligned trim. The nice thing about Toyota Motor Corp is that if you want the great build quality AND the extra features and are willing to pay more, they offer it in Lexus.
  • yankeryanker Posts: 156
    I have a 96 Camry and we own a97 Camry and a 2000 Avalon. Two rattles in 250000 miles both show up when it is cold very cold. I'm willing to gamble on a Toyota but I find the pricing and attitude of the dealers hard to fathom. I may just take an Accord when the snow melts. AS for Ford I had an 84 wagon that they said needed a short block at 66000 miles. I have no short block but do have a short fuse about Ford.
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