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Toyota Camry Rattles

nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
a topic - Toyota Rattles. All the new models seem to...

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



  • How abt 2003 Models XLE /LE ?
  • My wife and I purchased a Camry LE new in June of this year. We noticed noise from the dash and the doors rattling around 2000 miles. We have brought the car into the dealer three times. Initially, they had some success by insulating the window post and taking out the radio area of dash and insulating it. When we still had the problem of the passenger door rattling each time we go over a bump in the road we called the dealer and were told that they wanted a factory rep to look at it. I brought the car in and the rep drove it while I sat in the back seat. Each time we went over a bump the door rattled. He said that he did not hear it! He said there was nothing wrong with the car! The dealership then wrote up a ticket saying no problem was found. Now what do we do?

    I have now driven several other 2002 Camrys and I am convinced that this is a factory defect. Every one of them rattle to some extent!
  • yes, Yes, YES!!! I have the same exact rattles..started at about 3000 miles. Periodically it sounds like wires or something vibrating behind the radio...emabarrasingly annoying...I bet with time there will be a fix for this one. Also have the SAME problem with a rattle around ear's height in the driver/passenger door. There have been a few complaints here and there on the board. The noise was and is suttle on rough pavement worse on bumps and worse when it gets colder. I have not had it looked at yet but expect it is a design flaw. Until enough people complain I am not surprised that the rep could not/won't hear it. Perhaps when the 'rattles like a Ford' jokes start coming from the Honda folks Toyota will quickly address the issue. I admit I am sensitive to rattles...which is why I purchased the Camry! Evedently the new model has some design defects. We shoud get a new topic on the board: CAMRY RATTLES. I know others are experiencing this...I have however found Camry owners not quite as willing to acknowlege/discuss quality issues...I think they just ignore them! Please let me know if you get any resolution on this...I'll do the same as I am making an appt to get it looked at soon. Boooo!
  • Well it is good not to feel like the Lone Ranger. I have now driven 5 additional 2002 Camrys including one with about 20,000 miles and it was the worse of the lot. The passenger door and dash rattles in these cars. The Lemon law states (I am not a lawyer) that they can have 4 attempts to repair a warranty issue and then they have to refund or replace the vehicle.
    I think it is going to take a number of people coming forward and demanding repair on this to get them to do anything. I am going to try to start a discussion thread to gather the owners who have rattles together. Thanks for your input. My email is [email protected] if you have additional info. PLEASE OTHER OWNERS WITH THIS PROBLEM CONTACT ME. Go in and make them fix it!!
  • I have the same rattles coming from both sides. It might be coming from where the seat belt attaches to the frame. Sounds like there's some plastic pieces rattling against each other in the seat belt height adjuster.
  • Who could identify door rattles, at ear's height in both the passenger and driver's doors in 2002 Camry's. There are more and more posts appearing on these boards. My guess is there are many who have not complained...I have found Camry owner's not very willing to complain (admit) when there is a qulaity problem. Anyway it's very annoying as is the periodic rattle that comes from behind the radio. If you have any great service contacts who can make a reccomendation that would be great.

    (There was a post referencing a TSP about a cracking noise coming from the moon roof but that's another issue...I don't have one!)
  • Put them here...there is power in numbers and if you are like me you really feel this is a shame because the car is extrordinary otherwise. Sadly the fact that it is soooo quiet only makes the rattles more obvious...perhaps they can engineer a fix...I will try to get a Toyota number that we can all call to bring it to their ATTENTION! Will post next week. As far as lemon law...I doubt this is the kind of thing that will get you a IS the kind of thing that will stop some from buying Toyotas though....I can hear the Honda folks gloating already not to mention the American car buyers who new they were getting rattles ahead of time but paid thousands less. Lets take the high road and assume Toyota will stand behind their car and come up with a fix!!!
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Toyota ain't gonna like this topic -- they are probably still recovering from the oil gel thing.
    Just proves they should quit changing the cars (human nature of course is to screw up a good thing).

    My 94 Camry is great:
    100,500 miles , original front and back brake pads, orig muffler, orig water pump, never added freon to A/C. Repairs to date - front motor mount, new antenna mast.
    My GM cars ate brakes at 20,000 miles and water pumps at 25000 miles
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the masts are constantly breaking - I am glad they finally went to the in-glass antennae...

    I have a matrix, it is not a Camry, but there is enough plastic in this thing to...I don't know - what takes a lot of plastic?!! But it creaks and squeaks all the time, both as the car moves, and as it warms up from the sun.

    And the right passenger door makes a ruckus like a can of loose screws whenever you drive over pavement that is not glass-smooth. It has been in twice to fix this - the second guy got about 50% of it, but I think I am going to have to settle for that...who has the time to keep going back for the same thing?

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

  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    and have concluded the following:

    1. Current Toyotas are NOT built like Toyotas in the past. I believe this is intentional on Toyota's part. They want to keep the lid on prices and remain cost competitive with other makes. I think Toyota believes that most buyers are willing to give up a little build quality to save money. Toyota is probably right.

    2. Toyota would never admit it, but they probably can't achieve the same quality in their North American factories that they can in their Japanese factories. If there was a reduction in quality how would it show up? During assembly resulting in squeaks and rattles. I don't think it's a coincidence that Lexus are all still made in Japan.

    3. Although your Toyota has some strange noises, the powertrain is rugged and will probably remain trouble free for a long time. My repair costs over the years have averaged about $25 per year per vehicle. That is getting pretty close to perfection. While you're being annoyed with strange noises, owners of other makes are having transmission failures, blown head gaskets, etc.

    4. If you want the great build quality that Toyota used to have, one solution is to buy a Lexus. This is a viable alternative for something like a Camry. Pay $5k more and get a Lexus ES300. Unfortunately, many Toyotas such as Corolla, Matrix, Sienna, Celica, etc. do not have a Lexus equivalent. With a Lexus you will get the great build quality of past Toyotas and bulletproof mechanicals.
  • For the vehicles with rattles.. are the vehicles built in Japan or the US? Just was curious to see if there was a correlation to the build or deisgn! Thanks in advance!
  • ...anybody else with a 97-01 generation camry have any problems with their driver or front passenger seat rattling or "clunking" when going over bumps?
  • Hi everyone,

    I just bought a new Camry about 2 weeks ago and have put 400+ miles on it. Being a little paranoid from the talk of rattles, I listened carefully to the car and I started hearing creaks coming from the dash. I investigated further and it seems to be coming from the radio console. It doesn't seem to seat very well. When I press on the junction between the dash and the radio, I can hear it creak!!! How can I take care of this? This is my first new car so I'm hoping to get some pointers on approaching the dealer. Thanks.

    P.S. Is this a similar problem to what most people are having?
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Try some armorall squirted into the cracks.
  • I tried to change coolant on my 97 Camry LE(4 cylinders) this afternoon. After lose the radiator drain plug, the coolant was flowed out, after it finished draining, I found only about 1 gallon of coolant was out, check the manual, it should be about 7.3 quarts(less than 2 gallons), check the procedures mentioned in the manual again, found that another drain plug from the engine block needs to be loosen as well, I have no idea where this plug is located, anybody has this experience and knows where it is located? (on top or on the bottom side, etc) Thanks a lot!
  • I have the US Customer Service number for Toyota. Please call them with your complaints about rattles in your 2002 Camry or any other model. It is 1-800-331-4331 - You can file a complaint if your dealer is not able to resolve the problem or denies there is a problem.
    Please take the few minutes it takes to do this. You will be helping all of us who purchased the Toyota Camry based on its reputation for quality.
  • mateyomateyo Posts: 22
    Yes! I have a 2000 Solara and the front passenger seat was rattling all the time. Not just over bumps, any less-than-smooth pavement would do it. I folded a hand towel into a thick-enough square and placed it under the adjustment handle at the bottom front of the seat. It lifts the handle just a little bit (seat won't move) and the towel fits snugly underneath. Doing this has eliminated the rattle.

    Now of course this is just a home remedy and I haven't taken the car into the dealer to have it looked at, but it's a possible solution for you.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I don't think modern Toyotas are built as well as the older ones were, but I also agree that the powertrains (i.e. the EXPENSIVE parts) will still outlast your interest in the car, with very minimal repair costs and average maintenance costs.

    My Matrix was built in Canada - I didn't get a choice about that - they are only built one place. However, for many of the models you can pick from American-made ones or Japanese ones, and I think there IS a correlation between the squeaky, rattly ones and the build location in America. I would say if you are looking for corolla or camry, walk around the lot some - every car is required to have a sticker right on it saying point of final assembly, and for either of these models you can find American ones and Japanese ones. The only models where you have no choice, I believe, are Matrix and Sienna, as well as Tacomas. Echo and celica are Japan-built, as are all the SUVs - have I missed anything? Oh yeah, Solara is all built here.

    Final note: in many of these models nowadays, even the expensive ones, there is a great deal of plastic used to save weight, which is important. However, it is inevitable, I think, that when you use that much plastic to build the interior of a car, there are going to be squeaks and rattles. I have experienced this on other models I have test-driven, including Nissans and Hondas, as well as some domestic cars as well.

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

  • ...thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a shot. My dealer has been unable to figure it out so far.
  • I have received many email now from people who have experienced rattles with their Toyota Camry. Most specifically the 2002 models. I want to bring a united concern to Toyota management and try to make a difference in the satisfaction level we have with these cars that we have spent our hard earned money to purchase. Together we may be able to be loud enough to get some action. Please continue to send me your email with your story and how you have handled the situation. I will be meeting with Toyota arbitrators in 60 days and I would like to bring all our complaints to their attention. Thanks for your help! [email protected]
  • Go for it. Their seems to be a definite issue so hopefully they will have a fix....if so please post it! In the mean time I am hesitant to have the dealer start ripping the car apart...they do not have a clue as to how to fix it. Again, I hope Toyota will acknowlege the problem and provide a consistent fix to all dealers. I am going to call the number in the above post to complain...not specifically about the dealer but more to the fact that many Toyotas are experiencing the exact same problem. In fact I am going to point them to this website!

    As far as their being a lot of plastic...that has been the case for years...I'd expect some rattles now and then but not in the exact same spot on both the passenger and drivers side...and in many many 2002s...this is a design defect of some sort!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    would probably get the message best if their sales dropped dramatically as a result of these poorly built cars.

    HOWEVER, it just so happens that I was reading the ten econocars comparo in the latest Car and Driver, and, what's this? turns out Honda Civic came in fifth for poor paint and squeaks and rattles all over the place.

    I think both of these manufacturers are resting on the laurels of their past successes right now, and figuring out ways to cheapen their production and hence make more profits without the consumer noticing.

    Well, to judge from this board, PEOPLE ARE NOTICING!

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

  • 3nikki3nikki Posts: 2
    I bought a brand new 2003 Toyota Camry LE V6 with auto trans and noticed a recurrent transmission problem after the first 100 miles . I am currently around 500 miles and managed to notice other defects.

    I am trying to get this lemon replaced and have begun the arbitration process. From my experience with the company and the dealer,a customer's opinion counts for nothing.

    Does anyone of any reputable third party service that test drive my car and give documentary evidence that I am not imagining these problems. This would really help my case.

    Thank you for any help you can provide.
  • My 1997 Camry practically was a POS. Rear suspension clunked and left rear window rattled when the car was driven over a slightest irregularity on the pavement. I heard that both were manufacturing problems, when rushing through the process of manufacturing 400,000 plus cars, they just missed few things like these. In addition, the heater smelled like a chemicals manufacturing plant.

    The Toyota dealer who sold me the car would not even touch the car and told me check with the factory rep. because Toyota was not paying them enough.

    Factory rep had two rear struts replaced, which made no difference. He also told me that there was nothing wrong with the car and he was doing this as a "good will" gesture(!!??) After that he would not even talk to me. I was told that he was promoted and there was no factory rep. for me to contact, which was a lie.

    Then I went through Toyota's arbitration and their own arbitrator recommended that Toyota repair the car. Toyota Motor Sales just ignored their own arbitrator's decision.

    Than I went through this State's arbitration. Toyota was asked to buy back their "masterpiece" and they did.

    No more POS Toyotas for me!
  • I have a 2002 XLE/V6 with just over 4000 miles and starting to get the same rattles in the dash/radio area and at ear level by the seat belts. This is one of the best driving and comfortable cars I have ever owned and the superb quietness is part of the problem why these are noticed. I had a 93 Intrepid ES before and you could not hear the rattles over the wind and road noise. Will see what the dealer says when I take it in at 5000 miles.
  • I rented a '02 Camry on two separate occasions and both had the dash/radio area rattle. On the other hand, my '99 Camry made in Kentucky and pushing 120K miles is completely rattle free, so it may be a design issue. Another data point: the 2 or 3 Tauruses/Sables that I rented at Hertz this year were rattle free as well.
  • Well, I got a call today from Toyota and they asked me if I want to attend an arbitration where I can present my evidence with one arbitrator or send in paper work to three arbitrators and abide by their decision. Then I got on here today and saw posts from CJTS and cannondale1 in the Camry string that basically said they had gone through arbitration and all it ends up being is a rubber stamp of what the Toyota factory rep said. So this should be interesting. Thanks to all those who sent email describing your problems. I will be using that as collaboration of the issue. I may be walking into the machine gun nest but it seems there is not any other choice. Wish me luck.
  • and sadly I am now getting rattles from the upper dash! I am starting to feel as though I am riding to work in my old Ford! How depressing!
  • What happened with arbitration?
  • Nothing on arbitration yet. I have the appointment set for the 14th.....
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