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Toyota Camry: Problems & Solutions



  • I have an '04 LE, and there is constant motion on less than smooth roads. It seems harsher than I would expect; almost as harsh as my Protege that I traded in, and they were notorious for a rough ride. I used to have a '99 Camry, and in my memory it seems like the ride was smoother. This along with the thump when I go over some bumps makes me really think something is wrong with the suspension in the back. The dealer says everything is OK.

    I have already replaced the Continentals with Bridgestones, and it didn't make a noticeable difference.

    Is this behavior normal?
  • I am looking for a reliable dealership for maintenance on my car. My choices are Capitol, Stevens Creek, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. Which one is the best?
  • rlwrlw Posts: 2
    Wanted to update you on our 2004 Camry LE repair.
    It took a while to get all the parts in to do the repair, but the repair was finally made. Believe it or not, the stuttering going from lst gear to 2nd gear has stopped. The problem was the transmission body assembly part #35410-48011 along with quite a few other rings, springs, pistons, valves, and gaskets. The tech that rode with me never came across this before and called Toyota to find out if they had heard about similar problems. They said they had a few complaints and came up with this repair. We were lucky that the car continually made this sound upon acceleration so the tech heard it multiple times. Whether you call it stuttering, or a sound like going over grooved pavement, this is the repair you and others should be asking for. This is how my 2000 Camry used to drive. P.S. I got the airbag recall taken care of at the same time. Good luck!
  • Thank you very much for the update. I just called the delearship and explained about the possible fix. The problem I am having is the stuttering / vibration is very intermittent. Been back to dealer 5 times. They cannot get it to fail. Thanks again for the update. Glad your car is fixed.
  • I have an 04 LE and know exactly what you are talking about with the ride on anything other than a perfectly smooth road. I have never experienced that feeling in any vehicle I have ever driven before. Amazingly I took 4 test drives in 3 different Camrys (one was the one I bought) and I never noticed this feeling during the test drives. But within 1 week of buying the vehicle, I thought something was wrong and took it back to the dealer. They said it was "normal" and I test drove 2 other Camrys on the lot and both did exactly the same thing. Strangely enough we also have an 04 Highlander which shares a common platform even though it is a subtantially different vehicle and it does not give you the rocking experience at all. Now if they would make the Camry ride and handle like the Highlander and make the Highander quiet and as comfortable as the Camry, Toyota would have 2 great vehicles instead of 2 pretty good vehicles.
  • I currently in the marketing for a new vehicle and considering 05 Camry LE. However after reading all the posts out there regarding transmission failures I do have second thought. Dose any one out there know if there a trouble free sedan under $23k. After all, when I buy a new car I want enjoy driving it and not constantly return to dealer to remedy problems. Thank you
  • I have an '02 Camry V6 with 29,000 mi. Since I don't believe any of the BS from the dealer I thought I would ask here about changing the oil in the transmission. Toyota says every 30,000. I want to keep it up to requirements for the extended drive train warranty. (sludge issue). I notice there is a drain plug on the transmission pan. Yet the dealer wants a couple of hundred to suck it out and refill. Is there a filter involved? Any do-it-yourselfers have any suggestions?
  • From reading all the posts on the Camry, I have started to have doubts in the car. I had my 1999 Corolla and never had a problem. I wasn't even good with the regular maintenance. My 04 Camry hasn't given me any problem, but it's only 4 months old. I bought this car because of Toyota's reputation. My dad has a 1991 Camry and it never had a problem. I just hope I won't be disappointed or this will be my last Toyota purchase.
  • Why do you think your Camry will fail since you also are saying that your Camry hasn't given you any problem. Do you really judge a car's overall dependability by some disappointed owners. Most of the posts btw are multiple postings by a handful of owners. Toyota sells over 400K Camrys a year and the vast majority of the owners are very satisfied. The few who aren't vent their gripes in these forums. Just enjoy your ownership experience. I am enjoying my 03 Camry.
  • Oh, I love my Camry! I drove it to Half Moon Bay today which is about 45 miles from here and the gear shifting was so smooth. It also did great going up the hills. I don't think I'll be having problems with it :) And I don't regret getting it instead of the Honda Accord.
  • It looks like there is a problem along the rotor, distributor cap and sprak plug wires. Your car is 20 years old. It may be time to replace the rotor and the plug wires.
  • The cold start valve inside the fuel injector assembly may be gummed up and not closing properly for cold start.

    You can spray 2 cans of carburetor cleaner into the fuel injector's air intake while revving the engine to 4000 RPM may do the trick.

    You can also use premium gas (Shell V Power with 5 cleaners) or add fuel injector cleaner into the gas. That would also clean it up.

    If nothing works then try a fuel injector service or cold start valve check out.
  • I had this problem with a 89 Camry.

    There is a rubber return line to the gas tank for unused gas pumped to the fuel injector. If the clamp is worn, some gas may leak out and smell. This problem can be a fire hazard.

    You can access the area by removing the rear seats and floor panel, and put new clamps on the line. You can also access the line from under by jacking up the car, but you may have to remove a few items to get to it.
  • I know what you mine I have taken out several SE's out all have the same bump riding on bumps. Really quite on nice hiway roads. It's a normal noise but disapponiting
  • I just picked my car up from the auto body shop after being hit in the side rear. I noticed when I put on the rear defroster my stereo is VERY staticky and has poor reception. My car has the antenna built into the rear windshield so it's obviously clashing with the defroster built into the glass as well. My body shop said they didn't touch the rear windshield, so something must have been disturbed when I was hit.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what the problem could be?

  • Vibration at specific speeds points to a bad ball joint on the front end.

    Some times it could be caused by a bent axle. Chech it out too.
  • I had the same problem with my 93 Camry.

    Looks like the cold start injector is gummed up and not injecting enough gas into the cylinders in the morning.

    You probably do not need a visit to the dealer.

    First use 1 tank of premium gas with detergent (Shell V Power), adding in 1 bottle of injector cleaner. That fixed the problem for my car.

    If you still have the problem, take out the rubber air hose to the fuel injector unit, spray 2 cans of carburetor, injector cleaner into the throat of the fuel injector unit, while revving up the engine to 3000 RPM. That should clean out any blockage of the cold start injector.
  • I had the same problem. The car was running fine. The next morning it would not start. I can crank the engine but it will not fire and catch on!

    I checked all 4 plugs, there are no spark at any plug!

    I pulled out the Igniter module and hooked it up to another Camry. It works fine.

    The distributor cap, rotor, plug wires look OK. The ignition coil inside the distributor has an impedance so it's not open! So what can be the problem?????????

    I am waiting for the car to be towed to a Toyota dealer where I expected it to be brutally raped by one of the muscle-headed service technician!

  • I had same problem with wires inside the door chafing on metal, draining the battery. The door was in 2 collisions over the years so problem should happen!

    The switch appears fine. There may be some wires around the power seat taht are shorted together or to the chassis, which intermittently drain the battery.
  • OK. The car would not start. Had it towed free to Toyota of Orange by 21St Century Insurance since it's within 5 miles.

    Dealer ran computer diagnostics, confirmed distributor bad, wants $900 to replace distributor, rotor, cap, wires, plugs.... They do not have the dist. Have to order few days.

    I told the service rep that was too much. He was a very nice guy, suggesting I find used dist to slap in.

    I bought a ignition coil from Kragen for $70. Installed in the dist, the engine fired up immediately! The Gen Manager was out hassling me, no customer working in their shop blah blah...I told him I have to put my car toghether to get out of his shop sicne they did not have the part.

    Bautiful solution. Toytota of Orange was very nice and understanding.
  • I have a 97 Camry that has developed a foul odor from the A/C system. This has gone on for awhile now, but now is is very strong.

    Any ideas?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This problem crops up in various make/models. You most likely have some mold/mildew growing in there. After running the AC for awhile, is there a puddle of water under the car? If not, the drain line could be plugged up which would trap the moisture in the vents which over time will start growing all sorts of nasty things. You'll need to clean out the drain.

    Spraying Lysol in the vents may help also.

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  • cam2003cam2003 Posts: 131
    Yesterday, while changing oil on Camry, I noticed white powders on radiator fins behind the fans. This indicated corrosion due to salt over last winter.
    I surprised because the car is only 1.5 yrs old and I rarely used it in last winter. My 15yrs Corolla still has original radiator, all fins are good condition.
    I believe Toyota used cheap parts, that why it is prone to salt ...
    Anyone check the radiator lately ?
  • Hi floudon, I believe I have the same problem as you do. Could you tell me how much your repairs cost?

    I took my 2000 Camry to Monro after noticing a metallic clanking sound from the left rear. He told before even test driving that strut and strut mounting problems are common on the Camry and Avalon.

    Afterwards, he gave me an estimate of over $1,000 to replace struts, sway bar links, strut mountings on both sides at the rear and for wheel alignment. That seems excessive if the problem exist only in the strut mounting.

    If you replace the strut mounting, do you need to replace both left and right?

    Advice from anyone much appreciated. Thanks!

  • leonivleoniv Posts: 120
    Anything over $100 is a rip. I used to do the tranny fluid on my old 88 V6 camry. It's not hard to do, just tedious. It's better if you drop the pan and replace the screen that's inside (drain the fluid before dropping the pan of course). Stealerships will just clean the screen unless you request they change it. The screen doesn't cost that much ($10-15?) at your local parts store and I'm too lazy to clean it. I don't know about the new ones, but on mine you had to unscrew the hex nuts around the pan to drop it and get to the screen. You might also need a new gasket for the pan if you drop it. Also, may want to look into a tranny flush. It's not necessary, but simply changing the fluid doesn't get all of the fluid out of the transmission. About 1/3 will stay in the tranny, tranny cooler, and the line. A flush is the best way to get all of the fluid out. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to flush the tranny yourself. If you do a flush, it's best to take it somewhere. A Shell service place by my house will do a flush for about $75 so I take my car there. If I had a camry now, I'd probably do a flush every 60k and just change fluid in between.
  • Thanks, RWL. Please post a Toyota Complaint Case Number or some other way I can reference the Toyota fix for your transmission problem. I have the same problem with my 2004 Camry LE 4-speed transmission. I filed an official complaint with Toyota (200408030775), but was told by Toyota that no one else reported a similar problem. Now I am getting the old run-around from both Toyota and the dealer.
  • Rogman - Like you, my transmission problem is intermittent. What has the dealer done for you since we received the RWL posting about the fix? My dealer has not been supportive since I have not been able to repeat the problem at the dealership. Toyota told me that no one else has reported a similar problem, which is inconsistent to the posts in this chain. If you have a Toyota case number, please post it. Thanks, Bill.
  • Rogman - My transmission problem started within the first 100 miles. I am a gentle driver and have not 'ragged' the car so that is not the cause. What progress have you made in getting your intermittent transmission problem fixed? How did the RWL posting help you? Bill
  • JL - Please post your complaint number; my complaint number is 200408030775. If enough of us post our complaint numbers for each other to cite to Toyota, then Toyota can't give us their crap about 'no one else has files a similar complaint' ... which is the ole run-around I am getting from Toyota. Bill
  • Thanks for the info. on the tranny oil change. It doesn't sound any messier than an oil change.
This discussion has been closed.