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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    could this be an ABS self test? can someone confirm/disprove?
  • I suppose this could be some type of ABS self-test. I really don't know, as this is the first vehicle that is ABS equipped, that either my wife or I has owned. If this is a self-test, I guess I would be surprised at the sound level of it. It isn't extremely loud, but it is definitely audible. It is not something I am "trying" to hear.

    I will be really happy if it is a self-test though.


  • That actually may be the case, but from driving Toyota's with ABS for a while it is a bit different. The self test is usually about 10 seconds after starting the vehicle and is a bit of a "grinding" noise and if you're foot is on the brake when it does it, it feels just like the ABS system working when you're stopping on slippery surfaces. I don't usually hear a clunk and it's normally almost inaudible. Without being in his vehicle, I couldn't say definately though.
  • I don't mean that personally, but if you buy a similarly equipped Taurus and a Camry, the Camry will definitely cost you AT LEAST $2000 more. Maybe even $3000. I don't even think that is debatable. I have 3 Camrys and, while we negotiated "reasonable" prices, I could have purchased a similarly equipped Taurus for a whole lot less. Ones that had auto-trunk releases, too!

    I bought the Camrys each time BECAUSE I didn't want all the little annoyances (and some big) that come from GM, Ford, and especially Chrysler. Our '94 V6 XLE was terrific. Our '97 V6 XLE a little less terrific. And our SLE V6 Solara has more rattles than Toys R Us.

    If Toyota continues to "de-content" their Camrys and let slide the fit and finish, why am I paying more for that? I sat in a 2003 XLE the other day and the leather is NOT EVEN CLOSE to the quality of the leather in our '97 XLE. At some point they have to justify to me (and a lot of others) why I am paying a premium for the Toyota name. You can talk about FUTURE resale value until the cows come home. But I hear those freaking rattles TODAY! (I won't even get into the "alignment" issues! But, two different dealerships were never able to fix the rattles in our 2000 Solara from day one. Oh, and when the water pump went out on our '94 XLE, they wanted $900 for a new pump! Good god, that's 1/20th of the base price of the car when it was new. I did get a rebuilt one for $300, but you do have to calculate those higher repair costs into the Total Vehicle Ownership.

    Would I buy a Taurus today? Maybe, maybe not. But if Toyota remains on the same downward glide path that it is on today, I might think about looking at a Honda, Nissan, or even a domestic. I'm loyal, but it's a two way street and Toyota cannot continue to take its customer base for granted.

    Sorry for the long post. But I do think you should check actual purchase prices between similar Camrys and Tauruses. There is quite a bit of real world difference there.

    Hey, I love Toyota and they have been, overall, very reliable cars. But, as they say, "What have you done for me lately?" When domestic dealers took the attitude that you just have to accept lower quality, consumers went elsewhere. They will do the same thing if Toyota takes on the same attitude. Let's help Toyota avoid that mistake by demanding premium quality for a premium price.
  • gncgnc Posts: 27
    In what cities are the "RDS" and "Traf" operational in? I live in a metropolitan town in the SouthEast and was disappointed I couldn't get the traffic alerts.

    By the way, I have about 700 miles on vehicle which I traded "up" from a Mercedes Benz ML. The Camry is wonderful and surpasses the MB in build quality, comfort, quietness, and safety. Glad I got rid of the SUV and rejoined the ranks of sane drivers.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I have read the posts from about Nov 3, and have noted many comments about deterioration of Toyota quality.

    Does anyone have the opinion that perhaps diminishing quality has to do with increasing number of vehicles manufactured in the USA versus Japan? I recall that one of the selling points the Lexus dealer used on me was that Lexuses are all made in Japan, where there is "better quality control".

    Also, can anyone confirm that a VIN number beginning with "J" means the car is made in Japan whereas a numerical first digit means made in USA? If this is the case, one might want to consider purchasing a Camry with a "J" Vin number. I live in Ridgecrest, California and every Toyota vehicle on the dealers' lot has a VIN number beginning with "J".

    Also, I suspect that owners' expectations are increasing as time goes on. I find myself looking for rattles in my Lexus and being a little upset at the tiniest one. Maybe we all need to remember that these are autos, not Beverly Hills custom-built mansions. :-)
  • We got about 8" of snow here in CT Wednesday. Perfect opportunity to check out the 4 new Kumho I'zen winter tires on our '97 Camry.

    In a word: Fantastic! Go, stop, turn - all with confidence on wet slippery unplowed roads.

    I ran the same route immediately after with our 2002 4WD Highlander with stock Dueler tires. Although the 4WD gets you going ok, the Highlander was sloppy & scary where the Camry was composed and confidence inspiring.

    I guess now I'll be looking for some decent tires for the HL.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Yes, a Toyota Camry that is made in Japan will have the first digit of the VIN as "J". If it is made in the USA the first digit will be "1". It seems that most Camrys that are brought to California are made in Japan.
  • I used the TMV prices to compare the cost of a new Taurus vs. a new Camry because I wanted a set of objective pricing criteria and my experience was that the TMV prices were reasonable. In fact, car prices vary with region, the weather, manufacturer's rebates, whether you have a friend at the dealership, etc. I simply can't account for all these variables. Let's assume that you can purchase a new Taurus for $2000 less than a comparable Camry. For any kind of valid cost analysis resale value must be considered. Yet, you state:

    "You can talk about FUTURE resale value until the cows come home. But I hear those freaking rattles TODAY!"

    I went to the Kelly blue book website and calculated the trade-in value of a three year old Camry LE V-6 with 45K miles and in good condition and a similar Taurus SE. The difference was $3015. I would gladly pay $2000 today to get $3015 in three years. My point is that there really isn't much of a premium involved with buying a Toyota. And the reason there isn't is because Toyota has been decontenting their cars because they want to remain competitive on price. I believe Honda is doing the same. There are several forums on Edmunds talking about slipping quality at Honda.

    I also have an issue with your statement about higher repair costs with Toyota. Toyota parts may cost more per part, but you need fewer of them. My 7 Toyotas over an 18 year period have averaged $25 per year per vehicle for repair costs (not maintenance costs). Are you telling me that Ford products are better than this?

    Totally agree with your observation about seeing poorer build quality with Toyotas over the years. I have seen the same with my Toyotas. However, the drive trains are just as reliable if not more reliable. My 96 Tacoma just had its first repair. My 87 pickup was not quite as good.

    In summary (sorry for the long post), Toyota has intentionally decontented their cars to remain cost competitive. The build quality has slipped. I suspect that Toyota believes that most buyers are not willing to pay a premium for superior build quality in a mass market car like Toyota. If you're unhappy with that, buy a Lexus and you will get the old Toyota build quality and more. Of course, now you really will pay a premium of several thousand dollars.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    After reading the most recent posts about Toyota build quality, I have this question: If Toyota's quality slipped, are they still any better than GM/Ford/Chrysler? Lutz has been touting that his cars are now just as reliable and well-built as any Toyota, yet the public's perception differs from this. Any comments?
  • I'm looking to purchase an extended warranty for a 2003 XLE V6 which I just took delivery of this past Tuesday after waiting 2 months for the dealer to get a car with the exact equipment I ordered. Would any Toyota dealers please submit a qoute on a platinum warranty.No outside warranty companies please. Thank you.
  • As compared to what? Their cars are just as reliable as they have ever been. The only difference between a 1992 Camry and a 2002 Camry is that in 1992 we didn't have outlets like Edmunds which allow us to see a limited number of people post about every little squeak and rattle. If you consider the number of Camrys that have been sold since 1992 (approx. 4 million) a couple of people on Edmunds saying Toyota quality has declined doesn't amount to much.

    We all must remember that cars are a sum of thousand of parts that must all work together at the same time. A little rattle or a loose trim piece is very small in the scheme of things.
  • I think we've been talking about two parameters - reliability and build quality. Reliability pertains to the failure rate of the mechanical and electrical systems. Over the past 20 years or so the Toyota Motor Company has made the most reliable cars in the world (source: JD Power dependability study, Consumer Reports reliability ratings). Whether the current Toyotas remain as reliable is an unanswered question. It takes a few years of use to measure reliability.

    Most of the recent complaints on these forums have pertained to build quality - how carefully the car is assembled (and maybe the quality of the materials used). Namely, squeaks, rattles, interior fit and finish. It's possible to have a very reliable car with lousy build quality and vice versa.

    Don't know about Mr. Lutz's claim of equaling Toyota's quality. Is he talking about reliability, durability, build quality? However, his selection of Toyota as the quality benchmark definitely says something about Toyota.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Lutz has made a few comments about Toyota. One of his more recent ones went something to the effect that the Camry, by itself is ugly but the car is absolutely beautiful because of the amazing level of precision build.
  • For those who have been so adamant about the Camry having so many more squeaks and rattles compared to their competitors, look at the Honda board and you'll see the same type and number of complaints about the same thing. IMO, it is something that has been there on older cars, but the new ones are just so quiet going down the road, the normal sounds of interior pieces rubbing is more noticable now.
  • And the people that hated their 1992 Camrys wouldn't be reading and posting on the Camry board!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    IMO, Toyota has certainly begun to recontent these (Camry) cars. I know I keep saying it, but our 2002 (US built) is substainally studier in terms of interior quality and substance than our 2000 (Japan built). Explicitly, I am refuting the idea that Toyota HAS CONTINUED TO DECONTENT/PERCEIVED QUALITY HAS CONTINUED TO with this generation. From my experience, this is not the case.

    Additionally, if you look at the MSRP stickers for our two othewise identical vehicles, (well.. before we added dealer installed alloys and security on the 02 which our 2000 doesnt have) you'll see that new Camry is a tremedously better value, especially factoring in a more efficient, much stronger engine and the aforementioned quality/content enhancements.

    2000 LE 4 cyl w/ABS, pwr drivers seat, keyless, floormats, mudguards = $21,480

    2002 LE 4 cyl w/ABS, pwr drivers seat, keyless, floor and trunk mats = $21,349

    Would I buy a Taurus? Probably not. Lets assume that the two score the same on all QUALITY measures (perceived and otherwise). The fact that the Camry is simply more refined, efficient, quiet, smooth, of a newer design and has better resale value COMPLETELY negate any purchase price advantages for me. (IMO, the Camry is better looking as well).

  • I will agree that the 1997-01 Camry was a step back when compared to the 92-96 Camrys. But the 02's are going back in the right direction. Again, you must remember that considering the number of these things that are sold the complaints on here are pretty few and far between. If you think there is a better-built mid-size $20-25,000 sedan out there than the Accord or Camry when it comes to build-quality and reliability then by all means buy it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that Camry (corolla too, but that is another story!) is being recontented is the elimination of the 'CE' trim - now that was truly a basic car. Actually it was an advertising ploy for Toyota to be able to say they had a Camry with a base price of $17K, when in fact they did not sell any without $4K worth of options, so that their REAL base price for Camry was $21K.

    But the content is definitely there for the '02 on. They are back to being as nice inside (not to mention more roomy) as the 92-96 version...

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

  • I sat in my cousin's gold 96 Camry yesterday. I really liked that model. We had a green 92 and another green 96 model.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    Thanks for the recent posts. I read many good points, and it's true that back in 1992 we didn't have access to services like, and so we only heard the neighbour's complaint about his squeaking Accord.

    Lutz commented on how beautifully the Camry is built, no matter how ugly it is (and that's subjective, I find it nice). His point was that GM could make an attractive, stylish car with Toyota's build quality.

    After logging off here, I had to drive into the city and looked around at the other cars on the road. It's funny to see how many old Corollas and Camrys are still going strong. I even saw an early 80s Celica yesterday driving around in the slush!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    never built a better car than the '83-'85 celicas - they just wouldn't die, although they were the last of the early breed of Japanese cars that would rust away into nothing before the powertrains would quit.

    The first camrys from '84 on were much better for rust, although there were a few kinks in the engines on the very first camrys, which was all fixed by the time the 2nd gen '87 was introduced.

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

  • When we talk about Toyota decontenting their cars it can have the negative connotation of Toyota taking away something that buyers have come to expect from Toyota. But there is also a very positive effect on value.

    I have a 95 Camry V-6 and a 01 Solara V-6. I calculated that in terms of 1995 dollars (allowing 3% for inflation) both cars cost the same amount of money when new. Yet, my Solara has thousands of dollars worth of features that my Camry doesn't such as leather seats, ABS, power drivers seat, alloy wheels, JBL sound system, auto climate control, auto dimming mirror, fog lights. The trade off is that a couple of trim pieces in the 01 Solara (glove box, coin tray)don't fit as well. The Solara also has a squeak in the seat. No doubt in my mind that the vast majority of buyers would be willing to sacrifice the few build quality glitches to gain all the extra features.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    actually, I am not willing to make that sacrifice, but I am a perfectionist!

    Plus, I don't mind winding up my own windows, hate leather seats and auto-everything.

    The only trend in new car contenting that I whole-heartedly approve of is much better stereo systems. For the amount of time I spend in my car, I need a great sound system, and it has been such a hassle over the years to buy a new car and then head straight to the stereo store.

    New car stereos are finally reaching the point where I don't have to immediately replace them.

    And, I really like to have A/C. Beyond that, I feel there is a lot of overkill going on in cars today, the latest for camry being power seats on every model, even at the price of a $1000+ option package.

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

  • jprybajpryba Posts: 201
    "(Toyota) never built a better car than the '83-'85 celicas - they just wouldn't die, although they were the last of the early breed of Japanese cars that would rust away into nothing before the powertrains would quit."

    nippononly, my dad bought me a used 85 Celica that died on me twice, but at least it didn't rust away on me. I guess the lack of rust was the first reason why we fixed the engine after it blew a rod at 72K miles (back in 95), but we just scrapped the car after the transmission went out at 114K in the fall of 97. I guess that with these old Toyotas, you have to have some rust to let all the mechanical goblins escape. Otherwise, they stay put and blow head gaskets and stuff :)
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    I was reading a car guide book over the weekend, and happened to fall on a car review verdict about used Camrys. They said that it was a fabulous, comfortable car, but to watch out for the transmission after 75,000 miles. Is there any reason why they said this? I never heard of a transmission going out on a Toyota before, and was told that they were one of the best transmissions around.

    The 85 Celica I saw plowing through the snow last week looked in pretty good shape. Very little rust, and it seemed to run well. I also saw this very early 80s Civic on the highway. I think it had been repainted, but was still running!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That sounds to me like a publication that was looking for something to say and figured referencing a mystery transmission issue would make them sound credible. I've never heard so much as a whiff of rumor related to Toyota transmissions (other than the new 5 speed in the Lexus)
  • Most of my friends and I bought used Toyota or Honda cars back in college. Here is what I know from our experience with these old cars:
    One 88 camry V6, AT gone at around 125k miles.
    One 91 civic (100k) and one 89 Legend (130k), timing belt snapped. For whatever reason, both engines are not damaged, even though they are interference engines.
    One 89 camry I4, engine seized at 180K, AT is original. And I know the car is not babied at all and driven hard.
  • My impression was that Toyota transmissions are even stronger than their engines. Don't remember ever seeing a reference to Toyota transmission problems. I believe the problem in the new Lexus 5-speed is a software problem.
  • Know what you mean. The features I named come standard on the Solara SLE. However, I still think the majority of the buying public wants the features. Nice to play with when the car is new. Maybe not so nice to repair a few years down the road. BMW is one of the few manufacturers to offer a quality product without all the options. But, I understand that if you buy a stripped BMW it is very difficult to find a buyer at resale time.
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