1997 Toyota Camry Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Toyota Camry as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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33
Known Problems

On higher mileage vehicles, an engine misfire may develop and/or the Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a failed ignition coil. It is not uncommon to replace all the coils when the first one fails in order to prevent return trips to the repair shop.

The rear light wiring harness can break where it attaches to the trunk hinge. As a result, the reverse lights or the shift indicator may not work and the rear bulb fault indicator may stay on constantly. The harness can be repaired and does not have to be replaced.

The pickup coil inside the distributor can fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributor which can short out. It is recommended to replace the whole distributor with a complete genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

The proper repair for a leaking Steering Rack & Pinion is replacement with a new unit.

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

The power steering pump and power steering hoses tend to develop leaks, particularly in the V6 models.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because a component of the oxygen sensor stops working. As a result the engine computer is unable to determine the proper ratio of air to fuel for the engine. Replacing the failed oxygen sensor should correct this concern.

The timing belt tensioners may make a rattling noise at a higher mileages. This is due to the adjustment being at its limit. Our technicians tell us that range of the adjuster may be lengthened by elongating the slot where the spring attaches by 2-3 mm to remedy this problem.

Debris can get into the idle air control valve. This will restrict the air flow into the engine, causing idle speed and/or stalling when cold. The valve can be cleaned or replaced to correct this concern.

Intermittent failure of a purge control valve in the evaporative emission system can cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. A failed valve should be replaced to correct this problem.

 

The valve cover gaskets have a tendency to leak oil, especially the one near the firewall.

One or more motor mounts may wear out on cars with high mileage. This will put extra stress on the other mounts, and the faulty mount(s) should be replaced.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate with code P0770 and/or P0773 stored. This would indicate a fault with the 3-way lock-up solenoid which could be defective and may need replacement.

On vehicles with a manual transmission, worn shift bushings can cause the transmission to pop out of gear, especially when coasting down in 1st or 2nd gear. Replacing all the shift linkage bushings is pretty straight forward and not expensive and will commonly correct this concern.