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Toyota Camry Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Toyota Camry based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The Toyota Camry with the 3.0L V6 engine has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

At 125,000-150,000 miles, the Brake Master Cylinder may need replacing. When replacing the master cylinder, it is critical to adjust the brake pedal to master cylinder pushrod clearance or the brakes can drag and overheat.

The rear Oxygen sensors are a critical element in fuel control (unlike other vehicles) and can cause an emissions test failure for high CO and HCs. The sensing element cracks and and reports an erroneous steady state lean condition which confuses the computer, which in turn makes the fuel mixture overly rich.

A loss of power on the freeway may due to an internally leaking fuel pulsation dampener. This commonly occurs on higher mileage vehicles.

The AC Expansion Valve may develop a very slow leak or allow too much refrigerant flow which reduces cooling. Our technicians tell us that Toyota makes an updated expansion valve to resolve these problems if and when they occur.

Exhaust gas recirculation valve lift sensor failures have been reported.

If the car will not start, the most likely problem is worn or corroded solenoid contacts in the starter. Usually, these parts can be replaced without purchasing a new starter.

A rough idle and even an emissions inspection failure for high HC and CO can be caused by improperly adjusted valves. Also, exhaust valves may become to tight which can lead to valve failures. Our technicians tell us that regular valve adjustment inspections are a must.

We recommend flushing the brake fluid every 60,000 miles because the fluid can become dirty and may cause problems in the brake system such as premature failure of the master cylinder or wheel cylinders.

Our technicians report that by 100,000 miles, the ignition key tends to wear out and should be replaced or it may not work as well in the door locks or ignition lock cylinder.