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#8325 of 8465 2003 Camry heater core leaked
Dec 27, 2007 (11:30 am)
Hi Edmunds Camry Forum members Ė this is my first post.
I have a 2003 Camry XLE 4cly, my first Camry that I purchased used at 46k miles certified and I really like it but the heater core just leaked and coolant is all over the driverís carpet all the way to the back floor. Car now has 62k miles but two months ago at 60k miles I took it to a non-Toyota local shop to get the coolant flushed. I didnít put two and two together at the time but after that service I noticed a Ďrunning waterí sound under the driverís side dash after starting. It would eventually go away. I now know from other posts and forums that the noise was probably air in the heater core. Iím not sure it caused the leak or if it was the green antifreeze they used instead of Toyota red, but when I called for estimates, two local Toyota dealers said that it was very unusual for a Camry with just 62k miles to have this problem. The non-Toyota shop I eventually had the car towed to, which is different then the one who did the flush service, said they had not seen it at that low of mileage either. So the question is did the shop that did the flush cause the problem by leaving air in the lines or by using green antifreeze? This is going to set me back $1,000 and if thatís not bad enough, Iím hoping the carpet can be cleaned enough to not smell antifreeze.
#8326 of 8465 Re: 2003 Camry heater core leaked [phoenixln]
Dec 27, 2007 (12:46 pm)
Yes, it is extremely likely that the shop left an air bubble, or two, in the coolant system. But what is more likely the cause of the leak is that they somehow over-pressurized the system and literally "burst" the heater core along one of the seams.
Or did they maybe replace the radiator cap with a higher pressure, too high, one..??
PS: My '92 LS400 used the factory original coolant until a few years ago at 100k plus miles when it started appearing a bit murky.
#8327 of 8465 Re: Q.. on 2003 Camry [wwest]
Dec 27, 2007 (3:15 pm)
If there's a software mod, should I ask for it to be applied? This is not a hesitation,but a distinct jolt. It only happens when I slow down to about 15 mph and then if I apply the accelerator fairly quickly it jolts into the next gear. I had this on another car once and the sales mgr. while checking it out called it a 'positive shift'. It's not consistent and if I take care to accelerate v. slowly and smoothly it won't happen.
#8328 of 8465 Re: Q.. on 2003 Camry [edmund2460]
Dec 27, 2007 (4:33 pm)
There is definitely a TSB that applies to your Camry.
#8329 of 8465 Re: 2003 Camry heater core leaked [wwest]
Dec 27, 2007 (5:09 pm)
I canít say what procedure or chemicals were used to flush the system, but given the low mileage and the fact that Camryís are arguably one of the more reliable cars on the road, Iím leaning towards shop error. Of course, I could be the unlucky one who got the Friday afternoon version of the heater core installed but given the dealerís response I donít think it happens very often.
The flush shop also didnít give me an option with the green antifreeze. Not that two months and 2k miles using green instead of red would make a difference, but they basically precluded me from making a goodwill appeal to Toyota to possibly go halfers on the cost since we currently own three Toyotas. Once I told the dealer it was green, he said too bad. Iíve also asked the current shop thatís doing the work to save the core so I can inspect it, but my thinking is that I still canít prove it was shop error. Looks like Iíll have to eat this one.
#8330 of 8465 low mileage 98 camry true bluebook value.
Dec 29, 2007 (12:05 pm)
Hi, my mom who is getting up in years is needing another car.
She will never drive it on a highway and lives in a small town.
We were thinking about a good used camry.
Here are my questions,, a man in her town has a 98 or 99 camry with 28k miles and wants $8500 for it. When I run the blue book values on it he seems to be asking about 2000$ to much.
Is there any way this could be a good value??
My brother thinks it is and I think it isn't.
Any good reason to pay extra??
#8331 of 8465 Re: low mileage 98 camry true bluebook value. [don72315]
Dec 29, 2007 (8:14 pm)
I'd be very skeptical that a 9- or 10-year-old car would have that little miles on it. It's possible, but not very likely. I wouldn't pay over book unless the car proved exceptional in every way, which means it would have to be throughly checked by an independent mechanic.
#8332 of 8465 Re: low mileage 98 camry true bluebook value. [210delray]
Dec 30, 2007 (11:41 am)
There were a few things that have made me question the actual miles of this car.
While I was looking at it I was blabbing about how my wife puts about 50K miles per year on her camrys,, this man told me he used to put that kind of miles on his cars, before he retired.
I have known people who would disconnect the speedometer/ odometer to conceal the mileage.
also the tires had been replaced and it looked like they had a fair amount of wear on them.
#8333 of 8465 Re: 2003 Camry heater core leaked [phoenixln]
Jan 05, 2008 (11:01 pm)
IMO - here are your possible scenerios, and your options:
1) The heater core was defective from the factory that supplied it to Toyota in the beginning, and it was likely to breech soon anyway - the flush may or may not have sped up the process. YOUR OPTIONS?: the car is out of warranty, and the manufacturer has no obligation to guarantee the car forever. Although this is unusual it seems, and not really justified - stuff happens, and they most likely won't, as they don't NEED to step up on this one.
2) The independent shop did actually damage the core by over pressurizing somehow, and blew out a weak spot that may never have breeched otherwise. One thing for sure is; by switching you from Dexron (pink) coolant to Glycol, you are assured of having Toyota back out of any implied obligation they may have felt, because you had someone other than a Toyota authorized dealership work on the car. All bets are off now, and converting the system from pink to green stuff, is not recommended for a variety of reasons. They did screw you with the dealer by doing this though, at the very least, whether or not they blew out your core, or it just blew out itself. YOUR OPTIONS: If you really want to fight this - ask the dealer to give you some type of documentation relative to the reason Dexron is used as the coolant in the first place, and why it should not be mixed or changed over to Glycol. Then take this to the independent shop and hold them liable for the expense of changing out the core under the premise that had they refilled with Dexron as they should have, the dealer would not have known that an independent shop did the flush, and MAY feel some obligation to help you. But as it is, they are off the hook, and you are screwed. Ask the independent shop to fix the heater core free, or for a substantially reduced price due to their negligence.
Frankly, why a shop would refil with glycol is beyond me, there is no reason for it. Just lazy, or hate cats. Who knows.
3) You have no recourse with Toyota now, because their baby was doctored by neanderthals who are color blind - your only recourse is with the independent shop. You could sue in small claims court for damages, being the cost of the core repair. You'll likely win something, if you care to push it to that level. BUT, in the event this falls under a "Stuff Happens" column, ie: We'll never know why it blew, it just blew, and perhaps nobody is to blame, hey, you drive a car that is out of warranty, plan on a few fixes once in a while. If you lease, or always drive a new car under warranty, you don't have these headaches, but you pay a price for it too.
#8334 of 8465 Steering Wheel Squeeks
Feb 01, 2008 (11:26 am)
My 2003 steering wheel squeeks when its turned. I guess it needs some oil but where should I spray it?