Last post on Jan 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM
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Toyota Camry, Transmission, Sedan
#560 of 882 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk?
Sep 16, 2007 (8:33 pm)
I am one of many regretful owners of a 2007 Toyota Camry LE 4 Cyl. I based my purchase solely on having owned a 2004 Camry LE 4 Cyl., which is a great car. The 2007, on the other hand is the worst piece of junk I've ever owned and I've been sorry I purchased it from the first day. I'll certainly never buy Toyota again and will gladly spread the reasons why to anyone that will listen. The transmission hesitates, the in-town mileage is horrible, and the radio is virtually useless. All of these opinions are in comparison to my 2004, which is responsive, economical, and one of the best cars I've ever owned. I've had the 2007 to the dealer, which of course is a waste of time since they never admit anything is a problem until at least after the warranty is up, and not even then if gagged by corporate. They simply say the vehicle is performing to factory specifications, which I guess must mean that the transmission should hesitate, the in-town mileage should be horrible, and the radio should be virtually useless. They also tell me there are no TSBs regarding the transmission problem and that they've never even heard of this problem before, but obviously they are either lying or are grossly incompetent (or both). So I do intend to unload this turkey ASAP, no doubt taking a loss in the process. But my main problem is that I don't know what to get instead, although I don't think I could do much worse even guessing. I figured that on this web site many others must be in the same boat and might have some recommendations. I want a car that is approximately the same size (the Honda Accord is too small) and the same price, but performs like the Camry used to. Possibly the Nissan Altima or a Hyundai Sonata? Any recommendations would be appreciated.
#561 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [meanoldteacher]
Sep 17, 2007 (2:49 am)
Ray, I checked out the new Honda Accord 4 door this weekend. My observations: it is 194+ inches long (longer than the Camry at 189.4). It has two 4-cylinder engines, 177HP and 190HP to choose from if you don't want the 6-cylinder. The back seats fold down, whereas they don't on the higher end Camry's. It has room for a full size spare (the Camry does not). The trunk is SMALLER than a Camry. the dashboard is quite a work of art, no gaps, no really cheap plastic. There is an "interface dial" on the dash that controls some of the main functions and nav system (option - like BWW - I am not sure this is a good thing), but you can use voice control also whic seems to work very well. Overall, the new Accord has body lines that are similar to a BMW, seems to have a lot of room inside, plenty of power (I drove the 190HP 4-cylinder). Unknowns are crash test ratings, and the inevitable problems that pop up with any new models (yes, Honda has problems too - their new CRV had an oil leak between the transmission and engine when first released). I also went over to the dark side and drove a new Ford Taurus, Ford Fusion, and Lincoln Sedan; I have to say, I was impressed with the Taurus. For me personally, the most recent TSB fixed my hesitation problem, and the mileage has been great.
#562 of 882 Re: oil sludge [1st_toy_owned]
Sep 17, 2007 (3:20 am)
1st_Toy, a few years ago, Toyota had a problem with oil sludge in some of it's engines. Essentially, the oil would thicken to the point where it interefered, and some said "seized" up the engine. Truth be told, some of the problems were caused by owners who almost never change their oil. However, the real reason was that Toyota's engine design showed narrow oil pathways that were supposed to keep the engine running at higher temps, thereby increasing performance and mileage. It took quite awhile for Toyota to admit to the problem (they kept saying "this is the way the car was designed to operate" or "owners are using the incorrect oil or not changing oil often enough or are using the car in harsh environments")...sounds similar to the hesitation problem excuses, no? Some agency finally forced Toyota to own up to the problem, and offer extended warranty on the engines (100K miles, but only IF the owners could prove they had done regular oil changes at a REPUTABLE service station). Toyota designs and builds some of the most reliable, usable and comfortable cars on the planet, but they are by no means without fault, and make no mistake, they take no prisoners when defending their cars, right or wrong. No corporation gets to the top without leaving a few bodies in it's wake.
#563 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [meanoldteacher]
Sep 17, 2007 (3:36 am)
Hi meanoldteacher (Ray):
I have been following this problem since I purchased a 2007 V6 Camry in January. I understand the frustration with this issue on the part of the owners, and I believe the problem is "real," and it is a "dangerous" operating characteristic of the vehicle. Now having said that, I must also state that my 2007 V6 XLE Camry does not have the issue that is being described on this board. My vehicle now has 16,000 miles, and on a recent road trip I averaged 32 mpg on the highway at 55mph using 87 Getty gasoline. (I do not use my cruise control, as I like to be in control of the vehicle myself.)
I like the comfort and the ride of the V6 Camry. When I purchsed this vehicle, I also tested a four cylinder version of the Camry. I did not like the way the vehicle handled. It seemed TOO LIGHT on the road. I drove it on city streets, and on the highway doing 50mph. I took the vehicle on the same road course as the V6 Camry, so I had a basis of comparison! (I did not notice the transmission flare on the four cylinder Camry at the time of the test drive!)
QUESTIONS: ---- Do I believe that the "transmission problem" is real? ---------- YES! ---- Do I believe that Toyota can do something about it for the customers that have the problem? ---- YES! ---Do I believe that Toyota wants to do something about the problem? ----- NO!--- REASON:---- The "fix" for the problem is going to cost a "TON OF MONEY" for Toyota. I will bet that the 2008 Camry DOES NOT have the problem! ---Toyota, (like every other auto manufacturer), will drag their feet as long as possible, in the hope that the problem will go away. They will only take action, when there "bottom line" starts to hurt! This is the "sludge issue" all over again. Toyota claims that they have redesigned their V6 engine so that it does not produce "sludge"! I do not believe that claim, so I have my dealer change my oil and filter every 2,500 miles rather than at 5,000 miles. If my Camry, with an extended Toyota 100,000 mile warrnty, has a "sludge problem" in the future, Toyota will "eat" the cost of repair for this vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would not trade in this vehicle and take a loss. Rather, I would go to a magnetic sign company and advertize the operating characteristics of this vehicle. If the dealer states that "the vehicle is operating as designed", that means that the manufacturer is proud of their product, and that you, as the owner, should advertize this unique characteristic to the auto buying public. The following could be an example of that sign:------
"This new vehicle has a transmission problem
purchased at XYZ Toyota!
Ask me about it!"
If you choose to trade in your vehicle, I would recommend a Chevrolet Impala. But, I do not think that the V6 Impala gives the same fuel mileage on the highway as the V6 Camry. You could also look at the Ford 500 or the Mercury vehicle. I would not consider a Chrysler product. If you think Toyota is bad, you need to "check out" Chrysler. I would not go with the Sonata because of the resale value. If you are going to keep the vehicle for 100,000 miles it might be an option, but there is also the issue of dealerships. In my area of the country, there is only ONE "stand alone Hyundai dealer". Most are part of Chrysler dealers as a second product line. (NEED I SAY MORE!!!!!!!)
I like my Camry, and I like the way it rides and performs. Prior to purchasing this vehicle, I had a 2003 four cylinder Honda Accord, that I purchsed used from an estate sale. The vehicle came with an extended 100,000 Honda warrany, and that warranty paid out $3,000+ dollars worth of repair prior to trading it for the Camry. So as you can see, not evern Honda is perfect! I did not like the ride of the Honda Accord, and I did not like the seats of the Accord. They were VERY uncomfortable! The engine and transmission were outstanding. I changed the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and I had the trasnmission fluid changed once a year, or every 20,000 miles, which every came first.
I think Toyota needs to take responsibility for this issue and fix the problem.
Will I purchase another Toyota? Probably--- NO!--- Do I like the vehicle that I have? ---- YES! ---- Reason: --- I do not want to take a chance on getting a problem vehicle! If Toyota values their "customer base" let them prove this by solving this problem for those who have the problem! Then maybe, I will consider purchasing another Toyota in 2010!
Best regards. ------ Dwayne
#564 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [meanoldteacher]
Sep 17, 2007 (3:41 am)
Printout a copy of the latest TSB for the 4 cylinder, which effects the engine & transmission performance. Hard for the dealer to indicate there isn't a TSB, when you can hand it to them. The TSB has been posted in one of these Camry forums. I think that could go a long way toward addressing your hesitation, and potentially also your mileage. I was getting poor mileage initially, until I had the first TSB ECM performed. When I walked into the dealership with a printout of the first TSB, they hadn't seen it either (it literally had just come out). They took it, looked it up on the computer, and did it very willingly with the oil change that I had booked.
I haven't had this latest TSB performed yet, but will so on next scheduled oil change. My car has been running great since the first TSB a year ago.
If you can't find the TSB with a search, let us know.
Can't speak to whatever radio problem you are having, I haven't experienced or read of any problems. Seems like you are getting shortchanged by the service department, is there another dealership in proximity? You can take it to any Toyota dealership for warranty repairs.
Have had my LE since they first came out, with 20K miles now (I guess a year and a half now). Other than the cruise control downshifting and hesititation problems which were both fixed with the original TSB, car has been fabulous.
#565 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (4:21 am)
Hi Kiawah, two questions (1) the flare problem was fixed with the original TSB? this is where the car surges ahead when cruise control engaged...that seems not to be fixed on my 2007, although the hesitation is and (2) are you living on Kiawah?
#566 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [joel16]
Sep 17, 2007 (5:22 am)
1a.) The 'flare' problem is not what you describe. A flare happens when accelerating. As you are in say 2nd gear and your engine RPM's raise to say 4000 rpm, then the transmission would normally shift to 3rd gear and the rpm's would drop from 4000 to let's say 2000. With a transmission 'flare', what happens is this....as the transmission begins to shift from 2nd to 3rd, it appears to go thru a period of time when it is in neutral. The rpm's will spike and instead of going down, will actually go up. Could jump from 4000 to 5000 for a short period of time, and then drop down to 2000. That is what people have described as a flare. A number of owners of the V6-6speed have had this problem, it is not at all typical of the I4-5speed (although 1 or 2 individuals have claimed to have this problem on an I4).
1b.) I was one of the original owners reporting the cruise control problem, and to explain this need to first explain the I4-5speed. There are obviously 5 gears in the transmission, but there is also a feature which 'locks' the torque converter while in 5th gear, which will drop another approx 300-500 rpm or so when it shifts into lockup mode. This almost makes it appear on the tach that it is a 6speed, but it isn't. In travelling down the interstate at constant speed, you would normally be in 5th gear with lockup. What I found is that in driving via soft foot on the pedal, I could cruise along just fine. The car would drop out of lockup at times to climb a slight grade, and would even downshift to 4th on occasion if necessary. During this period of time the car speed would drop a few mph. Under cruise control however, as the car started to drop mph it would quickly downshift from 5th lockup to say 4th, and sometimes 5th L to 3rd. Car would surge ahead and overshoot the target mph speed, would shift into 5th lockup again. Seemed like the vehicle had to downshift for even the slightest of grades, appeared to be lacking enough power for how high the transmission was geared. I have some torque and hp charts on my carspace, and the rpms at cruise speed with 5lockup were below the power/torque curves of the engine. I believe (not technically substantiated) that the engineers just got the engine too lean, and over geared, in effect actually decreasing the overall performance.
The original TSB (and the latest supercede's the original), feels like to me to give the engine more horsepower, and gives the transmission different shift points. The car runs sooo much better, it's like night and day. Both the hesitation, as well as the cruise control downshifting problem went away....and my mpg, and performance went up.
2.) Live/work in Raleigh, have a place at Kiawah.
#567 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (6:17 am)
Thanks Kiawah. I live and work in Charlotte. Parents have a place in Cary (Containment Area for Relocated Yankees). Kiawah is one of the most beautiful places on the planet!
Thanks for the explanation on flare. Unfortunately, I still get the cruise problem (happened many times on a recent trip to Raleigh). The car does downshift, and surge ahead, but the RPMs stick over 3000 or more for 3-5 seconds, before dropping back down. Almost like a combination of the flare and cruise problem. Personally, I think this car could use a few more horsepower, and that might help solve the problem. Honda has a 177HP and 190HP 4cyl in their new lineup. I drove both, and the 177 seems a little underpowered, 190 seemed perfect. Of course, and probably obvious, I am not an auto techie, just have owned and driven many cars over the years.
#568 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [joel16]
Sep 17, 2007 (6:52 am)
If you look at the Torque curve (these are the originals prior to TSB's), you see that there is a knee of the curve at just under 2K rpm's. Look at your rpm's next time driving w/cruise....you might run better at a higher mph (as long as you don't get a speeding ticket), which is getting your rpm's up in a range where the engine has more torque and runs better. At 1500 rpm, engine looks like it is putting out only about 40hp, at 130 footlbs of torque. The air conditioner compressor and alternator probably suck up 1/2 of that. All my normal driving is less than 3K rpm, which is in the 30-70 hp output range.
I forget, didn't you get the latest TSB put on? Are you saying you still have a cruise control downshifting problem?
I4 Torque/HP curves
#569 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (7:24 am)
Yes, had the latest 4-cylinder TSB installed, hesitation gone (although air con does suck some power from the engine at times) and yes, still have the cruise control problem. I am taking the car in to the dealer next week to get oil and filter change, and will discuss it with dealer at that time. When cruise set at 70 mph, and speed dips below 70, transmission downshifts, and car races to attain speed, sometimes overshooting 70. After speed attained, engine stays at high RPM for 3-5 seconds before dropping down again to 2000+ range (where I'd expect it to be). Happens quite a bit on trip from Charlotte to Raleigh (mostly uphill). A little disoncerting to say the least, and makes me wonder if this behavior is damaging to the engine/transmission.