Last post on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM
You are in the Toyota Camry
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Camry, Sedan
#101 of 153 Check engine light
Sep 14, 2010 (2:57 pm)
My car is a 2002 Toyota Camry XLE six cylinder and my problem is the dreaded, check engine light. I have been reading the postings and I have a couple of questions. Does the check engine light monitor any other components than the Catalytic Converter? What if anything does Toyota say about this seemingly on going problem, year after year and model after model? I have been quoted $750 for the Converter and $200 for installation and $575 for the O2 sensor. The mechanic suggests from reading the fault codes that the back sensor (after the converter) is probably defective. I am assuming that neither of these components have any moving parts so what causes them to fail?
#102 of 153 Re: Check engine light [cthelite]
Sep 14, 2010 (3:54 pm)
The computer, actually, is what is monitoring many components, and using all of those inputs typically to adjust many things like fuel mixture, spark timing, transmission shift points, turning cooling fans on and off, etc, etc, etc. It is looking at all of the sensors, and expecting input values in a certain tolerance range. When it detects something wrong, it usually watches it for a number of cycles, and then turn on the check engine light to warn you something is wrong.
You take it somewhere to read the computer codes, or buy an inexpensive reader yourself. Your read the error codes from the computer, which will generally tell you the system or area of the vehicle that is having the problem. Sometimes the error codes will point to a specific part, but sometimes to a number of parts any which of could be the problem.
Read up on the Oxygen sensor if you want. It is sticking in the exhaust pipe subject to extremely hot temperatures and variations. Your hand would burn up if touching it, so yes, they do go bad.
#103 of 153 Re: Check engine light [kiawah]
Sep 14, 2010 (4:17 pm)
I actually got ripped off on my converter repair by Tuffy Muffler...they quoted me $300 less than Toyota for an aftermarket converter, so I told them to go ahead and repair it. They supposedly thought it was the rear converter and repaired that one. My son drove it away and called me 5 minutes after I paid for it and said the light had come back on. It failed the emissions test and I had to get a waiver to get my new plates on time. Took it back to Toyota dealer and they said Tuffy fixed the wrong one, the main front one was the one that was bad. Tuffy said it would cost $800 more! So I filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau. The only reason i took it to Tuffy was they offered a better price. Toyota wanted $700. Lesson learned...take it to the dealer to repair.
#104 of 153 catalytic converter issue
Jan 04, 2011 (2:53 pm)
Current vehicle is 2001 Camry with 172,000 miles. After almost a full year of on/off again CEL, light came on for good a few weeks ago. Code read P0420. Dealer technician said I needed a new front cat converter (for $1300), so I took it to a local national franchise shop where manager agreed new front cat needed, but only $500. Repair done there, but one week later light back on with same code(PO420). This time he said I needed a front O2 sensor ($250), which was done. (The back O2 sensor was replaced 2 years ago.) Two weeks later, and now CEL on again, same code. Franchise shop has ordered a new converter, and will replace it again at no charge, but I'm worried how long will this fix last? The shop manager says he has never seen a converter go bad so quickly. Is this a problem that will never get fixed, and should I therefore trade/sell this car as quick as the second new converter is installed? I don't think the shop is going to continue replacing a new converter every month. Any advice from others who have fought this demon will be appreciated.
#105 of 153 Re: catalytic converter issue [aub789]
Jan 04, 2011 (3:21 pm)
Toyota is the only one that can get the real converter. All others are knock offs and will not last. Any muffler shop that says they can do it, do not trust. I tried 5 different shops in California and was told the same thing, in fact in California it is illiegal for a shop to install knock off converters. Toyota should not charge more then $1000.00, mine cost $930.00 if they do go to the service manager, if that doesn't help go to Toyoya themselves, they do not appreciate dealers trying to rip off there customers.
#106 of 153 Re:catalytic converter issue
Jan 07, 2011 (7:43 pm)
Thanks for your insight. It looks like you may be right on the money. Just had second cat put on today (at no charge) and it lasted all of 23 miles before CEL came back on again. I'll take it back next week and see what the shop manager wants to do now. He acts very nice about this problem, but I know he is sick of seeing me and my Camry. There is a Toyota dealer 1/4 mile from his shop, but I'm going to let him suggest taking it there for further diagnosis/fix ( on his dime). He's already got over $800 of my money. I'll let you know what happens.
#107 of 153 Re:catalytic converter issue [aub789]
Jan 07, 2011 (9:30 pm)
One more thing to note, when the converter is replaced the ECM needs to be re-programmed which the muffler shop probably can't do. You need to make sure whoever does this knows how to flash the EPROM properly. If they let the battery voltage get below 12 volts during the process it will corrupt the EPROM and destroy the ECM for which they may try to charge you for. If this ever happens to anybody, don't let them get away with it!
#108 of 153 CEL on long trips
Jan 08, 2011 (7:44 am)
I just wanted to point out our experience. We noticed the CEL (confirmed to be the same code in question here) coming back from my wife's folks house in South Georgia, we live in metro Atlanta. Metro Atlanta is part of the "clean air force" and I assume has different mixes for gas to meet clean air standards. So, we fill up in Atlanta, drive down and back filling up on the way back in central Georgia- with a different gas mix- and the CEL comes on. We reset in Atlanta and fill up no problems for 6+ months. This has happened three times now. This last trip, we did not fill up until getting back to Atlanta, so we isolated the long drive as a cause, and the CEL never came on.
I think that the sensors in the Cat. or computer are set too strictly in that they do not allow enough variations in gas and the emissions there from.
I would be interested to hear if others have issues going from one type (area, I hear gas mixes vary by county here in Georgia) of gas mix to another, less "clean" mix. Is the programming to blame?
#109 of 153 Re: CEL on long trips [ugajustin]
Jan 08, 2011 (7:19 pm)
I would guess that something isn't right, because the difference in gas mixes shouldn't be enough to cause the check engine light to come on.
Jan 14, 2011 (12:41 pm)
Sat. Jan 8, 2011 – Emissions Test failed on my 2002 Toyota Camry SE w/ 162k miles (Code P410)
Fri. Jan 14, 2011 – My trusted mechanic is replacing the cat converter (part + labor = $765)
Needless to say, I haven’t had a good day today! Looking on the bright side, this car hasn’t had any major problems since purchased except for the routine oil changes, brake and tire replacements.