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Toyota Camry, Auto Repair
Jul 28, 2011 (7:16 pm)
I have a 2003 Toyota Camry XLE V6 with 130,000 miles. About 1 1/2 weeks ago, I started the car in the morning after it had sat overnight, and when first accelerating, noticed that the engine revved at a much higher pitch. The noise was not out of the ordinary just a higher pitch. The car seemed to want to hesitate, but would go forward with a bit more gas than normal. The tach registered normal as driving.
I noticed that it took about 5 to 10 minutes for the temperature gauge to warm up to its normal range. Once the temperature was normal, the problems ceased and the car was fine. No CEL, no odd noises, no hesitancy.... Took to first repair shop who didn't see anything out of the ordinary. If I started the car up to go out for lunch or in the evening going home from work, everything was fine. Problem was only in am when car had been sitting overnight.
Couple of days later, CEL came on, and car started to hesitate. Repair shop #2 reported a trans error code, but said it was unusual for # miles and age of car. Tran fluid was clear and they said otherwise car was in good shape (well maintained).
While driving to dealer for opinion #3, car suddenly would not go in to gear, and now not driveable.
Any ideas on issue, is it failure of transmission, or something else that lead to tran problem?
Appreciate any reccos on fixing vs. getting new car. I bought Toyota with high expectations of getting to at least 150k.
#687 of 727 89 toyota camry ac not blowing out any air
Aug 13, 2011 (8:17 am)
a few weeks ago my car stopped blowing air out of the vents. I was told it was the blower motor. It was not replaced. About a week later it started working again. It would work off and on. It would work when I first started the car, but would crap out once the car warmed up. It did that for a few days. I was told it was the blower motor resistor. I replaced it and it wasn't the problem. I can't find a mechanic that can tell me what the problem is. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
#688 of 727 Re: 89 toyota camry ac not blowing out any air [shortstack1825]
Aug 13, 2011 (8:31 pm)
Put a voltmeter on the blower motor, and then the resistor bank, under the different dash switch positions to figure out whether the problem is blower motor, resistor bank, dash switches, one of the fuses, or main power.
You can't guess over the internet, a mechanic with hands on meter should diagnose the problem very quickly.
When the mechanic told you a blower motor before, did he diagnose the problem or was that only a guess? If he diagnosed it, why wasn't it replaced...and you are still messing around with this problem?
Aug 15, 2011 (11:15 am)
A reporter is interested in interviewing an individual who recently decided to do routine maintenance or basic car repairs on their own to save money in the struggling economy. The reporter is particularly interested in someone living in California (Southland), but all responses are encouraged. If you would like to comment on your experience, please reply to predmunds.com with your name, location and daytime phone number by 5pm Pacific, Wednesday, August 17, 2011.
#690 of 727 spark plug installation problems
Sep 25, 2011 (7:40 am)
I had the 3rd spark plug, from the left if facing engine pop out. I have a 94' camry, 4 cylinder engine w/ 204,000 miles. I know nothing about cars and have not a clue how or what caused this. I am hoping it vibrated loose over time? I purchased a spar plug wire set. While screwing in the first new spark plug I noticed I wouldn't seem to get the spark plug to fully tighten. It definitely screwed in, just never got it to a lock tight position. The little rubber washer in the spark plug socket popped out before I tried to insert it. I put it back in but don't know if I did that correctly. So, when I went to pull the socket wrench/ attachment, I noticed the socket part stayed on the spark plug. I can't just pull it off because its recessed down into the engine in this model. Could the internal threads be stripped or did I not install the plug the correct way? How do I remove this socket? Could I use a strong magnet on the end of the socket wrench or is that ridiculous? Lastly, am I supposed to unhook one of the battery terminals prior to this?
#691 of 727 Re: spark plug installation problems [askn4urhelp]
Sep 30, 2011 (11:15 am)
The battery does not have to be disconnected when working on the spark plugs. It is not uncommon for an extension bar to disconnect from a spark plug socket while pulling out the tools. The solution is to use a strong pair of needle nose pliers to reach in and grab the socket. I say "strong pair" because needle nose pliers come in a variety of configurations; ranging from delicate and precise, to beefy and tough. The best quality needle nose pliers are made by Crescent, Proto, Craftsman, Stanley, S&K, and Snap On. But a well made off brand tool will also work. It is also possible to find extra long nose needle nose pliers; which are typically stronger and work even better for this particular task. They are not as common; but they are available. Once the pliers grip the socket (with one leg inserted into the square opening in the socket, and the other leg on the outside of the socket); the socket can then be pulled off the plug. But it might require a bit of rocking to persuade it to come loose.
If the rubber insert was not inserted all the way into the socket; it could have prevented the socket from sliding far enough down onto the plug to engage with the matching hexagonal male part on the spark plug. When this happens; the plug will only be turned by the friction of the rubber insert against the porcelain insulator; and that friction is not strong enough to transfer the force needed to tighten the plug. So when the plug gets to the point where it just begins to tighten; the socket will start to slip. If you just pull the socket off the plug at that point, and do not tighten it fully; the plug will eventually pop out.
Once you get the socket out; look at the open end of the socket and find the hexagonal recess. Then look at a plug and find the male hexagonal part. Now slide the socket onto a plug while it is in front of you, and watch how far on the socket must be moved before the two hexagons mate. There is a subtly different feel to turning a plug on which the hexes are meshed, compared to one which is not meshed and is just being turned by friction of the insert. In time; this will become second nature.
This is the way to become skilled at this craft; by closely examining the parts which are involved, and learning what issues could arise and how to deal with them.
Of course; the other thing you could do, without buying any more tools, would be to re-insert the extension bar into the socket, unscrew the plug, remove the socket from the plug and press the insert into the socket until it is in as far as it can go, place the socket correctly on the plug, and then install the plug again.
But a loosely fitting extension bar and/or a loosely machined socket will repeatedly disconnect when removing the tools. The professional way to install spark plugs is to use a high quality extension bar, and a spark plug socket with a magnetic insert. These sockets are sold by SnapOn tool dealers (listed in the white pages of your phone book); and might also be available from Mac tool dealers or from a parts store like NAPA, which sells to professional mechanics. They cost substantially more than the sockets with rubber inserts; but they are far less likely to cause the hassles you experienced. However; the magnetic inserts are vulnerable to breaking if the sockets have force put on them when they are not straight on the plug; and they are not always strong enough to hold a plug in place. But once you become used to them, they are much easier to work with. And SnapOn tools are guaranteed for life.
Spark plugs can vibrate loose and blow out, if they are not properly tightened when installed. This usually does not damage the threads; but in some cases it might. However; there is a balance which must be struck in tightening spark plugs: Your Camry (along with most other recent imports and many domestic cars) has aluminum cylinder heads. The spark plug threads in aluminum heads can be damaged by over-tightening spark plugs. So plugs that are not tightened firmly enough; or plugs that are tightened too vigorously will BOTH cause problems.
It is not that difficult to learn to tighten plugs properly. New plugs for this motor come with a metal gasket on the threaded part. (Autolite plugs used to have the gaskets fall off when the plug was turned with the threads pointing down; so care must be exercised with that brand; but many recent Autolites have their gaskets held in place by the threads; like every other brand.) Plugs with a new gasket will compress the gasket when the plug begins to tighten; this will create a "squeezing" sensation when tightening; in which the plug will turn the last 1/2 to 3/4 turn with a slightly stronger pressure required, but there will be little change in pressure needed during that period. There will be a sudden increase in resistance when the plug actually reaches bottom. That is when to stop turning.
When reinstalling a used plug; the gasket will not compress during tightening; so the stopping point will be reached more abruptly.
People who work at oil change places, and new mechanics, often seem to be overly fearful of damaging threads; so they don't fully tighten oil drain plugs or spark plugs. Unfortunately; the consequences of not tightening an oil drain plug often result in the plug vibrating out and the oil all running out on the ground; which frequently destroys the engine. If a spark plug pops out due to not being properly tightened; it can cause a fire if it happens while the motor is running. So the exaggerated fear of damaging threads; along with similarly exaggerated fears of foreigners and terrorism, are ruining people's cars and also ruining our political system.
The solution to both of these problems is not to become tyrannized by or obsessed with fears; but rather to develop common sense and learn how to work skillfully, become educated about how to do things right, develop balance between extremes, learn to trust your intuition, and make objective decisions.
There are two different types of spark plugs in use today; some have a flat seat and a gasket on the threads; but others have a tapered seat and do not come with a gasket. These two types of plugs are not interchangeable; they are designed for different types of engines. But sometimes people put the wrong type of plug in an engine; which often leads to the plug coming loose. It is very important to use the right spark plug in an engine. There are literally dozens of different plug variations which all look pretty much the same; but which would not be thermally suitable for your engine. So do not select spark plugs without looking up the recommendation for your car in the catalog published by the manufacturer of the brand you intend to use. It is not uncommon that the plug now in your motor is the wrong one; so don't risk blindly repeating someone else's mistake.
#692 of 727 Re: spark plug installation problems [askn4urhelp]
Oct 01, 2011 (1:21 am)
remove plug and socket ,separate the two ,remove rubber inside socket ,,use a lite duty magnet to drop plug back in.use rubber to remove the plug
as far as plug popping out must be that ur using wrong plug but if ur striped out go wit some Teflon ??
#693 of 727 1992 camry engine turns but wont start
Oct 04, 2011 (11:48 am)
#694 of 727 1992 camry engine turns but wont start
Oct 04, 2011 (11:48 am)
im having this problem with my camry where it will crank but not turn on. I noticed yesterday when i would accelerate car, it felt like it was stalling a bit it kind of felt like it was missfiring actually. And this morning it turned on fine and when i was at a light i pressed gas to take off on green, and the car felt like it ran out of gas and shut off on me. I cranked and cranked and nothing. i did notice the smell of gas when i was cranking coming from the exhaust.
I did have a similar problem over a year ago and i couldnt find no solution to it. i just left car in drive way for over 2 weeks then i tried it and it turned on and worked fine till this morning. has anyone had this problem? or does anyone know what the problem could be?
#695 of 727 2001 Camry inside passenger door handle doesn't work
Oct 08, 2011 (10:22 am)
2001 Camry XLE with 11,000 miles.
Inside passenger door handle suddenly wouldn't open door which can be opened from outside.
Door locks are fine.
Would appreciate thoughts about cause of problem and potential repair cost.