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Toyota Camry Problems

Are you having problems with your Toyota Camry? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Toyota Camry issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Toyota Camry in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

My 1996 Toyota Camry has motor oil all over the engine

Check that the engine-oil dipstick is seated in its tube correctly. If it's not, this could be a great place for oil to escape and become plastered all over the engine. It's the small yellow, plastic loop just below the oil filter. While you're there, check that the oil filter itself hasn't come loose. Try to tighten it by turning it by hand clockwise. If it moves at all with hand pressure, it's loose.

The most likely culprit, however, is the rocker cover gasket. If this seal breaks, oil can be free to migrate out of the engine, right down the side of the cylinder head and crankcase, making the mess you've described. To check, clean the engine with degreaser and water until all the oil is gone. Then take the car for a decent drive, open the bonnet and the source of the leak may be very obvious.

Toyota Camry Bluetooth - How to Use Bluetooth in a Camry?

The first thing you need to know is how to connect Bluetooth to Toyota Camry software. That means switching on your phone’s Bluetooth and making the device visible to the car.

From there, the 2011 to 2017 Toyota Camry Bluetooth pairing process involves going to the car’s screen and opening the menus to find the Bluetooth prompt. Your phone and the car should `find’ each other at which point you make sure the passcodes on each match and you should be good to go with a stable connection.

From then on, the car should recognise and pair with your phone automatically, without having the use the manual connection setup process. As well as make calls, the Bluetooth connection should also allow you to play music and access some phone apps through the car’s infotainment system.

Although it’s much better these days, Bluetooth Toyota Camry style wasn’t always brilliant and many owners complained of poor connections and call quality. This model Camry was caught up in that, too, so don’t be surprised if you have a few problems or need to spend some time troubleshooting. Some owners even ditched the standard Toyota head unit for an aftermarket one with better Bluetooth quality.

Toyota Camry Engine Oil - What Type & How to Change

Toyota Camrys from 2017 onwards use the same engine oil, regardless of the engine or drivetrain fitted. So, the recommended Toyota Camry engine oil for either the 2.5-litre petrol engine, the 3.5-litre V6 and even the Hybrid Camry, is a fully synthetic engine oil with a rating of 0W20. This Toyota Camry oil type is quite `light’ (thin) but ensures the engine is lubricated quickly, especially in the case of the Hybrid version where the engine is stopping and starting regularly.

When it comes to how to change oil on a Toyota Camry, the task is really no more complex than it is for other conventionally laid out cars. Which is to say that if you have the right tools and some experience, this critical piece of maintenance shouldn’t pose too many DIY obstacles.

To carry out this service, though, you’ll need to know the size of the drain plug, what replacement oil filter to buy as well as the drain tubs necessary to catch the old oil. You can find out the correct oil change interval (how often to change oil) in the specifications section of the car’s owner’s manual.

If that all sounds a bit too hard, a service centre with a qualified mechanic should be able to handle the job relatively cheaply and will attend to the details like disposing of the old oil correctly and safely and resetting the service-reminder light on the dashboard.

Should I buy a Toyota Camry or a Toyota Corolla hatchback?

Both are regarded as great choices as a used car, so it will really come down to whether you need the extra interior space of the Camry over the practicality of the Corolla’s hatchback layout.

With your budget, you might be able to get into a Camry Hybrid which will reduce running costs around town (which suits your suggested usage pattern) although these early Camry Hybrids can be more than a decade old now, so a close check of the condition of the batteries would be a mandatory pre-purchase requirement.

The Corolla, meanwhile, was first seen here in hybrid form in 2016, and those cars are still closer to mid-$20,000, so possibly out of your range. The exception is a grey (private) import Corolla Hybrid, but these can be a bit more of a lottery than a locally delivered Toyota.

Can the current Toyota Camry use E10 RON94 fuel?

You’re right, Michael. Toyota Australia tells me that the current model Camry is Euro 6 certified (for emissions). Because 91 RON fuel won't support Toyota's Euro 6  technology, 95 RON is recommended. Since most readily available E10 fuel is rated at 94RON, Toyota doesn't recommend that for the Camry, either.

However, even with the extra cost of the 95RON fuel, the Camry Hybrid's official combined fuel consumption number of 4.2 litres per 100km suggests it would still be cheaper to run than many other cars using 91RON.

I am looking to upgrade my 2017 Toyota Camry Atara SL. After many hours of research, I found the 2021 Hyundai Tucson Highlander very attractive. Is $6000 more for a diesel engine worth it?

The extra purchase price of a diesel engine over a petrol one is only the start of the cost comparison. Generally speaking, diesels will cost a bit more to service (it depends on the make and model) and that’s if you don’t have problems with the diesel particulate filter (DPF) or soot build-up in the engine’s intake system that needs to be manually cleaned out.

You also need to consider your driving habits to decide whether a diesel is right for you. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t go for a decent drive at highway speeds for about an hour or so at least once or twice a month, then a diesel is not for you. Using a diesel engine exclusively for short trips at suburban speed can often see the DPF requiring more attention than it should, and that equals cost.

Also, modern petrol engines have really closed the fuel-economy gap that the diesel once enjoyed. The fuel consumption difference between the diesel Tucson and the petrol version is likely to be about a litre per 100km (based on the official combined figure for each). That means that even at $2 per litre (and based on the $6000 difference in price you’ve quoted) you’d need to drive 300,000km before the diesel began to pay for itself in terms of fuel saved. I’m not sure there’s a full $6000 separating the two versions of the Tucson, but even so, you get the idea.

I am looking for a list of new cars (sedans to SUV) available in Australia with City AEB, particularly where the AEB operates at low speed...

This raises a very interesting question, so I checked the status of the Camry’s AEB system with Toyota Australia. The first thing I learned was that every current-model Camry is fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). That is, the vehicle will apply its own brakes to avoid you running into an object in front. 

So why didn’t the AEB save you this time? There are a couple of theories within Toyota. The first is that, ironically, you might not have been going fast enough. The Camry’s AEB works only at speeds over 10km/h (up to 180km/h). So, it’s still classed as City AEB. But if you were trickling along at walking pace in stop-start traffic, you might not have been going fast enough to trigger an AEB response.

But it’s also interesting that you say your foot slipped off the brake pedal. There’s speculation that the AEB system will only operate if it thinks the driver has missed an obstacle. But if you were braking, the system may have interpreted that as you being in full control and has therefore left the AEB dormant.

The Camry also has Brake-Assist (BAS) technology where the car will detect a potential crash and apply extra brake pressure if your foot isn’t already applying enough. But that system only works above 30km/h, so if you weren’t travelling that fast, again, the system might not have been called in to act. And, again, there’s the question of your foot slipping off the brake pedal at a point in proceedings where there simply wasn’t enough time for the AEB or BAS to intervene.

You can check out the Carsguide website for full safety specifications on a huge range of makes and models available in Australia. But you might find other cars in the same situation as you’ve described would have behaved exactly as your Camry did.

I am looking at buying a caravan that has a tare mass of 1902kg and a payload of 598kg. Will my car be able to tow this easily?

The short answer: No. The 2005 Camry four-cylinder was rated to tow only 1200kg (with trailer brakes fitted). Even the three-litre V6 version of the Camry was rated to 1600kg.

So, even with the caravan you’ve nominated absolutely empty (no water, luggage or food supplies on board) it would still be way over the Camry’s limit. Ignoring these limits leaves you open to all sorts of potential legal and insurance hassles should something go wrong. You also stand to damage the towing vehicle by overloading it. Fundamentally, you need either a bigger car or a smaller caravan.

What car should I buy to replace my 2017 Toyota Aurion?

It’s unlikely that Toyota Australia would introduce the Crown down under. That car is more or less a Japanese domestic-market vehicle and is considered too narrow for Australian (and North American) tastes. But plenty of Aussies have imported their own Toyota Crowns in recent years and, in fact, there are businesses in many locations devoted to importing these vehicles and selling them here. With that in mind, there’s less risk in buying an imported Crown than in owning some parallel (unofficial) imports because there’s a whole industry out there involved in parts and service for the model.

Perhaps another way to go would be to have the seats in your car re-padded to better suit your requirements. Maybe even a set of plush seat covers would provide the extra layer of comfort you’re after. If not, test drive the current-model Toyota Camry; it’s very Lexus-like in its refinement and comfort and, thanks to modern packaging, it’s huge inside. The hybrid version is excellent value and if more people test-drove the Camry, we reckon there’d be a few less SUVs sold.

What car should I buy for $5,000?

The cars that are going up in price at a, frankly, frightening rate are cars that appeal to enthusiast drivers out there. Older Holdens and Fords and anything with a performance bent to it seem to be falling into this category. But since you don’t seem too fussed about what you buy, you can still find really good cars for under $5000. I’d start by looking at things like Toyota Camrys from the 1990s. These are good, solid, dependable cars and can be had comfortably within your budget. They’re not the most exciting cars to drive, but provided you find one that hasn’t already been worked to death, it should go for years.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
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