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ijf0

99 Camry

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After my 01 Corolla was stolen on Memorial Day I purchased a 99 Camry CE. Its got 205,000+ miles on it but the engine runs almost perfect and aside from a fwe rust spots on the surgface tehre is no rusting (gotta love the post 93 toyotas).

 

The struts needed to be replaced BADLY when i got the car so that was the first thing i did. It handles much better now.

I still notice some rattling noises coming from the Drivers wheel-well area when on rough roads. It probably comes from all 4 and not just the driver's but clearly tahst the most noticiable. Any ideas what i should look for? It is NOT a rotational noise, its very random and occurs only on rough road (big bumps).

 

I also have a nuisance problem where if i drive through a rain puddle and it splashes up under the car i will often lose my power stearing briefly. I'm thinking Serpentine belt...?

 

Also, i believe its about due for a new clutch (this one is pretty jumpy when letting it out and I can very easily make it slip while driving), and a new timing belt ... anyone have any idea how hard those are to do on a Camry? I'm almost thinking I'd be farther ahead to take it into a shop for those. (I can handle a lot of things myself like the struts, etc, but I'm thinking for these two i may want to bring it in ... any opinions?

 

Thanks

-ijf0

 

Oh! and does anyone know an easy way to shut off the idiot light that is supposed to tell me a tail/brake light is out? There are no lights out yet it illuminates as soon as i press the brake after starting the car and remains on forever (until the car is shut off).

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As for noise in/around that corner wheel area - could be a loose resonator (airbox) that is touching the wheel liner on hard bumps. Could also be suspension/steering component related as well - check the usual suspects, tie-rod end, lower balljoint, swaybar and endlinks. Could also be a loose wheel liner itself - a screw or clip could have sheared off or fell off. Unfortunantly, hard to replicate in a static case, while you are standing outside the car.

 

You've hit it on the temporarily loss of P/S with a wet serpentine belt. Double check that the splash panel is still present on the bottom of the car. Chances are, it probably got pulled off way back when for a repair and never thrown back on.

 

For the brake light - make sure the brake reservoir is full - sometimes that light will come on if the level is a little bit low. Double check that the rear lamps do not have a intermittent ground - that could cause the lamp to light off everytime you step on the brakes. This was a common annoyance with previous generation Camrys - but I don't recall them happening to this generation.

 

Clutch and timing belt replacement on a Camry is not much different than one done a Corolla. You have a good point of passing this work off to a shop - one, they have the equipment to do it (like resurfacing the flywheel, supporting the engine when they take the motor mount off for the timing belt, etc.) and they will warranty the work. Nothing wrong with tackling this yourself - but unless you have loads of time on your hands - I'd let a shop take care of this one. Labor charges will get you, but figuring a clutch will get you about 60K-100K+ (depending on how you drive), and the timing belt is good for 60K easy - the cost spread out over time is quite minimal.

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As for noise in/around that corner wheel area - could be a loose resonator (airbox) that is touching the wheel liner on hard bumps. Could also be suspension/steering component related as well - check the usual suspects, tie-rod end, lower balljoint, swaybar and endlinks. Could also be a loose wheel liner itself - a screw or clip could have sheared off or fell off. Unfortunantly, hard to replicate in a static case, while you are standing outside the car.

 

You've hit it on the temporarily loss of P/S with a wet serpentine belt. Double check that the splash panel is still present on the bottom of the car. Chances are, it probably got pulled off way back when for a repair and never thrown back on.

 

For the brake light - make sure the brake reservoir is full - sometimes that light will come on if the level is a little bit low. Double check that the rear lamps do not have a intermittent ground - that could cause the lamp to light off everytime you step on the brakes. This was a common annoyance with previous generation Camrys - but I don't recall them happening to this generation.

 

Clutch and timing belt replacement on a Camry is not much different than one done a Corolla. You have a good point of passing this work off to a shop - one, they have the equipment to do it (like resurfacing the flywheel, supporting the engine when they take the motor mount off for the timing belt, etc.) and they will warranty the work. Nothing wrong with tackling this yourself - but unless you have loads of time on your hands - I'd let a shop take care of this one. Labor charges will get you, but figuring a clutch will get you about 60K-100K+ (depending on how you drive), and the timing belt is good for 60K easy - the cost spread out over time is quite minimal.

 

brake fluid huh? ugh! so many tricks they have up their sleeve.

 

I just thought of something else i wanted to ask too ... I was driving home for the holidays and noticed that at almost exactly 3 hours of driving continuously (or maybe it was 4?) the airbag light came on for about 3 seconds ... similar to when it comes on after starting. It went right back out so i was just wondering if its on some kind of timer to go through a self check every so often ... ?

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Possibly - but I've never noticed anything like that before. See if it comes back on that set interval - could be something else in the car causing that warning lamp to flicker like that - may not even be related to the SRS system at all.

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Possibly - but I've never noticed anything like that before. See if it comes back on that set interval - could be something else in the car causing that warning lamp to flicker like that - may not even be related to the SRS system at all.

 

Its very rare I'm in the car for that long w/o stopping so I doubt if I'll ever be lucky enough to see it again. I was just curious b/c it definitely flashed on there for a second.

 

I added some brake fluid to the master cylinder reservoir but it made no change to the idiot light coming on.

 

ANDDD... i have a new noise ... (i think its 5th gear in the tranny) Its been acting kind of funny lately as to how easy/hard it is to put into gear (regardless of outdoor temp). most particularly 5th and reverse (5th while moving and reverse while stopped) it just wont shift in. I've also noticed a little bit of a whine developing the past few weeks on the drive side of 5th gear but i figured probably not too much to worry about ... 210,000mi it outta be allowed to whine a little. Today however, it started suddenly into more of a rumble. at first i thought it was a bad bearing in the front-passenger wheel, but it only sounds bad on the drive side of 5th gear. if i'm coasting or in any other gear it is quiet like a mouse. Its not real loud, but it sounds pretty horrible.

 

I'm somewhat familiar with car/truck rear axles w/ the ring/pinion and their helical gearing, whining/lapping/backlash, etc, but i've never really been into a transmission. When it was just a shifting problem i was guessing a bad/slipping sincro or two (keyword = guessing), and the whine just due to a little wear ... but the rumble ... ugh

 

suggestions on what to do/check first?

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Gear noises in a 5-speed for the Camry are unusual, something I haven't really heard of too much. Symptoms that you are describing are similar to what some early 9th generation Corollas (2003-2004) have been having with their transaxles. Usually ends up being loose bolts on the pressure plate/flywheel or as bad as chewed up input/output shaft bearings inside the transaxle.

 

Since the noise just started - I would flush out the old oil inside the transaxle with some fresh fluid. That will help make sure any contaminants are pushed out and also helps remove any metal shavings (this floating around the transaxle is what usually causes the bearings to fail).

 

As for the brake light - try flushing out the brake fluid with fresh fluid. Helps in some cases. If the car as ABS - could the ABS "brain" is having a fit. They need to cycled by a Toyota handheld diagnostic tool. Might be a way to do it yourself, but I don't have that info on hand.

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I figured I'd do the gear lube first too. For now im trying not to drive in 5th which is really the only gear i hear the noise ... when i get a warm day I'll try to do a lube change and possibly send a sample out for test.

 

thanks

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Well ... it want quite warm here today, but I did take some time to change the trans gear lube and boy am i glad i did.

 

Clearly i have a leak. Once i crawled under there I could see fresh oil all over the (differential?). Upon draining i got MAYBE 2 cups of lube out. YIKES!!!

 

I added fresh 75w-90 and will report how she drives tomorrow.

 

My best guess for the leak would be at the bearing/oil seal for the driver side axle shaft. It looked as though oil was originating there, being thrown off by centrifugal force and then dripping down :-(

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If you have the 2.2 four cylinder you might want to change the oil pump seals and the crankshaft seal while it's apart for the timing belt....they're known to leak profusely as they age. The first seal is the pump shaft seal and the other is the pump body seal. The pump body seal is a large irregular shaped "O" ring. The whole kit can be bought at Advance Auto. When the oil pump body seal goes it will empty the sump quickly because the oil is under pressure in that area.

 

As for the clunk, they are also known for the sway bar bushings wearing out and causing the sound you describe.

 

Is your dome light working? If not it could cause the dash light to illuminate.

 

The timing belt isn't too difficult. Hardest part is getting the crank pulley off.

 

My daughters have 98 and 99 Camrys. Great cars and they seem to be holding their value. I'll probably be stepping up to a Camry after the Corolla is done.

 

Jay in MA

 

 

 

.........I still notice some rattling noises coming from the Drivers wheel-well area when on rough roads.

 

.........and a new timing belt ... anyone have any idea how hard those are to do on a Camry?

 

.........does anyone know an easy way to shut off the idiot light that is supposed to tell me a tail/brake light is out?

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Thanks Jay, the dome light does work im pretty sure its a bad sensor in the back i just hate to pay $75 smackers or whatever it is for a replacement.

I'm gonna look for one at a junk yard eventually but havent gotten aroudn to it.

 

thanks for the info about the oil seals, i'll def look into changing them. i know there is a little oil goign somewhere, but havent looked into whether its being burned or if its a slow leak from somewhere.

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Wanted to give everyone a update:

 

I've virtually completed all the updates/maintenance to the 99 camry and most things are doing quite well.

 

I did get the "tail light out" idiot light off by re-connecting the original 3rd brake light. the previous owner had broken the plastic bulb receptical and since he had the spoiler on the trunk lid w/ the LEDs in it he twisted the wires together and completely bypassed the original 3rd brake light ... must have been enough to trigger the sensor's circuitry ... which is funny b/c when i bought the car the light wasnt on, and it started to come on more and more until finally it just stayed on all the time.

 

I've replaced both the alternator/AC belt and the power steering belt (the PS belt is a B!104 to get to) but still have a little squeal at steering wheel end of travel ... I've already tightened the belt as best I can but there is no tensioner like on the alternator making it nearly impossible to work with ... not sure if i should attempt to tighten it more, just leave it, or start looking for other problems.

 

The noises while driving over bumps seem to have gotten a little quieter since i've had the entire car apart (see other post about new tranny) but they are still there. I have yet to put the fender aprons back on tho so maybe they are the source of some of it.

 

Timing belt also sucked to change/adjust. I installed a new one while the engine was out of the car (for the tranny change) but had quite a time getting covers and pullies off, figuring out which dots to line up with which marks, blah blah blah. I got it finally, put it all back together and w/in two short driving trips it was making a heck of a racket. This time I did it in place since everything was put back together now and what a pain in the rear to get to some of that stuff. I had to have rubber arms to get to most of it. Gotta love Toyota for their ability to design for saving space.

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Sweet! Sounds like you were pretty busy. Atleast, now, you should be good for a while (until the next T-belt change).

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