Pawlik Automotive – How Reliable Is The Toyota Camry?

Pawlik Automotive – How Reliable Is The Toyota Camry?

Mark: Hi, this is Mark from Top Local, we’re
here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, we’re talking cars. How’re you doing Bernie? Bernie: I’m doing very well Mark. Mark: So we’re going to talk about the Toyota
Camry first thing, how reliable is the Toyota Camry? Bernie: Overall I’d say it’s a pretty
good car. There are a few issue through the years, the
Camry has been around for a long time and overall I’d say it’s a very good car. Mark: So Toyota has a pretty good reputation
for reliability and I trust that Camry is pretty much the same? Bernie: Yeah they are. There’s a few, we’ll go through a few
different model years. There’s been a number of generations of
Camry, I started trying to figure it out and it’s probably like six or eight, cars been
around since the early 1980’s and it’s change a lot. They used to be a very narrow type of vehicle,
they’ve gone to a wider body vehicle, I’d say generally always reliable for the era
they’re in. When you compare a 1980’s car you have to
kind of compare to whatever other 1980’s models were around, not to modern standards. They’re really good vehicles overall. Some interesting issues that I can remember
from some of the earlier Camry’s which was carbon buildup in the engine. So you get these cars where they wouldn’t
go up a hill, like when you get to the top of a steep hill, all of a sudden the car couldn’t
accelerate any more. Problem was actually really simple. It was carbon buildup on the valves of the
engine. This is kind of like a beginning of an issue
that you know for decades now we’ve done fuel injection cleanings and combustion chamber
services to eliminate that problem but what would happen is that intake valves would get
covered in carbon deposits and the fuel injectors will be injecting fuel and will all getting
soaked and absorbed into the carbon and so as the engine is going up the hill, it wasn’t
getting enough fuel. So it’s kind of an interesting issue but
something that I remember from the older Camry’s. Also the older Camry’s you get transmission
problems as well, but these are so far in the past. I can’t remember the last time I saw those
80’s generation Camry’s. Camry is one of those cars, it’s a good
practical car and once it’s lived it’s lifespan, people just send them to the trash
can so to speak. Mark: So how about the later ones, how are
they? Bernie: The later ones are good, I mean they’ve
got progressively better. There is an issue with Camry on around the
2007 model year. A lot of excess oil consumption, a lot to
complaints around that, so with Toyotas, what I’ve found and I’ve said this many times
before you really have to change your engine oil on a regular basis. Now I’m not blaming necessarily bad maintenance,
but because there are some obviously engineering defects but really with the Toyota, you’ve
got to change your oil every five to eight thousand kilometres depending what kind of
oil you use, what’s in there, but really change it early. It’s the best thing you can do for a Toyota. But definitely around the ’07 model year,
a lot of companies of excessive oil consumption. So that’s not a great thing, so something
to look out for if you’re purchasing a used Camry from a decade ago. Mark: So one of the things that we mentioned
a lot is timing belts and I guess do all Camry’s have timing belts and how often do they need
replacement? Bernie: So Camry has used timing belts through
the years for quite a while, they use it right into the 2000 model year on the V6 engines,
generally the interval on them is around 160,000 kilometres but in the earlier models the interval
was more around 96,000 kilometres or 60,000 miles. So you just need to know which year and model
it is to find out when the timing belt interval is. But the 4 cylinders have not used a timing
belt in a long time all the newer sixes are all chain driven, so you don’t need to worry. But the best thing to do is, you can look
up the information or call a mechanic you trust and get the information. Mark: So in the late 2000’s, Toyota had
the sudden acceleration issue, non-issue blown up kind of thing, were Camry’s one of the
affected models? Bernie: They were. Camry’s were one of the models, I was doing
a little research before we got on this hangout, and around the late 2000’s when the recall
starting coming out with sudden acceleration issues. Camry is definitely one of them, I think there’s
about 5 million vehicles affected. It was a big recall. To put things into perspective, a lot of the
problems were just floor mats sticking on the accelerator pedals, that was part of the
issue. We see that in a lot of customers cars when
people come in with complaints of things and the car doesn’t go fast enough because a
floor mat stuck underneath the gas pedal or, you really have to be careful, you have to
watch our for your floor mats are positioned on your car, not just Toyota but any car. Anyways, the recall dealt with floor mats
and then they actually redid the accelerator pedal because their did seem to be some issues
with the accelerator pedal and they did some reprogramming with the vehicle in order that
if you, it’s an electronic reprogramming but if you push the brake on the vehicle and
you had a foot on the accelerator at the same time, it would actually cut the engine power
which is interesting because I notice that when we go to diagnose modern vehicles. A lot of older techniques we would use, sometimes
would be to put the right foot on the gas pedal and accelerate and put the brake on
and we would use this technique for certain things and I noticed on a lot of newer cars
you can’t do that. The moment you put the brake on the car, the
engine won’t run anymore. It’s kind of frustrating for a mechanic
to do a diagnostic when you’re limited to certain things, the computer limits you but
that’s one of the safety features they put in. It’s good idea because obviously if your
car is having run away acceleration, you want to be able to stop it. Mark: So overall, it sounds like this is a
pretty good car. Bernie: Yeah, I like Camry’s, I mean there
are a few years with a few issues like I said with the oil consumption so you to to watch
that but overall they’ve been throughout the years very reliable, it’s kind of to
me a large Corolla, maybe not quite as reliable as a Corolla, but pretty close. Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for service for your Toyota
Camry in Vancouver, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, you must
book ahead, they’re busy or check out their website Thanks a lot Bernie Bernie: Thanks Mark

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. The Camry (and Corolla) are pretty boring, but they're as reliable as a bank vault. The '98-'02 Corolla and Celica with the 1.8 liter engine also had problems with burning oil due to bad piston ring design—Toyota changed the rings in '03, and there were no more problems after that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *