The past few years have been very good to the Toyota Motor Company. Their models top nearly every reliability list from all the top automotive researchers and

testers. That doesn’t mean that they’re indestructible. Every machine has a flaw or two because every machine is made by a flawed creature. The problems occur when too many of the same flaws keep happening repeatedly. It happens in nearly every automobile, they all have their little quirks, and the very-reliable Toyota Camry is no exception. After researching reports from testers and consumers alike at Consumer Reports, Edmunds, The Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, and J.D. Power & Associates, we’ve found some problems to watch for if you’re a Toyota Camry owner.

1) Transmission Problems        (2004-2011)

Transmission problems have been an Achilles heel for Toyota for a little while now. There are several manufacturers who seem to be suffering that fate lately; if you’re a college student, you may want to consider a switch in majors to mechanical engineering. Common problems on the Camry include slipping (revs up very high and won’t engage gears), hard shifting (revs up high and then slams into gear), and downshifting hesitation. Basically, if your Camry starts to shift in any way other than what you’re accustomed to, get it to a repair shop now.

2) Gas Pedal Sticking        (2007-2010)

If you keep up with the regular news, not just the automotive news, you will have heard of the whole Toyota Gas Pedal Sticking issue. It does affect models other than the Camry, but Toyota has issued a fix for them as well. Chances are, with all the publicity and fanfare that this particular recall has stirred up, there aren’t too many Camrys that haven’t had the gas pedal recall performed already. But you never know, so its important to check the VIN and find out before you decide to put the metal to the metal and the metal won’t give it back.

3) Oil Leak        (2007)

This one is for the owners of 2007 Camrys with the 3.5L V6 engine. The VVTI oil line is a supply line for engine oil, and it has a little issue with letting out what it’s supposed to be holding in. Toyota does have a replacement pipe and gasket available to replace the VVTI line, but the procedure can be a royal pain for you do-it-yourselfers. It’s much better to let the professionals handle this one.

4) Paint Problems        (2005-2010)

Most paint issues are with bubbling, flaking, or dull spots. Toyota’s paint issues delve into the world of straight-up peeling on the Camry. Since the mid-90s, auto manufacturers have outsourced much of their painting to third-party companies. Since then, quality has dipped for all lines, but the Camry seems to be one of leaders in this section. When automotive paint is applied, it’s applied in four layers: 1) The electrocoat, which protects against corrosion; 2) Primer, which protects the electrocoat and provides adhesion to the base coat; 3) The base coat, which is the car’s color; and 4) The clearcoat, which provides scratch resistance and a glossy finish. Each coat must meet certain thickness requirements or it is considered a factory defect. Peeling is a sign of this particular defect.

5) Surging        (2005-2009)

Think of your gas pedal sticking without you even pressing it. That’s what the surging issue is with certain Camry models in these model years. There are several instances of drivers placing the vehicle into gear, and then having the vehicle lunge forward (or backward, depending on which gear you’re in) without having pressed the accelerator. This is one of those things that only needs to happen once before the vehicle should be in the shop.

Keep in mind that these problems don’t happen in every one of these vehicles. These are just the most-reported issues for these particular models, and they only signify a small fraction of the total vehicles sold.

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