1988 Toyota Camry LE from North America


Best $500 I ever spent


The Camry has been sitting in a driveway for two years before I bought it in 2004.

The immediate repairs were minimal.. it needed new brakes and rotors, as well as a new battery. We replaced the spark plugs and fuel filter, as well as a much needed oil change.

It also needed a completely new exhaust system.

The transmission went last summer. Just stopped. It gave no warning, it just gave out. Needed replaced.

The alternator drained the battery.. once again, it just stopped working one day (while I had the dog at the park... fun.) Both needed replaced.

The original distributer cap leaked, causing it to stall out when accelerating from a complete stop when it was wet. We replaced the distributer cap, though it still does this. :o\

The rust is... bad. It was pretty bad when I bought the car, over the wheel wells, and a little spot by the gas tank cover. Now the holes, though patched, are rusting around the patching, and nasty rust spots have developed in the door wells.

It has started leaking oil everywhere, from everything. The guys at the oil-change place said it was leaking from everywhere, and that there was nothing they could do about it. Though, they tightened the oil cap, and voila... it isn't leaking nearly as much.

The driver's door power window does not work, though it just needs a motor. The driver's door lock also doesn't work, neither does the trunk. So basically my only working lock is the passenger side.

General Comments:

Great on gas!

Runs awesome when it isn't raining.

The interior is nicely designed. It's little, but not so little you feel trapped. The seats are comfy too.

The power everything is nice.

It fires right up, even on really cold days. The heather heats up quickly too. The engine keeps cool in the summer as well. The AC needs charged, but that works well also.

Its gotten be back and forth to college for two years now, usually without incident, though when raining or especially wet outside the car in unpredictable.

It's a nice looking car, and if that darned rust would just ease up, it would be awesome.

Despite all the repairs, it really is the best $500 I ever spent. It has its problems, most of which have been repaired, but usually is surprises me with how good of a car it is. Now, if we could just figure out what causes the problem in the rain...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2006

3rd Apr 2006, 20:01


I have a 91 Camry which also acts up in rain. The solution is to take apart the distributor and clean up the coil inside.

Good Luck.

4th May 2006, 13:03

Hey, thanks for the tip! I'll try that and see if it helps!

24th Mar 2008, 14:35

I had a 88 Toyota Camry and I loved it... I gave it to my uncle and got a Ford, and that was a mistake. Then I got a Pontiac, which also sucked, and then I got a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT.

Well now I'm getting rid of it, and buying my Camry back from a guy who now has it.

1988 Toyota Camry LE 2.0 16 VALVES from North America


Good car if it wasn't for that head gasket


I have some problems with it.

The alternator is weak so I have to replace it.

My head gasket is leaking preston onto the engine in the front and is also leaking oil into the preston. So I am looking at a little project for changing it. Anyways I hope that the oil leaking in the preston is coming from there and it isn't the block or head that is cracked.

There is also some oil getting into the spark plug chambers, probably an o-ring that is leaking.

Apart from this I am happy with it, it always gets me to were I want to go and the body is really nice, no rust.

Althought it isn't the most fun car to drive because it lacks power if I compare it to my friends Nissan Stanza witch is a very powerful 2.4 liter engine.

So in all a great first car!!

General Comments:

The is only one problem I am wondering about, is when I move with my hands the front left wheel there is some kind of loose in it. I move a little, in the same way as it would turn. So when I move it with my hands I hear like a tok, tok???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2005