1988 Toyota Camry LE 4 cylinder from North America


An older Camry is an excellent, reliable first car.


I haven't had many problems so far.

The transmission needed to be replaced shortly after I bought it. I encountered some problems in finding a mechanic in the area who would repair a foreign car.

The brake pads also needed to be replaced. This was not a major repair.

There are also some minor rust spots starting to form.

General Comments:

Overall, I am very pleased with my Camry. It is very enjoyable to drive and it's been very reliable so far. I've talked to other owners of Toyotas that claim they were able to drive their cars beyond 200,000 miles.

There are some nice features that I was surprised to find in an older car. The automatic seat belts are a good safety feature and contribute to lower insurance rates. The air conditioning and heating are excellent. Also, the headlights turn off automatically when you open the driver's side door. This is a feature that I find very helpful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th July, 2001

6th Aug 2001, 18:28

My 1988 Camry LE has just over 252,000 miles on it, and it still runs PERFECTLY.

29th Aug 2001, 22:04

I just bought a 1988 LE camry and it only had 122000 miles on it, and it has been one of the best cars I ever driven.

3rd Sep 2002, 02:22

I got a 1988 Camry LE DOHC 2l 16 Valve and it has over 300000 kilometers runs fine, but needs a new transmission.

7th Feb 2005, 22:50

I got an 88 camry LE, 255,000km, and no problems at all, well transmission was changed, I luv this car.

2nd Feb 2006, 10:06

I just bought a 1988 Toyota Camry Deluxe with 152,000 on it, it runs great and starts every time. I have had a Camry in the past and it was very much abused by the previous owners, but it still ran and drove well... SO yes Camry is a very good buy.

8th Feb 2007, 19:39

I own a 1988 Camry, with only 38,000 miles as of today. It was garage kept for 18 years by my grandmother.

22nd Apr 2008, 00:26

88 CAMRY? I love my car. It runs great even with myself driving like a mad man. 70 mph, is not a problem. I love getting in it, knowing that it'll start every time. By far the most reliable car ever, my opinion.

12th May 2009, 15:21

I own a 88 camry le with 165,000 miles and it's still going strong, Just can't kill it, it was rear-ended 30,000 miles ago and repaired but still going strong.. too bad they are not made like this nowadays.

23rd Jan 2010, 14:32

I have an 88 Camry LE 4 cyl. Has 274K and still going strong. Slight overdrive miss every now and then. It gets driven about 500 miles a week right now and has is very reliable. I'll do a tranny filter change and flush and see if that fixes the issue with the overdrive. Great car!

1988 Toyota Camry V6 from North America


A problematic car that still has its advantages


This started about 2 years ago, and has become progressively worse as time goes by: In the heat, or if several stops are made, the car sometimes will not start. We must wait several minutes before it can start again. Several people have looked at the car and cannot figure out what the problem is.

The car has recently started to overheat on occasion. This still happens, even though several repair attempts have been made on the car. It got so bad, recently, towing was required.

A/C failure caused by problem listed above.

Key tends to get stuck in ignition.

Major rust over driver-side front wheel.

General Comments:

It is a semi-comfortable, roomy car that is a beauty to own, if not for the problems.

The automatic seat-belts make you wear them, a real safety bonus implemented on this car that should have been implemented on later models.

The ride tends to be very rough, no matter the road surface.

The car is like a hot-rod on the highway.

Good around-town and quick-trip car.

The seats are a bit overstuffed.

Good gas mileage.

Not a car to take on a vacation or a road trip. It is too small for that, and the trunk, while large for most needs, is too small for that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th June, 2001

28th Jun 2001, 13:25

Re: your starting problem -- my previous car, an '85 Audi 80, had the same problem. The electrician traced it to a hairline crack on the solder of the fuel pump relay. Get that checked out. It's just age -- these things go regardless of what car you own.

23rd Jul 2001, 03:09

Check the distributor, the coil, and pickup assembly.

My 88.5 V6 SDN, has been almost flawless... new distributor at 80,000 miles, and an annoying ticking from the instrument cluster (easily drowned out by the radio). With almost 190,000 miles, it still has money more life... with some body rust. The 5-speed manuals have nice gearing, except 3rd, which feels too tall.

The car still handles well, a little better with the strut tower brace from the ES250.

Though the headlights are horrible.



24th Aug 2001, 11:11

Those automatic seat belts, which are very annoying, do NOT make you wear your belt as you say. People often thought that they didn't have to wear the lap belt since the automatic shoulder belt was worn. This is quite incorrect, considering that people where being decapitated by the shoulder belts in accidents when they weren't wearing their lap belt. That is why you no longer see automatic belts on new cars any more. Quite frankly, a very stupid seat-belt design! Not to mention GM's just-as-dumb door mounted seat-belts that helped to eject occupants in collisions.

25th Apr 2004, 02:23

Anyone dumb enough not to wear the labbelts...They're just asking to be a foot shorter.

I also have an '88 V6 Camry and I love the thing. I do have the problem with the engine dying after I drive it kinda hard when I come to a sudden stop. It's not too much of a big deal since it doesn't happen too often. For the speed and power it offers at its cheap price, well worth it.