2000 Toyota Camry LE 2.2 from North America


The 2000 Camry is full of problems, and fails to live up to Toyota or any other make


Brakes don't last long.

Alternator went out at 60000 and 100000 miles (should last over 100k).

Automatic transmission slips and gurgles.

Lemon issue -- car has a circuit board to tell you when the rear lights are out; the board has a hot spot that burns out, that part is over $350, a $350 part to tell you that $10 worth of light bulbs are out. By the way, this part fails on over 80% of the cars, and almost 100% with time.

The EGR system had 2 valves fail at around 120K miles, both of these are around $150 to $300 for the parts, this is probably due to the recall motor that cooks oil, thus junking up the EGR system with soot.

Then we have the ol' EVAP problem, where the owners first see the check engine light, and the dealers/shops tell them to replace the gas caps, WRONG. Then they tell you the charcoal canister and associated valves have to be replaced (P0446), they rather replace all the parts than trouble shoot. The problem here is probably a result of a negative pressure system being located lower than the gas tank, so the canister fills up with gas over time instead of being purged properly. By the way, the system is designed to collect those fumes emitted while filling the tank, but when it fails it spits about a gallon of gas out on the driveway, Go Figure. I had mine diagnosed, and all components passed, and I am still driving. I believe the canister just needs long drives to purge properly. Try keeping less than a full tank, maybe will help. Oh, this is a $600 replacement.

Then we have the popcorn noises in the front suspension when driving through a bumping parking lot. This is allegedly failure of strut supports, that apparently fail every 60k. Go figure, a suspension part only lasting 60k, just in time to buy a new car if you follow the dealer mentality.

Oh yeah, I had to replace a rear left bearing; I was able to take mine to a machine shop and did the repair for under a $100, but the dealer sells you an "assembly" for over $300. That will get rid of any whining noises in the rear, "sounds like road noise".

Oh, don't forget the motor that cooks oil, causing sludging problems. The sludge blocks pores designed for oil to flow through and lube the motor properly. This sludge problem causes owners to change oil every 3000 miles instead of 6000, causes oil breakdown, cause premature motor failure, causing the engine emission problems.

The 2000 Camry is the lemon of Toyotas and other cars.

General Comments:

The 2000 Camry is the lemon of all Toyotas; no wonder they were redesigned shortly there after, and again in 2006.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th December, 2007

31st Dec 2007, 13:42

Sorry about your bad experience with the Camry, but I don't believe the problems are limited to the 2000 model. I owned a 2004 that had a whole host of problems. I have owned six cars in my life and the Camry was by far the worst!

2nd Jan 2008, 17:20

Well, I've owned a lot more than 6 cars; more like 12, and the 3 Toyota's were all tied for 1st place considering that I've yet to ever put a part in any of them with roughly a combined total of 275,000 miles. Far better than anything else made anywhere, except maybe for Honda's.

2000 Toyota Camry CE 2.2 from North America


Poor performance, good MPG, average reliability


Power steering pump started getting noisy when turning, I think it needed replacement.

Catalytic converter or catalytic converter sensor. Driveability was not affected, but the CEL was on.

Paint flaking off the rear bumper.

General Comments:

The worst thing about this car is 2.2L engine. Very slow even with the 5 speed. Going uphill, often had to downshift to the 3rd. The automatic tranny version is worse and as slow as an old, tired turtle. No performance whatsoever. 0-60 - yes. Have to get a V6 to get good acceleration and power. Merging on the highway in a busy metro a area with 2.2L is downright scary, you have to rev it to 4K rpms to get some kind of performance out of it. Then it gets noisy.

The good thing is, MPG is great. I got as high as 31MPG on highway only.

I would not get a 2.2L engine again, unless it was a very small and light car and definitely 5 speed.

This is a KY-made 'yota, not sure if it makes any difference.

The paint was just flaking off in places like the rear bumper.

The 5 speed tranny is mediocre. BMW, Nissan and Honda have smoother shifting manual trannies. It does work, but not as smoothly as I had hoped.

I got a check engine light about the catalytic converter, though I coudldn't narrow it down, it might have been just the sensor or the cat itself. I am not sure how much the cat costs, but it's surely expensive from Toyota. I never got it fixed dreading the high repair bill and just drove around with the Check Engine Light as the mediocre performance did not seem to be affected.

AC is weak even after a DIY recharge. If the car is parked on a hot day, it doesn't cool it enough.

The seat belt is hard to buckle up as the buckle is hidden. In this regard, I like Ford and GM cars where the buckle sticks out.

There were some body panel alignment issues, like the rear door had a poor fit. The windshield gasket was not right and was making a lot of noise. Some trim on the door came off.

There aren't enough settings for the windshield wipers. The slowest is OK, but the 2nd slowest is too fast, and the fastest one is not fast enough.

The good thing is, the car is easy to work on for a shade tree mechanic. If you are a DIY type, a 4-cyl is the car to get. The engine bay is fairly open vs. a V6 FWD car which is usually more difficult to work on. The spark plugs are super easy to change, the belts are not too bad. Brakes are super easy to replace.

The oil change is super easy with the oil filter right in front of you. I used Mobil 1 the whole time, as I was scared by all these stories about engine sludge, though never experienced it myself.

While 2.2 is mediocre, it didn't burn any oil, didn't leak anything, didn't make any strange noises.

There is some kind of TSB about filling up the gas tank too much and the gas spilling over there and ruining the charcoal canister, or something to that effect, and supposedly setting a CEL. I was careful to never pump gas in it after it cut off. Never experienced it myself though.

The trunk is too small, or rather too shallow.

All in all, considering the competition, not too bad. In the same price range, Honda and Nissan et al, have about the same number of problems or worse. Also I do not trust automatic transmissions from *any* maker, foreign or domestic, of any vintage.

Do not get this car for perfomance reasons, go for the "SE" version with V6 and ideally 5 speed - not an easy combo to find, especially as Toyota in its infinite wisdom dropped the V6/manual combo for Gen 5 as I understand. That's just stoopid. 2000 Camry CE 2.2L is just a basic grocery-getter, great around town. For interstate travel, I would want something more powerful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2007

15th Sep 2007, 00:57


The vehicle had a smell inside. It appeared to be of automotive nature. Not sure exactly what it was, but didn't smell like gas. Not sure if the vehicle had an cabin air filter, maybe that's what the problem was.

Not sure what the problem was, but it was confirmed by others.

1st Dec 2009, 10:28

I have the same car and totally agree with the performance problems. And I also have the weird automotive smell in the interior, the same smell is stronger in the engine bay, it's very weird.

1st Dec 2009, 14:55

What do you guys expect? You're talking about a Toyota Camry for crying out loud!! These cars are horrendously unreliable and poorly built. Toyota now holds the record for the greatest number of recalls since the invention of the wheel. This hardly speaks quality.

21st Oct 2010, 08:16

275,000 miles later, I think my manual Camry CE 2000 could have not performed any better. The car was built in Japan. Bought brand new. Still in use in the family.

Pierre from Montreal, Canada.