10th Feb 2009, 21:47

It is amazing how far the gap is between what most Camry drivers think of their reliability and build quality, versus what anyone with two eyes can observe by just looking under a few Camrys in any parking lot.

The sagging exhaust pipes are quite prevalent, and they force you to slow down terribly when going over speed bumps. All I can think is that the Camry is sold exclusively into a very special demographic: People who consider driving over speed bumps at 15 miles per hour to be reckless behavior, only practiced by thrill seekers and madmen.

11th Feb 2009, 10:59

The Camry was built for an aging population with no desire for speed or performance handling. As such, it is not a bad car at all. My 85-year-old aunt owns one and loves it. Most Camry owners I know are older, retired people. For that demographic these are excellent vehicles. However, for some unfathomable reason, younger people with more lively driving styles have bought Camrys, and for these there are problems. Aggressive driving causes lots of issues in a car designed for senior citizens. As a senior citizen myself, I even find the Camry too bland and lacking in performance.

12th Feb 2009, 09:22

In the past few years I've noticed that these so called foreign automobile manufacturers that are known to be reliable are not. They're taking a page from the North American manufacturers and that is building a product that looks amazing, but will become a headache to own after 2 years.

12th Feb 2009, 19:28

And it's ironic that the North American manufacturers are building vehicles that are as good as Japanese used to be, while the Japanese marques have dropped in quality with higher production rates.

13th Feb 2009, 10:59

My oldest GM vehicles turns 9 years old this year. My other GM vehicle will be 7 years old. TOTAL repairs since buying new for BOTH vehicles has been $10 (for a light bulb). Just when are these "headaches" supposed to start?? I'll probably grow bored with these cars and trade by then, although we DID keep our "crappy", "headache" of a Ford for 300,000+ miles. It did cost a tad more in repairs. About $300 over 17 years.

14th Feb 2009, 09:46

My oldest GM vehicle (95 Chev Sportvan 350) is now 14 years old. Total repairs since buying it are now in excess of $2500.00. It has 130,000 miles on the original engine and transmission. There are a number of problems that remain unaddressed because they aren't big enough problems to be worth the thousands involved in fixing them (main seal leak, oil pan leak, other odds and ends). It has been a reasonably good vehicle because nothing has been so serious that it was kept out of service for more than one day at a time. However, my experience serves to add to a higher average than your $10 figure. I also had a Toyota Tundra that was 8 years old and had 109,000 miles on it when I sold it last year. It cost me a total of $500 for a water pump that was starting to fail and $15 for the dome light that wouldn't stay up on the ceiling.

15th Feb 2009, 14:55

To me this sounds VERY expensive for only 109,000 miles. I guess to an import owner it sounds cheap, but none of my domestics has EVER required this much in repairs in that short a time. There seems to be a major misconception that domestic vehicles require lots of expensive repairs. I've never had even ONE repair on any of mine that cost $500.

16th Feb 2009, 20:54

Well, the $500 included labor. Plus that was just my best recollection -- but I doubt it was any less. It raises the average $$ spent when compared to the ramblings of the "Toyotas are perfect" crowd.

As far as that seeming cheap "to an import owner". Well... it WAS less than the Chevy. Does $2500 sound cheap to you? You must have missed that... somehow. But NO repair is a good repair. Plus, the Chevy only has 130,000 miles on it too, so while it is significantly older, $2500.00 is also significantly more for a not-dissimilar mileage (clearly not ALL domestics are perfect).

The biggest single repair was the starter, which required replacement at a cost -- parts and labor -- of approx. $900. Furthermore the Chevy is using about a quart of oil every 2000 miles and wanders a bit due to wear in some steering ball joints. Not bad... obviously it can run that way for years. But the Toyota wasn't using any oil at all and its steering was still tight.

In case you think I abuse vehicles, the Toyota and the Chevy were owned concurrently and received the same care: oil changes every +/-3000 and got chassis lubes at the same time. Also other appropriate maintenance was carried out and was not included in repair costs.

Between the two, the Toyota was more reliable but both have served me well.

By the way, "import owner" isn't a pejorative and my comment was intended to be informational and not intended to further this ridiculous, pointless, Too-much-bluff, too-little-data debate. Just because my Chevy had more problems than my Toyota doesn't prove that this is always the case. Its much too small a sample from which to draw a conclusion. I've had good luck with foreign and domestic vehicles with the foreign ones having a slight edge in terms of repair costs. That's just my experience and I won't bully others here or elsewhere to buy what *I* like.

On a side note: I sometimes wonder if there are some who just sit here on these forums agitating debate by making unsupported comments on both sides of the same issue just to keep us talking. They make the same exact list of claims that are batted down on every forum only to be resurrected on the next.

17th Feb 2009, 21:54

Talk, talk, and more talk. GM, Ford, and Dodge produce low quality garbage despite the tales that claim otherwise. They won't even be a topic of discussion soon, because they will be bankrupt or bought out. Everybody knows Toyota's are far better vehicles. That's why people buy them, and they are worth far more as a company than all of the Big 3 combined.

18th Feb 2009, 12:49

All my friends who own Camry's have had nothing but problems with them. The best fix for a bad Toyota is trading it in for a New Chevy Malibu or Pontiac G6!!!

18th Feb 2009, 15:15

Look at the lousy import warranty... so why buy?

Also look at consumeraffairs.com.

We did and bought new domestics.

18th Feb 2009, 22:59

The thing I have always found strange about Camry owners is they think everything else is unreliable. Sometimes I strike up conversations with people and ask them how they like their cars. Pretty uniformly Camry owners tell me how much they like them, and they do have some repairs needed once in a while, but that is okay, because they are really reliable so you have to keep them maintained, because they are high quality machines and they will become unreliable if you don't maintain them. But that is okay because they are such high quality.

Then they ask me what I drive, and I say a Taurus, and they say, oh that must be in the repair shop all the time, and I say, actually I have had it four years, and it has required no repairs. My previous Taurus I had for six years and it needed two repairs (speaker replaced and sensor for windshield washer fluid). They are always surprised and get kind of a confused look on their face. Then I might say something like, you know Consumer Reports gives Camry's and Taurus's about the same reliability ratings.

Usually then the conversation moves onto what we think we might buy next. They usually say they are looking for something a little more fun next time, but they don't know know what to get, especially because they are worried about getting something that is not reliable. They always tell me the Camry is not that much fun, but it is nice and reliable. Good with the kids.