1999 Toyota Camry CE from North America - Comments

1st Mar 2008, 12:07

Gates has a PDF that lists which engines are interference. Click on Timing Belt Replacement Guide.

http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?brochure=2256&location_id=3487

4th Mar 2008, 16:07

We just bought a used 1996 Camry LE 2.2l engine with 112k miles. We were driving it home (200 miles) and the timing belt broke. We heard a rattle on the passenger side and the engine cut out and we lost power. It looks like this is a non-impact engine and we figure it's the timing belt because we can't find anything else. Here's my question--my dealer said it would be a minimum of $600 for the repair (no other repair). The seems very high--so we're going to do this at home (with repair manual). Is it important to buy a Toyota timing belt--or is there a more durable/better brand. We plan to replace the other belts and water pump at the same time. Any suggestions are appreciate.

Linda.

8th Mar 2008, 19:04

Linda, I'm a mechanic, and yes, $600 is VERY high to replace a timing belt. Shops in my area generally charge around $350 to $400 for this repair.

Toyota dealers charge outrageous prices for any repair. Either do it yourself, or take it to an independent shop you can trust. It DOES NOT have to have a Toyota belt. Auto Zone or NAPA can provide you with one just as good at half the dealer price.

A manual is good, but you are also going to (probably) have to purchase a few special tools. Still, it is cheaper than doing it yourself.

I'm really sorry you got stuck with a Camry. As reviews on here indicate all too well, they are not very reliable cars. My advice is to try and trade it for a good Ford or GM car before it costs you too much more.

11th Mar 2008, 04:36

Do not get rid of your Camry. Any money spent on your Camry is money well spent! If you buy Ford only buy a Truck.

12th Mar 2008, 14:22

When we bought our brand new Camry in 2002. The struts were damaged right out of the showroom.

We now have to replace them again in 2008 with only 130,000 miles on it.

We have had other Toys and have never had this problem.

We found out that there was a tech sheet put out on this, but no recall.

13th Mar 2008, 16:15

If you do buy Ford also, buy their full size cars as well.

21st Feb 2009, 08:35

I enjoyed reading all the comments, and am now convinced to replace my timing belt for Toyota Camry, 1998. I have 135,000 miles and will just bite the $$ bullet and have it replaced.. not sure if it is worth waiting for another 5k, 10k or ??? miles for it to break on its own... it is the best car I have ever had... I have only had one repair on this car so far and am spoiled!!! So might as well do a preventive one to avoid being towed to the mechanic...

21st Feb 2009, 17:01

Mechanics LOVE to advocate the purchase of Ford's and Chevy's. It's job security, they always break down. Any mechanic willing to tell the truth knows that Toyota's, and especially Camry's, are way more reliable than any Ford or Chevy. If most people bought Toyota's, the independent mechanics would have much less work.

22nd Mar 2009, 17:04

I have a 99 Camry LE sedan with 128,000 miles. At 123,000 miles my mechanic replaced the timing belt, water pump, oil seals and pulley. Oil is leaking out of the timing belt area. The job now needs to be re-done. Is there any other area besides the oil seals (a cover of some kind?) that should be replaced and can the integrity of the timing belt be comprised by the oil leak? Should the timing belt be replaced also?

23rd Mar 2009, 18:14

17:01... Mechanics I know also advocate great cars to buy and enjoy performance upgrades vs. waste money on needless import repairs. They also make money upgrading vs. fixing junk.

I have seen total waste of money on large import wings and loud single f*** pipe, decals down the sides and hideous rims. I actually saw a place that rents rims!

I like domestics such as Mustang GTs; great starting point, bulletproof V8 and numerous performance upgrades vs. crammed front wheel drive engine compartments. It's a lot more enjoyable and rewarding helping someone upgrade their car as their budget allows vs. seeing sorrowful faces on import engine and transmission replacements.

5th Oct 2010, 17:03

Hi. I have a Camry 1999 (cyl). I'm having a problem with the headlights. They are not coming on. Neither one (hi or low beam). If I pull the handle, both beams come on (with the indication light in the panel). These lights were always on, and they go off with engine off, and as soon I open the driver's door.

What's wrong?

6th Apr 2011, 21:18

Look at the statistics and history. American cars were "made to break" (within 3-5 years) since the idea of the car came into being. The Japanese got the idea "let's make a car that will last a real long time, cost less to buy, and get great gas mileage. Us American's have just barely caught up with that concept. And that is only within the last 4 to 5 years. The Japanese have been making great quality vehicles for decades. NOT 5 OR 6 YEARS.

7th Apr 2011, 21:25

I suppose that is why ONE Japanese car maker alone recalled FOURTEEN MILLION cars in the past TWO YEARS??

8th Apr 2011, 14:21

Personally I think it's reassuring that manufacturers recall vehicles, even for just check ups like Toyota has done in many cases. Having come from a Ford, I know all about manufacturers NOT recalling, even with known serious problems. I found out after some years of ownership that my car (as identified by the VIN) had problems with the brake module where the ABS and stability control can fail any day. I found out that there's a technical bulletin describing the case, but Ford hasn't issued any recalls. I confronted my dealer with this fact, and they said there's nothing to do about it since Ford won't pay for anything. He actually recommended to replace the brake module, but at a cost of more than $2000 I'm reluctant. This means that Ford KNOWS that many of their cars are driving around with potentially defective brakes, but they won't pay for any recalls. No recalls are in no way a sign of quality minded manufacturer.

8th Apr 2011, 15:03

My friend just sent his 1998 Camry to the wreckers, it made it to 206000 kms and was still running, just burning a ton of oil and stalling all the time, not to mention the rust.

Not really a great car if you ask me, It should have lasted a lot longer for the price he paid.

I am now helping him to shop for a new car, I think this time he will avoid Toyota. They are way overpriced in the used market and for no reason at all, I don't see quality or reliability, just a cheaply made economy car.

In my opinion, Hyundai offers a better quality economy car than Toyota these days, and at a much better price.

Sure, Toyota was great in the 80's, but those days are long gone, as they have cheapened their cars to increase profits.

9th Apr 2011, 08:21

Like you said, in your opinion. Toyota has not gotten any cheaper than any other manufacturer over the past decade. They command higher amounts of cash as used cars because they are worth more in the market place. Domestic cars are the bottom of the barrel, and imports are the top when it comes to resale. Hyundai makes a good car as well, but on par with Toyota and Honda, and not really any better. That in itself is quite a feat, since they have only recently been recognized as a quality car line.

Also getting to such a high mileage interval before going to the junk is not really that bad. Who knows how the car was treated and maintained to get it that far? I know of many Toyotas over 400K miles, and still running great, with little extra repairs made to them.