29th Apr 2008, 19:04

1999 Toyota Camary LE 4-cyclinder purchased new in Dec. of '99. Have had some unusual repairs for a car that was reputed to be maintenance free. At 48K the water pump went out and that required a new timing belt. Also, at 48.8K the front struts had to be repalaced - apparently a common problem on this model. Somewhere around 85K I started having a puff of smoke with start-up in the morning. Three mechanics have told me this points to valve stem seals; a major and expensive repair. This also seems to be a common problem with this car. At 102K another water pump and of course timing belt. Along the way there were other minor repairs, such as interior light electrical problems, and transmission repairs. I normally keep my cars until they have 125k to 150k, but today I started shopping for a new car. I hope I pass my state inspection next month without any additional expenditures. I'm disappointed that Toyota has not been willing to acknowledge these defects and do not help customers resolve them.

1st May 2008, 13:30

A few years back some import fans talked my good friend into buying a 1999 Camry. The car totally fell apart well before 80,000 miles. He purchased a used Chevy Malibu. It has been flawless.

3rd Jun 2008, 22:15

Bought a 2000 Toyota Camry in 2003 with 100,000 miles on it.

At 150,000 miles transmission went out; cost $2000 to get it replaced.

Timing belt and water pump replacement at 175,000 miles at a cost of $500.

At 200,000 miles replaced timing belt again at a cost of $250.

Replaced EGR sensor and catalytic converter at 265,000 miles at a cost of $800, for it to pass smog.

I now have 269,000 miles on Camry with no problems. Car runs great. Change oil and filter at 3000 mile intervals. Expect to get another 150,000 miles out of this car.

4th Jun 2008, 21:29

I am purchasing a 1999 Camry tomorrow with 142,000 miles from a friend for my soon to be 16 year old son. My mechanic is recommending replacing the timing belt (never been replaced) and replacing the water pump. There has been an oil leak for some time, but he believes the changing of the timing belt will take care of that.

I hope that my luck is good!!!

5th Jun 2008, 11:25

22:15: After listing numerous repairs costing THOUSANDS of dollars, he states "I now have 269,000 miles on the Camry with no problems". Gee, tons of repairs and thousands of dollars out of pocket, NO PROBLEMS???

I love these "I had to replace 3 engines, 2 transmissions, the transaxle and most of the body in the first 50,000 miles, but otherwise my import is fantastically reliable" versus the "At 468,000 miles the cigarette lighter stopped working in my friend's Taurus, so it is TOTAL CRAP" comments.

11th Jul 2008, 05:46

I'll be buying a 1999 Camry LE tomorrow. After reading all these comments, I'm still convinced that Toyota cars are reliable, as long as you take care of them too. Good luck in my new journey with Toyota!

26th Sep 2008, 16:10

To 21:23: I'd put some pressure on the shop that diagnosed the problem as the struts. File a complaint with your local Better Business Bureau if they refuse to do anything or compensate you for falsely diagnosing your problem.

I'm a mechanic, and I've never had a problem with struts on any of my cars. I drive only domestics and and have NEVER replaced the struts, even on some with over 200,000 miles.

I know Toyota quality has dropped like a lead balloon in recent years, but strut failure at only 58,000 miles sounds very fishy to me, even for an import.

1st Nov 2008, 14:02

I have a 99 camry CE. Are these OBD1 or OBD 2 compliant?

To save paying the diagnostic/reset fee again, I bought an OBD 2 code reader after my third check engine from loose gas cap,(won't ever reset itself even after tightening.) The code reader gets power but it does not communicate with the computer. "Error"

I checked the vehicle's emissions sticker under the hood per the code reader's manual and it does not say "OBD 2 Certified". So what kind of code reader works to read and reset the CEL?

Try disconnecting battery shortly before emissions test. Test to see how many miles of driving and how many starts it takes before CEL reappears.

I know someone who did and their car passed emissions in the window of time between reconnecting the battery and the computer finding the code and turning the CEL light back on. This suggests that car was not polluting, the computer signaling CEL was messed up.

2nd Feb 2009, 19:41

My 1999 Camry LE has 222,000 miles and the check engine light has been on for over the past 100,000 miles or so without any ill effects. I also own a 1992 Toyota pickup (4 cyl) with automatic transmission and 358,000 miles.

Also my wife drives a 1997 Honda CRV with 124,000 miles. I do my own routine maintenance on them and have NEVER needed to take any of them to a dealer. Thank GOD for Japanese vehicles.

In the past I always bought American cars and was constantly rebuilding engines, transmissions, suspensions, etc. I'm 67 years old and it took me 55 years to learn domestic cars are nothing but junk.

16th May 2009, 15:16

Okay, I bought my 1999 Camry LE, 6 cylinder new in 1998. Other than an occasional loose gas cap, my CEL has been pretty docile until the 98K mark. It recently has come on and refuses to go off. Since I live in a state that doesn't bother with emissions, I don't know that I'm going to get too excited. I do have a question regarding replacement of the timing belt and truly when this should occur? I have done nothing but tires, filters, and oil for 11 years now but don't want to let it sink into oblivion at this point. I might even splurge and do brakes and plugs if everyone feels that there are enough years left to make it worth my while.

15th Jun 2009, 22:32

I have a 1999 Camry LE with 61000 miles on it. I had a problem at 7000 miles on it, took it to a dealer, reason was the check engine light was on. They replaced it with a new oxygen sensor and fuel sensor. Since this time no problems.

This car has been a good car. I carry a timing belt and a water pump in the trunk.

Now I have given it to my grandson in South Caroline. While visiting there in June of 2009, I checked the car again for any oil leaks. I believe in pre-flight an auto at least once a week on checking oil, oil leaks of any type. I tried to convince him it is a must quite often to lift up the hood for any possible problems. On all autos I have ever owned I do this and never had a problem with any car. A car is a machine, there is more to it then just driving it. I admit I only had new cars, I don't understand the problems of the 1999 Camry, but many people had the problem of check engine light coming on, this happens on all autos since 1995, this is when they begin to put sensors on cars; a mistake that the federal govt required the auto industry to do it.