That's funny, It only took me a year and a half with a 2006 Camry to find out that Domestics are way better.
That's more in line with reality. I'm almost as old as the domestic-bashing commenter, and I'm an avid car enthusiast who has owned a LOT of cars over the years, including German and Japanese makes. I've NEVER rebuilt an engine, transmission, or suspension component on ANY of our domestics, including one Ford with over 300,000 miles on it and Dodges and GM's with way over 200,000 miles on them.
On the flip side, one of my Japanese cars literally had the frame sagging just from the weight of the car at 84,000 miles. I was told it couldn't be aligned without having the frame member straightened. The shop referred to the problem as the "Japanese Flimsies" and told me it was VERY common with Japanese vehicles. I traded that car for a Ford with 139,000 miles on it. It ran flawlessly until I traded it 4 years later. Another of my brand-name Japanese imports was sold to a junk dealer at 99,000 miles with parts of the engine's insides hanging out of a gaping hole in the block. I was told it would cost more to repair than the car was worth. I junked it and bought another Ford. That one was sold to a friend for his son at 160,000+ miles. It had never had a repair beyond routine maintenance.
It only took three imports to send me running back to domestics as fast as I could, and I haven't looked back since.
I own a 99 Camry that I bought in 1999 with 8k miles on it. This car is a beast, and everyone who is complaining are either getting talked into repairs they didn't need or abused the car then said "what? It's a Toyota, it's not suppose to break!!"
In 10 years I have done 2 brake jobs, 1 timing belt. I ran over a unseen speed bump with a pothole on the other side and knocked my engine around 90k. I believe that sent the waterpump into the side of the engine and caused it to be replaced again. That was my fault. It still runs fine, and over 10 years I only fixed what was listed. That isn't bad at all.
1999 Camry V6.
Changed timing belt, changed oil every 3K, serviced only by dealer at 100K. Had full tune up done; 5 miles later engine blown. Dealer said oil gel after some discussion. Fixed engine.
So far at 151+ K, no problem other than the seat belt light won't go off.
Bought a used 99 Toyota Camry LE with 35K miles in 2002 in the US, then moved to Canada. The car ran trouble free until Dec. of 2008, with 74K miles, then the check engine light came on. It still runs well. I got the error code scanned, it is P0141, Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) Heater Performance Bank 1 Sensor 2. It costs about $300 to get it replaced in Toronto.
After reading the posts here, I decided to ignore this CEL message. Bought a code scanner and cleared the error code by myself before is emissions test. My car passed the emissions test last week. It reads 91K miles now. So, the Check Engine Light is on for at least 17K miles so far now, but can still pass the emissions test. I am not sure whether keeping the car running with the Check Engine Light on will do any damage to the car. It seems that it won’t.
The exhaust pipe and catalytic converter were changed by a Toyota dealer in Jan 2007 with 61K miles then. This change was covered by the Toyota warranty. I did not pay for the catalytic converter change. Maybe the not so old catalytic converter helps for the emission test. I also got timing belt and water pump changed recently.
Plan to keep this car for several more years, even though it is not a trouble free ride.
I have had my 99 Camry since 2004 and am now at over 200k miles.
Other than some intermittent unexpected brake maintenance, I haven't had to do much (besides routine maintenance) with this car. The check engine light P441/440 (fuel evap system) continually lights up and turns off my traction control. At this point I'm pretty sure the evap system doesn't need to be fixed. This summer, with the right kind of driving, I've gotten the best mileage from this car 29 MPG (V6) ever. Even if it is broken, I don't know if the evap system is worth fixing. If the mileage goes down or some other issue pops up, then I will consider fixing it. Probably just a bad sensor anyways.
By the way does anyone else have a noisy steering wheel? Mine seems to make a weird whirring/scraping noise when I turn it a lot. It seems to be worse in cold weather.
If anyone likes Camrys, get a 1995. Flawless and time proven. Built like tanks. I own one.
Not any more. I accompanied one of my best friends to a local tire store recently to get new tires and an alignment on his 2009 Toyota Corolla with 42,000 miles. He was asked if the car had been in an accident. It hadn't. He bought it new and is an excellent driver. He was told that they could not align the car because the frame had sagged and bent to the extent that it was not possible to align it without special shims to correct the sag. I had the same exact issue several years ago with my own Japanese car. Japanese auto makers are apparently using very flimsy and cheap metal in building their cars. I suspect that is why many Japanese cars are being recalled. We won't be buying any more.
I've never heard of the frames in Japanese cars sagging under the weight of the car. Couldn't even find anything on Google on the subject.
I'm not denying that the above commentor's Toyota could not be aligned due to frame issues, however they were certainly not caused by the frame sagging under the weight of the car. The car could have easily been damaged in transport from the factory. This happens more frequently than people think, to both imports and domestics.
I personally have owned a few cars that had sagging frame issues. The first being a '93 Ford Escort that literally bent right in half. Found the problem to be a part of the unibody that had never been welded together. The second was '95 Dodge Neon that sagged beyond alignment, I never found out why, there really was no good reason as to how it happened.
I've never seen nor heard of a Japanese car simply sagging under its own weight. No car does this.
I can attest to the fact that small domestic vehicles tend to have flimsy, pressed steel sub-frames. Take a look under a Ford Focus sometime, the sub-frames on those are scary thin and are simply tack-welded together.
So buy a full frame car or truck. They are out there. All the weight reduction due to fuel and distance seems to be further skimping on frames and adding more plastics. I'd rather see more engine and drivetrain advances. Add a 6 speed.
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