11th Jul 2008, 22:21

"Head gaskets do not cause oil sludge." (comment 13:58)

Yes, actually they can cause sludge easily, as they allow small amounts of coolant to leak into the engine oil if they are defective, thus forming a gooey mess of sludge. Leaking gaskets are a very MAJOR cause of sludge formation, as only a small amount of coolant can contaminate the oil and result in a lot of sludge.

12th Jul 2008, 16:37

And for what brand are you a mechanic? Ford? You do all the work on your Fords? Of course. How many starters, alternators, water pumps, power window and lock motors, switches, knobs and levers have you replaced? Those must be "maintenance items".

I am a Toyota salesman. I spend most of my "spare" time with my service department customers who's collective opinion sings volumes over your couple of cars that have not had any problems. Oil changes and tire rotations. Our techs have lawn chairs by their tool boxes because they are OFTEN with nothing to do. We have a ratio of 1 mechanic to 3 salesmen. Look at your dealership. What is your ratio?

90% of all Toyota Camry's built since 1989 are still registered and taxes paid in 2007. Government reported, indisputable numbers. What Ford cars were they competing with in 1989? I believe it would be Escort and Taurus. How many of those are still registered and paid to keep on the highway?

As far as the awesome domestics and all the magazines, I do believe every single new domestic produced in the last 20 years was touted as the one to end Toyota. Remember the Oldsmobile Achieva? Car of the year, and the "Camry Killer" as reported by Motor Trend Magazine.

If you want to know what's a good car or not, talk to everybody about their cars. Find out who has had one for 200k. See if they would buy another one. Compare that to how many hate it and would never buy another, and see which list has the best ratio. Toyota and Honda will most likely have a 100% satisfied customer count. That's real.

13th Jul 2008, 12:27

Lets see, a new car salesman has vested interests/quotas to achieve, and is not going to dwell on the negatives.

I have yet to hear "Mr Customer, this vehicle has had sludging, transmission issues, and your used car has a lot of life left, so it's a better move for you to keep it". Usually I heard forget published book values, I buy your vehicles at auctions and it's worth much less to me.

It's quite easy to go on line for anyone to research repairs; consumeraffairs.com is telling. Or even better, go to the repair lounge and sit with others and ask how their Hondas/Toyotas are holding up.

Do you seriously believe people on here think that certified mechanics are sitting around all day in new car dealerships with no work to do? My favorite way to buy now is seek out the Internet sales new car dealerships. I bought my last 2 new vehicles that way... picking a 100 mile radius on-line then finding a new car dealer and using the Internet price. I also sell my old vehicle myself so I don't get "bumped" on my trade-in.

27th Aug 2008, 17:05

2008 (6:35 pm)

Has anyone had air bag issues with the Camry? My wife recently had an accident in her 2002 GLE Camry. The accident was head-on, yet the air bags did not deploy causing head and neck injuries. Is there anyone else who has had any such problems??

1st Apr 2009, 11:49

I read all the above comments with interest, I currently own 2 Camry's, a 97 and an 02. I am also a mechanic and for most of my career have worked for GM, but have also worked for other dealers as well as some independent shops.

Although I have never worked for Toyota or Honda, I have several mechanic acquaintances that do or have. The bottom line is this, GM has had head gasket problems, Ford has had head gasket problems, Chrysler has had head gasket problems, Toyota has had head gasket problems, Honda has had head gasket problems.

The important thing to keep in mind is cars are machines, machines break down, broken machines can be fixed, that is why mechanics exist.

What is vital to selecting a vehicle is how widespread are the problems, and how much will cost of ownership be? I have found after owning many GM and Fords and 2 Chryslers, and several Toyota's and Honda's, is that I have to spend less money on the last 2 brand's to keep them on the road. I however do realize I am looking at it from a different perspective than most.

Good luck to all with whatever you drive.

1st Apr 2009, 17:46


Well said. Thanks for your perspective. You actually sound like a real mechanic. It's also refreshing to read the writing of someone who has a grasp of grammar and spelling.

24th May 2009, 19:37

Re 2002 Camry 4-banger. -- Purchased used ex lease with 78000km. Now has 150000 km. This is our 5th Toyota and the best.

BUT -- took in to the local dealership for a price for front brakes and spark plug replacement. They wanted $ Can 200 to replace 4 plugs (1.4 hours from the book) I did it myself in 32 minutes. I am not a mechanic. And I don't cost $85 an hour. They wanted $ Can 300 for the front brakes. I bought the pads plugs and had discs turned for under $100. Good sale at Canadian tire.