Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
82,333 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (2 reports)
  2. engine overhauled under warranty (1 reports)
1997 Toyota Camry engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #3

May 052004

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles


Camry had excessive oil consumption but did not know it. Only roughly one month after havign oil changed, as I was coming into a town for a work meeting with a client, the engine seized up. Luckily I had just enough speed to coast into a Toyota dealership at the bottom of the hill! Service department called after checking things out and said that oil was empty! I had just had oil changed approximately one month prior. Weird thing is that there were no signs of oil pools around car, nor smell of oil, smoke etc. No oil light ever went off either!

Camry was out of warranty and so I had to pay the $4-$5 thousand to get it replaced. New engine had about 20K miles on it when replaced. Here's kicker. Now that I've had this engine in the car for the last eight years, have noticed only minor oil consumption issues until yesterday (2/27/13). Oil light flickered on the way home from work and I knew immediately what the issue was. When I got home there was no oil registering on the dip stick. I had to add about 3 1/2 quarts of oil to get to the full line and so it was basically dry. Having seen others' similar experiences on here, I can only surmise that this was a known issue that Toyota attempted to ignore. I bought a sienna in 2006 and that will be the last Toyota I own.

I had seen some reports of known oil sludge issues with Toyota in some of my research into this, but nothing aproaching a recall or replacement offer from Toyota. Seems so strange that one incident of a stuck accelerator makes the news and gets all kinds of attention when multiple oil consumption/engine problems gets short shrift. I guess someone with this oil/engine problem will just need to get in a sensationalistic crash to call attention to it.

- , Davenport, IA, USA

problem #2

Nov 062004

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • 86,000 miles

Defective valve lubricating system, engine failed for the second time at 86000 mi, was out of warranty. Dealership suggested a new or used engine at a cost of $3000 - $7000. The other older Camry which I gave to my daughter now has over 150000 mi with no serious problems.

- , Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #1

Oct 242004

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • 50,000 miles

Defective valve lubricating system. First engine overhaul at 50000 mi was free. Happened again at 86000 mi, not covered under warranty.

- , Tulsa, OK, USA

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