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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
139,650 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. had to replace the engine (2 reports)
1999 Toyota Camry engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 162022

Camry LE 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


We bought the car about 6 months before the incident, 141k miles when we bought it. It was in great shape, but had been sitting for a couple years. My dad had 320k miles on his 2000 with the original drivetrain, so I assumed it was indestructible. I got a fresh oil change, and it seemed perfect... Except for one thing, the engine just sounded rough. Just clattery and jittery.

I did oil changes with marvel mystery oil, and it seemed to be helping. I got lots of sludgy oil out. Sadly, a few thousand miles later and multiple oil changes, the engine failed on our way home one night, though thankfully it made it home. Now, granted, we lived 10,000 feet up in the mountains of Colorado, so the car was getting a major workout on the highway daily due to being so slow. But still, I should have asked for maintenance history. These cars can be extremely reliable, but this generation of 2.2 was known for this issue. Make sure that the oil was changed on a regular basis, unlike mine before my ownership. A few grand, down the toilet. Now I am back into an auto loan.

- Seth A., Aurora, CO, US

problem #5

Dec 042014

Camry XLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Had the car about 3 1/2 years. It belonged to an old man in OH who stopped driving as his health declined. My Mom used the car to take him to his doctors appointments but other than that it sat, often outside in the Cleveland winters.

After he died, my Mom bought it with 78,000 miles on it and drove it out to AZ after having it fully serviced by a mechanic. I noticed it had quite a bit of rust in the engine compartment. These things may or may not have contributed to what just happened to the engine. I was driving the car on the freeway and it started to hit high RPM's every time I accelerated and the engine started to make a clicking noise. I exited the freeway and got about a mile from home when the check engine light & oil pressure light came on and the car shut down simultaneously. I was turning onto a side street from a main road and lost power steering in mid turn as the car shut down. I coasted to the side of the road and restarted the engine and it was now making a very loud metal on metal banging sound that I now know as classic "Rod knock". Apparently I blew a rod and there was hardly any oil in the car.

I work from home so the car sits for days and gets driven once or twice a week. The oil had been changed once this year and the car does not leak oil so there was no reason the oil should have been low. I had no idea these cars had problems with oil consumption, oil "gel" or sludge build up. I had no warning or indications that there was anything wrong with the car. The car was very reliable up to this point. Now I have to replace the engine or buy another car and I can't really afford to do either.

- Amy C., Scottsdale, AZ, US

problem #4

Dec 242010

Camry LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,689 miles

I bought this car off my sister and I only had it for about a year. I didn't do my research I guess because my mechanic told me this happens a lot. Apparently my timing chain snapped. Toyotas are infamous for having their chains snap around 150,000 miles. That is the chain that keeps everything in the engine moving in sync. The whole engine was pretty much worthless and it would have cost over $2,000 to fix. My car got junked... pretty sad since I loved that car. :(

- Chenelle H., Lafayette, IN, US

problem #3

Apr 282011

Camry Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,093 miles


After some front end damage from another driver's hitting the front left of my vehicle the insurance company paid for the body work. Within 1 day and 20 miles of driving, the engine trouble lights came on and then the sickening noise of a blown engine. The problem appears to be from sludge that was dislodged from the accident and either clogged the oil pump or broke down the piston - fod assembly. Only cure without investing much money in forensic engineering ($3,000 to $5,000) appears to be going forward with an engine replacement on my dime.

It seems the availability of the Toyota Class Action Settlement for this problem ended before the problem arose and the connection with the front end collision is too remote and too speculative to either negotiate a settlement with the insurer or prevail in a lawsuit. Other than sympathy, does anyone have some idea on how to proceed?

- Bob H., Tacoma, WA, US

problem #2

May 082010

Camry LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I changed my oil, the new oil filter is still on it. my son a few days later took it on the hwy after putting oil in cuz it wasnt reading it had any(we jsut put 4 qts in a few days before). the oil just disappears. well it threw a rod now I have a hole in my engine and I have no money to fix it.

- Rhonda W., Rock Hill, SC, US

problem #1

Jan 022007

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I guess I had a freak oil leak where my engine seized and I had to replace the engine. The first time the mechanic tried to bore out the cylinders but he did it wrong and effed it up. So we had to replace it. Have all your lines checked frequently to make sure they are tight.

- Chris R., Windermere, FL, US

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