Is The Toyota Camry Reliable? Common Camry Problems Explained.

The Toyota Camry is known for its quality and longevity. They're popular daily drivers as well as family travel sedans. Loyal owners keep their Camrys for many years and put hundreds of thousands of miles on them. However, there are some common problems to be aware of on the Camry. If you already own a Toyota Camry or are considering buying one, here are 5 oft-seen issues you'll want to be aware of.

1. Excessive Oil Consumption

A common issue with 2007-2011 Toyota Camrys equipped with the 2AZ four-cylinder engine is excessive oil consumption. Defective pistons and piston rings installed during engine manufacturing resulted in excessive oil blow-by and carbonized rings over time. Once carbon builds up on the piston rings, they can no longer effectively seal against the cylinder walls, resulting in excessive oil consumption.

Toyota initially addressed the oil consumption issue in a technical service bulletin issued in 2011. While the powertrain warranty covered the engine for six years or 60,000 miles, oil consumption often only became apparent after the warranty expired.

"As part of our continual efforts to ensure the best in customer satisfaction, Toyota is preparing a Warranty Enhancement Program to extend warranty coverage to address customer complaints of Excessive Engine Oil Consumption"

  - Toyota Motor Sales USA

As complaints mounted, owners filed a class action lawsuit. Toyota relented and established a warranty enhancement program for all affected Toyota models equipped with the 2AZ engine. The extended warranty coverage paid for engine repairs, regardless of mileage, until October 2016. After that, secondary coverage was applicable for ten years or 150,000 miles from the date of first ownership, whichever came first.

Any engine can start to consume oil without regularly scheduled maintenance. See our video guide to Toyota oil changes. If you decide to change the oil yourself, we have the correct OEM oil filter for your specific Toyota vehicle - check out this guide to learn more.

2. Valve Cover Gasket Leaks

2011 and older Toyota Camrys tend to exhibit oil leaks from the valve cover over time. The gasket can deteriorate with age and mileage, causing oil to leak outside the engine - usually evidenced by blackened, burnt oil around the gasket.

Oil leaking onto the exhaust or other hot engine parts can present a fire hazard. Oil on the ground, smoke, and burning odors are all warning signs that a gasket could be failing. It's crucial to address valve cover leaks promptly to avoid a fire or loss of oil that could damage the engine internally.

3. Automatic Transmission Improper Shifting

High-mileage Toyota Camrys can be susceptible to erratic gear shifts. This problem commonly occurs on 2013 and older Camry models due to a faulty throttle position sensor. The engine control module (ECM) monitors the throttle position sensor (TPS) to determine the position of the accelerator pedal. The ECM uses this data to maintain the correct engine air and fuel mixture under all driving conditions. The data is also shared with the transmission control module (TCM) to calculate when to upshift and downshift the automatic transmission.

Transmission shifts may be harsh or erratic if the TPS data is faulty or missing. ECM or TCM software updates can often resolve transmission shifting or hesitation issues.

Keeping up with scheduled maintenance is also a best practice that will ensure proper transmission performance and improve the longevity of internal transmission parts. You can learn more about other Toyota Camry Problems and Common Complaints here.

4. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor

Toyota Camrys with high mileage can experience issues with the oxygen sensor. This problem is most common in 2014 and older Camry models. Oxygen sensor failure can cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Check Engine Light
  • Rough Running
  • Loss of Power/Acceleration
  • Poor Fuel Economy
  • Failed Emissions Test

The oxygen sensor maintains the correct air and fuel mixture for optimal engine combustion under all driving conditions. The most common cause of oxygen sensor failure is contamination from unburned fuel or oil blow-by. Once an oxygen sensor is contaminated, it must be replaced. Some Toyota Camrys have two or more oxygen sensors depending on the engine type. Learn more in our Ultimate Toyota Oxygen Sensor Buyer's Guide.

5. Power Steering Issues

A few model years of the Toyota Camry can be prone to power steering issues, specifically:

V6 Models w/Hydraulic Power Steering

  • Camrys equipped with V6 engines use a traditional hydraulic power steering system.
  • Power steering fluid can leak from the pump or the hoses connecting the pump and the steering rack.
  • A worn power steering pump or air entering the system from low fluid can result in noisy power steering.

I4 Models w/Electric Power Steering

  • Toyota first introduced electric power steering on the 2007 Camry Hybrid. Toyota equipped all four-cylinder Camrys with electric steering beginning in 2012.
  • Loss of electric motor assist can cause heavy or difficult steering.
  • When an electric power steering (EPS) malfunction occurs, the EPS light illuminates on the instrument panel.
  • Toyota issued a safety recall for the power steering ECU on the 2015 Toyota Camry, stating that:

"A circuit board for the electric power steering (EPS) in the subject vehicles may have been damaged during its manufacturing process."

  - Toyota Motor Sales USA

We offer a wide selection of power steering parts for your Toyota Camry. Learn more about how power steering works in our blog post, All You Ever Wanted To Know About Power Steering.

Camry Resources And Parts From Olathe Toyota Parts Center

At Toyota Parts Center we have a large selection of parts and accessories for your Toyota vehicle. We're centrally located in Kansas City and can provide fast shipping to the east and west coasts. We offer many Toyota Camry resources online, including:

The Camry is a legacy Toyota model with a long production history. If you need Camry parts, we've got a huge selection ready to ship. All our OEM Toyota parts are backed by the standard Toyota 12-month, unlimited miles warranty. Do you have questions? We’re here to help. Please feel free to contact us today!