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22

Got a 1998 Toyota Camry that has an empty battery and am wondering what the best course of action is. Why is it empty? Is it empty because the battery is old and dying and won't hold capacity? Or is it empty because you yesterday forgot the lights on? The correct course of action depends on the reason for it being empty. If the battery is good but you just ...


12

I think Meineke was taking you for a ride (pun intended). Here is my reasoning: If it was leaking as bad as they say (or showed you) it was, you wouldn't have had any oil in your vehicle when you got to their shop. If the car was having the massive oil leaks all over the engine compartment as they showed you, there would have been VOLUMES of smoke from it ...


11

MAJOR UPDATE - TOYOTA WARRANTY EXTENSION FOR "STICKY DASHBOARDS" Today ( 12/29/2014 ) I received in the mail a Warranty Enhancement Notification regarding my Toyota. Complete coincidence that I received this a few weeks after I posted the original question. A relevant December 18th, 2014 article from a consumer investigator regarding this issue. ...


11

The shields have multiple purposes. What you stated about rocks and debris is very true. They do protect the engine bay from stuff getting kicked up into it. Another thing they are designed to do is to allow proper cooling and airflow. On some vehicles, without these in place, the engine can overheat due to the air not flowing through the right parts of ...


7

I'll preface this with the caveat that I haven't replaced the fuel filter on this specific vehicle before, and my advice is based on experience with other cars. I do think it's good advice regardless. I agree that you should not crimp the lines, but I strongly disagree that you should just disconnect it without depressurizing the lines. Remove the fuse for ...


7

I prefer steel rims - less troubles with balancing. Talking about bolts for steel and aluminium wheels - they should have different bolts. Alloy wheel bolts have longer thread and cone shape (on the right). Steel rim bolts have shorter thread, and a spheric shape (on the left). So if you buy steel rims, make sure you buy bolts. Sometimes too long can ...


7

95% chance it's just normal wear. The vast majority of car manufacturers recommend an ATF change between 30,000 and 100,000 miles. So if the owner hasn't serviced it in a bit, the brown colour would be normal, though not ideal. Also, the fact that there is no burnt smell tells me that there's no serious damage inside the transmission. I'd personally say $...


7

There's a joke in electronic engineering about transistors being invented to protect fuses. Basically, it means that transistors blow faster, and so a fuse is practically worthless for that purpose. It still protects the wiring from catching fire, but not the circuit from functional damage. To protect the circuit from functional damage, the designers ...


7

If the battery is completely flat, then it will have been severely degraded in capacity. Lead acid batteries don’t hold their full charge after going completely flat, so it would be best to replace the battery and make sure this doesn’t happen again. However if you want to try to charge it, it will be less stressful for the battery to be slowly charged by a ...


6

The windshield repair guy is correct: there is no way to repair cracks in the windshield. I don't know what the laws are in Alberta, but here in Virginia, if the cracks are on the driver's side of the windshield, it needs to be replaced. Considering that you were replacing the wiper motor and it is on the DS of the vehicle, I will assume this is your case. I ...


6

On Symptoms... The boiling and smoke are a result of the high temperature due to a cooling system malfunction. The fact that your temperature dropped again is indicative that the system works sometimes. The question is, why didn't it work here? Root Cause... What you really want to understand is why the cooling system overheated in the first place. Was ...


6

There is a way to do it. You put a wrench on the pulley bolt and block the other end against the floor or the frame. Then you use the starter motor to turn the engine (DO NOT START IT, JUST TURN IT) for at most one or two revolutions of the crank. Just enough to break the bolt loose. A couple of things to watch out for: Be sure the wrench is setup ...


6

This sounds like a severe vacuum leak. You are going to be looking at either a bad intake manifold gasket, bad throttle body gasket, or cracked intake manifold. A brake booster hose MIGHT be able to move that much air. A couple things to check first. Vacuum hoses, including the brake booster hose. Pull off the intake hose and look in the throttle body ...


6

One thing I found with myself, after learning to drive on farms at a very young age, is that I seem to naturally "know" or "feel" where the outer limits of my car is. It's strange and I can't fully explain it, but I've personally never had this issue. However!! Many people do, you're definitely not alone, and there are a few solutions! One, if it's your ...


6

You're getting a bit ahead of yourself thinking a about a transmission swap in a 1200 dollar car. Dark transmission fluid is completely normal at that mileage. It probably has never been changed, but that's typical and is no reason that the transmission won't go to 250k optimistically. Maybe more. Sounds like a great deal if you otherwise like the car.


6

ATF IV and Dexron II are different enough I'd suggest against using it, however all Dexron fluids are backwards compatible, so you could use Dexron III or Dexron VI. If you can get Dexron III you can mix it with the exiting Dexron II in your power steering reservoir without issue. If you're refilling it then there's a leak somewhere, you may want to have ...


6

My first suspicion is with the thermostat. It may be failing "slow" which means it's not opening when it should and it takes the much higher temperature and pressure of the hot coolant to open. Replace it and I suspect the problem will be solved.


5

It sounds like the lock on your driver's door is stuck (leading to the first symptom), which has led to it constantly sending the "lock" signal to the central locking, causing the second symptom. If you can get the door open, you should be able to disconnect the central locking wiring from the lock to stop it locking the other doors, then investigate why ...


5

Checking several sites I have not found any thing that relates to a cabin air filter for your Camry. They list several other models but none for a Camry. For future reference Fram has a database that lists instructions for replacing cabin air filters by make ,model and year. It appears that they became available on the 2002 models.


5

Well, I need to do more studying before I post here. I was under the assumption that the teeth-side of the timing belt was driving the water pump. In fact, the smooth side of the belt is driving the pump, and especially if the belt or pump is very old like in my case. It is possible that the belt is either not causing enough traction to move the pump or ...


5

The problem with hooking up the jumper cables backward is that ANY electronic component in the vehicle is at risk. This could mean the throttle body (TB). It could be an alternator. It could be the computer. Anything can get fried as it looks like the TB was at the mercy. You are trying to force the electrons to go the wrong direction. To electronic ...


5

Generally you don't need to use any sealant on this type of gasket, mainly because the gasket is pliable enough and will seal on it's own. If I were going to use any sealant on it, it would be where the rounded part (in the back of this photo) which has a sharp corner: The reason is, the corner of the gasket is a hard place to seal. Putting a dab of sealant ...


4

Obviously the easy fix is replace the battery in your FOB then just hit unlock once you hook up the battery. But... If you are too lazy to replace your FOB battery. Try just putting the key in the ignition in the "ON" position then hooking up the battery. If that doesn't work then try cycling the key between off and on (not start) 5 times. If that doesn't ...


4

It sounds to me that the gear(s) in the motor are partially stripped. When the wipers go up, it hits the place where the teeth are gone. When you pushed it back down manually, it caught a place where the teeth are still present and brought them back down. The only way you can check this is by extracting the motor and pulling the gears apart to check. Any way ...


4

If the vehicle has power door locks it's not a big deal. You can use a system like the one below. It's currently $35 from JC Whitney If you don't have factory power locks it gets more complicated. You will need to install door lock actuators, either aftermarket or factory. You could get the actuators, linkages and such from a junk yard, sometimes easier ...


4

Depending on the design of your car, the engine mounts may have been removed during the alternator removal and replacement so any damage may now show up. Alternatively, if the alternator previously wasn't working and is now drawing on the vehicles RPM to charge the batter, the idle may have dropped (which could account for the vibration). If the vibration ...


4

While both Paulster2's and Steve Matthews's have good answers, there is another thing to consider. The 3.5 V-6 equipped Camrys that year (not sure about the 4 cly) have what Toyota calls Active Control Engine Mounts. They use vacuum and electricity to control the mounts. Also on the 3.5 engine it's quite an extensive repair to get to the alternator off, and ...


4

Since the drain is very repeatable, connecting an ammeter in series with the battery and disconnecting each fuse in turn is a good idea as @jphil1618 suggested. You could find that the problem is associated with multiple fuses, for example it could be the fuel pump that is running (I know you would hear the pump) and while pulling the fuel pump fuse will ...


4

Given that this happened while sitting in traffic and went away as soon as you got up to speed, I believe the issue is your radiator fan(s) Since you boiled over, check your coolant when the engine has cooled down. Start the car, let it sit and idle. Once the temp gauge gets past about 1/2, the fans should kick on. If it gets up to ~3/4 without the fans ...


4

Debris in the bottom of an oil change pan is not out of the question, and unless present in a large quantity is likely not be catastrophic. Sources of such material may be internal (timing chain slap pad on some engines can shed debris if older, for example) or external (simply garbage loosened when the drain plug is removed). On the internals I can't speak ...


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