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Old 06-11-2010, 09:32 PM
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Default 1997 Camry Check Engine Light

I own a 1997 Toyota Camry LE and my check engine has just come on. I checked my manual and it states that I should take it to a dealer. Last time I checked there were no dealers open at 9:30 on a Friday night.....lol.
Car has just over 300,000 kms on it. Good body. This is the first time I have had any engine trouble with it. For the past week or so, it seems like there is air in the lines but has never stalled. Once the car is running, I have no problems with it. I am planning on heading out of town tomorrow morning and just want to make sure that I should be okay for the trip. I put a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in just before I filled it up last time. I still have just under 1/2 tank left. Any suggestions, thoughts or experiences that someone can share? All answers will be appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:33 AM
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4 or 6 cylinder engine?

Can you clarify what "air in the lines" means?

The check engine light being on could be any number of issues, most of the time the car can still be driving until checked out. The cars computer has a trouble code(s) stored in its memory, this can be read with a code reader. Depending on where you located (country) many auto parts stores have code readers and will loan them out or do read the codes themselves for free.

The dealer can read the codes as well as any auto repair shop.

Once the troublecode(s) are determine the seriousness of the problem can be determined. The codes are very specific as to the problem area.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:27 AM
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Default Toyota Camry 1997 Check Engine Light on

My car 1997 Camry with 51165 miles suddenly showed check engine light on and when I checked with dealer they said the code is P0401 and told EGR Volve Assembly & Gasket , EGR Valve controller and temp. sensor needs to be replaced.

Now the light has gone do I need to replace all these things and how badly it will effect on my car?
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:44 PM
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The code means there is insufficient exhaust gas being recirculated into the intake air system for the engine. This gas cools down the combustion temps reduces I think NOx.

The EGR systems purpose is to regulator the amount of exhaust gas being rerouted into the engine. The system turns on and off via a signal from the computer. This being based on driving conditions such as idle (off), full throttle (off), part throttle (on), cold engine (off), etc.

Did the dealer actually run tests to confirm these parts are bad or are they guessing?

The typical causes of this code are the EGR valve or piping plugs up with carbon, the EGR valve is stuck closed (often due to carbon buildup) or a electrical switch controlling the system (called a VSV) has failed. Temp sensors rarely fail.

This is not that many miles for all the parts to fail (unless some design defect). Suggest you get another opinion.

If the check engine light is off, the EGR system should now be working OK. The computer checks the EGR system operation on a continuing basis. If a problem, the light will come on (assuming it is the same trouble code).

A non-working EGR system will raise the engines NOx output and may cause the engine to have detonation (a kind of banging, pinging noise) when under load. The lack of exhaust gases causing the combustion temps to raise.

The internet is full of articles on the EGR system as this is a common problem. A Google search on the model, year of car and code will turn up hits such as the one below:


Sometimes a car manufacturer screws up on a system design or defective parts are installed that fail over time. Then a Technical Service Bulletin is issued to call attention to this problem. In this case the typically causes of a trouble code may not apply. I can't find any bulletins for this year but this doesn't mean the don't exist.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:49 AM
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Good morning.
Thanks for the replies.
I have, however, replaced my Camry with a Dodge Caravan due to personal circumstances. Once the dealership where I purchase the van put my car on the hoist, they discovered it not only needed fuel filtre, tye rods but also a tranny, they chose to take it to the nearest junk yard for scrap.
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