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Newbie to Camry - Urgent question.

Old 09-28-2006, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Default Newbie to Camry - Urgent question.

Hey all,

I got my 02 camry XLE about 2 weeks back. has 48500 K miles and is certified used. I was a Gen3 ford taurus dude till before and do about avg amount of work on my car like all fluid changes, plugs, filters, some sensors etc...

To get started I want to know some basic information on the 02 Camry XLE so that I can start putting my hands on it...

1. I know I have a 4 cyln motor. But is there a model number? I see things like 2ZM... blah blah in several other posts here... So what are these different models and what does my 02 Camry XLE 4 banger have.

2. What are the things I need to watchout for/be careful about with this 02 Camry XLE?

3. I am a big fan of transmission coolers. I see the lines for eht stock cooler. Can I put a stacked plate cooler in series with the stock cooler? Is there a write up here? I want to know which line in the stock step up is the entry line to the radiator cooler and which one is the exit.

4. What Oil filter to use? and what is a decent Oil. I always go with Valvoline durablend and run it for 5 k miles max.

5. Is the tranny fluid on this 02 XLE (4 banger) the generic mercon dextron III? or its a special toyota fluid. Is the Power sterring fluid a generic one? I have a can of volvoline PS fluid, I was wondering if I can use it?

6. I see that my coolant is reddish pink? Can I use the regular green coolant. (I know I should not use the GM dexcool stuff right).

7. I have anti-theft etc.... is there a problem with diconnecting the battery negative terminal becauuse I have anti-theft with that engine immobilizer thing?

8. Lastly is the haynes manual good enough to get repair information. I am talking most common plug & play reparis... nothing more.

Oh one more Question:

What is a good Oil filter and Oil to use? I usually go with Valvoline maxlife or dura blend. I am not looking at long like oils. Just something that are good for 5 K mile oil changes. Is there an after markey oil filter that is good and reasonably priced or should I get it from the dealer?

thx again

Old 09-28-2006, 11:42 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 146
Default RE: Newbie to Camry - Urgent question.

1. 5SFE
2. Dont know of anything. Just keep up on maintainance.
3. Why do you need a trans cooler, unless you plan on doing a lot of racing.
4. Use OEM Toyota filters. I use Castrol synthetic in my car. 3k miles max.
5. Dont know.
6. DO NOT use the green stuff. ONLY toyota red coolant mixed 50/50 with water.
7. Shouldnt be a problem.
8. Never heard of the "haynes" manual.
Old 09-29-2006, 12:38 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7
Default RE: Newbie to Camry - Urgent question.

Welcome to the forums.

Not sure how accurate my answers would be, since I own 2 Supra's, but I also maintain my GF's 92 LE that also has the 5SFE 4cyl. Most of the answers I have, are pretty similiar between the Supra & the MKIII 92 - 96 Camry, but I'm not sure if it will also apply to the 02 model. So if my answers are wrong, please feel free to flame away.

1. Motor: Most likely it is a 5SFE. Others??

2. No answer here, not familiar enough w/ the 02 models.

3. Stock cooler should be plenty sufficient. Unless you're racing (as already mentioned) or if you are towing something, which you should not really be doing w/ the 5SFE anyway. If you're towing w/ the V6, then it would come in handy.

4. ANOTHER believer in the Toyota OEM oil filters!!! Oil can be subjective. At 48.5K miles, you should be fine to switch over to a full synthetic. If you have some general idea of the car's prior maintenance history, this would help. If the motor is currently on "normal" petroleum based oil, then at you next oil change try switching to one of the "synthetic blends" (50% petroleum, 50% synthetic). Run it for a couple hundred miles, then look under the car (or the ground) & see if you have motor leaks. If not, then you should be good to go to a full synthetic on your next oil change. Castrol or Mobil 1 should be fine for your application. If you want to go "overkill" then you could step up to either Amsoil or even the Redline products. Up to you. PERSONALLY, I would stay away from Royal Purple, too many stories of peeps who get different oil pressure readings when they switch to this stuff. The oil viscosity in RP does seem to be rather "different" than other synthetics.

5. Not sure what the 02 slushbox is using. DEXRON III or better??? Do you have the owners manual?? If not, check with a Toyota dealer & see if you can still get a original or reproduction copy of the O.M.

5a. THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT!!! DEFINITELY check the owners manual on Power Steering Fluid REQUIREMENTS!!!! Both of my Supra's (81 & 85) AND my GF's 92 Camry DOES NOT use Power Steering Fluid, it uses DEXRON II or better ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). Put in PS Fluid inside a PS system that is supposed to be using ATF & after awhile you will be having 1 VERY noisy PS PUMP. Leave it in there long enough & the pump WILL start to leak after awhile. Both fluids have VERY different viscosity's, make sure you are using the correct one.

6. Reddish pink coolant??? Also sounds like you currently have the Toyota Red coolant in it. Much better stuff (IMO) than Prestone Green. The cooling system for a 5SFE usually does not run very hot, unless the system has been neglected & a 50/50 coolant mix should be just fine. If you want to lower the temps just a "hair", throw in a bottle of the Redline WaterWetter (I have it in both of my Supra's, my GF does not have it in the Camry).

7. No help here.

8. I have the Haynes manuals (1 each) for my 81 Supra & the 85 Supra. At a used bookstore, I just recently found the Gray cover Haynes manual for the MKIII 92 - 96 Camry's. Should be just fine if you are doing basic Tune-Up stuff. For me personally, I tend to use the Haynes manuals "in conjunction" with the factory TSRM's (factory Toyota Service Repair Manuals). Many a time, I've run into instances where the TSRM covers XX items, but the Haynes manuals does not, OR the Haynes manual clearly address's this repair problem, while the TSRM does not. For me personally, the factory TSRM's & the Haynes manuals are my "go to" sources for repair information. Most of the latest stuff (IMO) that is found in the Chilton's manuals is just garbage. The really OLD Chilton's manuals (before 1975) were great.. Current stuff.... Yack...

Hope this answers a few questions!! Good luck!!

Old 09-29-2006, 01:16 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Default RE: Newbie to Camry - Urgent question.

Hey all. Thanks for the info.

I actually found an awesome website from a dude that has all the detailed service manuals. These docs seem to be original stuff... (I found this when searching google for the carmy Haynes manual).

Anyways, the engine in my 02 XLE is 2AZ-FE.

PS fluid is Dextron III. ATF is toyota Type IV.

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