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Non Camry owner looking for guidance

  #1  
Old 03-30-2019, 02:47 PM
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Default Non Camry owner looking for guidance

Hi, just joined as I'm needing some guidance on used Camry's. I've never owned one but have driven a few, first was a 1988, then a 1993. Also have seat time in a 1998 Avalon and most recently 2003 Avalon XLS. The 2003 got the front end smashed at an intersection and I need to find a replacement vehicle for my mom. Don't really need a Avalon but a Corolla wont cut it from a space standpoint. Generally speaking I'm looking for something made in the last 5 years. Looking for good used. Can you give me suggestions on which years / engine / transmissions are preferred from a service durability standpoint? I know some of the 3.0L V6 had potential issues with sludge. I'm not a fan CVT's so I'd want to steer clear of those. Also not looking for a hybrid. Yes, I'm still very old school. I'd appreciate any insight that you might be able to provide.

Thanks
Max
 
  #2  
Old 03-31-2019, 02:01 AM
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Last 5 years as in 2019 to 2015?
 
  #3  
Old 03-31-2019, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
Last 5 years as in 2019 to 2015?
Yes, looking in that range. Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 03-31-2019, 12:51 PM
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Camry years 2012 to 2017 (generation 7) would have much in common with minor changes between years.

Camry years 2018 and 2019 (Gen 8) would have changes from Gen 7 such as engine, trans.

The early years of Gen 7 had a few transmissions issues (trans shutter) in the 4 cylinder models. Thus might look to the later years of Gen 7 where Toyota worked out the bugs.

Midyear 2014 Toyota supposedly upgraded the car's front end to be more crash worthy and added a rear camera for safety. The generation went through some cosmetic body changes that some find more or less attractive than the previous year.

Either engine is OK. The V-6 of course has more power but gets less MPG. I doubt your Mom would notice the difference in engine power unless she is traveling in steep mountains, pulling a trailer or is loaded down with passengers and luggage. The 4 cylinder is also easier to work on as it has greater engine room access.

Suggest looking at a 2015+ for Gen 7.

Years 2018 and 2019 are too new. Meaning too new to have a history of complaints making it down to the common person repair forums.

The link below provides a graphic presentation of complaints per year of car.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/Camry/

Toyota has a website where for a small fee one can access all Toyota car info such as service manuals, service bulletins, etc for 2 days. Might go there and check the Technical Service Bulletins (called TSB's) for the years you are interested in. The service bulletins provide dealers specific repair info on issues with the cars that were found based on owner complaints or a lacking in design/build and needing a dealer fix. These are not recalls.

https://techinfo.toyota.com

Takata corp who made airbags sold millions to Toyota. Now there is a major recall based on year and VIN. Find out if the car you are interested is effected as having the Takata recalled bag. Toyota should have a phone number someplace on the internet about this. If effected find out from Toyota if the bag was replaced/repaired based on VIN. It's a no cost repair.

The newer Camry is not the same as the Camry/Avalon you know. Toyota started building to a price set point and to meet production rates. This resulted in my opinion in car that is less solid then your 1993/98. Now there are complaints of cheap looking interiors, rattles, etc.

If you are going to be doing the repairs on the newer car. The biggest change you may find is with the electrical side of the car, this being going to multiplexing. Computers now control most everything from the power windows to the heater blower motor speed. Toyota uses a standard communication system called CAN.

This is not a big deal but diagnostics does require a CAN reader. If trying to work on the car best to find a OBDII CAN scanner that can read and better yet interact with Toyota proprietary systems and trouble codes.

The Feds only require that certain items related to emissions be standardized via ODBII. Toyota can have other areas such as airbags or brakes that are not standardized and require special software to access. Not a big deal but need a reader that reads Toyota codes.

Toyota dealers proprietary scanner and software. The issue is when servicing the car the this scanner is an integral part of the diagnostics. Meaning the scanner not only scans but runs tests, operates systems, etc. If you don't have the software you may need to do a work around.

There is third party software out there which uses a ODBII to USB configured cable for a computer. The issue is this software is typically poorly documented as how to use and may have bugs. However when it works, it can work great. Look for TechStream.

These cars no longer have transmission dipstick but a side fill port on the case and all use some special Toyota branded fluid or a substitute.

One of my things to make sure any car has clean/fresh fluids. This being engine oil, trans fluid, etc. If you want a trans to last change all the fluid say every 50K-75K if synthetic and don't buy into the presentation that some or other trans fluid is "life time." That's the life time of the trans not the fluid.

Have your Mom drive the car for seat comfort and not being to hard on longer rides. Yes complaints here.
 
  #5  
Old 03-31-2019, 12:51 PM
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If you have your heart set on a Camry, they are a fine car. I owned one for 18 months and loved it. BUT . . . as you get older, the lower cars begin to get harder to get out of. We traded in our 2015 Camry on a 2017 RAV4. Same engine and transmission (well, 6 sp instead of 5 sp). Way easier to get into and out of and a lot more usable space in the "trunk".
When you are looking around, try one on for size.
 
  #6  
Old 04-01-2019, 11:31 PM
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the vx40 generation (6) has a great v6 for the SE trim, making 268 whp and 248 lb-ft of torque. It's a great car and an unknown sleeper. Mine is an 07, and I've had it since 2010. It's a wonderful car, and the LE trim is extremely comfortable (leather seats)
 
  #7  
Old 04-03-2019, 07:54 PM
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I found one locally (Toyota dealer) that seems to check all the big boxes (one owner, local trade, service history) plus its Ruby Pearl Flare.
2017 Camry XLE 4cyl with gray leather interior 35k miles. A few scratches, a few light stains, New tires, drives fine. They are asking $19K.

Now to come up with a reasonable offer, any suggestions? TrueCar, Ebay, or ?
 
  #8  
Old 04-03-2019, 10:38 PM
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Try the Edmunds used car appraisal site.

You will need to input any car options. Site gives trade,in, private party and dealer price plus similar cars in the area for sale.

Craigslist gives local prices.
 
  #9  
Old 04-04-2019, 09:39 PM
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Thanks. I've been test driving it and it works well... my biggest concern is the seats, they seem way too firm (bottom and back).
Problem is the Avalon had great seats as does my wifes 2007 Buick Lucerne.

Does anybody know of any work arounds for that? (seat pads?)
 
  #10  
Old 04-05-2019, 10:15 AM
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The seats can be a source of complaints. Appears a combination of lack of support in certain body areas that increases the pressure on others (a firm seat). This versus a soft seat that takes up the slack in all areas.

Experiment with the seat adjustment controls as some have experienced relief to find the seats now very comfortable. Some state the seats are great right out of the box. Suggest your Mom drive the car if she has a different build/height.

There are seat cushions of course. Take note if the seat has a built in side airbag not to cover this area.

Apparently more cushion can be added to the seats by a willing dealer or upholster.

Lots of internet threads on these firm seats.
 

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