Camry 2002


#1

My toyota camry 02 has 110000 miles and I have not had any issues with this car as yet. However lately it seems as if the suspension is messed up. The car ride is uncomfortable, the car looks and seems lower and at high speed is unstable on the road, swerving side to side. Also my engine check light indicates my oxygen sensors need to be replaces; this is costly. One more thing, it sounds like I also needs to check the exhaust system since it sounds loud. But having had a Midas mechanic check the car he said the exhaust was fine and the suspension is fine. I owe $5000 still on the car; should I spend the money and repair it or not?


#2

Just to follow up, I had the check engine light read and toyota dealer said I need a new catalytic converter while Autozone said I need a new oxygen sensor. This is frustrating


#3

Several things. First, don’t use an auto repair chain (such as Midas) as a repair shop - unless you have really good information to the contrary these places are really hit and miss (very often miss) in terms of quality & expertise. Find a reputable, local, independent mechanic. Ask around among people you know.

Second, it is often the case that you can’t really trust dealers either. See point one.

Third, and even more emphatically, do not let anyone at Autozone tell you what a code from the check engine light means. Chances are they don’t know to begin with, and the only reason they check these is to get you to buy parts. These codes do not tell you that you need to replace specific parts. They point you in a direction of a problem that still needs to be diagnosed. When they checked the code, did you write down the exact code? (it would be a letter followed by a 4 digit number). If you have the code, post it up here. If not, have it read again and then post it up here.

What you really need is a good local mechanic that you can get to know and trust. You can get started by asking people you know and/or using the mechanix files on this website.


#4

Thanks for the heads up. I’ll get the code again and start my search on the mechanic. For the forum though I would appreciate a response on the suspension problem.


#5

I don’t know if your vehicle has air suspension or not but if so that may have a problem.


#6

We don’t know what is wrong with your car yet, but it does not sound too scary, so the answer to your question is probably Yes, a six year old Camry with 110k miles is probably worth fixing. If it has not been abused, it will go another 110k miles before it starts to get particularly troublesome. I drove my last Toyota 275k miles and it still looked good and ran perfectly when I sold it. The biggest thing I ever did to it was replace all the bearings in the manual transmission at around 175k miles.

Also, if your computer code interprets as “catalyst efficiency low”, the problem is more likely that you need oxygen sensors. At 110k miles on an OBD II system, you are probably due for oxygen sensors anyway, as a routine maintenance item. Your catalytic converter should still be fine unless it has been overheated due to an engine that was failing to fire on one or more cylinders.