As promised long ago, here’s an update on life with the 2014 Camry after two years and 18k miles.
Torque converter: Once the computer finally was flashed six months ago with the needed update, the tranny went back to good behavior and I have had fun again with rather more “spirited” driving. Implacable persistence with businesslike courtesy but resorting to escalating the issue to corporate level got results. Take away lesson, determined persistence with detailed documentation and refusing to be intimidated or treated disrespectfully eventually achieved a good result.
Service department: Once I employed the metaphorical whack bonk stick of escalating to corporate customer service and FOLLOWED THROUGH that way, along with also being immediately unyielding about the simultaneously occurring hub cap fiasco, there has been a gratifyingly notable improvement in how I am sincerely treated by the dealership service department. In this case it has paid to give them a second chance to treat me right.
Tires: To my happy amazement, all three patched tires are in great shape! But I do keep a cautious eye on them and will eventually replace them sooner than I would run off tread had they not had unhappy encounters with road debris and nails.
Trouble free: For all that I generally liked the 2007 Impala and had very much liked the earlier 1987 Olds, the first two years owning the 2014 Camry has been a refreshingly trouble free experience, aside from the torque converter hassle. Those previous GM cars had endless serious problems even in the first months that built thick service files by two years of ownership. The Camry, by contrast, simply has no problems. I keep the oil changed and tires rotated every six months, all fluids and tire pressure checked weekly, keep it clean, wax it twice a year, and happily motor on trouble free.
I shall, of course, do proactive maintenance at proper mileage/age intervals, such as flushing the cooling system, fresh brake fluid, etc.
Driving comfort: The seat has gradually become more comfortable although long drives still cause leg cramps. Eh, I’m not young anymore and chronic pain is my companion so I adapt to more frequent rest stops with good walkabouts to stretch out the kinks.
Driving dynamics: Midsize vehicle wheelbase means a less smooth ride than found in a full sized car but provides nimble handling (cue spirited driving ) The headlights still suck but that is a design flaw in my opinion. Arthritis friendly shifter that has proven as easy on the hands as the column shift levers I drove for 27 years because I don’t have to squeeze the shifter to change gears equals advantage Toyota design over all other models I looked at. Four cylinders does nicely (once the torque converter returned to proper functioning) with gas mileage that matches claimed averages. A six cylinder engine would give nicely quicker acceleration merging on the highway, etc but the four isn’t lacking in adequate power.
Overall: Glad I traded the Impala for the Camry. Had the Impala not turned out to be a hanger queen I would happily have kept it. But the Camry has proven far, far more reliable and that is exactly what I needed. Hopefully, it stays that way.
To all you regulars, as always, my thanks for all your kind help over the years and my great respect for your contributions here on the forum.
…still reading, still learning…