Car has asthma

Re: 1994 Toyota Camry LE 6 cyl.

When the weather turns hot my car makes a loud wheezing noise and seems to be gasping for air. When this happens, I also lose some power. The mechanics could not locate the problem, but mentioned that a thermostat, valve or vacuum may not be functioning properely. The problem occurs quicker when I use my air conditioner. This has been going on for about 3 summers. Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem may be?

Thank you.


You need a new mechanic. If they suggested that certain components “may not be functioning properly,” why didn’t they check the function of these components? To suggest the problem “might be . . .” and then do nothing about it is crazy.

The computer needs accurate information about the temperature of the engine coolant (from the coolant temp sensor), the air pressure in the manifold (from the Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor), the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream (from the O2 sensor), etc, in order to properly adjust the fuel/air mixture.

If one or more of these components is faulty the car won’t run correctly under certain circumstances.

All of these components, and many others, can be tested to determine whether or not they are functioning within normal parameters. A good mechanic will do this rather than just replace parts until something works.

Is the Check Engine Light on?

I agree about getting a new mechanic. I guess a Toyota dealer could use a specific computer diagnostic to find out the problem?

Thanks for your response.

Dealers don’t have magic diagnostic computers. They use the same diagnostic tools as independent mechanics. The problem is that computer codes don’t tell you what the problem is, they just point you in a certain direction. After that the mechanic should use his test equipment to continue testing components until he or she ascertains what is causing the problem.

Personally, I avoid dealers like the swine flu, and wound NEVER take a 15-year-old car to one. A good independent mechanic with access to an online diagnostic database should be able to figure out what’s wrong with your Camry. These cars are everywhere, and the don’t need special computers to read their codes.