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Whats wrong with my camry :(

Hi, I have a 2002 toyota camry v6 and a check engine light on for evap, yesterday the car started sounding louder than usual and lost power, it usually has a small pull when getting on the expressway and now it’s slower and consuming way more gas. Also, last week the car would not turn on after sitting for a couple of minutes or even seconds, i would have to wait a while for it to turn back on, it’s not overheating and if it helps at all i changed the alternator and battery a couple months ago and had them tested at 2 different autozones so it’s not that. Anything you guys can think of?

More detail please. What does “not turn on” mean? does the starter run? does it make any sound when you turn the key to start?

how many miles on this? are you up to date on maintenance?

Not turn on means everything inside works but the motor doesn’t start it just cranks i guess you could say lights inside don’t dim etc as they do when battery is dead 150,000 miles and yes change oil every 3500 miles or so and tune up did last year if i remember correctly

Did you ever change the timing belt? If not, I’d guess it has just slipped a tooth and is going to destroy your engine in VERY short order if you don’t park it and tow it to a mechanic because the V6 is an interference engine.


What does this mean? Did you actually pull the codes from the computer when the “check engine” light came on? If so, what were the codes on the readout?

The power came back and stopped making noise and then goes back to losing power randomly I got an appointment at the mechanic Wednesday

Yes my friend works at o reillys and the codes all said evap I can’t remember what they said specifically

That is not what the codes read, that is your friend’s interpretation of the codes. The codes are alphanumeric, something like P0099 or a similar format. If you post those codes here, some of us might be able to help you, but saying “evap” isn’t helpful at all. It’s not even the full name of a system or part.

Ask your friend for the specific alphanumeric codes and post them here.

If this car has never had the timing belt changed it is WAY past time. If you don’t know when its been changed, change it. Don’t ask the mechanic to inspect it, because his inspection means nothing. It is time and mileage between replacements. It won’t be cheap but if it breaks it will destroy the engine.

That depends . . .

The 3 liter 1MZ-FE engine was the more common V6, as far as that generation Camry goes. It’s non-interference

The 3.3 liter 3MZ-FE was less common, and it was interference

Not disagreeing but,

When I looked up the car on Rockauto all the timing belts listed said “interference” for that year V6

Also, if they wrote a shop order the codes should be written on it. I realize that often the “free” services such as free code readings don’t come with shop orders.

Let us know what the shop found. Although we may need more information to post specific suggestions than was provided, we do care.

So it’s lost some power during acceleration, and sometimes balks on start-up, cranks ok, but won’t catch and run? Especially when the engine is warm? And you got evap codes? Suggest you focus on a problem w/the evap system first. It could be related to the timing belt as posted above, but a timing belt problem wouldn’t show up as an evap code. And an evap problem could cause the symptoms you are experiencing. So eliminate the evap system as the source of the problem before assuming it is something else.

The evap system is pretty complicated. It’s purpose is to allow outside air to enter the space above the gas tank as the gas is used when driving, but prevent any gas fumes from the gas tank to escape into the atmosphere and pollute the air. To do that it has various one way valves and electrically operated valves that allow fresh air to come in, and to move any fumes towards the engine’s canister, and be burned in the engine when it is running at speed. I think you’ve got a problem with the purge valve. It’s open when it shouldn’t. That’s the valve that allows fumes from the canister to move into the engine and burned up as you drive. But it shouldn’t be open at idle, or when you are starting the engine. Otherwise they’ll be too much gas which will flood the engine.

Try this. Next time the balky start happens, hold the gas pedal all the way to the floor and try again. If it starts that would tend to confirm you’ve got a purge valve problem. Generally the only way to fix that is to replace the purge valve. Not an uncommon thing reported here. Another problem that can cause this symptom is a problem with the gas cap. You could try loosening the gas cap a little when the balky start thing is going on, see if that helps. Note that this might turn on the check engine light with yet another code indicating the gas cap is loose.

I believe Gates lists 1MZ-FE as non-interference and 3MZ-FE as interference

Good to know. At least the OP isn’t risking a destroyed engine, if he has the more common V6.

It turns out after going to another mechanic the codes were actually catalytic converter codes and it is clogged, he said replacement was the only option, i only need the car for another 3 months is there any temporary fix so i can wait till i buy a new one?

let us know what the exact codes are. They are in the form of P1234. Ask the mechanic for the numbers.

Frequently the codes that point to a bad CAT are actually bad sensors or even a wiring problem. You CANNOT diagnose just by reading the error codes. Specially when it comes to something as expensive as replacing the CAT.

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He doesn’t remember but it was o2 sensor and knock sensor, can this be causing power loss and egg smell?

Here’s how I remember whether that engine is interference.

The initial 1MZ-FE engine had 194 hp and was not interference.
Then, around 2002, variable valve timing (VVT-i) was added to the 1MZ-FE engine, raising the hp to 210. That engine was interference.

I believe the version with VVT-i didn’t show up in the Camry until 2003.

There is no quick fix for a clogged catalytic converter, but there might be a remedy to what’s wrong if you post the codes like I asked.

A real automotive diagnostician will use the codes and additional information to arrive at a diagnosis. A hack will only use the codes, and when you ask him for the actual alpha numeric codes, the hack will refuse to give them to you.