3rd & 4th Generation (1992–1996 & 1997–2001)Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001
Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.
It's freaky that you mention no heat at idle. I was just looking up what could be that exact thing for a friend's Civic. A lot of forums mention that it's possibly a head gasket. Pressure from combustion forcing a bit of exhaust into the cooling system (air bubble/s). I'd start by checking for leaks (tiny ones), then check the thermostat. If it's not leaking and it's not the thermostat, I'd then try back flushing the heater core. If that isn't the problem, it may be a HG.
As for the grinding noise, I'd visually inspect the CV boots for tears, although the usual symptom is a clicking not a grinding. You can check the plates by spraying penetrating lube (doesn't always work) on them and then test driving the car. If the noise goes away, it's the plates. You're better off test driving the car first though so you know exactly what noise it's making. Reminds me of an ad.
Does the temperature shown on the gauge slowly go up above its normal driving temperature when the engine is left idling for longer periods?
If yes, then you may have entrapped air in the cooling system, or a water pump whose impeller is disintragating, either of which would cause improper overall coolant flow through the system.
If no, then your heater core is likely plugging up and should be backflushed to see if you can get the partial clogging debris out of there.
You may want to check the pH of the coolant in there now to determine if it is becoming to acidic or basic. If so, best to replace the coolant. Or, if checking it presents difficulties, just replace it.
Mine was the good old reliable 4.3 v6 all iron. I have not driven it very many miles per year for many years now and I neglected the coolant other than to check if it was good for the winter, never the ph. These engines are known to leak on the intake but mine was leaking out side on the driver side head and dripping on the exhaust. Lesson learned for sure.
--Apparently the noise is only while turning the wheel. Holding it steady does not seem to generate the grinding noise I am being told.
In this case, if the noise only happens when in the act of turning the steernig wheel, I would think the axles, wheel bearings, etc., should all be good.
I would check the upper strut mounts, the ball joints, the tie-rod ends, the steering rack, and the universal joint(s) between the steering wheel shaft and the steering rack.
You could jack & block the front ofthe car up so both front tires are off the ground, then with engine off, have someone turn the steering wheel from lock to lock and you listen for the noise. It it can't be heard, start the engine and listen again. If it can't be heard yet, drop the car back down on the wheels and then turn the steering wheel lock to lock and listen for the noise.
Otherwise, take it to a mechanic or a place that sells tires and does suspension work and have them do the inspection on your behalf.
^All that. But add the strut's thrust bearings to the list. On a '94, I'm pretty sure they're located at the bottom end of the spring. They allow the strut/wheels to pivot smoothly while turning.
1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 344k
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 280k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 47k miles
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