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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
Edit History:
Initial Post 8/9/2017
-Fix some spelling
-PLEASE watch the video below. The 1998 Camry has another stud that mounts the reservoir which attaches to the front behind the bumper. This would require the bumper to be removed or somehow getting access to this nut. As noted in the pictures below, I don't seem to have had the stud or the stud broke off.

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Hey all!

My friend sister's Camry had the windshield reservoir light on from the time they bought the car about 5 years ago. It drove me nuts when I was working on the car recently. Figure I had nothing to lose, I decide to look into why it kept leaking when water was filled up (reason why the light was on). The reservoir pump would work though when trying to use it as you could hear the noise.

This was perform in a 1997 Camry LE I4 (5SFE) 4-Vin w/ ABS. This might be similar or different on other models in the 1997-2001.

You don't need any crazy tools. Any decent set of tools containing the regular socket, extension, and screw drivers should be sufficient.

First, you can do this either way. There's a Youtube video out there which tells you to remove the entire front bumper.



For me, I decided to try do it the way that involved the least amount of labor. **Please read my update note. The video above shows it from a 1998 Camry which has a stud that attaches to the front of the reservoir. This would require removal of the bumper. Not sure if the one on the 1997 Camry is different OR mines broke up. It's not leaking though.


First, turn your wheel to the left. You will have to raise the car every so slightly in the front because the reservoir won't clear. The top neck will still be in the engine bay cutout when it is on the ground w/o raising the car. You need to raise the front a few inches so it can clear and be removed.



Locate one of the push clips in the fender side. Remove this.



Next, locate the screw nut located near the lower bumper as shown, remove.


Now the front. Perform the same task.



Annnddd the other three.


Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.

Then start to peal from the wheel well part. Notice the lip. You will have to remove these 'clips' as well from the bumper. Attach it to the lower splash shield.


After I lowered the splash shield. I reattached all the clips onto the splash shield.




Now start to remove back the splash shield. Noticed the two bolts.




Once you remove these two bolts. start disconnecting the lines and connectors


**IMPORTANT**
The 1998 Camry in the video has another stud that mounts the reservoir which attaches to the front behind the bumper. This would require the bumper to be removed or somehow getting access to this nut. As noted in the pictures below, I don't seem to have had the stud or the stud broke off. Either way, I was able to remove the reservoir tank and reattach it without any issue. It could be that the stud slide off the old tank as I removed it?? Proceed at your own risk.

If there is a stud with a nut, you'll have to remove this nut/bolt before proceeding
.


Basically this should be self explanatory, but here's what you need to disconnect. Take note on any clips or places the hoses are attached.
-Water pump connector
-Low fluid level connector
-water line







Once all this is done, you'll need to slowly drop the tank. There shouldn't be anything on the front side (facing towards bumper)...at least mines didn't. As mention above, you do need to raise the front a few inches or so, otherwise the top neck won't clear the engine bay hole. You will have to flex the bumper outwards a bit to squeeze it thru. It is possible though!



After removing the reservoir, i checked for leaks. I filled it up and low and behold. The hose...yes, hose was leaking! It was the hose that was the elbow macaroni that attached to the pump was leaking. I had to replace it with a tighter vacuum hose. No more leaks! What an cheap fix! If your reservoir is leaking of course, replace it. You can also check if there is any leaks around the pump and around the sensor. Lucky, This was only the hose.






Then your Camry can be happy with a working windshield reservoir :)


Let me know if you have any questions!

Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
 

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Nice DIY! I'll add this to the sticky.

My Avy has this style of reservoir with the long neck. I've wondered if you had to pull it from below. What a pain. My Gen3 Camry's was simple as pie to remove. It sat on top of the ABS pump. Remove a couple of screws and it lifted right out.
 

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Nice DIY! I'll add this to the sticky.

My Avy has this style of reservoir with the long neck. I've wondered if you had to pull it from below. What a pain. My Gen3 Camry's was simple as pie to remove. It sat on top of the ABS pump. Remove a couple of screws and it lifted right out.
Thank you!

Ahh. Yea more than likey. The Gen1 Avalon is a very interesting car. It has traits of both the Gen3 and Gen4 Camry. It's going to be from underneath.

I could had sworn my friends Gen3.5 is like this as well. I think the older 92-93 was where it was on top and the 94-96 went underneath like the Gen4 style.
 

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Additional Comments for GEN 3 Windshield Fluid Reservoir

[EDIT-UPDATE: Windshield fluid reservoir on my Camry is one of those long neck units. Body of reservoir is located in fender cavity and long neck of reservoir protrudes vertically into interior of engine bay. I think Camry's with ABS brakes have a different setup. So, keep that in mind as you read my post.]

My vehicle:
1996 Toyota Camry LE, 4 door sedan, auto, 5S-FE, non-ABS brakes. Comments in this post apply to GEN 3, and not GEN 4 as described by original author of this thread.


Reason for Post: Additional, hopefully helpful, comments on how to install new windshield wiper reservoir for GEN 3. Haynes manual does not describe removal/installation of windshield fluid reservoir and I could not find a reference in online Toyota manual either (although it may be there someplace).

Removal-Installation of Reservoir: There are three reservoir mounting bolts. Two bolts in fender cavity are easy to access. I’m not going to describe how to access these bolts in detail other than to say this: Remove passenger side tire (car on stand). Remove outer, bottom splash shield, and unbolt only front part of wheel well splash shield to bend back enough to gain access to reservoir. Two bolts that secure flanges on the reservoir are then easily accessible in the fender cavity. (You’ll likely figure all this out without much trouble.) The third front-facing mounting bolt is the more challenging one to access.

GEN 3 has a third bolt that is located on the front-facing side of reservoir. Reservoir body has a slot that the special (non-standard) bolt head slides into. Bolt head inserted into this slot is what anchors the bolt to reservoir. The bolt thread pokes through a hole in car frame. The nut screws down onto the metal frame and pulls (clamps) the reservoir against the backside of frame member. (You can see this nut from the interior of the engine bay, but not from the fender cavity.)

Okay, now how to easily access this bolt/nut.

Remove fender grill, and then the turn signal lamp and headlamp on passenger side of car. Removing these components is a quick five to seven minute process and worth your time because it provides easy (adequate) access to front mounting bolt of reservoir. ¼ inch ratchet and 10MM socket work well in this limited space. (Deep off-set 10MM box end wrench will also work.)

Basically, you have to pry (apply pressure) on the reservoir to force it backwards to get the front bolt in or out of frame hole. With headlamp removed, it’s not hard to guide this bolt with your hand. (The reservoir unfortunately does not simply slide in and out effortlessly due to design and operation of this mount. It’s a snug fit and knowing how the mounting bolts attach/detach is helpful.)

When removing reservoir remove flange bolts first, and then front-facing bolt. When installing reservoir, install front-facing bolt first followed by flange bolts.

If you accidentally overlook the front-facing bolt . . . unfortunately, with enough pressure, the anchor slot of the “plastic” reservoir will deform or break and the reservoir will then detach (rapidly) from the frame, but that is obviously not what you want.

Final Thoughts I think you can leave the tire on and leave the headlight installed and still get the reservoir in and out. I just know that removing the tire and headlamp make this an easy repair on the GEN 3. Hope this helps; good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My vehicle: 1996 Toyota Camry LE, 4 door sedan, auto, 5S-FE, non-ABS brakes. Comments in this post apply to GEN 3, and not GEN 4 as described by original author of this thread.

Reason for Post: Additional, hopefully helpful, comments on how to install new windshield wiper reservoir for GEN 3. Haynes manual does not describe removal/installation of windshield fluid reservoir and I could not find a reference in online Toyota manual either (although it may be there someplace).

Removal-Installation of Reservoir: There are three reservoir mounting bolts. Two bolts in fender cavity are easy to access. I’m not going to describe how to access these bolts in detail other than to say this: Remove passenger side tire (car on stand). Remove outer, bottom splash shield, and unbolt only front part of wheel well splash shield to bend back enough to gain access to reservoir. Two bolts that secure flanges on the reservoir are then easily accessible in the fender cavity. (You’ll likely figure all this out without much trouble.) The third front-facing mounting bolt is the more challenging one to access.

GEN 3 has a third bolt that is located on the front-facing side of reservoir. Reservoir body has a slot that the special (non-standard) bolt head slides into. Bolt head inserted into this slot is what anchors the bolt to reservoir. The bolt thread pokes through a hole in car frame. The nut screws down onto the metal frame and pulls (clamps) the reservoir against the backside of frame member. (You can see this nut from the interior of the engine bay, but not from the fender cavity.)

Okay, now how to easily access this bolt/nut.

Remove fender grill, and then the turn signal lamp and headlamp on passenger side of car. Removing these components is a quick five to seven minute process and worth your time because it provides easy (adequate) access to front mounting bolt of reservoir. ¼ inch ratchet and 10MM socket work well in this limited space. (Deep off-set 10MM box end wrench will also work.)

Basically, you have to pry (apply pressure) on the reservoir to force it backwards to get the front bolt in or out of frame hole. With headlamp removed, it’s not hard to guide this bolt with your hand. (The reservoir unfortunately does not simply slide in and out effortlessly due to design and operation of this mount. It’s a snug fit and knowing how the mounting bolts attach/detach is helpful.)

When removing reservoir remove flange bolts first, and then front-facing bolt. When installing reservoir, install front-facing bolt first followed by flange bolts.

If you accidentally overlook the front-facing bolt . . . unfortunately, with enough pressure, the anchor slot of the “plastic” reservoir will deform or break and the reservoir will then detach (rapidly) from the frame, but that is obviously not what you want.

Final Thoughts I think you can leave the tire on and leave the headlight installed and still get the reservoir in and out. I just know that removing the tire and headlamp make this an easy repair on the GEN 3. Hope this helps; good luck.
My friends 95 water res is either leaking or pump is dead...maybe I could take it out and see what it is up.

Thanks for that additional info for the Gen3!
 

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Man o day! That is <i> almost</i> unbelievable. I do like low cost fixes though, albeit you put plenty of effort into it. I hope you are well rewarded!
 
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