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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.
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.
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
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
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!