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Still confused...
95 camry coupe v6
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2,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I brought the camry in to the dealership today to get my oil changed (they had a special) and they offered a free inspection so I said "eh, why not?"

After all was said and done, I paid 19 dollars for an oil change and got a hefty list of repairs that need 'immediate attention'

here's the list of the things they told me that had to be done and their prices including labor:
  • timing belt (169.99)
  • fix distributor o ring leak (127.00)
  • replace transmission pan gasket (199.06)
  • reseal oil pan (506.00)
  • valve adjustment and change drive belts (627.00)
So that's the list... mind you, I'm not rich, I'm still in high school and dishing out that much money doesn't seem to be on my list of most-wanted things to do.. So what do you guys think, is it even worth doing all these repairs? I've had the camry for 8 months when i bought it from the dealer so i assume the problems were already there back then and they haven't really affected the car or it's driveability. How can I check by myself to see if the things really do need repairs?

After putting in so much time and effort into the camry to make it what it is, i don't want to sell it off to ignore the repairs. So yeah...any input would be great..
-a very disgruntled alex :sosad:
 

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Registered
98' LGT
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1,113 Posts
I'd say that you probably for sure want to replace the timing belt, cause if that goes, it's bye bye motor. I don't know about the other stuff though
 

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engineer in training
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1,586 Posts
^ No... its not bye bye motor, none of the Camry engines are interference engines :)

Ok, those things may not seem important but they will lead to other bigger problems.

If the timing belt goes your car wont run
If the oil pan is leaking you may run out of oil after a while and I HATE seeing oil under my car
The distributor leaking will make a big mess
You wont know the transmission is low on fluid until one day you dont have reverse or overdrive (its not permanent though)
Im not very keen on the 5s-fe but I am sure someone who is has a nice fix for the valves.

Now some of these you could do if you wanted, resealing an oil pan is nothing
Neither is replacing the belts or the timing belt for that matter
IF you do the timing belt take no shortcuts and replace the belt pulleys AND the water pump
Transmission pan gasket shouldnt be hard
Distributor has a rubber o ring, just take it apart clean everything and replace that ring

Doing this yoursself will cost you around $75 for an autozone water pump, maybe anther $25 for the pulleys I dont know, $15 or $20 for the pan gaskets, distributor O ring and the sealant (use sealant on the oil pan and tranny pan, and finally like $15 for the timing belt

Those are all numbers off my head, should be close.

DO NOT use any kind of stop leak... please

Or take it to a shop and have them do everything for about what the oil pan reseal would cost you at Toyota :)

Good Luck!
 

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HID/Retrofit Expert
2002 Camry LE
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4,304 Posts
Yeah, seriously, whats a ripoff. $506 to reseal the oil pan!? Freakin' ridiculous... DIY, mate! Oh, and be aware, Toyota dealerships like to tack on a bunch of stuff that you don't need and they like to hike up prices like crazy. If you want a good, professional opinion, take it to a mechanic you trust and ask him. Example: the dealership tried to tell me that I needed a new A/C cabin air filter, which they would charge me $50 for. Little did they realize, but I had changed the filter 2 weeks before that. They were trying to pull a fast one on me, and when I called them on it, they didn't even mention it in the "immediate attention" list. In addition, they also said that my battery was really drained and was going to die soon. I drove on it for 6 months more before getting a new one, and my old battery was still in pretty decent shape. I was just getting pour performance out of it on colder days and such, and didn't want to get stranded.
 

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I'm a Mac
DD - 94 Mitsu 3000GT
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4,062 Posts
i take it you know nothing about doing work on your car... because if you did, you would know that half that shit is bogus.

3 questions... how many miles on your car and has the timing belt ever been changed and when?


if you say more than 100,000 and no and never, then you need the timing belt changed.

oil pan can easily be resealed by yourself, even if you know absolutly nothing, for about 5 bucks in black rtv sealant. http://ace.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pACE2-1188633reg.jpg
that takes maybe 1 hour if you dont know anything. all you need is a jack, 14mm socket, 14mm wrench, and some long extensions (for the exhaust pipe), and a 10mm socket for the oil pan, and a scraper. first, drain the oil, then take off the exhaust pipe that obscures your removal of the oil pan, then you take off all the nuts and bolts for the oil pan, remove the oil pan, clean all the old sealant off with a scraper, put a bead of new sealant all around the mating surface, then put it all back together, fill up your oil and go.

same thing for the transmission oil pan gasket pretty much... i am not sure if it has its own rubber or paper gasket that you have to pick up from the auto parts store, but its the same sort of procedure.

as for the distributor o-ring, thats also an easy job.... it all can be done easily with the help of a haynes manual for your car which you can find in any auto parts store.

the only thing i say you need to get done by a pro is the timing belt. and you dont have to go to toyota for that!!!! go to a local garage that has a good repuation in the area. get a quote there, im sure if they do timing belts, then they have done a 5sfe timing belt, since it is the most popular toyota motor.


dont forget to answer my first questions, and then you can ask some more if you need to.
 

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Still confused...
95 camry coupe v6
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2,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the car is currently at 102k. there seems to be no sign of the timing belt ever being changed before...

look at it this way, i live in an apartment complex so all i can do is just basic work on the car (changed my own plugs, pvc valve, intake, etc) in other words, the simple stuff that doesn't require jacking of any sort.
that's why sealing on my own would be a hassle (no place to really do it). the o-ring i can probably do by myself without much trouble, i know.
zoni, you didn't mention anything about the drive belts or valve adjustments... how should i go about with fixing those?
 

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Where are we going today?
Camry 00/Corolla 19
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2,614 Posts
95WhiteCamry said:
here's the list of the things they told me that had to be done and their prices including labor:
  • timing belt (169.99)
  • fix distributor o ring leak (127.00)
  • replace transmission pan gasket (199.06)
  • reseal oil pan (506.00)
  • valve adjustment and change drive belts (627.00)
  • timing belt (169.99) - $199 quoted by toyota in texas with coupon. for parts and labor
  • fix distributor o ring leak (127.00) - you can do this yourself. not a hard job.
  • replace transmission pan gasket (199.06) - dunno how much this cost.
  • reseal oil pan (506.00) - way too expensive. get a second quote. is it necessary and are you leaking oil?
  • valve adjustment and change drive belts (627.00) - this should be done when you are doing the timing belt. Whenever they are removing the timing belt, just ask them to change the drive belts. I think somebody posted 3 weeks ago that it will cost $427 for all the belts + some other parts

if you want to do the timing belts,
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t109966.html

i do not think i am going to do it myself as i would worry that i missed a screw and that thought would be ono my mind when i am doing 70 on the highway
 

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Registered
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52 Posts
95WhiteCamry said:
Well, I brought the camry in to the dealership today to get my oil changed (they had a special) and they offered a free inspection so I said "eh, why not?"

After all was said and done, I paid 19 dollars for an oil change and got a hefty list of repairs that need 'immediate attention'

here's the list of the things they told me that had to be done and their prices including labor:
  • timing belt (169.99)
  • fix distributor o ring leak (127.00)
  • replace transmission pan gasket (199.06)
  • reseal oil pan (506.00)
  • valve adjustment and change drive belts (627.00)
How many miles does your car have?

I think they're giving you the quote for "recommended" services that are normally due to cars at certain mileages. That's another way dealerships make their money. Did they show you the problem with the timing belt? The distributor ring leak? Loose drive belts?
 

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I'm a Mac
DD - 94 Mitsu 3000GT
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4,062 Posts
aux belts for the PS and A/C/Alt can be changed easily with just a socket wrench... you need to get under for car for the PS belt, but the other one should be able to be changed easily.

valves are most likely 100% fine... if you are worried about that or if they are making a medium/loud ticking noise, try a search on the forum for seafoam.
 

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Registered
98' LGT
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1,113 Posts
Luckynumber5 said:
^ No... its not bye bye motor, none of the Camry engines are interference engines :)
well that's good to know. Because according to my dad's mechanic, my car would've needed a new motor if the timing belt went...oh well, it's in the past
 

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Moving Forward
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3,144 Posts
I have to agree with zoni on everything. IF you cant do it in your apartment complex parking lot maybe see if a friend has a garge you can borrow for a day or something like that. The only thing I will add is about the trans pan. It uses a cork gasket from Toyota. Drain the trans fluid pull out about 12 or 14 10mm bolts peel the old gasket off put a very thin layer of RTV on teh pan jsut to hold the gasket in place when you put it back on. Tighten everything up and refill with about 3 to 3.5 quarts of trans fluid. You are good to go.

IN the almost 4 years I worked for Toyota as a tech I never adjsuted valves on any Camry with the shimmed valves. Unless it is just rattling to high heaven there is probably no reason wahtsover to adjust them. Adjusting them on your own is not the easiest thing either since you need to have a good assortment of shims to replace the ones you take out. Unfortunately there are hundreds of them, so it is not like you jsut pop the valve cover and adjsut the valves like on a 22R engine or a Honda engine.

Replace the acc. belts when you replace the timing belt. You have to take them off anyway to do the t-belt. Ken4 had a very good DIY for the timing belt with very good pictures from a couple of weeks ago. I would look over it and see if it is something you want to tackle yourself. It is really not taht hard tod if you ahve the tools to do it. Saves you a load in labor. If all you ahd to replace was the timing belt and the acc belts you can probably get away with those for less then 100 bucks. If you have to replace seals and tensioner/idler then it goes up obviously. the trans pan gasket shouldnt be more than 20 bucks, the RTV you can pick up for 5 bucks like zoni said. hen you have to buy oil and trans fluid.so another 30-40 bucks for all that.
 

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02
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4,180 Posts
Bs

Service advisors are paid based on commission. They will tell you everything under the sun and charge you as much as possible. If you are concerned take it to another dealer (ask SoCal people where they take their cars) or to a shop that you trust. I've also had places tell me to change stuff that I changed less than a month before. Jon.
 

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Registered
2002 Camry
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2,231 Posts
  • "timing belt (169.99)" (Yep about right)
  • "fix distributor o ring leak" (127.00) (unbolt distributor. change o ring. bolt distribuotor. $127! LOL what a rip!)
  • @replace transmission pan gasket (199.06)" (similar to a routine fluid change. Overpriced!)
  • "reseal oil pan (506.00)" (probly labor intensive but id do it myself for a weeks pay!)
  • "valve adjustment and change drive belts" (627.00)" (its almost all labor but what a HUGE rip!)
Yeah its no new car so this stuff should probly get done eventually if you are keeping this car for a few years. BUT i dont know how much car work experience you have but heres what they SHOULD /would cost (me cause i would do it myself - and for reference I recommend a haynes manual from pep boys or barnes, they are the best and worth the money.)

Timing belt - 8-9 hrs if it was the first time i did it. but if youre a novice this should probably not be the first repair you attempt! Cost: $25-30

fix distributor o ring leak - 1 hours - ($2 for new o-ring, an easy job if youre careful and take your time)

replace transmission pan gasket - 1 or 2 hours - $30-40 for new gasket and filter, if applicable. Use no sealer here! unless the gasket maker says to. call it a fluid change which it needs anyway, no doubt. this is routine maintenenace and a messy chore, but not all that hard.

-reseal oil pan - 2-3 hours - they mean replacing the gasket. Unbolting the other parts in the way, unbolting the pan, scraping and claeaning and gluing the new gasket - $10 -20.

valve adjustment and change drive belts - id just change the drive belts, leave the valves alone! because i think in this engine, they use shims for adj. Just check the clearance with feeler gauges if it bugs you and if they are making noise. if the valves are too tight (from wear), its probly close to valve job time anyway, so i say leave em the heck alone if the engine runs how you want it. Belts - 2 or 3 hours, $20 for belts i recommend you get good NAPA belts and not cheapos.
 

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Lost to follow up!
96 Camry Coupes
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12,154 Posts
Just stay away from the stealerships!! Take your car to a mechanic you trust!

Timing belt...good idea.... The rest just keep an eye on your driveway and oil level! You'll be fine!
 

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Premium Member
'96 Camry XLE
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11,246 Posts
HOLY SHIT! This is why I tell my friends to NEVER go to the dealer. :ugh3:

When you do the Timing Belt, Also get the Water Pump replaced with it.
 

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Gen 4 XLE v6
02 Toy Solara V6 MT
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3,192 Posts
eyeball96 said:
Just stay away from the stealerships!! Take your car to a mechanic you trust!

Timing belt...good idea.... The rest just keep an eye on your driveway and oil level! You'll be fine!
Sorry guys, some of you just have a hatred for dealerships. There aren't the only solution to problems, they are an option. My camry is dealer-maintained. I know i pay a little extra for the work they put into it. But not all work is performed there.
My trans-flush and oil changes and other small stuff are done at dealership. If there is brakejob or sparks+ignitionwires, then i take to a local shop. My advise would be talk to a local shop your more comfortable with and tell them to do a timing belt (and other drive belts) for you. If they comment on other stuff, you know you want to take care of it!
 

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The bucket owns you!
1988 Camry 4banger
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89 Posts
dealers aren't a bad place to go, think of it as first class. Is the camry worth it to you? Then there's the independent shops, as 'regular' or whatever, and DIY which is what I do since I enjoy turning a wrench, and my tools have already paid for themselves- I got a $199 on sale set of craftsman tools (one of their mechanic sets) and with my Jeep, and the Cam, over the course of a year they've paid for themselves with lift installs, maitence, and stuff like that.
 
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