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2011 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I just picked up a 2011 Camry XLE 3 days ago. I was pretty excited as it's my first Toyota and have been driving only domestic vehicles for the last 14 years. I decided to make the switch after the good luck we have had with my wife's last 2 Toyotas.

I did notice a few blemishes right off the bat which kind of deflated my good feeling of picking up a new (to me) car. First, the steering wheel vibration is pretty harsh. I am constantly feeling vibration and hearing quite a bit of road noise. The dealer did re-balance the tires and some of the shake went away at highway speeds but a slight vibration is still there. Also, when braking hard, the steering wheel will shake even more. This leads me to believe that the rotors maybe warped. Again, the dealer will be looking at this soon. I am not sure this is causing the constant road noise though.

Another minor issue I am having is a high pitch minor "whine" or feedback from the radio. If I am listening to talk radio I can feel my ears buzzing. The noise is even there when you power off the radio and the car is running. I am going to tell the dealer about this when it goes in for the brakes but I wanted to see if anyone has had this issue. I did a lot of searching and didn't turn anything up on this issue. I really hope they can correct these problems as I am second guessing ditching newer Chevy's for "reliable" Toyotas. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!


UPDATE: These issues were fixed with new rotors and a new rear passenger side wheel bearing.
 

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Maven
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3,070 Posts
Replace the front rotors and have them check wheel balance again. You also might have a bent or warped wheel.

Adjust the radio to have more bass and less treble.

Road noise is road noise, likely from the tires. If it bothers you that much, get some tires with a softer rubber compound. What you have now likely are designed for high mileage, will be harder, and generate more noise.

If these issues are your worst problems, you don't have much to complain about. Remember though that the car might be new to you, but it isn't a new car.
 

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2011 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Adjust the radio to have more bass and less treble.
This doesn't help. I did try that. The strange thing is even when I turn off the radio completely and the car is running, I am hearing the noise from the front speaker.

Road noise is road noise, likely from the tires. If it bothers you that much, get some tires with a softer rubber compound. What you have now likely are designed for high mileage, will be harder, and generate more noise.
Tire noise is a possibility. I looked up reviews on the make and model of the tire and they are designed to be quiet (Toyo Versado LX II) but reviews are mixed. I am still leaning towards warped rotors contributing to the weird noise and steering wheel fell.

If these issues are your worst problems, you don't have much to complain about. Remember though that the car might be new to you, but it isn't a new car.
Very true, hoping that they are easy fixes. I know the car sat for 60+ days this winter on the dealer lot. Hoping they can get the vibration and steering wheel shake fixed. Thanks for the quick reply!
 

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2013 Camry XLE
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2,351 Posts
The high pitch whine may be the alternator on it's way out, bad diode, etc. The shaking at speed could be bent rim, bad tire. Try putting the front tires on the rear. Shaking when braking is almost surely the rotors, get new ones, resurfacing just about guarantees the warping will come back. As stated above it is a used car.
 

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Press hard, four copies!
2004 Camry LE Ltd Ed
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989 Posts
Shaking on braking likely has bad rotors as the culprit. Replace, not resurface. If dealer is going to cover it as warranty, let them, else buy the rotors and do it yourself.

I would be very specific about changing the rotors since resurfacing may very well lead to the warpage reappearing. I would take a paint pen and mark the rotors so you can confirm that they were changed. When you have the wheels off, you can take a straight edge and check for warping.

Electrical whine suggests alternator. You can go you AutoZone or wherever and they will do free check for you. Again, if dealer not covering repairs under warranty, buy the alternator and replace it yourself.
 

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2021 Camry SE-2009 Camry V6
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Get the tires & wheels road forced balanced

Shaking steering wheel when braking might not be rotors. I had the problem with bad pads & calipers which were replaced free by Toyota. Also, turns out, NTB where I had bought the tires did not have a Hunter road force balance machine .....

Here's my story and the happy ending (free new front brake pads and calipers plus a free new tire):

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...s-bad-brake-rotors-need-help.html#post3403198

Here's the machine you want to have the tires & wheels tested:

http://www.gsp9700.com/index.htm

Until I had the problem, I had never heard of "road force balancing."
 

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Top TN contributor
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Hello all,

I just picked up a 2011 Camry XLE 3 days ago. I was pretty excited as it's my first Toyota and have been driving only domestic vehicles for the last 14 years. I decided to make the switch after the good luck we have had with my wife's last 2 Toyotas.....

Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
:welcome:

Need more information....
Did you buy it from a dealer as is....or
was it a CPO....was there any warranty?

If a CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) or with any warranty, the dealer should be more accommodating than any "you drive, you leave, you own it, warts and all...." used car...like mine was....
Fortunately in my case I had taken it to an indie repair shop to confirm the condition, and I ran it on the highway to test it under real-world conditions before committing to buy...still, I had a few issues that needed attention prior to purchase, and had them taken care of thankfully....one thing I overlooked was a tinny passenger door slam that got returned to a good solid thud with the addition of sound-proofing foam inside the door (for $60)...you can't catch everything I guess...

...now this....

For some reason, the KitaCamry was susceptible to a bit of wobble when first starting out...my cuz has the same car (with an AT) and it too wobbles a bit at first...but both cars smooth out after about 10 minutes....when I switched to better/high performance tires, that initial wobble all but disappeared....so my bet is that it's a combination of tires and suspension...

Another possibility regarding the wobble under braking is the ABS at work...IF you're talking about HEAVY/PANIC braking....there shouldn't be any in either case, (well, maybe a little pulsating under ABS) but you should have both the physical brakes and electronic mechanism checked....

As for road noise....there are two types of road noise....tonal whining due to tread design, and grinding/gripping noise.....the former is ALWAYS present...the latter disappears on different surfaces...my new tires (Hankook Ventus V4 ES) are noisy on shell-embedded concrete but completely silent on asphalt/Tarmac where any tonal noise would be even more apparent...gotta take the noise with the grip I guess...and those tires' grip is amazing...especially welcome through Florida thunderstorms at interstate speeds (we don't slow down here for ANYthing)....

Radio whine can be a ground issue...
 

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2011 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone.

The car was purchased from a Toyota Dealer and is a CPO car with 12month/12,000 mile warranty. The dealer is taking the car in this week to check the problems. It also helps that I am very good friends with the sales person. I went out of my way to go there because of him.

The car only has 47k and was a lease, no incidents on the the carfax and was serviced from new at the dealer I bought it from.

I realize you will have issues with used cars but I feel that this shaking problem is not normal for a 3 year old CPO Toyota car. If I bought it through a private party, I could understand and would expect to be on my own. I am not complaining yet because the dealer had no issues with setting up a time to look at it, I just hope they can correct it. I also asked these questions so I could be better informed when I go this week. I'm a car guy and know my way around vehicles, but sometimes it helps to see if a car is known for certain issues. Thanks again!
 

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Super Moderator
2005 Corolla CE
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14,777 Posts
There were TSBs (technical service bulletins) for braking vibration from 2007-2011 models. The culprit was soft brake pads that would overheat and leave deposits.

Original TSB listed the problem as limited to the rear 2007-2008 models and Toyota updated the pad compound. Then for 2009-2011 models the TSB added the front pads, front rotor machining, and a rear pad material check (to check for updated pads from first TSB). This fixed it for good and I never saw a comeback. It was weird seeing a 2007 Camry with 60k and brand new looking front brakes with rear brakes that were almost metal to metal.

I always machine rotors. No reason to replace an in spec rotor for pad problems (and it saves money as good rotors aren't cheap).

First TSB for 2007-2008:

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forum...chmentid=37913

Second TSB for 2007-2010:

http://www.procutinternational.com/pdf/T-SB-0169-09.pdf

The second TSB was later updated to reflect 2011 models (probably because some got old pads) but I can't find it.
 

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2011 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Appreciate all the responses.

Just an update on the radio issue...I was playing around with it last night and noticed the buzzing actually coming directly from the Radio Head Unit itself. After getting my ear right next to the Radio head unit I also noticed that it started once you turn the heat or AC on. It sounded like minor static humming. I gave the CD player and the areas around it a couple of firm taps and the buzzing has stopped. :dunno:
 

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Here is the best info I have found on supossed "warped" brake rotors ---http://www.stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

Once again Hardtop is correct brake pad deposits are most likely the culprit. I will add if you read the whole thing that if you want the best outcome replacing and not resurfacing is your best bet if the deposits are severe or its been doing it for a long time. Reason being the heat more than likely changed portions of your brake rotors & the changes can't be seen by eye. It will result in the same problem reappearing soon. I personally need to replace all of mine but I am going to try & milk it to 200k. Then new pads rotors fluid & probably struts for me.
 

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CamryKing
2010 Camry SE
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I would second what most are saying. I bought my 2010 SE as a CPO with 43K on it last spring as a salesman at Toyota. You'd be amazed what dealerships do to cut the smallest of corners. My Camry came with a bent rim right off the bat. I haven't had it fixed because the warranty doesn't cover it and you had to buy that separate. Go figure. It results in a constant vibration in the wheel. According to my mechanic there's no other cause for now for the vibration until I get the rim fixed. The dealership will often leave the tires that came with the car on it and if they replace them they'll use the cheapest low quality they can find. Mine came with the latter. Talk about road noise! The car was like riding in a wind tunnel. So I put some high quality BF Goodrich's on and it's much better. One thing to note though is that this is not a luxury vehicle by any means and there is always noticable road noise. Probably more on mine than yours since yours is an XLE. The buzzing sound seems to me like it's the classic buzzing form the A/C fan under the glovebox. The bearing goes out then makes a buzzing sound. It's replaceable under the warranty so I wouldn't worry about it. One thing to remember is that Toyota is known for overall build quality. There are quirks in every vehicle. But only some vehicles will take you to 200K and beyond on a regular basis no matter the model or year. Little things happen but you can almost never expect an engine or transmission problem in a Toyota and that's what I would count as a major problem. The best part is that any potential problems of that sort Toyota takes care of through recalls so you don't have to worry about it! Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update for today

I dropped the car off at the dealer and described my issue with the shaking wheel and road noise. Service department said they would have someone work on it and get it back to me ASAP. They called after a few hours and stated the tech test drove the car and agreed with me, end result was brand new rotors in the back and machined rotors up front. Shaking steering wheel under hard braking went away.

I thought I was in the clear until I got on the expressway. Loud drone noise is still there and the steering wheel continues to shake aggressively at 65-70mph just driving now. I'll be bringing it back tomorrow and won't accept anything other than a fixed, normal driving, 3 year old car. I am getting pretty annoyed at this point. I am hoping it is only a wheel balance issue, but they stated all tires were balanced the day I picked it up. The loud road drone noise almost sounds like a bad wheel bearing but I don't think that would cause a shaking steering wheel at certain speeds. My other thought is maybe a bad alignment?
 

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Top TN contributor
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It's unlikely the dealer drove it at speed to check the shake/vibration and drone...you might have to get a service adviser (not a busy mechanic) to take it with you to the highway for a better more accurate diagnosis....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's unlikely the dealer drove it at speed to check the shake/vibration and drone...you might have to get a service adviser (not a busy mechanic) to take it with you to the highway for a better more accurate diagnosis....
yeah, my buddy that is the salesman said that he wants me to go out with a tech tomorrow so they can get a grasp of the issues.
 

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Press hard, four copies!
2004 Camry LE Ltd Ed
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Update for today

I dropped the car off at the dealer and described my issue with the shaking wheel and road noise. Service department said they would have someone work on it and get it back to me ASAP. They called after a few hours and stated the tech test drove the car and agreed with me, end result was brand new rotors in the back and machined rotors up front. Shaking steering wheel under hard braking went away.

I thought I was in the clear until I got on the expressway. Loud drone noise is still there and the steering wheel continues to shake aggressively at 65-70mph just driving now. I'll be bringing it back tomorrow and won't accept anything other than a fixed, normal driving, 3 year old car. I am getting pretty annoyed at this point. I am hoping it is only a wheel balance issue, but they stated all tires were balanced the day I picked it up. The loud road drone noise almost sounds like a bad wheel bearing but I don't think that would cause a shaking steering wheel at certain speeds. My other thought is maybe a bad alignment?
What a PITA that you have to go back again, but it is good that they got the rotors squared away and part of the problem is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What a PITA that you have to go back again, but it is good that they got the rotors squared away and part of the problem is gone.
Definitely a pain. I called this morning and talked to the service writer who took care of me yesterday. We have an appointment for Monday morning and someone will be driving the car with me in it. I made it clear that this just needs to be fixed or else they need to buy the car back. She even said the records show that all 4 wheels were balanced the day I bought the car. Still doesn't matter as the car is shaking like crazy at highways speeds. :headbang:
 

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The proof of the pudding is in the eating...the shake is in the riding....I'm sure you'll be able to make your case without having to resort to ultimatums...at least I hope so.

One local dealer here has both standard wheel balancing AND ROAD FORCE balancing machines...you may need the latter...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The proof of the pudding is in the eating...the shake is in the riding....I'm sure you'll be able to make your case without having to resort to ultimatums...at least I hope so.

One local dealer here has both standard wheel balancing AND ROAD FORCE balancing machines...you may need the latter...
Yes, I am not sure if they have a road force balance machine but I am going to bring that up. And yeah, the shake is there so it is not something that comes and goes, it will be very easy to prove. If I get the car back and it still shakes then it will be pretty obvious it is something more involved they can't correct.
 
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