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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I recently purchased an 08 Camry Hybrid , probably too quickly. I didnt realize it at. the time but they had reset the sensors so when I bought it no lights were showing.

Now 150 miles later , the brake light is on and the brakes are groaning as it's common for the ECU to konk out on the brakes letting them fail.

The VSC light , abs light and exclamation point lights are also on.

I just found out that the 2AZFE engines burn oil and need pistons replaced YET if I fill the oil too high oil may end up in the fuel injectors.

Plus there's a high possibility that my catalytic converter will or already has shit the bed as well.

I AM Not a Mechanic , I'm an audio guy ...
The only reason I bought one with 142k on the clock is because I thought it wouldn't need much work at all (and I like the body style)

But apparently there's 1 zillion problems with these things , wtf ... sigh ... ... ... I'm not good at wrenching ...

Now I am here trying to figure out of it's worth upgrading my car to keep it or if I should just do basic maintenance and sell it private or trade it in ... either way I feel like I'm screwed.

Please Help

Is there anyway to simply rip out the old outdated ECU and VSC system ?

Or do I have to use their shitty system ... there must be upgrades!?

praying to the sky that I can just rip everything out and put a new JDM engine in it with a new suspension etc ...
 

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Super Moderator
1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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If your unable to do the majority of the work and since your not really happy with it to begin with it'd probably make more sense to part with it now and find something you'd rather have. This sounds like a hole that needs to be climbed out of vs. continuing to dig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I dont mind digging if I know I can get to a reward ... such as a car without constant problems.

I love the body style and the interior is clean ...

It's just that it seems like the problems I listed dont go away easily? And if they do go away they usually return , is that true?

How much money is a fair estimate for how much I'm going to have to put into it do you think?

As it is I'm just going to drive it until something breaks ... or maybe I'll be able to sell it first , not so sure though ...

Thanks
 

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Super Moderator
1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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Parts and labor, especially if it's burning oil, most likely more than the car is worth. It's a depreciating asset even under the best of circumstances.
 

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Camry Freak
Camry & Accord
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But apparently there's 1 zillion problems with these things , wtf ... sigh ... ... ... I'm not good at wrenching ...
The only reason I bought one with 142k on the clock is because I thought it wouldn't need much work at all
First of all... really? You bought a car with 142,000 miles on it and you thought that it wouldn't need much work?

Did you have this car inspected before purchasing it? It seems like a decent mechanic would have caught most of these issues in a basic inspection.

Any car that age or with that mileage should have a really detailed inspection before purchase- not by the dealership or person you are buying it from- but your own, trusted mechanic. Camry Hybrids are actually pretty reliable cars if they are maintained properly. With that said, you bought one that is thirteen years old and has a bunch of miles on it- so any car that age/mileage can have issues.

There aren't a zillion things wrong with Camry Hybrids. It just seems like you bought one that wasn't maintained or taken care of.... or more likely one that was traded in by an owner that saw the cost of repairing the stuff that's wrong with it. There are tons of examples of those cars going year after year- with many more miles than your car has- with relatively few issues.

The only real issues that those cars had were the oil burning issue and issues with the ABS system... the ABS Actuator I believe.

With all of that said, it's not worth it to dump a bunch of money into this car. It's pretty obvious from your post that the previous owner or dealership attempted to hide some of these issues from you when you bought it... who knows what else they tried to hide that may cause you future issues down the road. Get rid of it and buy something else- and have it fully inspected by a trusted and qualified mechanic before buying it. Don't trust the person or dealership if they say that they inspected it and it looked fine. Take it to a mechanic and have them look at it.

With that said- if you are looking for cars that are 10+ years old with 140,000 miles... it's rare to find them in awesome condition. At that age/mileage, stuff just starts wearing out. I'd imagine most people who get rid of those cars are doing so not because they suddenly wanted something new- but rather because they don't want to spend the money on an expensive maintenance project. Who wants to spend $1500 to replace struts and $1000 to replace an exhaust system on a car that's only worth $3000? Instead, people trade it in and buy something newer.

That's the situation my wife and I are facing with our 2007 Camry Hybrid. It's been a wonderful and reliable car for the past fourteen years and 180,000 miles... but stuff is just starting to wear out... some of it expensive- like struts. We'll likely trade it in for something new within a year- and where it ends up no one knows. It will probably be sent to auction and a small dealership that sells older cars will put it on their lot- 'fully inspected' of course. Someone will buy it- only to have their mechanic tell them at the first oil change that the car needs $1500 worth of struts, $1000 in exhaust work, and who knows what else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah really ... if you had any idea of the desperation I've been in, you would understand better why I made such a hasty decision, even if in retrospect it was a poor one ... no ones perfect.

Of course I knew it would need some work just not this much work ...
 

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Camry Freak
Camry & Accord
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It's just that it seems like the problems I listed dont go away easily? And if they do go away they usually return , is that true?
The problems won't magically go away. Your car seems to need maintenance and repairs.

If you aren't a DIY type of person, take your car to a trusted mechanic and see what they say. They can hook up a reader to examine what codes are stored in the ECU and that will give them an idea of what's actually broken or malfunctioning. They can also do a complete inspection on the car to see what else needs to be done- and what maintenance items might be coming down the road.

Pay them to investigate- and then you'll have a lot more information. That information will allow you to decide if it's worth it to keep this car or to bail on it.

Yeah really ... if you had any idea of the desperation I've been in, you would understand better why I made such a hasty decision, even if in retrospect it was a poor one ... no ones perfect.

Of course I knew it would need some work just not this much work ...
I can understand that. The current craziness in the car market has created all sorts of chaos. Money doesn't go nearly as far as it did just a few months ago... and even well-used cars are going for prices that are simply nuts. If you need a car in a rush, I can certainly understand why you'd rush into something... but that often comes with risks.

A detailed inspection usually only costs about $100-150 at a decent mechanic. I would pay that for any used car that I'd buy- even one that is still under its powertrain warranty. Cars are too expensive- both to buy and in terms of potential repairs... and spending $150 to prevent an expensive mistake is money well spent in my book.

Good luck.
 

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Start here. Don't whine, read. It is very possible that VSC and triangle are simply due to 12V going bad. Many had it fixed that way

ECU has zero relevance to brake pads. NONE. You simply need new brake pads and rotors. DIY it's about $150 job and about an hour time. Find a buddy who had hands growing out of shoulders and with tools, that needs some audio work done and barter. Case of beer after the job can also work.
Those are VERY reliable cars and 142K miles for them is just broken in.
You do not KNOW, if it's burning oil. Just keep checking on oil level and, maybe add some ever so often, not gonna break your bank. DO oil changes regularly and do NOT use synthetic oils. Just good conventional and good filters.
 

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Last week, I bought a 2007 Camry Hybrid with 200k miles and good interior for $2,500. Spent $5,000 on brake booster, ABS module, front strut, O2 sensor, 4 brake rotors + pads, all from good brands , and a rebuilt hybrid battery from Green Bean Battery with lifetime warranty. I probably could have done all of it for only around $2,000, had I done all of it myself, except for the ABS module part, by getting the same parts online and replacing a few bad battery cells and rebalancing it. However, I don't have a garage and my time is more valuable than what I could have saved. Of course, it doesn't make sense if I am going to sell it in a few years as I will be getting less than $3,000 from dealers and only around $4,000 from private sale. But at the same time I don't think I will be able to find any car of this condition and reliability for $7,500 I put in. I firmly believe well-maintained Camry Hybrids can go 500k+ miles.

I guess if you want to keep it and save money, you can either do everything yourself or buy the parts yourself, put them in the trunk and drive around to get the cheapest labor quote.
 

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Satisfied Toyota Owner
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Hey Everyone,

I recently purchased an 08 Camry Hybrid , probably too quickly. I didnt realize it at. the time but they had reset the sensors so when I bought it no lights were showing.

Now 150 miles later , the brake light is on and the brakes are groaning as it's common for the ECU to konk out on the brakes letting them fail.

The VSC light , abs light and exclamation point lights are also on.

I just found out that the 2AZFE engines burn oil and need pistons replaced YET if I fill the oil too high oil may end up in the fuel injectors.

Plus there's a high possibility that my catalytic converter will or already has shit the bed as well.

I AM Not a Mechanic , I'm an audio guy ...
The only reason I bought one with 142k on the clock is because I thought it wouldn't need much work at all (and I like the body style)

But apparently there's 1 zillion problems with these things , wtf ... sigh ... ... ... I'm not good at wrenching ...

Now I am here trying to figure out of it's worth upgrading my car to keep it or if I should just do basic maintenance and sell it private or trade it in ... either way I feel like I'm screwed.

Please Help

Is there anyway to simply rip out the old outdated ECU and VSC system ?

Or do I have to use their shitty system ... there must be upgrades!?

praying to the sky that I can just rip everything out and put a new JDM engine in it with a new suspension etc ...
Don't mean to add to your to do list but...
Camry Hybrid batteries are only warranteed for 10 years/150,000 miles...my '07 went 10 yrs/5 months and 147,000 before it failed but my dealer covered the entire replacement of the battery, parts, labor and rental. All told, was a $6,300 repair. So you might want to keep an eye out for your hybrid battery which may go sooner than later if your vehicle has 142,000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Start here. Don't whine, read. It is very possible that VSC and triangle are simply due to 12V going bad. Many had it fixed that way

ECU has zero relevance to brake pads. NONE. You simply need new brake pads and rotors. DIY it's about $150 job and about an hour time. Find a buddy who had hands growing out of shoulders and with tools, that needs some audio work done and barter. Case of beer after the job can also work.
Those are VERY reliable cars and 142K miles for them is just broken in.
You do not KNOW, if it's burning oil. Just keep checking on oil level and, maybe add some ever so often, not gonna break your bank. DO oil changes regularly and do NOT use synthetic oils. Just good conventional and good filters.
Thank you. And oddly enough I turned on the car today after it sat for a couple days and the vsc warning is gone as well as all the lights except the orange ! Mark in the right corner.

In regards to oil, someone else said I should use synthetic oil ... is synthetic an issue for this particular vvt-i engine?
 
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