The 5th Gen Camry has a reputation for being reliable, and while many Camrys are reliable, like many other models they have common faults and issues owners have reported. We cover the common Toyota Camry problems, years 2002-2006, and some of their symptoms, causes, and fixes.
Top 5 Issue 5th Gen Camry
1. Bad Oxygen (O2) Sensors
Symptoms of Bad O2 Sensors
- Poor engine performance
- Drop in fuel mileage
- Check engine light for code P2238
Causes of Bad O2 Sensors
O2 Sensor #1 (Upstream)
On the 5th Gen Camry with the inline-4 engine, the first O2 sensor, also known as the upstream sensor, is located at the front of the vehicle in the middle of the heat shield. This sensor changes the air-fuel ratio and monitors this ratio coming out of the engine. It is located in front of the catalytic convertor
O2 Sensor #2 (Downstream)
A second downstream O2 sensor sits in the exhaust pipe and monitors the catalytic convertor’s performance.
How to Fix Bad O2 Sensors on the 5th Gen Camry
Remove the O2 sensors with an O2 sensor socket and a ratchet.
Upstream O2 Sensor
Before replacing the upstream O2 sensor, check the exhaust and intake manifold for air leaks. Any air leaks can trick the computer into thinking the O2 sensor is not working properly. To remove the O2 sensor, you may need to remove the heat shield to get a proper grip on the sensor.
Downstream O2 Sensor
Before replacing the downstream O2 sensor, check the exhaust pipe for leaks. Any exhaust leaks will throw off the oxygen sensor readings.
2. Intake Manifold Plenum
Symptoms of a Bad Intake Manifold Plenum
- Rattle noise from the backside of the engine
- Rattle noise under the hood and possibly worse engine performance
Causes of a Bad Intake Manifold Plenum
A bad intake manifold on the 5th Gen Camry happens because of the intervals of the intake manifold breaking apart and the design of the mold
How to Fix a Bad Intake Manifold Plenum
In this case, the only fix is to replace the intake manifold
3. Bad Valve Cover Gasket
Symptoms of a Bad Valve Cover Gasket
- Traces of oil leaks at the top of the engine
Causes of a Bad Valve Cover Gasket
Gasket tends to break down, causing oil leaks at the top of the engine
How to Fix a Bad Valve Cover Gasket
Automotive expertise is not necessary to change the valve cover gasket. The valve cover gasket is made of rubber and is not RTV, so you can simply replace it with a new rubber gasket
Steps for Replacing the Valve Cover Gasket
- Remove the nuts from the engine cover
- Lift off the engine cover
- Remove the bolts from the ignition coils
- Disconnect the ignition coil electrical connector
- Remove the ignition coils
- Disconnect the vacuum hoses
- Remove the nuts and bolts from the top of the engine
- Remove the engine cover
4. EVAP Charcoal Canister
Symptoms of a Bad EVAP Charcoal Canister
Check engine light for codes P0440, P0442, P0446
How to Fix a Bad EVAP Charcoal Canister
- Check the gas cap first and confirm it’s secured tightly and does not have a torn or broken gas cap gasket. It’s often the EVAP charcoal canister that needs to be replaced.
- EVAP charcoal canister is located on the rear subframe in the back and can be difficult to access. It’s possible to access it by lowering the suspension or lowering the exhaust.
5. Faulty Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
Symptoms of a Faulty Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
- Check engine light code for P2121
Causes of a Faulty Accelerator Pedal
Sensor on the end of the accelerator pedal, also known as the gas pedal, could be from a bad or loose electrical connector or torn wiring, but usually the sensor fails
How to Fix a Faulty Accelerator Pedal
- Inspect the electrical connector for corrosion or discoloration
- Inspect the wiring for splitting or fraying
- If the connector works, replace the sensor and clear the code
Parts Mentioned in This Article
- Can a Bad O2 Sensor Cause a Misfire?
- Burning Oil Smell? [Diagnose & Fix Valve Cover Gasket Leak]
- Gas Cap Throwing a Check Engine Light? [Diagnose & Fix]
- P0496 code: Mechanic advice to diagnose & fix