Common Toyota Camry Problems: 5th Gen 2002-06

Mechanic showing toyota camry

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 location on a 02-06 Camry
O2 Sensor #1 Location

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 location
O2 Sensor #2 Location

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

Intake manifold on a 02-06 Toyota Camry
Intake manifold on a 02-06 Toyota Camry

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

Fix your vehicle yourself with quality auto parts at 1aauto.com

3. Bad Valve Cover Gasket

Engine oil stains from a bad valve cover gasket
Engine oil stains from a 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

  1. Remove the nuts from the engine cover
  2. Lift off the engine cover
  3. Remove the bolts from the ignition coils
  4. Disconnect the ignition coil electrical connector
  5. Remove the ignition coils
  6. Disconnect the vacuum hoses
  7. Remove the nuts and bolts from the top of the engine
  8. Remove the engine cover

4. EVAP Charcoal Canister

EVAP Charcoal Canister Location
EVAP Charcoal Canister Location

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

Pedal position sensor above the accelerator pedal
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

Related Content

5th Gen Camry Model Years

Summary
Common Toyota Camry Problems | 5th Generation 2002-2006
Article Name
Common Toyota Camry Problems | 5th Generation 2002-2006
Description
Toyota Camry problems, years 2002-2006, and some of their symptoms, causes, and fixes.
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Publisher Name
1A Auto
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