Toyota Camry 50

What should you be prepared for when choosing a used model? Let's get to the bottom of this.

The car has not changed much in comparison with XV40 generation. There is front-wheel drive, transverse location of the motor, McPherson front and rear. Two of three motors are also from "forties": base 2-liter 1AZ-FE and top 3.5-liter V6 2GR-FE. New here is only 2.5 2AR-FE, which replaced 2.4 2AZ-FE, but it does not contain any special innovations. After the restyle, there was a newer 2-liter atmospheric, but again no technical frills. In other markets there were still hybrid versions with motors running on the Atkinson cycle, direct injection motors. 

Driving qualities have changed a little in the driver's side, but it is only on the XV40 background. Even a typical Volvo driver of the early two-thousandth will be perplexed to ask "what is this couch?" after a trip. But the majority of drivers of these cars are concerned with driving qualities in the last turn, because among them are mainly those who just need to drive from point A to point B, hired chauffeurs, cab drivers, and also all those who "keep us safe" - servicemen of various power structures and departments.

Exterior panels

Funny, but Toyota Camry in the 21st century has never shown outstanding corrosion resistance. The XV30 generation was not bad, at the level of good European models, but already XV40 did not please its owners in this respect. As for XV50, the first word that comes to mind is "sadness". Even if not to take into account white-colored cars, with which the situation is separate, the pre-restyling XV50 is bugs and once again bugs, as well as numerous repaints. In the worst case it is a lot of corrosion on the trunk lid, trunk opening seams, trunk floors and door flaps, and also on the bottom, in wheel arches, and also on suspension elements and subframes. And, of course, rusty front edge of the hood and roof. Not to holes - the age is not the same, but deep and unpleasant.

Do not be greatly surprised by thickness gauge readings and owners embarrassed at the sight of the device. Of course, they paint their cars, but they are shy of it, because reliability of Toyota is legendary. As a consequence, it is necessary to look at the car thoroughly, with a special fondness examining all hidden areas and corners, checking door edges, looking under all rubber seals and careful inspection of body seams and control of paintwork thickness in openings.

Paint cracks on spars in the engine compartment are also quite possible even on fresh and unbeaten cars. Do not be lazy to examine the bottom of the body, it is covered with plastic almost all over, except that in the cars of St. Petersburg assembly a piece of the rear left spar under the trunk is clearly visible, because they did not put the left aerodynamic bumper cover. You'll have to carefully bend off the edges, shine a light into the plastic vents, and ideally remove all this splendor for a full inspection. 

Under the plastic can be anything from almost virgin bodywork with traces of additional antikor made immediately after purchase (which is correct), to redness along the floor spars and sills and deposits of dirt. Inspect the rear arches from below, the original felt locker does not provide noise insulation, but collects moisture like a sponge. Even garage storage does not save, by three years there will be red marks.  

It is worth to examine interior floors from inside only to check VIN, rot is rare. But cars with a welded piece of floor are found. I remind, VIN here is located in the legs of the front passenger, at the edge of the seat. A duplicate sticker is on the driver's pillar, and there is another plate under the windshield.

Repaintings are so good at masking the traces of accidents, and the car is so popular and liquid on the secondary market that it makes sense to restore even outright junk. Simply running your finger along the edge and turning around because you can feel the coloring is not an option. It is worth to spend time and make sure that it is not some shifter, but an honest recoloring, with whole factory seams. As you can see, the Camry XV50/XV55 is one case where "original paint" is not the best recommendation. 

The white cars I mentioned in passing above stand out against an already unhappy general background: they rot literally everywhere and at a fabulous rate. If the rot on the trunk, then everywhere: from under the sealant of the opening, on the lid and almost certainly - on the wheel arches, in the form of a pile of chips and necessarily wide spots on the edge of the hood.

There is no intrigue in such behavior of the paintwork. The paint layer on all cars is very thin, at best there will be 150 - on cars with metallic silver or pearlescent. White cars have the thinnest paintwork, often less than 100 microns. And the quality of metal and processing of seams in all Camry before restyling is very low. Exemplars of 12-13 years even got into the program on repainting of trunk aperture, but there was no recall campaign, dealer repairs were performed only if the owner wanted repainting. And cars after dealer repair now still have rust coming out from under the paint on the trunk opening seams. The quality of such repair was not too high, which is expected - fenders were not cut off for repair, full cleaning was not done. In general, a "good" Camry before restyling is a car either repainted entirely, or "dressed" in film and armor, sleeping in winter and summer in a covered parking lot.

The situation after restyling has changed, but insignificantly. The situation with white-colored cars has been corrected, it stopped to stand out so obviously in the worst way, processing of trunk seams and rear wheel arches has been considerably improved. But in general, the paintwork remained as thin, the metal as unsuccessful, and bugs as a typical companion of a not very well-maintained car.

I would advise you to give up the car at the words "native paint, but there are minor chips and bugs, you understand the age", unless the difference in price does not allow to carry out a quality painting at your own expense, and the condition of the main elements of the body remains acceptable, without through perforation and obvious corrosion of complex seams at the joints of several panels.

The rest of the equipment of the body against the background of rapid corrosion, you can say, does not bother. Yes, headlights are yellowing and rubbing well, paint is flying off from bumpers, chrome is peeling off. But everything is made simply and firmly, bumpers so in general strike monolithic: in essence, it is a shell and small inserts of fog lights and a grille. Quite successful fastening, convenience of assembly-disassembly and fitting almost do not leave unsolvable problems. Even such a trifle as a film against scratches under door handles is provided.

All mechanisms of doors are reliable, except for the limiter, which can die after 50 thousand kilometers, and seals, which sometimes break off because of freezing in winter at low mileage. Locks, window lifters and corrugations are faithfully serve 200+ thousand, even on cabs and cars of inveterate smokers.  Worn seals and loose locks are a sign of mileage well over 200k.

Interior

It's cozy and spacious inside, but the Camry is not a case where mileage marks are hard to find. Scuffed buttons and glossy steering wheel and dented seat sidewall hint that the mileage is approaching a hundred thousand. Worn steering wheel, shapeless seat, tear coating on the most frequently used buttons - this is already mileage of about 200 thousand, and if the sill plates are stomped, then you are almost certainly a cab with mileage 300+. 

Another sure sign of mileage "over a hundred" is extraneous noises made by elements of trim. Especially well they will be heard on cars with additional noise insulation of arches, which is made very often, as the native one does not correspond to the proud title of business class. Here the motor is almost not heard, and aerodynamic noises are minimum even at speeds over 130. 

From typical failures of an interior it is possible to remember unsuccessful cover of a glove box with easily broken out locking tongues and regularly broken cover of the central box. Everything is obviously designed for careful and light drivers. On cars after restyling they have become stronger, but still there are broken ones.

Seat heating failures are also not uncommon, mainly due to the fact that people stand on the seats with their knees - this is already a classic. The armrest of the driver's door is most often greasy or rubbed to holes, but it is rather a consequence of driving style, peculiarities of landing in Camry and presence of a great number of cars from under a hired driver, who spends a lot of time in the car, just standing on a place.  

Squeaking of the steering wheel "snail" is not at all a consequence of drying of grease, it is not there initially, just the material of the loop was unsuccessful, the body of the "snail" lets dirt inside, and its edge wears out and delivers plastic dust. In general, there is no need to lubricate, replace it. If the squeaking has just started, you can remove, blow out with compressed air and sprinkle with graphite/talcum, but it usually doesn't help for long.  

Crunching of the seat back when adjusting is a popular problem that is usually just ignored. During the warranty period, the backrest was replaced free of charge, but now, of course, the train has already left.

Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about. Reliable buttons and switches, climate control, multimedia system. The sound, however, is so bad, but with such noise insulation it could hardly be better. In general, it is quite Toyota - such as it should be. Simple, but strong.

The main problem of used Camry of penultimate generation is early corrosion because of manufacturer's economy on paint. True, if you solve this problem radically, the car will be mostly happy. Unless, of course, it is not a copy of V6 from under the racer - not moderately momentary engine in case of careless handling can threaten both the box and itself.

Electrics

Except overrunning clutches of generators and very unstable resource of a drive belt on in-line fours to remember and there is nothing to remember. At runs for 300 thousand natural wear on harnesses of wiring of a driver's door and a trunk is shown, and fans begin to work noisily, sometimes get up. The fan of the climate control sensor and the "climatic" itself is humming. The cost of eliminating these problems - pennies.

The tightness of the front headlight connectors could be better, the fog light connector is more reliable, the horns are more sealed, the license plate light bulbs are better sealed and the trunk lock is also sealed. It is also desirable to do something with the oil pressure sensor, so that it does not leak after 150 thousand. But as a whole it is necessary to recognize that in terms of quality of electrics Toyota is on the top.

Brakes, suspension and steering.

Brakes are strong and reliable, but not very powerful. It is easy to overheat disks, and it leads them in this case from the first time. However, the defect applies only to original parts. Installation of good non-original usually removes the problem completely.  

The resource of pads could be higher, especially on cars with 3,5 engines, where they often do not reach the third maintenance (and Toyota has an interval of 10 thousand). Slight corrosion of brake pipes in the rear part near the attachment points is also an unpleasant sign, but so far it is not criminal.

The suspension is considered to be the strong point of the model. It is both very resourceful and very comfortable, withstands even hard operation with trips on country roads. Often up to mileage of 150-200 thousand in city mode - everything is original, including shock absorbers. Except that stabilizer struts of transverse stability are changed, and also bushes of a stab here wear out - their preload is weak, it is better to put on glue. 

Supports of front and rear suspensions at runs up to a hundred fail only at extreme movement, and hub bearings - only at strongly non-standard rubber.  

A significant disadvantage is corrosion of almost all suspension elements, points of its fasteners to the body and subframes, souring of all fasteners, including adjustment bolts. Any repair can end up with exercises with a bolgar and a torch, and then the purchase of broken elements. More suspension mounting angles gradually go away, even if the suspension does not play, and the car is not in an accident - periodically check them.

Steering control with EPS on the column shaft is characterized by very approximate feedback - even in XV40 the control was adjusted better. But reliability is excellent, except that the rack will knock, if the car ran on bad roads. It can be cured by replacing penny end bushings with repair fluoroplastic bushings with new grease - the factory obviously spared oil.

Transmission

The cars have only front drive, and the transmission is only automatic. The mechanical part of the transmission is good, it is not "Koreans", where there is not enough grease in the joints, or the splines are rusted. Resource of joints is 300+ thousand, covers are torn only if to drive on branches and to wind a wire. 

Automatic transmissions are presented by two families. Four-speed U241 can be found with a motor 2,0 before restyling, and all other motors work with six-speed automatic transmissions of series U660/U760. The more "torquey" automatic transmission U660 is paired with 3.5 motors, and 2.5 and 2.0 engines after restyling - with U760/U761.

There is not much to tell about the Aisin U241 gearbox. It is a representative of the old venerable family U140/U240, which was installed on Camry and RAV4 since the late 90's. It copes with the 2.0 motor easily and simply. In this configuration the transmission is really "eternal", only a wild coincidence or 500+ runs without oil change can break it.

On XV50, the box is "trained" to work with WS oil, more fluid than T-IV, which was used in its versions for earlier cars. The manufacturer does not recommend mixing these oils, although nominally they are compatible. And at mileage under 300 thousand it is better to monitor the degree of slippage of GDT lock, active drivers have chances for its wear at such mileage.  Well, if the box breaks down, then usually the whole box - there is nothing to repair. The reason is either oil leakage due to wear of the GDT oil seal, or overheating or mechanical failure.

Aisin U660E/U760E/U761E family of automatic transmissions, as well as all modern "six-speed", can not be called eternal, but by the standards of 6-speed designs they are considered very reliable. Say, the recently reviewed ZF 6HP, which was put on BMW, Jaguar and not only, is significantly worse.

However, it is necessary to make a correction: if it is the 660 series in combination with a 3.5 engine, the box can be "toppled" by 50 thousand kilometers from constant racing. The weaker 760-series with a 2.5 engine is much more reliable, almost with a guarantee of 250+ thousand years of service, provided that the oil is changed at least once every 60 thousand kilometers.  

Unfortunately, like all Aisin automatic transmissions of modern design, it does not like oil contamination, and the torque converter lockup linings in this box wear out very actively during active driving, contaminating it. Typical interval of replacement of GDT lining is 150-250 thousand kilometers. One more problem of GDT: at vibrations can weld a bushing to a hub, be attentive to leaks of an oil seal, overheating of this knot always begins with leaks. Hydroblock with prolonged work on oil with wear products gets damage to the body, and the replacement of solenoids is not to get away. 

Unfortunately, the mechanical part is not without serious troubles. The main thrust bearing of the output shaft turned out to be weak: it overheats, its retaining ring loosens, and it turns, after which the front cover of the housing needs to be replaced. The bearing is inexpensive.

The problem has been tried to be solved many times. The versions of automatic transmission, installed on XV50, have already seriously improved design of this unit, and still with 3.5 motors it fails relatively often. Sometimes other bearings of the box suffer. Some of them are roller, and their damage causes the rollers to get into the gears, putting them out of action. 

Well, one more weak point remains, which manifests itself at high mileage. The rear cover caliper, as well as in Aisin transmissions of the nineties, wears out, caliper sealing rings lose tightness, which causes pressure drop in the packages of the long-suffering direct drum. With mileage over 200 thousand, the axles of the satellites of planetary gears may wear, which causes a characteristic "trolleybus" sound. The problem is typical for those who like to drive with wind with a long high load at speeds over 150.

Exactly the same problems are characteristic for transmissions U760E/U761E, but in them bearings are almost not damaged, mainly they suffer due to wear of the piston of the direct drum and wear of its frictions, and at high mileage also due to wear of the caliper rings and satellite axles. And, of course, because of the already mentioned GDT wear.

Engines

The lineup of motors on the Camry XV50 is quite conservative. Base motor 2.0 1AZ-FE with an output of 148 hp of the cars before restyling belongs to the same series AZ, which was put on two generations of its predecessors - XV30 and XV40. The new motor 2,5 181 hp 2AR-FE series was also found on the American XV40. Good old 2GR-FE 3.5 277/249 hp remained the same, modernization was insignificant. The improvements were primarily to the intake and cooling system, to improve heating uniformity. After the 2014 restyling, the cars received a new 2.0 150 hp 6AR-FSE series motor with direct injection. All engines are very reliable, although they are far from perfect.

The 1AZ-FE motors are not considered to be particularly successful by Toyota standards. They recall weak threads of cylinder-head bolts in the block - indeed, on 2AZ-FE motors the cylinder-head "lifted" at mileage of about 200 thousand or after unsuccessful repair. And there are no repair sizes of the piston group in 1AZ-FE. Despite the statements about unrepairability, in practice everything is perfectly restored - futorks are inserted into the block, liners are changed, liners have two repair sizes. Otherwise, the motor is extremely reliable, and on late 1AZ-FE there are no problems with the cylinder head at all. 

Timing chains serve 250+, liners under condition of application of normal oil even more, wear of a piston group at runs to 300 thousand and absence of overheating is small, to oil appetite motors are inclined only at runs 250+ and unsuccessful choice of oil. 

From smaller but urgent problems there is a trouble with pump life, with swirl flaps and contamination of the intake manifold, knocking of phasoregulators, regular contamination of the filter-mesh of phase shifter valves, design of the hydraulic tensioner of the unit belt, wear of the crankshaft damper pulley and other trifles.

Valve clearances should be adjusted every 60,000 if you don't want to change camshafts. It would seem that at the age of up to 10 years it is usually too early to think about it, but there are cars on the market with quite official mileage of more than 300 thousand, single copies have more than 500 thousand on the odometer, and the widespread twisting of mileage (it is easily done here) increases the chances of meeting with age motors to significant.

Motors of newer series 2AR-FE (2,5 liters) differ minimally from AZ by design: also aluminum block with cast iron liners and in general very similar design. Most noticeable is the presence of a phasoregulator on the exhaust shaft and the absence of EGR. Less noticeable is that the oil pump is now driven directly from the crankshaft and is located in the front cover rather than in the crankcase. And the block of balancer shafts is driven by plastic low-noise gears. By the way, it is because of them the motors of this line can not be decocted with the most effective additives in oil - the gears lose their teeth. The block has been thoroughly strengthened and cooling of all cylinders has been improved, a plastic separator has been added to the cooling jacket for better uniformity of heating and acceleration of cylinder heating. No problem with the threading of the cylinder head bolts in the block. The motor is significantly lighter than its predecessor, with a steel exhaust manifold, slightly lighter block, higher power and fuel economy.

In 6AR-FSE engines, complication of the design with the system of combined injection does not lead to serious losses in reliability. But D4-S system is considerably more expensive to repair than conventional distributed injection, and does not like bad gasoline - everything is banal here.

However, there are still questions about the pump life, VVT-I clutches knocking and tendency to piston corrosion at high mileage. And the resource of timing has decreased to about 200 thousand kilometers. Chances of breakdown are not high, if the cars have not twisted mileage, but still it is not necessary to consider the motor eternal and not requiring normal maintenance. But, as in the case with 1AZ, it is not difficult to find a baushny or contract for a reasonable amount, however, it will be a little more expensive.

The most powerful motor of 3,5 series 2GR-FE is also difficult to break at normal operation, but it is just bought often for the sake of "chase", and therefore, and conditions of its life were certainly not easy. Traffic jams in the daytime, amateur drag racing at night, rapid overtaking on highways and maintenance is not like that of supercars. In such conditions, few motors can realize their resource of 350+, more often everything ends up with breakdowns at noticeably lower mileage.

Although by the time the XV50 Camry appeared, all the main problems of this line of motors had already been solved: they replaced the oil line with an all-metal one, improved the timing drive to ensure normal life and the cooling system to prevent overheating of the rear cylinders. Of course, there are still problems with the noise of the phase-regulator clutches and (again!) with the life of the pump, but in general, the engine just requires a little more attention and control than inline fours. It's more sensitive to cooling system malfunctions and worse at overheating, it has a more complex power system, a more complex intake, and more stress on the gasoline pump. If you absolutely need a fast Camry, the investment in it will be higher.

Conclusion

Answering the question asked at the very beginning, let's summarize that the high prices on the secondary market for this generation Camry are unreasonable. Yes, now the problem of rust is not so pronounced: water does not pour through the holes in the floor, windshields do not fall out of corroded frames, doors and arches do not flaunt fringe - in general, everything is not terrible yet.