Toyota Camry 2002-2006 review

What to look for when buying a used Toyota Camry: Checking history records will help avoid cars restored after accidents. If possible check service records; avoid cars that have been previously overheated. A blue or white smoke from exhaust, even if it's just a small amount at startup, should tell you to avoid the car. When test driving the used Toyota Camry, there should be no noises when driving over bumps or rough roads. Read more tips: illustrated used car checklist. Have the car properly inspected by your mechanic before buying. If during an inspection, coolant leaks are found at the back of the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, avoid the car.
Guides for used car buyers:

Toyota Camry common problems: Suspension problems like bad sway bar links and bushings, rear control arm bushings and rear strut mounts are fairly common. Suspension repairs are not very expensive. Oil leaks from the valve cover gasket(s) are fairly common. The valve cover gasket replacement costs $80-$150 in a 4-cylinder engine and $200-$280 in a V6. Leaking water pumps are often reported; if a bad water pump not replaced in time, lack of coolant may cause overheating. Front oxygen sensor (Air/fuel sensor) fails often; replacement is not very expensive. Lack of power, hesitation and "Check Engine" light with the code P0171 could be caused by a bad or contaminated mass air flow sensor or cracked rubber intake snorkel. The mass air flow could be cleaned or replaced. Unstable idle and stalling (often after battery replacement) could be caused by a carbon buildup in the throttle body. Cleaning the throttle body usually helps. A faulty A/C clutch relay in the under hood fuse box can cause the air conditioner to cut out intermittently with the A/C light flashing. Replacing the relay solves the problem in most cases; your Toyota dealer should have the part; it's not very expensive. There is also a notable amount of complaints about stripped head bolts in the 2.4L engine; the repair is expensive.

Maintenance tips: Change your oil regularly; Toyota recommends using 5W-30 oil in both, the 4-cylinder and V6 engines. Watch out for coolant leaks and keep engine coolant topped up; overheating may result in very expensive repairs. Change transmission fluid when it gets dirty. According to the 2006 Camry owner's manual, an engine air filter and a cabin filter need to be replaced at 30,000 miles. The cabin filter is located behind the glove box. A timing belt in the 3.0L and 3.3L V6 engines needs to be replaced every 90,000 miles. Expect to pay $300-$450 to replace the timing belt only, or $500-750 if you want to replace the water pump too.
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Recalls: Safety Recalls - NHTSA or Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls.
Owner manuals - where to find online.

Honda Accord 2003-2007 review »
2003-2008 Mazda 6 review »

2006 Toyota Camry specifications

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:

189.2 (4805 mm)
107.1 in (2720 mm)
70.7 in (1795 mm)
58.7 in (1490 mm)

Seating capacity:


Cargo capacity:

16.7 cu. ft

Camry LE, SE



2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC VVT-i
all-aluminum inline-4
154 hp @ 5,700 rpm, 160 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve VVT-i all-aluminum V6
190 hp @ 5,800 rpm, 197 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

3.3-liter DOHC 24-valve VVT-i all-aluminum V6
210 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 220 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm

Recommended Fuel:

Regular unleaded

Fuel Tank Capacity:

18.5 US gallons (70 liters)

Engine oil capacity:
Engine Oil with Filter:
2.4L 4−cylinder (2AZ−FE):
3.0L V6 (1MZ-FE):
3.3L V6 (3MZ-FE):

4.0 US qt. (3.8L)
5.0 US qt. (4.7L)
5.0 US qt. (4.7L)

Automatic transmission fluid capacity:
Drain and refill: 3.7 US qt. (3.5L)