2003 Toyota Camry Opinion please


Engine Mechanical problem
2003 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 81000 miles

Car has been into dealer for service for past two years since purchasing at 30k. Last time (5k ago), no notes on Vehicle Inspection Sheet. This time, though, they recommend Battery replacement ($100), Air filter replacement ($25), oil Pan needs to be dropped and re-sealed ($300), Induction Service($90), Transmission Flush ($160), and Water Pump replacement ($540).
Now, I am pretty handy and would maintian this car myself (I changed a timing chain in my previous car). I have not seen any fluid on my clean garage floor, and am questioning the sudden need for service. I was not informed of these repairs that 'Require Immediate Attention' until my car was ready to be picked up. Nor was I explained what 'Induction service' is.
From my research, all short of buying a repair manual, I believe that my water pump is internal and the timing chain must be removed to replace. Should I really need a water pump, is this the time to replace the chain as well?--I hate to have to do either, is there not a seal (sealant) that can remedy the water pump leak--if there is one? If it is leaking, it must be so small that I cannot detect it from drips.
Can't I get my transmission fluid changed for significantly less than $160. The Leaking from my Oil Pan I believe is total B.S., I would notice oil on my floor immediatly; when oil is drained for oil change can't that be dropped and resealed, or even just have the bolts torqued to specs and check next oil change.
What is your off-the-cuff opinion of this sudden decline in my 'car's health'. I feel it is the dealer feeling the effects of the economy and nedin to get more money from the service dept.

Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 3:19 PM

3 Replies


Before you drop any money to the dealership, I would suggest that you take your vehicle to an independent auto parts store such as Checker O'Reilly or Autozone.

Battery replacement ($100): Have them check the condition of your battery. They will do this for free. 5 years is about the life of factory battery (if it is the original battery from 2003).

Air filter replacement ($25): CSK O'Reilly has Fram CA9360 for $13.99

oil Pan needs to be dropped and re-sealed ($300): If it is not leaking, I would not worry about it.

Induction Service($90): Just add a can of Sea Foam $8.99 to clean your fuel system. It is as effective as induction service.

Transmission Flush ($160): Most lube/oil places will charge in the neighborhood of $80 - $100 for this service. Or as you mention being handy, you can do it for a lot less, Fram FT1181 is $23.99 plus 4 quarts of Dexron III ATF.

Water Pump replacement ($540): Is it leaking? You have external water pump. If it is not leaking, don't worry about it. If it is leaking though, there is no remedy short of replacing the pump.

Here is the instruction:
1.Drain Coolant
2.Remove Fan And Generator V Belt
3.Remove Generator Assembly
4. Remove Water Pump Pulley
a.Using SST, remove 4 bolts and pump pulley.


Fig. 1: Removing Water Pump Pulley

b.Disconnect the crankshaft position sensor wire harness clamp.

5.Remove Water Pump Assy a.Remove 4 bolts, 2 nuts, bracket and water pump.


Fig. 2: Removing Water Pump Assembly

6.Install Water Pump Assy
a.Remove any old packing (FIPG) material from the contact surface.
b.Apply seal packing to the water pump as shown in the illustration.


Fig. 3: Applying Seal Packing To Water Pump Courtesy of TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A., INC.

Remove any oil from the contact surface.
Install the water pump within 5 minutes after applying.
Do not put into engine oil within 2 hours after installing.

c.Install the water pump and bracket with 4 bolts and 2 nuts. Torque: 9.0 N.m (92 kgf.cm, 80 in..lbf)
d.Connect the crankshaft position sensor wire harness clamp.


Fig. 4: Installing Water Pump

7.Install Water Pump Pulley
a.Using SST, install the pump pulley with 4 bolts.


Fig. 5: Installing Water Pump Pulley

Torque: 26 N.m (265 kgf.cm, 19 ft.lbf)
8.Install Generator Assembly
9.Install Fan And Generator V Belt
10.Add Coolant
11.Inspect Check For Engine Coolant Leaks

Was this
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 12:34 AM

So I have an external pump; they lied to me when they stated that I have an internal one and that it would require removal of timing chain to service (thus the large labor cost)?

On the transmission fluid change, you mentioned Fram FT1181- That is a filter I am guessing, where is that located? Are four quarts of dextron the Mfg. Recommended amount? I remember on my last car it was a very specific measurement (that was a manual though).

Thanks for the help.


Was this
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 7:36 AM

It is internal water pump if you have the V6, 4-cylinder is external.

3.7 qts of Dexron III is what you need to replace the trans fluid. If you raise the vehicle, you will see your oil drain on the passenger side (not this one), your transmission drain plug is on the driver side (THIS ONE). The filter is internal, you have to remove all the bolts to access the filter.

Was this
Saturday, May 9th, 2009 AT 11:50 PM

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