The Top 5 Toyota Camry Problems: 7th Generation (2011 to 2019)

Toyota Camry’s are known for being reliable, and for many of their owners this includes 7th generation Camrys. That being said, no car is perfect. Here’s five common problems Camry drivers experience and report for the 7th generation 11-19 Toyota Camry.

1.) Check Engine Light and Rattling Engine—Camshaft Trouble Code

Symptoms of a Rattling Engine

  • Engine ratting near the front of the engine on the passenger side

One common problem on 11-19 Toyota Camrys is engine rattle near the front of the engine on the passenger side with the check engine light on.

How to Fix the Different Causes of Rattling Engine Problems on the 2011 to 2019 Toyota Camry

Plug a scan tool into the port beneath the dash. If the scanner reads a camshaft position code or camshaft correlation code, there could be a few causes.

Solenoid Valves, Camshaft Actuators, or Engine Valves

If the camshaft timing has changed, it could be the solenoid valves. There could also be problems with the Camry’s engine valves or the camshaft actuators. This can be tested with an automotive stethoscope tool. Use the stethoscope to find the location of the rattle sound.

Check and Change Oil Regularly

A great way to prevent premature wear to camshaft and valvetrain parts is to check the oil regularly and make sure the the engine has the right amount, refill as needed, use quality oil, and change the oil at the recommended intervals, especially if the engine is older or is running often from prolonged driving, like ridesharing.

2.) A/C Not Working—Trouble Code B1479

Symptoms of Bad A/C Compressor or Pressure Switch

  • A/C stopped working

Causes of A/C Problems on the 2011 to 2019 Toyota Camry

If the A/C has stopped working, there could be a number of causes. If the electronic control module (ECM) runs trouble code B1479, there’s a bad flow switch or pressure switch on the A/C compressor, which is common on 11-19 Camrys.

How to Fix a Bad A/C Compressor Flow or Pressure Switch

This repair requires taking the refrigerant out of the A/C system safely, so a trained professional will have to fix this.

3.) Grinding Noise Near Water Pump

Symptoms of Grinding Noise Near the Water Pump

  • Grinding noise near the front of the engine on the passenger side

The bearings in the water pump have a tendency to go bad, and this or a grinding noise can be heard at the front of the engine on the passenger side when the water pump is defective. This sound is closer to the bottom of the engine, unlike the timing chain, which is closer to the top.

How to Fix a Grinding Noise Near the Water Pump

Inspect with an Automotive Stethoscope

You can inspect the grinding noise on the water pump with an automotive stethoscope. With the car on, without coming into contact with the serpentine belt/timing chain, press the stethoscope to the water pump and listen for the bearing or grinding sound. Although not a simple repair, replacing the water pump can be done at home.

4.) Check Engine Light Appears After Jump Start—Trouble Code P2118

Symptoms of Check Engine Light After Jump Start

Camry owners have reported that sometimes when the vehicle won’t start and they get a jump-start with jumper cables, a check engine light appears and the scanner reads for code P2118.

Causes of a Check Engine Light After Jump Start

If the symptoms above happen and the scanner reads code P2118, which is a throttle actuator control code, there is a blown fuse.

How to Fix a Check Engine Light After Jump Start

Fix the Blown Fuse

To fix this, locate the fuse box underneath the hood and read the legend on the back. The fuse to replace is an ETCS 10 amp fuse. Using a fuse puller or pliers, remove the fuse and check if it’s blown, which can be confirmed by looking through the fuse and seeing if the internal wire is disconnected. Replace the fuse and clear the code.

Replace the Battery or Alternator

After replacing the fuse, the Camry’s battery or the alternator will likely need to be replaced also, since that is probably the root cause for jumpstarting. While driving, if the battery light appears, it’s likely the alternator. Replacing the alternator is a DIY job that can be done at home. If you need to replace the alternator and want to fix it yourself, this how-to video covers model years 11-17.

If you need to replace the battery, battery removal on a 7th gen Camry involves disconnecting the negative cable first and the positive cable second, removing the battery hold-down and its bolts, and lifting the battery up and out.

5.) Engine Misfire—Trouble Code P0300-P0306

Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Coil, Spark Plug, or Fuel Injector

  • Flashing check engine light reading for codes P0300 to P0306
  • Engine misfires

If a check engine light is flashing and throws trouble codes P0300-P0306, it’s a misfire.

Causes of Engine Misfires

This is usually caused by a bad ignition coil, fuel injector, or spark plug. Basically, one or more of the cylinder’s isn’t firing as it’s supposed to. If driving, to prevent damage to the catalytic convertors, pull over and have the vehicle towed.

How to Fix the Ignition Coil or Spark Plugs

The ignition coils can be accessed at the front and the rear of the engine. To reach the ignition coils at the rear, the air intake will need to be removed, which can be done by novice do-it-yourselfers. To test which coil is bad, if you can’t find a layout of the engine, move the suspected ignition coil around and see if the code changes. Eventually the ECM will locate the bad ignition coil.

Do Repairs on Your Own Toyota Camry with Our How-to Videos

Learn how to do your own repairs and replace parts yourself on the 11-19 Toyota Camry and other vehicles with 1A Auto’s how-to video library.

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