2001 toyota camry (detailed)

Asked by Jan 05, 2016 at 05:12 PM about the 2001 Toyota Camry

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Today I was driving my toyota camry, first 15
miles went well, we know that we have a small oil
leak, we came to a school zone, so I reduced my
speed,  went to accelerate after the school zone,
and nothing happened. I realized quickly I need to
find a spot and stop, as I applied the brakes, they
were much harder to press. As I turned the wheel,
it to was a tough job. I pumped the brakes, and
somehow managed to get it in a parking lot.
During all of this, I noticed my oil light was on at
one point, then the battery light too. I do not recall
the exact moments i noticed the lights. Parked the
car, checked under the hood and everything
seems ok, belt is on and in tact, tension there
seemed good too. All fluids are at ok levels... but
on the low side rather than full.  I attempted to  
restart, it'll crank, but not turn over? Radio and all
dash lights work. . .what could it be?! And what
can I try?

14 Answers

38,185

It almost sounds like the fuel pump died. I think what happened was your engine just completely died, and that's why all of your lights came on. Just like when you turn the key to accessory, all of the lights will come on for a brief moment. That is also why your engine will now turn over and over, but the engine will not fire up and run. See if you can hear the fuel pump humming. Remove fuel cap, put ear to opening, have someone turn the key to Accessory. Can you hear the pump hum for a few seconds? If not, I would say that your pump has failed.

That sounds much better than any other guess I've gotten. I am not near the car now, but I will try that in the morning. I keep hearing timing belt...and I cringe. This is our only car...and we cannot afford a new one...nor outrageous repairs. It has over 200, xxx miles. But had no issues other than the slow oiL leak, which we check often.

38,185

The timing belt is also a possibility. Your year has the "non interference" engine. Which means if the timing belt does break, it will not let the valves smash into the pistons. When this occurs, your engine will not turn over at all and a timing belt job becomes very expensive like on the "interference" engines in other years. Fortunately for you, that will not happen with your engine. Usually if the timing belt does break, you will notice that your engine may sound different when cranking it over. Have you noticed a different pitch in the sound when cranking? Does it seem to crank over faster?

I haven't noticed any different sounds. Although, I just remembered that within the last week, we had to use the A/c, I noticed that button flash a few times. That may or may not be a clue. Just something i noticed. We also replace brake fluid, probably more frequently than we should

38,185

The A/C light flashing is usually a sign of low coolant and a leak in the brake system shouldn't cause you car to die out. I would check the fuel pump first. If you can hear it hum. If the fuel pump appears to be working, I would then remove a couple of timing cover bolts and see if you can get a small light in there enough to see if the belt is shredded or not. The covers are just plastic so you can bend it out a bit to see inside.

Thanks a bunch! Can you tell me...that at least the motor isn't seized? Or otherwise dead? I need to stop stressing, but its hard! Thank you for your time!

38,185

The motor shouldn't be seized. That only occurs if you run it out of oil or unless something really major lets loose. You would have heard some loud noise if something let loose. If the engine is still able to turn over, it's not seized.

Yaye! Its being looked at today, my brother thought about a major fuse blowing, but I was unable to stop by t he car this morning. My ride was in a hurry so I just dropped off the keys at the shop. I hope and pray its something easy!

38,185

Keep us posted on the outcome! Good luck!

I agree with Reelin's analysis and advise above. Nice job. Valerie...nice job in providing a detailed and complete history of the issue with this vehicle.

Well, the diagnosis is.....a slipped/broken timing belt. The mechanic is saying $400 to repair as long as the valves aren't bent (which through much research and you helpful folks, I've learned that my valves should be fine). Labor and parts included. I called o'reilly's, and the belt is $25- 35 depending on the warranty (90days-a year) my next question is, should I let him do it, or pay him the $33 for looking at it, get my keys, and let someone else do it? I've also been quoted, $100 parts and labor... from someone whose more of a shade tree mechanic, but has experience in a shop too...

38,185

Did anyone check the fuel pump? I love the slipped/broken timing belt diagnosis. Well...did it slip or did it break? Did this shop even remove the cover to see what the deal was, or are they just guessing? If it is a broken belt, you can just do the bare minimum which is just replacing the belt. Or you can buy a rebuild kit which includes the belt and all the pulleys. Most guys replace the water pump as well since it right in there with the timing belt. Again, it's up to you. If you're just going the bare minimum route, I would just save yourself the money and have your shade tree buddy do it. Of course you will have no warranty on the work.

Hmm, I may call back and question him. Surely he removed something in order to charge me $33. But who knows. I'm thinking bare minimum is best. I may take the car in for a full overlook when taxes come. Until then...I'm a stay at home mom, and hubby is struggling to keep things the way they are. Of course Christmas ate what we had saved. And the plant was closed a week for Christmas...without pay. If the fella is replacing the water pump and all that you mentioned, I suppose $400 isn't horrible, and given a week or so, WITH a vehicle I can make that..but without I'm kinda stuck. To blessed to be stressed, gotta remind my self of what could have been. I can't even get a second opinion until I pay the $33 and get my keys.

38,185

I hear ya. Times are tough. I haven't driven a vehicle made within the same decade my whole life. Currently I have a '99 Camry, '85 Chevy Scottsdale, and a 2002 Tundra. Never had a car payment except for once. And that was a second hand Celica that I bought off a dealer back in the 80's. Just can't justify a car payment that is almost $500 a month. The most I have ever paid for a vehicle is $4500. And I think that was for the Celica I got from the dealer. My last Toyota 4X4 I paid $4400 with 60K on it and I drove it for 14 years. It was an '89 and I sold it a couple of years ago with over 250k on it.

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