2009 Camry LE

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  #1  
Old 05-18-16, 01:54 AM
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2009 Camry LE

I finally bought a replacement for the '97 Camry my insurance company totaled last year. I got a 2009 Camry LE and I have several questions.

1. The dealer told me it was a repo he bought at auction and that is why he didn't have the keyless entry key. Not a key fob but that year built the fob into the key itself. He told me to buy one off of Ebay, get it cut at any place that cuts keys and then go to Toyota to get it programmed. Looking at several YouTube videos (via Google search) I have found a few different programming methods detailed, some changing depending on year and model. I found one site that stated flatly that 2007 through 2011 Toyotas could not be programmed without a special programming tool available only to Toyota dealers.

Question: Has anyone programmed a 2009 Camry LE keyless entry with the "insert key, remove key, open door, close door" dance?

2. Programming the "engine immobilizer" function seems to be pretty straightforward. Anyone done this with a 2009 Camry LE?

3. According to the information I have found the 2009 Camry LE has as standard an eight-way power seat for the driver. This car has a manual seat. Is this indicative of a very early 2009 or is the information that the power seat is standard wrong?

4. The independent mechanic/garage I had do a pre-purchase inspection came back with several potential problems. First problem is a leaking front strut. They quoted $865 to replace both front struts with Monroe "quick struts" with a parts price of $229. per strut and $407 labor for both sides. When I used this as a bargaining chip the dealer's mechanic stated that was outrageous, each strut was about $140. Doing my own checking I found that the exact part number quoted sells for $174. Further, I found that the quick strut was a complete assembly negating the need for a spring compressor to rebuild the original assemblies with the old springs.

Question: Is the quoted price outrageous for a high end shop?

5. They found a torn boot on the driver's side CV joint. The cure is a complete replacement of the axle assembly. The parts cost is $128. which I found to be about the same as Internet prices and the labor $173. for a total of about $300. I found that replacement boots ARE available for a cost of less than ten dollars. I had the same diagnosis on my '97 and never replaced a thing and as far as I know there has been no problem in that area.

Questions: Are simple boot replacements never done? If not, why not? Is it a matter of labor to replace the boot is the same as total replacement but no guarantee can be made that damage has not already occurred due to the torn boot?

6. They found the automatic transmission fluid to be very dark and suggested a flush and new fluid. The dealer's mechanic stated flatly that Toyota automatic transmissions do NOT require any fluid flushes and that anyone that charged for a "flush kit" ($28. quoted) was absolutely lying as there were NO "flush kits" for that transmission. He said you drove them until they failed and then you rebuilt them. Cost for "flush and fluid replacement" quoted was $160.

Question: Who is lying?

7. The garage also stated there was a slight noise from the timing chain when first started. I was told this is usually a problem with the chain tensioner(s) but to be certain it would require partial tear down for further inspection. The partial tear down was quoted at $108. I don't hear anything when I start the car after it has sat for two days. Is this something I should be concerned about?

8. They found "bits of rubber" in the radiator and recommended a machine flush and new coolant. Total cost of $100. They did not recommend new hoses. Where might this "rubber" have come from if not deteriorating hoses? Is this a scam to get more money from me?


I did get the dealer to replace all four tires, install new wiper blades and engine air filter as well as burnt out light bulbs. He said he would replace the struts and axle assembly but wanted me to drive the car a few months first. Since I signed several papers stating I accepted the car "as is" and "without warranty" I suspect that if I go back after a few months he will state he never agreed to such and that I agreed that there was no warranty or other promises made at the time of sale. Should I go back this week and hit him hard about his promise to replace either (or both) the struts and the axle?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-18-16, 03:04 AM
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Should I go back this week and hit him hard about his promise to replace either (or both) the struts and the axle?
Yes!!! .
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-16, 05:18 AM
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It sounds like you stepped in a big puddle of poop.....

Don't blame the dealer.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:35 AM
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Same car as my wife's, except for hers being an XLE. We traded up last year from our '01 and got the '09 from a small family lot/garage I tow for; had about 30k on the ticker when we bought it.

You didn't mention how many miles on on yours, Furd. I'll try to give you as much insight as I can based on my experiences/knowledge.

1. We only had one key when we got ours and had a similar experience, BUT the business owner said he has the machine to cut the key and the software to program. Downside is the machine ate the key ($100+ for the blank) on the first attempt, so rather than risk it again just paid to have me take it to Toyota.

2. Not familiar with the engine immobilizer function, will have to look that up.

3. I'm thinking maybe that power seat was actually an option maybe? Our XLE has power seats both sides. I've seen/towed Camry's with manual and power, so thinking it's not standard.

4. Struts are DIY-able. Very straightforward and yes $865 sounds a bit steep to me. About a 2 hour job I would estimate, tops; I did struts on daughters previous car (95 Corolla) and I don't remember it taking very long.

5. Biggest problem with boot replacement is you have no way of knowing if or how much the joint has deteriorated. Also I think most boot replacements are split boots that can be done without axle removal. I don't know that success percentage or longevity of the split boot repairs. Depending on the mileage on the car, I wouldn't necessarily replace both axles if only one has a torn boot.

6. No car maker that I know of ever requires or suggests flushes of any kind. Simple fluid change should suffice (does not have a replaceable filter AFAIK). About the only advantage of doing a "flush" is you get more fluid out, which I suppose could be helpful considering the dark fluid. If it was me, I just go with fluid replacement.

7. I haven't heard of any issues about the timing chain (I like that it's a CHAIN and not belt as on previous Camry's). Don't think you've mentioned 4-banger or V6? I'm having a hard time imagining that $100 worth of labor would get them far enough into the engine to inspect the timing chain and/or tensioner. Have to wonder if when they get in there they won't "find" whatever they are looking for.

8. They seem to have "found" a lot of little things that they are suggesting expensive remedies for. i agree, deteriorating hoses could be the source of any rubber bits in radiator. The fix? Drain and refill, $20-30 vie $100.

I agree with Ray; best to go back while the ink is still damp (maybe). This is a reputable lot I hope?

Side note, check the material on your dashboard. If it is rubbery and can be pinched off in pieces like gummy bears, there's a recall on that. Free replacement @ Toyota. Waiting on local dealer to get replacements in to do ours. Not a huge issue, but since free, going to have it done.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:44 AM
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I would never go with a split boot for CV boot. Every one I saw leaked. many years ago (25+) I used to replace boots but all most all shops now replace axle. usually because axle has been rebuilt. Water and sand get into joint and cause them to go bad.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:47 AM
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Yeah, that was pretty much my thoughts on the CV.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 06:28 AM
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It sounds like you stepped in a big puddle of poop.....

Don't blame the dealer.
I'm not blaming anyone for anything. I'm asking questions and accepting opinions from others. I could have easily walked away from the car after reviewing the mechanic's report. However, based upon many months of (admittedly not real serious) searching for a new(er) car I came to the conclusion that this particular model was a relatively decent buy.


John, it has about 103,800 miles on it and the price was about midway in the range for that year and model Camry. The shop that did the review said it was in pretty good shape, all things considered and that none of what they had found was a deal breaker. The previous owner had it serviced by Toyota dealers every 3,000 miles according to the Carfax and all the applicable recalls had been done. Oh, it is the four cylinder engine.

Of course the owner's manual is missing but I downloaded it and have been looking at it. Unlike my '97 Camry this owner's manual is not specific to the trim level (CE, LE XLE, SE etc) so it shows a lot more possibilities than any one trim level might have.

Another question, why don't people leave the owner's manual in the car when it is sold? I have never seen a used car that included the owner's manual other than the cars I sold.

The engine immobilizer is some kind of "chip" in the ignition key that has to be matched to the car computer. This is done with a "dance" that includes inserting and removing the key a specific number of time along with opening and closing the driver's side door. The programming of the keyless entry function is a little more involved but also uses the same moves. If you don't program the immobilizer everything functions except the ignition and the car simply won't start. You have to begin the programming with a key that is already programmed.

I tend to agree with the issue of the boots over the CV joints. The cost is not that much to simply replace with all new (or rebuilt) parts while the cost in down time if the CV joint is actually contaminated would far outweigh the cost of replacement on a scheduled basis.

Good to know about the struts. I'll check with other places if I can't get the dealer to replace them. I wouldn't mind doing them myself IF I had a place to work...which I don't.

After reading the owner's manual I think the power seat IS optional although it may be that the majority of the cars were built with them. It was in reviews from Cars.com and the like where I found the power seat to be listed as standard.

Dashboard seems fine.


Ray, I think I will go back this week and see what he has to say about replacing the struts and axle. Maybe see if he will put it in writing. He is a smaller dealer and mostly deals in higher end vehicles which he told me he sells to foreign exchange students at the university. He did express some interest in buying my old car for $100 or so to sell to a young man that needed a car but had little money. There are a few things he would have to fix before he sold it, though.

Pugsl, I agree. I might replace just a boot IF I knew it had failed within a few days and had minimal usage during the time it was torn. Not knowing how long it has been torn replacement of the CCV joint and axle just seems the more prudent thing to do.

I'll add that the shop I had do the inspection is AAA certified as well as highly rated by our local Checkbook magazine. The prices for the radiator flush and axle replacement are definitely in line with what the Goodyear franchise charges but then the Goodyear place IS rated as having higher than average prices with a lower customer satisfaction rating.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 11:17 AM
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Stop by anytime and I'll give you a hand with the struts.

About average miles for an '09, we were just very lucky on the low miles on ours. Helps to live in an area with huge senior population, lots of low mile cars if you keep an eye out.

You can't kill the 4 cylinder Camry engine and plenty of power. Wife's gets about 34 mpg highway. Curious about the dark tranny fluid, but maybe long time since service? Like the engine, those Toy trannies are pretty solid.
 
  #9  
Old 05-18-16, 12:19 PM
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OK, so struts first.
Buy KTB complete assembly struts. They are cheaper than Monroe Quick Strut BUT are actually OEM Toyota struts.
Takes virtually 20 minutes to put it in. Presuming you are not a DIY person, I'd call a mobile mech and have him do it for you. As I said - it's 20 MINUTES per side. You should pay like 50-60 bucks for labor.
What you likely to end up with is buying camber bolts. Mine is 2007 and I HAD TO have them installed, as there are no provisions for camber adjustment off the factory. LesSchwab wants $200 to have them installed, while they cost $27 parts store and take a minute to have installed, while struts are reinstalled. Same mech will do.
XLE is the highest end model, right? So maybe it's not an XLE? Mine is XLE and has both front seats full power.
[I]The top-level Camry trim level is the luxurious XLE.
As of the key. Mine actually has key built into the fob. Not fob into the key. But mine is hybrid.
Word at Toyotanation is you can't jyrry rig ebay keys, ECM needs to be reprogrammed to recognize the key. But maybe it's not true. Some dealers do this for free, some charge 50 bucks or so. It's 15 minutes.
You can DIY it with Techstream, which you get Techstream off their site - free, and buy Mongus USB to OBD2 port cable and voila.
What else.
Axle shafts. Same mech should do it for you. They are about 30 minutes to replace for guy with tools and know how. I am not sure if you have the "long" axle shaft on one side, one with carrying bearing. Those are PITA to replace because of the hard to access c-clamp.
ATF. Check if Toyota considers your year lifetime. If not, DIY it. Do no flushes.
My guesstimate for entire job, labor only, with decent mobil mech is about $250. Axle shafts, camber bolts and struts. Alignment is $80 or so. Your parts should be about $550 - 600. 2 struts at $140 each, axle shafts are around $100-120, camber bolts $30 - yep, somewhere around there.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 12:22 PM
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here ya go

2007-2009 Toyota Camry Strut and Coil Spring Assembly - Suspension - KYB, Front Right 07-09 Camry Strut and Coil Spring Assembly - 18958-07179695 - PartsGeek

Just be very careful, they come left and right, or pass side and driver side. different.
 
  #11  
Old 05-18-16, 12:49 PM
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Why would you let anyone flush cooling system? Pay for it? It's as easy as 2x2.
Don't mess with glue on boots. Axle shafts are cheap and come with warranty. Replace entire thing.
Get yourself Alldata account for Camry. It's $8 a year and is well worth it.

How to find a mobile mech? Craigslist. Or, go to any parts store around and ask clerks. They always have someone handy and will not recommend a sheister.
 
  #12  
Old 05-18-16, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for the offer, John although I think I will pass this time.

Thank you ukrbyk for the detailed responses. I won't be doing this work myself, not because I don't have the skill but because of no place to work and because I simply can't move around like I once was able. The last couple of days it has been all I could do to move from the bed to the bathroom, the kitchen and the computer. Nor do I think a mobile mechanic could work because I don't have a level space for the car, my driveway is rather steep and doesn't begin to level out until about one foot before the garage door. Absolutely no room, not even a foot, inside the garage door.

I used to do all work on my cars myself but that pretty much stopped after the 1980 model year when computers took over so many functions. I did do a couple or three brake jobs and up until the last couple of years always did my own oil changes except for the Dodge Stratus I had for a single year. Also did a couple of valve jobs on my D-50 pickup that I had converted to propane. Unfortunately, after my daddy died my brother's kid took many of my tools that I had stored at my parent's house. At least I was able to get the welding equipment. I still kick myself for not getting the air compressor.

As for flushing the coolant system. Among those tools I lost was a flushing gun that I used several times to flush out both engine blocks and radiators. It used both water from the garden hose as well as compressed air in bursts and it most assuredly DID move rust flakes and other "junk" out of the engine and radiator. I don't know what they use now other than it is some kind of closed circuit pump and I have no idea if they flush "backwards" from the normal flow, which is what I did. I'm not going to get excited about flushing the system unless I have a overheating problem.

My '97 Camry (also an LE) has just under 170,000 miles on it and I have never had the transmission touched. Neither have I ever had a bit of trouble with the transmission. I'm very tempted to leave the transmission alone or at the most just do a drain and refill.

I am going to try to get the dealer to make good on his promise to replace the axle assembly at the very least. Hopefully I can get him to replace the struts as well as he stated his cost just wasn't that high, definitely just a fraction of what was quoted by the inspecting shop. If not, I have several other well rated shops nearby.
 
  #13  
Old 05-19-16, 09:47 AM
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Furd, I am positive you are over thinking the entire project and your location appropriateness for this. Mobile mechs are very procreative and used to work in tight areas.
Btw, says you are in WA? Stop by, I'll drop the struts in for you. Piece of cake. Mof, I can drain your ATF and at least refill it. Put camber bolts in. If it's the short axle shaft, replace that while struts are done. Don't really want to mess with the long axle shaft.
That said, if you were somewhere in Auburn/Maple Valley/Renton triangle, I can hook you up with my mobile mech.
Flushing gun? How about turning the peacock at the radiator bottom, draining coolant, run engine for a minute or so to expel more coolant, close peacock, refill and burp? How easy is that?
But anyway... Dealer it is.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 10:24 AM
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Years ago I had an attachment piece that would back flush the radiator, don't remember what happened to it Now days I run the cleaner in it for a bit [depends on how dirty] and then rinse with the petcock open, engine running with a water hose replacing the lost coolant.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 02:15 PM
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I live in Bothell, just past the King-Snohomish county line. These days Auburn is quite a drive for me but thank you for the offer. Truth is, this past year I don't think I even added 3,000 miles on my car and I think that I have averaged less than 5,000 miles yearly since I retired 11 years ago.

What I would be most concerned over is that not having a level place to work on the car, jacking it up for the struts and axle would be rather precarious. I try to envision all the possible pitfalls before doing a job and jacking a car that is already on a fairly steep slant just doesn't seem safe to me.

The flushing gun was ancient when I got it which was probably in the late '60s. It was similar to the one shown here.

http://www.paulsroom.com/BlueHost/we.../flushgun1.JPG

It had both water and compressed air connections and allowed for "reverse flushing" of the radiator and the engine block. Trust me, it would blast loose chunks of rust and other corruption that would NEVER make it through the draincock on the radiator. To me, just draining the radiator doesn't begin to equate to a flush. Here is a Google page that details how the flushing gun was used. https://books.google.com/books?id=Dp...%20gun&f=false Of course, this was back in the olden days when you didn't have to worry about anti-freeze poisoning of any animals that drank the anti-freeze. Having three cats that live with me I tend to be pretty careful about that. If I really do have chunks of rubber floating around in my cooling system I seriously doubt a simple drain through the radiator drain valve will do me any good.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 03:28 PM
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All mech needs to do is to roll your car down the driveway to a level ground and do it there, unless you live nose into a major arterial. Any residential street will do.
But as I said... TEOHO.
Offer stays. But indeed, you are about 65 miles away from Black Diamond and my garages and car lift, he he.
I can only speak for Toyota of Renton. They have good CS. But as expensive as anyone else. Done good job on my Camry. Otherwise, I take my cars to a buddy of mine who owns shop in Auburn. Man is a genius. And very well priced genius.
Terry might decide to come to you, if you call him. The mobil mech. He's sorta crazy but in a good way. Has box van with tools. He did radiator and water pump on in law work van in my driveway in like 4 hours, $700 labor and parts. It started with $150 for radiator only, but then we found that water pump was quite wobbly, so decided to do that too. Good guy.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 03:35 PM
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If I really do have chunks of rubber floating around in my cooling system I seriously doubt a simple drain through the radiator drain valve will do me any good.

I wouldn't trust a word out of that shop mouth. Also if that's the case, your radiator hoses are delaminating inside and have to be replaced. Also they can be siphoned out via radiator neck with turkey buster. But that's just me talking, pay no attention.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 04:24 PM
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All mech needs to do is to roll your car down the driveway to a level ground and do it there...
Already thought of that, the street is far from level as well, indeed, it slopes BOTH fore and aft plus sideways. Just no decent place around here to do the work on the street or in a driveway.

Obviously I need to determine for myself IF there is anything in the coolant system or if the shop was merely padding the bill. When the man told me about the rubber I asked him where it could come from but deteriorating hoses and he quickly moved to a different subject. At this point I'm wondering if it could be just a torn rubber on the radiator cap. I think it is best for me to visually check these other "problems" as well.

So, yeah, I need to get at least a second, if not a third opinion. But first I need to get my back to the point where I can walk again.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 07:51 PM
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Get prescription I'll fit you with a good back brace.
 
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Old 05-20-16, 04:22 AM
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In 40 years of being mechanic I never saw rubber in rad, Lot of other things but never rubber. even back in 70's and 80''s when hoses got brittle and broke a lot more than now I did not find rubber in Rad. I would check it myself.
 
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