Shopping for a used Toyota Camry - Avoid these colors and years
John Goreham's picture

Shopping For a Used Toyota Camry - Here's The Year and Color To Avoid At All Costs

The Toyota Camry is a perfect used car to consider. However, some years and colors are much more likely to come with problems you can avoid.
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Buying a used Toyota Camry is one of the safest used car decisions you can make. The Camry sedan model and the Toyota brand have an outstanding reputation for quality, durability, and reliability.

The first consideration when buying a used vehicle is to avoid someone else's problems. You don't want to buy a car with a defect or looming failure that will cost you money on repairs. The Camry is a great car to avoid that, but not every used Camry is the same. There are three model years to avoid and two colors you should simply not buy.

Related Story: Which Is The Most Reliable Used Car Purchase: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, or Hyundai Sonata

Used Toyota Camry Model Years To Avoid
There are three years of the used Toyota Camry you should simply not purchase. They are the 2007, 2008, and 2009 model year Camry cars. These cars have a known engine defect and you don't want to own one. The engine defect manifests itself as burning oil. Although some mechanics, and pretty much every automaker, will say that burning some oil is acceptable, this problem goes well beyond that and can lead to engine failure.

Used Toyota Camry years to avoid

CarComplaints highlights this Toyota engine defect in its Camry section. CarComplaints goes so far as to stamp these years with its 'Beware of the Clunker" and "Avoid Like the Plague" stamps of disapproval.

One owner described the problem many have by saying, "Oil consumption all the time. I fill it and then it would run low again and again and again. over and over and over then one night the low oil light came on AGAIN. This time I couldn't make it home in time and the engine must have thrown a piston or something because it seized right up and now I have a paperweight sitting in my driveway. I don't know what to do. apparently Toyota is not helping anyone out. first and last time I buy one of their vehicles."

So how should you shop for a Camry of that era? Simple; buy a 2010 or 2006. Or buy a competitive model if you don't like the Camry years that came before or after the 2007-2009 Camry years.

Two Used Camry Colors To Avoid
Toyota has been having trouble with two of its white colors. The two Toyota problem colors are Blizzard Pearl (paint code 070) or Super White (paint code 040). Owners of these cars have reported that the white paint comes off in large sections leaving behind bare spots. The paint is also sharp along the edges where it sloughs off, making washing the vehicle tricky and possibly dangerous if you do it by hand.

White is a very popular color, particularly in hot climates like Florida and the rest of the American South. However, these colors of used Camry cars should be avoided. Toyota has a campaign underway to assist the owners of these defective Camrys, but why buy into that hassle? Silver or tan may work just as well.

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In conclusion, let us reiterate that the Toyota Camry is a great used car purchase. Just be sure to avoid the three bad years and two bad colors. If you have a used Carmy story you would like to share, please post it in the comments below. Your experience may help a fellow shopper avoid a problem car.

Camry chart and quote courtesy of CarComplaints.com.

John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.


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Comments

I just found out my 2010 Camry which turned 100K recently, may need an expensive engine repair due to failing variable-valve timing actuator. It’s a white car and I live in north. No problems with my nice exterior. I wanted to keep the car until 150K. So, I’ll probably get the repair done. Engine has always run very well.
This article is somewhat misleading. ALL Camrys produced from 2002 to 2009 with the 2AZ-FE 4-cylinder engine have the oil burning issue. It is a design issue with the piston rings. Saying people should buy a 2006 Camry to avoid this issue is bad advice. If you really want to avoid the issue buy a Camry with the V6 engine, or buy a 2009+ Camry with the 2AR-FE 2.5L 4-cylinder engine.
Thanks Nick, great advice about the engine generation.
I purchased a 2005 Camry brand new fifteen-years ago. No problem with excessive burning of oil or anything like that. It's running as well as the day I drove it off the lot. I feel fortunate to have this car. Dependable, quiet, and comfortable.
What??? My 2007 Camry hybrid has been in the shop **ONE** time in 14 years for a minor repair. Absolute truth. By far the most reliable vehicle we have ever owned. The white paint has gotten a little chippy--no large chunks--over the years, but she still runs like a champ. One hybrid battery change (under warranty) at about 98000 miles. Nearly 170,000 miles driven now. The tires tend to wear sooner because of the torque with the large battery but Best Car Ever. Looking at the 2020 RAV4 hybrid to replace her.
As another commentor said, this article needs to be corrected. Only the 4-cyl engines had this issue. The V6 Camry from 2007-2009 have demonstrated to be bullet-proof and provide excellent fuel economy and power.
I have a 2017 white i love mine got it used
This article is way off base I have a 2007 Camry 175 k and have done almost nothing to it mechanically. One oxygen sensor, part of the exhaust, drive belt idler pulley, abs sensor on one wheel, brakes when needed. John goreham clearly doesn’t have the credentials stated here as he doesn’t know sh!t about camrys
I have had my 07 Camry since 2011 and this issue is with the 4 cylinder that was made in Japan for the people that owned or own one there is a recall all you need is to have less than 150k and bring it to the dealership to be fixed the American made didn’t have this problem what it is is that the ring in the piston is letting oil through and all they do is change those rings mine has 220k and we fixed it in 2016 don’t believe everything you hear well my son is also a Toyota tech but he didn’t fix it because he’s not master certified the man that fixed it did an awesome job kudos
I've got a 2009 Camry 4 cylinder with 106,000 miles and it runs like a top- doesn't burn oil at all.
My 2010 burns oil...piston ring oil RETURN HOLE too small...also dashboard self dedtructing..and falling apart...have to always wipe it down.....
My white 2009 Camry was still running great and never burned or consumed oil for 8 years and 309,000 miles before I traded it in on a used 2015 Camry. Just sayin’!
I bought a used 2007 Toyota Camry in 2009. Eventually it started to burn oil. Toyota did an oil consumption test and it fail. They fixed it and runs like a new car ever sense. Never have to add oil between oil changes. Call me lucky I guess.
I have a 08 Camry SE 2.4 with 300k I have had to live in my Camry for about 5 yrs, and drive the crap out of it, she still runs smooth except hitting a pot hole etc I've never had a major mechanical issue, I always change the oil between 3k to 5k (mobile 1 Extended Napa Platinum filter) and I'm still driving same car, same engine, and yes, it burns oil, and I always check it. Best car I have ever owned.