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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 avoidCarComplaints 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

Donna (not verified)    February 28, 2020 - 7:27AM

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.

Marcus w (not verified)    July 11, 2020 - 12:58PM

In reply to by Donna (not verified)

Hello there, I have the same 2010 with the exact same problem with the variable valve timing engine. It's been doing this for about two years and 25,000 miles. I've done some research and a lot of people have tried to fix this issue only to have it come back after a few thousand miles. I've elected to let this issue go and not fix because the fix is more than the car is worth. Please be weary and do your research before putting $3000+ into your Camry.

Nick (not verified)    February 28, 2020 - 10:12AM

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.

Mike (not verified)    February 29, 2020 - 10:36AM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

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.

Bruce (not verified)    July 1, 2020 - 12:19AM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

It is what it is....I bought a 2006 solara at 140k miles burning 1qt ever y 2k miles of highway driving........
No BFD. keep a quart always in the trunk.

I just purchased a cherry 2007 LE With 120k, not bad for 13 years. I will Expect it to start burning a little oil Soon,
And no BFD, a quart every month or so...... NOW round 175k it should need new head gasket, as I have had previpusly....BFD, do the rings and head gasket, good for another 150k.

My first toyota was a 76 notchback celica...8’ve had perhaps 12-15 toyosa in the last 40years.... I abuse them, shit on them, drive them hard......they run, deal with the quirks, they are few

Jimbob (not verified)    September 7, 2020 - 1:49PM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

Depends if the engine was recalled and where it was made, the recalled Camry's should be fine.

Have a 2006 camry with 198k miles, runs fine but I change oil ever 5k miles and it doesn't go down at all over that distance.

Jim Degnan (not verified)    September 29, 2020 - 2:24PM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

We have the 2011 XLE with the 2.5 engine. We just turned 186,000 miles and it still runs great. The oil consumption is picking up just a bit but paying attention to that and all the other fluids has worked out well for us. I am considering purchasing another and using the current one as my run around car. hard to argue with success.

Ben (not verified)    January 27, 2021 - 1:34PM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

Thanks Nick! I have a 2009 with the V6 (2GRFE). Best car ever!!!!(10th car overall) I have 307K on her and she still idle silent. Only thing replaced other than routine brakes, belts, oil changes, and tires is the radiator 2K ago. This article is very misleading, and the person writing it should have been more specific, and is quite irresponsible to report this without noting it was the 4 cylinder engines with the issue.

Pat (not verified)    February 23, 2021 - 6:53PM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

We have the 2009 4cylinder engine. When it started burning oil excessively at 95k, our Toyota dealer was diligent to perform their oil consumption test twice for us and fixed the problem, their dime. The engine has run perfectly since. It's been a great car for us with 190k now and going strong.

Jane (not verified)    April 9, 2021 - 10:46AM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

I had a 2010 Camry & it had the oil burning issue also. At the end the engine was ready to go at any time so I had to get rid of the car. Had planned to keep it a lot longer.

Welly (not verified)    July 8, 2021 - 7:34AM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

And sir you are wrong..I own a 2006 Toyota Camry XLE with 150000 miles and I swear this car don't burn no oil..as a matter of fact when I do change my oil I'll need to add about half a quart around 3000 miles to bring the oil up to the full mark on the dipstick after that I don't need to add no more oil until my next oil change which is every 5000 miles I think that's damn good..

CB (not verified)    February 28, 2020 - 5:04PM

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.

Siz Hollman (not verified)    February 28, 2020 - 10:03PM

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.

Dennis (not verified)    May 11, 2020 - 9:26AM

In reply to by Siz Hollman (not verified)

That’s funny when I bought my 2007 Camry 4 cyl the reviews said the v6 had a few issues and to avoid it and that the 4cyl was bullet proof of which has proved out after 120,000 miles so far.

Dennis (not verified)    May 11, 2020 - 9:26AM

In reply to by Siz Hollman (not verified)

That’s funny when I bought my 2007 Camry 4 cyl the reviews said the v6 had a few issues and to avoid it and that the 4cyl was bullet proof of which has proved out after 120,000 miles so far.

Dennis (not verified)    May 11, 2020 - 9:26AM

In reply to by Siz Hollman (not verified)

That’s funny when I bought my 2007 Camry 4 cyl the reviews said the v6 had a few issues and to avoid it and that the 4cyl was bullet proof of which has proved out after 120,000 miles so far.

Jen (not verified)    October 26, 2020 - 8:40AM

In reply to by Siz Hollman (not verified)

I purchased a USED 2009 Camry V6 SE with 10,000 miles on it. I still have it with about 95,000 miles NOW. Has never had any work except new brakes once, battery replacement once or twice. Best vehicles ever made are Toyotas in my opinion. But I'm just an 82 yr old senior and need the most reliable vehicle available which I believe I have. And by the way, the original paint still looks great. YOU GO TOYOTA!
LOVE MY CAMRY.

Scott (not verified)    February 28, 2020 - 11:02PM

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

Eileen (not verified)    February 29, 2020 - 12:57AM

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