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I'm considering a hybrid vehicle and I believe I've settled on a Camry. Reading through old posts in this forum a lot of my concerns about battery life, general longevity, service costs etc. have been allayed.
Just to be sure I decided to submit a FOIL request to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission to check out their hybrid service histories. I'll post back if I ever get a response.
My question today is about how to tell if a Camry hybrid is headed for trouble by inspecting it at a dealer. Are there certain things to check that would indicate problems to come? What should I be looking for when inspecting a used Camry Hybrid?
I saw that water pump leaks and possible strut issues seem to arise - what's the best way to check on those?
Also does anyone have experience with a Thule rack/box and impact on mpg?
Struts issues will be obvious as clunking. Especially in the front end at low speeds. Look around the top of the shock absorber where it is mounted in the strut. If they are leaking, you have trouble ahead.
The water pump issues are a little more obvious. But, not really a big deal. Look for pink stuff around the tension-er pulley bracket and on the hood pad. Glance over and look at the coolant level in the reservoir on the passengers fender well. If it is low... It is probably leaking. If either of the coolant reservoir's have anything but pink coolant in them... Walk away.
The traction battery is not really an issue unless the miles are high. Then you are rolling the dice.
The 12 volt battery is not a big deal. They are a little expensive. But, easy to replace. It can be checked as well.
Also, have the brakes checked. Some have had problems with the rears.
I have had problems with alignment. Another thing worth checking as alignments are not cheap.
Listen for rattles and squeaks on your test drive. Some are easy to fix. Others are a nightmare.
I would be more concerned about the "overall condition" of the car. If it needs tires soon that can be a pretty big expense. Especially if you get good ones.
there are reports of squeaks, rattles on the dashboard
abs actuator problems, try to listen to buzzing sound near the passenger side of the engine, if it's taking a long time (like more than a minute) then it's about to go.
water pump at 60k
really cannot add my 2 cents to the posters initial questions, as i am a new hybrid owner myself, but all i can say it is a very fun car to drive, very well appointment interior and it has that luxurious feeling (coming from a 2005 civic sedan).
try and get one with lowest miles on the clock as possible.