Q: I've been told that Toyota's campaigns have no time limit.

A: This is correct for the most part I know of only one in which there is a time limit, always check with your dealer for your vehicles status.

Q: I have heard of a recall on 97 Camrys what does it involve?

A: This is the V05 update. There about 300,000 Camrys involved in a repair that will correct a problem with the ignition key cylinder. The problem lies in that you should not be able to remove the ignition key unless the vehicle is in park, what has happened in these vehicles is that you can remove the key in any gear position. The cause is a defective key lock solenoid. You will be notified by Toyota if your Camry is involved or contact your dealer, most dealers will perform the update at your next visit, if parts are available that day. The repair should take approximately 30 minutes.

Q: I have a 93 truck with a 6 cylinder engine. I had the cylinder headgaskets replaced last year now I've heard that Toyota will be doing them again, is that the case?

A: In a word no. Toyota did not notify all the owners in the special service update and their reasoning is that they were not sure that the repair was permanent. They have learned a lot from the ones done and have come up with a better gasket set and the dealers have perfected the repair and what to look for n each engine. If you had the headgaskets replaced under warranty since Oct 96 they will not need to be replaced again unless they start leaking internally or externally.

Q: I own an 89 Toyota 4X4 with a V6 engine. I called my dealer since I heard that all the headgaskets were being replaced, they told me that mine is not involved and to call back if they start to leak. Is this a brush off since I'm not a regular customer? Paul D.

A: Calm down as Louie the lizard says "I mean no disrespect". They could have explained the complete program. Toyota is replacing a lot of headgaskets under warranty leaking or not but for V6 engines (some) 90-94's. The earlier ones 88-90 will be replaced if leaking up to 100,000 miles or 12 months from date of notification to you from Toyota. If you do not get notified then I'm not sure how that will work but in any case if you experience any coolant loss or see a leak contact a Toyota dealer for assistance in sorting it out.

Q: I took my 93 4X4 truck to a Toyota dealer for the headgasket repair. I then was told that I may need some more repairs that are not covered. Is this correct or am I being taken advantage of by the dealer? Catlin D.

A: I'm getting more and more emails about this subject. Toyota has instructed dealers is to replace the headgaskets with an improved one. If the engine has suffered a leaking headgasket then dealers are to repair whatever damage is a result of the leaking headgasket. In English this means that if your engine is just being updated and if the mileage is high it does not mean that the piston rings will be replaced since nothing internal failed, but if the headgasket leaked and there is evidence of cylinder wear then the piston rings and connecting rod bearings will be replaced. In extreme cases engine blocks or cylinder heads are being replaced due to headgasket failures. You may be asked, if noticed during repair (you know the famous "Mr. Smith this is Bob from ABC Toyota during the repair...) they notice a water pump leaking or its time for the timing belt to be replaced, these are not covered and I suggest you do it now since most of the labor is covered by the warranty repair. Spark plugs and fan belts coolant cannot be covered under warranty.

Q: I have heard of a recall of the 1994 Camry that can affect steering. How do I know if my Camry is involved and how serious is it?

A: The mailings went out to owners of Japan built 1994 Camrys about August 21,1998. You can tell if yours is involved if your vehicle serial number starts with a J. Most owners will notified within a month from that date. The recall is to check the tightness of the nut that holds the steering wheel to the steering shaft. The ones that I saw loose were in 94 and the customers brought it to our attention with a loose steering wheel. The letter Toyota sent is rather dramatic and talks of severe safety issues, believe me if it were loose you would know it, so have it attended to at your next service. The repair takes about 30 minutes and no parts are involved.

Q:My son bought a used 4Runner but he had problems with the head gasket blowing. When we called
our local Toyota dealer, we found out that that particular year and model was recalled for
that very problem and so we had it repaired for free. Less than a month later, he had problems
with the engine again and when we had it checked, they told us he needed a new engine. We
have been having some difficulty with this since my son can't afford to buy a new engine and we
have been looking for used ones.
The reason I'm writing though is that we found in talking with a couple mechanics that when the
head gasket blew, water got in the oil which in turn put antifreeze into the system. This
corroded the rod bearings and that's why we are now seeking another engine. (or something like
My question is this: Since the head gasket was under recall and because it basically ruined
parts of the engine, shouldn't Toyota be responsible for replacing the engine as well?
I don't know if you can take the responsibility for answering this, but if not, do you know who
I can either call, e-mail, or write to to find out.

A:This is something that can happen. We have seen this and we take the initiative to call Toyota on the customers behalf. You as the owner need to authorise the engine repair at least to find the cause of the problem.
If its not abuse and the engine bearings are not worn from lack of oil then Toyota will replace the block using the original heads if they are still good.
The dealer may not want to do this but if you are polite and persistent or even call the Toyota Customer Assistance line if needed it should be taken care of, if not abused.

Q: I just heard of a recall for my 95 Tacoma with an 3.4 V6 engine. Is this the same recall that has been going on for some time.

A: No this is a new one. Its called the X01 update. Most 3.4 will be affected but not all will need repair. Toyota has just started notifying the customers. If you are notified it will require an inspection to see if yours have the updated gaskets. If you do need new gaskets then Toyota will provide you with alternate transportation for the repair time. It should take about 1 day overnight at the most. Unlike the original headgasket repair this one is an external leak and no internal damage can be done. If you have 60,000 miles or more and the timing belt has not been changed this is a good time since the dealer will do it for say 1.5 hours of time or less versus the 4+ hours if the engine is together. This update involves some 96 to 97 4Runners, 95-97 T-100s and 95-97 Tacomas. Consult your local dealer for details regarding your particular vehicle.

X02 Update. This update is for the 99 4Runner and corrects some minor wiring to the vehicles computer. It involves the 99 model only and only about 1700 are affected nationwide.

X03 Update. This update involves the 98 and 99 Land Cruiser. Some models had short circuits in the trailer wiring harness that came with the vehicle. The update requires replacing the wiring harness to the better weather proof model.

X05 Update. This update involves the 96 and 97 Rav 4 with automatic tans. and 4 wheel drive only. It requires the repair or replacement of the transmission of front differential unit. The actual problem revolves from the failure of some spacer washers that keep the pinion gears in place for the front differential. Toyota feels that 17,000 models are involved. Consult your local dealer for details.