Automotive

New Camry owner, tips/upgrades/suggestions?

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  • Oct 2nd, 2017 2:50 pm
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[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario

New Camry owner, tips/upgrades/suggestions?

After much hunting, stress, uncertainty, and having every vehicle I was interested in slip away in the blink of an eye, I ended up buying a 2016 Camry SE special edition with 1600Kms on it, TCUV/CPO with full factory warranty less 5 months and that new car smell still there. I love it! Now for the fun part...

Any advice on maintenance? I'm getting different suggestions as to how often the oil should be changed and what viscosity oil to use. The dealer's oil change intervals sound way too high and I've also been reading that 0W20 oil is way too thin.

Any advantage to using premium gas in these engines? I plan to keep this car for a very long time, the dealer told me I can use premium but I'd just be burning money,

The 18" alloy wheels with bridgestone tires seem too "sporty", I'm not confident they have much grip in wet conditions or snow unlike my old Michelin harmonys. Recommendations for better all seasons or winter tires? What air pressure should I keep in the tires? advice seems to vary here too.

I'm also interested in upgrading the lights to LED, particularly the DRL, low beams, and turn signals/parking lights . From my preliminary research it sounds I need switchback LEDs for the turn signals to make them both turn signals and have that XLE DRL look too, but looking around I just find old advice and most of the suppliers are US based or shady places on ebay with poor reviews. Are there any suppliers/brands people recommend? I was reading triton V3 switchback LEDs and Philips leds for the interior/plate/trunk are recommended, but the threads on those are a bit dated and I can't find anything that sounds reasonably priced... then again I'm new to this.

The smartkey keyless entry/push button start feels unnatural but is slowly growing on me, any advice on where to store the key to prevent accidental activation of the buttons/save battery. Lots of accessories out there claiming to protect the fob but wondering if any of these are actually any good vs just carrying the fob in my pocket.

Is there a toyota approved locking gas cap? I was reading the manual and it says to only use a toyota gas cap, not sure if this is just a standard "buy OEM!" plug or of there is something special about the stock gas cap I know the gas cap door needs to be popped from inside the car, but wouldn't mind a little extra protection. Not so much against fuel theft, my concern is with sabotage - my family uses locking gas caps ever since someone put bleach and sugar in my mom's car 20 years ago, and we've had attempted tampering with a locking cap in previous years as well. As far as I can tell a Stant 10504 is the go to generic locking part.
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20 replies
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Apr 15, 2011
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aGincourt
Oil change, use whatever it says on the cap of the engine. If you really care about the car I would change it every 6 months, preferably once before and once after the winter (Ex, Right before October and right after March) or at 7k km intervals. Otherwise just go by the manual.

Use whatever gas it recommends to use. Using premium (91+) on a car that only requires 87 is a waste of money, 91 isn't necessarily "cleaner" gas, it's to prevent pre-detonation in high compression engines. Ex, a 2.0L engine making 200hp will require 91 octane but a 2.0L engine making only 130hp will just need 87,

Sporty tires should have much better grip in the wet than the average tire, the tradeoff being sporty tires (Usually labeled as (Ultra) High performance all season) are more expensive and have shorter treadlife. Can't go wrong with michelins, they make the best tires. For PSI, it's in the driver side door jamb.

If the fuel door is locked then I wouldn't bother with a fuel cap lock.
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Apr 22, 2013
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Markham
I'll try to answer everything.
M1K3Z0R wrote: Any advice on maintenance? I'm getting different suggestions as to how often the oil should be changed and what viscosity oil to use. The dealer's oil change intervals sound way too high and I've also been reading that 0W20 oil is way too thin.
Follow the owners manual. That's the best advice here.
M1K3Z0R wrote: Any advantage to using premium gas in these engines? I plan to keep this car for a very long time, the dealer told me I can use premium but I'd just be burning money,
On the 4-cylinder it is an absolute waste to use premium, zero benefit. The V6 on the other hand the fuel octane will make a small difference, you will need premium to get maximum hp than the brochure stated(all automakers got punished for listing highest possible hp numbers), but its a difference between 268 hp and 280 hp. Will you notice an extra 12 hp? If you do, then that's your answer.
M1K3Z0R wrote: The 18" alloy wheels with bridgestone tires seem too "sporty", I'm not confident they have much grip in wet conditions or snow unlike my old Michelin harmonys. Recommendations for better all seasons or winter tires? What air pressure should I keep in the tires? advice seems to vary here too.
Tire pressure is listed actually near the driver's door area. Go to the car, open the driver's door and you'll find a sticker coloured yellow and white and it will have all the tire pressure info. Upgrading the tires...that's a bit more tricky because you can't try them out, I guess it depends what you want from the tire. You can get a very sporty tire with great grip but it may suffer with worse wear, noise or something else.
M1K3Z0R wrote: I'm also interested in upgrading the lights to LED, particularly the DRL, low beams, and turn signals/parking lights . From my preliminary research it sounds I need switchback LEDs for the turn signals to make them both turn signals and have that XLE DRL look too, but looking around I just find old advice and most of the suppliers are US based or shady places on ebay with poor reviews. Are there any suppliers/brands people recommend? I was reading triton V3 switchback LEDs and Philips leds for the interior/plate/trunk are recommended, but the threads on those are a bit dated and I can't find anything that sounds reasonably priced... then again I'm new to this.
Apologies, I won't be useful regarding this aspect. Never done such a swap.
M1K3Z0R wrote: The smartkey keyless entry/push button start feels unnatural but is slowly growing on me, any advice on where to store the key to prevent accidental activation of the buttons/save battery. Lots of accessories out there claiming to protect the fob but wondering if any of these are actually any good vs just carrying the fob in my pocket.
I've always done pocket or wallet. I wouldn't buy an additional accessory for it.
M1K3Z0R wrote: Is there a toyota approved locking gas cap? I was reading the manual and it says to only use a toyota gas cap, not sure if this is just a standard "buy OEM!" plug or of there is something special about the stock gas cap I know the gas cap door needs to be popped from inside the car, but wouldn't mind a little extra protection. Not so much against fuel theft, my concern is with sabotage - my family uses locking gas caps ever since someone put bleach and sugar in my mom's car 20 years ago, and we've had attempted tampering with a locking cap in previous years as well. As far as I can tell a Stant 10504 is the go to generic locking part.
Camrys(and most Japanese vehicles) come standard with a lockable fuel door, it won't open by hand and thus you need to pull a lever or button. If they go through the effort of opening the fuel door...I don't see the locking gas cap helping.
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Aug 10, 2013
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superbrightleds is the place to go for quality leds. There are others but this, in my experience, has been the most reliable source. I havent had any issues ever with their products. They do command a premium for their products but they list lumens, dimensions, etc.
Smash that like button!
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
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ontario
get a set of steelies and snows for the winter. see if a 16 or 17" rim will fit. the tires will be less expensive compared to 18" and your sporty tires will last twice as long.
Member
Aug 18, 2017
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Pretty sure every new Toyota is 16k oil interval. Anything more is just giving more opportunity to give the dealer $.


I don't think premium is worth on any model Camry.


Congrats on the nice car!
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2009
2492 posts
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Mississauga, ON
'15 Camry XLE V6 and '10 Corolla owner here using 0W20.

I've been doing 10k intervals on my Corolla... no problems so far
[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
Thanks everyone! Really happy with the car so far, it's making me enjoy driving for a change :D

Now I just got to talk to the dealer, I can't find the security lug key anywhere in the car or spare tire compartment - didn't think of that when I bought it! live and learn.

Also, I'm a little paranoid when it comes to moonroof/sunroof and the potential for leaks. Not sure if it was always like this, but I noticed the front passenger corner gasket along the glass lifted up a bit and is showing the glass edge underneath, I've been tilting it up when it was parked in the sun the last 2 days. No leaks, but my OCD is kicking in, looks like the drain channels are doing their job and everything is clean up there. I slid the moonroof back to get a better look and the gasket is quite loose, I can press it into place by hand, and that part sits over the drip tray so water should flow around and drain out, which it appears to be doing.

Any moonroof advice? never had one, it's nice to have some more light in the cabin just don't want to have any nasty surprises. Does not using it help prevent leaks? It would seem silly to me that they would be so popular if they were as problematic as I feared.
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Think of the Childre…
Paint brake calipers to red.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Expert
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Jul 22, 2006
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Get a front strut brace
Get a dedicated winter and summer tire set

Enjoy
Member
May 17, 2017
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Waterloo
The Bridgestones suck... but not because they are too sporty. They are categorized as a Standard All Season tire meant for normal driving, and are categorized DEAD LAST as per Tire Rack.
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.js ... a+EL400-02

Bad treadlife, awful grip, ride quite poorly and get quite noisy.
Highly suggest replacing these with Michelin Premiere tires.
The Premiere have expanding and revealing rain grooves that keep wet performance the same as when they were new.
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
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Montreal
M1K3Z0R wrote: Thanks everyone! Really happy with the car so far, it's making me enjoy driving for a change :D

Now I just got to talk to the dealer, I can't find the security lug key anywhere in the car or spare tire compartment - didn't think of that when I bought it! live and learn.

Also, I'm a little paranoid when it comes to moonroof/sunroof and the potential for leaks. Not sure if it was always like this, but I noticed the front passenger corner gasket along the glass lifted up a bit and is showing the glass edge underneath, I've been tilting it up when it was parked in the sun the last 2 days. No leaks, but my OCD is kicking in, looks like the drain channels are doing their job and everything is clean up there. I slid the moonroof back to get a better look and the gasket is quite loose, I can press it into place by hand, and that part sits over the drip tray so water should flow around and drain out, which it appears to be doing.

Any moonroof advice? never had one, it's nice to have some more light in the cabin just don't want to have any nasty surprises. Does not using it help prevent leaks? It would seem silly to me that they would be so popular if they were as problematic as I feared.
They all leak, even brand new ones, just wipe the drain channel and track clean every once in a while so the drain tube doesn't clog.
[OP]
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Debtario
Cheapo-Findo wrote: Paint brake calipers to red.
LOL... my mom actually suggested that too, but the red might clash with the blue underglow and gull wing doors.J/K, I think the factory spoiler is about as sporty as I'm willing to go here.
george__ wrote: Get a front strut brace
Get a dedicated winter and summer tire set

Enjoy
Do strut braces actually make a difference for daily driving or longevity of the suspension system? I drive like a grandma (serious) and find the steering/handling beautiful as is compared to my mom's oldsmobile, though pretty much anything is an upgrade in comparison I guess.
AstulzerRSX wrote: The Bridgestones suck... but not because they are too sporty. They are categorized as a Standard All Season tire meant for normal driving, and are categorized DEAD LAST as per Tire Rack.
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.js ... a+EL400-02

Bad treadlife, awful grip, ride quite poorly and get quite noisy.
Highly suggest replacing these with Michelin Premiere tires.
The Premiere have expanding and revealing rain grooves that keep wet performance the same as when they were new.
Yeah I figured they would suck just from looking at them, but I'll give them a chance. I'm not sure what to do for the winter yet, I'm considering keeping the car in the garage for winter so I can keep it pristine... but that feels stupid since I got the car because I can't stand the other car and I'd likely be trading corrosion for mice damage. I also want to learn how to change my own tires, sounds simple just need the knowledge and tools to do it (breaker bar or impact wrench, torque wrench, jack, wheel chocks, put lugs on in a star pattern?). Like I said I'm new at this, my previous car was really my mom's and she insisted on having the "pros" take care of everything so it was hands off... but that's how it has been kept running in for as long as it has.
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Jr. Member
Aug 23, 2017
109 posts
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Quebec
+1 on the suggestion to buy down-sized (probably 16") winter tires installed on black steelies - you'll get much better traction in winter, there's very little extra cost over the long-term (as your summer tires will last longer), and you'll protect your summer wheels from the cold and ice. Other than that, keep the car reasonably clean in the winter and it'll be fine over the long-term. I like to get my car sprayed with anti-rust every year, but others aren't so keen. It's your choice.

Don't go for too many modifications, only change the lights if you really find that the original equipment is insufficient - otherwise you're wasting your money. Good tires are always a good investment, if you don't like your summer tires then you can get some Michelins and sell your old tires on kijiji. I wouldn't waste your money on buying equipment for changing tires/wheels yourself, you'll only use it twice a year and it will be cheaper and much less effort to get it done by a mechanic.

For maintenance, always follow the manufacturer's instructions in the handbook, simple as that. And don't waste your money on premium fuel, regular is what your car needs, it cannot take advantage of a higher octane so you'd be throwing your money down the drain.

Enjoy your car!
Member
May 17, 2017
294 posts
190 upvotes
Waterloo
I don't think you'll notice much a difference with the strut bar during daily driving, especially if it's not a V6 car.

As to keeping it pristine in the winter, there are a couple things you can do.
- Regular car wash with underbody spray to get rid of the salt
- Krown rust protection?
- Clear bra on the front, which is helpful if you do a lot of highway driving regardless of the season
Sr. Member
Jun 12, 2016
638 posts
275 upvotes
Mississauga
+1 for winter tires. Just ordered mine this week ('12 Camry Hybrid) for 16" plus black steel rims.
[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
Is there a reason people go with black steel rims other than cost? I was hoping to find some decent looking alloy rims if the price is right, perhaps even from an avalon or other toyota model if someone were getting rid of theirs.

I'm new to tires/wheels, but doesn't putting a smaller diameter rim make my car ride lower? or is the difference made up by a beefy winter tire? The bottom of my front end already has less clearance than I'd like, I don't want to use it to plow snow!

I have to talk with my dealership again, I thoroughly washed my car last week and found 5 spots on the paint that look like defects in the paint itself, small white circles that look like faded paint under the clear coat. Should have gone over the entire body with a magnifying glass and used it to haggle a deeper discount, D'OH! Otherwise loving the car so far
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May 1, 2012
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Markham
M1K3Z0R wrote: Is there a reason people go with black steel rims other than cost? I was hoping to find some decent looking alloy rims if the price is right, perhaps even from an avalon or other toyota model if someone were getting rid of theirs.

I'm new to tires/wheels, but doesn't putting a smaller diameter rim make my car ride lower? or is the difference made up by a beefy winter tire? The bottom of my front end already has less clearance than I'd like, I don't want to use it to plow snow!

I have to talk with my dealership again, I thoroughly washed my car last week and found 5 spots on the paint that look like defects in the paint itself, small white circles that look like faded paint under the clear coat. Should have gone over the entire body with a magnifying glass and used it to haggle a deeper discount, D'OH! Otherwise loving the car so far
It's just cost. Also it's winter, and no one really cares what wheels you have. But if it makes yourself happy then go for it.

Remember to get an aftermarket intake, maybe a Stage2-3 APR, and tint those windows.

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