2013 Toyota Camry Problems

2013 Toyota Camry problems (it’s not as reliable as you think it is)

Despite what you may have heard, Toyota doesn’t always have the best reputation for building trouble-free cars. This list of 2013 Toyota Camry problems will make you a believer.

Common issues with the 2013 Camry include hesitation during acceleration, automatic transmission failure, faulty vapor canisters, weak oil lines, unreliable electronics, and low quality paint on the exterior.

It’s not as reliable and trouble-free as you may have thought, so do be sure to have a thorough pre-purchase inspection completed by a reputable mechanic before adding one to your garage.

A closer look at the most common problems with the 2013 Toyota Camry

Based on my research, below are the most commonly reported problems with the 2013 Toyota Camry. A word of warning: it’s a pretty long list of issues.

Fuel starvation and hesitation

A common problem with the 2013 Toyota Camry is ta feeling of hesitation when accelerating. Owners report that their Camry will move a few feet forward, then hesitate for a second or two before proceeding. As you might expect, it can be highly annoying.

The worst part of this problem is that it can be dangerous while crossing busy intersections.

Why does this happen?

  • Hesitating is most likely due to an unbalanced mixture of fuel and air in the fuel management system. It may be too lean, meaning it’s not getting enough air .
  • Other possible causes are a failing mass airflow sensor or throttle position sensor, a weak fuel pump, or a dirty fuel injector. A good mechanic will be able to properly diagnose the problem.
DriveAndReveiw driving a 2013 Toyota Camry
This is me driving a 2013 Toyota Camry (thinking that I’d prefer to be driving something a lot more fun instead).

Transmission failure

Another common 2013 Toyota Camry problem is that the automatic transmission does not always shift correctly. Many owners report their transmissions not lasting 100,000 miles (which is surprisingly low for a Toyota). The worst part about this is that there doesn’t seem to be one major cause of these problems. The transmission are simply junk.

Faulty vapor canister

A faulty vapor canister is another common problem for the 2013 Camry. Code P0446 typically indicates electrical failure of the vent valve. Charcoal pellets from the vapor canister clogging the valve is the most common source of the problem.

Brake rotors that constantly warp

2013 Camry owners frequently complain about squeaky brakes, a burning rubber-like smell, jittery (inconsistent) braking, and a vibration while stopping. This is due to warped brake rotors, and it’s more common on the Camry than other vehicles in it’s class.

In addition, owners have reported clicking noises when braking. This may be an issue with the hinge mechanism of the calipers being too dry. Adding some grease to those areas may help resolve the problem, but be careful not to get any grease on the rotors or the brake pads!

Faulty engine oil lines

The 2013 Toyota Camry has been known to have oil lines that rupture, causing leakage onto the engine, the undercarriage, and the ground. Not only is this a major fire (and environmental) hazard, you could destroy your engine running it without oil.

Thankfully, this is a simple fix. Replacing the oil lines is enough to solve this problem. The best part? It’s a very inexpensive thing to do.

2013 Toyota Camry
It’s not on fire yet. I guess that’s a good sign.

Interior electronics bugs and issues

The information display screens on the 2013 Toyota Camry are known to be problematic. These screens can freeze up and disable the functions they monitor, which can be more than a little annoying. Some owners complain about the poor quality of these screens, and how difficult they are to see in certain lighting conditions.

Other known issues with the interior electronics:

  • The reverse camera has been known to fail (repeatedly) for some owners.
  • The blind spot monitoring sensor does not always detect vehicles in the blind spot (“you had one job!”)
  • The nav system is horribly out of date now, and it is notorious for giving incorrect directions.
2013 Toyota Camry interior electronics
For what it’s worth, this pic was taken back in 2014 (when all the interior electronics still worked).

Exterior quality

Surprisingly, there are numerous problems with the exterior of the 2013 Camry. I didn’t notice any of these issues when I was gathering content for my 2013 Toyota Camry review, so it seems as if these cars haven’t held up well over the years.

  • The side windows may leak water or air at higher speeds. This can also result in very annoying wind noise.
  • Owners report lots of squeaks and rattles – not typical of Toyota build quality.
  • The paint has been known to fade and peel easily.
  • There have been reports of body panels coming loose (and falling off) at high speeds. I can’t imagine this being a major issue though, as we’d be seeing this all over social media if it was the least bit common.

How many miles will a 2013 Toyota Camry last?

According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Toyota Camry can last upwards of 200,000 (or more) if you take care of it. Regular maintenance, including oil changes, will help keep your Camry in good driving condition. And remember to check those oil lines!

On a personal note, I find that number to be somewhat low. Especially considering that lower-quality cars such as the Nissan 350Z have been reported to lasting up to 300,000 miles. 

What model year is the most reliable Camry?

Despite what you have read so far, the 2012 t0 2015 Toyota Camry has received a 5/5 rating (from Olive) for overall reliability and fewer recalls compared to other model years.

Don’t worry. I’m confused about this as you may be, because I had assumed that the Camry was one of the most reliable cars on the market. Go figure.

2013 Camry at the gas station
It’s not the most exciting car, but the 2013 Camry has the potential to be halfway reliable if you take care of it.

Active recalls for the 2013 Camry

1. Failure of airbags, power steering, and air-conditioner condenser

  • The air condenser drain hose may clog and cause water to back up under the A/C unit housing. The water may leak onto the module that controls the airbags, therefore, causing it to short-circuit.
  • Due to the short circuit, airbags may or may not deploy appropriately. Both scenarios are dangerous. If the bags release spontaneously, they can cause an accident or injure the driver and passenger. The same can happen if they don’t deploy.
  • The power steering may freeze. The driver may have difficulty steering the vehicle, causing a potential wreck even at slower speeds (which would be just as embarrassing as it is dangerous).

This recall began in February 2014.

2. Problems with visibility

  • The switch assembly of the windshield wipers may short circuit and cause the wipers not to work. The driver may have trouble seeing due to the accumulation of rain on the windshield, potentially creating an accident.

This recall began in November 2013.

Should you avoid buying an older Toyota Camry?

If this list of Toyota Camry problems has you worried, it’s ok to think about considering another car. The Camry might sound like a bad choice, but it probably behooves you to talk to actual owners of these cars before you write it off for good.

Also, it helps to know that (generally) a Toyota will be a better option than nearly anything else in terms of maintenance and overall reliability. For example, I wrote a list of pros and cons of the Toyota Tacoma recently that was mostly pros – despite it having some very serious flaws. No car brand is perfect, but Toyota is about as good as it gets IMHO.

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