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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Toyota Tech -
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14049
Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Toyota Diagnostics
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Toyota camry: I have a 2000 Toyota Camry with 54,000 miles

Customer Question

I have a 2000 Toyota Camry with 54,000 miles on it.

In June I had it in to a Toyota dealer for maintenance and various gaskets and seals and belts were replaced.

Since then the "check engine" light comes on; stays on a few days then goes off;
on again for a week; then off. Now on again.

What is happening???
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 11 months ago.
Hello! Welcome to the site! Thanks for coming! I'm Ron Z. I'm here to provide as much info and insight as I can, to best answer your question.

From what you are describing here, it sounds like you have an intermittant problem in the EVAP (emissions control/recovery) System. When the Check Engine light comes on, this is the on-board computer's way of telling you it sees a problem in one of the monitored systems. Unfortunately, there are literally 100's of parts and sensors monitored in various systems, and to take a "guess" as to which part/sensor in which system is faulty, is virtually impossible. However, if you are not experiencing any drivability issues such as skipping, stalling, shifting problems, etc, then more than likely, the problem is going to lie in the EVAP (emissions control/recovery) system. Very commonly, this could be a faulty, loose or missing fuel cap or even putting fuel in while the vehicle is running can set the light. Check the underside of the fuel cap for any cracks or signs of defects that may keep the cap from sealing correctly. If there are any doubts about the inspection of the cap, replace it. Keep in mind, you will need a cap that meets OE Specs. Those "universal" or "locking" fuel caps sold at after market parts stores do not meet OE specs, and will not seal the system correctly. Check the top of the fuel filler neck for any signs of damage or debris. Check under the vehicle, around the rear areas of the vehicle, looking for any vacuum lines that have dry-rot cracks, holes or loose/missing connections. If these all check out, then the best thing to do at this point is to have the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (aka "p-codes") read from the on-board computer. These p-codes are what is used as a "starting point" for the diagnosis and will tell which part/sensor, in which system, has the fault. There isn't a Mechanic on the planet that can tell you what is wrong with the vehicle just by "looking" at the Engine Light. Every single Mechanic's first course of action WILL be to obtain the p-codes. It's standard diagnostic procedure. Once you get these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and then make the correct repair. You can have these p-codes read FREE (except in California) at any local "big chain" part store (ie. AutoZone, PepBoys, Advanced, etc).
Ron Z., - Toyota Tech -
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14049
Experience: 18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Toyota Diagnostics
Ron Z. and 2 other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. I will check the gas cap and line then find an Auto Zone.

Expert:  Ron Z. replied 11 months ago.
This is the most cost-effective way to begin. Once you have the codes, bring them back here to me, and I can help you determine the root of the problem, and then help you with the repair, give you an estimate on what it "should" cost to repair, or any other help/advice/questions you need!

Glad I could be of some help today! Have a great day!

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