Author Archives: Rob

Toyota Camry Engine Vibration – Solved

The new upper engine mount / anchor on my 2009 Toyota Camry

I have a 2009 Toyota Camry that has had annoying vibration when it is in drive or reverse and the car is stopped.  It has about 120k miles and I’ve had the problem for at least 3 or 4 years, or about 30k miles, and it has been getting worse.  I spent a lot of time looking for the advice on Toyota forums and they were not very helpful.  I believe I have finally found the solution, which is pretty easy and inexpensive, and I want to share it.

I replaced the engine mount / anchor located on the top right-side of the motor.  The part cost about $25 and it took 15-minutes to install.  It got rid of about 75-80% of the vibration and I’m pretty happy with that.  Eliminating the rest of the vibration is probably going to require replacing the other three engine mounts, which doesn’t look easy.  The mounting bolts are located in awkward places and it seems likely, from the the videos I’ve watched, that the mounting bolts will be difficult to loosen.  The Camry has become my winter car so I’m not going to worry about it for now.

The part that I replaced is not really an engine mount but an anchor that keeps the engine from rocking forward or backward too much. Someone claimed that replacing this part regularly will keep the other engine mounts from wearing out and I’m inclined to believe he is right.  So I’m going to be replacing it every 50-60k miles if I keep this car.

This YouTube VIDEO shows how to replace all the engine mounts and it is the best one that I’ve found.

Some reviewers on Amazon said that cheap versions of this part may not fix the vibration or last very long, so I wanted to buy a high quality part.  But I was unwilling to buy it from the dealership because it cost $125 and was not in stock.  The mounts I found on Amazon were made/sold by companies that I’d never heard of and none of them had a large number of positive reviews so they were all a big gamble.

I eventually found that Amazon sold a mount from Beck Arnley, a well-known company, for about $25 and I ordered it.  Installing it only took 15 minutes and only required removing two 14mm bolts.  The bolt on the strut was stubborn and so I ended up using a 1/2-inch-drive socket and a breaker bar for better leverage.

The hardest thing about this repair was finding the part. Amazon is usually my first stop for everything but I’ve learned from buying BMW parts that it’s usually not the best place for car parts. You can usually find much better prices elsewhere, and if a part is cheaper then it’s likely to be of poor quality and manufactured and sold by unknown companies. Also, many inexpensive items are cheaper to buy at your local auto parts store because the price doesn’t include “free” prime shipping.

I buy most of my BMW from FCP Euro. They almost always have better prices than Amazon and they only sell parts made by the original manufacturers (OEM) or genuine BMW parts. The offer free shipping on orders of $50 or more and their parts come with a lifetime guarantee which I’ve used. A pair of $70 front control arm bushings didn’t last and they replaced them. I just had to pay $11 to send the old ones back.

But they only sell parts for European cars. So if you know of a similar good online vendor of Toyota parts please tell me in the comments.

This Camry has had more problems than my last one, which was nearly trouble free for 250k miles. It still has a driver side window that sometimes and I haven’t been able to learn how to fix it yet.

“Paintless” Dent Repair in Rochester NY

The dent caused by a shopping cart before it was fixed using Paintless Dent Repair techniques. There’s a sharp dent to the right of the “i” and a much larger area is also pushed in. A picture showing the repaired dent is further below.

Paintless dent repair (PDR) can often fix even severe dents in your car for much less money than than the traditional method, which is to take your car to a body shop and let them pull, pound and grind the dent until it’s better, fill it with body filler, sand it, and then repaint the area or panel. I’m no expert, but fixing even small dents that way seems to be very expensive and there’s a good chance that the new paint won’t match perfectly.

The goal of PDR is to remove the dent without damaging the car’s original paint, which means you won’t have to repaint the car, which is why it’s “paintless”  and therefore much less expensive. Those who specialize in this type of repair use a wide variety of techniques to push or pull the dent until it’s completely gone or unnoticeable.

Someone left their shopping cart so that it rolled into my beloved BMW Z4 and caused a large dent, even though I parked at the far end of Costco’s parking lot where I thought that couldn’t happen. I asked the owner of the shop that works on my BMWs to recommend a body shop and he strongly suggested I take it to “The Dent Guy of Rochester” instead.

So I did, and in less than a day Dan Rechichi fixed my shopping cart dent and another very small one for $378, including tax. As you can see from the photo below he completely got rid of it.

Here’s my car after Dan, The Dent Guy, fixed a dent using Paintless Dent Repair techniques. It looks perfect. He’s located in Rochester NY.

Dan has a lot of experience and skill and he will be the one working on your car if you bring it to him. I think that is very important, especially if you have a car that’s a classic, exotic or just really important to you. I’ve looked at PDR videos on YouTube and it doesn’t look like something you can quickly get good at. Dan has been doing it for about 9 years and before that he did traditional auto body repair. He has a total of 29 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Dan is very friendly and easy to talk to and so is his brother Mike, who answers the phones. His very clean and well organized shop is located at 1184 Emerson Street, just west of Mt. Read Boulevard, in Rochester NY. Estimates are free and the cost to fix a small dent starts at $150 and large dents start at $500. If you look at the pictures on the The Dent Guy’s website you’ll see that he can fix some very large and complex dents. Sometimes the paint is damaged when a car, or motorcycle, is dented and Dan can also often fix that.

If you vehicle gets dented then the first thing I would do is go to The Dent Guy for a free estimate and see if Dan can fix it. By the way, he did not know that I was going to write this review.