Toyota Repair/Interior Electrical
QUESTION: Hi Ted,
I have a 2012 Camry XLE 4 cylinder with a sunroof that I purchased on Dec 11, 2011. I had the car into the Toyota dealership from which I purchased the car in the first three years for two issues recurring issues multiple times.
One was a rattling in roof. After pulling down headliner and tearing apart the interior two times, they determined it was a loose windshield “stop block” and one other thing.
The same dealer worked on the sunroof several times each year for a squeaking and rattling noise that would not go away. They kept rubbing some type of fluid on the rubber seal in the roof to reduce the sound.
After they worked on the sunroof a few times, I had a problem with the sunroof controls. I’d be driving down the road and the sunroof would go from a tilt to a completely open position without me touching a button. I was visiting my hometown so I shared the matter with that Toyota dealership. The service manager said that when the folks who worked on it in Lebanon PA, where I bought the car, they may have not “initiated” the switch when they removed it last time they worked on the car. (All of this happened while in warranty.) This Lebanon dealer did not offer to replace the sunroof.
I told the Lebanon PA dealer, Diamond Toyota, that the switch on the sunroof did not sound right when pressing the button for tilt. They did not agree. I could hear an electrical sound being made that should not be made.
Oh, this same dealer installed the shim fix after reinstalling the sunroof, and 6 months later all the shims fell out! That was when I stopped going to see this Toyota dealer.
When nearing the end of the 3-year warranty, the sunroof was still not working so I went to another dealer. This dealer seemed to have their act together. They could not fix the original sunroof in the car so they replaced it at the tail end of the warranty Dec 2014. Sunroof was very quiet as of Jan 2015.
I only used the sunroof a few times in the spring and only the tilt option with no noise. Did not use the sunroof in the summer of this year. Then in the fall, I started to use it a couple of times in September.. The tilt open would tilt correctly, but the close tilt button was dead! I had to press and hold and push up more than normal for it to close. The next time I used the button the next day, I had to keep tapping the close button to get it to close the tilt. The dealer said I had a “short” in the sunroof switch and needed to replace the whole switch for $210. (3 year warranty expired in Dec of 2014)
Something else that was periodically going on was my rear interior lights would not always come on with the interior front lights when turning off the motor or unlocking the car. Then the rear interior lights would not turn out, even when I locked the car. I could just tap the switch on the rear interior lights a few times to get them to turn off. The front interior lights would not go out even when hitting the manual kill switch on the lights. So I pulled down that switch assembly to remove the bulbs from the front headliner.
I removed the connector from the front interior lights and sunroof switch today because the rear lights would not go out even when the motor was off and I locked the car. I was hoping that would kill the power back to the rear lights, but no luck. I did not see an easy way to remove the bulbs from the rear lamp holder after I removed it from the ceiling. I was very tempted to just cut one of the wires because by now I am really frustrated with this car.
Why are those rear lights and the front interior lights not automatically turning off? Why do they stay on when I drive somewhere for 15 minutes?
Thanks for reading through all of this, Ted.
ANSWER: Hello, you seem to have had more problems than usual with this car and all electrical, after visiting several dealers the moonroof was finally fixed and the current issue seems to be with the interior lights, the time delay for those lights is controlled by the body control ecu which is located at the left lower dash where the fuses are, this control module is kind of expensive to replace, sometimes water can enter through a leaking windshield or sunroof that is not sealing properly, this causes corrosion inside the body control ecu, from what you are telling me there seems to be a malfunction with this component. Other than removing bulbs or cutting wires there's not much choice, you may have to visit a dealer that is willing to diagnose this, they may come to the same conclusion as I have.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Ted,
You hit the nail on the head when you said I "seem to have had more problems than usual with this car." My last Camry had 1 teeny tiny small rust issue on the rear trunk nameplate during the first 4 years of ownership! I've had more problems in the first 4 years of this 2012 XLE than I had in the first 8 years of my last Camry which was an LE!
Its annoying to not have interior lights in a new car and need to carry a flashlight!
Is there a useful caring Toyota customer support line I can call about all of these issues, especially if the body ECU needs replaced?
Ever since I owned the new car, the rear interior lights never came on regularly unless I used the manual switch. Sometimes they would come on without touching them! Most of the time the lights did not light when they should, but since I never sit in the back I did not care at the time.
Should the Interior lights in both the front and back come on for a short time every time the car is started or shut off?
The sunroof does have a "rattling sound" again that is more noticeable than before the sunroof was replaced. Keeping the roof panel closed and turning on the radio hides the sound, but its annoying to have a rattle again.
How often does a sunroof tilt switch develop an "open" in the circuit in 3 years and 8 months with only 30K miles on a car?
I'm wondering if all the times the interior was torn apart to address the rattle in the windshield and the sunroof issues if that helped created some of these problems?
Sorry for all the questions, but I hope you have time to share an answer for them all.
Hello, about the body ecu issue, before calling Toyota's customer service you will have to get a dealer to verify that it is the problem, once that is accomplished they can get authorization to replace it from the regional office (since it's out of warranty) they may do this or decide not to or offer some offer in compromise.
Or you can call them first and list all the complaints you have mentioned here, due to the relatively low mileage they may offer some assistance.
One word of caution, if the car has been in any kind of collision or had body repair done it voids the warranty on electrical issues anyway.
Please go to: Toyota.com and follow the instructions how to contact the correct department either via email or direct phone call.