11 Common Toyota Camry Hybrid Problems (Explained)

The Toyota Camry Hybrid was first introduced in 2007 offering more room than the Prius and better fuel economy than the regular Camry.

Over the years, it’s proven to be a very reliable vehicle with many being used as taxi cabs and logging hundreds of thousands of miles without missing a beat.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Camry Hybrid’s common problems and their solutions.

1. Excessive Oil Consumption

Older models of the Camry Hybrid are prone to excessive oil consumption issues and owners have to routinely top up their oil in between oil changes. 

This issue is more common in the 2007 to 2011 model years, but the following generation of the Camry Hybrid from 2012 to 2017 can also suffer from similar issues at much higher mileages.

Oil consumption also affects the non-hybrid models equipped with 4-cylinder engines.

Here’s how owners on ToyotaNation.com described their problems:

“I’ve got an 07 camry hybrid with 255k miles. I’ve had it for a few years now and I periodically have to top off the oil. There’s no puddles of oil in my parking space at home and Valvoline says they don’t see a leak. I’ve not noticed any smoke from the tailpipe and no smell of burning oil. It seems to get worse when I use the heater. I topped off the oil a month ago, and just a couple days ago it was already down 3 quarts.”

“I have a 2007 Camry hybrid – it burns about 2 qt every 5K miles. The car has about 200K miles now.”

“My 2013 Camry HV burns around a quart every 2500 miles, it has 126k on the clock.”

The excessive oil consumption is caused by a defective piston ring design that allowed oil to reach the combustion chamber where it would eventually get burned up.

Toyota eventually extended the warranty for the 2007 to 2011 Camry Hybrid to 10 years or 150,000 miles and replaced the piston rings and connecting rods with updated parts to fix the oil consumption issues.

Getting this repair, which is essentially a complete engine rebuild, done out of warranty will cost several thousand dollars.

In a lot of cases, owners just regularly check their oil and top it up whenever necessary. 

The oil consumption doesn’t really affect the drivability of the vehicle. As long as the engine always has enough oil, it can continue to run for hundreds of thousands of miles.  

Using thicker oil also helps reduce the oil consumption problem.

2. Hybrid Battery Failure

Over time, the Camry’s hybrid battery, also known as a traction battery, will have significant degradation and will need to be replaced.

When it comes to long-term battery health, age will always have a greater impact than mileage, so most Camry Hybrids that are around 10 years or older will likely need a new traction battery if they haven’t already been replaced.

Symptoms of a faulty hybrid battery include:

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Battery charge bar drops to empty
  • Check Hybrid System error
  • Check engine light
  • Red master warning light

In addition, the NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries found in older Camry Hybrids don’t last as long as the Lithium batteries found in the 2018 and newer models.

It’s also important to note that only the LE trim was equipped with a lithium battery from 2018 to 2019. Starting with the 2020 model year, all trim levels of the Camry Hybrid came with a Lithium-ion hybrid battery.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“I have 2012 Camry Hybrid just hit 150k miles. Last month, I was driving and got check hybrid system warning and check engine light, brake system system warning light, and master warning light. The car kept driving on gas motor only. It uses the hybrid system to start the car but never when driving, I read the code, it was 7E8 and 7EA, replace hybrid EV battery pack.” 

“My 2007 Camry Hybrid with 113K – hybrid battery just quit – and Toyota wants $5K to replace it!”

“I have 09 Toyota Camry Hybrid (130K Miles) and I’m getting all the warning lights on my dashboard. I scan the code and it’s telling me to replace the hybrid Battery which is pretty expensive.”

Getting a new traction battery from a dealership will cost around $4,000. You can also get aftermarket refurbished batteries installed for around $2,000.

There are also hybrid specialists who can rebuild or rebalance the original hybrid battery for around $600.

If the battery isn’t completely dead, you can still keep driving the car even with the errors and lower fuel economy. However, since the Camry Hybrid doesn’t have a starter and needs the traction battery to start the engine, you will eventually need to replace it to keep it on the road.

3. Brake Actuator Issues

The 2007 to 2011 Camry Hybrid can suffer from brake actuator failures which can end up being very expensive to repair.

The ABS brake actuator keeps the braking system pressurized even if the engine barely runs. It builds up pressure in an accumulator to ensure that there’s always adequate stopping power whenever it’s needed.

Failures are more common in the 2007 to 2009 model years, but can also affect newer sixth generation Camry Hybrids.

Common symptoms of a worn brake actuator in the Camry Hybrid include:

  • Brake actuator constantly runs even after turning off car
  • Whirring or buzzing noise
  • Noise when stepping on brakes
  • Reduced braking performance
  • Spongy brake pedal 
  • ABS, brake system and VSC warning lights

Here’s how owners on ToyotaNation.com described their experience:

“My 2007 Camry Hybrid, with 170,000 miles on it, has just had a VSC error. The problem was the brake actuator has died. The repair is about $3,000.”

“My 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid started experiencing an error message displayed on dash, “Check VSC System”, additionally all the indicator lights on the dash lit up…  I have an OBD2 reader and the fault code was C1391… I took the Camry to Toyota to repair it. They did a diagnostic test ($109) to tell me what I already told them regarding the code. I knew that was the brake actuator assembly problem. They gave me a quote of $1895 for part and tax and an additional $340 plus tax for labor.” 

The Camry Hybrid’s brake actuator was updated for the 2010 and newer model years to reduce the number of premature failures. However, these newer parts can still fail due to age, as well as wear and tear.

Toyota also extended the warranty of the brake actuator to 10 years or 150,000 miles for the 2007 to 2011 Camry Hybrid. 

A new brake actuator is quite expensive at around $1,000. After replacing the actuator, you’ll also need to bring it to the dealer or a Toyota specialist to properly bleed the braking system. 

Related: 17 Best & Worst Toyota Camry Hybrid Years (Pictures & Stats)

4. Melting Dashboard

The dashboards of the 2007 to 2011 Camry Hybrid have a tendency to deteriorate even before they hit the 10-year mark.

It can start off looking just a little shiny, but when it’s hot outside, it will eventually become extremely sticky, and the material comes off.

It’s also a fairly common issue in the non-hybrid version of the sixth generation Camry, as well as in many other Toyota models from the mid-2000s.   

Here’s how owners describe their issue on ToyotaNation.com:

“I recently bought a 2007 TCH with 49K miles on it. Apparently, the previous owner didn’t know about the dash cover replacement warranty that ended last year, so the dash is sticky, scratched and has a dime-sized gouge out of it.” 

“I was quoted close to $3000 to have mine replaced last year and I declined. Mine is not actually gooey yet, but it is coming apart in small chunks.”

Toyota extended the warranty for the Camry’s dashboard to 10 years and replaced the dashboards free of charge on many models regardless of the mileage.

If you weren’t able to take advantage of the warranty extension, you can try looking for a used dashboard that’s still in good condition.

You might be able to find one online or from your local junkyard. Replacing the old dashboard isn’t too difficult, but it will take quite some time.

Of course, you can also just cover it up with a dash mat, which would also be the easiest and cheapest option.

5. A/C Issues

A/C evaporator leaks are a fairly common problem in older Camry Hybrids from 2007 to 2011.

When the air conditioning system runs out of refrigerant, you won’t get any cold air coming out of the vents.

If the system keeps running while low on refrigerant, it can also eventually damage the A/C compressor.

This can be a very costly repair if you have it done at the dealer because the whole dashboard has to be removed to get to the evaporator.

Here’s how owners on ToyotaNation.com described their experience:

“I need to replace the AC Evaporator core in the dash of my 2008 Camry Hybrid.”

“It looks like my Camry Hybrid’s evaporator core has developed a leak and I’ll pull the dash and replace it.”

“I had to remove my entire dashboard and disassemble everything along the way to get to a leaky evaporator core in my 09 Camry Hybrid.”

Getting the evaporator replaced at a Toyota dealership can easily cost $2,000 to $3,000 because of all the labor that’s involved.

An experienced mechanic should be able to repair it for around $1,000, which includes parts and labor.

If you only have a small leak and the A/C is just not getting as cold as it used to, you can also just recharge the refrigerant as a temporary fix.

6. Water Pump Leak

Older Camry Hybrids from 2007 to 2011 had issues with premature water pump leaks.

Water pump leaks would often appear soon after the car hit 50,000 miles. Although water pumps are considered wear and tear items, it’s not normal for them to start leaking after only a couple of years.

When the seventh generation Camry Hybrid was introduced in 2012, Toyota started using an electric water pump instead of a belt driven one.

This electric water pump was more durable, but it will still eventually start having issues and leaks as they get older.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“I bought my ’09 Camry Hybrid from a crap dealer in 2018. I went to another Toyota dealer a week after… and they discovered I had no coolant. It turns out the water pump was bad… I replaced the water pump with an OEM Toyota water pump myself and had no issues until last year, where it started leaking again from the weep hole, after only 40,000 miles of use.”

“My 2007 Camry Hybrid’s water pump began leaking at 58,000 miles- right before the powertrain warranty expired. It was replaced with another OEM part that’s been fine ever since.”

“My 2007 Hybrid is holding up really well. In eight years and 120,000 miles, the only part that failed was a leaky water pump.”

“I just got a 2012 Camry Hybrid, and about a month after ownership, I get a P261B for the water pump, which has been replaced.”

A new OEM water pump costs around $300 and isn’t too difficult to install. Dealers and independent mechanics might charge you an additional 1 to 2 hours for labor.

It’s also important to note that the hybrid battery has its own cooling system that uses a separate pump.

If the pump fails or the system runs out of coolant, the hybrid system will overheat and shut down. When this happens, you’ll see a warning that says ‘Check Hybrid System.’

It’s important to regularly check the coolant reservoirs for both the engine and hybrid system to avoid running into expensive repairs down the road.

7. Oil Leaks

Like any other car, the Camry Hybrid can also develop oil leaks as the engine’s seals and gaskets wear out over time.

Some of the more common oil leaks include:

  • Valve cover
  • Oil pan
  • Timing cover
  • Rear main seal

In many cases, the leaks only cause minor weeping and don’t result in significant oil loss.

If you notice that oil is dripping on the ground, you’ll probably want to get it checked out by an experienced mechanic. 

Here’s how owners on ToyotaNation.com described their experience:

“We have 2015 Camry Hybrid and had oil leaking. Mechanic says repair oil pan gasket. Not leaking any more, so far.”

“120k miles, and noticed for a couple years an oil dampness shows every couple of years by the front valve cover and timing cover. It gets a thin layer of dirt, soot on it so it really doesn’t look oil.”

“I have a 2014 Camry Hybrid with 124k miles that is leaking oil from the rear main seal. I was quoted about $2,300 to fix it.”

Valve cover and oil pan leaks are quite easy to fix and aren’t really huge problems.

However, resealing the timing cover can be rather expensive because the labor involved is similar to doing a timing chain job, since the top and front part of the engine has to come off.

Timing cover leaks are fairly common because Toyota uses FIPG (Form In Place Gasket) which is basically just sealant that can easily degrade after a few years.

Replacing the rear main seal also requires a lot of work since the transmission has to be disconnected from the engine to gain access to the seal.

If the leak doesn’t cause too much oil loss, you can just keep topping up the oil whenever the dipstick reads a bit low to avoid spending thousands of dollars for the repair.

8. Steering Issues 

A number of 2018 Camry Hybrids develop issues where the steering wheel becomes stiffer and harder to turn.

Stiff steering and intermittent loss of power steering can also affect older high mileage Camry Hybrids from 2007 to 2011. 

Owners of older Camry Hybrids from 2007 to 2017 have also had issues where the steering starts clunking during turns.

Here’s how owners described their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“My steering is very hard to turn (it is manageable as I got used to it, but whenever someone new drives my car, they say it is very hard to turn.”

“My steering is now much harder to turn at 68,000 miles.” 

“I moved my 2008 w-125K Camry Hybrid out to the street yesterday morning and when moving it into driveway the P/S light was on and the steering was so hard I could hardly move the wheel.”

“The electric power steering on my Camry Hybrid 2007 loses its power. The steering becomes stiff intermittently and randomly, and then goes back to normal.”

“Have a 2012 Camry Hybrid LE 140k miles, exhibiting a symptom I’ve never experienced. When coming to a stop, particularly if the wheel is turned even slightly, the steering will clunk one time at around 5 MPH.”

“2012 Camry hybrid xle. Ever so slight bump feel in steering coming out of turn. Car has 110,000 miles. This started around 90-95k. Just sometimes coming out of a turn either left or right but more right due to onramps and driving pattern.”

The stiff steering issues in the 2018 Camry Hybrid and the clunking in the 2007 to 2017 models are often caused by a faulty intermediate steering shaft.

To address the steering issues, Toyota extended the warranty for the intermediate steering shaft of the 2018 Camry Hybrid to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

The steering shaft normally costs around $600 if you have to get it replaced out of warranty.

For the 2007 to 2017 Camry Hybrid, the clunking is usually a symptom of lubrication problems. 

Early model years of the seventh generation Camry Hybrid had issues where the oil dripped down onto the floor mats.

In a lot of cases, owners simply applied some grease on the shaft and the clunking went away.

For the much older sixth generation Camry Hybrid from 2007 to 2011, the intermittent loss of power steering is likely caused by issues with the electric power steering components such as the EPS module, sensors or the motor itself.

To properly identify which part is faulty, it’s best to have it diagnosed at a dealership or by an experienced mechanic. 

In some cases, the EPS system may just need to be recalibrated. If it happens to be an issue with the EPS hardware and you want to save money on repairs, you can also look for used parts online and have them installed by your mechanic.

Related: 9 Most Common Toyota Camry Problems (Explained)

9. Stuck Brakes

The brake calipers of the 2007 to 2011 model years of the Camry Hybrid have a tendency to get stuck due to lack of lubrication.

Common symptoms include:

  • Noise when reversing
  • Uneven brake pad wear
  • Warped brake rotors

In a lot of cases, it’s usually the rear brakes that have issues, but it can also affect the front brakes.

Here’s how owners described their issues on ToyotaNation.com:

“When going down hills/using the brakes I can hear something rubbing and also when I return home and back into my driveway you can hear something rubbing.”

“I have an 07 Camry hybrid. Front passenger side brake engages slightly at speed. Heating up the rotor and killing the gas mileage.”

“I thought the brakes would last forever on my 07 hybrid but then I failed inspection this spring at 100k mi. Pads were hardly worn but the inside surface of both front rotors was rusted for about 1/2″ inward around the outer edge, leaving only about 1″ wide swath where pad was touching. Outside surface of rotors looked perfect. yep, the slide pins were stuck; grease mostly dried out.”

To fix the brake issues and make your brake components last longer, you’ll have to remove and lubricate the brake caliper slide pins every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.

10. Sensitive Brakes

A number of eighth generation Camry Hybrid owners have issues with the brakes being too sensitive or grabby when driving at slower speeds.

This makes braking smoothly really difficult when you’re parking or slowing down and makes the car feel jerky even if you’re just lightly stepping on the brake pedal.

The touchy or grabby brakes typically affects the 2018 model year the most, but other model years can also have similar problems.

Here’s how owners described their issues on ToyotaNation.com:

“I always thought that the brakes were touchy on my ‘13 TCH but man, this ‘18 TCH is really touchy!”

“I think my 2021 LE Hybrid has grabby slow speed brakes too. They are manageable but touchier than I would like them to be.”

“I have a 2020 LE Hybrid and I have noticed that too. I still am on my first tank of fuel but I notice that when I am braking for a stop that the last few feet can be hard to brake smoothly.”

“My 2018 TCH has over 110k miles and it’s been grabby and touchy since the day we bought it. THis only happens at low speed maneuvering.”

Toyota eventually released a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) for the 2018 models of the Camry Hybrid that recommends updating the brake ECU software to address the overly sensitive brakes.

The TSB was only released in 2020 so even newer cars might still have the older brake software.

If you have a newer Camry Hybrid that has sensitive brakes, it’s still worth visiting your dealer so they can check whether your car has the latest software. They might also be able to adjust the brakes to make them less grabby. 

11. Grill Shutter Issues

The eighth generation Camry Hybrid from 2018 onwards has an active grill shutter that can suffer from mechanical failures and cause error messages to appear.

These active grille shutters open and close on their own to control the airflow for the car’s cooling systems and reduce drag at higher speeds.

Since the shutters are located on the lower half of the front bumper, debris can get caught in the flaps and cause them to get stuck.

When the car detects that the shutters are not opening or closing normally, you’ll get an error message about a malfunction in the grill shutter system.

Here’s how a few owners on ToyotaNation.com described their experience;

“I have 2018 Camry XLE Hybrid with 6K miles. This morning, I got check engine light with following message: A malfunction in the Grill Shutter System has been detected.”

“I got the “Grille Shutter Malfunction” error message today in my 2018 Camry Hybrid LE with 41,000 miles. The car is driven in Southern California, so not a particularly extreme climate. I checked the grille and there is no debris or obvious damage.”

“The grill shutter warning activated 2 days ago, in my 2019 Camry Hybrid. The hybrid engine is not involved here, it is just that some kids playing around put rocks and sticks into the grille.” 

Before taking your car to the dealer, you should check the grille for any rocks or debris that may be getting in the way.

Giving the front of the car a thorough wash can also dislodge any built up debris that you can’t easily see.

In some cases, the shutter assembly or the grill actuator may need to be replaced. These typically cost around $200 to $300 a piece.

Toyota Camry Hybrid Pros & Cons


  • Outstanding reliability
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Great fuel economy
  • Roomy interior 
  • Quiet and comfortable ride
  • Affordable
  • Good resale value


  • Lackluster handling
  • Oil consumption in older models
  • No all-wheel drive

What Do The Reviews Say?

“The 2024 Toyota Camry Hybrid is an efficiency all-star. According to the EPA, the LE gets 52 mpg in combined city/highway driving. That’s excellent for a midsize hybrid sedan.”

“There’s goodness in broad swaths with the Camry Hybrid. The sedan’s power is decent in day-to-day use. In our testing, we measured a 0-60 mph time of about 8 seconds, which is slightly better than average for a midsize hybrid sedan.”

“Our only nitpick is the XLE Hybrid’s ride comfort. It’s great around town but can sometimes feel overly buoyant at highway speeds. The extra weight of the hybrid system is evident.”

“This is as normal and middle-of-the-road as a car can possibly get, yet you get such a huge boost in fuel economy without the usual hallmarks of dare-you-to-buy-it styling and buzzy ride common to extremely fuel-efficient cars. It isn’t fun to drive in a traditional sense, but it is fulfilling in the sense that you’re doing something for the environment (if that’s something you care about) and doing it in comfort.”

2024 Toyota Camry Hybrid | Edmunds

What’s the Resale Value of a Toyota Camry Hybrid?

Here’s a quick look at used car pricing for the Camry Hybrid on Edmunds at the time of writing.


Related: 21 Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years (With Facts & Stats)


  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...