2000 Camry brakes sometimes unresponsive in cruise control

Hi,
I recently bought an automatic shift 2000 Camry LE with 66K miles in pretty good condition. The cruise-control seems to work fine; I have
used it multiple times with no problems. However, twice, with cruise- control engaged, when the car was accelerating to the cruising speed, I tried hitting the brake pedal. I encountered strong resistance, the brakes refused to engage, until I persisted applying pressure for >1 second (it seemed). Only then did the acceleration give way to braking.
This issue has only occurred twice. But its scary nonetheless. The first time this happened, the 'replace-brake-light' light came on in the dash. I stopped and checked all the brake/parking lights and they were fine. A day or two later, the light turned off on its own. The second time I encountered the problem, no warning lights in the dash came on.
Any ideas as to why this might be happening?
Thanks, Ali
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ali wrote:

This is a dangerous safety issue and I would caution you in not driving the car at all until this problem is resolved. Look or have someone knowledgeable look for any obstructions to brake pedal movement (bound switches or linkage), master cylinder seizing, or caliper operation.
If you can't accomplish the above tasks yourself, I would strongly advise you to have it towed into the Toyota dealer for a complete diagnosis and repair. This is a used vehicle and you did not mention any repair history if known.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That means the OP will not take it to -Jiffy Lube -Wal Mart -Pep Boys -Sears
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

LOL! I guess I should have been a bit more qualifying in the description of knowledgeable, but I did mention the Toyota dealer, hope he can read into that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hopefully. We could also add "any tire company franchise". Basically, his choices are the dealer, or an independent mechanic known to be insanely obsessed with details and quality.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
your car is possessed by some evil spirits. Holy water will help
Happy Halloween!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ali wrote:

The brakes are an essentially foolproof hydraulic system that operates independently of the cruise control. Likewise, whether the lights work or not is a completely separate issue. Have a look under the dash and see if there's anything (like a wadded-up carpet) obstructing the travel of the brake pedal. If it's not something simple like that I recommend you take the car to be evaluated by a professional for a possible piston binding issue in the master cylinder.
As for the lights, try taking the bulbs out and sanding the contacts with fine-grit sandpaper or (less good) a pencil eraser.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The most likely cause of the condition you are describing is an obstruction under the brake pedal, like the floor mats. Also check to make sure the brake light switch is properly adjusted. As Nobody Important mentioned, the brake light failure indicator is unrelated. Check both rear brake light bulbs and the center high mounted stop lamp bulbs.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just read the responses to Ali's question. I'm wondering if the "resistance" he is feeling when braking during cruise acceleration is simply the cruise control not turning off when the brake pedal is pushed in that it seems his brakes work fine in normal driving. If the car continues to accelerate when he is pushing the brake, it would seem like resistance, I guess. Anyhow, I would look at whatever mechanism or switch disables cruise when the brake pedal is touched. jor
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That was just what I was thinking too, I just thought that was so obvious that some of you experts would say it right away;-) - Asbjrn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can you give some details. Are you going uphill and the engine is trying to recover the set speed by the CC? Is your car equipped with ABS? I have heard of unintended acceleration on Chrysler and Honda. Try searching old post from this group titled Chrysler and Honda screw- ups last September.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks to all who replied. EdV, it seems you've hit the nail right on the head. In both instances I encountered the issue, the car was going uphill and accelerating (hard - probably downshifted) to acheive the speed previously set by the Cruise-control. I believe the car has ABS, but I'm not absolutely sure. The symptoms were that the pedal stiffened and (may be) pulsated a little. The car still accelerated through this, which implies that hitting the brake did not trigger the cruise control to turn off.
Just to clarify, I was using the Cruise control most of the time in the same 400 mile road trip when I encountered the issue. The problem only seemed to occur when the car was accelerating hard on CC and I tried braking. I have braked out of CC without problems when the car has been accelerating not-so-hard on a level stretch of highway. Otherwise the brakes are in good condition and I have not had any problems whatsoever braking when I haven't been using Cruise Control.
The Chrysler and Honda screwups post
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.toyota/browse_thread/thread/9117ca225920cba9/4f19ef3f42126427?lnk=st&q=chrysler+and+honda+screwups#4f19ef3f42126427
seems to be similar but does not seem to be related to Cruise Control at all. Thanks for pointing it out though.
- Ali
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What kind of car did you drive prior the Camry, did it have CC too? did it quickly respond to braking uphill? I use my CC a fairly amount of time, I have not remember braking uphill on cruise control. My 2007 Camry has a different CC uphill problem, mine would rev pretty high (4500-5000 rpm) downshifting hard to maintain CC speed. That's why I turn off my CC when I know I'm about to go uphill. I maintain speed manually or speed up about 5 mph more than my current speed. When I turn off my CC, the transmission wont downshift. Prior to this car, I did not own or used CC ever.
Maybe, just maybe, it was designed that way such that toyota anticipates that you have just tapped the brake pedal by mistake. I have quite a different driving habit, even on a flat surface I would disable my CC first before stepping on the brakes. I don't tailgate and anticipate cars in front of me by throttle pedal off rather than stepping on the brakes, I feel that this benefits my cars MPG since when I brake hard its just energy wasted and I cant recover speeds faster when I step again on the pedal. Don't know but just seems to be what my instinct tells me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ali wrote: twice, with cruise-

==My suggestion, since the brakes do deactivate the CC on level ground, is to learn to use all the functions of the cruise control actuator. Pull back to cancel. That will instantly disengage your acceleration. Lift up on the stalk to re engage at the previously set speed. Then you can also fine tune the speed by holding the lever up or down momentarily. I rarely if ever use the brakes when cruise control is on, just disengage and then re engage at the control lever. Don't know if it makes a difference, but I also turn it off when not in use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is a recall for 2000 Camrys related to the cruise control (see http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/docservlet/Artemis/Public/Recalls/2001/V/RCMN-01V012-8530.PDF and http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/docservlet/Artemis/Public/Recalls/2001/V/RCONL-01V012-2468.PDF )
"Make / Models : Model/Build Years: TOYOTA / CAMRY 1998-2001
Recall Number: 01V012000 Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH CRUISE CONTROL AND V6 ENGINES, AND BUILT AT ONE OF TWO LINES AT THE KENTUCKY PLANT. THE ACCELERATOR CABLE HOUSING COULD BE DEFORMED AT THE CRUISE CONTROL ACTUATOR-TO-THROTTLE BODY CONNECTION. THE ACCELERATOR INNER-CABLE COULD WEAR AWAY AND EVENTUALLY BREAK. Consequence: THIS COULD ALLOW THE THROTTLE TO RETURN TO IDLE OR REMAIN IN ITS MOST RECENT POSITION REGARDLESS OF ACCELERATOR PEDAL OPERATION, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH. Remedy: DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE ACCELERATOR CABLE. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN FEBRUARY 23, 2001. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331. Notes: TOYOTA RECALL NO. 10A. ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236)."
It is my opinion that this recall is not related to your complaint. While a bad cable might keep the cruise control from disengaging, it would not make the brake pedal difficult to engage. I think it is more likely that you have a problem with your braking system. There are 39 complaints in the NHTSA database against 2000 Camrys related to the cruise control. I looked at 10 or so, and none matched up with your experience. Most were either related to the bad cable, or [I think] operator error. There are also a lot of complaints in the NHTSA database against the brakes of a 2000 Camry (but no recalls or investigations), but none of the ones I looked at mentioned the pedal being difficult to engage. Most were related to the pedal going to the floor.

Not really, but it sounds like you need to have it looked at. You should make sure the cruise control cable recall has been completed.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hi Ed,
Thanks for pointing out the recall. I agree that the symptoms do not match up though. Furthermore, the recall does not apply since my car has a 4 cylinder 2.2L engine. I will take the car by my mechanic this weekend and will post more information if he's able to find anything.
Thanks to all who responded.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.