I have a 1999 camry CE (4-cyl) with about 250K kilometers on it.
Lately, it's been having a strange problem. When I first turn it on
and start to drive it, it runs perfectly. But, after it's been driven
for 10 or 15 minutes, it starts to shake a bit. It's less noticeable
at highway speeds, but it's incredibly noticeable when I hit the
brakes. It's as if I was pressing them, then letting them go, then
pressing them, then letting them go, but really fast, making the car
jerk. As the car slows down, the frequency of the jerkiness also slows
down. Kind of like what anti-lock brakes would do if you really
slammed them on, though this car doesn't have anti-lock brakes.
Then, when I'm idling, there's something like a scraping noise coming
from somewhere in the back end of the car. However, it doesn't always
happen. It used to happen maybe once every 2 or 3 months, but lately
it's been more frequent. There are times when I can drive the car and
it won't happen at all, but there are other times when it's constant
whenever I'm idling. It's pretty loud, and therefore very annoying. My
car idles around 500 RPM... if I bring the RPM up to around 800, the
noise goes away. However, this means that when I'm at a stop light, I
need to keep one foot on the brake and the other one slightly pressing
the accelerator. That'll probably kill my gas mileage, not to mention
the fact that it's probably not exactly the safest thing to do.
I haven't brought the car in to a dealer yet, because they always want
to charge me thousands of dollars to "fix" things that aren't really
broken, and I simply can't afford that.
Does anyone have any thoughts on what the problem could be?