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2002 Camry & 1999
April 22, 2008
I own a 2002 Camry with about 65k miles on it and a 1999 Corolla with some wear&tear problems.

I'm looking for some solutions to a problem I noticed in the Camry with a chirping sound in the engine. It sounds like a belt problem, but I'm not sure which one it is. I read one of the threads in this forum on a 2007 Corolla with a chirping sound, but his only came up when he had driven it for a few minutes and went away after "breaking in" the car. The chirping sound in my car is consistent and starts with the engine starting. The noise is the worst while idoling. Any tips on that subject would be great.

Now, my brother drives a 1999 Corolla. He's in college and gives his friends rides. Well, they can get pretty abusive on that car at times, and as we all know, the earlier Corolla models with their plastic door handles arent exactly the most durable things in the world. The two driver's side inside handles are broken and the outside passenger side handle is broken. I've found the replacement parts online, but since his college is a while away, I dont see him very often. So, I dont get to inspect the car thoroughly enough. My question is:

Does anyone know if I will have to remove the inside door paneling for all three doors? Or can I pop the actual handle casings out with no problem? In other words, does the paneling overlap the handle casings? Also, I've never taken out a door panel myself, so is there anything I should know? Like wiring and stuff or properly re-installing it?

Many thanks to all replies, and I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys and your fantastic advice. (Quick responses too!)


April 23, 2008#1
For the belt issue on the Camry - a quick test to determine if it a belt problem or something else - is to take some plain water in a squirt bottle or similar. Spray down the belt with the engine idling and the chirping noise present. If the noise goes away, then you just verified that it is the belt slipping (water will temporarily increase belt "bite"). If the noise doesnt change - then you have a problem with a belt tensioner or one of the pulleys might have a bad bearing.

For the 8th gen Corolla - the inside door handles do not need the whole door panel to be pulled off - you can just very easily and without removing the door paneling itself. I've done it dozens of times to different reasons (replace speakers, check switches, new wiring, pop out a dent, etc.) Basically the steps you will take will be:

- undo a screw
- rotate the handle out
- pry off the clip holding the control rod (becareful not to break the clip)
- remove handle
- replace control rod and clip
- rotate handle back
- screw back in, DONE

The exterior door handle, you will have to pull the liner out to access the nuts holding the handle to the door. Also watch the plastic clip, can be tough to get off, if it falls off or you loose the control rod down the door, you will have to remove the liner to get it back. Not a deal breaker - hardest part is getting the armrest and power control switch (if P/W and P/L) otherwise, the window crank handle has to be pulled out (special clip removal tool or a rag or towel worked behind the crank will work as well). A trim removal tool or even a putty knive can be used to pop the clips around the perimeter of the door panel. They just pull straight out - should be no problems wiring or anything like that. Just pry a little at a time, use a flashlight to take a peek there and you should be able to see the clips you need to pry out. Just be careful of the plasic vapor barrier - if you pull it off slowly and easily - it can be reused.

Good Luck.

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