1MZ-FE - head gasket failure prevalence - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 9 Old 05-13-2019, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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1MZ-FE - head gasket failure prevalence

Hi,

I don't actually own a true badged Toyota Camry (though I would like to one day, and I am looking into a 4 cylinder Gen 3 as a second car), but I do own two cars that share the same engine as the later 3rd gen V6 Camry, which I believe was introduced for the 1994 MY. One of them is my daily (Avalon) and it's been absolutely fantastic.


However, I also own a 1996 Lexus ES 300 that was diagnosed with a blown head gasket and a warped cylinder head at cylinder 2 (cylinder 2 also failed a compression test) after it overheated six weeks after I bought it. This was the first time it ever overheated in the short period of time that I've owned it, and for what it's worth, I had never driven it more than a few miles at a time before this happened. While the car was overheating, I had to drive it for between a quarter mile and half a mile for about two to three minutes with the thermostat on the "H" before I finally was able to park and shut off the car. It looks like the car had probably been overheated numerous times before I bought it by the previous owners, but I'm sure what I did to it didn't help, either.

I have heard that the predecessor 3VZ-FE had a tendency to sometimes blow head gaskets, but it seems as if BHG in a 1MZ is rare. Does anyone have any experience with a Camry V6 / any other 1MZ car blowing a head gasket?
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95 Toyota Avalon XLS with gold badging, wht on adobe - 178k, DD
96 Lexus ES 300 with gold badging, wht on beige - 198k (BHG, so basically dead)
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-13-2019, 07:28 PM
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It is really rare on the 1MZ-FE V6.

Some years of the 1MZ are prone to oil sludging, but that’s a different problem.
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1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, totaled at 384k miles
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-13-2019, 07:43 PM
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Exceedingly rare unless overheated. In 12 years of selling parts I have never sold one.


MZs usually die from these 3 things... Timing belt failure, cooling system failure (water pump or suicide hose), oil sludge.


Change the thermostat, flush the lines, refill with 50-70%, watch the fans, and I doubt it will overheat again.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-13-2019, 09:30 PM
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+1 very rare. It's not prevalent, at all - the BHG is because you overheated it.

It's alloy block and aluminum heads IIRC so low tolerance to warping from overheating...If you're going to keep the car, I'd have a used engine put in, as IME it's cheaper than having the block resurfaced (heads definitely have to be).

Under normal conditions (in normal climates) the temp needle should not move at all from where it stops when warmed up. If it moves up more than 4 or 5 mm you should be getting ready to stop the car and have it towed until the problem can be figured out.
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00 Camry 5S-FE 184k smoooth
01 ES300 147k NEEDS TRANS WORK
01 Insight 137k BROKEN CAMSHAFT
02 Insight 178k DC-DC BELLY-UP
08 STS-V 67k 570 RWHP!
01 Viggen 112k 400 FWHP
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-14-2019, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I figured as much. I think it's safe to say at this point that the overheating caused this. I really should have been more mindful of the thermostat, in hindsight; it looks like I noticed the car was overheating when it was too late.

I am aware of the sludge / oil gelling issue in the 1MZ. I've heard conflicting reports that not all 1MZ-equipped vehicles are prone to the sludge problem and that it is based on production date. I'm not sure if my Avalon (12/94) is one of the affected models, but I will make sure to be as proactive as possible when it comes to oil changes. I got one shortly after purchasing it in January and it's due for another one, seeing as I've put as many as 4k miles on it since then.

Thank you all for your help.

95 Toyota Avalon XLS with gold badging, wht on adobe - 178k, DD
96 Lexus ES 300 with gold badging, wht on beige - 198k (BHG, so basically dead)
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-15-2019, 12:31 AM
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I recently tried to convince an older friend to buy a Gen 3 or 4 Camry to replace his 1993 Corolla then it fused its engine. He told me his daughter advised him to avoid the V6 as it was prone to failure. I have NEVER seen any evidence of this so being a data guy I tabulated how many I4 vs V6 Camrys from this era were currently on sale vs how many were in the junk yard. The number of V6s was right about 25% in both suggesting there is no bias toward V6 failure (N>100)

People often do drive them faster but I've never seen evidence of the 1MZFE being undependable versus the 5SFE; my 5SFE spun a rod bearing at 310k but my V6 seems fine at 250k and may make it to 310 (if I don't crash it!).

Sludge can kill the V6 but thats an issue with poor maintenance IMHO.
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Last edited by tedmich; 05-15-2019 at 12:34 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-15-2019, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Watson View Post
Exceedingly rare unless overheated. In 12 years of selling parts I have never sold one.


MZs usually die from these 3 things... Timing belt failure, cooling system failure (water pump or suicide hose), oil sludge.


Change the thermostat, flush the lines, refill with 50-70%, watch the fans, and I doubt it will overheat again.
what is suicide hose?
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-15-2019, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corolapete View Post
what is suicide hose?
Bypass hose passing through the vee.

00 Camry 5S-FE 184k smoooth
01 ES300 147k NEEDS TRANS WORK
01 Insight 137k BROKEN CAMSHAFT
02 Insight 178k DC-DC BELLY-UP
08 STS-V 67k 570 RWHP!
01 Viggen 112k 400 FWHP
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-15-2019, 11:26 AM
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Another source of anecdotal data regarding V6 Vs I4 durability is our hi-miler thread. Current list, with 1MZ V6's in red & I4's in blue. The higher prevalence of I4's could be just the take-rate (more I4's sold than V6's).

1) 620 theonetheonly 1993 ?
2) 558 ozarkman 1992 5S-FE
3) 529 guapoman2000 1992 5S-FE
4) 510 jlm256 1995 5S-FE
5) 500 zanenc 2000 5S-FE
6) 500 lil_ta 1994 5S-FE Engine & trans replaced - now dead

7) 490 Toyota_JP 2000 1MZ-FE Solara
8) 459 Lord Anonymous 1994 5S-FE
9) 451 John Kania 1994 1MZ-FE Totaled
10) 448 swagger_wagon468 1994 1MZ-FE

11) 445 bigdaddyooooo 1999 5S-FE
12) 439 Fox3 1998 5S-FE

13) 431 cjl22 1998 1MZ-FE
14) 430 texomatom 1997 5S-FE
15) 428 greggf 1994 ?
16) 420 rob.shelton 1993 5S-FE
17) 416 haux 2000 5S-FE
18) 411 xtremeskier97 1993 5S-FE Rod knock, engine being swapped
19) 407 duckpond 1996 5S-FE
20) 405 gagethamc 1992 5S-FE
21) 400 osheen 1997 5S-FE

22) 399 Dan_IN_MN 1999 1MZ-FE
23) 395 jungleson 1992 5S-FE
24) 389 COYOTE56 1999 5S-FE Dead - crashed

25) 389 pgh mike 1996 1MZ-FE No major rebuilds or swaps
26) 389 LEXTECH1986 2000 1MZ-FE Solara

27) 389 Tiberworks 1997 5S-FE
28) 384 BMR 1992 3VZ-FE Trans at 59k, HGs at 331k, dead - crashed
29) 384 999camry 1999 5S-FE
30) 378 Sokol-angel 1994 5S-FE
31) 370 Obwan 2000 5S-FE Solara

32) 370 sk8ersublime 1995 1MZ-FE
33) 370 2.2manyprojects 2001 5S-FE
34) 367 1996camry 1996 5S-FE

35) 366 Lainey Weber 1994 1MZ-FE
36) 364 Perkins 1993 ? Engine replaced, dead
37) 360 Camrio 1992 5S-FE
38) 360 robs97camry 1997 5S-FE
39) 357 xj579_35061 1993 5S-FE

40) 355 Nushadow 1993 3VZ-FE
41) 355 TRD95 1995 ? Dead
42) 352 tremmert 1998 5S-FE
43) 350 Lord Anonymous 1994 5S-FE
44) 350 thekingofchina 1997 5S-FE

45) 350 kent55 1994 5S-FE Sold
46) 349 Di3S3L 2000 ?
47) 348 LittleWhiteBubble 1992 5S-FE
48) 347 stephnel 1998 ?
49) 347 j_camry 1998 5S-FE
50) 346 tjdean01 1998 5S-FE
51) 346 bwechols 1998 5S-FE
52) 346 fleetwood57 1996 5S-FE
53) 344 Jon91Turbo 1997 5S-FE

54) 340 DTB500 1995 ?
55) 340 Cami& Hugh 1998 5S-FE
56) 340 OceanView ? 5S-FE
57) 338 Noskatana94 1994 ?
58) 337 jaybur_racing 1994 5S-FE
59) 334 beckyboo 1971 1992 ?
60) 330 rearth2 1997 1MZ-FE
61) 330 msd58 2001 1MZ-FE

62) 330 Puppu 1994 ?
63) 327 bulterier 2001 1MZ-FE Deer killed it
64) 326 turcop 1997 5S-FE
65) 325 GoetzBrandt 1998 1MZ-FE
66) 323 curry.style 1995 ?
67) 323 Travilion 1997 5S-FE
68) 321 Mark G B 1995 ?
69) 320 sjfish 1993 3VZ-FE
70) 320 moKell 1994 ?
71) 319 MacQ 1999 ? Solara
72) 319 goxkw 1996 5S-FE
73) 319 redfish 1995 5S-FE

74) 318 moeller80 1998 ?
75) 317 Mochacamry 2001 5S-FE
76) 315 jimbo046 1998 5S-FE
77) 313 Cosmofennema 1999 5S-FE
78) 312 artistwifey 1999 5S-FE

79) 310 Eric N 1994 ?
80) 308 rayprog 1992 3VZ-FE
81) 307 RC1 1992 3VZ-FE
82) 305 EA6BMECH 2000 1MZ-FE
83) 303 sbagdon 2000 5S-FE
84) 303 penizzle16 1993 5S-FE
85) 302 maestro123 1996 5S-FE
86) 302 N/A Camry Sleeper 1996 5S-FE

87) 300 cblinnen 2000 ?

2015 RAV4 Limited, AWD, tech pkg, Barcelona red metallic, 63k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 398k
1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, totaled at 384k miles
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