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'07 XLE 4 cyl.
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Hey guys, i have an '02 Highlander 2.4L (2AZFE). It has 95,000 miles on it and I run Amsoil only and only Toyota fluids otherwise. I have never had a problem with the coolant leaking or any symptoms of the blown head gasket but I am scared to death now to even own this Highlander. You search online and find hundreds of stories of the stripped head bolts. Where the heck is Toyota in all of this? I mean they do the sludge settlement a few years ago and appease the crowds. Why has no class action lawsuit been filed. I hear some of you guys telling your stories and you're dropping thousands of dollars on new engines or just fixing with Time certs -- are you telling me no lawyer has been interested in taking this straight to Toyota? They introduce this engine in '02 on the Camry and Highlander with TC and RAV4 soon to follow -- that represents hundreds of thousands of cars sold--maybe millions!

The feeling I get from reading all of these posts is that we are all driving ticking time bombs if the bomb hasn't gone off already. Sounds like I need to list my Highlander for sale today before something happens to it and I'm sorry but that's downright unfair that Toyota has turned a deaf ear to all of you and all the potentials.

So then I hear that Toyota is going to lose billions on this latest recall and I'm sorry: you get what you deserve. I honestly hope it crumbles them. I've owned two Camrys, this Highlander and I've got parents who've owned a Previa, a Sienna, a Camry, a Sequoia and a Lexus IS250C; my inlaws own a Lexus LX450, a Tundra and a Tacoma; grandparents have a Sienna... We were a Toyota family by definition - didn't even look at the GM dealership and not even Honda for the most part, but I have had several conversations about this head bolt problem with all of them and they are listening. Brother just bought a Yukon XL - never in my life did I think he'd buy an American car for his family!

Anyway I'm just dumbfounded that nobody has pressed Toyota hard and exposed this. You'd think the media would be all over this and Toyota would be forced to extend warranties and offer a solution. See what I think is that that know there isn't a true easy fix - you're talking engine rebuilds, even if you're just re-drilling bolts. How many Toyota garages do you think are capable of doing that repair. Maybe one or two master techs would even know where to start. Multiply that by millions and Toyotas repair garages would be so full for the next 2 years that they wouldn't even be able to handle people just needing oil changes. Your thoughts?
Crap happens...
 

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guy, seriously? that's the best you can do? it does happen but if it does lets stop with the "oh buy a toyota; all you have to do is change oil and they'll go 200,000 miles". those days are OVER. I used to drink the kool-aid too. fortunately I wised up.
I was smart enough to never start drinking it so I never had to stop...

I have had not one complaint, squeak, noise, etc. with my Camry in just short of 4 years but I made sure to buy a Japan made one.
 

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Toyota will not "own up to it" because its not inevitable, its not even that common. Even if you can go around the internet and find 200 cases of this happening, there are millions of these motors on the road today. There are many 2az's out there with over 200+ on them without this problem happening. All GM's V6 and V8s blow head gaskets and intake gaskets leak causing coolant leaks in combustion chambers and destroying catalytic converters and destroying emissions and fuel economy. GM wont own up to it because it is just the nature of the beast. Engines will need repairs in there life span. These 2az's will run for ever, maybe you need to do a major repair or two, but they are very good reliable motors.

As far as doing the job yourself, its not that bad. If you have ever pulled a head you can do this one. You just pull the manifolds, timing cover, timing chain and pull the head. The timing cover has to be pulled because of one timing cover bolt.
 

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Toyota will not "own up to it" because its not inevitable, its not even that common. Even if you can go around the internet and find 200 cases of this happening, there are millions of these motors on the road today. There are many 2az's out there with over 200+ on them without this problem happening. All GM's V6 and V8s blow head gaskets and intake gaskets leak causing coolant leaks in combustion chambers and destroying catalytic converters and destroying emissions and fuel economy. GM wont own up to it because it is just the nature of the beast. Engines will need repairs in there life span. These 2az's will run for ever, maybe you need to do a major repair or two, but they are very good reliable motors.

As far as doing the job yourself, its not that bad. If you have ever pulled a head you can do this one. You just pull the manifolds, timing cover, timing chain and pull the head. The timing cover has to be pulled because of one timing cover bolt.
I agree. This problem is very uncommon and for those who have this problem it's a fluke.
 

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tonyp
toyota camry
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You're right, alot of GMs blow head gaskets. Changed plenty. And it wouldn't be so bad if the problem with the 2.4 was the head gasket. In this case, the threads for the bolts pull out of the block. And more suspect, in all the cases, it's the same three bolts that strip out. There is a problem there somewhere. If it's the foam pad, if it's a bad casting, if it's a bad alloy, nobody knows. But I'm betting money Toyota knows. I can understand headgaskets go, but I'd don't think it's unreasonable to expect the threads in the block to be solid.
 

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Toyota will not "own up to it" because its not inevitable, its not even that common.
It's common enough to worry me, just sold the POS without waiting for this thing to disintegrate. As the 5th gen racks up the miles, these issues begin to surface.

I've had it for 2 years from 07 till 09 and had zero issues, just a burned out bulb and brakes. But seems catastrophic failure is on the horizon, with it having 114K miles.

They are riding on their previous quality record. An engine should easily last 180K miles without major work, but it's dicey with that 2.4L, it might, or it might not and I am not going to chance it, cross my fingers and pray.
 

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You're right, alot of GMs blow head gaskets. .
And you know *what* happened to GM, given their inflexibilty to make this a mass recall in Gen II 3.8L.

Excellent car otherwise, I would have gotten something with 3.8L but the head gasket issue scared me to death.
 

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I disagree. If your car goes 100K miles without any major engine or transsy work you got your money's worth. Just think of how many miles 100K really is?
 

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My 2005 Camry 2AZ-FE is at about 108,200. I have noticed it running a little low on coolant, and (since I was a sucker and bought the lifetime oil changes when I bought it new) the stealership noted that the coolant was "low" on the last two trips; I disregarded the minor consumption. As an example, my OOOBS '97 Tahoe went through coolant all the time. Now I'm finding stuff like this on the web when searching for unrelated items.

As a pharmacist aspiring to be a physician, I certainly have seen my fair share of unnecessary drug recalls and FDA alerts over isolated incidents as well as what financial motives can make a business entity ignore... I'd like to believe this is an isolated issue, but can't get myself to overlook it!

Is the "rubber foam" the gasket between the intake manifold and the motor? If there's a leak, would I expect it to be wet to the touch?
 

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Toyota | moving forward
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I wouldn't worry too much about minor coolant use. After about four years I had mine refilled and I haven't noticed any drastic coolant use. My aunt's Avalon and Corolla are the same. I know the 2GR uses the "pink stuff", not sure on the 1ZZ.
 

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Right on. I am certainly utilitarian when it comes to my cars and had planned to drive this Camry to at least 225K. At half-way through, the suspension, steering, interior, etc. is fine but not factory fresh and it's taken a beating on the exterior (couldn't care less) in the parking lots.

I've seen people reporting that they had traded their cars in earlier than desired over this concern. I feel like I've gotten good use out of this car considering I got it out the door for 20K, but heck, I checked my KBB on it and I'm looking at low 5's on trade-in.

Of course, had I not run across that thread, I'd have just gone along and thought nothing of it :D. What concerns me is a 3,500 mile week-long roadtrip I've got planned in April from DFW --> AZ --> NV --> CA and back...
 

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In the 1970's maybe.

Think how many cars today are for sale with 100K miles on them - and still bringing in good coin.

Obviously at 100K they are not even close to being finished.
 

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I agree with that assertion. As my dad points out, it was outstanding to get 100K out of a car in the 60's or 70's. These days, I have pretty high expectations.

My parents bought an '86 Corolla in Sept '85. My dad beat it like a drum up and down I-5 in LA, drove it for 2 years in harsh Detroit winters, and sold it to my uncle after owning it 8 years. He drove it in Indiana winters until he sold it for a few hundred bucks in Jan 2008 @ >250,000 miles (still working fine). Had the factory transmission and differential fluid, never had a coolant drain/fill, oil changed every 5-10K miles. Only parts replaced: tires and a single battery replacement.

I was hoping my 2005 Camry 2AZ-FE was going to be the same, but now that I'm noticing some minor but gradual coolant loss @ 108K.... I'm getting nervous!
 

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tonyp
toyota camry
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Threads should NEVER pull out of a block, even at a million miles! It's not a wear item. We can all expect to replace bearings and timing chains and head gaskets and whatever else we've all replaced, but a threaded hole in an engine block should be there forever!
 

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I don't consider a timing belt and perhaps a valve cover gasket etc. to be major engine work. I consider stripped head bolts and a blown head gasket to be catastrophic. If you're implying that it is okay/acceptable to expect only 100k miles of life out of a Toyota, I won't even answer; I'll let the other posters on the board express their "strong opinions" on your comment.
Okay I apologize--I guess 100K is nothing these days. Anyway what would a shop charge to fix this problem if it should happen?
 

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Vote with your feet...
They should really do a recall. It's an obvious bug. Doesn't appear to affect *everyone* but it's a gamble and I don't want to gamble. If you catch it in time, it's a repair that's about a grand or 1.5K depending where you are, but fail to notice it and blow up the engine.
 

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On my way home this evening, I went and had the tires rotated @ Firestone (lifetime free w/ the tires) and the folks were kind enough to let me take a look underneath the car while it was on the lift. I wish I'd have had my camera out -- everything was just fine underneath there from what I knew to be looking for. That foam insulation was bone dry and I couldn't see any discoloration from it being soaked in antifreeze.

My searches through google have only turned up people reporting sudden catastrophic failure or overheating after coolant loss.

Can someone that's had to go through this issue comment on this, please: Aside from the coolant slowly dissipating, at the time of discovery of this issue, was the foam/rubber insulation soaked in antifreeze or what other early warning signs were present? Also, once a leak was discovered, was the car serviceable enough to dump off with a quick coolant refill?
 

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The Internet is blowing this way out of proportion. Hondas and especially GMs had far more head bolt problems. It is the nature of the beast. You have a far greater chance of being hit by lightning than having this head bolt issue. Everyone needs to relax.
 

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I have to say that badly designed blocks are not the nature of the beast ,its a miscalculation of strength , expansion contraction principles .
That is very much unlike toyota engineers in the last ten years they have made major mistakes in non wearing engineering. the moisture condensation/sludging in engines, now the block thread strip thing , the gas pedal thing. to say its ok to be like gm ford etc is like saying the bully gm, beats up those guys you should accept you would get used to being beat up by toyota too .........ridiculous
 
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