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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
124,949 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Toyota Camry engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 202013

Camry

  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Began noticing gurgling/water sloshing noises at approximately 100K miles. Approximately one month later, car overheated. Noticed coolant was low, so had coolant refilled. Checked out by mechanic next day and was told that a stop-leak would fix problem. Completed this procedure at personal cost. Three days later, car overheated again. Took to different mechanic, and was advised to replace radiator. Replaced radiator at personal cost. Few days later, car overheated again. Took to four different mechanics and noticed coolant leaks. Was advised by all four mechanics that it was blown head gasket, that this was a common problem with this make/model, that replacing the engine would be safest solution. One mechanic also said that simply replacing head gasket might not work because the bolt threading in this particular model was known to be defective. Cannot afford $4000 to replace engine, especially if this same problem can possibly recur. Currently refilling coolant every other day.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 102012

Camry

  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the engine overheated as the temperature warning indicator. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The engine cylinder head blot was stripped and replaced with a new one however, the transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired for the most recent failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 072014

Camry

  • miles
The coolant started leaking from behind the motor. My mechanic looked at it and said that the foam insulation was saturated with coolant and it was leaking from there, between the head and the cyclinder. When I researched about it online in many Toyota forums, the common thing that I have come across is that there is a problem with the head bolts stripping and the coolant leaking from that area. My mechanic said that I either need a new engine or do a fix the stripped head bolts with a heli-coil or a time-sert. This is very disappointing with Toyota, that they are not acknowledging the defect with there 5th gen 4 cylc 2az-fe engines and are refusing to do anything about. The solution that they are giving is a very expensive one of getting a new engine for $5000. This needs to be addressed by Toyota or someone needs to make them take notice of this issue.

- Lagrange, IN, USA

problem #14

Dec 032013

Camry

  • 115,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The is a service bulletin regarding the replacement of the catalytic converter and reprogramming the ECU. I don't think Toyota notifies current owners of free work to be done that is not an actual recall. Instead they wait to see who finds out on their own. The service bulletin tsb 2404 dated 07-01-04 covers the replacement of the catalytic converter and reprogramming the ECU to resolve the problem. It mentions the smell of sulfur from the exhaust and was apparently the only reason most people had it checked out. My wife's car has had the smell of sulfur for a few years now, but since we don't make it a habit of making our car exhaust smell pleasant we never thought anything of it. Now, the check engine light is on and the catalytic converter needs to be replaced but her car is over the 8 year, 80,000 mile limit of the tsb. If we were notified of Toyota's design error earlier and had the catalytic converter replaced and the ECU reprogrammed for free, we would not be looking at a $1000 repair bill in our future. We should not have to pay for Toyota's error, we already paid for the car.

- Hermiatge, TN, USA

problem #13

Oct 082013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
After taking my car to a local mechanic because of overheating, a coolant leak, and misfiring, I brought my Camry to a certified Toyota dealership. I explained to the Toyota representative of the fore mentioned issues. After conducting an inspection, the Toyota rep. Told me I had a bad coil in cylinder #2, and found pressure leaking into #2 and #3 cylinders. After a further tear down of the engine, it was discovered that the engine had loose head bolts in these cylinders, and that the threads on the engine for these bolts was stripped. They told me that there is no fix to this problem and quoted me a new engine with 90,000 miles with an estimate cost between $5000-$6000. Furthermore, I was told replacing the coil at $227, would fix the misfiring. However this did not fix the misfiring problem, as the misfire was due because of the loose head bolts which was explained to me by the dealership as well. This conflicting information led me to believe it was safe to drive the vehicle as long as coolant was plentiful in the radiator and over flow reservoir. However, the overheating, leaking of coolant and misfiring continues. The misfiring creates dangerous random stalls.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #12

Jun 112013

Camry

  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph the temperature gauge increased rapidly into the red zone. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the radiator was leaking and the thermostat was defective. The vehicle was repaired. Smoke also emitted from the engine two hours after the vehicle was repaired. The vehicle was taken to both an independent mechanic and dealer for inspection. The dealer detected that the engine cylinder head bolts were striped and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Sunrise , FL, USA

problem #11

Jun 192013

Camry 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Harsh/hard/delayed shifting between 2nd and 3rd or 2nd and 4th (overdrive) on 1mz-fe V6 engine due to faulty engine control module failing to regulate transmission solenoids properly. This issue occurred on the ECM on rav4 (same year, 2002) and resulted in settlement in which Toyota agreed to repair all.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #10

May 112013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 144,433 miles
Cylinder head bolt stripped off from engine block thread and damaged the engine.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #9

Oct 142011

Camry 4-cyl

  • 155,317 miles
Blown head gasket on 2002 Toyota Camry le. Apparently this is a manufacturer defect as evidenced by all the blogs on the internet. Something should be done to compensate the consumer for this defect.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 192013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Vehicle was stopped and putting in drive, car accelerated and crashed through garage door and brick frame on 4/19/13 at approximately 11:50am for unknown reason.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #7

Mar 132013

Camry

  • 109,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car was overheating and we didn't know why. The reservoir was full of coolant so we took it into a mechanic to see what the problem was with the cooling system. We were told we needed a new head gasket. We left the car with the mechanic and he found that 3 bolts for the engine block were loose (he could easily pull them out with his hands and the threading came with them). He had never seen this before so he looked online and found this was a common problem. The car had about 109K miles on it. Looking on this site shows that Toyota has a service bulletin on it.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 302012

Camry

  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that the check engine warning lamp was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the head bolts were stripped. As a result, the engine had to be either replaced or rebuilt. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 137,000.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 202012

Camry

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry le. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, a clicking noise occurred when the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The approximate failure was 110,000.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 192011

Camry

  • 175,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. The contact was driving 65 mph when smoked was emitted from the engine compartment and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed that the cylinder head developed a cracked. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and the current mileage was 175,000.

- Allen , TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 092012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
I bought this car new in 2002 and have maintained it meticulously. The car overheated for the first time since I bought it on 7/9/12. When I took it to the shop on 7/11/12 for evaluation of the problem, I was told that the cylinder head bolts were defective, causing the car to lose coolant resulting in the overheating incident. The auto shop also told me that this is a design or manufacturing defect that is well known, but Toyota refuses to recall these vehicles for repair. The cost of repair is approximately $2200 to $2400, if it can be repaired. If it cannot be repaired, the engine will have to be replaced at a much higher cost. I went on line to carcomplaints.com and found many other complaints of this same exact problem from other 2002 Camry owners around the usa.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jun 152012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 211,387 miles
My 2002 Camry had no issues until at about 211,000 miles when antifreeze started to leak from back of engine. After mechanic inspected, he said water had gotten into head gasket. When he tried to remove bolts we noticed three back bolts were loose already and thread was stripped. After having head gasket cleaned and "repaired" this repair guy said there wasn't anything wrong with head itself. All he did was inspect, clean, and sand it. He did say it is a common problem he encounters with Toyota's. the only repair he says will work is to have engine block removed and he will rethread all the holes with different material to make sure it doesn't happen again. None of this is a sure fix because it could still fail, the only sure way is to buy a new engine, but if Toyota makes defective head gaskets, this will happen again. I have always swore by Toyota cars, that is all I have ever owned but I will never buy a vehicle from them again.

- Perris, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 182012

Camry

  • 110,000 miles
Bad threads on engine block. Engine leaking coolant. Mechanic determined head gasket bad. Toyota certified mechanic tore apart engine and on reassembly found the threads on the lower engine block were stripped and this was the cause of the head gasket failure. New engine/rebuild required at $5200. Failure caused by faulty threads/engine block at manufacturing end. Simply driving vehicle causes threads to disintegrate and catastrophic engine failure.

- Heltonville, IN, USA

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