Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,887.00
Average Mileage:
134,588 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (17 reports)
  2. head bolt inserts (9 reports)
  3. not sure (6 reports)
  4. retap block or new engine (2 reports)
  5. replace head gasket (1 reports)
2002 Toyota Camry engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Oct 262012

Camry XLE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,204 miles

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

From the invoice

"...Found that coolant leaking from back side of engine from head and block. Reviewed engine head and found that head bolts backed out causing head gasket not to seal properly. Under further inspection found that threads for center head bolts in block came apart and were unable to be re-tightened. Unable to re-tap head bolt thread in block...."

This is an extremely obvious example of an inherent design flaw (e.g. too much pressure on bolts), and/or and manufacturing flaw (e.g. bolts stripped and backed out of their appropriate position), and/or flaw in manufacturing part (e.g. failure of the bolts). This problem has nothing to do with owner responsibilities for care and maintenance of the vehicle. This vehicle was never touched by anyone other that a certified mechanic(s) at either of only two Toyota dealerships.

I am looking to take Toyota to court and retrieve the cost ($5346) of the re-manufactured engine. I am interested in (a) communicating with other individuals who have had this problem, (b) obtaining legal counsel, and (c) obtaining a complete listing of all internal Toyota documents related to this problem.

- , Summerville, SC, USA

problem #14

Apr 272012

Camry 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I took my camry in for service and A/C seemed to be not always cooling and the dealer says that there is a problem with the head gasket and the head bolts are stripped and that it would cost more than $2,500.

- , Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 202012

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,000 miles

The car is currently at the shop for more than a month! I am so disappointed and thinking to sell it for parts! Mechanics open the engine to change head gasket and he is unable to deal with the stripped bolts at the back side of the engine. He tried the inserts but this didn't work! called the dealer and they said no recalls on this problem. unless Toyota stand up for it's manufacture defects, my believe in Toyota is no more. So Sad.

- , Norman, OK, USA

problem #12

Jan 152012

Camry LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 199,393 miles

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

Stripped engine head bolts. In order to start a recall file a complaint at safecar.gov

- , Rocklin, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 022012

Camry 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

I have a 2002 four cylinder Toyota Camry and in the last few weeks, it started losing coolant and overheating. As I am handy and do some mechanical work myself, I checked the radiator and it was fine (no leaks). I checked all hoses and they were perfect. I questioned the water pump so I changed it (it is time anyway). Drove the car and it started overheating again. My dilemma was when I look under the car I see only few drops of coolant. So does the lost coolant go??? I decided to take it to my mechanic who did the compression test and gave me the awful news that it could be head gasket or a cracked engine block. By the way, the coolant was evaporating and therefore I did not see much under the car. He also told me that after he looked at bulletins online, there have been many complaints about the head bolts for this car. I called the Toyota dealer from where I bought the car and I was told based on my can VIN number there are no recalls and there is nothing they can do except "milking the cow". In other words they need to check the car themselves ($112.50). By the way, that was for one hour and if it takes them more time to find (which we all know it takes longer), they will charge me more. Sometimes I feel that Toyota does not accept the fact that their dawn is over and that Six Sigma and Total Quality Management stuff (while a good principles) they were not even following it themselves otherwise why they end up with these many complaints and ignoring them completely. How long it took their CEO to admit they had issues with their quality…I will tell you the story of my 2007 Rav4 in a different complaint…No more Toyota’s for me… I blame the GMs of the world because if they provided us descent small cars we wouldn’t even have thought to buy a Japanese car… you can sense my frustration and if there is law suit I am in for the ride. My Dilemma is what I do with a car with bad engine, I can’t sell it, too old to invest money in it and Toyota is saying you are on your own…Sorry a little long...

- , Oakland, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jan 132011

Camry XLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Very upset with Toyota 2.4l engine problem with stripped head bolt. My Camry engine when bad at 87k miles and my mechanic said I had a stripped head bolt on the no. 2 cylinder. I ordered another used replacement engine and it had the same problem. My mechanic said it looks like a manufacture defect and caused me to search the internet. I found the answer on this website that Toyota has a problem with engine head bolts that are stripped, causing all kind of engine problems from oil slugging, water loss, blown head gasket, failed coils, etc... I am looking into a lawsuit against Toyota for withholding information to all 2002 Camry 2.4l owners. DO NOT BUY TOYOTA CARS-they are making defective vehicles and are not informing consumers of their problems. For all Camry owners, make your calls to Toyota and file complaint with your state consumers affairs department on Toyota failure to alerts owners of the trouble with loose head bolts in their 2.4l engines.

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 022010

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

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

The engine in this 2002 Camry only has 45,000 miles on it. The original went bad at 95,000 miles with the same problem. The car was turned off at a store after it started getting hot. When the coolant was checked it was completely dry. But after it had cooled off more coolant was added. The oil appeared to be one-half a quart low and transmission fluid OK. The next day while going down the road it started running rough and hot and pulled over and turned the car off to cool. When I looked at the engine it had dumped some oil on the top of transmission and front of motor . There was also no coolant again and it was not in the oil. Compression test showed a blown head gasket. While taking the head off it was noticed that bolts had pulled the treads out on the engine block and were loose. I can't believe it has happened twice to two separate engines. At least this one had synthetic oil in it and heli coil threads and a new gasket is going to fix the problem. Toyota praises itself on quality and performance...I feel the design of the block is poor on both accounts, on this particular engine/head combination!! Toyota needs to back up their products when a defect is discovered. I guess because it doesn't carry a high enough score on safety toward injury/death nothing will be done!!!!!!!!!

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 132010

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

FROM WHAT I READ HERE ON AUTO BEEF THIS IS A LEMON PART ON THIS YEAR 2002 TOYOTA CAMRY AND ITS A COSTLY ONE AND IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN EVEN AFTER YOU FIX IT F*CK THAT I WILL NEVER BUY A TOYOTA AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

- , Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 122010

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

I HAVE A 2002 TOYOTA CAMRY LE WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS STRIPPED HEAD BOLT NEED TO REPLACE ENGINE . I DECIDED TO TAKE ACTION AND CALLED IT IN TO THE HEADQUARTERS OF RECALL COMPLAINTS IT IS 1-800-424-9393 I SUGGEST EVERYONE WITH THIS PROBLEM TO CALL AND MAKE A COMPLAINT, SO THEY CAN MAKE THIS A RECALL AND WE CAN ALL GET PAID!!!!!! TOYOTA MAKES GREAT CARS SO THIS IS A MANUFACTURE DEFECT!!!!!!

- , Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 202010

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

MY FAMILY HAS ALWAYS BEEN LOYAL TOYOTA CUSTOMERS. I PURCHASED A 2002 TOYOTA CAMRY ABOUT A YEAR AGO. I AM A MOTHER OF TWO SMALL CHILDREN AND THOUGHT A CAMRY WOULD BE A SAFE AND RELIABLE CAR. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WRONG!! JUST RECENTLY THE HEAT IN MY CAR WOULD NOT WORK AND I BEGAN TO NOTICE THE ENGINE WAS RUNNING HOT. I IMMEDIATELY TOOK MY CAR IN TO BE LOOKED AT AND WAS SHOCKED TO FIND OUT THAT MY SO CALLED SAFE AND RELIABLE CAR THAT I PURCHASE NEEDED AN ENTIRELY NEW ENGINE. THE MECHANIC RECOMMENDED THAT I NOT PUT MY CHILDREN BACK IN THE CAR FOR FEAR THAT THE ENGINE COULD CATCH ON FIRE!!! I STILL OWE ON THIS CAR AND CAN''T AFFORD A 6OOO DOLLAR REPAIR WHEN THE CAR WAS PURCHASE FOR ONLY 8000 AROUND A YEAR AGO. WHEN I CONTACTED THE LOCAL TOYOTA DEALERSHIP I WAS GIVEN THE RUN AROUND AND TOLD THAT THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS BEFORE. AFTER RESEARCHING THIS ONLINE I HAVE LEARNED THAT THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED PROBLEM. WHEN I HAD MY CAR CHECKED AT THE MECHANIC HE STATED THAT THIS WAS A GROWING PROBLEM AND THAT IT WAS NOTHING THAT I DID OR COULD HAVE DONE TO AVOID THE PROBLEM. THE ENGINE IN 2002 AND 2003 TOYOTA CAMRYS HAD DEFECTIVE PARTS!!!!!! NEEDLESS TO SAY I CONTACT THE 1800TOYOTA NUMBER I WAS GIVEN AND WAS TOLD THAT THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO. MY FAMILY OF FOUR NOW GOES WITH OUT A CAR OR A DIME TO PUT ON ANOTHER VEHICLE. TOYOTA HAS JUST LOST A VERY LOYAL CUSTOMER. I WILL BE SPREADING THE WORD ON HOW "RELIABLE?" TOYOTA REALLY IS!!!!

- , Decatur, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 052010

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,812 miles

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

I have very well maintained Camry 2002. I started noticing some leakage under the car for 2-3 days but was not sure what it was. Then on 4th day, I noticed no heat in the car and when I looked at the temprature gague it was gone up all the way. So I pulled it to the nearest Gas station and noticed that there was no radiator coolent left in the car. Bought coolent from Canadian Tire and filled up radiator to make it driveable again. Next morning took it to the garage. First Michanic could not figure out what was going on. Next day he called me and informed me that there were two bolts stripped in engine. My mechanic was also surprised and shocked as he told me that he had never seen this problem in Toyota before. He was of the opninion that someone was careless at assembly line and these bolts were stripped from day one. But now I learnt from internet that this problem is being expeirenced by others too. I got the engine replaced to fix the problem. I hope I don't experience same problem again with the replaced engine.

- , Brampton, Ontario, Canada

problem #4

Mar 072010

Camry SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Ooohh Toyota, I thought you were amazing, but I'm soo let down by what happened to my car. I live in California, and drove out to Vegas for my birthday, I started driving home and my car overheated. Was hoping maybe my water pump wasn't working. Got a wakeup call on my birthday from the autoshop letting me know my Head gasket was blown, and it would be 1800. Great... at least i get to stay in Vegas a few more days.Tue rolls around, get a call letting me know the car is ready, awesome! Call them back to give payment, and oh wait, they called the wrong person, my car will be ready on Wed. So wed rolls around, an hour before im supposed to pick it up I get a call letting me know my head bolts are stripped, $4000. I hate Vegas by now, I missed a full week of class, and I cant believe Toyota would put parts in a 250,000 mile car, that fail (for some people) after only 75,000. There should be some sort of fix or recall. Toyota needs to step up there quality control fast

- , Costa, C, USA

problem #3

Feb 122010

Camry 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Toyota needs to add this one to their recall list. This car was fine, well maintained with regular tune-ups, fluid levels topped off, then this happened. The repair shop thought it was just a blown head gasket at first and then, BOOMBA, they found out that the head bolts were stripped. They said it must have been due to fatigue!!! I know I'm not the only one who has discovered this costly problem on their own Toyota...everyone who has experienced this problem should report it so that we can get Toyota to recall these lemons!

- , Saint Augustine, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 292009

Camry LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

Camry's owners beware, 2002-2007, bad engines, the head bolt will stripe and you will need to replace the engine. Toyota needs to have a recall on this, but they say it is not happening. I guess they are blind!!!!!!!!!!

- , LeMars, IA, USA

problem #1

May 102009

Camry 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,012 miles

My beautiful black 2002 Camry! sooo! reliable, I look after it, regular scheduled services, and I don't even like to get it dirty!. She's a sweet car,I brag about Camry's.

So a week ago get a coolant leak. To make a long story short. I NEED AN ENGINE! Stripped head bolts in the block, No not just a mere head gasket, which would be surprising enough!. The head bolts have let go from the block. I am a licensed Mechanic and this just doesn't make sense. I am really disappointed. I feel that Toyota is somehow responsible, there's gotta be an underlying defect. My problem is not isolated... look it up!

- , Summerside, PEI, Canada

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