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 1 of 2)

problem #35

Jun 012014

Camry XLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

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

I have purchased many Toyota's over the years. 1990 Camry LE - Great Car 1990 Tercel - Excellent Car 1993 Corolla - Excellent car 1994 Tercel - Horrible engine 2001 Camry - Excellent Car 2002 Camry - Horrible Car - Head gasket failure/stripped bolts 2004 Corolla - Excellent car 2004 4 -Runner - Excellent Car 2014 Avalon - So far so good - Will not purchase another Toyota based on 2002 Camry experience. Note that all of these were new car purchases except the 2001 Camry

Toyota should pay for this engine repair as it was a design flaw. You put garbage out and you lose your customer base. Toyota and I are finished. I would not have purchased the 2014 Avalon if it was post 2002 Camry experience. Toyota, You have killed our relationship. You should return to the Deming method which brought you to the point that you were during the earlier years.

- , Collierville, TN, USA

problem #34

Sep 112015

Camry SE 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 53,500 miles

I been a Toyota guy, have a 92 Camry 2.2L with 279K (original engine) as my work car. 94 Camry V6 with 134K. My 02 Camry 2.4L bought it 2 yrs ago from Toyota Marin, had 36K on it, though had a good deal, low mileage car for a 11 yr old. I though this Camry would last me for a long time.

Got the car in Aug 2013 and it was my weekend car and barely used the car for my work. I've only put inn about 18K on the car for the two yrs I had it. The only work that was done was water pump replacement, done by a Toyota tech that does outside jobs and I did replace my serpentine belt. Same issue as the other complaints, strip head bolt, coolant was just pouring out badly. Spoke to the dealer and recommended time sert since fluid and oil has not mixed, cost to fix about $4500 from dealer, just for time sert., assuming my head is not damage.

Spoke to Toyota tech mechanic, he had mention to me this was a common problems with this models, 2.4L engines. I read about this issue last year but thinking I could at least get 100K on my motor. The Toyota tech recommend me to change my engine, he was charging me $900 for engine replacement labor and for my engine to be rebuilt would cost me about $2800. I've contact two other mechanics I go to and they have the same recommendation. I would hate to get a new car, d/t I don't like car payments, so I am looking at ways the least expensive fix. The dealer service manager had given me Toyota's customer care #, but I doubt they will do something but I will give it a try hoping they could do something.

Disappointed with this Toyota model and I would not recommend this Toyota models to buyers, 2.4L engine from 02-07. Then the Toyota tech had also mention issue with piston rings on 2.5L on 07-10 models, which cost about 7K to fix it, (replace engines). I would also call headquarters of recall complaints 1 800 424 9393 to complaint of this ongoing issue with this model. At this time this issue is not a recall issue. What I am saying is, if owners with the same issue would complain about it, Toyota might do a recall on it.

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #33

Oct 142014

Camry XLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

When I bought this car new, I asked the service manager if this car had any problems and how many miles I should expect to get from it. He replied that I should expect to get around 300,000 miles. He neglected to mention the fact that the engine would BLOW UP at 137,000 miles. (Head bolts stripped). I called Hammer Toyota, where I bought the car, to ask them what they were going to do to fix it, since it was a design flaw. They told me," You give me $11,500.00 and we will give you a new engine."

I called 2 more dealers and got the same response. $11,500.00! One dealer suggested that I call Toyota's customer service. They pretty much told me to GO POUND SAND!

I have had 3 Camry's and a Lexus and I really liked this 02' Camry - until it blew up and Toyota won't take responsibility for their design flaws.

I will never drive another Toyota product and I don't recommend that anyone buy their cars or buy their stock. I can't support a company that won't support their products and builds junk cars.

- , Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #32

May 182015

Camry LE 2.4L L4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

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

I bought my 2002 Toyota Camry LE a few months ago, and has ran great, until I got a Major Misfire in the #1 Cylinder, which later investigating, found out that was due to a blown head gasket, as well as Stripped Head Bolts so the seal was not tight. This caused the engine to leak coolant into it, burning coolant and constantly refilling the coolant every few days. Working on the problem and has cost about $700 so far after having the head of the engine rebuilt, as well as the fix for the head bolts, New Head bolts, and a new head gasket set, and there could be even more I have to do to fix this problem! A problem like this Toyota should RECALL!!!!! We should not have to pay for the poor design and workmanship Toyota did on this batch of engines!

- , Huntington Beach, USA

problem #31

Aug 022011

Camry LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

This "Loose Head Gasket" Problem was actually a design flaw and through an outrageously time consuming research effort (carcomplaints.com was an excellent reference tool), I found that it was a Corporate Toyota Service Bulletin (Which is not available to the public). The Toyota Dealership's Service Department (Which by the way I have absolutely NO CONFIDENCE in after owning 5 Toyotas over 25 years), told me it would cost $4,200 to fix. I was furious. After working with Toyota Corporate for 3-months, we agreed to split the cost which cost me $2,100

If they would have told me when purchasing this vehicle (Brand New) that I would have major engine problems at 85K miles, I would have not bought the vehicle. I also used the Authorized Toyota Service Departments to perform ALL scheduled maintenance. So this was definitely a Design Issue.

My extensive research in this issue alerted me that if this problem was not fixed properly it would reoccur in no time at all. Sure enough after spending $2,100.00 to fix it the leaking oil reoccurred in 2014 with 92,000 miles. It was not even 100K. I then again went through corporate Toyota and they were extremely rude and non-remorseful.

The incompetency of the Authorized Toyota Service departments forced me to find an independent Toyota repair guy. He was an excellent resource. After the 2nd exact same oil leak resurfaced, I took it in to him and he used some of his old Toyota resources to find out the following:

In 2011 when Head Gasket issue was originally worked on, the crooked dealer put in a Warranty request with Toyota Corporate and they (Corporate) apparently agreed to REPLACE THE SHORT BLOCK. The independent Toyota repair guy checked the engines serial number and it was the original engine. This means that the Toyota Dealership was able to get Toyota Corporate to agree to fund replacing MY ENGINE but instead of doing that, they charged me $2,100.00 and DID NOT REPLACE THE ENGINE. I consider this Fraud and considered taking the information to my attorney Decided not to pursue legally because Toyota was always very non-caring even on the beginning when knowing they had this HEAD GASKET issue. Vehicle ended up dying with blown engine this year (2015) with 103,246 miles. Keep in mind that this vehicle was purchased Brand New from Toyota in 2002 and only had 103,246 miles with regular scheduled maintenance performed at Authorized Toyota Service Department.

I will never ever purchase another Toyota in my lifetime and I am encouraging my family to do not purchase.

Please keep in mind that I was a Die Hard Toyota loyalist. But now I believe that the quality is at all time low and that company in general is inherently dishonest. Keep in mind that they recently paid $1.2 Billion in class action law suits (Consumers/Families died as a result of the problems resulting in the class action lawsuit)

Inherent Dishonesty Example: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324669104578203440990704994

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #30

Jun 052015

Camry LS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,000 miles

2002 Toyota Camry 166000 miles. Never overheated. Just started shaking when I stopped at right light. Died out. Restarted proceeded to give car gas, hardly moved. Then all of a sudden it went like really fast. Engine light started blinking. The temperature needle inside of car never moved. Let car be for a moment, restarted, temperature needle went straight to hot. Dealer says it has a cracked head gasket and needs new engine. From the comments I see, Toyota needs to do a serious recall. The dealer told me this was the second one they got in their dealership this week.

I paid $4600 for this car. Now I have to sink another $3000 in it. HELL NO. IT CAN SIT IN MY YARD. THE FINANCE COMPANY CAN COME PICK IT UP.

NO LONGER A LOYAL TOYOTA CUSTOMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Opelousas, USA

problem #29

Dec 102014

Camry LE 4cy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

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

Just found this web site. For what it's worth my problem happened 6 months ago. Same as most everyone else on here, stripped head bolts @ 140,000 miles. I had purchased the vehicle only 2 weeks prior from Toyota of Bristol (TN) As Is. I Paid approx. $6000 for the vehicle and then approx. $3000 more after the failure for an engine and install. After hours of research on the web, the engine I finally purchased was from JDM Alliance in Garland, TX which I highly recommend. They show photos/videos of the actual engine you are purchasing (with the stamped engine number) on line along with compression testing of each cylinder. Try and purchase one that has been shipped from Japan for the best luck. The certified Toyota mechanic of 26 years that installed mine said that due to some kind of regulations (emissions) in Japan, after 50 - 70k miles the Japanese removed these engines from their vehicles and sold them to other country's. Who Knows?

- , Church Hill, TN, USA

problem #28

Apr 092015

Camry LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,881 miles

I started to hear some slugging or gurgling from the engine, I notice the coolant reservoir was low, so I added antifreeze. Two weeks later the car overheated. My independent mechanic said coolant was leaking in back of the engine. Repairs would cause $3200. My car has 150,881 miles. Not sure what I will do.

It sure is disappointing to hear that this is a common problem with Toyota and they refuse to take responsibility. I'm now retired and sure don't want to buy a new or used car.

- , Stafford, TX, USA

problem #27

Feb 032015

Camry LE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Stripped head bolt! This car is trash and I will NEVER BUY A TOYOTA product again, even if its the end of the world and only Toyota vehicles have survived the apocalypse and I need to drive for survival.

- , College Station, TX, USA

problem #26

Jul 172013

Camry LE 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 111,847 miles

What can I say that has not already been said? Problem is fixed for now, but I am driving the car to the crusher on the next occurrence like this one. It has the oil consumption blues as well, one liter every 700 kms, ridiculous. sad thing is it won't pass emissions in a few months because of this and the car will have to be scrapped or parted out. The consumer paying for such blatant defects from a company with Toyota's past reputation for quality products? Sadly that reputation for good quality is now undeserved and they are riding on their laurels, such as they are. Toyota quality? It is to laugh.

- , Burlington, Ontario, canada

problem #25

Mar 062014

Camry ES 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

Want to fix but don't know what to do to take the stripped bolts off?

- , El Paso, TX, USA

problem #24

Feb 242014

Camry LE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

the mechanic informed us that this a repeat problem of the 4 cylinder motors of toyota, when the thermostat sticks it causes the bolts to strip and it cost 2500 to 3000 to repair this happens to most of these size motors and toyota is very much aware of this problem. I would like help in paying for this cost since they know that this is a problem of theirs. I had my thermostat fixed at a cost of 20.00 thinking my car was fixed but instead i kept smelling antifreeze. I was planning to buy another toyota in October but after this I dont think I will. I need this car to get to work. the car isnt even worth 3000.00.

- , Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #23

Nov 032013

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

I bought this car new. I maintained it well and enjoyed it until the engine failed prematurely (2AZFE). Toyota really screwed up using STEEL head bolts in an aluminum engine. I was taught to always use aluminum bolts with aluminum engines.

It's really quite simple, steel and aluminum expand and contract at different rates for obvious reasons, don't forget about electrolysis either. What puzzles me is if Toyota did this on purpose or not. Any way you look at it, don't put in a used or rebuilt engine with the same problem. You have to drill out the old threads and install time serts in each and every head bolt position.

- , Los Alamitos, CA, USA

problem #22

Sep 272013

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 288,938 miles

THIS IS THE THIRD MOTOR IN THIS CAR! THE FIRST MOTOR WENT, HEAD GASKET, SAME SYMPTOMS I AM JUST NOW READING ABOUT, HEATER DOESNT WORK, THEN IT DIES. REPLACED THE MOTOR, GOT A FEW YEARS OUT OF IT, THEN THE HEATER DOESNT WORK AND MOTOR DIES ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. OIL WAS LOW SO I BLAMED MYSELF. REPLACED IT WITH A THIRD MOTOR LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AGO, THIS ONE HAD 80K ON IT SO I EXPECTED IT TO BE A SOLUTION FOR THE LIFE OF THE CAR. THIS MORNING IT DIED, HEATER HAD NOT BEEN WORKING BUT SINCE IT IS STILL WARM ENOUGH NOT TO NEED IT WE WENT OUR MERRY WAY, UNTIL TODAY. LOOKING INTO THIS FURTHER AND I FIND ALL THESE FOLKS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM, WHERE IS TOYOTA WHEN YOU NEED THEM???

- , Grand Bay, NB, Canada

problem #21

Oct 232012

Camry SE

  • Manual transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I noticed leakage - thought it was a loose oil gasket after oil change, so took it back to mechanic. He showed me it was coolant leaking, not oil. He did research and found out about the threads stripping on Toyotas of this year. My car acted just the way many others reported; the heater would stop working, and then the engine would run super hot. If you stopped the car and looked, all the coolant had leaked out. If you filled it with coolant again, it was fine for another day, but it always happened again on long trips. I took the car to the Toyota dealer and explained - they said they never heard of that problem, and that the threads could not be stripped or I would not be able to drive the car. They said it was a stuck thermostat. They charged me, fixed the thermostat, and two days later driving home my heater stopped working and the engine temp went red. I stopped (in the middle of the night in the middle of the highway!) and filled the radiator with coolant and drove the rest of the way home. My trusty mechanic is now seeing if he can get a kit to fix it since I obviously can't trust the Toyota dealer where I bought the car.

- , Douglassville, PA, USA

problem #20

Sep 132012

Camry LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

This car had each and every maintenance/service. Oil was changed on time. One day I heard a "gurgling" sound. Sounded like a half empty gallon jug being sloshed around. Then a week later it overheated because it was out of coolant. Garage said it had a head leaking due to stripped head bolt. After researching the 2002 Camry with a 2.4L engine I found this was a known problem. I didn't put a rebuilt engine in it because others have done that to just have the same problem happen again! Toyota shame on you!! Toyota should have done a recall or something. They know this is a problem and they did nothing. Well I learned my lesson. Before buying a car, I now go on www.carcomplaints.com!

P.S. I bought a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (I did research it first on this site).

- , Napa, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 012010

Camry XLE 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

ABOUT 1 YEAR BEFORE TAKING THE CAR IN TO GET FIXED, I NOTICED DECREASED HORSEPOWER, SMOKE OUT THE TAIL PIPE. I STOPPED USING THE CAR EXCEPT FOR SHORT DRIVES.

THINKING THAT THIS CAR WAS WORTH FIXING, I DROVE IT OVER TO MY FAVORITE MECHANIC AND HE TRIED TO FIND A USED ENGINE FROM JAPAN WITH 35,000 MILES ON. THANK THE SUPREME BEING THAT HE DID NOT FIND ONE BECAUSE, WHEN HE GOT INTO THE ENGINE, HE FOUND STRIPED HEAD BOLTS. YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT!!!!!! THE HEAD JUST BLEW OFF ALL THE BOLTS FROM TOO MUCH COMPRESSION. JUST YANKED AND STRIPPED LOOSE LIKE ALL THOSE 1968 VW'S THAT I HAD TO OVERHAUL EVERY 10,000 MILES.

BUT THAT WAS NOT ALL. THE ENGINE COOLANT THAT WAS BURNING IN THE ENGINE SEIZED UP THE RINGS AND MY MECHANIC DID NOT CATCH IT THE FIRST OVERHAUL. SO HE HAD TO TEAR IT DOWN AGAIN AND HONE THE CYLINDERS AND RERING IT. I WAS MAD OF COURSE THAT NOW WE WERE IN IT 2900 DOLLARS AND HE DID NOT EVEN DO A VALVE JOB.

- , North Salt Lake, UT, USA

problem #18

Jan 102013

Camry 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

I'm a Mechanic at a local shop and found a repair kit for this problem. Yes it was expensive ($475.00 ) but its cheaper than an engine.These inserts are a solid repair, but you might have to put all of them in because of the nature of the problem. The torque on the bolts are 58lbs and tighten add'l 90 deg which is alot of pressure to hold, these are what they call torque to yield bolts. I got a new set of bolts for this car so the torque will be the same across the board. Good luck with your repair and take your time doing it being sure not to get shavings in the engine when drilling for the inserts

- , Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #17

Jan 042013

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 204,000 miles

I own a 2002 Toyota Camry.. Took care of it like it was my first kid.. Was a very reliable car.. Just last week started pushing coolant.. Then the next day raining coolant from the rear of the head.. have a friend at Toyota Found out that the most reliable car is now junk.. Cylinder head bolts stripped?? I understand that all things have a life expectancy but to go from a great car to junk in one day is unacceptable. I understand that I got my monies worth but still just to throw it away seems stupid.. metal fatigue? poor design?/ really sucks.. I am a loyal Toyota owner throughout the years but this really sucks.. If I wanted junk I would have bought a G.M. Car!! P.S. Toyota states "Just buy a new car and donate this one" Fu$%#k You!!

- , Readington, NJ, USA

problem #16

Dec 042012

Camry

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

Same as complaints 1-14. Stripped bolts, new engine. LEMON

- , Hoover, AL, USA

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