really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
144,167 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rethread head bolts or replace engine (4 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Toyota Camry engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 262016

Camry 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles


I was a faithful Toyota person......WAS......stripped head bolts!

- , Lebanon, PA, US

problem #5

Aug 182015

Camry XLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 218,000 miles

When I test drove this car (2002 Toyota Camry)I noticed it was low on coolant; so I just stop, got and add coolant (anti-freeze) to it and told the seller about it, but the car was not overheating,,, yet. The car was running fine at that time; It did not seem to drip water on my driveway. I have two more cars so I was not driving that particular car frequently. Few days later noticed the car was low on coolant AGAIN without signs of leaking it. In addition the oil level was very low too -But that's another story. A radiator pressure test indicated no leaks in the system... Once coolant was added, I decided to drive it and find the whereabouts of the missing coolant. And found out it was at higher speeds when the coolant was expelled out of the engine between the engine and firewall of the car! I rise the car and noticed a piece of foam that seem to not belong there. It was absorbing the fluid, spreading it wide and the wind will create a fine stream of coolant not very visible, which, if the firewall got wet, the heat will evaporate it very quickly, leaving only some smell off coolant. Further tests indicated the source of the problem was the pressure escaping between the head and block of the engine which broke the gasket between, bent the head and the same pressure pulled up the bolts holding head and block together, stripping the threads of the aluminum block, which is softer than the bolts themselves. At this point I have a suggestion for Toyota: Use very long bolts from top of the head to bottom of block, eliminating the use of interior threads in softer materials, similar to the sealed engines ...

- , Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #4

Oct 242011

Camry XLE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

This was my second Camry and I loved the cars, til one day it overheated and I took it in to a trusted mechanic and he said my car was totaled. Only solution was new engine, and it wasn't worth repairing due to value of car. I wasn't in a position to buy a new car, so I found someone to put in a refurbished engine and I got 2 more years. The mechanic said that this problem is well known to Toyota, but they have refused to recall or help consumers in any way. Now, it has happened again! I can relate to every single complaint. I am shocked that Toyota knowingly refuses to help or fix their defect. That's the end of it for me and Toyota!

- , Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

problem #3

Jun 092011

Camry ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


this is the second camry in for the same problem in row. they sell a helicoil kit for this problem. we took the extra time and tap out all the holes, resurfaced the head.all said and done we got bad results. still leaking after it got warmed up. if you ask me, this is a engine block problem not a cylinder head problem.I just wanted others to no not to waiste there time trying to save it. thanks

- , Payson, UT, USA

problem #2

Mar 252011

Camry XLT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

The car is overheating and has not been resolved yet.

I'm a Toyota fanatic,am 60 years young and worked all my life in auto repair business(my Dad had a shop in Brazil).

I have been voted last two years "best mechanic of Maui" by the Mauitime. We all can make mistakes and that is human,but that doesn't take the guilt away!!! It is time for TOYOTA TAKE RESPONSABILITY and correct this problem at NO COST to the consumer. Toyota should remember that in these hard times it counts even more to the consumer who does and who DOES NOT takes care of them!


- , Haiku, HI, USA

problem #1

Aug 312009

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Car started overheating. Was low on water in radiator. Continually needed water. Replaced thermostat and radiator cap. No change. Took in for repair. Was told it had a broken head gasket. Called next day and said head bolts stripped. Best solution is a new (new or used) engine. Second best is to rethread bolts, but no guarantee it will work. This 2002 Camry has 108000 miles on it. Gently driven around town and a couple cross country trips. All upkeep done. My mechanic called my engine a "disposable" engine that Toyota used around 2002, 2003. I have found LOTS of similar stories on the internet yet Toyota denies there is a problem. Yeah.

- , Martinez, CA, USA

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