The Toyota brand is venerated among automotive enthusiasts because of the outstanding qualities of its vehicles.
Toyota cars are affordable, highly practical, and fuel-efficient — everything one could want from a vehicle.
But you might be more concerned about Toyota reliability, specifically the reliability of its engines.
Do Toyota engines last as claimed by many? Let’s find out in this new article.
Here is the short answer to how long Toyota engines last:
The average Toyota engine will last between 250,000 miles to 300,000 miles. This means that the engine in your Toyota model should run in good condition for 16 to 20 years before wearing out.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Toyota Engine?
According to Toyota owners, the average mileage gotten on Toyota engines falls between 200,000 miles and 250,000 miles.
However, even this is a conservative estimate, as some owners have gotten more than 300,000 miles on a Toyota engine.
The biggest deciding factor for Toyota engine longevity is maintenance. Like every mechanical part, your Toyota engine needs constant care to function properly.
Already, your car comes with an owner’s manual that specifies maintenance activities for your engine.
Doing these things (changing filters, replacing oil, etc.) will help your Toyota engine last longer.
We must not forget that how you use your Toyota engine may influence its lifespan.
In most cases, it’s always advisable to use your engine carefully—no hard riding, incessant engine braking, and so on.
When you ride your vehicle roughly, you’re are unwittingly straining the engine components.
Over time, this will lead to malfunctioning engine parts and an unreliable engine.
Want your Toyota engine to last past 250,000 miles or more? Then maintain it properly and use it responsibly.
Except your Toyota is a Supra or some performance-focused model, you should avoid modifications and hard riding.
How Long Do Toyota Engines Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
Toyota engine reliability is great, but how does it compare to rivals on the market?
Read on to find out if Toyota has longer lasting engines than its competitors:
Toyota vs. Honda
Two icons of Japanese dedication to reliability, Toyota and Honda have similar reliability ratings.
A Toyota engine can last between 250,000 to 300,000 miles, just as the average Honda engine can last up to 300,000 miles.
However, Toyotas are slightly more expensive to maintain over the years compared to Hondas.
RepairPal indicates that you’ll spend around $441 on servicing for a Toyota in one year. In contrast, a Honda costs just $428 on average in annual servicing costs.
Toyota vs. Ford
Although Ford benefits from quality engineering, its engines cannot compare to Toyota’s in terms of reliability.
Ford engines offer a ‘best possible mileage’ of around 200,000 miles.
By comparison, you can get more than 250,000 miles from a Toyota engine if you maintain it well.
Based on this, it’s pretty obvious that Toyota engines last longer than Ford engines.
We must also remind you that the disparity in maintenance costs for both brands is simply astonishing.
While average annual repair costs for Fords is about $775, Toyotas have a cheaper maintenance cost ($441/year).
Toyota vs. Chevrolet
Chevrolet, along with Ford, represents Toyota’s biggest American competitor.
However, Chevrolet has a long way to go if it intends to reach Toyota’s level of quality.
At the moment, a Chevy engine can get you 150,000 miles to 200,000 miles of headache-free service.
This pales in comparison to the 250,000-300,000 miles that the average Toyota engine offers buyers.
If you need more reasons asides engine to pick a Toyota over a Chevy, then consider servicing costs. According to RepairPal data, maintaining a Chevy vehicle in a year will set you back $649.
But Toyota has less expensive maintenance costs, with RepairPal pegging annual maintenance costs at $441.
Toyota vs. Nissan
The Nissan brand is one that, like Toyota, has a reputation for being reliable.
Still, it cannot compete against Toyota when it comes to reliability.
The proof lies in the numbers. Engines powering Nissan vehicles usually last 200,000 miles or more with proper maintenance. Meanwhile, engines in Toyota vehicles are known to last beyond 250,000 miles if they are used well.
The difference in servicing costs for both models is less wide.
RepairPal estimates suggest that you’ll spend $441 on servicing a Toyota (annually). Maintaining a Nissan is slightly more expensive, with annual repair costs hovering around $500.
Make sure to also read our article about popular cars with Wankel engines.
How Reliable Is a Toyota Engine?
The short answer to this question is, “Toyota engines are very reliable”.
This may seem like a bold statement, but it’s the truth.
Over the years, Toyota has built its Kaizen philosophy of constant improvement into its company culture.
This reflects in the amount of research and engineering that goes into producing each Toyota engine.
Unlike some rivals, Toyota isn’t concerned with making engines that can produce excessive horsepower.
Its main preoccupation is building engines that can last thousands of miles without failing.
The reliability of Toyota engines explains why around 87% of Toyota models sold in the last 15 or so years are still on the road.
It also explains why Toyota ranked as the second most-reliable brand out of 26 automakers in 2020, according to Consumer Reports.
But, like we’ve explained before, the reliability of your Toyota engine depends on your actions.
Don’t abuse your engine, fail to service it, and expect it to last long.
Ensure you’re not straining the engine while you’re riding.
Also carry out recommended maintenance activities on your engine to preserve its lifespan.
Please also read our article that discusses whether all Porsches use Boxer engines.
The Best and Worst Toyota Engines
Toyota has had lots of great engines, so it would be difficult to pick “the best.”
Therefore, we’ll consider some of the very best engines to come from Toyota:
Best Toyota Engines
Here are the best engines to come out of Toyota:
1. 2JZ-GTE Engine
The 2JZ-GTE engine is perhaps the most legendary engine to come out of a Toyota factory.
It was a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, featuring a cast-iron block and aluminum head.
Noted for its incredible reliability and performance, the 2JZ-GTE was a favorite for racecar tuners, who treasured its ability to produce amazing power without blowing up.
The 2JZ-GTE was fitted on the iconic Toyota Supra sports car, which found fame after it featured in the Fast and Furious movie.
2. 2ZZ-GE Engine
The 2ZZ-GE engine is an inline 4-cylinder 1.8-liter engine that was produced by Toyota from 1999 to 2006.
It garnered praise on its debut, both for its reliability and incredible power output.
Due to its exceptional power-to-weight ratio, Lotus used the 2ZZ-GE engine in its supercars, offering a supercharger that boosted output to 240 horsepower.
However, it stopped using it in vehicles starting from 2011.
Even though it’s not in production, the 2ZZ-GE is still used in many cars today.
For owners, the ease of sourcing, upgrading, and servicing this engine makes it a great option.
3. 1GR-FE and 2GR-FE Engines
The 1GR-FE and 2GR-FE are two variants of the same six-cylinder engine design.
The two engines are quite similar, with both coming with dual overhead cams and aluminum heads.
Our research revealed that the 1GR-FE and 2GR-FE engines are the most common Toyota engines in production.
You can find them on vehicles ranging from sedans (Camry) to a pickup (Tundra).
The wide use of the GR engines in the Toyota lineup only shows how good the engines are.
Worst Toyota Engine
By a long margin, the worst Toyota engine appears to be the 3VZ-FE engine.
First released in 1987, this engine was plagued with numerous issues until its discontinuation in 1997.
The first issue with the 3VZ-FE engine was excessive overheating. Moreover, improper operation of coolant refilling could lead to gasket rupture and loss of tightness.
It also often experienced faulty coolant fans, increased oil consumption, and knocking noises.
The best owners could get out of the 3VZ-FE engine was 180,000 miles, poor by Toyota standards.
Also read our articles about the engines used in Hummers.
What About Recalls?
We could not find a comprehensive list of engine-related recalls for Toyota.
Nonetheless, here is a rough timeline containing some Toyota engine-related recalls in recent history:
1. July 2010: Toyota recalls 270,000 vehicles worldwide due to faulty valve springs in engines that may cause stalling during operation.
According to Toyota, the recall affects models equipped with faulty 4.6-liter V8 and 3.5-liter V6 engines including the Lexus GS350, GS450h, GS460, IS350, LS460, LS600h, LS600hL, and the Crown sedan.
2. February 2020: Toyota recalls an estimated 44,191 2020 Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, and Lexus ES300h and 2019-2020 RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid fitted with 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines.
Per recall info, the problem stems from porosity in engine castings that may cause cracks and internal/external coolant leaks. Coolant leaks can cause engine overheating, stalling, and increase collision risk.
3. October 2020: Toyota recalls 1.5 million vehicles in the US for a fuel pump issue that could cause engines to stall. In situations where the stall happens at high speed, it could lead to a crash.
Are Toyota Engines Expensive to Maintain?
Toyota is known for its very reliable engines, which can run for long without failure.
If you give it proper maintenance, your Toyota engine should be cheap to maintain in the long run.
The average cost for fixing a Toyota engine lies between $2,500 and $4,000.
But the individual repair cost will vary according to the type of engine you have, its age, and the issues facing it.
Toyota uses two types of engines: gasoline engines and diesel engines. Unsurprisingly, the two engine types have a few differences, which could influence maintenance costs.
On average, Toyota diesel engines have cheaper maintenance costs than gasoline-powered Toyota engines.
However, you’ll pay more on a Toyota diesel engine for repairs compared to a gasoline variant.
Tips to Prolong the Life Of Your Toyota Engine?
With engine replacement costs increasing, you want to get as much use as possible from your Toyota engine.
Here are some tips you can follow to expand the lifespan of your Toyota engine:
- Replace timing belts and spark plugs
- Always check oil and coolant levels
- Ensure to follow the maintenance schedule
- Clean air filters at intervals
- Check for cracks and leaks
- Look out for the ‘Check Engine Light’
- Replace fuel filters
- Tune up the carburetors at intervals
- Avoid harsh driving
- Ensure to use only qualified mechanics. The wrong mechanic can ruin your engine and cause its failure.
- Keep RPMs low for the first 20 minutes after starting the vehicle
- Buy gas from reputable shops. Bad gas can damage your engine components.