Toyota engines review

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© Toyota-Club.Net
Jun 2003 - Nov 2015

This brief review focuses on Toyota engines produced since 1990s. The data is based on practice, statistics, reviews of the owners and repairers, and our own fifteen-years experience. Despite the criticality assessments, it should be remembered - even relatively unsuccessful Toyota's engine is more reliable than any creation of the local russian automotive industry.

A · E · G · S · FZ · JZ · MZ · RZ · TZ · VZ · UZ · AZ · NZ · SZ · ZZ · AR · GR · NR · TR · UR · ZR
C · L · N · HZ · KZ · PZ · WZ · WW · AD · CD · GD · KD · ND · VD · General notes

Since the beginning of the mass import of Japanese cars in Russia (early 1990s) already had few conventional generation of Toyota engines:
- 1st wave (1970s - early 1980s) - now forgotten old series (R, V, M, T, Y, K, early A and S).
- 2nd wave (mid-1980s - the end of the 1990s) - Toyota's classic (later A and S, G, JZ), the cornerstone of company reputation.
- 3rd wave (since late 1990s) - "revolutionary" series (ZZ, AZ, NZ). Special features - alloy cylinder blocks, variable valve timing, timing chain drive, ETCS.
- 4th wave (since the mid-2000s) - the evolutionary development of the previous generation (ZR, GR, AR). - Special features - DVVT, versions with Valvematic, hydraulic lash adjusters. Since the mid-2010s - re-introduction of direct injection (D-4) and turbocharging.

Gasoline engines

"A" (R4, belt)
A series engines shared first place with S series in reliability and popularity. As for the mechanical, it is difficult to find a better-designed engines. At the same time they have good maintainability, and do not create problems with spare parts. Installed in C/D-class cars (Corolla / Sprinter, Corona / Carina / Caldina families).

4A-FE - the most common engine, produced without significant changes since 1988, has no pronounced structural defects
5A-FE - smaller version, that produced till 2010s for some Asian markets and joint models
7A-FE - later larger modification

The optimal version 4A-FE and 7A-FE was used for Corolla family. However, being installed in Corona / Carina / Caldina, they eventually got the "LeanBurn" system, designed for lean combustion and helps to save fuel in traffic (more about design features - "Toyota 4A-FE Lean Burn", model range - "Lean Burn at Toyota A series"). But the Japanese harmed ordinary rus-consumers - many owners of these engines are faced with the so-called "LB problem", which reveals as specific power loss at medium speed, the cause of which and cure is unknown thoroughly - whether the poor quality of rus-gasoline, whether problems in power systems and ignition (these engines are highly sensitive to spark plugs and high-voltage wires state), or all together - but sometimes lean mixture just is not ignited.

Small additional defect - a tendency to increased wear of camshaft beds, non-floating piston pins, some difficulties with valve gap adjusting.

"7A-FE LeanBurn - low-speed torque, it even more strong than 3S-FE because have maximum torque at 2800 rpm"
"Outstanding" high-torque at low rpm of 7A-FE LeanBurn - one of the common misconceptions. All -FE engines of A series have "two-humped" torque curve - with the first peak in 2500-3000 and second in 4500-4800 rpm. The height of these peaks is almost the same (difference fit almost 5 Nm), but STD engine have second peak slightly higher, while LB - first peak. But absolute torque maximum of STD is more (157 vs. 155 Nm). Now compare with 3S-FE. Maximum torque of 7A-FE LB and 3S-FE type'96 is 155/2800 and 186/4400 Nm, respectively. But if take the whole characteristic, the 3S-FE at 2800 rpm have torque 168-170 Nm and 155 Nm - near 1700-1900 rpm.

4A-GE 20V - forced motor for small "sport" cars replaced in 1991 the previous base engine of A series A (4A-GE 16V). To provide 160 hp output, the Japanese used the cylinder head with 5 valves per cylinder, the VVT system (the first application of variable valve timing by Toyota), and redline at 8.000 rpm. Minus - such engine have inevitably stronger wear compared with the average 4A-FE of the same year, because in Japan it initially bought not for economical and gentle ride. It have greater demands for gasoline (high compression) and oil (VVT), so it is intended primarily to someone who knows and understands its features.

Except 4A-GE, engines successfully use RON 91 gasoline (including LB, for which the requirements are even softer). Ignition - distributor for most versions nd DIS-2 (Direct Ignition System, one ignition coil for each pair of cylinders) for late LB.

4A-FE LB1587105/5600139/44009.581.0×77.091DIS-2no
4A-GE 16V1587140/7200147/600010.381.0×77.095dist.no
4A-GE 20V1587165/7800162/560011.081.0×77.095dist.yes
7A-FE LB1762110/5800150/28009.581.0×85.591DIS-2no

* Abbreviations and symbols:
V - displacement [cm3]
N - maximum power [hp / rpm]
M - maximum torque [Nm / rpm]
CR - compression ratio
D×S - cylinder bore ? piston stroke [mm]
RON - manufacturer's recommended research octane number of gasoline
IG - ignition system type
VD - the collision of the valves and pistons if timing belt broken

** Hereinafter given specs for later engine modifications.
*** R4 - Hereinafter "R#" means "Reihenmotor" - straight engine with inline cylinders.

"E" (R4, belt)
Basic light engine series in 1990s. Installed in B/C/D-class cars (Starlet, Tercel, Corolla, Caldina).

4E-FE - basic engine
5E-FE - larger version
5E-FHE - powerful version with higher redline and variable intake geometry
4E-FTE - turbocharged version ii that turned Starlet GT in "rabid stool" (local term for small powerful cars)

On the one hand, the series have not many critical defects, but on the other hand - too much comare with A series. Very weak crankshaft seals, smaller life of cylinder-piston pair, moreover, formally not-repairable. And should always remember that the power of the engine must conform to the class - so 4E-FE is appropriate in Tercel but weak in Corolla, and 5E-FE - in Caldina. Operating with high load, they have a shorter mileage life and a strong wear against larger engines in the same models.

Minimal RON requirements for conventional versions - 91. Ignition system - with distributor, at latest version (since 1997) - DIS-2.

* Under normal conditions, the valves and pistons collision does not occur, but under adverse conditions contact is possible (see below).

"G" (R6, belt)
1G-FE - one of the best engines and the former leader of an informal reliability ranking. Installed in E-class FR models (Mark II, Crown families).

Note, that there are actually two different engines with the same name. First generation - optimal, reliable, unpretentious - produced in 1990-98 (1G-FE type'90). Among the shortcomings - oil pump drive by timing belt (at cold start with strongly thickened oil the belt can jump or teeth cut-off)), weak oil pressure sensor. Overall, it's a good unit, but do not expect outstanding dynamics.

In 1998, the engine has been updated radically - with increasing the compression ratio and higher redline output was up by 20 hp - but at great cost. The engine was equipped with VVT system, variable intake system (ACIS), direct ignition and throttle valve electronic control (ETCS). The most changes are in the mechanical part. Cylinder head construction completely changed, hydraulic belt tensioner appeared, cylinder block, pistons, crankshaft were updated. Note, the parts 1G-FE type'90 and type'98 mostly are not interchangeable. In addition, the valves and piston collision now occurs if timing belt broken. Reliability and service life of the new engine is definitely down, so legendary indestructibility, easy maintenance and simplicity were lost, and only the same name left.

1G-FE type'901988140/5700185/44009.675.0×75.091dist.no
1G-FE type'981988160/6200200/440010.075.0×75.091DIS-6yes

"S" (R4, belt)
The most successful mass engine series of 1990s. Installed in D-class (Corona, Vista), E-class (Camry, Mark II), minivans and vans (Ipsum, TownAce), SUV (RAV4, Harrier).

3S-FE - basic engine of series - a powerful, reliable and unpretentious. Some shortcomings - excess noise, "delayed oil pass to the camshafts at start", oil consumption (after 200.000 km mileage). Disadvantages for the service work - the timing belt is overloaded (drives also water pump and oil pump), the engine is inconveniently located under the hood (tilted to bulkhead, so access to intake manifold and injectors is difficult). Best modifications were produced in 1990-96, but updated version (type'96) is not so trouble-free. Serious defect - connecting rod bolt head breaking away, followed by rod cap detaching and then "fist of friendship" appearance (rus term means broken connecting rod punch through the cylinder block wall) - see "Toyota 3S engines and broken connecting rod".

4S-FE - smaller version, completely similar 3S-FE. Its performance is enough for most models, but not for Mark II family.

3S-GE - forced engine with "Yamaha made cylinder head", available in a variety of versions with different designs for sporty D-class models. It was on the first Toyota's engine with VVT installed, and the first with DVVT (Dual VVT).

3S-GTE - turbocharged version. Note the shortcomings of boosted engines: service cost (the best oil with minimal replacement intervals), complexity of maintenance and repair, lower mileage life. Ceteris paribus remember: Japanese buyers took turbo not for shop-riding, so residual durability of the engine and the whole car is unknown, and it more than critical for cars used at russia.

3S-FSE - version with direct injection (D-4), the worst Toyota's gasoline engine ever. Irrepressible thirst for perfection transformed good engine into a nightmare. Just never buy cars with this engine. - The first problem - the deterioration of the high pressure fuel pump, after which a considerable amount of gasoline gets into the crankcase, cause a catastrophic aftermath to crankshaft and the other elements with sleeve bearings. There are a large carbon deposits in the intake manifold due to the EGR system operation, that affects the engine start ability. Above-mentioned "fist of friendship" - standard end of a career for most 3S-FSE (this problem officially recognized by Toyota as safety affecting failure... in April 2012). There are enough problems at other systems of the engine, that have nothing in common with normal S series motors.

5S-FE - - larger version. As in most gasoline engines larger than 2.0, the Japanese applied the balancer mechanism with gear drive, which slightly affects the overall reliability level.

Ignition system - distributor at early engines, and DIS-2 or DIS-4 from mid-1996. Gasoline - RON 91 for standard modifications and preferably 95 for forced -GE/GTE.

3S-GE vvt1998190/7000206/600011,086.0×86.095DIS-4yes

"FZ" (R6, chain + gears)
Replacing the old series "F", durable classic large-displacement engine. Installed in heavy SUVs (Land Cruiser 80..100).


"GZ" (V12, chain)
A serious company should have its own V12 - Toyota use it since 1997 for executive Century. Features - alloy cylinder block with liners, VVT system, duplicated for each bank the fuel and ignition systems.


"JZ" (R6, belt)
Mass top engine of the 1990s, different versions installed in all FR models (Mark II, Crown families).

1JZ-GE - the basic engine for the domestic market.
2JZ-GE - larger "worldwide" version.
1JZ-GTE, 2JZ-GTE - turbocharged version (300-320 hp without limiter)
1JZ-FSE, 2JZ-FSE - versions with direct injection (D-4).

There were no significant defects, the engines are very reliable with proper care. - JZ are sensitive to moisture, especially with DIS-3 ignition, so engine washing is not recommended.

After 1995-96 modernization engines was equipped with VVT and distributorless ignition system. It would seem that this is one of those rare occasions when motor update did not affect reliability. However, we not only hear but see the problems with pistons sticking in cylinder, its subsequent destruction and the connecting rods bending.

* - experience confirms the possibility of normal RON 92 using
** - - in versions type'90 and type'96

"MZ" (V6, belt)
One of the first "3rd wave" engine for FF cars - E-class (Camry), SUVs and vans (Harrier / RX300, Kluger / Highlander, Estima / Alphard).

1MZ-FE, 2MZ-FE - improved replacement for VZ series. Light-alloy cylinder block with liners does not imply the possibility of reboring, known tendency to oil sludge and carbon deposits due to rather high-heat. Later 1MZ-FE was equipped with variable valve timing.
3MZ-FE - larger version for overseas (US) markets

1MZ-FE type'952995210/5400290/440010,087.5×83.091DIS-3no
1MZ-FE vvt2995215/5800300/440010,587.5×83.095DIS-6yes
2MZ-FE vvt2496200/6000245/460010,887.5×69.295DIS-3yes
3MZ-FE vvt3311234/5600328/360010,892.0×83.095DIS-6yes

"RZ" (R4, chain)
Entry-level engines for medium suvs and vans (HiLux/4Runner, LC Prado, HiAce).

3RZ-FE - the biggest inline-four of Toyota - rather reliable and simple, except too complicated timing drive and balancer shafts drive. The ignition system - distributor at early version, DIS-4 (a separate ignition coil for each cylinder) at later. The engine was often installed in models of russian automotive plants (GAZ, UAZ). As for the consumer properties, notable the insufficient thrust-to-weight ratio at heavy models equipped with this engine, and its low economy.

* - Hereinafter, for engine with timing chain - case is not considered (but usually collision of valves and pistons occurs when chain broken or jumped few teeth)

"TZ" (R4, chain)
Horizontal alignment engine for underfloor installation (Estima / Previa 10..20). Such construction caused necessity of complicated auxiliary drive (by mechanical driveline) and lubrication system (like "dry sump"). And also caused a lot of trouble with any service and repair jobs, a tendency to overheat, sensitivity to oil condition. Like everything associated with the first generation of Estima - it is an example of creating the problem from scratch.

2TZ-FE - basic engine.
2TZ-FZE - less common version with supercharger.


"UZ" (V8, belt)
For about twenty years - series of top-end Toyota's engines, designed for large FR business class (Crown, Celsior) and heavy SUVs (LC 100..200, Tundra / Sequoia). A very successful engines with a good safety margin. In the 2000s engine was equipped with variable valve timing.

2UZ-FE vvt4663288/5400448/340010.094.0×84.095DIS-8-

"VZ" (V6, belt)
Unsuccessful series, rapidly disappeared from the market. Installed in FF E-class (Camry family) and medium FR SUVs (HiLux, LC Prado).

1..4VZ-FE - rather unreliable and capricious: high fuel consumption, high oil consumption, a tendency to overheat (which usually leads to warping and cracking of cylinder head), fast wear of the crankshaft main journals, too sophisticated hydraulic fan drive. And even worse - a relative rarity and high cost of spare parts.
5VZ-FE - installed since 1995 in HiLux Surf / LC Prado 185 / 90..210 / 120 and HiAce large vans. This version was the best in the series and quite unpretentious, without many problems of their smaller analogs.


"AZ" (R4, chain)
The representative of the "3rd wave" - "disposable" motors with light-alloy blocks, introduced to replace S series. Installed in C/D/E-class cars (Corolla, Premio, Camry families), vans (Ipsum, Noah , Estima), SUVs (RAV4, Harrier, Highlander).

Details of the design and problems - at large review "Toyota AZ series".

The most serious and mass defect - spontaneous destruction of the thread inside holes for cylinder head mounting bolts, causing a loss of tightness, gasket damage and all usual consequences.


"NZ" (R4, chain)
Replacement of E and A series, installed in B/C/D-class cars (Vitz, Corolla, Premio families).

Details of the design - at review "Toyota NZ series".

Despite NZ structurally are similar to ZZ, sufficiently forced and installed even in D-class models, nevertheless it is the most trouble-free of 3rd wave engines.


"SZ" (R4, chain)
This series owes its origin to Daihatsu and is some "cross" of 2nd and 3rd wave engines. Installed in B-class cars (Vitz family and Daihatsu models). The disadvantage - sometimes timing chain jumping cause damage of the valves.


"ZZ" (R4, chain)
Next generation replaced the good old A series at 1998-2002. Installed in C/D-class cars (Corolla, Premio families), light-SUV (RAV4) and minivans.

Classic "disposable" (aluminium cylinder block with liners) engine with a variable valve timing. The main mass problem - increased oil consumption caused by constructive defects.

Details of the design and problems - at large review "Toyota ZZ series".

1ZZ-FE - basic and most common worldwide engine of series.
2ZZ-GE - forced engine with VVTL (VVT system and valve lift change) and linerless block, which has little in common with the 1ZZ. Unfortunately, this is the most "gentle" and a short-lived forced Toyota's engine.
3ZZ-FE, 4ZZ-FE - smaller versions for European market. Particular drawback - the lack of Japanese domestic counterpart does not allow the to buy the cheap used engine instead broken one.

* - except early versions with DIS-2

"AR" (R4, chain)
Mid-size series with DVVT, supplemented and substituted AZ series. Installed since end of the 2000s in E-class cars (Camry, Crown families), SUV and vans (RAV4, Highlander, RX, Sienna).

More about the design - "Toyota AR series".

1AR-FE, 2AR-FE - basic version
2AR-FXE - variant for FF hybrid vehicles.
2AR-FSE - variant for FR hybrid vehicles, with D-4S system (combined direct fuel injection and traditional intake channel injection).
6AR-FSE - version with D-4S and VVT-iW (wide range variable timing), mainly for general market countries.
8AR-FTS - turbocharged version with D-4S and VVT-iW, for FF (RX, NX) and FR (IS, GS) cars.


"GR" (V6, chain)
Replacement of MZ series, which appeared in the mid-2000s, with open deck alloy block, timing chain, VVT or DVVT. Installed in many models of different classes - Corolla (Blade), Camry, FR cars (Mark X, Crown, IS, GS), light- mid- and heavy-SUVs (RAV4, RX, LC Prado 120..150, LC 200).

Details of the design and problems - in a large review "Toyota GR series".


"KR" (R3, chain)
Three-cylinder engine instead of smaller SZ, with aluminium cylinder block and a conventional roller chain.


"LR" (V10, chain)
The main "sports" engine of Toyota for the Lexus LFA, honest naturally aspirated high redline, traditionally manufactured with the participation of Yamaha experts. Some design features - the angle of the banks 72 deg., "dry sump", high compression, connecting rods and valves are made of titanium alloy, balancer shafts, Dual VVT, traditional fuel injection, individual throttle bodies for each cylinder...


"NR" (R4, chain)
New light series with DVVT, to replace NZ and SZ. Installed in A/B/C-class cars (iQ, Yaris, Corolla).

1NR-FE - basic version.
2NR-FE, 3NR-FE - simplified versions for third world, without VVT and lash adjusters.
2NR-FKE - replacement of deserved 1NZ-FE, particularly economical version with VVT-iE and EGR.
8NR-FTS - Toyota's experiments of "downsizing" - turbocharged version with the D-4, integrated exhaust manifold and VVT-iW

More about the design - "Toyota NR series".


"TR" (R4, chain)
Modified version of RZ with new cylinder head, VVT system and hydraulic lash adjusters. Installed in SUVs (HiLux, LC Prado), vans (HiAce), commercial FR (Crown 10).

Note. For vehicles with 2TR-FE produced in 2013 a global recall campaign is active (faulty valve springs).


"UR" (V8, chain)
Replacement of UZ - engines for top FR (Crown, GS, LS) and heavy SUVs (LC 200, Sequoia), made in the modern tradition with aluminium block, DVVT and with D-4 version.


"ZR" (R4, chain)
Replacement of ZZ and AZ. New generation features - DVVT, Valvematic (-FAE versions - continuously variable valve lift system - "Valvematic system"), hydraulic lash adjusters, crankshaft desaxage. Installed in B/C/D-class cars (Corolla, Premio familes), minivans and light-SUVs (Noah, Isis, RAV4). More about the design - "Toyota ZR series".

Typical defects: increased oil consumption, carbon deposits in the combustion chambers, knock in VVT during starting, water pump leakage, oil leakage from chain cover, alternator pulley break, vacuum pump noise, Valvematic controller destruction, detaching controller from the Valvematic control shaft with subsequent engine stall.

6ZR-FE1986147/6200187/320010.080.5×97.6- DIS-4-

Diesel engines

A few general thoughts about the choice of Toyota's diesel - "Gasoline or Diesel"

"C" (R4, belt)
Classic swirl-chamber diesel, with a cast iron cylinder block, two valves per cylinder (SOHC) and timing belt. Installed in FF C/D-class cars (Corolla, Corona families) and FR vans (TownAce, Estima 10).

Naturally aspirated versions (2C, 2C-E, 3C-E) as a whole are reliable and unpretentious, but have a very modest performance, in the same time electronically controlled injection pump (-E) will require rather qualified technicians for service.

Turbocharged versions (2C-T, 2C-TE, 3C-T, 3C-TE) have a high tendency to overheat (following by cracks and warpage of the cylinder head) and the rapid deterioration turbocharger seals. This mainly refers to minibuses and heavy vehicles where work conditions are heavier, and the canonic example of worst diesel - Estima with 3C-T (horizontally installed motor regularly overheats, absolutely not tolerates low quality fuel, and drains out oil through seals at first possibility).

1C 1838 64/4700118/260023.083.0×85.0
2C 1975 72/4600131/260023.086.0×85.0
2C-E 1975 73/4700132/300023.086.0×85.0
2C-T 1975 90/4000170/200023.086.0×85.0
2C-TE1975 90/4000203/220023.086.0×85.0
3C-E 2184 79/4400147/420023.086.0×94.0
3C-T 2184 90/4200205/220022.686.0×94.0

"L" (R4, belt)
Common swirl-chamber diesel series, installed since 1970s in E-class cars (Mark II, Crown families), SUVs (HiLux, LC Prado), large vans (HiAce) and light commercial vehicles. Classic design - the cast-iron block, SOHC, the timing belt.

As for reliability, there is complete analogy with C series: relatively successful but low-powered naturally aspirated versions (2L, 3L, 5L-E) and problem turbocharged versions (2L-T, 2L-TE). At turbo versions the cylinder head can be considered as dispensable spare part, that can by damaged even by enough long highway riding.

L 2188 72/4200142/240021.590.0×86.0
2L 2446 85/4200165/240022.292.0×92.0
2L-T 2446 94/4000226/240021.092.0×92.0
3L 2779 90/4000200/240022.296.0×96.0
5L-E 2986 95/4000197/240022.299.5×96.0

"N" (R4, belt)
Subcompact swirl-chamber diesels installed in B-class (Starlet, Tercel).

Low performance (even with turbo) and low margin of safety. Sensitive to the oil viscosity, tendance to the crankshaft damage at cold start. There is not enough technical documentation, so for example correct fuel system adjustment can not be performed, also extremely rare parts.

1N 145454/5200 91/300022.074.0×84.5

"HZ" (R6, gears + belt)
As a result of old H series OHV engines modernization a very successful classic diesels appeared. Installed in heavy SUVs (LC 70-80-100), buses (Coaster) and commercial vehicles.

1HZ - due to simple design (cast-iron, SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder, simple injection pump, swirl-chamber, naturally aspirated) and low forcing it was the most reliable Toyota's diesel ever - kind of a legend.
1HD-T - received the piston-chamber and turbocharging, 1HD-FT - 4 valves per cylinder (SOHC with rockers), 1HD-FTE - electronically controlled fuel injection pump.

1HZ 4163130/3800284/220022.794.0×100.0
1HD-T 4163160/3600360/210018.694.0×100.0
1HD-FT 4163170/3600380/250018.,694.0×100.0

"KZ" (R4, gears + belt)
Next generation turbocharged swirl-chamber diesel appeared in the early 1990s. Installed in SUVs (HiLux, LC Prado) and large vans (HiAce).

The design is more complex than L series - belt and gears combination for driving of camshafts, injection pump and balancer mechanism, turbocharging, soon introduced electronically controlled injection pump. However, increased displacement and a significant torque up helped to wast many disadvantages of the predecessor, despite the high cost of spare parts. But the legend of "outstanding reliability" is just a legend formed at the time when quantity of these engines was immeasurably less than quantity of familiar and problematic 2L-T.

1KZ-T 2982125/3600287/200021.096.0×103.0

"PZ" (R5, gears + belt)
Naturally aspirated swirl-chamber diesel with an unusual for Toyota number of cylinders - is actually a cropped version of 1HZ, but due to the layout have not so perfect engine balance. Installed in SUVs (LC 70).


"WZ" (R4, belt / belt + chain)
Designation of PSA diesels installed to some "badge-engineering" and own Toyota's models since the early 2000s.

1WZ - Peugeot DW8 (SOHC 8V) - simple naturally aspirated atmospheric diesel with distribution type injection pump.
The other engines are turbocharged common rail versions also used in the Peugeot / Citroen, Ford, Mazda, Volvo, Fiat...
2WZ-TV - Peugeot DV4 (SOHC 8V).
3WZ-TV - Peugeot DV6UC (SOHC 8V).
4WZ-FTV, 4WZ-FHV - Peugeot DW10CTED4 (DOHC 16V).


"WW" (R4, chain)
Designation of engines supplied by BMW since mid-2010s (1WW - N47D16, 2WW - N47D20).

The level of technology and performance corresponds to 2000s, and in something even inferior than AD series. Light-alloy cylinder block with liners and "closed top", DOHC 16 valve, common rail, electromagnetic injectors (pressure of 160 MPa), VGT, DPF + NSR... The most famous defect of this series - the inherent problems with timing chain, solved by the Bavarians since 2007 yet.


"AD" (R4, chain)
The main Toyota's diesel for cars since mid-2000s. Installed in C/D-class (Corolla, Avensis), light-SUV (RAV4) and even some FR premium (Lexus IS).

The design of 3rd wave - "disposable" aluminium cylinder block with liners and "open deck", 4 valves per cylinder (DOHC with hydraulic lash adjusters), timing chain, VGT, balancing mechanism for 2.2. Fuel system - common-rail, injection pressure of 25-167 MPa (1AD-FTV), 25-180 (2AD-FTV), 35-200 MPa (2AD-FHV), forced versions have piezo injectors. Against the competitors AD performance can be called decent, but not outstanding.

Severe disease - high oil consumption and the resulting problems with widespread carbon depositions (from clogging intake and EGR to piston deposits and damage to the cylinder head gasket) - the warranty provides for the replacement of pistons, rings and all crankshaft bearings. Also: coolant leakage through the cylinder head gasket, water pump leakage, DPF regeneration system failures, destruction of the throttle actuator, oil leakage from the sump, injector amplifier (EDU) defect and injector defects, destruction of the high pressure supply pump components.

More about the design - large review "Toyota AD series".


"CD" (R4, belt)
"Transition" series replaced by AD. Installed in C/D-class cars (Corolla, Avensis families) and light-SUV (RAV4 30).
Design combined the traditional and new solutions - cast iron cylinder block, timing belt, 4 valves per cylinder (DOHC), VGT. Fuel system - common-rail, injection pressure of 30-135 MPa, solenoid injectors.


"GD" (R4, chain)
The new series, replacement of KD. Compared with its predecessor, can note the timing chain, higher fuel injection (up to 220 MPa), solenoid injectors, the most advanced emission control system (even with AdBlue)...

More about the design - "Toyota GD series"..


"KD" (R4, gears + belt)
Modernization of 1KZ with new fuel system - the most common Toyota's diesel. Installed in SUVs / pickups (Hilux, LC Prado), large vans (HiAce) and commercial vehicles.

Similar to KZ - cast iron block, gear and belt timing drive, balancer mechanism (1KD), but already VGT used. Fuel system - common-rail, injection pressure of 32-160 MPa (1KD-FTV, 2KD-FTV HI), 30-135 MPa (2KD-FTV LO), solenoid injectors at early versions, piezoelectric at Euro-5.

For fifteen years of production the series obsolete - modest performance, poor economy, "tractor"-like comfort level (high vibration and noise). The most serious defect - the destruction of the pistons (here) - is officially recognized by Toyota.


"ND" (R4, chain)
The first 3rd wave diesel of Toyota. Installed in B/C-class cars (Yaris, Corolla, Probox families, Mini One).

The design - aluminium "open deck" block, 2 valves per cylinder (SOHC with rockers), timing chain, VGT. Fuel system - common-rail, injection pressure of 30-160 MPa, solenoid injectors.

One of the most problematic diesel engine with a large list of "warranty" diseases - cylinder head to block mounting, overheating, destruction of turbine, high oil consumption and even excessive discharge of fuel into the crankcase with the recommendation of the subsequent replacement of the cylinder block...


"VD" (V8, gears + chain)
The first V8 diesel of Toyota for flagship models. Installed in heavy-SUVs (LC 70, LC 200).

The design - cast iron block, 4 valves per cylinder (DOHC with hydraulic lash adjusters), gear and two chains timing drive, twin VGT. Fuel system - common-rail, injection pressure of 25-175 MPa (HI) or 25-129 MPa (LO), solenoid injectors. Mass defect - high oil consumption.


General notes

- Spark plugs.
The plugs with platinum or iridium coated electrodes were to be installed on -GE type engines, engines with the DIS-2 and DIS-3 (ie, where the spark occurs twice as often as usual), some LeanBurns, turbocharged engine, some engines with difficult access, and now almost all engines of the latest generations. The experience say that the normal operation is ensured with ordinary plugs, but platinum in normal conditions (quality gasoline) objectively demonstrate a significant (100.000 km) durability. Note to the trend of spark plugs size at later series - thin and long threads of plug and 14 mm hex instead of the old 16.

- RON.
Most engines successfully use 91, except for boosted engines and forced engines with a high compression ratio. Regarding the 95, the motors "respect" it even in case of its normal quality. 98 - use it is only for the turbo engines, which detonate at conventional 95. For sure winter cold start the best, of course, RON 91.

- Lash adjusters.
Until recently most owners had not problems with hydraulic lash adjusters - from mid-1980s till mid-2000s new series had mechanical tappets. Few exceptions - old OHV series Y and K, produced until the end of the 2000s, and some versions of 1NZ-FE and 2SZ-FE. However, 4th wave engines en-mass was received with hydraulic lash adjusters and rockers.

- Timing drive.
Early, the multi-valve engines had two traditional schemes: at -FE the belt drives one camshaft and the second is driven by gear from the first, at -GE both camshaft driven by belt. At engines with timing chain both camshafts usually driven by chain, although V6-V8 may have gear or additional short chain between one bank head camshafts.
In case of belt broken the most engine have not valves and pistons interference. Exceptions are forced 4A-GE, 3S-GE, V6, D-4, and, of course, the diesel engines. The consequences for diesels are particularly hard - valve bends, valve guides are broken, often camshaft broken. For gasoline engines also important "chance" - in some engine without initially constructive interference the piston and valves covered with a thick layer of carbon deposits may collide, and contrary, the valves can luckily hang in a neutral position at engine with initial interference.

- Power output.
For imported from Japanese domestic market used cars in documents often specified fake output value (importers - decrease to reduce taxes and custom duty, custom and police - in its turn increase). In addition, in russia power is usually measured according to DIN 70020 (Deutsche Institute den Stadarten) or EEC, in Japan - on JIS D1001 (Japan Industrial Standard), which after reduction to DIN gives 3-5% below declared by the manufacturer. And that without American SAE... So all the power values indicated are approximate and depend on the specific model year and a specific model. However, in most cases, the error does not exceed ±5%. More on the manufacturer's engines power characteristics (JIS) - "Toyota engine specifications".

P.S. In conclusion - we must to thank Toyota for that once they produced real "peoples" engines, a simple and reliable, without many complications inherent to other Europeans and Japanese brends. And let the owners of "innovative and advanced" cars called them "old-fashioned coarse" - it is a compliment!

"What engine is the best?"

It is impossible to choose abstract best engine, if not to take into account the basic car on which it was installed. The recipe of such engine making is known - inline-six gasoline engine with a cast-iron block, as much as possible displacement, low forced, without boost, with traditional fuel injection and minimal emission controls. But where such an engine? Perhaps, the closest approach to the "best engine" was at the turn of 1980-90 - 1G in its different variations and the first 2JZ-GE. But ... First, 1G-FE design is not perfect in itself. Second, at some light car it could work forever, satisfy any owner with reliability and performance. But really, it was installed in much heavier E-class cars, where 2.0 was not already enough, so high load affects its life time.
Therefore, we can choose only the best engine in its class. The "big three" is well-known - 4A-FE STD type'90 in C-class, 3S-FE type'90 in D/D+ class and 1G-FE type'90 in class E-class.

"What is life time of Toyota's engine?"

In fact, the debate about the "million" mileage - it is pure and meaningless scholastic, do not apply to really cars. We can only talk about the life time before first major repair, when the mass series engine, such as A or S, will require the first serious intervention in the mechanical part (except timing belt replacement). For most old-school engines it is about 200-250.000 km. As a rule, this intervention is to replace the worn out or stuck piston rings and valve stem seals, but not to rebore cylinders (geometry and hone on the walls are usually stored).

"The chain or the belt"

An advertising phrase "a chain is designed to work over the life of the vehicle" was embraced literally and developed the legend of hundred thousand kilometres life time of chain. But no harm in dreaming ...

The chain drive advantages compared with a belt: the chain rarely breaks and does not require planned replacements. Layout advantage - driving of four valves per cylinder, two camshafts with variable valve mechanism, pumps require whether a wide belt that extends engine overall length, or a relatively thin chain.

But can not forget disadvantages.
- The chain tends to "stretch" during operation (due to wear and backlash of links joints), which can not occur to a polymer based belt.
- To overcome it is need whether to pull the chain on regularly basis, or use automatic tensioner. Since hydraulic tensioner supplied by motor oil from lubrication system, it affects its durability. Toyota is well aware, so chain tensioner is placed outside engine that simplifying its replacement.
- Metal chain "saws" tensioner and damper slippers while operation, its rollers and sprockets gradually wear, and wear products fall into the engine oil.
- Timing chain drive runs noticeably noisier than belt.
- Replacement of the chain is more labor-intensive and expensive (old method of Mercedes with chain links disconnection is not applicable to Toyota).
- The accuracy is needed because of valve and pistons interference, and its collision occurs due to chain jumping despite all the "eternity" of a chain drive.
- Did the chain application reduce the maintenance cost? Far from it - on average, a chain drive requires a particular interventions as often as belt drive, and the amount cost is even higher. The first to be replace hydraulic tensioner, then to 150.000 km mileage usually chain stretched - but must to be changed not only slippers, but also inevitably worn sprockets (old sprocket will hurt a new chain very quickly).
- The other trouble - for the owners of SZ with belt chain, which for unexplained reasons can sometimes jump, resulting exhaust valves and the pistons collision.
The result - the chain is good when there is a three-beam star instead of sewing loops on the engine, 6-8 cylinders instead of 4, double-strand chain instead thin low-pitched chain.

"New engines are less reliable?"

The question arising from the previous ones - why older series called the best? Many people think that Toyota can not deliberately degrade something. Technical engineers themselves perhaps would not do it, but marketing analysts with ecologists... oh yeah. As a result, owners receive less reliable and durable cars at a higher price and with higher maintenance costs.

Enough... Let's see why the later version of the engine is worse than the older. About 1G-FE types '90 and '98 mentioned above, and what the difference between a legendary 3S-FE types '90 and '96? All of deterioration caused by the same "good intentions", like reducing mechanical losses, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions. The absurdity of the third point is obvious, but the positive effects of the other was disproportionately less than the fall of reliability.

Deterioration in mechanical associated with piston group. It would seem that the new pistons with clipped (T-shaped) skirts to reduce friction losses could be welcome? But in practice such pistons knocking at TDC at much smaller mileage than a classic type'90. And the sound means not only noise but increased wear. The absolute stupidity is replacement of full floating piston pins by pressed in rod head.

Replacing of distributor by DIS-2 may be positive - no rotating mechanical parts, longer service life of the coils, higher ignition stability... And in reality? Impossible to manually adjust the ignition timing, it is understandable. But new ignition coils life time drops significantly in comparison with classical. High-voltage wires life time reduced (now every plug sparks twice for a cycle): instead of 8-10 years to 4-6 only. Well, at least standard plugs are simple double-electrode, not platinum.

Because all of the same "ecology" catalyst moved from the underfloor to the exhaust manifold in order to warm up faster. The result - a general overheating of the engine compartment, reducing the efficiency of the cooling system.

Fuel injection - sequential instead synchronous (once per cycle for each cylinder). Yeah, a more precise fuel dosing , "ecology"... But in practice - low-quality gasoline now have not enough time to fully evaporate at cold weather, that deteriorate cold start ability.

"D-4 - a great engine!?"

Some owners of D-4 engines have realized that sell their cars on the secondary market without significant losses just impossible and went on the offensive. Therefore, listening to their "advice", you should always remember that financially interested in forming some positive public opinion with respect to direct injection engines.

The most foolish argument - "direct injection will soon wast traditional". Even if it were true in future, it no means that direct injection have not alternative now. For a long time term "D-4" means a specific engine - 3S-FSE. But it was installed at 1996-2001 in three models for the domestic market, and in each case, classic 3S-FE was as alternative. Later choose between the D-4 and the standard injection usually saved... The only popular car that has no reasonable alternative without D-4 - a RAV4 20 4WD of the Japanese market, but the same model with LHD had traditional engine.

"The engine is excellent, we just have gasoline (nature, people ...) bad" - this is again scholastic. Let this engine is good for the Japanese, but what is the use of it in Russia? It is not Japan, it is the country of bad gasoline, harsh climate and imperfect peoples. And instead of the mythical advantages of D-4 emerge only shortcomings.

Appeal to foreign experience "but in Japan, in Europe" is not conscientious. Japanese are concerned absolutely far-fetched problem of CO2 emissions, European obsession is emission reducing and fuel economy (so diesels are dominated at market), but even they had to start producing new gasoline types before direct injection mass using. Russia not ever close to them, but on the quality of the fuel can be compared only with the US, where direct injection until 2010s was not even considered - mostly it is due to improper fuel.

Stories that "D-4 engine fuel consumption is three liters less" - just unpretentious misinformation. Even the official best difference between 3S-FSE and 3S-FE at the same model is 1.7 l / 100 km - and it's in the Japanese test cycle with a very "quiet" mode (so the real economy will always be less). During active driving D-4 works at power mode, without consumption reducing. The same when highway driving - D-4 high efficiency area (speed/rpm) is narrow. And indeed, it is incorrect to talk about consumption relatively used car - it is much more dependent on the technical condition of a specific car and driving style. Experience shows that some of the 3S-FSE, conversely, consume significantly more gasoline than 3S-FE.

Often says "change cheap fuel pump and no problems". But regularly replacement of the main part of fuel system at fresh Japanese cars (especially Toyota) - it's just nonsense. And with such regularity (~ 30-50.000 km), even "a penny" $300 are not the pleasant waste (and the price concerns only the 3S-FSE). And little is said about the fact that price of each injector, which also have to be replaced often, is comparable to pump cost. Similarly ignored standard and fatal problems 3S-FSE on mechanical parts.

Perhaps not everyone think about the fact that if the engine has "caught the twice oil level in the sump", it already worked with gasoline-oil emulsion instead oil that affects all the moving parts of the engine. And do not have to juggle comparing several grams of gasoline falling sometimes in the oil during a cold start and evaporates with the heating of the engine, and constantly flow into the crankcase liters of fuel through D-4 pump.

Nobody warns not try to "clean the throttle" - properly adjusting of the engine management system requires special equipment. Not everyone knows how EGR system poisons the engine with exhaust gas and how carbon accumulates in intake, requiring regular disassembly and cleaning (approximately every 20-30.000 km). Not everyone knows that any attempt to replace the timing belt "similar to the 3S-FE" often leads to a pistons and valves collision. Not everyone knows whether there is in their city at least one garage, successfully solves the problem of D-4.

And why exactly Toyota valued in russia? (While there are cheaper, faster, sports, comfortable japanese cars exist? For "simplicity", in the broadest sense of the word. Simplicity in operation conditions, fuel, parts, repair... Yeah, can buy high-tech scrap for the price of a normal car. Can look for good gasoline and add some chemicals. It is possible to count every penny - whether they fuel economy will cover the cost of a new pump or not. Can teach local technicians the basics of direct injection systems. Can re-adopt the russian "for a long time car did not break, when at last will fall? today? "... There is only one question - "Why?"

As the reader knows, the author absolutely do not care what motor you will choose. On the contrary, the more people will buy D-4 - the more customers will be at workshops. But decency requires to say - buying old car with D-4 is contrary to common sense.

Is there an alternative? A few words about D-4 at Toyota models - "Toyota D4 - future".

"So all the new engines ... are bad?"

This question is wrong, as in the case of "absolutely the best engine." Yes, ZZ and AZ are not comparable with the classic motors for reliability, durability and survivability (at least, with the leaders of past). They are practically non-repairable in mechanical parts, they may be too advanced for unskilled service...

But the fact is that there is no alternative to them - with a few exceptions, the entire engine range was synchronously at new models. So the comparison of particular 3rd wave engine with the specific 2nd wave engine 2nd wave does not make sense. New engines should be seen as a reality and it is need to re-learn to work with them.

Design features and the potential reliability of these engines quite similar. The only thing you should avoid the early version of every new engine generation until Toyota fix its "childhood" diseases.

Gasoline engines timeline

Diesel engines timeline

Более 2000 руководств
по ремонту и техническому обслуживанию
автомобилей различных марок

Книги по ремонту двигателей Toyota

Additional articles about Toyota engines:

  • AR series
  • AZ series
  • GR series
  • NR series
  • NZ series
  • ZR series
  • ZZ series
  • AD series diesel
  • GD series diesel
  • 4A-FE Lean Burn engine
  • A-series Lean Burn
  • 1KD-FTV - piston crack
  • Toyota D-4 - outlook?
  • Valvematic system
  • Atkinson or Miller?
  • Variable discharge oil pump
  • Toyota 3S engines and broken connecting rod
  • Toyota Variable Valve Timing. Evolution
         · VVT (Gen I)
         · VVT-i (Gen II)
         · VVT-i (Gen III)
         · VVT-i (Gen IV)
         · Dual-VVT
         · VVT-iE
         · VVT-iW

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