The Four Most Common Toyota 1GR-FE Engine Issues. The Toyota 1GR-FE is a 4.0L V6 engine that was released in 2002. It has undergone a few small revisions but is still in use today. The 1GR-FE engines produce 236-270 horsepower. The power is disappointing for a modern engine with a large displacement. However, the Toyota 4.0L V6’s low output has advantages in terms of longevity and dependability. Overall, it’s a good engine. No engine, however, is perfect, and the Toyota 4.0 V6 is no exception. In this article, we will look at some of the most prevalent 1GR-FE engine issues as well as general reliability.
What Vehicles Make Use of the Toyota 4.0L V6?
Early 4.0 V6 engines used only one variable valve timing (VVT-i) on the intake cams. Toyota switched to a dual VVT-i configuration on both the intake and exhaust cams in 2009. This resulted in an increase in horsepower for later engines from 236hp to 270hp. A few minor changes to later engines were also made, largely for pollution reasons.
Toyota 1GR-FE with single VVT-i
Toyota 4.0L V6 engines with single variable valve timing are found in the following vehicles:
- Toyota 4Runner (2002-2009)
- Toyota Land Cruiser 2007-2011
- Toyota Land Cruiser 70 (pre-2009)
- 2004-2015 Toyota Tacoma
- 2005-2009 Toyota Tundra
- Toyota FJ Cruiser 2006-2009
4.0L V6 Dual VVT-i
The dual VVT-i engine option is available in the following models:
- Toyota 4Runner, pre-2009
- Toyota FJ Cruiser 2009-2017
- Toyota Tundra 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014
- Toyota Land Cruiser 2012-Presentation
- Lexus GX 400, introduced in 2012
The Most Common Toyota 1GR-FE Engine Issues
It’s an excellent moment to make a few observations. We’re going over the most prevalent problems with the Toyota 4.0 V6 engine. This does not necessarily imply that these failures are prevalent; they may affect only a small percentage of engines. We wanted to get that out of the way early since the 1GR-FE is a highly reliable engine. Moving on, some of the most prevalent Toyota 4.0 V6 difficulties are as follows:
- The Head Gasket
- Ticking Sound
- The Water Pump
- Coils for Ignition
We’ll go over each of these flaws in detail over the rest of this post before wrapping up with some general remarks on 1GR-FE reliability.
1) Failure of the Toyota 4.0L V6 Head Gasket
The engine block and cylinder heads are sealed with head gaskets. They play an important role in closing the cylinders and preventing oil and coolant from flowing in. 1GR-FE head gaskets appear to fail the most frequently around cylinder #6. They also tend to deteriorate gradually rather than abruptly. Misfires, white smoke from the exhaust, and coolant loss may be caused by the 4.0 V6 head gasket(s).
One of the most common faults on the 4.0L engine is a blown head gasket. Again, this does not imply that they are widespread. Plenty of 1GR-FE engines have 250,000+ miles on the original gaskets. However, head gasket troubles are worth mentioning because they are one of the more expensive difficulties.
The earlier you detect head gasket problems, the better. Additional damage is uncommon on the 1GR-FE 4.0 engine, although it might occur. Coolant entering cylinders can remove oil and cause premature wear. Catalytic converters and other components can also be damaged by coolant.
Symptoms of Toyota 1GR-FE Head Gasket Failure
The following are some possible signs of Toyota 4.0 V6 head gasket problems:
- Exhaust smoke is white.
- Coolant depletion
- Oil with a milky appearance
You may also notice a few more symptoms. White smoke from the exhaust can be caused by a variety of factors, but pay special attention if it has a pleasant odor. This frequently indicates that coolant is entering and burning in the 1GR-FE cylinders. Coolant loss may be modest, but if you’re frequently topping off coolant without any visible leaks, the gasket could be to blame. Misfires and clogged spark plugs can also be caused by oil and coolant in the cylinders. Finally, when the head gasket fails, coolant frequently mixes with oil, so look for milky oil on the Toyota 4.0.
Head Gasket Replacement for 4.0 V6
If you notice the head gasket leak soon, the risk of further damage is quite minimal. In this scenario, simply replace the 4.0 V6 gaskets, which cost around $50-100. It’s also a good idea to use a gasket repair kit like this to replace other pieces. If you travel a lot, consider other areas in the vicinity.
While the head gaskets are inexpensive, the work to replace the 1GR-FE gaskets can be costly. Labor should cost between $800 and $1200.
2) Ticking Noise in Toyota 1GR-FE
One of the most common complaints about the 1GR-FE is a ticking noise that is common in 4.0L V6 engines. The good news is that it is rarely cause for concern. 1GR-FE engines are reported to have louder injectors than standard injectors, resulting in a ticking noise on the passenger side of the engine. While some individuals are concerned that it is a sign that anything is wrong, it is fairly typical on the Toyota V6 and is not cause for concern.
Another ticking sound has been reported on the driver’s side of the 1GR-FE. This issue, like the ticking injectors, is benign. A PWM (Pulse Width Module) is positioned on the driver’s side of the engine and is secured to the plastic intake by a 1mm bolt. This bolt may loosen over time, causing it to tick against the plastic. Rubber washers should be installed behind the 1mm bolt to prevent contact with the intake.
The engine’s lifters are the only other plausible reason for a ticking noise emanating from the 1GR-FE. Because the 4.0L V6 uses solid lifers, valve lash must be adjusted on a regular basis. Tolerances for lashes are typically displayed on a manufacturer’s label attached to the underside of the hood. If you suspect that your valves need to be adjusted, contact a Toyota service center. Toyota advises adjusting them every 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Toyota 1GR-FE Water Pump Issues
Water pump issues on the Toyota 4.0 engine are an intriguing topic to examine. Many last 150,000 miles or more, and failure after that point is unlikely to be considered a concern. Water pumps are common wear-and-tear equipment that deteriorate with age and mileage. Some people have reported actual Toyota 1GR-FE water pump failures.
However, it appears that some people replace the pump because they believe it is broken when it is absolutely OK. Occasionally, coolant stains or real coolant seeping near the drain holes appear on the pumps. A little coolant seepage is normal and usually signals that the coolant needs to be changed. It could also indicate that the 4.0 V6 water pump is failing.
Nonetheless, if a Toyota 1GR-FE water pump fails, it is critical to repair it as soon as possible. A shortage of coolant or a lack of coolant flow can cause overheating, which can lead to head gasket problems. Water pumps, once again, are subject to wear and tear. They may fail sooner, but failures at 150,000 miles or more are not uncommon.
Symptoms of Toyota 4.0L Water Pump Failure
Keep an eye out for the following symptoms, which could signal a problem with the Toyota 1GR-FE water pump:
- Coolant dripping
- Engine smoke and steam
Visible leaks may indicate a problem with the 4.0 V6 water pump. If the water pump breaks altogether, the engine will lose coolant flow and overheat quickly. In this case, turn off the 1GR-FE as soon as possible and solve the problems before driving again. Finally, if coolant is spilling onto heated parts, steam from the engine bay may be present.
Replacement 1GR-FE Water Pump
Water pumps for Toyota 4.0 V6s cost roughly $100. Labor will take a few hours, so budget extra $250-500 for labor. For those with a basic understanding of engines and some DIY expertise, this is not a difficult DIY.
4) Ignition Coil Problems on the 1GR-FE 4.0 V6
On the Toyota 1GR-FE engine, spark plugs and ignition coils are common wear and tear items. Some people do have premature ignition coil difficulties. However, the fact that this made the list speaks to the dependability of the 4.0L V6 engine. Around 150,000 miles, many engines require ignition coil replacement. Ignition coils can sometimes last the life of the engine.
However, lots of 1GR-FE 4.0 V6 engines have surpassed 200,000 miles. The engine will almost certainly outlast the effective life of the ignition coils. In any case, some people do have early ignition coil failures. It’s not common, but ignition coil failures around 100,000 miles can and do occur.
Fortunately, ignition coils are simple to repair and quite inexpensive in the great scheme of things. We also come from the turbo BMW world, where each of the six ignition coils must be replaced every 25,000-60,000 miles. As a result, a coil or two failing around 100,000 miles on the 4.0 V6 doesn’t sound too horrible.
Symptoms of Toyota 1GR-FE Ignition Coil Failure
The following symptoms on the 4.0L V6 may indicate a problem with one or more ignition coils:
- Stumbling / rough idle
- Acceleration stuttering
- Power decline
You’ll notice similar symptoms if your spark plugs are defective. It is recommended that spark plugs be replaced every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. Spark plugs are relatively inexpensive, so if you haven’t changed them in 100,000 miles or more, this is an excellent place to start.
Otherwise, the symptoms described above could be the result of a damaged ignition coil on the Toyota 1GR-FE. You can read the problem codes with a code scanner to determine which cylinder(s) is/are misfiring. Change the ignition coil to another cylinder. If the misfire is caused by the ignition coil, you’ve located the most likely culprit.
Ignition Coil Replacement Toyota 4.0 V6
We recommend changing all six coils at once. This is especially true if the mileage on your Toyota 4.0L V6 exceeds 100,000 kilometers. A set of six ignition coils costs roughly $90-150. It’s a simple project that you can complete in less than an hour on your driveway. The same is true for spark plugs, which cost around $50 for a set of six.
Is the Toyota 1GR-FE Engine Reliable?
Toyota’s 4.0L V6 engine receives above-average reliability ratings. It is without a doubt one of the most dependable engines we’ve discussed. The 1GR-FE does not have many common issues. When breakdowns do occur, they are usually inexpensive and straightforward to repair. The sole exception is the 4.0 V6 head gasket problem. However, head gasket failures are estimated to affect only a tiny proportion of all 1GR-FE engines on the road.
Many Toyota Tundras, Tacomas, 4Runners, and FJ Cruisers have over 250,000 miles. Even at extremely high miles, it appears that the majority of owners have had pleasant experiences. Maintenance and oil changes, of course, are critical to ensure a dependable experience with the 4.0 V6 engine. That applies to any engine.
Keep your 1GR-FE in good condition, and it will thank you. Repairs should be done as they arise. The Toyota 4.0L V6 engine may outlast many other wear-and-tear components such as ignition coils, water pumps, and so on. As a result, issues with high-mileage engines will arise on occasion.
Summary of 1GR-FE 4.0L V6 Common Issues
The Toyota 1GR-FE engine is a great all-around performer. Power output is very low for a huge V6 engine, yet it is sufficient for most needs. It also contributes to the 4.0L V6 engine receiving high scores for dependability. There aren’t many problems with the 1GR-FE. Furthermore, when problems do arise, they are usually straightforward, inexpensive repairs.
Look for problems with the head gaskets, water pumps, and ignition coils. Most of these problems appear to affect a very tiny percentage of Toyota 1GR-FE engines on the road. The 4.0 V6 is known to last well past 250,000 miles. Expect a few issues to arise as these engines approach and exceed that mark.