The Four Most Common Toyota 2GR-FE Engine Issues. The Toyota 2GR-FE is a 3.5L V6 engine that was used in a variety of Toyota, Lexus, and Lotus vehicles from 2005 until the present. Depending on the model, NA variants produce between 290 and 315 horsepower. A few of the 3.5 V6s have a supercharger and can produce up to 430 horsepower. The point is that the Toyota 2GR-FE performs admirably. There’s another reason why the engine has been around for so long.
However, as with any engine, the Toyota 3.5L V6 is susceptible to a few frequent issues. In this essay, we will look at common 2GR-FE engine issues as well as overall reliability. Check out our popular Toyota 2GR-FKS Engine Guide and our Toyota Camry vs Corolla Comparison Article for more Toyota information.
Common Toyota 2GR-FE Engine Issues
The following are some common problems with the Toyota 3.5L V6 engine:
- VVTi Oil Spill
- Pulley Idler
- The Water Pump
- Plugs and Ignition Coils
This applies to many of the typical issues we discuss, but now is a good moment to add a few crucial notes. Simply because we label these errors as typical does not indicate that they are widespread. The Toyota 3.5 engine troubles listed above are only a few of the most frequent. Overall, it’s a trustworthy engine. However, the 3.5L V6 may encounter additional challenges. This is especially true when engines age and wear and tear components reach the end of their useful life.
Throughout this post, we’ll go through each of the aforementioned concerns with the Toyota 2GR-FE. Finally, we’ll share some further observations on the 3.5L engine’s dependability.
What Vehicles Make Use of the 3.5 2GR-FE?
Before we get started, let’s go over the many Toyota, Lexus, and Lotus cars that use the 2GR-FE engine. The list below is far from exhaustive. Nonetheless, the 3.5L V6 Toyota engine can be found in the following vehicles:
- Toyota Avalon (GSX30 / GSX40) 2005-2018
- Toyota Aurion (GSV40) 2006-2012
- Toyota RAV4 (GSA33/38) 2005-2012
- Toyota Camry (GSV40 / GSV50) 2006-2017
- Lexus ES 350 (GSV40 / GSV50) 2006-2018
- Lexus RX 350 (GSU30/31/35/36) 2007-2009
- Lexus RX 350 (GGL10/15/16) 2009-2015
- Toyota Highlander (GSU40/45/50/55) 2007-2016
- Toyota Blade (GRE156) 2007-2012
- Toyota Venza (GGV10/15) 2008-2016
- Lotus Evora from 2009 till the present
- Toyota Sienna (GSL20/23/25/30/33/35) 2006-2016
- Toyota Corolla (E140/E150) (for use in Super GT)
3.5L V6 supercharged:
- 2007-2009 Toyota Aurion
- Bolwell Nagari 300 (2009-present)
- Lotus Evora S 2011-2016
- Lotus Exige S 2012
- Lotus Evora 400 from 2017 till the present
- Lotus Exige Cup 2018
1) Oil Leaks in Toyota 3.5L V6
Engine oil leaks can occur in a variety of locations. However, the most common oil leak on the 2GR-FE affects vehicles manufactured before 2010. A rubber hose feeds oil to the variable valve timing (VVTi) system. Toyota employed an iron-to-rubber design, which causes the rubber to wear out over time. This eventually results in an oil leak from the VVTi system.
Toyota fixed the problem on the 3.5L V6 in 2010 by upgrading to an all-metal pipe. This item will fit any year of the 2GR-FE engine. As a result, if you experience an oil leak, it’s a good idea to replace the rubber hose with a metal design.
As preventative maintenance, we recommend replacing this hose. If the hose develops a major leak, it is possible to quickly lose oil and oil pressure. If the engine is not shut down in a timely manner, this can result in full engine failure. A lack of oil pressure is obviously bad for an engine. Not to scare anyone, but don’t allow this inexpensive hose cause costly complications.
Symptoms of a 2GR-FE VVT-i Oil Leak
Among the signs of a VVTi rubber hose leak are:
- Visible dripping
- Oil pressure drop
- Engine oil is low.
- Engine exhaust smoke
The majority of these symptoms are quite typical of any oil leak. A slight leak from the 2GR-FE may result in oil drips on the ground or a little quantity of smoke. Larger leaks from the VVT hose can appear out of nowhere, resulting in rapid oil loss. This could result in the 3.5L engine losing oil pressure and producing a lot of smoke.
Toyota 3.5 VVT Oil Hose Change
The metal oil hose may be purchased online for around $20-40. It’s not a difficult DIY, thus it’s a rather inexpensive job in general. Labor will most likely take a few hours, so plan on spending another $150-300 at a repair shop. If you still have the original rubber part on the car, it’s a good idea to repair the 3.5L V6 VVT oil hose sooner rather than later.
2) Idler Pulley Issues with the Toyota 2GR-FE
Another issue that primarily affects earlier model 2GR-FE engines is idler pulleys. Around 2009, Toyota fixed the problem with a heavy-duty idler pulley. The issues appear to be most prevalent in Toyota RAV4, Camry, Highlander, and Sienna models from 2005 to 2008. However, any of the early Toyota 3.5L engines could have idler pulley issues.
In most circumstances, it is not a significant issue and usually results in some loud, unpleasant engine noises. If you hear any screaming or rattling from the 3.5 V6, it’s probably due to a problem with the idler pulley. Certain versions have two idler pulleys, so replace both while you’re in there. You should also consider replacing the belt, especially if you have more than 100,000 miles on it.
3.5 V6 Toyota Idler Pulley Problems
Look for the following signs of a problem with the Toyota 2GR-FE idler pulley(s):
These are the only signs of 3.5L idler pulley problems. They become a little noisy over time, and it’s usually not an emergency repair. However, it’s still a good idea to complete the repair as quickly as possible.
Idler Pulley Replacement for 2GR-FE 3.5L
This is where you’ll find the heavy-duty idler pulley. They cost roughly $40-50 each, and two of them are used in Avalon, Camry, and Sienna models. Because the RAV4 and Highlander have electric power steering, they only have one idler pulley.
As with the initial issue, replacing the idler pulleys isn’t too difficult for the ordinary do-it-yourselfer. Expect to spend a number of hours repairing everything, or labor in a shop will likely cost $150-300.
3) Failure of the Toyota 3.5 V6 Water Pump
Toyota deserves credit for identifying and resolving flaws in the 2GR-FE engine. Water pump failures can occur on any year and model because they are a wear and tear component. Water pump failures, on the other hand, appear to be the most common in early versions. Around 2010, the pump was updated. Water pump breakdowns can occur at any time of year.
Water pumps are required for the 3.5L V6 engine to function properly. If the pump fails, it is an emergency that must be addressed right away. The water pump may occasionally simply leak coolant. However, if the pump has internal difficulties, the 2GR-FE engine may soon overheat without appropriate coolant delivery.
Symptoms of 2GR-FE Water Pump Failure
Among the signs of water pump failure on the 3.5 V6 engine are:
- Coolant dripping
- The engine produces steam.
A visible coolant leak could suggest a water pump failure. If it fails, the 3.5L V6 will lose coolant flow and overheat quickly. In this scenario, it’s critical to turn off the engine immediately and not drive it until it’s repaired. As coolant drips onto heated equipment, coolant pump failures can also result in steam from the engine bay.
Water Pump Replacement for 3.5L V6
This is the most expensive repair on the list, but in the broad scheme of things, it’s not too bad. A 2GR-FE water pump costs between $80-150, depending on the type. Labor will most likely take 3-5 hours, so budget an additional $250-400 for replacement. It’s not a difficult repair, but it may require a day in the garage and some patience.
4) Spark Plugs & Ignition Coils 2GR-FE 3.5L V6
Because we’ve run out of other issues with the 3.5L V6 Toyota engine, we’ve added spark plugs and ignition coils to the list. Although these are normal maintenance items, certain engines do encounter premature ignition coil failure. Anyway, it’s mainly here to round out the list.
Spark plugs should be replaced every 100,000 miles. Ignition coils are a wear-and-tear item that can occasionally last the life of the 2GR-FE engine. As a result, it’s not uncommon for ignition coils to need to be replaced at 150,000 miles or sooner. However, supercharged 3.5L V6 vehicles may require new parts sooner. The added power and boost can cause these parts to wear out faster.
3.5 V6 Plugs and Coils Issues
The symptoms listed below may indicate a problem with the 2GR-FE ignition system:
- Idle time
- Power outage
Spark plugs and ignition coils lose their effectiveness with time, causing the engine to misfire. As a result, the Toyota 3.5L engine may stutter during acceleration or develop a harsh idle. Power loss occurs as well, although it’s possible that you won’t notice it because it happens gradually.
Repairs for 2GR-FE Spark Plugs and Ignition Coils
If you have more than 100,000 miles on your vehicle, it is a good idea to replace all six spark plugs, even if only one is faulty. This is generally less necessary with ignition coils, but replacing all of them might not be a terrible idea. A set of six spark plugs should cost less than $50, whereas ignition coil sets can cost between $150 and $250. These are easy repairs that even inexperienced DIYers may complete in the driveway.
What is the dependability of the Toyota 2GR-FE 3.5L V6?
Toyota’s 3.5L V6 engine receives above-average dependability ratings. These engines have their fair share of typical issues, but in the broad scheme of things, they’re very inexpensive and simple repairs. We’ve also encountered a slew of engines that have far more issues in general. The Toyota 2GR-FE doesn’t have many problems, and when they do arise, they’re usually inexpensive to repair. As such, it is unquestionably a dependable engine.
Of course, some of it is due to upkeep. Change the oil in the 3.5L V6 on time and address any problems that arise. Preventative maintenance on earlier model engines is also recommended. Keep your 2GR-FE in good condition.
This engine is likely to deliver a mostly trouble-free, dependable experience for the next 200,000 kilometers. Some Toyota 3.5L V6 engines even last much longer, indicating that it has excellent lifespan.
Summary of Toyota 3.5 V6 Common Issues
The 3.5L V6 Toyota engine is a powerful engine in every way. It has reasonable performance on base models and a lot more power on supercharged models. However, no engine is flawless, and the 2GR-FE is no exception. Early models had a few extra issues that Toyota fixed later on with stronger parts. Keep an eye out for problems with the VVT oil hose, idler pulley(s), and water pump. Make sure you purchase the most recent versions of each part because they are less likely to fail.
Maintain your 3.5L 2GR-FE properly, and it will most likely reward you with a dependable overall experience. There’s a reason Toyota has used this engine in so many flagship cars for so long. It’s a good engine with dependable performance and dependability.