13th Mar 2006, 13:58

Head gaskets do not cause oil sludge.

21st Apr 2006, 07:26

To the 14:05 comment: Camry's and Toyota's in general are the best vehicles money can buy. Much better than any over-priced, bloated Buick.

5th Mar 2007, 16:15

I had an "over bloated" Buick. A '93 Lesabre 3.8V6.

It had over 350,000 miles on it when I got rid of it and it still had most of its original parts. Hows that for a longevity story?

2nd Sep 2007, 22:08

Reliability of earlier generations of Camry are no indication of how reliable 5th generation is. Please stay on topic. 2002 is a completely different car.

I am concerned that the 2.4L engine has aluminum heads. I think that one has to be really really careful not to overheat it. Otherwise the heads will get blown.

Reliability of 5th generation 2.4L engine still remains to be seen. Any cases of putting 100K+ or 200K miles on it?

5th Sep 2007, 15:33

The new engine is not really that different. This is getting too crazy folks... and that Buick had to probably have the manifold worked on a few times...

6th Sep 2007, 14:59

I also own a 2002 Camry and have had serious engine problems from day one!

20th Sep 2007, 19:03


Faulty head gaskets can most certainly cause a form of sludge, as can large variances in temperature within an engine (e.g. such as large differences in temperature between the engine and block). Toyota have both problems.

Toyota have been notorious for blowing head gaskets for years, and their engines experiencing the documented sludge problem have been measured to have a difference in temperature between head and block of between 60-70 degrees. The industry standard is 10-15. These dramatic differences in engine temperature cause the oil to condense when it encounters a "cold spot," whereby it cannot vaporize and eliminate (through the PCV valve) the contaminants the oil absorbs from the engine's combustion process, resulting in the build up of acid and other byproducts in excess of what can be suspended in the oil. The result: sludge.

To address the arrogant comment further up the board about all of Toyota's recent problems being due to the Kentucky plant opening up in '96; these aforementioned problems are design problems, not assembly problems. Toyota messed up big time. Stop shamelessly blaming America for their mistakes.

21st Sep 2007, 07:43

19:03 Toyota has not been notorious for blowing head gaskets. You're thinking of GM. Shall I mention the 'Grand Am's', which for awhile were almost guaranteed to have antifreeze in the oil at 60,000 miles?

Toyota is notorious for their quality, and GM is notorious for blowing head gaskets. Toyota has problems as does anyone else, but for every recall or fault that they have, I can name 20 for GM. I've known dozens of Toyota owners, with makes and models of all years, and I've seen only one head gasket needed replaced; at over 320,000 miles. I think that's acceptable, considering that was the truck's first major repair.

21st Sep 2007, 18:27


You must have some pretty lucky friends or not know too many Toyota owners, if only know one person who blew a head gasket. Toyota's are well known to have head gasket failures, and I have personally seen them fail countless times on both 4 and 6 cylinder Toyota's. It is a well known problem. Do a Google search for "Toyota head gasket failures" and you will see.

21st Sep 2007, 23:25


Toyota isn't known for blowing head gaskets? Um, check the mid nineties 4-runner section of carsurvey.org, and it becomes obvious Toyota does indeed have problems with head gaskets. But the bigger problem for Toyota is sludging across the board. Even the notoriously pro-Toyota, anti-big 3 guys on that ridiculous NPR show car talk admit that.

21st Apr 2008, 12:56

I have a 2002 Camry XLE I leased when I took from PA to Fl in 2002. This car has 106,450 miles on it. I kept it simple with 4 cyl and cloth interior and no moon roof due to sun and heat of SW Florida. I did get the alloy wheels when dealer took them off a new 02 XLE V-6 at time of lease.

I do oil each 4-5,000 miles, now own car outright and have replaced a strut assembly that rattled at 40,000. At 106,000 I replaced front struts to save tire wear, replaced plugs at 95,000. This car has original brakes on all four wheels, as hard as that is to believe and still averages 28 miles per gallon town/mid 30's on trips. Not a rattle and paint and interior still looks new.

This car is one of the best cars I ever owned, have a 2001 Lexus ES300 with 45,000 but use the Camry most of the time. I could by a new car but why bother?

9th Jul 2008, 12:14

I have a 2003 Toyota Camry. At 47,000 miles our engine blew and Toyota paid to have it rebuilt. The mechanic found that a spring failed and caused a piston to shoot up through something. (I'm not good with car parts!)

This car now has 82,000 and started making a horrible "clanking/knocking" sound, but it is still running good. We took it in to have the noise looked at, and the mechanic is saying the engine may have failed again. The problem is, the rebuilt motor only had a 12,000 mile warranty on it!!

Has anyone ever heard of a Toyota Camry needing to have the engine rebuilt TWICE by 82,000 miles?? I would like to know if anyone else is having any problems like this in case Toyota doesn't pay for the second engine because of the 12,000 mile warranty. (The mechanic insinuated that Toyota may give us a problem because of the warranty).

I had a 99 Camry that never made a sound and had over 100,000 miles on it. I'm sorry I ever traded that car in, but I'm ready to trade this 03 in on a Ford Pinto (don't laugh, I saw one still running on the highway last week and it must be 30 years old!!)

I also had a 76 Corolla that never gave me any problems - not even a flat tire!

We are middle aged with no kids at home driving the car.

Thank you.

10th Jul 2008, 16:54

Sounds pretty pathetic and it happened to us. Switched to new domestics and its no one but the imports fault. I liked the thought of cheap, basic, reliable transportation... cheap to buy and basic was all it was. Not cheap to fix and not reliable either.

11th Jul 2008, 11:41

I'm a mechanic and yes, I've heard of several Camrys and Corollas requiring more than one engine in less than 100,000 miles.

The myth about import superiority is so strong that people really have no concept of just how unreliable these cars really are.

The remark about the Ford Pinto caught my eye because I paid $300 for a '79 Pinto with 183,000 miles on it in 1994 to drive to school at a university where I was working on a degree. I didn't want to leave my good car in the high-crime university area. I drove the Pinto for 4 years, and sold it still running great for twice what I paid for it with over 200,000 miles on it.

My personal experience has shown Ford to be probably the most reliable vehicles. We put over 300,000 miles on one with virtually zero problems. I have friends who have put well over 300,000 miles on Ford trucks without a problem.

Currently the most reliable and highest quality vehicles are the Ford Fusion, which is the highest rated car Consumer Reports has ever reported on, and the awesome new Chevy Malibu, which is the American Car of the Year and is receiving rave reviews from most automotive authorities.

Imports have pretty much had their day. Even in our harsh economic climate, GM sales dropped less than Toyota last month.