The beginning of this thread is a great summary of the primary issue with the '00 - '02 MR2 Spyder. I have heard of '03 and later models that have also demonstrated the same oil consumption / engine wear / pre-catalytic converter degradation problem. It's unfortunate that an otherwise fun and very economical car is stricken with a problem that is uncharacteristic of Toyotas.
Dealers across the country are amazingly inconsistent in remedying customer engine issues. The extended warranty provides no insurance of cost-free repairs. The layman solution I've heard is to gut the precats, but this violates most state emissions laws. For those enthusiasts interested in further details, I suggest searching the topic on www.spyderchat.com.
I was considering trading my 1985 corvette, with 70000 trouble free miles, in for a 2003 spyder. I am concerned about the characteristic oil burning problem with the Spyder. Probably will not trade after reading the reader's comments.
I currently own a 2001 MR2 Spyder. The problem I am having is replacing the catalytic converter. Are there any aftermarket converters out there? The dealer is the only place to get the part, and they are pricing it out at 725.00.
I'm currently in Virginia at Woodbridge Auto Actions looking at a 2001 MR2 Spyder. I found the car online and read the car fax history report. I'm from Wisconsin; flew out here with my girlfriend to pick up the car, but when I took it for a test drive, it seems to have a problem with a sluggish start coming out of first and second gear. Is this maybe a problem because of the catalytic converter?
Yes it was fixed, however if you remove the precats (which is illegal) it's a non factor and it greatly cuts oil consumption, all the while your car will still pass any smog test.
2003 and up models are the most trouble free and mechanically perfect years of the MR2 Spyder. Not to mention the major face lift the newer models got.
The MR2 is a true drivers car; most all complaints of driveability come from drivers who are new to a mid engine vehicle.
Recently I purchased a 2001 MR2 Spider.
Everything has been going good with the car, except it has always burned oil. About two quarts oil for every 1000 miles. But yesterday while taking off it made a loud noise, then sounded like the engine cut off. After that I started hearing a knocking noise. It got louder and louder. After pulling into a gas station, I realized the car was low on oil. I added two quarts of oil. The noise went away, then started to come back. Finally when I made it home, the engine was making so much noise, and I parked it in my shop. Something went out and went out fast. I checked and the oil level was off the stick, so I'm thinking it's time for a new or rebuilt engine.
Anyone have any advice on where to get a used but rebuilt engine. Also, if a 2004 or 2005 MR2 engine will work in a 2001? Maybe they don't burn oil like the 2001.
If anyone has any advice, please send me an email at Kennylclayton@Gmail.com.
Thanks for your help and time, Kenneth Clayton.