Toyota 5.7 3UR-FE Engine Problems

The 3 Most Common Toyota 5.7 V8 Engine Problems

About Zach Mayock - TuningPro Founder & Writer

Meet Zach

Zach is a founder of 8020 Media and TuningPro. He’s been repairing, upgrading, tuning, and writing about cars & engines for over a decade. Zach has written over 400 automotive articles and continues to be a lead writer for TuningPro. His passion, experience, and deep technical knowledge make him a go-to resource for readers looking to take their car to the next level.

In 2007, Toyota introduced the 5.7 V8 for use in the Tundra, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, and Lexus LX 570. The engine is also known as the Toyota 3UR-FE. It offers an excellent balance of performance and reliability. Though, even reliable engines suffer from some issues. The 3UR-FE has a few common problems including cam tower leaks, high oil consumption, and the water pump. In this article, I discuss these Toyota 5.7L V8 problems in-depth along with reliability.

Toyota 5.7 3UR-FE Engine Problems

Toyota 5.7 Engine Problems

  • Cam tower leaks
  • Water pump
  • High oil consumption

We’ll discuss the above issues in-depth through the rest of this article and finish with overall thoughts on 3UR-FE reliability. However, we have a few quick notes before diving in. The 5.7 V8 has been around for over 15 years now. Newer models will likely be more reliable in the short-term simply due to standard wear and tear with age and mileage. That said, the Toyota 5.7 is a great engine that’s built to last.

1) Cam Tower Leaks

Contrary to what we just stated, cam tower oil leaks are truly a common problem on the Toyota 3UR-FE engine. Google cam tower, what is a cam tower, etc. Almost all of the top results are about the Toyota Tundra and the 5.7L engine. Sure, the internet has a tendency to blow things out of proportion. Especially when it’s an expensive repair as with the Toyota 3UR-FE cam tower leaks.

The cam towers are under the valve covers, and Toyota uses an RTV sealant rather than a gasket. Over time, the sealant wears down and causes the cam towers to develop oil leaks. The leaks usually start towards the rear of the Toyota cam towers and allows oil to drip onto the extremely hot exhaust manifold. As such, it’s an important issue to fix since it can cause fire and safety hazards.

Again, the cam tower leaks are actually a pretty common problem on the Toyota 5.7 engine. Look for issues to pop up in the 50,000 to 100,000 mile ballpark. However, leaks have developed even sooner. Some Toyota owners have luck haggling Toyota to help or cover the repair bill since it’s an expensive issue.

3UR-FE Cam Tower Symptoms

  • Visible oil leak
  • Burning oil smells
  • Smoke from engine bay

Symptoms of Toyota cam tower leaks are pretty basic. You might notice a visible leak, but it’s possible all the oil is burning off before hitting the ground. Since it usually drips onto the 5.7 exhaust manifold you’ll likely smell burning oil and see trace amounts of smoke.

Cam Tower Oil Leak Fix

Fixing the cam tower oil leak involves removing the valve cover(s). That’s already fairly labor intensive, but that’s just the start of the job. The below video paints a good picture of the work and labor involved in this job. It should be left to DIY’ers with reasonable experience and knowledge. Otherwise, Toyota 5.7 cam tower oil leak fixes can add up to $1,500+.

2) Water Pump Problems

Water pump issues are common on many engine, so the Toyota 3UR-FE 5.7L engine isn’t alone here. It’s not as common as the cam towers, but water pump failures do happen on the 5.7. Water pumps are designed with a weep hole to allow coolant to leak out. When the internal seal or bearing fails coolant begins leaking out of the weep hole. This helps prevent the water pump from causing further damage to itself.

Fortunately, that’s the exact way in which these water pumps fail. The water pump continues to partially do its job circulating engine coolant and keeping temps in check. It’s still a failure that should be fixed as soon as possible. However, at least it’s not a catastrophic water pump failure that requires the engine be shut down immediately.

The water pump could still fail in a catastrophic way, but it’s much less likely. Though, if this does happen it’s important to shut the engine down to avoid severe overheating and further damage. Water pump leaks on the Toyota 5.7 usually show up in the 60,000 to 100,000 mile ballpark. However, many of these pumps still hold up well beyond 150,000 miles.

Water Pump Failure Symptoms

  • Visible coolant leak
  • Low engine coolant
  • Overheating
  • Check engine light / fault codes

Again, the most common cause of Toyota 3UR-FE water pump failure is an internal failure that causes coolant to leak from the weep hole. That will lead to a visible leak and low coolant if not addressed quickly. If the 5.7 V8 pump completely fails it can cause overheating, a check engine light, and fault codes.

Water Pump Replacement

Unlike some other makes and models we discuss a Toyota 5.7 water pump replacement is pretty inexpensive. The 3UR-FE water pump itself comes in around $70-150. You might consider replacing the thermostat and serpentine belt while in there. DIY water pump jobs are fairly simple on this engine, but it does take some time to access the pump. Labor usually clocks in around 3-6 hours so expect to pay another $250-600 for a repair shop to replace the Toyota 5.7L water pump.

3) High Engine Oil Consumption

Alright. We don’t feel like this should really make the list. Some may consider higher oil consumption an issue on the 5.7 liter V8. However, it doesn’t seem to have an ill effects or reliability concerns. As such, we’re really just discussing high oil consumption for the sake of being out of other things to talk about.

There are a few things to this. High oil consumption on the Toyota 5.7 may, in part, be due to piston ring clearance. It also could have to do with poor quality oils used in the past. Another factor is the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system. Faulty PCV valves are known to increase oil consumption.

Again, we’re really only throwing this in for a quick discussion point. The 5.7L 3UR-FE is an excellent engine all around, and there aren’t many other common problems to discuss. High oil consumption also doesn’t appear to have any effects on overall reliability or longevity.

Reducing Oil Consumption

Some things you can do that may help reduce oil consumption on the 3UR-FE include:

  • Quality synthetic oils
  • Heavier weight oils
  • Check/service PCV system
  • Avoid excess idling

High quality synthetic oils may help reduce oil consumption a little. The recommended oil weight on the Toyota 5.7 liter engine is 0w20. However, 30 weight oils are also acceptable and a thicker oil may experience less blow-by. Also avoid excess idling especially on a cold engine since that can increase oil blow-by. Otherwise, check and service the PCV system.

Some oil consumption is natural, and it’s really not a major concern for reliability and longevity. However, if excess oil consumption is extreme it may be a warning sign something is mechanically wrong. That’s a rare case though and most oil consumption on the 5.7L V8 is natural.

Toyota 5.7 V8 Reliability

Is the 5.7L Toyota 3UR-FE engine reliable? Yes, we believe the engine earns above average remarks for reliability. Cam tower oil leaks and water pump leaks are two of the most common problems owners run into. The cam tower oil leaks can be an expensive fix, but the issues are surely blown out of proportion to some extent.

Otherwise, there really aren’t many common failures on the 5.7L V8. Most engines experience problems at some point in their lives, but that’s simply the nature of owning a car or truck. Engines have lots of moving parts subject to abuse and wear & tear. Maintenance is one of the keys to having a good experience with any engine, and the Toyota 5.7 V8 is no different.

Use high quality oils, change the fluids on time, and fix problems in a timely manner if and when they occur. Do all of this and chances are the 3UR-FE will provide exceptional reliability. The Toyota 5.7 V8 engine is well built and designed to last well beyond 250,000 miles.

Similar Posts


  1. My 2010 Tundra was an oil burner and oil leaker. No quality engine should burn that much oil. Toyota dropped their standard for what they consider “normal” oil consumption to 1quart per 1200 miles. That’s insane and not acceptable considering even Ford and GM will repair an engine burning more than 1 quart per 2000 miles.

    1. My ’19 Silverado’s oil pump failed at 65k miles, and because it was a Canadian truck, it’s warranty. Was for 100,000 kilometers, NOT miles. 65k miles is 110000 I had to pay $9252.00 out of pocket for a brand new engine. I am getting rid of my Silverado, and buying a Toyota tundra. I would advise ANYONE who is looking to buy a truck to AVOID BUYING ANY CHEVROLET VEHICLE, they took the oil pump out of the oil pan and put it where the water pump is supposed to be, and then went with an electric water pump. BAD IDEA! THE 5.3 CHEV ENGINE IS A DOG MOTOR, it is a piece of junk. It burns a quart of oil every 1000 miles, FACTORY NEW. Don’t buy a Chevrolet. Buy a Toyota tundra.

      1. the oil recommended is crap for the silverado. using 5w-30 mobile oil
        works better. also changing the oil every 3,000 rather than 5,000 or
        10,000 is better for a motor. hope this helps.

  2. My 2016 Tundra with a 5.7 liter engine is in the 4th shop now, the third shop was a Toyota dealer. Started blowing out white smoke about a month ago. Toyota said I needed a new engine, its at a different shop now for a second opinion.
    No symptoms only smoke, had the PCV Valve replaced. Toyota said the smoke was due to engine sludge and not enough oil changes.

  3. I have 215000+ on my 09 5.7. Regularly pull loaded trailer from Indiana to Fl. Hard on gas at 19 mpg with tuner but never had and engine problems.just as clean inside and out as it was oil burning or leaks..change the oil every 10k pcv every 15k..5-20 Castrol FS….love it and it will love u back.

    1. 250,000km on my 2013. Only had to change the brakes. Nothing else. My hemi I was changing the water pump or power steering every other year.

  4. 2007 Tundra Limited Double Cab 5.7 4×4 here. I run AMSOIL 0W-20 Signature Series and have never added oil in between annual oil changes or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. I have 217,000 miles on it now and have never had an issue with the engine. Use the best quality oil money can buy, engines aren’t cheap.

  5. 2009 tundra 5.7 ,I absolutely love this model the way it pulls and all he upgrades I had to do to keep her going , as a female with little experience,I pulled out trust Google and have replaced by myself, thermostat, alternator,belt,radiator,hoses, sparks and change my own oil, I messed up when I took it to a local shop to check and replace seal ,after it’s dripped oil,coolant,smells ,but doesn’t run hot…what do u think cam tower or water pump because hell the entire cooling system has been replaced,I switched over to synthetic oil two years ago and I just don’t want to tear this beauty up? Help

  6. 2013 5.7 with 230k miles and has never had one issue. Has never had to have anything done to the truck other new brake pads, tires, and oil changed every 5k miles. Also use it to pull a camper around twice a year and I live in mountains. It still drives and had the power the day I drove it off the lot.

  7. Ill say this as an electrical contractor in Richmond Virginia. I have owned 9 F150 trucks and i saved the service records to remind me how terrible they are. I have a 2000 Tundra SR5 611,000 miles 1 set of valve cover gaskets that’s it no transmission or differential problems 1 wheel bearing on the rear drivers side. I still after 22 years use it all day 5 days a week. I decided to buy a 2015 Limited Tundra it has 183,000 miles on it. Other than regular maintenance 1 vvt solenoid and about 50000 miles the engine was making a weird knocking noise. I read an article on google about the difference between Toyota 0w 20 synthetic and Mobile1 even though Mobile1 makes oil for Toyota it is not the same and the noise is gone. If that’s not enough look at consumers report under reliability the Tundra gets 94 out of 100 F150 41 out of 100nand Silverado is in the do not buy list . What gets me every time is anyone that would spend 50.000 dollars plus for anything and not even consider looking at consumers report first Oh and yeah it burns a little more gas its a truck but the money i save in repairs far and exceeds a few miles per gallon

  8. Bought my 2016 Tundra new and it now has 201k miles. No engine leaks or oil consumption. Been running Amsoil 0w20 since I took over the oil changes when Toyota care ran out. Replace the oil once a year or 25k and filter every six months. Best vehicle I have ever owned. Only major issue was a rear wheel bearing failure that occurred around 180k, the deteriorating bearing fouled the wheel speed sensor and set off every light on my dash, but the truck ran fine all the way home which was several hundred miles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *