The Toyota 2AZ-FE is a 2.4L inline-4 engine that began production in 2000. It’s primarily known for its use in the Camry, RAV4, Scion tC and xB. However, the 2AZ engine is in many other models spanning from 2001-2015. The 2.4L engine offers 160-177 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Performance may be lacking by modern standards, but the 2AZ-FE delivers good reliability and efficiency. No engine is perfect, though. In this guide, we discuss the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine and look at problems, reliability, specs, performance, and more.
What Cars Use the 2AZ-FE?
Toyota 2AZ 2.4L engines are in the following years and models:
- 2001-2007 Toyota Highlander
- 2002-2009 Toyota Camry
- 2004-2007 Toyota RAV4
- 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla XRS
- 2009-2011 Toyota Matrix S
- 2005-2010 Scion tC
- 2008-2015 Scion xB
Power output varies depending on year and model. The 2AZ FE engine also has a few different variants and received some updates during its production. More on that in the coming sections.
Variants of the 2AZ
Three primary variants exist for the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine. These variants include:
All engines share the same basic design given the fact they’re a part of the same engine family. The 2AZ-FE is the primary engine and the original design for the 2AZ. Next are the 2AZ-FSE engines which use direct fuel injection instead of port injection. It’s great technology for performance, fuel economy, and emissions. However, there is one flaw with direct injection that we will discuss in this article. Lastly, the 2AZ-FXE is an Atkinson cycle variant designed for use in hybrid models.
Otherwise, later 2AZ-FE engines received a more aggressive intake cam, higher redline, and piston oil squirters. The compression ratio also increased from 9.6:1 to 9.8:1. Toyota implemented these updates in 2008.
Toyota 2AZ-FE Engine Specs
Specs for the Toyota 2AZ-FE 2.4L inline-4 engine are as follows:
|Bore x Stroke||88.5mm x 96mm|
|Compression Ratio||9.6:1 or 9.8:1|
|Torque (lb-ft)||162 TQ|
*A Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger was available for the Scion tC until 2009
None of the Toyota 2.4 engine specs stand out as high-performance. However, the engine does still have some nice features like DOHC. The aluminum block and head also help keep weight down. Ultimately, the 2AZ-FE is all about efficiency and fuel economy.
That’s especially true for the 2AZ-FSE engines with direct injection (DI). It’s awesome technology that provides great improvements to fuel economy and emissions. Better performance is another plus of direct injection, but it does add some extra potential maintenance. Again, we will discuss this topic when it comes time to cover 2AZ FE engine problems.
2.4L Inline-4 Performance
When it comes to performance, the 2AZ-FE isn’t going to impress in factory trim. The 2.4L engine is in too many models to provide performance specs for all. However, one example, the Scion tC achieves a 1/4 mile time of roughly 15.8 seconds. With the TRD supercharger the 1/4 mile time drops to 15.1 seconds. Nothing impressive, especially by modern standards.
The performance is reasonable for what’s intended to be a reliable, efficient, and economic engine. Fortunately, the 2AZ FE engine does leave some performance on the table. It’s still nothing spectacular, but the 2AZ does offer opportunity for some unique builds and swaps.
2AZ-FE Tuning Potential
Circling back to the Scion tC supercharger example this engine makes about 250 horsepower from the factory. A bump of roughly 70-90 hp over a base NA 2AZ-FE engine. You can find forced induction kits that can deliver similar performance or take the engine even further. Although, 250hp is a good limit without needing to address internals. Those wanting more power should consider building the bottom end.
Outside of forced induction there is also tuning and all of the other basic bolt-on mods. There’s opportunity to unlock more power from intake, headers, exhausts, and other upgrades. Don’t expect much more than 10-20 horsepower unless you’re going for more serious mods like cams, stroker kits, etc.
Toyota 2AZ-FE Engine Problems
With the basic 2AZ-FE topics out of the way it’s time to dive into engine problems and reliability. Some of the most common Toyota 2AZ-FE engine problems include:
- Oil Consumption
- Carbon Build-up
- Oil Leaks
The above engine problems will be a main focus throughout the rest of this article. It’s important to add a few notes before diving in, though. We’re considering these 2AZ FE problems among the most common. That doesn’t mean the issues are common in the true sense of the definition. Instead, when problems do occur these are some of the most common areas.
That said, the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine does deliver good reliability. There are some major discussions, concerns, and even lawsuits regarding the 2.4L inline-4 engine. However, it’s not all bad and many 2AZ engine go on to live for 200,000+ miles. We will circle back to 2AZ-FE reliability at the end of this article. For now, let’s jump in and discuss the above engine problems.
1) 2AZ FE 2.4L Oil Consumption Issues
High oil consumption is one of the biggest topics regarding Toyota 2AZ-FE engine problems. There are a lot of complaints about the 2.4 inline-4 engine burning oil. There are even some class-action lawsuits regarding these problems as well as a service bulletin from Toyota. Point is – 2AZ FE oil consumption is a well known issue.
Piston ring design seems to be the likely culprit of the oil consumption. Too large a gap simply allows excess oil past the piston rings where it burns away in the combustion chamber. This isn’t a totally uncommon issue so the Toyota 2.4 engine isn’t alone here. High oil consumption isn’t all bad, either.
2AZ-FE oil consumption doesn’t seem to affect long-term reliability or longevity. The most important thing is routinely checking oil levels and topping up as needed. Running low on oil for extended periods can put a lot of extra stress on the engine or lead to complete failure. However, keep the oil filled and it’s unlikely the oil consumption has any major impact on 2AZ FE reliability or longevity.
2AZ-FE Oil Consumption Fix
Is there an easy way to fix Toyota 2AZ-FE oil consumption? Yes and no. Piston rings are the primary culprit and that’s not an easy fix or replacement. Even then, there’s no guarantee a replacement part would solve the issue for the long-term. The good news is there are a few ways to potentially lessen 2AZ-FE oil consumption with a few easy fixes:
- Shorter oil change intervals
- Heavier oil weights, like 5W30 or 10W30
- Avoid excess idling
- Fuel/Oil additives
Sticking with shorter oil change intervals ensures quality oil health and can help reduce consumption. Another possible 2AZ-FE oil consumption fix is using heavier oil weights. These thicker oils will have a harder time getting by the piston rings. Cold weight (the first number) is likely the most important. Why?
As metals heat up they expand. Piston ring gaps will be larger on a cold engine, and close as the engine warms up. In other words, oil consumption should naturally be lower on a warm engine. While it’s cold a thicker oil may help reduce consumption. Also avoid excess idling, especially on a cold engine.
Lastly, you can consider some oil or fuel additives for the 2AZ-FE engine. Sometimes it may help a little and other times they might not reduce consumption at all. It might be worth a shot, though.
2) 2AZ-FSE Carbon Build-Up Problems
One variant of the Toyota 2AZ engine family – the 2AZ-FSE – is prone to potential carbon build-up problems. The FSE engine is only in the Toyota Avensis models with the 2AZ engine. As such, this topic doesn’t apply to most 2AZ FE engines on the road, so we’ll keep this a bit shorter.
Anyways, all engines produce some natural oil blow-by. This oil makes its way into the intake ports where it can stick to walls and intake valves. It’s mostly a non-issue on port injection engines since fuel is sprayed into the ports. Detergents in gasoline then wipe away any deposits. However, the direct injection 2AZ-FSE sprays fuel directly into the cylinder. There’s nothing to wipe away oil deposits so they eventually harden and form carbon build-up.
Walnut blasting is a popular method to clean carbon deposits from intake valves. It’s generally good maintenance every 100,000 to 130,000 miles on DI engines. The process mostly involves labor and costs about $300-600 to clean the valves.
Carbon build-up can still occur on the Toyota 2AZ FE engine, and there are some reports of it. This may tie into the oil consumption problems above. However, it’s usually due to poor maintenance and too long oil change intervals.
2AZ 2.4 Carbon Build-Up Symptoms
Symptoms of excess carbon build-up problems on the 2AZ engine include:
- Rough idle
- Stuttering or hesitation
- Power loss
As carbon builds-up on intake valves and ports it begins to restrict air-flow into cylinders. In turn, the 2AZ-FE engine will likely develop misfires. Rough idle and stuttering during acceleration are also common signs of misfires and carbon build-up.
Power loss is probably the most serious symptom of excess carbon deposits, but it’s really hard to notice. Carbon build-up occurs over years and years and tens of thousands of miles. As such, power loss is very gradual and can be tough to detect.
3) Toyota 2AZ-FE Oil Leaks
Alright – this last 2AZ-FE engine problem is a pretty generic one. We will speed things up to move into 2AZ FE reliability and wrap up the article. Anyways, all gasoline engines are prone to oil leaks as they age. Gaskets, seals, O-rings, hoses, etc are often made from rubber or rubber-like materials. These parts simply wear down with age and mileage.
Eventually, small cracks develop and oil leaks ensue. When left alone, these cracks continue expanding and oil leaks become gradually worse. A few of the most common areas for 2AZ-FE oil leaks include the valve cover gaskets, timing case cover, and main seals. There are also lot’s of other potential areas for leaks, but the latter seem most common.
Ultimately, we don’t think it’s fair to consider oil leaks a truly common problem on the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine. There aren’t any major design flaws that cause severe or premature oil leaks. Rather, it’s just an important topic to bring up due to the age of the 2.4L 2AZ FE. Many are 10-20 years old and oil leaks are common on almost any engine at that age.
Oil Leak Symptoms & Repairs
The symptoms of Toyota 2AZ-FE oil leaks are pretty straight-forward. Nonetheless, look for the following signs that the engine may be leaking oil:
- Visible oil leak
- Burning oil smells
- Light smoke from engine bay
Oil spots on the ground are a giveaway that oil is likely leaking from somewhere. If you notice visible oil leaks it’s probably time to look further into the 2AZ FE leak. Otherwise, oil may drip onto hot components and burn away in the engine bay. This can cause burning oil smells or light smoke from the engine bay area.
Fortunately, oil leaks on the Toyota 2AZ-FE are usually pretty simple, cheap fixes. The main culprits are usually inexpensive gaskets or seals that only cost about $5-20. Labor can add up for more complicated oil leaks, though.
2AZ-FE 2.4 Reliability
Is the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine reliable? Yes, we believe this engine earns average to above average remarks for reliability. The 2AZ-FE is actually a solid engine all around, but the oil consumption does hold it back a bit. Fortunately, it doesn’t have any major impacts to longevity or long-term reliability. You may be spending extra money on oil to top off frequently, though.
Otherwise, an oil leak here and there may pop up mostly due to the age and mileage of most 2AZ FE engines on the road today. Of course, other miscellaneous problems can and do occur but nothing seems overly common. A lot of Toyota 2AZ-FE reliability simply comes down to maintenance and luck of the draw.
The luck aspect is out of our hands. However, we can do our best to stay on top of maintenance. Change fluids on time, use quality oils, ensure the oil is topped off, and fix issues if and when they occur. It’s basic stuff that should apply to any car and engine. Anyway, do all of this and chances are the 2AZ-FE will run for 200,000+ miles. Some even make it beyond 300,000 miles, so longevity isn’t an issue for the Toyota 2AZ-FE.
Toyota 2AZ-FE Engine Summary
The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine began production in 2000 and is in a wide range of Toyota and Scion models from 2001-2015. It’s not known for outstanding performance, but the 2.4L inline-4 offers enough power for most. It also delivers excellent efficiency and economy with a good balance of reliability. However, no engine is perfect and that applies to the 2AZ FE too.
High oil consumption is a big topic when it comes to the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine. There are a number of lawsuits regarding this problem, and there isn’t a perfect long-term fix. It doesn’t seem to impact longevity, though, so it’s not all bad. Otherwise, the 2AZ doesn’t have many common flaws or issues. Some standard problems are normal given the age and mileage on most engines now days.
In summary, the Toyota 2AZ-FE is a solid engine all around. It’s not the best at anything it does, but the engine delivers a good all around balance. Keep up with maintenance and treat the car and engine well. With a bit of luck on your side you’ll likely have a great experience with the 2AZ FE for 200,000+ miles.
What’s your experience with the 2AZ-FE engine? Are you considering buying one?
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