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Toyota and Lexus Repair Warning with This Engine

Some Toyota and Lexus models had a known problem with external head gasket leaks. Find out now why this problem is there, what you can do to prevent it, and the one thing you should never allow a garage to do when fixing a head gasket leak problem in Toyota and Lexus models with this engine.

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The 2GR-FE 3.5L V6 Head Gasket Problems

The 2GR-FE 3.5L V6 is used in many Toyota and Lexus models in which a common problem emerged with head gasket leaking. However, rather than leaking coolant into the block as is typical with many head gasket problems, this one is unusual in that the coolant leaks outside of the engine---a telltale sign of this is coolant stains found on the block surface.

Related article: Blown Head Gasket Scam Tutorial for Non-Mechanics

The cause of this problem is due to two chemical events occurring near one of the coolant ports on the cylinder head: corrosion due to road salt and water on the outside of the block along the cylinder head in conjunction with a coolant port that is blasting acidic coolant against the head gasket near the same area. When coolant gets old it turns acidic and can eat away at the head gasket.

Therefore, the best prevention measures are to occasionally hose the outside of the block if you live in the rustbelt region and/or winter road salt is an issue. And, changing your coolant regularly so that the acidity does not build.

Mysterious Timing Issues After a Leaking Head Gasket is Repaired

However, even with the aforementioned measures you could still develop a leaking head gasket. Which can develop into a new problem once the head gasket leak is repaired. And that problem is a newly developed timing issue with the engine.

In short, what happens is that the garage may decide to resurface the cylinder heads and block to remove the old head gasket material and take care of any corrosion pitting. Unfortunately, in this engine resurfacing, the block and cylinder head distance shortens ever so slightly between the crank and the cam resulting in mistiming issues.

Related article: Timing Chain and Timing Belt Problems and Repair Demonstrated by Mechanics

To learn more details about these problems, follow along with the Car Care Nut as he uses a Toyota with nearly 200,000 miles on it as an example of a head gasket leak and what your options are on its repair.

A Look Inside a 200,000 Mile Toyota V6 Engine for a Common Head Gasket Leak

And finally…

For additional articles related to the 2GR-FE engine, here are two for your consideration:

Toyota V6 Engine Warning for Owners

The Biggest Problem with the 3.5L V6 Engine in Toyota and Lexus Models Owners Need to Know About

Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image source: Pixabay

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