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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
2005 Camry I-4. Car has 71,000 miles on it. Dealer serviced for the first 42,000 when we moved and I took over the maintains.Had to add a slight amount of coolant to the reservoir on a couple of occasions. All is fine for a couple of months then one morning as my fiancé pulls away i see a spot of coolant on the ground. Take it to the dealer and I'm told the car has a head gasket leak.I complain a an agreement is reached that I will pay 400.00 and Toyota will pick up the rest.Seems fair.
The Dealer calls the next day to tell me the car needs a new motor. The head bolts are loose and this is what caused the gasket to leak. The head bolts are loose because the threads are pulling out of the block. As the bolts come out the threads from the block come out with the bolts. This makes the engine none repairable.
Now the Toyota tech tells me this has been a small but persistent problem with the 2.4 motors. Had two in the shop with the same problem.They were being repaired under warranty.
Toyota has agreed to pick up the labor, but that still leaves me with a 4000.00 dollar repair bill. Both the tech and the service adviser agree that this problem accured during the warranty period.Head bolts don't strip themselves.This is a workmanship or a material quality problem that I believe should be covered by the original warranty. Regardless ,I'm disappointed In this car and the way Toyota is handling this problem.
Any ideas,comments or suggestions.
Thanks in advance,Mark
 

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I wonder if there's some additional damage done to the engine? If it's only the threads that are stripped out, someone should be able to put helicoil inserts in the block. I'd talk to an automotive machine shop about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I called a machine shop and we talked about heli coils and threadserts. Nobody can say for sure that they will hold. The answer I always get is fix it and sell it. Let someone else worry about it. I cant do that. Nothing worse then buying a car and finding out its junk.
When we get the car back well drive it another year,the length of the warranty and then sell the car. I don't trust the car anymore. With my luck the same thing will happen again.
Thanks,Mark
 

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Wow, I would put a used engine in there before spending $4000 on a new engine. A used engine would typically cost less than $1000.

Helicoil is not a good idea for head bolts. The bolts carry a lot of load and helicoils are not typically good for that type of application.

I have never heard of this happening. I would think it is not a common problem. When you get the car fixed, I would think it would be fine to drive and would not expect it to happen again. You might do some searching to see how common the problem is before taking a big loss on the car.

I would also call Toyota's customer care number and explain your problem. My buddy had a camshaft crack out of warranty and Toyota covered it. It is worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We considered a used motor. 1200.00 to 1500.00 for a low mileage engine. Plus maybe 1500.00 for the install. I don't have the time or the desire to swap engines. One of the reasons we bought a Toyota was so I would not have to work on it.
I have called Toyota customer care and they could care less.Car is out of warranty so tough luck. They were actually kind of rude. Heck of a way to treat repeat buyers.So big we don't have to care.
The last slap in the face was to offer us 5000.00 for the car. And put us in a new Camry, what a great idea.
" OH WHAT A FEELING"
Thanks,Mark
 

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Helicoil is not a good idea for head bolts. The bolts carry a lot of load and helicoils are not typically good for that type of application.
Can you tell me where you got this information? In all my years as a mechanical designer, I always specified them in some pretty important places like fighter planes and space applications.
 

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Can you tell me where you got this information? In all my years as a mechanical designer, I always specified them in some pretty important places like fighter planes and space applications.
No place in particular, just personal observations and applications. I haven't had much luck with them. Have seen the thread roll and pull out. I have used a product that I liked better. It looked more like a pipe bushing. When you screwed it in it dug in so it would not back out. Don't remember the name though.

Just went and read the website brochures for Helicoil. I'm surprised they are used that extensively.
 

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Tones, I think I'd go with the Timeserts since they are solid like the ones you described. I got to thinking that I'd bet a rebuilt engine for that vehicle would probably be one that was repaired in the same way for the same reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got a quote from a machine shop for 1,000.00 to r&r the head and install timeserts. I was told that once installed they are stronger then the original threads. He has never had one fail and did have the size in stock and the tool to install them. But no guarantee.Has heard of some failures.
The way the luck has been going we decided on the short block, with Toyota picking up the labor. Still, this should never had happened and I still believe that the problem occurred during the warranty period and Toyota should pick up the whole tab.The head bolts were over torqued at the factory or the block was weak. This is what the tech told me.
I talked my soon to be mother-in-law in buying the exact same car, shes worried also. Toyota should make it right. I will never buy another one. The quality is beginning to slip.
 

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I will never buy another one. The quality is beginning to slip.
I think you have an aluminum block. This is why I don't like aluminum engine blocks. They should find another way to save 40 lbs. in a car like a few less cup holders or video monitors and stick with a beefy cast iron block.

If I were a paraniod type, I'd think there's almost a conspiracy in the automobile industry to cheapen stuff down to the point that NO vehicle lasts longer than a predetermined ATBF. (Approximate Time Before Failure). Sure, some last a bit longer, some fail earlier but the end result is that the poor chump consumer has to purchase a new vehicle on the average of 5 years or so.
They're betting that a major powertrain failure will happen sooner or later that will cause you to "just trade it in " on a new one.

Everybody wins except the consumer. Money lenders, insurance companies, states collecting sales taxes and registration dollars etc.

End of tin foil hat rant.
 

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When I heard about the thread stripping problem, I assumed it was an aluminum block. I don't know why the machine shop man said he heard about failures with the inserts. I suppose there can be failures aqnywhere? Inserts have to be a hell of a lot better than tapped unhardened aluminum imo.
 

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I'd ah gone with the Timeserts.

Cadillacs DOHC engines are known leakers - weapers - seepers - until recently, and the Factory SUPERCHARGED Cadillac engine is the only one that has block inserts - done at the Factory - to keep the engine together.

It is a cost factor with them - probably same at Toyota.
 

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Been a machinist for over 10 years and have installed a lot of Helicoil inserts. When installed properly they are stronger than a regular thread. They usually only fail because either the wrong length of insert was used or their was a thin wall condition on the OD of the insert. Over 90% of the aluminum aircraft parts I have made require the threaded holes to be Helicoiled. Tones I think the inserts you're thinking about are called Keen inserts They are solid and have a standard sized thread on the OD to eliminate the need for special taps. These would make a great replacement for head bolts if there is enough material to hold that big of an insert.
 

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Hey guys, new to the boards and toyota. I just wanted to drop in and say hi. My Wife has a 2001 Bmw, the alu. blocks also have a high rate of failure. head bolts pull out of the blocks and head gaskets fail. the dealer has traced the problems back to the bolt manufacture. they use a stretch bolt which did not stretch correctly and put too much pressure on the block. the approx failure time was around 60000 mi or 4-6 years! sounds strangely familiar!

call back to toyota and get someone else on the phone, ask for mgr's get someone who cares. Good luck! Hope it works out.
 
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