2004 Toyota MR2 Spyder Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2004 Toyota MR2 Spyder

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2004 Toyota MR2 Spyder Problems

Excessive Oil Consumption

Drivers of the Toyota MR2 Spyder may notice excessive oil consumption between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.

This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings. 

The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced. 

To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used. 

Rough Idle and Backfiring Engine with Check Engine Light

The MR2 Spyder 1.8L engine has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

Transmission Slips Out of Gear

Manual transmission models of the MR2 Spyder tend to slip out of gear while driving. This is because the bushings that support the shift lever wear out very quickly, and prevent the shifter from placing the vehicle firmly in gear.

The remedy for the issue is to replace the bushings.

If left unchecked, the transmission may be subject to undue and premature wear.

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