Toyota MR2 Spyder Repair and Maintenance

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

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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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Toyota MR2 Spyder Questions

My mr2 is barely idling. Where can i start a process of elimination? (1 answer)

I have to use both feet on the peddles to start it. It idles so slow that it dies. I had fault codes p1646 p1647. I removed the fuse for a time and i unhooked the negative cable from my battery to fix the faults once i tried to start it the car sounded like it was out of gas or flooded but i push...

when the 30 amp fuse to the hpu keeps blowing the gear stays on neutral what is the problem? (1 answer)

what would cause tail lights to remain on when lights & ignition are turned off. (1 answer)

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Toyota MR2 Spyder Reviews

A blast to drive even at 102K and fuel economy remains at factory specs (26/32 mpg) even though a tune up has yet to be done. Low maintenance and nary a repair the whole while. Finish remains bright and shiny even though parked outdoor year round. This car corners and handles like a dream. Headlights could provide more field of view, but the brakes are fantastic are the the transmission, sus...
Best car I have ever owned. Fun to drive.
Its a sexy car that screams "Look at me"

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