Everybody knows that Toyota produces bullet-proof engines, however, like most things man-made, there are production flaws and potential faults to look out for. This article will discuss exactly how reliable the Toyota 4.0 V6 is and the maximum mileage you can expect from the V6 beast.
The Dual VVT-i 4.0 V6 engine found in the 09+ models is smooth, quiet, and reliable with engine longevity easily reaching over 200,000 miles (320,000 km).
It’s no secret that regular maintenance and using high-grade oils and lubricants is the key to reliability on almost any engine. Sure, some engines are more prone to mechanical and reliability issues than others irrespective.
So how does the 4.0 v6 stack up in the reliability and longevity department? How good are these engines really and what are some of the potential flaws you can expect?
Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
How Good Is The Toyota 4.0 V6 Engine?
Log onto any Toyota forum and you’ll find many threads of happy 4.0 V6 owners who swear by these engines. Many claim never to trade it for anything else out there, not even a diesel for better fuel consumption. The V6 has quickly built up a reputation for being a go-anywhere, rugged, reliable little lump with a heart of gold.
A common talking point with the 4.0 V6 is the failing water pump: No Problem, you can pick up a new one here (Amazon).
Another common occurrence on the earlier single VVT-i V6 is a blown head gasket. Again, no problem just grab a replacement head gasket kit here (Amazon). That is another advantage of these engines, you can readily get replacement parts online at very decent prices.
Also, the automatic box “thud”: (get some high-quality ATF oil here (Amazon)
More about that later.
If you are in the market for a used 4.0, make sure you inspect the undercarriage carefully, since these rugged, go-anywhere vehicles are well-known to be used for off-road trails and dune driving. Check for dings and marks that will indicate serious off-road activity. Also make sure you inspect the lowest parts of the vehicle, such as the rear diff and bash-plates underneath the engine. That will give you a very good idea of the kind of life it has endured.
As for the engines, they are pretty bullet-proof however there are sporadic reports of the following:
- Cracked cylinder heads
- Water pump (water pump impeller starts slipping on the drive-shaft due to loose press-fit)
- Automatic Gearbox hunting with cruise control activated
Other than that – they are real gems and with regular maintenance, you should see mileage racking up over 300k miles.
Let’s take a closer look at the engine specifications.
Engine Specification and Applications
The 4.0 V6 1GR- is a gasoline (petrol) engine designed by Toyota for applications in their SUVs and 4WD pickups. In 2009 the engine was updated with DUAL VVT-I and was/is produced in 4WD’s such as Toyota 4Runner/Hilux Surf, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Land Cruiser 200, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 120/150, Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Tundra, Toyota Fortuner and Lexus GX 400.
Cylinder block material
Cylinder head material
Number of cylinders
Valves per cylinder
3,956 cc (241.4 cu in)
Type of internal combustion engine
Four-stroke, naturally aspirated
236-285 hp (176-210 kW)/5,200-5,600
Torque, lb ft
266-285 lb-ft (361-387 Nm)/3,600-4,400
|Toyota Hilux Surf||2002-2009|
|Toyota Land Cruiser (GRJ200)||2007-2011|
|Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (GRJ120/121/125)||2002-2009|
|Toyota Tacoma (GRN225/245/250/265/270)||2004–2015|
|Toyota Hilux (GGN10/20)||2005-2015|
|Toyota Tundra (GSK30)||2005-2006|
|Toyota Tundra (GSK50/51)||2006-2009|
|Toyota Fortuner (GGN50/60)||2005–2015|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser (GSJ10/15)||2006-2009|
|Toyota 4Runner (GRN280/285)||2009–|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||2009–2017|
|Toyota Tundra (GSK50/51)||2010–|
|Toyota Land Cruiser||2012–|
|Lexus GX 400 (GRJ150)||2012–|
|Toyota Land Cruiser 70 30th Anniversary Edition||2014-2015|
|Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (GRJ150/150R/155)||2009–|
Owners Experiences on Mileage And Maintenance
User Experience #1
As far as my engine goes its loud, ticks and really doesn’t like going north of about 4000RPM. But reliability wise I think it’s pretty top notch. Standard Maintenance is pretty easy on it too because everything is so accessible.https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/4-0-v6-reliability.391501/
User Experience #2
Just traded in my ’05 4.0L with 301,000 Kms. Zero engine issues. Little loud, but fine otherwise. Regular maintenance (plugs/filter) and always ran Mobil 1 5w30.https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/4-0-v6-reliability.391501/
User Experience #3
I’ve got 150k miles on mine and no issues. Lots of varied driving, off-road, towing my race car, commuting etc. I give mine an Italian tune up every couple weeks(run right up to 5500rpm under load) and it loves it!https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/4-0-v6-reliability.391501/
User Experience #4
I’ve got 351K on my ’07. Love the motor, trans combo so much I got a ’15 used instead of new. Absolutely no problems w the motor, keep the oil changed and your good to go!https://www.tacomaworld.com/threds/4-0-v6-reliability.391501/
User Experience #5
196k on my 2006. Bought with 65k ten years ago.https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/4-0-v6-reliability.391501/page-11
Not a single engine related issue. Original water pump/alternator/original everything.
Rest of the truck: two front wheel bearings, one u joint. That’s it for repairs. Amazingly reliable truck. It is now mostly used for hunting and was my main truck for 7 years. It has NOT been babied at all but has been meticulously maintained by me.
Spark plugs every 30-40k, Mobil 1 5/30 EP every 5k, drain and fill transmission every 40-50k, front/rear diffs every 25-50k with Amsoil severe gear same as transfer case. Coolant was drained and filled around 120k.
Still getting 19-22mpg, best truck I have owned
Still on original suspension as well as upper and lower control arms.
I’m surprised it’s still got the original brakes….
Maximum Reliable Mileage On The 4.0 V6
When you think of Toyota engines, no doubt the first thing that springs to mind is reliability and high mileage engines. You can read more about the FJ Cruiser 4.0 V6 reliability and high mileage here.
Unlike most engines, when you purchase a used Toyota, mileage is almost an irrelevant factor and can be considered later down on your list of qualifying criteria. This is because Toyotas are known for racking up high mileage with very few issues.
So what’s the maximum reliable mileage you can expect from a 4.0 v6? You can expect to get anything from 250 miles and upwards from a well-maintained 4.0 V6.
This is with regular services and using high-grade oils and lubricants.
Potential Faults On The 4.0 V6 Engine
- Harsh Down-shifting on the automatic Transmission (Bad or low transmission oil)
- Water pump failure
- Head gasket blown
- Sweating on the head gasket
- Earlier VVT-i engines had ignition coil problems
Earlier pre-duel VVT-i 09 models had water pump, ignition coil, and head gasket issues. The blown head gasket is actually a direct result of the weak water pump which only lasted around 40-50k miles (64-80km) and water pump failure resulted in damaged head gaskets. Now because of the thin design of the cylinder walls, when the water pump goes and the head gasket blows you’ll have to replace the whole block since it can’t be bored. You cannot rebuild an engine with damaged cylinder wall surfaces. So keep an eye on the cooling system of the older models.
The dual VVT-i 4.0 V6 engine is a real gem. Keep an eye on your cooling system and the V6 will deliver many hundreds of thousands of happy miles. The automatic transmission can become jerky and experience a harsh “thud” when downshifting. In most cases, it has low ATF levels so make sure you top-up and replace transmission oils regularly. Also, make sure you inspect and grease u-joints regularly to minimize that V6 “thud”. Overall a fantastic engine with a legendary record for performance, off-road ability, and reliability.