Toyota 3S-FE 2.0L DOHC Engine Specs Problems Reliability

Toyota 3S-FE 2.0L DOHC Full Complete Reviews

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By Scott Matthew

The 3S-FE 2.0l DOHC engine, developed by Toyota, has been produced by the automotive giant’s subsidiary at the Kamigo Factory (in Japan) and TMMK (in Kentucky, USA) since 1986. Because of its reliability and performance, the 3S-FE is the most massive S series engine ever, and has been in production for 15 years.

Toyota 3S-FE 2.0L DOHC Engine Specs Problems Reliability

In addition to the third generation Toyota S-series engine, in addition to the 3S-FE, other modifications are also used in this engine. Apart from being the cheapest 3S-FC carburetor, which was extremely rare, and was used in the GM Holden Apollo Australia and Camry trim levels minimum.

3S-FE Engine Specification

The 3S-FE engine has the following technical characteristics:

  • The cylinder volume is 1998 cc
  • Power – from 115 to 130 hp
  • Torque – 186 Newton meters at 4400 rpm
  • The compression ratio is 9.8 to 1
  • Valves per cylinder – 4

Due to the lack of electronic systems (with the exception of the EFI electronic injection system) and low power, this unit turned out to be very powerful. The power source of the 3S-FE engine without major repairs reaches 300 thousand kilometers, and in the absence of high loads, there are often cases of using this trouble-free gasoline engine up to 500 thousand. Even now, years after being removed from production, you can find a car with this engine that doesn’t have any problems.

Despite the fact that the years of manufacturing enginecycles with the factory code 3S-FE were calculated from 1986 to 2001, in 1996 there was a global engine modernization, which aimed among other things to reduce noise. These changes have a negative impact on their maintenance.

If the previous repair can be carried out in any workshop, or even independently, then after making changes to the design the engine is practically beyond repair. In order to extend the service life of this modification, the manufacturer strongly recommends using the 5W-30 oil instead of the 5W-50 oil previously used.

To reduce the weight of the power unit, an aluminum block head is mounted on a cylinder block made on all cast iron modifications. The engine requires 3.9 liters of oil for full lubrication, which is relatively little. But owners of cars with these engines noted high oil consumption in obsolete engines. To delay the inevitable, namely reshuffle, the driver switches to oil with high viscosity, for example 10W-30, which consumes 1 liter per 1000 km.

On what cars is 3S-FE engine installed?

The long-term production of the 3S-FE engine and excellent performance determine its use in a large number of Toyota vehicles. The machine is mostly used at home in Japan.

On the world market, it has been used in many Carina and Corona based cars, including the European minivan Toyota Gaia and Picnic. The RAV4 SUV, the sporty Celica, and the Toyota Camry business sedan are also not left behind.

3S-FE Engine Fuel Consumption

A car using the 3S-FE engine cannot be called economical in modern reality. Today’s use by electronics manufacturers, reducing cylinder volume without losing power due to modern technology, including the use of direct injection, has significantly reduced fuel consumption. At the time of its release, however, the engine did not stand out from the competition in terms of the amount of gasoline consumed per 100 km.

The 3S-FE engine isn’t picky about fuel octane numbers. He uses the 95th and 92nd gasoline equally well. Naturally, fuel consumption directly depends on the weight of the vehicle and gearbox. For example, the first generation Toyota Avensis, to which this engine was installed, in a company with five mechanical stages, consumed 11.2 liters in the city and 6.5 on the highway.

Frameless Crossover Toyota RAV4 XA10 with the same engine, but permanent all-wheel drive, has a higher consumption – 12.5 liters in city mode and 7.9 liters outside the city. The same SUV, but with a four-gear auto, doesn’t need much refueling, but more often – 8.1 in high-speed traffic and 12.6 liters in residential areas.

3S-FE Engine Modification

The 3S-FSE is Toyota’s first direct fuel injection engine and the VVT-i variable valve timing system which is still in use today. Despite its 150 horsepower and high innovation power, it did not get a good reputation and suffered regular breakdowns. The 3S-GE is a direct FE modification with enhanced characteristics.

It was developed with the participation of Yamaha, and is distinguished by the absence of a problematic crankcase gas recirculation system, as in other versions. The engine has three revisions. The first was produced up to 89, and has a modification from 135 to 160 hp.

The second generation, produced until 1993, increased its power to 165 horses. And it has 180 hp. In the fourth generation, enlarged inlets and exhausts were used and the camshaft was replaced. Thanks to this, the power has grown to 200 horsepower. The final fifth version uses a Dual VVT-I and 210 horses under the hood.

The 3S-GTE modification, built on the basis of 3S-FE, differs from its partners in the presence of a turbocharger, and has four versions with different characteristics. They were replaced in parallel with less powerful FE versions, and increased power over the generations. The first version had a T-VIS variable intake manifold. This, coupled with the CT26 turbine, allowed the engine to produce 185 hp. The same turbine and several other modifications increase the power of the second version to 220 horsepower.

The third revision removes the T-VIS and the turbine is replaced with the CT20b. Engine power is 245 horsepower. The fourth variant of the 3S-GTE is the top choice among the 3S engines. It remained in demand until 2007 because of its high power of 260 hp. This is achieved by replacing the camshaft.

3S-FE Engine Service

Like other engines, the Toyota 3S-FE engine requires timely maintenance. The regulations are specified by the manufacturer in the operating manual. Every 10 thousand km of walking it is necessary to change the oil in the internal combustion engine with a suitable filter. After every 20,000 it is necessary to adjust the valve, replace the additional belt, EGR valve and spark plugs.

With a frequency of 40 thousand km, fuel line conditions, fuel tank caps and cooling system pipes are monitored, fuel filters and air are changed, and the coolant is replaced with new ones. For 100,000 people need to replace the timing belt. And the manufacturer’s recommendation to replace the battery and exhaust manifold every year, although it looks a little strange, takes control of these components.

3S-FE Engine Problems and Disadvantages

Despite the reliability, the Toyota 3S-FE engine, like the others, has its problems. Versions prior to 1996 had very high noise levels, which caused problems for drivers only in terms of comfort. Usually for ICE this is pollution due to low quality fuel used. For the same reason, there are problems with electronic injection.

In the modification after the 96th year, problems were associated with the design of the connecting rods, increased load on the timing belt and high fuel consumption, which the driver could not reduce. As already mentioned, this engineized version cannot be repaired and the whole unit has to be replaced.

3S-FE Engine Tuning

The most popular way to increase the power of the Toyota 3S-FE engine is to install a turbine. In addition, the crankshaft and attachment parts were changed. A new fuel pump and reset fuel system will increase performance to 200 hp.

The second option is to install a new direct flow exhaust and exhaust manifold and replace the attachment section. Characteristics will increase by only 20 “horses”, but it will cost much less than in the first case. In addition, the advantage of this method is that there is no need to dismantle the internal combustion engine.

3S-FE Engine Conclusion

Durability, reliability, simple maintenance and varying specifications depending on the modification, allowed the Toyota 3S-FE engine to take attention to the next level and overcome the crisis that occurred in the mid 90’s. And car owners who still own vehicles with this engine speak only the best of them, even if they are outdated.

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