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Newbie, A Little Worried :( Advice Please

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Hi All,

Just bought a cracking little W reg roadster, with hardtop!! Think I got a bargain as it only cost £1500 and she has only covered 88k miles.

Anyway, been reading through all the horror stories on here and other sites and am now very worried.

I took it upon myself to remove the precats so thats peace of mind. They were completely intact and showed no signs of wear.

She sailed through the mot and is in great condition for a 2000 year car.

I am worried about this oval bore thing!!!

Is it a case of IT WILL happen to my car,no matter what, its just a matter of time.


Does it not affect every car and some are just unlucky.

I dont think she is using Oil, I have changed it recently and will keep a eye on it.

I dont smell any buring Oil smell. And she pulls like a train. Sometimes, only sometimes, she takes a couple seconds to start when the engine is warm but thats the only malady. The engine sounds great.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent oval bore? I am no mechanic so please keep replies in layman terms.

Would changing the piston rings do anything or just prolong the agony?

I want to keep the car but will not if it turns into a money pit.

All advice will be gratefully received.


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Hi Matt,

First of all it sounds like you picked up a bargain! The hardtop along with its fitting kit are worth £500-600 alone (always sell together if you ever want to get rid of it).

You've done the right thing by gutting the Pre cats but as you say this does not necessarily mean you are home free, there are long discussions on whether the breakdown of the precat is what lunches the engine or if it will lunch anyway at a later date due to the oval bore issue. I for one know others who's PFL (prefacelift <03) cars have done over 130k on the original engine but there are some who's have lunched it at 40k. In the hand book Toyota say that it is acceptable for the engine to use 1ltr of Oil every 600 miles (1000 km) .

One thing to consider though is that often people join forums when they have a problem, the number of times people say "hi all I'm new here, my mr2 has started......" and so reading the forums makes you think your driving a ticking time bomb. There are something like 10k mr2 roadster still on the road and the vast majority of their owners aren't members of an owners club and are driving around blissfully unaware of oval bores or precats.

As far as I'm aware there's nothing you can really do to prevent it, the later 03> or facelift models did have some engine internal modifications to address the issue and as far as I'm aware they don't suffer the problem.

If I were you I wouldn't worry about it, I think it is a matter of luck and the biggest thing in your favour is that at £900 (-hardtop) if your engine did let go you could get a rebuilt one fitted and still not lose any money when you sell it smile.png

Enjoy your 2 smile.png

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Hi Chris,

Very much appreciate your reply.

Has eased my mind no end, thanks :)

I love the car and I know I got a bargain. Going to keep the hardtop for now though.

Just wish it hadnt rained everyday since I bought her lol


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Hi. I too did similar. W reg, paid £1500 and had only read some of the sad bits. I knew I couldn't buy a later model and be happy it was in good condition and couldn't afford anyway. So I gradually got things right. Started by immediately having precats removed. I was very lucky to find a REAL mechanic who removed the already crumbled precats for me.

Knowing already of the damage this would have done to the engine and the fact that she was burning Oil as soon as I put my foot down and engaged the VVTi (if I went over 50 she drank Oil), at a later date he also rebuilt the engine. Replaced faulty bits and the timing chain as well. All for less than £800.

Yes, if yours drinks Oil it needs the rings liners or barrels replacing. The other issue with the use of Oil is that this will be sucked into your catalytic converter and eventually cause the need of replacement. £250 to buy that bit. I know because I needed to do that as well but managed to get a bargain... brand new full system for £150. So...I now have an immaculate car that goes like a rocket and in which I have great confidence. The engine is equivalent to a new one and it is worth a lot more than the money I've spent. Hope that helps P

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Oh dear, well I am a noob here as you can see by my number of posts and didn't have any idea about pre-cats and oval bore issues but now it is mentioned I am getting very concerned.

I brought my soft-top version 2002 model very cheap for £780 on the basis that is had done 150k miles and had a fair few cosmetic problems with it, so I brought it with the understanding that I will have to spend money on the body work and general areas of the car, but as I got so cheap I was prepared for this and to spend some money on the bodywork. But now I am becoming really concerned about these issues as I have found it does go through a fair bit of Oil which I wasn't informed about when buying it about 4 weeks ago but put that down to possibly being such high mileage, but the more I read on this thread I have been smelling a burning Oil smell, on several occasions when I use the car around town for longer periods of time to get the engine very hot, also I met my friend about 2 weeks ago to show him my car and he followed behind me in his and when we stopped he asked if it was my car that really smelt of burning, but I wasn't to sure and wished I had, had a mechanic take a look before hand then as there is no getting my cash back now :-(

Also as the car is new to me I have noticed a ratting type noise occasional from the engine when I accelerate (possibly clunk, and sounds rotary rattle) really hard to explain as the car is still very new to me and I guess all noises freak you out, at first.

I am now starting to get really concerned that I have brought a bag of nails, and starting to think that the bodywork might be the least of my problems, which I have already spent several hundred on bits and pieces :-(

If anyone has more information here, or can tell me some other things to look out for, or how to check it (even some direct links to other posts to view, as I am new) I would really appreciate it, as I actually joined here as an excited MR-2 owner who wanted to join in with everyone and be excited. It now seems that my bubble has burst and I am starting to panic :-(

Look forward to hearing back from anyone that can help.

I have also joined the other forum that was posted above, but have only posted here so far. Is this forum affiliated with them ? As I was concerned about posting the same thing on one or the other for that reason and getting in trouble. So if it is O.K. to do so, maybe I could, copy and paste my new members post etc to save having to write it all out again, or someone could forward me to where to find this information out from ?

Sorry if you feel I have only joined this forum to get answers and take without giving back, it really isn't like that, and I would love to be an active member who can also give back, and get involved and make friends. So please don't think badly of me just because I am new, that certainly isn't my intention.

I'm glad I found this forum but I am also now very worried about the health of my car, but I guess it's good to know now just in case it isn't to late to get it sorted.

Thanks everyone, and really hope I am not asking to much, I will certainly always help where I can and as said before I joined here as I like the idea of being part of a community with like minded people.

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