7A-FE Engine Review: Specs, Problems and Reliability

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The A-series engines, released by Toyota Motor Corporation, are inline-four internal combustion engines, varying from 1.3 L to 1.8 L. These engines have engine blocks made of cast iron and cylinder heads made of aluminium.

Toyota launched the manufacturing of the A-series engines at the end of the 1970s, trying to find a substitution for the K-series engines for its new Tercel model. The company aspired to build an engine with a modern design and, simultaneously, great fuel efficiency, high performance and minimal emissions.

The A-series consists of DOHC (one of the debut mass-production engines of the Japanese manufacturers), 4-valve-per-cylinder, the 4A-GE engines, and the first modifications of 5-valve-per-cylinder engines.

Toyota released a single 7A-FE modification of the engine with a capacity from 105 hp to 120 hp. However, the 7A-FE Lean Burn engine, the least powerful one, turned out to be rather problematic, and its servicing is rather expensive. So, it’s not the best choice.

The firing order of the 7A-FE engine is 1-3-4-2.

Simultaneously with 7A engines, the brand also manufactured the newer variants of 4A and 5A engines.

The 7A-FE features a toothed timing belt, which must be changed after the car runs 60,000 miles/100 000 kilometres.

In 1998, Toyota started to produce the 1ZZ engine instead of the 7A-FE one.

High-quality parts

7AFE specs

Manufacturer Kamigo Plant
Shimoyama Plant
Deeside Engine Plant
North Plant
Tianjin FAW Toyota Engine’s Plant No. 1
Also called Toyota 7A
Production 1990-2002
Cylinder block alloy Cast-iron
Configuration Straight-4
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 85.5 (3.37)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 81 (3.19)
Compression ratio 9.5
Displacement 1762 cc (107.5 cu in)
Power output 78 kW (105 HP) at 5,200 rpm
82 kW (110 HP) at 5,600 rpm
86 kW (115 HP) at 5,600 rpm
89 kW (120 HP) at 6,000 rpm
Torque output 159 Nm (117 lb·ft) at 2,800 rpm
156 Nm (115 lb·ft) at 2,800 rpm
149 Nm (110 lb·ft) at 2,800 rpm
157 Nm (116 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
HP per liter 59.6
Fuel type Gasoline
7A-FE Weight, kg (lbs)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for Corona T210
7.2 (32)
4.2 (56)
5.3 (44)
Turbocharger Naturally aspirated
7A-FE Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-30
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 4.7 (5.0)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

300,000+ (185,000+)

The 7A-FE 1.8L engine requires 5.0 US Quarts (4.7 Liters) of new SAE 5W-30 engine oil for an oil change with a new oil filter.

7A-FE engine valve timing

Open Close
Intake 6° BTDC 38° ABDC
Exhaust 42° BBDC 2° ATDC

7AFE engine applications

  • AT211 Avensis 1997–2000 (Europe only)
  • AT191 Caldina 1996–1997 (Japan only)
  • AT211 Caldina 1997–2001 (Japan only)
  • AT191 Carina 1994–1996 (Japan only)
  • AT211 Carina 1996–2001 (Japan only)
  • AT191 Carina E 1994–1997 (Europe only)
  • AT200 Celica 1993–1999 (excluding Japan)
  • AE92 Corolla/Conquest September 1993–circa 1998 (South Africa)
  • AE93 Corolla 1990–1992 (Australia only)
  • AE102/103 Corolla 1992–1998 (excluding Japan)
  • AE102 Corolla/Prizm 1993–1997 (North America)
  • AE111 Corolla ±1997–±2000 (South Africa)
  • AE112/115 Corolla 1997–2002 (excluding Japan)
  • AE115 Corolla Spacio 1997–2001 (Japan only)
  • AT191 Corona 1994–1997 (excluding Japan)
  • AT211 Corona 1996–2001 (Japan only)
  • AE115 Sprinter Carib 1995–2001 (Japan only)

7A-FE engine problems and reliability

Some owners of advanced 7A-FE lean-burn units say the electronics are often unpredictable. For example, it is not always when you press the accelerator pedal that the mixture depletion system is turned off, and the car behaves too calmly or begins to twitch. The rest of the problems that arise with this power unit are private and not massive.

  1. High fuel consumption. In most cases, that problem has to do with the oxygen sensor, which we recommend changing. If you notice soot on the spark plugs, black smoke from the exhaust pipe or high vibrations at idle running, it’s necessary to examine the MAP.
  2. High fuel consumption, accompanied by vibrations. It means that the injectors must be cleaned.
  3. The troubles with rpm, hanging-up and fast rotations can be solved after examining the idle air control valve, throttle position sensor and cleaning of the throttle body.
  4. If the engine fails to start, the problem can be in the temperature of the engine coolant. So, you need to check it.
  5. In case of the rough idle, you need to ensure that the throttle body and idle air control valve are clean. Also, it’s recommended to examine the spark plugs and injectors with the PCV valve.
  6. If the engine suddenly stops, it’s necessary to look at the fuel filter, fuel pump, and ignition distributor.
  7. If you see that the engine starts to consume oil, the engine needs big repair because of getting old. It would be best if you acquired valve stem seals as well as scraper rings.
  8. If the engine is knocking, you need to regulate the valves. Also, it can be a wrist pin knock.

Last update on 2021-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

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