Now that I have fully rebuild the cylinder heads (all engine gaskets + valve lapping + lash tuning) on my 2007 Tacoma with 124K mi, I am curious how much life I added to the vehicle, approximately. I know that there are other vehicle components, such as the drive train and transmission but cars typically go to the junkyard because the engine fails as it is the most complicated entity and most sensitive to failure.

  • For the hatchback, I'd take a look on craigslist for similar make/models in your area with similar issues and see what people are asking for them.
    – Jerreck
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 18:02
  • ok, i removed the shopping part
    – amphibient
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 19:41
  • I am just curious why you decided to do this work. Was something about the engine not working correctly? I have a 20 year old Subaru with 200k miles on it, and I don't see a need for any sort of rebuilding. I was thinking more along the lines of: "when a different used car would cost me less, I will get a different car." I can't believe that my car has any resale value at this point, but it sure works fine. Since it is not a pet, I don't plan to dump arbitrary amounts of money in to it to keep it forever. (Even pets go when they end up costing too much.)
    – user15009
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Realistically, you haven't added any extra life to the vehicle itself. The vehicle is a combination of it's sub-parts (ie: engine, transmission, differential, etc.). Any part at any time can fail for whatever reason. Even the engine is made up of sub-parts to create it's whole. You have definitely given the heads longer life, but you still have the rest of the engine. If an engine will last 250k miles, that's how long it's going to last. The only way to increase the longevity of the engine (beyond proper maintenance) is to rebuild the entire thing. That means bearings, rings, and whatever else may be worn out. Gaskets/seals are a given replacement item when doing this work because in order to get to the larger parts, you will have to put new gaskets/seals (in most cases) in place or you've completely wasted your time.

With proper maintenance, Toyota's are known for lasting a long time. As long as you have good oil pressure, you probably have another 200k you could expect out of your engine. This is, of course, as long as the engine never overheats or some other unforeseen issue doesn't arise. That is my SWAG, though.

  • The piston rings are probably what will determine viable engine life now. A compression test will give you a sense of what sort of state they are in presuming your head rebuild worked out well.
    – timbo
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 19:52

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