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    Thread: WORST V6 Engines Ever Made.....

    1. 08-10-2012 03:41 AM #1
      Can include low on power or crappy reliability, GIVE ME YOUR EXAMPLES.

      I have to say the Audi 2.8L things drank oil like no tommorow. Engine cover was so bulbous it made it look big as a 6.0 small block. This thing was slow as s*** on the low end of the power band getting the 5 speed manual didnt help that (I can only imagine how painful a C4 100 series with an auto would be).

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      08-10-2012 03:54 AM #2
      I see your terrible V6, and I'll raise you one.


    3. Member mm3's Avatar
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      08-10-2012 04:02 AM #3
      In the late 80's, Nissan offered their Hardbody pickup with the VG30E V6, Ford had the 2.9 V6 and later 4.0 V6 in their Ranger, and GM had the 2.8 V6 and later on the 4.3 V6. Toyota needed a V6 to compete with the other trucks.

      What they came out with was bad, really bad. The 3VZE was a 3.0 liter SOHC V6, the only non-DOHC V6 Toyota has sold, which makes it an oddball. However this motor became notorious for blowing head gaskets (repeatedly), which resulted in multiple recalls, plus the engine was underpowered, lord help you if it was automatic. Plus this engine boasted the fuel economy of a V8 engine, without the power or torque of said V8. Not that it mattered because plenty of these engines blew themselves to pieces. The 3VZE is more then likely Toyota's most hated engine, one that is best avoided.



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      08-10-2012 04:09 AM #4
      Early 1990s 3.8L "Essex" V6 engines in the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable had a reputation for frequent head gasket failures.

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      08-10-2012 04:11 AM #5
      The Peugeot - Renault - Volvo V6 engine was not known for durability. It is why old Volvo 260-series cars are very rare compared to 240-series cars which used the durable "red block" 4 cylinder engines.


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      08-10-2012 06:15 AM #6
      Worst ever? I don't know, but this one is rated pretty poorly. Many many of them seize at one of the main bearing for lack of oil. These engines aren't typically pushed very hard, given the vehicles they're put in, yet their failure rate is pretty high. They're also bad with engine sludge (probable source of lack of oil on bearings) and have problems warming up.

      2.7L V6 Sebring. They sound good though.

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    7. Member Tommi's Avatar
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      08-10-2012 06:15 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by tjl View Post
      The Peugeot - Renault - Volvo V6 engine was not known for durability. It is why old Volvo 260-series cars are very rare compared to 240-series cars which used the durable "red block" 4 cylinder engines.

      Came to post this.

      However the word "Ever" opens the time scale. I don't have knowledge about any engines before early 80's.

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      08-10-2012 06:40 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Impeccable View Post
      Can include low on power or crappy reliability, GIVE ME YOUR EXAMPLES.

      I have to say the Audi 2.8L things drank oil like no tommorow. Engine cover was so bulbous it made it look big as a 6.0 small block. This thing was slow as s*** on the low end of the power band getting the 5 speed manual didnt help that (I can only imagine how painful a C4 100 series with an auto would be).
      I read the thread title and immediately this POS boat anchor sprung to mind

      However, I take your 174hp of fury and raise you the 2.6L version All the same problems of the 2.8, but making a miserable 150hp on a good day. Its a wonder it could even drag its own weight around

      Do you know they even made a 2.4L version of the 30V? What an utter waste of space

      But even these are eclipsed by possibly the worst VAG engine ever concieved...

      I give you the 2.5 V6 TDI:



      This weighs more than the space shuttle yet makes no more power than the glorious I5 TDI. It has 24 valves, but to cram them in to a vertical arrangement needed by a diesel VAG came up with the most stupid complicated cam follower system possible, and then forgot to harden the camshafts properly. The result is that the cams wear out, then the rockers fall out in to the valvetrain or in to the crank where they get mushed up in to lovely liquid sandpaper. Since there are no rockers on top of the lifters any more they all pop out of the heads and you lose oil pressure. Cascade failure results and its time for a new motor

      Mine was running on 17 out of 24 valves when I pulled it out and put a 1.9 I4 in its place.
      Throw an Audi engineer down a hole with a ladder and he will fashion a shovel from it and tunnel his way out

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      You could always call your insurance and say that some vandals tried to swap your car to rwd while you weren't looking.

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      08-10-2012 06:54 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by tjl View Post
      Early 1990s 3.8L "Essex" V6 engines in the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable had a reputation for frequent head gasket failures.
      Same engine, same problems, but in the mustang v6 (94-98)

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      08-10-2012 07:27 AM #10
      Who remembers Chevy's Twin Dual Cam V6?



      Based on the 2.8L OHV V6. Since the engine started life as a OHV design. The cams were driven by a combination of chain and belts. Must be fun changing out the timing belt. And since originally it was a OHV design, a balance shaft resides where the cam used to be within the vee.

      At the time, I understand, the tried and true 3800 V6 was much better. I believe the Twin Dual Cam had a short life. It was supposed to be in the new Oldsmobile Intrigue. But that was canned since the new V6 version of the Northstar V8 was about to be introduced. So initially, the Intrigue was equipped with the 3800.

      One bright spot was, you could get the Twin Dual Cam with a 5 speed manual one some GM W body models.

      Who also remembers the Shortstar V6???



      I believe it was only offered on the 2nd gen. base Aurora and the Intrigue.

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      08-10-2012 08:04 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      Worst ever? I don't know, but this one is rated pretty poorly. Many many of them seize at one of the main bearing for lack of oil. These engines aren't typically pushed very hard, given the vehicles they're put in, yet their failure rate is pretty high. They're also bad with engine sludge (probable source of lack of oil on bearings) and have problems warming up.

      2.7L V6 Sebring. They sound good though.

      I'll see your Sebring, and raise you a K-car. The 3.0 Pentastar engine, with the valve guides made out of wax.


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      08-10-2012 08:08 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by mx5er View Post
      Who remembers Chevy's Twin Dual Cam V6?



      Based on the 2.8L OHV V6. Since the engine started life as a OHV design. The cams were driven by a combination of chain and belts. Must be fun changing out the timing belt. And since originally it was a OHV design, a balance shaft resides where the cam used to be within the vee.

      At the time, I understand, the tried and true 3800 V6 was much better. I believe the Twin Dual Cam had a short life. It was supposed to be in the new Oldsmobile Intrigue. But that was canned since the new V6 version of the Northstar V8 was about to be introduced. So initially, the Intrigue was equipped with the 3800.

      One bright spot was, you could get the Twin Dual Cam with a 5 speed manual one some GM W body models.

      Who also remembers the Shortstar V6???



      I believe it was only offered on the 2nd gen. base Aurora and the Intrigue.
      A few GM cars had this too, reviews were not kind. "sounds strained under load".
      3800 however was much more durable.

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      08-10-2012 08:25 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by bificus99 View Post
      3800 however was much more durable.
      As long as you didn't stress the intake manifold gasket too much...
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      08-10-2012 08:43 AM #14
      I've got plenty of miles under my belt behind the wheel of a 2001 Aurora with the Shortstar. Honestly, it's a better motor for that car than the Northstar V8. Decent power (never felt slow) and far better gas mileage than the V8. No real motor problems either, just a little leaky from time to time (valve cover gaskets weren't awesome)

    15. 08-10-2012 09:52 AM #15
      BEHOLD! The Olds 4.3L diesel!

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      08-10-2012 09:55 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Impeccable View Post
      Can include low on power or crappy reliability, GIVE ME YOUR EXAMPLES.

      I have to say the Audi 2.8L things drank oil like no tommorow. Engine cover was so bulbous it made it look big as a 6.0 small block. This thing was slow as s*** on the low end of the power band getting the 5 speed manual didnt help that (I can only imagine how painful a C4 100 series with an auto would be).
      First one I thought of.
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      08-10-2012 10:08 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by mx5er View Post

      Who also remembers the Shortstar V6???



      I believe it was only offered on the 2nd gen. base Aurora and the Intrigue.
      We had a '99 Intrigue with the "Shortstar" 3.5. Good power, but wow did it drink oil. Doing really any work in the engine bay, including something as simple as replacing the battery was a huge pain because of the angular supports at each forward corner.

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      08-10-2012 10:11 AM #18


      Buick odd fire V6, cousin to the always maligned Rover V8

      introduced in 1961 for the 1962 model year Buick Special with Buick's 198 cu in (3.2 L) engine, the first V6 in an American car. Because it was derived from Buick's 215 cu in (3.5 L) aluminum V8, it has a 90° bank between cylinders and an uneven firing pattern due to the crankshaft having only three crank pins set at 120° apart, with opposing cylinders (1-2, 3-4 and 5-6) sharing a crank pin in, as do many V8 engines. The uneven firing pattern was often perceived as roughness, leading a former American Motors executive to crow "It was rougher than a cob."
      strangely, being one of the worst V6s ever made, this engine is a direct ancestor to the 3800 V6 that is also one of the best V6 engines ever made

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      08-10-2012 10:14 AM #19
      Sorry, but all those V6's are stellar when compared with the base 200-cubic-inch (3.3 L) V-6 engine for the 1978 Chevrolet Malibu which developed just 95 horsepower (71 kW). This engine has NO redeeming qualities. Couple that with a wonderful 3 speed automatic and you have what is possibly the worst combination that I've ever driven.

    20. 08-10-2012 10:19 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Impeccable View Post
      I have to say the Audi 2.8L things drank oil like no tommorow. Engine cover was so bulbous it made it look big as a 6.0 small block. This thing was slow as s*** on the low end of the power band getting the 5 speed manual didnt help that (I can only imagine how painful a C4 100 series with an auto would be).
      I (my wife) owned a C4 auto wagon for 10 years, and although I agree it was no performance engine, my 528e w/ ~120 hp felt quicker around town, it was smooth, quiet, reliable, and felt much stronger at highway speeds. Though I would agree that engine was the worst part of an otherwise great car, no wonder the C4 S4/6s are so well loved, as the turbo 5 fixed the C4's glaring deficiency.

      In its day, in the class of car it was in I would agree that it was the worst v6 made, but compared to cheaper cars or older v6s not a chance, there were far worse that came before it from a performance and reliability standpoint and after based on reliability. It also looked really good in the engine bay.
      Last edited by phofpower; 08-10-2012 at 10:27 AM.

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      08-10-2012 10:22 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Egz View Post
      The 3.0 Pentastar engine, with the valve guides made out of wax.
      I don't know what it is, but this sort of stuff makes me giggle.
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    22. 08-10-2012 10:46 AM #22
      Audi 2.5 Tdi.
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      08-10-2012 10:48 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      Worst ever? I don't know, but this one is rated pretty poorly. Many many of them seize at one of the main bearing for lack of oil. These engines aren't typically pushed very hard, given the vehicles they're put in, yet their failure rate is pretty high. They're also bad with engine sludge (probable source of lack of oil on bearings) and have problems warming up.

      2.7L V6 Sebring. They sound good though.

      Exactly what I came in here to post. WORST EVAR!
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      08-10-2012 10:55 AM #24
      Not sure if this was already mentioned...

      But GM's LR2 2.8 V6 was the biggest pos that I can remember. Had one in a Cherokee and when it wasn't broken, the thing could barely reach 65mph in stock form.
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    25. 08-10-2012 10:58 AM #25
      I'll also nominate the 3.0L L81 found in the Catera and some Saturns:

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      08-10-2012 11:09 AM #26
      Most v6 issues tend to be accessibility in engine bay.
      The most hated were the ones in transverse applications where the back head was crammed up against the firewall, making just a spark plug change impossible.

      As far as just bad v6s..


      Ford sold some hodge podge European market sourced 2.8 v6 in the Ranger for one year in the 80s due to an engine shortage.
      I know somebody that had one - it was weak, thirsty, and unreliable. A carb'd 302 swap would have improved the fuel economy. Seriously.
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      08-10-2012 11:13 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by OldsPowered View Post
      BEHOLD! The Olds 4.3L diesel!
      Honestly, this is probably the winner. No V6 singlehandedly killed an entire market like this one did. This was the copper-cooled of the Diesel world.
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      08-10-2012 11:25 AM #28
      3.1L V6 in a 3rd Gen Camaro

      Quote Originally Posted by TrillyPop View Post
      The 2.5L forum is full of high hopes and huge disappointment.
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      08-10-2012 11:31 AM #29
      3.1 and 3.4 efi motors in most gm cars. (grand am, malibu, impala) they always blew lower intake manifold gaskets.
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      08-10-2012 12:01 PM #30
      My vote goes to the GM 3.4L V6. Garbage. Eats head gaskets/lower intake manifold gaskets. I've replaced them on a few of these engines and it's a bitch, the engines suck to work on.

      Here is a video I took the other night of our 99 Grand Am GT with 170,000kms on it. It's getting scrapped. Way too much water in the oil, it'd likely just toss a crank bearing in a couple weeks if I bothered to replace the gaskets. Sick of tossing money at it so it's being parted out.


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      08-10-2012 12:11 PM #31
      I agree 100% about the Toyota 3.0 V6. What a POS. Luckily they replaced it with the 3.4, one of the best Toyota engines ever made.

      From personal experience, the GM 2.8l V6 was the worst to drive but held up for years with a collapsed lifter.

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      08-10-2012 12:13 PM #32
      Another vote for the gm v6s actually. I once almost made the mistake of buying a Grand Am v6... it was leaking (head gasket) and sounded weird
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    33. 08-10-2012 12:23 PM #33


      Shop Truck - Round 3: Back With a Vengeance?!

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      08-10-2012 12:31 PM #34
      I'll echo the 2.8 L Chevy V6 used in the mid 80's. What a lump of crap that motor was.

      Now, when we get to V8's, I'm reserving a spot for the mid-80's Cadillac 4.1 L V8...

      Kind of think of it. What the hell was GM doing with their engines in the early-to-mid 80's?

    35. 08-10-2012 12:33 PM #35
      Duck and run...

      The 80s GM 2.8l V6 may have been the worst SOUNDING engine. It was "tuned" but ended up sounding like it was gargling.

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