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Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)



  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Since I don't know how competent the person is who checked out the areas you mentioned, I don't know whether their conclusions can be trusted. Time and time again, someone has brought a car into my shop and told me that a certain part has been tested and was good; only for me to later find out that the part was faulty. So I've learned to not trust second hand information.

    The most effective way to sort out a problem of this type is to simplify it by narrowing down the probabilities into the smallest possible number of areas. The first thing to do is to find out what the symptoms are: Does the engine crank at a normal speed when you turn the key to the start position. You probably remember what it used to sound like when you started it, when it previously ran normally. Does the starter still sound like it usually did; or does the motor now turn over very slowly or barely at all, or does the starter not make any sound when you turn the key, except for a click or a series of clicks?

    If it turns over at a normal speed, then you can assume the battery and the starter are OK. But if the starter does not sound like it used to, or does not make any sound at all, then you need to first thoroughly test the battery. The battery can only be properly checked with a load tester, which draws a similar amount of power as the starter does. Just using a voltmeter or a hydrometer will, in some cases, give misleading results. Some auto parts stores will test batteries for free. Another way to test the battery is to turn on the headlights, and have someone watch them while you try to start the engine. If the headlights get substantially dimmer when you crank the engine, then the battery is weak. If the lights stay bright, but the starter does not make any sound when you try to start the motor, then I would suspect a defective starter.

    If the starter works normally, then the next thing to do is to determine whether you have a spark or a fuel supply problem. This is done by lifting one of the spark plug wires off of its spark plug, and connecting it to a clean spark plug that is not in the engine. Place the threaded part of that plug so that it presses against the metal of the engine, and watch it carefully while someone cranks the starter. If you need to hold the plug in place; use a wooden stick, or a plastic rod. WHILE YOU CRANK THE STARTER, DO NOT TOUCH THE SPARK PLUG OR PLUG WIRE WITH YOUR BODY OR WITH ANYTHING MADE OF METAL. You could get a very painful shock from the electricity. If the ignition system and distributor is working properly, there should be a series of blue sparks which jump between the spark plug electrodes while the engine is being cranked. If there is only a very weak spark, or no spark at the plug, then this is usually caused by a problem in the distributor cap, the rotor, the coil, the igniter, or the ignition pick up unit. In rare cases, the problem might be in the wiring harness, or in the computer. These items should be tested and confirmed by someone who knows how to test these parts.

    If there is a strong spark at the plug, then the problem is most likely coming from the engine not getting any (or enough) fuel. This can be confirmed by disconnecting the air intake hose from the throttle body, and spraying some starting fluid into the throttle body while the accelerator is held down. It is valuable insurance to keep a fire extinguisher nearby, while you use starting fluid. The engine could backfire. After spraying the starting fluid, try to start the engine. If it fires at all, or now tries to start, that means it wasn't starting because you have a fuel supply problem. That could be caused by a clogged fuel filter, or a fuel pump which has stopped working.

    These tests should give you enough information to get a clearer sense of where, and possibly what, the problem is. Feel free to write again, if you need further guidance. Good luck to you. Celicas are great cars!

  • :cry: :sick: I don't know whether their conclusions can be trusted because they did not figure out the problem but kept on assuming that it may be the celicas computer, distributor. His judgement I can not trust. But after your intellectual experienced response I trust your judgement. With my 1994 Celica going dead I have been having restless nights with nightmares.Not withstanding its age( and miles 145,540). And I have always taken care of preventive care of my Celica. It is very heartwrenching . I have not wasted anytime and I spoke to a 23 yr Toyota experience Master Tech Mechanic and he told me about the headlight test to do. I made sure the connections to the battery and the engine grounds are good. I made sure the battery is fully charged. I turned the headlights on and try to start the car. The lights stayed brite except when I attempted to start the car the lights dimmed way down. That mechanic told me about the contacts in the starter are known to go bad. Also my Toyota advisor told me about the need for a new starter(mind you my current starter is over 8 years old) So I have to think positive about it. Well today Wed. 10:00am A toytota recommeded tow truck company will be taking the celica to the toyota dealer for repair. I will keep you informed of my situation. I am hoping that it may be a faulty starter.
    I greatly appreciate your helpful inforrmation which helped me sleep well last night.
    Thank you,
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    It certainly could be a faulty starter; but since the lights dimmed way down, the type of starter problem that would cause that is not bad contacts; instead, it would be a short in the starter motor armature. But the remedy is the same in either case; to replace the starter. However, there is another thing that would make the lights dim way down, and that is if the battery has aged to the point that it no longer has sufficient energy capacity to drive the starter motor. If this is the problem, and they replace your starter without first testing the battery with a load tester; the new starter will not fix the problem, and they will have wasted your money. Any shop qualified to do electrical diagnosis would load test the battery BEFORE replacing the starter.
  • zaken I just recieved a call from my Toyota advisor and he informed me about the cause of my celica not turning on what because of my distributor melted. I guess because of the age my celica has 14 years he stated. And he even guaranteed that then my celica would turn on. I did ask him about my starter,alternator and those were good except after they tested my battery it needed to be replaced also? I need to call my toyota advisor back to order the parts. :confuse: Zaken should I go ahead and parts ordered for my repair? I am just worried/stressed out which is not healthy for my MS.

    I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Have them ONLY replace the battery, then go over there, be sure there is a NEW battery in it, and try to start the car. If it now starts, get out of there and don't give them any more business. I've never heard of a distributor melting. That sounds like nonsense to me. The distributor is made of metal and plastic. The metal won't melt, unless there has been a fire in your engine compartment. The only real possibility is that one or more plastic parts in the distributor have melted. If that has happened, those parts can be replaced individually; without having to replace the entire distributor.

  • Thanks for the information on how to go about getting a new battery. I will keep what you let me know in mind. And if the plastic parts have melted and keep not allowing my celica to start I will get another mechanic to replace the plastic parts individually.
    Joel I would like to thank you in advance for your prompt and accurate information.
    Have a good Day,
  • Instead or replacing the battery, try jump starting with the battery from another car.

    If the symtoms remain the same then the battery is OK. Dont have to replace it.

    If the engine cranks but will not start, then the distributor may be broken or wet, or the cap may be worn out or broken. Just open up the cap can clean all contacts. If there are any cracks on the cap, the engine will not start.
  • :sick: My distributor inside plastic is melted/cracked not withstanding its age( 1994 with milage:145,540) so of course will not start :cry: . I might is well replace the distributor so my celica will start. Once I get the new distributor hopefully my celica 1994. I will keep you informed.
  • One more potential ignition killer: the switch at the automatic transmission lever. This switch lets the starter crank and engage only when the lever is set at P or N. If this switch is misadjusted or dead, the starter will not crank.

    Leave the stick in P or N and try to wiggle it around while starting, sometimes it will move the switch enough to start the starter.

    The same problem happened with a BMW 740 which left the owner desparate and destittute, replacing just about all modules in the ignition circuit without fixing the problem. He adjusted the transmission switch and all is fine.

    There are lots of horror stories involving BMW's electrical systems. Toyota has much better electrical systems designs, mateirials and workmanship.
  • :confuse: Well as for my celica which the master tech ran it today after the new distributor was installed he parked it and when he tried to start again the car it would not turn back on....AH!! The advisor told me that the master tech has to check other electrical wiring? Now I wonder what it is, another electrical part? I am hoping it made be fixed. I will just sit here and wait I only wonder if it would start. Thanks for listening. Have a Wonderful Weekend & Take Care:)
  • Updates on service: I got a Toyota TrueStart battery a year ago and it is dead. They replaced it at no charge. Also, the serpentine belt is about two years old and started to show signs of cracking. I had it replaced at a cost of $180.

    I asked about the belt life and the service advisor asked about the car's mileage. I moved a few years ago, and now I am putting very little mileage on the car. Apparently the belt is not getting exercised enough. I also think it is possible that the battery is not getting charged during the short trips and this contributed to an early death.

    I think after six months I should remember to charge the battery fully, and perhaps that will help extend its life. I do not have much time for other things, and do not think I will have time for freeway trips just for the sake of exercising the car...

    Nowadays I spend very little on gasoline but am making up for the cost with other repairs.
  • Just purchased an 01 Celica for my daughter. The car's headlights, on low beam, are very weak, partially because they are not aimed very well. How do you aim the lamps, and is there a way to brighten the light coming out on low beam? On high beams the road is well lit.
  • i was wondering how much is it worth? how much would it be worth in the future?
  • Wear down after about 20K miles.

    When tires were new, the ride was fairly quiet, cornering was quick.

    After 10K miles, the tires are very noisy and harsh.

    The new BF Goodrich Super G Force tires are softer but much quieter, probably will last longer too.
  • i think the celica would be a lot better with the acura trans witch is actually possible makes me wonder is honda and toyota the same manufacturer? everything bolts on any body want to prove me wrong any who if you spend over 2 grand for suspension upgrades out does the celica than consider 2 grand in the motor on the celica would blast any honda bottom line celica has its own driving school how bout that honda
  • I was comparing acura rsx and civics to celica 00 my buddy from cali has civic and ihave an 01 celica out of dallas tx and i beat him on stock every thing rsx gets
  • jkonjkon Posts: 3
    I am looking for a service manual for a 2003 Celica GTS. Can anyone help please?

  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    You can buy one from alldata, at the following web address.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    I bought a CD ROM in eBay for $5. It had troubleshooting procedures for the entire electronic system and all mechanical drawings.

    Sorry file too large to email.

    Also check www.ALLNEWCELICA.ORG
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    The Celica GTS is a more serious driver car than the RSX type S, even though the RSX has a bigger, more powerful engine etc...

    The GTS engine, transmission, steering, braking, suspension and overall system dynamics are just pure high-performance. The RSX has no electronic auto trans, so you have to push the stick to shift. Kind of lame.

    At least to me, the Celica's ergonomics is superior than the RSX. The Celica seats fit drivers better and are far more comfortable.
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