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Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)



  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    Does anybody know anthing about engine problems in 2000-2004 celica? my '03 with only 11,000mi according to Jiffylube is showing signs of a wide known problem with toyota engine sludge/gelling. ___Called toyota they said there is know way a celica is included in there problem vehicles for that specific problem? But according to some websites it does include celica. And once started it will vastly decrease engine life. they noted on my receipt at jiffy lube "Toyota engine sludge/gelling evident"
    My 95 nissan w 180,000 miles never had an oil problem and I neglected that car till I traded it. What Gives toyota??
  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    From what I can find out most engine sludge was a problem in the Camry of 1997-2001.Does any body have any hard facts on which models and years were affected? thanks so much, sean
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 760
    I just did a quick google search, and have no idea if this is accurate, but one site shows affected engines:

    Camry 4 cyl. Produced 8/96 - 7/01
    Camry 6 cyl. Produced 8/96 - 7/01
    Solara 4 cyl. Produced 6/98 - 5/01
    Solara 6 cyl. Produced 6/98 - 5/01
    Sienna 6 cyl. Produced 7/97 - 5/01
    Avalon 6 cyl. Produced 7/96 - 5/01
    Celica 4 cyl. Produced 8/96 - 4/99
    Highlander 6 cyl. Produced 11/00 - 7/01

    You can try the NHTSA website for verification.

    Please don't tell us you are "neglecting" your new car, and that this is your first oil change at
    11,000 miles!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    1. the sludging TSB DID affect the old Celica, the 2.2L, from MY '97 up until it went away in 2000. It never affected the current gen.

    2. Take anything Jiffy Lube tells you with a grain of salt. Maybe even a POUND of salt. The level of technical expertise at their stores varies a lot (mostly from 'some' to 'none') and many of their "recommendations" are designed to produce extra business for themselves that is a needless expense for the consumer. They have been investigated by the state AG here in California for exactly this reason.

    3. Oil gelling can occur in any engine if the oil changes are not frequent enough. I am with guitarzan in asking: this isn't your first oil change, I hope? If you do not drive very much, follow a time schedule for oil changes, rather than a mileage schedule.

    4. If you are truly worried about this, DEFINITELY get a second opinion from a real shop or a Toyota dealer - no gas stations or quickie lube places.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Type engine sludge in the search box to your left and you will get 5 discussions on the issue. The are archived, but contain helpful information.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    has been a great car even though it listed for $23,768 in 1991. Very expensive for its time. It has an exceptional 10 speaker CD, cassette, Am/FM stereo which has just gone on the blink today. I cant figure out if the problem is with the head unit or power amp. The left channel cuts out when on AM/FM mode, sometimes completely, sometimes partially. All of the left channel speakers are affected. The CD unit has not worked for quite some time now. The problem is that the power amp is actually three separate amps. One goes to the front speakers, one to the rear speakers and one to the two woofers, so if its the problem how do I get a identical replacement without paying Toyota prices. Anyone have any experience/ideas.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I would go back there and just check all the connections first, especially if it is intermittently working properly.

    Just a thought.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • shishishishi Posts: 6
    I have a 91 automatic convertible celica with 193,000 miles. Replaced the distributor, cap, wires and plugs due to a "bucking" problem. Since then have cracked the same #1 plug 4 times. Each time the plug lasted about one week. the Toyota techs say they have never heard of this problem and can't figure out what it could be. Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    when you say "cracked the spark plug" what exactly is it that cracked? The resistor on top where you attach the plug wire boot? The electrode on the end of the plug?

    Also did the bucking problem go away with this fix? And lastly, are you sure that the plugs you are using are the proper heat range for your car?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • shishishishi Posts: 6
    The electrode on the end is cracked with no sign of oil or other liquid or burn marks.
       The bucking problem disappeared with new plugs, except at about 45-50 mph where it has always bucked. This bucking AT 50 MPH did not disappear with the new distributor either.
     I have only had the Toyota Techs work on the car so I assume that the plugs are the correct heat range. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the 86-89s and the 90-93s had an air hose for the inlet of the FI that would crack over time, and would then cause the car to buck and hesitate badly on hard acceleration. This was because the movement of the car as it leaned back would narrow and widen the cracks in the hose as you moved (it would get worse the faster the car travelled) which would play havoc with the engine management which would be alternately flooded with oxygen momentarily and then returned to normal. The consequent adjustments it would make to the air/fuel mix would cause the car to buck a lot. Check it out - pull it off and see if it is cracked (stretch it out a little like an accordion).

    As for the plug electrode constantly cracking - that is weird - I am as stumped as the Toyota techs.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • shishishishi Posts: 6
    Somebody suggested that the piston is getting too close to the spark plug causing the top of the piston and the discharge from the plug to get too close creating a potential "backlash" into the plug which would exceed the capacity of the plug. Does that make any sense to check out the piston, and if so, how do they do that?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    of anything remotely like that before, and it seems pretty far-fetched.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    I had that same 10 speaker sound system(called system 10)in the 92 GTS I had 5 years ago.It was the best stock factory car system I ever had in a car.But the CD player was crap because it didn't play nearly as loud as the radio and the cassette. I always wondered how I could've improved that system.If I were you I'd replace the stock head unit an AM/FM CD player with satellite radio,add an amp and gradually upgrade all the speakers.That still would cost much less than trying to replace the stock unit with a new one(if that's even possible on a car that old)and it would sound even better than the stock unit when done!
  • I recently purchased a 1997 Celica convertible. The car is in great shape and only has 65000 miles on it.

    The prior owner was concerned about the convertible top cover. This cover goes over the convertible top when it is in the down position. This cover blow off while he was traveling at freeway speeds. Of course this concerns me a great deal.

    The cover is held in place by a Velcro strip along the back of the rear seat. It also has one snap on each side of the cover. The snaps seem to be a rather poor way to hold the cover on. If the wind gets under the cover, these snaps would release without much upward motion.

    Has anyone had a similar problem? Were you able to correct it? Any help would be appreciated.

  • I have a 2000 Celica GTS. I let a kid sit in it and he was playing roughly with the shifter when the car was off without depressing the clutch. The car was fine for the next 4 days and then I felt a snap when shifting into 4th gear.After that when I shifted into 2-4-6 the shifter felt strange and felt like it was not shifting all the way into gear. I took it to the dealer and they took apart the shifter and the cable broke. Now it is going to cost me $825 just for that. Can you damage the shifter/cable by doing what he did?
  • I agree a great bargain for 17-18k. Not really the best looking replacement. You cant beat the celica for looks/handling/steering/braking/mpg/reliability/ but you sure could beat it on the price.The celica starts out at a pretty high base price without any options. The average buyer will not live without most of those options and then ends up with a very high priced celica that approaches cars in a higher class.I was hoping they made a last model with a 200hp-220hp maybe in limited production (hoping only).Well the acura Rsx is still there but after driving both ,my opinion was the celica for all the reasons above. Damn now I will have to get the 350z which for the price makes me feel even more guilty because the 350z approaches BMW,Mercedes,Audi,Lexus in price. Who would ever imagine that a nissan z would cost as much as these other highline cars? Well I like to put my money where my performance is? .....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz :>
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    "Who would ever imagine that a nissan z would cost as much as these other highline cars?"

    Well, it is also a case of those other brands stretching DOWNWARD in price these last few years, offering lower base models.

    The Z is a really sweet sport coupe but I wouldn't own one because of all the issues with alignment and tire wear that still don't seem to be fixed, even if they are now covered by Nissan as of '04. Also because the cockpit is way too claustrophobic and outward visibility is severely limited even by sport coupe standards.

    Now, I would consider an RX-8, in which there seem to be no outstanding issues except the expected fuel economy/oil consumption associated with the rotary engine. Problem is, this car costs almost as much as a Z and is already outclassed in straight-line acceleration by sedans costing less. I generally like sporty cars that emphasize great handling over pure power, but I do like them to be a little faster than family sedans in their price range, at least for the first couple of years.

    Out of "looks/handling/steering/braking/mpg/reliability" I will take the RSX over the Celica for looks, mpg, and reliability, to which I would add interior ergonomics and materials, ride, and manual shifter. But the Celica has the handling/steering/braking down perfect, that is for sure, and is the one aspect of the current Celica that is truly a bargain at the price.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • We have similar ideas on these cars. I owned an 83' 93R-1,93touring,and 94 r-2 rx-7.Yes, 4 rx-7's in my life. 83 was good performance for its time,93touring and 93 r-1 were real fast as they were tt. 94 r-2 was even faster ,all had great handling but also questionable build quality. I drove the rx-8 and found that 238hp manual is ok but the weight of this rx-8 is just over 3000 lbs. The last rx-7 was only 2755 lbs and 255hp coupled with the fact that the turbos boosted the 5 more hps but more importantly torque. the quickest way to kill accel is to decrease torque and increase weight. Imagine the celica with 2800 lbs. Also agree about the celica having poor plastics,but for having plastics as they save weight.
  • Other brands stretching downward is true as the SL500 Mercedes in 92 was around the same starting price it is now. If everything goes in this direction people will be able to lease a IS300 Lexus for the same price as a Corolla. Or at some point the regular brands will have to step down in price or start building way better quality . Then again, have you seen how bare bones they are making these entry highline brands?Then the options are packaged together expensive, so I guess they get you coming or going. Pay me now or pay me later.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    yeah...mainly, pay me now! :-P

    I agree that the tt of the last RX-7 was much more effective in getting that car off the line, but they made it too expensive and fuel economy was abysmal. At least now the new car is within about 10% of its competitors like the Z on mpg, and totally comparable in price.

    My only RX-7 ever was an '88 (non-turbo) and that car was a blast, but you certainly had to keep the engine spooling up as if it WERE a turbo to keep the power on. Below about 3000 rpm it had less power (seat of the pants feel) than the same vintage Celicas (I have had a few of those over the years) and was A LOT more expensive.

    Current RX-8 has less peak torque (at a higher rpm) than a 4-cylinder Camry, with about as much weight. I have not driven one, but that fact alone does not encourage me to do so!

    The inside of the new Celica (mine was an '02 GT) is perhaps the biggest disappointment of the whole car. So what did they do? They built the "Lexus of coupes", the Scion tC, called it the replacement for the Celica and dropped Celica in the U.S. The Scion is just shy of 3000 pounds. DON'T THINK SO! Indeed 160 hp in a car this heavy is going to be outclassed in a very short time by economy compacts - call it two years or so. The weight makes the handling plowy, so then where is the "sport" in this car?

    The Scion tC is a very nice car in its own right, just no replacement for Celica.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I am thinking of the 350z as the replacement for my celica. Dont really like the weight or fit and finish of it but the interior plastics are bout the same . Also the design of the interior Celica is far superior to the z. Now torque wise the z is awesome but again we are talking 10k more dollars than the celica.Let me spend 10k $ on improvements to the celica and we will see which out performs which!!!So I think I will get the enthus trim on the z as i dont like leather and i have to get auto.The supra fantasy is not going to happen at least for the next 2 years. Maybe just maybe i will get an end of the year 05 gts celica.I ve had mine 2 years and might be ready for a change mine is auto and got GT instead of GTS because i believed there was not a difference when both were auto. Also heard that the torque and hp in the lower rpms of the gt were stronger due to the fact that the transmission ratios of the GTS were geared higher.So until i hit 6k rpm or higher i would be faster in the GT.Is this true? I would want to stay below 25k on the 05 GTS or i will just bump to the z for 30k. What do you think of this logic? Still looks wise interior and exterior i like the celica but 6 years in the same car might be a little too much for me.Did not get z yet for the tire and paint problems they still have for 04 and i am waiting to see if the 05s are fixed. Have you heard anything
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I thought there was no auto available any longer for the Celica GTS? I drove one of those a while back - the problem is NOT ONLY that the torque on the road is lower than the GT below 4000 rpm, BUT ALSO that the auto's gears are too widely spaced, so if you are using the valve-lift portion of the engine's power above 6200 rpm, it will drop out of lift at every upshift. Also, if you put the auto in auto-shift mode, it will upshift before the engine gets to redline, which is bad news considering the power portion of the engine's range is so narrow (a 1500 rpm spread). If you have to have an auto and cloth, I think it may be impossible to get a Celica GTS that fits the bill.

    As to the question of power characteristics, it is true that the GT has more torque up to about 4000 rpm (making it better for around-town driving) but it peaks around 4200 if memory serves, and from there seat-of-the-pants power begins to drop off, whereas the GTS just continues to pull, with the surge in power coming at 6200.

    This model is down to like 15K sales a year or less. If you are going to buy one at the end of the production run next year, I am sure you could get a really good deal on it even if you want a GTS. $22K or less is what I would pay at that point. But again, it will probably be impossible to buy one with cloth, and I think the auto is gone. That will also be the start of the third year for the Z, and I am sure you could get the base model then for $25K or so.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I second nippononly's second point.

    Those guys work hard at "upselling," and I've learned not to trust them.

    Get a second opinion. One that is worth its salt.
  • You might be right on the GTS being only stick and maybe even only leather.The 05's are just coming in now and I have not seen what my area will receieve as packages as different areas get different available options. I ran into that problem when I got mine, saw the JBL stereo and tried like hell to get it but found out that option was not slated for our ports. As for the Z , only the enthusiest trim has avail. auto and that trim is right at 29 and change, with spoiler m. flaps ,mats and door sill plate is 30k. Infiniti G35 coupe has 295hp and the z only has 287 or the annivers. ed. which I hear will be 305 hp will be my choices. Even though we always like to have the extra hp's I think the G35's softer susp.and longer body will really offset the 7hp's that I would need a 6-speed manual to achieve. Also I expect the anniver. Z to be very high in cost,probably only leather and 6-speed being necessary to get that 18hp. When do we get enough hp's:new vette 400hp,Z06 vette 500hp,MB SL65 604hp. I remember when the 92-96 vette was king at 300hp,then the [non-permissible content removed] cars started with those twin turbos and all hell broke loose. See the new MB SLK 350 0-60 5.4/5.5 , 7 speed automatic, 3.5 v-6 268hp.$51k and up ,pretty steep.For the 20 grand difference I will just have to out drive 'em in the Z.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    make it lighter, don't give it more power! At least that is my credo. Some of the Mercedes two-doors have topped TWO TONS now! How the HECK do they manage that?????

    The Elise with the sweet Celica GTS engine (boosted ten hp) is under 2000 pounds. NOW you're talking! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 760
    I have 3 dented rims. The pot holes are killing my car. The Michelin Pilots, btw, look alright-even the guy at Goodyear said they are bulletproof, or something to that effect.

    I'm looking at ASA JS6 wheels at Tirerack. I don't want to change the characteristics of the car, but don't know much about wheels. I think the 40mm offset is similar to stock, any one know? I plan to have them mount and balance with Blizzak tires and drop them at my door. Your opinions and expertise are appreciated.

    Where, oh WHERE can I get wipers cheaper for my GTS?

    TX, John
  • corcor Posts: 27
    hey all,

    i've got a quick question? i'm looking into buying a '91 GT-S w/auto trans and roughly 194k. recently when i went to look @ the car, upon start up it ran kinda rough. i'm not sure if it would need a tune up or new engine. no smoke from the rear, so i'm assuming the engine is fine, just needing some work. the car is a Goodwill donation that they are selling for like 1200.xx. having never owned a toyota product (only nissan and honda) i'm not sure of what to look for on a celica w/this amt of miles. any help/information would be greatly appreciated!!

  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    At 194K miles the car could need quite a few things. The first thing that comes to mind is a valve job. That would cause rough running at idle. There are reasons people donate cars instead of trading/selling them. I highly recommend a compression test be done before you buy.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 760
    I got some 6.5" OEM size steel rims from Tirerack, with slightly off-size 195/60QR-15 Blizzak tires. They said speed differential will be less than 1%.

    There are 2 tires in 16", but this car is downright dangerous in winter, so I got what I thought would be the best tire, which only came in 15". Got a cheap torque wrench, and they said to maintain the OEM torque spec, since it is determined for stretching the shafts, and nothing to do with wheel type. They mount and balance this set, so I'll just bolt them on myself.

    Although these tires wear quick, I should have done this previously. All the summer tires I've had on this car just slide across a snowy road. Ugh!
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