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Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)



  • i have a 90 toyota celica with only 70,000 miles on it but i think the struts are going. should i get a complete strut (or quick-struts) assembly? how is the quality different? i know that a lot of companies make their parts overseas and assemble them in mex-i-co and i don't want to buy busted [non-permissible content removed] struts. even monroe struts are made in mexico i think.

  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The quality of a given company's complete and quick strut assemblies does not usually vary. The difference is that the complete assemblies contain more parts; which eliminate the need for disassembly and transferring of parts from the original unit. If you are mechanically oriented, and don't mind getting your hands dirty; go with the quick strut assembly (if it is available for this application in the brand you choose). It will save you some bucks, at no downside.

    As far as brands are concerned; Monroe and the other American manufacturers have gone downhill in quality during the last few decades; or it might be that the newer manufacturers are working harder to make better products; while the American companies continue doing what they did in the 1950s and 1960s. The bottom line is that KYB now makes the absolute best struts for this car; and their prices are highly competitive. They make several models; but the GR2 gas strut is the appropriate one for passenger car use.

    If you need part numbers; go to and look up your vehicle. The best prices on KYB usually come from Summit Racing or Rock Auto.

    If you haven't replaced struts before; you'll need to know that a special tool is needed to compress the front coil springs during installation. This requires a great amount of pressure; and should not be attempted without the proper tools. I've been a career diagnostic and electrical systems mechanic for over 40 years; but I still pay to have my struts replaced.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited October 2011
    KYB makes the best, longest-lasting gas struts. There are new struts now that you can adjust the damping rate from soft to stiff with a simple procedure using a screw driver.

    I bought KYB in eBay for about $75 a pair. They were sold by some sales companies but shipped directly from KYB warehouse in Indiana. So You will have factory warranty.

    There are only a few bolts to remove the strut assembly, but you need to have a special tool to compress and align the strut inside the spring to reassemble it. The shop can do it very quickly, but by hands using that tool to align takes some time, perhaps 3 hours for the pair if you do it the first time.
  • So apparently I have been cruising around with no cabin filter for quite some time. Can anyone suggest a good place to buy a cabin filter for my 2000 GT-S? Are there any "specs" or part numbers I need to be aware of? The manual is silent. Dealer, of course, wanted a ludicrous amount to sell and install it.

    I've never replaced a cabin filter before, but I assume it's easy as pie.
  • Search Amazon or eBay. I bought a few real cheap compared to dealer. After 1 year still in good shape. Have not fallen apart:

    CELICA AIR FILTER 8.44 x 8.44 Particle Filter 8.44 8.44 TOYOTA P/N P3785 CF9846 C35516 24875 LC74-61-P11

    Non critical parts is OK on line. Critical parts like oil filter, engine air filter etc... may be all counterfeits in the internet, too risky to buy and use. So be careful.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556 carries a large assortment of cabin air filters for this model. Their prices range from $3.44 for a Pronto #PC5516; to $9.71 for a Fram #CF9846; to $13.83 for a Fram #CF9846A, which combines a particulate filter with an activated carbon layer to remove odors; to $17.14 for an activated carbon ATP #RA8 (LC7461P11); and there is a rebate offer on that filter. You could also pay $29.79 for a Mahle #LAK131; which also contains activated carbon. The OE Denso filter #4531013 costs $15.25 from Rock Auto.

    These parts are listed in their online catalog, under 2000 Toyota Celica; in the "heat and air conditioning" section.
  • Thanks, both of you, for your feedback!
  • 2002 GTS with 205K miles had P0171 CEL, engine too lean, wont pass smog test.

    Mass Airflow Sensor looked dirty. Cleaned with carb cleaner, but did not help.

    Swapped a MAS from another car, worked beautifully, cleared all codes, passed smog test.

    OEM and Denso MAF retail about $220. Will buy a Chinese knock off in eBay for $20 to see how well it works and how long it lasts.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited March 2013
    The $20 counterfeit MAF bought on eBay is not working.

    The car runs rough, has no power for acceleration, and is doing P0171 SYSTEM TOO LEAN AGAIN.

    Damn counterfeiters are making bad sensors with TOYOTA and DENSO part numbers on it.

    I will forward the fake info to Toyota, Denso and Law Enforcement so they can deal with fakers...
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited March 2013
    The MAF sensor bought for $26 on eBay works fine in a Lexus that uses the same sensor.

    It did not work in the Celica. The car had no starting acceleration. I got into the intersection when the car failed to move. I was nearly broadsided by incoming traffic. So What can I say?

    Put the original MAF back and the Celica runs great again.

    Put the $26 MAF sensor in the Lexus, the Lexus runs great. No problems, no check engine light...

    Not sure what happened.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    Carb cleaner fluid may have lubricating oil, which would screw up the MAF sensor.

    MAF sensor should be spray cleaned only with CRC MAF cleaner or residue-free electrical contact cleaners.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    CELICA FOG LAMP, Brand Hella model H3, part number 8GH 002 090-131,
    made in Germany, rated 12V 50W. Can be bought in AMAZON or eBay for about $2 a piece.

    This procedure, If done correctly and with experience. should take only about 15 minutes from start to finish.

    1 DO NOT TAKE OUT TOO MANY SCREWS! Only 2 x 10 mm hex head crews, at corner and front bumper, facing down.

    2. Pry the plastic wheel liner back away from the bumper and stick arm inside cavity to find the fog lamp box.

    3. Find the ROUND PLASTIC CAP on the lamp box CONCENTRIC with the LENS in front. CCW to open.


    5. Pull out the BULB and disconnect 1 wire with BLADE CONTACT terminal. BULB's flat metal base has 2 cut outs: HALF MOON TOP and RECTANGLE bottom. Bulb only fits in cavity this way.

    6. DONT TOUCH HALOGEN BULB, hold BULB by the base, insert into cavity, TURN BULB AROUND until it's in the correct orientation and fits all the way in cavity.

    7. Find the LOCKING SPRING CLIP, it goes over the BULB's base, SWING IN, PRESS HEAD DOWN and IN until LOCK with click.

    7. Put BULB GREASE on BLADE TERMINAL, insert into female terminal until locked with a click.

    8. Put ROUND PLASTIC CAP back on round hole, rotate around until it fits in cavity. Turn CW until locked in place.

    9. Reassemble engine's bottom cover, wheel cover and bumper with 2 x10mm HEX HEADS.
  • kevgretkevgret Posts: 37

    I have had my G6 HTC convertible for 7 years. In those 7 years I have documented the trials and tribulations of my car in this very forum (just read my posts). The latest problem has to do with my top. The top on my convertible will not go all of the way up. The part where the top won't go up is where the trunk has to close to complete the process but it won't.

    I have had the car to the only dealer who has worked on my car THREE times. All three times I was told there is nothing with my car and the top is fine. Well today I tried to enjoy my day off and I put my top down and up to make sure it worked... and it didn't.

    So I went to the dealer and he put the top down and up 5 times and it worked perfectly... so I explained to him that the top would not work at my house in my driveway... My driveway is on a slight incline so I had him take the car to a hill and when he tried to put the top up it FAILED.

    So now the dealer verified that the top will not close while parked on an incline... BUT he didn't want to keep the car to work on it. His suggestion was to close the top on the street and not on an incline.

    I really don't like this because I would like my top repaired to complete working condition.

    So here I am with a top that works on certain inclines and a dealer who doesn't want to try and repair it. The whole reason for me keeping this car as long as I have is for the hard top. If I can't use it there is no sense even keeping the car.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this or where to go to get it repaired?
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    What is an HTC? Is this a 2010 Scion?
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited August 2013
    Procedure to replace power door lock motor, just $6 Mabuchi motor,
    not the whole door lock assembly (about $285 at stealers)

    Mabuchi motor FC-280PC-22125, about $6 in eBay. This motor is used in all Lexus and Toyota cars

    if you hit the power door lock switch and the lock wont lock or only lock partially, most likely the mabuchi motor inside the assembly is worn, dirty or burned out. This motor can be taken out and replaced within 1 hour if you are familiar with the door lock assembly and know what you are doing. Byt he second time, you should be able to finish it within 30 minuted.

    1. You can leave the lock assembly in the door. You dont have to remove these 3 screws unless you want better access to the motor housing

    Just remove 1 small screw on the white nylon shroud covering the motor housing to lift it up. The nylon shroud is flexible and wont break or cracked.

    2. Remove 2 screws that hold the motor housing to the bracket, then wiggle the housing to free its actuator off the end of the wire cable. You may have to hold the cable with a pair of pliers. Pull the motor housing out of the assembly. There are 2 other actuators that will just drop out.

    3. Use a knife or sharp blade and flat-head screw driver, cut and pry open the glued motor housing along the long edges. Anything broken can be glued back.

    4 Use flat-head screw driver, pry motor (and worm gear) out of housing.

    5. Replace with new Mabuchi motor FC-280PC-22125, sold for about $6 in eBay. This motor is used for all Lexus and Toyota cars, probably some Hondas .

    Interchange Part Number: FC-280PT-22125
    Other Part Number: KF243G-101

    Motor body length is 30 mm, with shaft 15 mm long,
    Total length is 45 mm from butt to end of shaft.
    Shaft diameter is 2 mm.

    Body height is 25 mm, depth 20 mm.

    There is a collar at the end of the shaft. heat it up and yank off with plier.

    Add grease to to the worm gear. Glue housing back with crazy glue or clear RTV.

    Reverse the assembly.

    Save yourself $285 parts plus $200 labor at the stealers.
  • It's easier to split apart the motor housing by heating up the edges with a hair dryer.

    The heat will soften the adhesive and you can pry it apart without breaking any pieces.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Confusing! Everyone has a different name for this part. My mechanic calls it a door latch, so I use that term so I can continue to talk to him. I had the driver's door latch replaced and my mechanic charged about $80 (cannot recall the exact price.) I did leave the dealer at some point when several items costing $3200 were about $1600 at a highly recommended local mechanic. This local mechanic is so honest and detail oriented, it was a blessing to get his recommendation as the Celica began truly aging. (96,000 miles on the 2000 GTS today.)

    I should have had both left and right latches changed at the same time, as they have the same duty cycle, and wouldn't you know, a year later the passenger one is failing.

    So now I am wondering when I take the car in, should I have the trunk latch proactively changed? Will it be the next to go bad? I will probably ask my mechanic's advice.

    I am also looking to quiet the cargo cover. When the car hits bumps in the road, that cover makes a terrible noise as it bounces. Underneath the cover are two square inlets, and it appears they may have held, or are supposed to hold, perhaps a piece of foam or rubber that would soften the bounce. Have to fabricate something methinks, as googles of this item have failed to produce a part.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited August 2013
    The thingy inside each door panels that opens and locks the door and the hatch, Toyota calls it "Power Door Lock actuator assembly."

    It's just a small motor with cable links to pull on the levers to open and lock doors. Toyota probably buys the little motor for $0.25 with about $0.50 worth of cable and plastic parts. But they charge $185 for that assembly plus 2 hours labor ($200), total $385 to change the assembly.

    For $80 your mechanic does a very cheap job. He most likely replaces the little motor as described in my previous posts, not the whole assembly.

    If you wanna do the job with the $6 Mabuchi motor plus about 1 hour per door, just follow my procedure above. You cannot break anything unless your only tool is a sledge hammer...hehe.

    I had too many weak or faulty actuator assemblies that I swapped out, so I researched the car forums and rebuilt all of them for spares. Good thing I did not throw them out.

    It feels good not getting screwed by big car companies...
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited August 2013
    Perhaps I should have remove the battery's ground to reset all values in the ECU, so it will recalibrate the new MAF sensor.

    This sensor, if dirty or faulty, can cause a lot of performance problems, not to mention failing SMOG checks.

    Make sure the intake air filter is properly seated and sealed off from dust. Spray clean the Platinum sensor wire with non-residue BRAKE CLEANERS or CONTACT CLEANER, NOT CARBURETOR/ FUEL INJECTOR CLEANERS WHICH has LUBRICANTS.
  • 2002GTS 212K leaks about half quart every 15K miles. Not bad but I hate leaks.

    The back side of the oil pan is all wet. So took the oil pan off and resealed with TOYOTA's FORM in PLACE GASKET which is a tube of black RTV.

    Engine looked dry in the garage but after driving , still leaked same place. So suspected the RTV was not dispensed and sealed properly. Removed the oil pan and redid the gasket.

    Oil pan's seal looked good and dry. But still leaked in same place. Damn. Washed the engine with degreaser and hosed down with high pressure hose. Found the leak on the back side of engine, passenger side, under the valve cover, right next to the belt tensioner strut. Damn.

    The leak is at the Timing chain tensioner which is bolted onto the engine block with an oval plate and 2x 10 mm bolts. Took it out, clean mating surfaces of all oil with Acetone and regasket with Toy's black RTV. Leak is dead.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    So after many years of the cargo cover banging and making noise over every bump, I did the unthinkable: I actually looked at it.

    Underneath are two square inlets, one on the left and one on the right. The inlets have metal clips and it looks like there was something secured in there at some point. I wish I knew where my shop manual is, it probably shows a part right there in black and white! In any case, I am guessing that there should be a piece of rubber or such that should be in those inlets to help cushion the shelf.

    To solve this, I used pipe insulation. This is a black, semi-stiff foam used to insulate pipes around the house. Its shape is a cylinder. I cut off a piece the width of the inlets. Cut the circular piece open and straightened it out. I then cut two pieces, one for each inlet and stuffed it in there. Given the foam still has a curve from its memory, I had to force it straight and rest the shelf on it, after disconnecting the two ties to the hatch. If the foam maintains its shape I will reconnect the ties to the hatch. If it does not maintain its shape and keeps curling over, then perhaps I will spec a stiffer foam that is shaped perfectly. In any case, this cost nothing and took five minutes.

    Peterpan is there any real risk that my mechanic may not have replaced the entire lock mechanism? The new one works great, and that is my main concern. You say I would not break anything, well, I break everything, so I leave this stuff to the experts.
  • The feltlike cargo cover swivels on 2 plastic pins that are inserted snugly into 2 plastic holders on the side wall. The holders are removable ans sometimes get lost. Sold for a few bucks in the dealer.

    The rear side of the cover rests on 2 pieces of foam on the side wall.

    If not inserted and secured properly, the cover can make annoying banging noise every time you run over a bump. I hate all those bumping noise.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited September 2013
    The whole power door lock mechanism is like $250 from the dealer and takes 2 to 3 days to order. If your mechanic fixed your door lock the same day, then he likely only replaced the little motor. Most repair shops know this fix and have motors ready.

    For $80 its 1 hour labor with the motor. It's a fair deal.

    For the $250 high price of the assembly, if you ordered it, he's supposed to show you the broken unit and how it failed, for you to keep, also the packaging of the new unit.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 65
    edited September 2013
    I drive my car very aggressively, so after 212K the engine mounts with rubber core are worn out. The engine vibrates a great deal when idled with transmission engaged.

    It's embarrassing every time I carry female passengers. They would feel like their boobs were swinging uncontrollably and ready to fall off ...hehe.

    So ordered both rear and front mounts in Amazon for $45. They claim to be made of high quality chinese rubber. Dealers' would cost about $180 for both.

    I put the car on stands, took the driver-side tire off for access to the rear mount.

    The rear side of the engine rides on a 17 mm cross bolt which goes through the rear mounts rubber core. It was very hard to turn. I used a half-inch ratchet wrench with a 30 inch long half in extension, cheap tool from China, to reach the bolt. I turned very hard, broke the rachet and extensions without being able to turn the bolt at all. repeat the same failure for the whole week. The bros had warned me that the bolt is hard to turn, but I did not expect it to be this hard.

    The cheap steel extension tubes 30-inch long twisted so much under load that the torque was not delivered to the bolt.

    I was desperate. I was gonna bring it into the shop, which quoted $300 labor plus parts. Dealer wanted $675 to replace both mounts.

    Finally borrowed some professional Crafstman's tools, inserted the long extension tube on the bolt, rest the tube level on a hard pivot point like a car jack to keep it straight with the bolt's centerline, use a half-inch Craftsman wrench with a long extension, applied about 100 ft-lbs of torque on the extension. This time the bolt opened smoothly. Damn. This torque is about the same as opening the wheel lug.

    The shops use compressed-air impact wrenches with up to 500- 600 ft-lb torque. So they can open this bolt quickly. With limited hand tools, the home mechanics just have to be more creative.

    The bros can do this kind of job at home. I broke all those cheap steel tools from China without breaking anything in the car. So the car is safe.

    If you have to get under the car, just make sure you raise the car and put the chassis frame on solid and level supports. Put concrete blocks, wood blocks or wheels under the chassis to make sure the car does not move or collapse.

    By the way, I am a software engineer. But I usually come up with solutions for critical problems for the muscle-head mechanics in my neighborhood. So you can do it.

    Good luck.
  • The timing chain cover plate is a large piece at the end of the engine block on passenger side.

    It's right behind the pulleys and main serpentine belt, held onto the block with 14 bolts and 2 nuts.

    Toyota recommends tightening all fasteners on the engine every 100K mile. This timing chain cover can leak oil, especially when the timing chain in cranking at high engine speed. Oil would be slung through the seal and spray out.

    It's difficult to have access to these bolts. You have to remove the serpentine belt. Also need a long and straight box wrench to access the 2 bolts at the top.

    When your engine leaks oil, it's prudent to check for the exact locations of the leaks carefully before fixing, or you may waste a lot of time with the wrong leaks.

    1. Remove all engine plastic covers for access to the engine.
    2. First tighten all bolts on engine: valve cover, timing chain tensioner plate, timing chain cover plate, oil sump, tighten oil filter...
    3. Wipe clean all potential oil leaking joints and surfaces with engine cleaner or solvent.
    4. Blow flour or baby powder on all potential leaking joints.

    5. Run the car for a few days then check all joints to find the exact leaking spots and repair accordingly.

    Chances are after tightening all bolts the leaks would have been fixed, you would find no more leaks and saved yourself a lot of unnecessary repairs.

    Good luck.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Peterpan your input is awesome! I have a bad back and reasonable mechanic so I stick to tire rotations and oil changes, and leave the rest to the mechanic. I do solve a lot of little problems at work (IT also) and daily life around the house so we are definitely kindred spirits. But I especially enjoy your great descriptive stories of fixing problems on the Celica.

    Isn't the timing gasket at risk of being burned or mishapen, and requiring replacement? I take it they are very hearty items?
  • Hi Guitarzan,

    Thanks for your kind word. You are definitely kindred spirit.

    I guess I do like this little Celica GTS. It's reliable, high-performance, fun and cheap to drive, and it fits my wants and needs perfectly. I guess I like to drive as fast as I can.

    Via friends, I have access to Corvettes, Benzes, Porches, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ashton Martin Vanquish etc... But I still think the Toyota GTS is a wonderful car, mostly because it's quick and precise to control in speeding, braking, turning ... more so than other high-performance cars.

    Regarding the timing chain cover plate, it has a rubber gasket. The bros in NEWCELICA.ORG had tried to replace that gasket but they had to remove the engine block to do it properly. Otherwise that gasket will leak again. That would be way too much work. My guess was that the leak could be fixed by tightening the 14 bolts and 2 nuts. It turned out to be correct.

    By 100K miles, I found lots of loose bolts on the engine and transmission. It's worth tightening them all while checking for leaks and worn oil, fluid and coolant hoses etc...

    For a guy with bad back you do a lot with oil change and tire rotation. I do the oil change because I can do it quicker at home that driving the car to the shop and sit around and wait. I also use Toyota filter and synthetic oil so I only have to change oil every 15K or when it looks black and smelled burned.

    But I made a deal with a local tire shop nearby to do tire rotation, balancing and flat repairs for the same price as Costco. They can order and install any new tires I chose and do all services very quickly while I wait. They take good care of my tires for very low cost. Recommended.
  • I Installed an after-market set of front and rear engine mounts in a GTS 2002.

    The car now has more vibration at idle than before with OEM mounts. Apparently the rubber material may be stiffer than factory's.

    Therefore aftermarket engine mounts are not recommended. For $50 more, buy Toyota's engine mount for smooth idling.

    Replacing the rear engine mount involves serious work and risks of damages or injuries. You need to raise the car about 6 inches for access to the fasters from underneath. There are risks of being pinned under the car if it's not supported properly.

    Local shops here only want $90-100 plus part to replace the rear engine mount. I suggest the bros to leave it to the shops with proper equipments and tools to do with minimum risks.
  • The aftermarket seems to work fine after braking in for a few weeks. Only $45 for the set front and rear mounts, a good deal.

    The OEM rear mount has a 2 in rod with a small cylindrical rubber counterweight on top. The new after market has a bump n top. It works fine. The engine idles smoothly. Severe vibration with the worn rear mount was gone. I just dont know how long it last . The OEM set lasted 220K. The front mount is like new. The rear mount was completely torn of rubber damping due to my harshing downshifting.

  • if engine temperature does not go up to 180 deg F, mid range on the gauge, within 10 minutes of driving, then pretty sure the thermostat is stuck open.

    Cold engines dont run smoothly or efficiently with high-performance. Thermo should be replaced. TOYOTA thermos is like $18, highly recommended. Both 1ZZ and 2ZZ are the same with lay out of the Thermo.

    The thermostat is inside a L-shape aluminum hose, hooked up to the black coolant hose about 3-inch DIA, at the front, bottom of the engine block, passenger side, right underneath and behind the alternator. It's held onto the engine block by a trapperzhoidal bracket onto 2 small studs with 2 x 10 mm nuts.

    Contrary to popular belief, you dont have to do the big job removing the alternator and the main serpentine belt to access the thermostat. There is a much quicker and easier way to do it.

    1. Take a trash bag under the thermostat to collect coolant under the engine. When you pull the thermostat out, about half gallon of coolant will spill from engine block.

    2. Use a universal joint adapter with 10 mm socket and ratchet wrench to clear the alternator and remove the 2 x 10 mm nuts.

    3. Grab the black rubber hose with your right hand and the aluminum head with your left hand, squeeze and pull the rubber hose while wiggling the head clear of the alternator and pull it out.

    Believe me it will come out. I have done it many times Sure beats the long hard work of removing the alternator and redoing the serpentine belt. [non-permissible content removed].

    1. Check around the thermo hole for debris, NICK, CRACKS or damages. Clean it up. Dont let coolant leak through cracks.

    2. Put the new thermo and its gasket into the aluminum head with the spring going forward, into the engine block, and the notch and hole on the edge of the thermo near the top position of to recirculate coolant.

    3. Again squeeze and wiggle the thermostat pass the alternator to sit flush on the hole. Check and make sure everything sits flat and fits well before using the universal joint adapter to tighten the 2 x 10 mm nuts. Torque should be around 30 in-lbs. Dont overtorque and strip the threaded studs.

    This procedure is so easy I will use it in the future to drain coolant from the block. Sure beats going under the car. That and opening up the clamp at the bottom of the radiator hose below the cooling fan, will drain may be 90% coolant from the car.

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