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_Adam_

My First Celica

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Howdy,

I've been interested in a getting a Celica for years and am at the point now where I'm starting to seriously look.

What I'd like to know from the old hands is what should I be looking out for when buying a 2003-2005 model...

  1. Are there any notorious problems to keep an eye out for?
  2. What stuff is disproportionately expensive to get fixed on these cars?
  3. What services jobs / replacements should I carry outimmediately upon purchase?
  4. Any other useful advice you can think of!

Thanks in advance!

Adam

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Welcome Adam,

A Gen 7 model then.....which one.?..140vvti  or 190 vvtLi..??..if you are buying a 190 then make sure the "lift" operates as it should.

I had a 140 for 2 years...brilliant car...loved it to bits and great to drive.

They are all getting on a bit now of course..check brakes/calipers etc..check sub frame..check coolant/rad (though most Celicas would by now have had a rad renewal)..check power steering fluid pipeds..particularly the U shaped one you can see through the bottom grille..they often corrode due to their exposed position....most of all check Oil levels/quality and DO the MOT history check on ANY that takes yer fancy.

The VVTi likes frequent Oil changes..I used to do mine every 5k miles..but 7/8k is probably nearer the norm.

All in all there's not much to get over worried about tbh..get a good one and you'll be pleased you did.!

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Hi, Adam..& welcome to TOC.

Sad to say, there are now a number of problems that may need to be addressed on the purchase of a Gen 7.

Oil burning on a 140, due to piston rings clogged with burnt deposits. This issue has "killed" many a Gen 7 engine, due to Oil starvation

Corroded rear subframe, a replacement is very labour intensive

Leaking radiator from bottom corner

Corroded brake pipes

Seized calipers

Rainwater ingress from either a leaking sunroof, or rear spoiler fixings

Broken fuel flap hinges

Broken road springs

Buckled wheels

Corroded fuel pipe filler neck

Failing hatch struts

They are however, brilliant cars when sorted. In short, proceed with caution!.

 

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:42 AM, Scarlett Arrow said:

Hi, Adam..& welcome to TOC.

Sad to say, there are now a number of problems that may need to be addressed on the purchase of a Gen 7.

Oil burning on a 140, due to piston rings clogged with burnt deposits. This issue has "killed" many a Gen 7 engine, due to oil starvation

Corroded rear subframe, a replacement is very labour intensive

Leaking radiator from bottom corner

Corroded brake pipes

Seized calipers

Rainwater ingress from either a leaking sunroof, or rear spoiler fixings

Broken fuel flap hinges

Broken road springs

Buckled wheels

Corroded fuel pipe filler neck

Failing hatch struts

They are however, brilliant cars when sorted. In short, proceed with caution!.

 

Great advice and one I wish a friend of mine had followed. He recently bought one very cheap, even though I warned him about the Oil burning issue! I told him to spend more and buy as late a model, or one showing evidence of good service, and documentation. I even told him to just buy a Honda Civic ('06-). He traded in/swapped a Yaris TSport he had for a few weeks. He did see a '03 Celica, and wanted to use the Yaris as part exchange, but the seller was not interested. The car he has now is a '51 plate 1ZZ with the dreaded Oil burning issue. He then spent a lot on the brakes and I think the suspension. He also following the advice of a mechanic, had an engine flush and Oil change. The mechanic said that this could help clean out the engine, thus reducing the Oil consumption. My opinion would be to get an exchange engine from a much later Avensis or strip the engine and clean repair place the internals. Of course this cost money. He had the EML come on and called me for an opinion. I told him to get a cheap OBD scanner to eliminate the guesswork. I suggested he pull the EFI fuse to clear the EML and it worked. Since the Oil flush and change, my friend say the Oil consumption has "improved"! Notice I stated with caution. 

Don't fall for my friends mistake, and buy a well documented car or leave it as a dream car. Think of Mazda's RX8, a nice car, but the engine lets it down.     

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On 5/12/2019 at 11:50 AM, Konrad C said:

Great advice and one I wish a friend of mine had followed. He recently bought one very cheap, even though I warned him about the oil burning issue! I told him to spend more and buy as late a model, or one showing evidence of good service, and documentation. I even told him to just buy a Honda Civic ('06-). He traded in/swapped a Yaris TSport he had for a few weeks. He did see a '03 Celica, and wanted to use the Yaris as part exchange, but the seller was not interested. The car he has now is a '51 plate 1ZZ with the dreaded oil burning issue. He then spent a lot on the brakes and I think the suspension. He also following the advice of a mechanic, had an engine flush and oil change. The mechanic said that this could help clean out the engine, thus reducing the oil consumption. My opinion would be to get an exchange engine from a much later Avensis or strip the engine and clean repair place the internals. Of course this cost money. He had the EML come on and called me for an opinion. I told him to get a cheap OBD scanner to eliminate the guesswork. I suggested he pull the EFI fuse to clear the EML and it worked. Since the oil flush and change, my friend say the oil consumption has "improved"! Notice I stated with caution. 

Don't fall for my friends mistake, and buy a well documented car or leave it as a dream car. Think of Mazda's RX8, a nice car, but the engine lets it down.     

My friend messaged me on Thursday with photos. He no longer has the Celica. he was on the motorway and the bonnet flew open! He scrapped the car and got a '03 Yaris.
He had the Celica for 26 days. I was going to report if the Celica Oil consumption had improved over time, just from the Oil flush and change. He has now owned 5 cars in less than 2 months!
Hopefully this will be the last car change for a long while.

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Make sure you find out if the timing belt has been changed if the car has close to 200,000km on the clock.

water pump as well.

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9 hours ago, Traol Coladis said:

Make sure you find out if the timing belt has been changed..

I believe it was changed on April 1st.

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