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Just bought my first Celica 'blind' - picking it up next week: few Qs!


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Hi all,

I may or may not regret this, but I just put a deposit down on an '04 VVT-i which is a couple of hundred miles away (from a dealer).

It'll be my first Celica (and my first Toyota/Japanese car)!

The dealer put it through an MOT yesterday and it passed with no issues - not even an advisory - which is what prompted me to buy it (even though I don't really trust MOT garages that act more or less as clearing houses for dealers!) 

I'm just nervous as there are all kinds of things that could be wrong with it which I won't know until I see it/drive it.

If the experienced members here could give me an 'idiot's checklist' to go over before I part with the rest of the cash I would be forever grateful!

It's pretty high mileage (170K) - I paid a grand for it which is a bit over the odds I know but being able to pay with credit card to a dealer was worth the bit extra in case it falls apart half way back home..

It has the full leather interior in really excellent condition front and back, sunroof and 17" alloys so I felt it was worth the punt.

My last car was a 2003 MG ZT so I'm used to getting my hands dirty sorting out idiosyncratic problems - the ZT had a timing chain rather than a belt which is part of what attracted me to the Celica - one less thing to worry about. 

I shortlisted quite a few cars over the last few weeks but there really wasn't anything in the 1K range that could touch the Celica for looks and overall reliability - almost went for a similar vintage Saab 9-3 but the Celica beat it out on insurance cost and good old 'feelgood' factor 🙂

If it lasts me a year (hopefully 2) without having to drop any serious cash on it I will consider it a great purchase!


Some specific questions I haven't researched yet:

1.  I'd like to replace the double DIN stereo unit with a touchscreen/android/BT etc unit.

This was a PITA in the ZT because it needed a separate fascia piece and access was awkward - is it easy to do in the Celica?

2. I want to hardwire a Dashcam into the electrics, and add rear parking sensors if they're not already fitted - I'm assuming doing these things at the same time as the stereo replacement is the way to go - if there are recommended suppliers for these parts please link me!

 I'm sure I'm going to have lots more questions over the next few weeks, so thank you in advance!


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Hello Matt...and welcome,

"Brave" thing to do..but if you got lucky then you'll have a great car...I had my 03 140 vvt-i for over 2 years and loved it...but they are not without their issues as they age so I suggest you give the Celica forum a good read and you'll find all the answers you need.

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