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Common Failures Of The Toyota Celica: Problems, Defects And More

The Japanese automobile company Toyota began production of the Toyota Celica in 1970. Its existence spanned several decades, from the 1971 model year to the 2006 model year, which was the last. In this post we bring you the common faults of the Toyota Celica , so stay with us and keep reading.

During its time, the Toyota Celica was one of the best and most popular affordable sports cars in the world. It won the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year award several times and achieved a considerable level of success.

Common failures of the Toyota Celica

Although it was a very popular car, we are going to focus on examining some of the most common Toyota Celica problems as reported by both current and past owners.

1. Problems with the engine and its components

Engine problems are some of the most reported failures with the Toyota Celica.

On Carproblemzoo alone, there were 75 reports about the Celica’s engine and engine coolants out of a total of 286 problems. Let’s get down to business.

1- Excessive engine oil consumption

Owners of the Toyota Celica have expressed their frustrations over the vehicle’s extravagant engine oil consumption. Many of these owners reported how unpleasant it was to have to top up a quart of oil per trip.

One owner was even more specific, stating that the Celica burns oil at the rate of one quart per 500 miles (804 kilometers). Many of the owners also complained about the lack of response from the manufacturer regarding this problem.

This problem is most common on the 2000 and 2001 Toyota Celica.

2- Problems with engine belts and pulleys

A number of Toyota Celica owners have reported serious problems with the serpentine belt pre-tensioner. The problem supposedly starts with loud rattling noises, and later, the belts start to slip.

This failure has been recognized as a risk to the life and safety of drivers and passengers.

Our investigation showed that the problem first occurs at 20,000 miles (32,180 kilometers) or more and then recurs every 20,000 to 30,000 miles (32,186 to 48,280 kilometers) after a fix.

3- Problems with the engine exhaust

Some Celica owners complained of smoke coming from the vehicle’s exhaust. Reports showed that this failure is related to the aforementioned problem of excessive oil consumption.

The problem is most common on Toyota Celica models with more than 50,000 miles (80,400 kilometers) on the odometer.

Possible causes and solutions

Here are some of the possible causes of the aforementioned Toyota Celica engine problems, as well as viable solutions:

1- Bad piston rings

Piston rings are important because they help keep engine oil in the crankcase and the fuel-air mixture in the cylinders. If the piston rings are bad, the oil will continue to burn, which could cause extensive damage.

2- Defective head gaskets

For the smooth running of the engine, there are components known as gaskets that work as a seal between the engine block and the cylinder head. However, gaskets are susceptible to blowing, and when they do, all sorts of problems result, including excessive oil consumption and poor fuel economy.

3- Misaligned pulleys

A serpentine belt runs in conjunction with multiple pulleys, and if any of them are misaligned, the belt will rattle or squeak. It will wear out after some time, causing problems for the coil and the engine in general.

4- Oil leak

Oil leaks can also be responsible for serpentine belt problems. This happens when oil begins to seep around the belt area and eventually soaks the belt in lubricant, leading to serious damage.

To do?

If you have noticed an engine problem in your Toyota Celica, we strongly advise you to have a diagnosis carried out by a trusted auto expert. This will help determine the exact nature of the problem and the appropriate solution.

2. Failures in the vehicle’s powertrain

Several Toyota Celica owners have expressed dissatisfaction with the vehicle’s powertrain and manual transmission.

Some owners reported a number of problems with the vehicle’s manual transmission. Some owners reported hearing clicking noises from the engine while running, after which the vehicle would shut down abruptly.

Another commonly reported transmission issue was with the gears. The owners complained of a gear shift malfunction, which could lead to an accident.

We also found reports of the vehicle shaking and the clutch pedal sticking to the ground. Some of the owners reported that they avoided possible crashes by lifting the pedal with their feet.

Possible causes and solutions

Here are some of the possible causes and solutions to the problems mentioned above:

1- Broken wire

A broken clutch cable could be the reason for your clutch pedal going all the way to the floor and getting stuck there.

2- Damaged cylinder

If the gear continues to slip and rough, it is likely due to a bad clutch master cylinder. It could also be the result of problems with components like the release fork and release bearing.

Other causes of manual transmission problems are:

  • misaligned transmission
  • worn gears
  • low oil level
  • worn synchronizer
  • Broken transmission mount

To do?

Transmission problems can be very damaging; therefore, they require immediate attention. If the vehicle is close to or has exceeded 100,000 miles (161,000 kilometers), you will most likely need to replace the entire transmission. In other cases, it will be enough to replace only the defective components.

The most important thing is that a trusted automotive expert diagnoses the problem and proposes a solution.

3. Airbag failure

A vehicle’s airbag is crucial for the safety of its driver and passenger, if there is one. Fortunately, Toyota Celica models come equipped with functional airbags. However, there are several complaints about the operation of the airbags.

Several Toyota Celica drivers have reported that the airbags did not deploy during a crash or serious collision. Many of these owners sustained severe bodily injuries and narrowly avoided death due to this malfunction.

This problem was common on 2000-2002 Toyota Celica models with as little as 15,000 to 20,000 miles (32,180 kilometers).

Some other Celica owners also complained about the airbag sensor light coming on all the time. One particular owner even claimed that the problem persisted even after resetting the sensor four times.

Possible causes and solutions

The following are possible causes and ways to resolve these issues:

1- Damaged airbag sensors

If the airbags do not deploy in the event of a serious accident, it is most likely due to faulty sensors. The air bag sensors help detect the impact of a crash and therefore activate the air bags, and if damaged, the air bags will not deploy.

2- Defective wiring

If the airbag cables are routed through areas where they are vulnerable to breaking, it could be dangerous during an accident. This is because the severing will most likely occur during the crash, depending on the impact, and the airbags will not deploy once the cables have been severed.

3- Non-replacement of deployed airbags

A common occurrence in used vehicles is the non-replacement of airbags by former owners after they have been deployed. Therefore, when a used Celica model does not deploy its airbags during an accident, it could be because there are no airbags deploying in the first place.

4- Weak battery

A failing and weak car battery could also mean a dead airbag backup battery, which could cause the sensor light to stay on.

5- Defective clock spring

The clock spring helps a lot to maintain continuity between the wiring and the airbags. The spring usually wears out after a long time, which could turn on the airbag warning light.

To do?

The airbag system is not something to be trifled with; therefore, we advise letting a professional take care of a proper diagnosis so that he can fix the problem permanently.

The good and the bad of the Toyota Celica

We have informed you of the most common faults of the Toyota Celica, however, it is also good that you take into account some positive points of this car.

Advantages of the Toyota Celica

These are some of the positive points or pros of the Toyota Celica:

1- Fuel savings

One of the high points of the Toyota Celica is its very decent fuel economy. It gets a whopping 33 MPG on the highway and 25 in the city for a combined average of 28. This helps Toyota Celica owners save on fuel costs for five years.

2- Comfortable seats

The Toyota Celica also prides itself on the comfort that oozes through its seats, even on a long drive. Many owners on Consumer Reports and other similar platforms attest to this, demonstrating impressive consumer satisfaction in that regard.

3- Futuristic exterior style

If there’s one thing the Toyota Celica is known for, it’s its absolutely gorgeous exterior. The Celica was discontinued in 2006, but its exterior styling would still be “gorgeous” even in today’s automotive landscape.

4- Reasonable running costs

Reading consumer reviews of the Toyota Celica, we couldn’t help but rave about its running costs. Many of the owners who had apparently used other cars in the past praised the Celica’s decent maintenance costs.

5- Impressive security features

The Toyota Celica also has a long list of safety features to keep its owners and passengers safe. Features include:

  • Front impact airbags
  • Seat belt pretensioners
  • Cervical anti-slip
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • daytime running lights
  • Anchors for child seats
  • Front ventilated disc/rear drum brakes

The Toyota Celica also earned a NHTSA rating of 4-star for driver’s front, 4-star for passenger’s front, and 3-star for front.

Disadvantages of the Toyota Celica

The most notorious cons or drawbacks in the Toyota Celica are:

  • Recurring problems with the engine and components
  • Failures in the vehicle’s power train
  • Airbag faults

What do the reviews say about the Toyota Celica?

Despite the flaws that the Toyota Celica has, the comments and opinions of the vehicle are positive.

“It’s as good to drive as it is to see. You sit in a suitably sporty low riding position, and in traffic, its typically light Toyota controls make it easy to get around. Then, out on the open road, you can enjoy the precise steering, smooth gear shifting, and precise handling. In many ways, it’s the best of both worlds.”

Source: WhatCar

A great looking car, reliable and great fun to drive. … A very attractive car that looks faster than it really is. Very fun and very comfortable to drive

Source: Car Sales

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