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So I picked up a 2002 Celica GT about two months ago. I like the car, but being the poor college student I am, I had to go the craigslist route. As usual with craigslist, it was kinda a coin toss whether I got a diamond in the rough or a clunker. It's starting to look like I might have lost the coin toss.

I've already had to take it to the mechanic several times to try and get rid of the P0171 System too lean (bank 1) error(It took 3 tries. Replaced the faulty mass airflow sensor, the PCV valve, and the manifold intake gasket before it was finally fixed). Shortly after I had the PCV valve fixed, a rattling in my engine started up when and would persist at about 3000 rpms or above or if I press the gas just enough to maintain speed. I finally took it back to the mechanics, they checked the serpentine belt and determined that was fine, so they took the top of the engine off and looked inside, and showed me that the timing chain was really loose and told me they thought the tensioner wasn't working quite right, so they replaced it. For about 2 minutes, the rattling stopped... then came back. Now they want to replace the timing chain and the two supports that are supposed to hold it in place. But it's a $600 job, and according to the one guy in our family who's car savvy, all the information he found online said it's "Normal" in celicas with high milage (~170000 on mine) and that replacing the timing chain and supports did not help other users.

My question is: Is it worth throwing the $600 at the car for this job? Has anyone had this issue and managed to get it fixed? I really want this fixed. I love the celica and I want to get some mods put in it, but the rattle is kinda throwing me off and I'm not sure if I should get mods if I can't get the rattle fixed.
 

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Can you get a better car for $600? Timing chain rattle isn't common on the 1ZZ, even with higher miles. I'd be more suspicious of a bad bearing in the engine since the 1ZZ tends to eat oil and maybe it was ran low or without. Send a used oil sample to Blackstone Labs to have them check it out, they'll be able to tell you if the engine is in the shitter or not. I guess chain worn out is possible if it was often ran low and with crappy oil.
 

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How bad is the rattle?
If it is loud enough that the radio has to be turned up over 1/2 way to drown it out, get it fixed. :)
If not, drive on! It may rattle away for another 170,000 miles.
1ZZ engines are cheap to replace, so keep your eye out for a spare one.
My 2 cents after 35 years of rattling, squeaking, oil seeping, rusting, wouldn't buy any other brand, Toyota ownership.
 

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At high RPM Engine may vibrate or rattle due to bad or intermittent ignition coils.

Check ignition coils for oil. The bad ones wont fire or fire intermittently and tend to have oil on them. Swap in a known-good coil and test drive it.

My GTS has 260K and the coils start to go bad one after another. I bought aftermarket coil in eBay for $13 . It's working fine now in that high heat cylinder head, but dont know how long it will last.


DENSO OEM coil goes for about $55 each, worked for 260K miles.

Another possible cause of engine rattling is low compression in 1 or more cylinders due to burned oil residues and deposits on valves or piston rings, lowering compression, causing engine to run rough at idling or low RPM. Borrow a compression tester from Autozone and test all cylinders. If compression is uneven (16 PSI difference max), clean engine with engine flushing chemicals then change oil. Do it a few times to get rid of hard deposits and bring compression up to spec. Engine will run smooth again.

Damn dealers and mechanics recommended me to throw away my engine with 260K. After 3 engine flushes and oil changes, it's smooth and sings sweetly with fast rev up.
 

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Any way you can make a video and post a link to it?
 

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GSBoek: I don't think so. I could try. It's most noticeable when I'm moving and moving might make it hard to hear.

Peter Pan 2009: On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "an idiot could replace the coils" and 10 being "You need a mechanical engineer to build the engine", how easy is it to replace the coils? Cause for $13, it's worth a shot, plus I could check for oil build up.

Dentman: It doesn't take too too terribly much radio noise to drown out rattling, but it still bothers me in general knowing it's there. And yes... toyota all the way. I've had bad luck in general with cars with a total of 6 cars now... but of the 6, the three toyotas I've had have been the least troublesome.

Bitter: It did run low on oil once. About 1000 miles before the recommended topoff, it was practically out. But the rattling started well before that. I've learned to check oil more frequently (this is the one toyota I've had that burns oil fast). I wish I could get a good car for $600 but, at that point it's a crapshoot and a coin toss. I'd like to keep this toyota as long as possible.

Thank you all for the advice. I'll start going through it and see if anything works.
 

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Might be better off with a different engine if it was ran nearly out of oil, 03+ 1ZZ are plentiful and don't burn oil. If you get one from a Corolla you'll need a couple holes for the axle carrier drilled and tapped in the back of the block, not a big deal.
 

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I've been chasing a funky engine noise on my 00 GTS winter car (2zz engine) for about 40,000 kms (over 2 years). I confirmed that the car is running with a broken intake lift bolt (to be changed at some convenient time). It has 265,000 kms, running with an original timing chain and VVT assembly.

The noise is a raking, repeating, ssshhhking sound that comes and goes with rpm; worse when the engine is cold (hear it at idle); becomes quiet at idle but returns at higher rpm when the engine is hot. You can hear it best with the passenger side window open while passing a building.

I have a mechanic's stethoscope that I used to listen to all the casings and mounting points of all possible rotating engine and accessory parts.

I isolated it to one of the engine accessories by taking off the serpentine belt and taking the car for a short drive; noise went away.

As a result, I changed:
1) a noisy A/C compressor for a used one (No change to original noise but now comes with a different set of noises from the A/C clutch),
2) a noisy belt tensioner idler pulley for a brand spanking new one (less overall noise, but the the original noise is still there)
3) an original water pump and thermostat for new ones (no impact on the original noise but has much better heat in the winter)
4) a different used alternator from one of my parts cars (just because; less overall noise, but the the original noise is still there)
5) a new accessory belt from Toyota (no impact on the noise, but the original one was worn out.)

The last accessory part is the power steering pump, which seems quiet on the stethoscope and has no play in the main shaft (but slowly seeps fluid; the source of the drip on the ground below the car everyday). It is also a pain in the butt to get at and will be very obvious if/when it fails.

So, I listen for the noise on start-up, check for pattern variances, then turn up the radio and drive on. She will show me the source one day and I will fix her. It is the way our relationship works.
 

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If the car only rattles when moving, then it may be a bent axle or worn bearings in the axles.

If the ignition coil is bad, it would misfire and shake, vibrate, rattle the engine while stationary. Wiht gear in P or N, Rev up the engine to 3000 or 4000 RPM to see if the coils misfire. If not then they are not the problem.

Replacing the coil is 1 easy. Unbolt the 10 mm bolt on top, remove the connector and pull it out. If it has oil on it, then the coil is not firing or firing intermittently. You may find another GTS, borrow a coil and test them in all 4 cylinders to find which is bad.

GSBoek: I don't think so. I could try. It's most noticeable when I'm moving and moving might make it hard to hear.

Peter Pan 2009: On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "an idiot could replace the coils" and 10 being "You need a mechanical engineer to build the engine", how easy is it to replace the coils? Cause for $13, it's worth a shot, plus I could check for oil build up..
 

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Before you buy parts that you may not need, a really bad coil/spark plug will likely cause a misfire and a Check Engine light.

Oil around the bottom of a "coil on plug" assembly indicates that the spark plug tube gasket inside the valve cover is not sealing anymore. It may not affect the firing of the spark plug, or it might depending on a number of variables.
The coil part sits high and dry at the top of each assembly.

Swap the coils between cylinders first if you suspect that they are the source of the rattling. See if anything changes or can be diagnosed. This costs nothing but 20 mins of your time and is a #1 easy job as P Pan 09 indicated above.

My 2 cents. Good luck.
 

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Bad ignition coils

My engine, with about 100K miles, was running smooth but would vibrate occasionally with quick, intermittent bursts of BBBBRRRRRRRR scraping sound at high speed. There was no CEL light. Troubleshot but could not find the cause.

Finally brought into a dealer for their $100 diagnostics. They quickly found 1 bad coil, nice, clean with no cracks or oil on it. They charged me $135 for the coil but credited $100 for the diagnostics. Problem was fixed.

Ignition coils can fail and misfire intermittently, causing all kinds of quick and unusual noise and vibration in the engine. The best way to diagnose bad coil is by swapping a known-good coil into each cylinder, drive it a couple days, listen to the noise, feel the vibration and record the result for each cylinder. Swapping the same coils around may change the noise or vibration patterns, but wont pinpoint the bad one.

If a coil misfires, its cylinder will be cooler and allow oil to leak through the valve cover gasket into the top of the plug and the coil. My bad coil was drenched in fresh oil; the new one is complete dry and clean.

Amazon and eBay sell after-market coils for about $10-15, but read the reviews and they have lots of early failure. Denso original OEM coils sell for about $55. I carry a few spare coils in the car in case they fail on the road:

CELICA GT DENSO Part #: 673-1300
CELICA GTS DENSO Part #: 673-1305

http://densoautoparts.com

DENSO components have lots of copies and counterfeits.

RK_PREMIUM sells lots of ignition coils and modules with life-time warranty, but there are no reviews of their products. The GTS coil sells for only $17 with life-time warranty. That's way better than DENSO's 30-day. I need spares so will try it out:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Premium...ash=item3d2fe1e2ff:g:aAsAAOSwjDZYcGly&vxp=mtr


The GT coils sold in Amazon for $17 have pretty good reviews:

https://www.amazon.com/Ignition-Pon...spons&keywords=celica+gts+ignition+coil&psc=1



Before you buy parts that you may not need, a really bad coil/spark plug will likely cause a misfire and a Check Engine light.

Oil around the bottom of a "coil on plug" assembly indicates that the spark plug tube gasket inside the valve cover is not sealing anymore. It may not affect the firing of the spark plug, or it might depending on a number of variables.
The coil part sits high and dry at the top of each assembly.

Swap the coils between cylinders first if you suspect that they are the source of the rattling. See if anything changes or can be diagnosed. This costs nothing but 20 mins of your time and is a #1 easy job as P Pan 09 indicated above.

My 2 cents. Good luck.
 

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"Finally brought into a dealer for their $100 diagnostics. They quickly found 1 bad coil, nice, clean with no cracks or oil on it." -> Excellent solution.

"Swapping the same coils around may change the noise or vibration patterns, but wont pinpoint the bad one" - > Swapping coils around disturbs them all from their long seated positions and can clean up a loose connection falsely attributed to a dead part. It can also confirm that those parts had no direct impact/had a direct impact on the noise, and may also reveal a dead part by finally triggering a CEL. It happens all the time with worn Toyotas. It costs $0 to do, which is a high priority for most college students. You can also just unplug the connector on each coil one at a time and see if it makes any impact on the noise. If it does, replace that coil.

"If a coil misfires, its cylinder will be cooler and allow oil to leak through the valve cover gasket into the top of the plug and the coil." -> I thought this was an intermittent misfire (no CEL) only at higher RPM. A rubber gasket seals the spark plug tube (attached to the head) to the valve cover, which is uniformly cooled by the oil and coolant flowing through it. A head with enough temperature differential "hot" spots to cause a unique gap in a rubber seal around a single spark plug tube seems unlikely. Rubber gaskets get hard over time from oil indundation and heat cycles and fail in their weakest spot. If oil surrounds the spark plug, the resistance between the plug and the connection may change causing more load on the coil, which may fail when stressed, maybe. Lots of variables in the engineering.

Let's not overthink things.

This car has already been to the mechanic several times. Do as PP09 did above and invest a few more $ on some expert advice at a Toyota dealer. Have them perform a live scanner diagnostic on the ignition system/coils so you know what you are dealing with. If a part shows up as suspect, invest in a new one. Shop around as wisely suggested above.

Randomly swapping parts to fix intermittent issues is a systematic waste of money. Cars are depreciating assets and giant sinkholes of cash. My accountant reminds me of this every tax season when the Toyota fleet is assessed.

Or turn up the radio and drive on... Good luck. :)
 
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