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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a 2004 GTS, Previous owner was a just put in whatever is cheapest kind of person. The two things I know are incorect is generic power steering fluid being used instead of Dextron II, seals are leaking and I will have to tackle that eventualy. Cheapest unleaded fuel was also used, instead of 91 Octane. Dont know what problems that may cause. Pretty sure 5w-30 was always put in, just varying between Synthetic blend, Conventional, and full synthetic. Anything else I should look out for or do?
 

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I would just flush and change every fluid you can access reasonably. I bought a 2000 GTS and I'm still in the process of flushing fluids (it's winter time, so it's hard to find good days to do it, lol).

You should definitely flush your power steering asap.

Coolant is a big one - make sure it's pink/red. I picked up a jug from the dealership, then hopped on Amazon to order the same thing but cheaper.

You'll want to change your transmission fluid too, especially if it's manual.

I would also flush your brake fluid too, but if it's working fine atm, it's probably not super high priority.

For mine, I've changed the oil (I actually used a chemical flusher), flushed the power steering (it was nasty), and changed the manual transmission fluid. I still need to do coolant and brakes.

I also changed my battery to something new for peace of mind.
 

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Just bought a 2004 GTS, Previous owner was a just put in whatever is cheapest kind of person. The two things I know are incorect is generic power steering fluid being used instead of Dextron II, seals are leaking and I will have to tackle that eventualy. Cheapest unleaded fuel was also used, instead of 91 Octane. Dont know what problems that may cause. Pretty sure 5w-30 was always put in, just varying between Synthetic blend, Conventional, and full synthetic. Anything else I should look out for or do?
The Celica GTS with 2ZZ engine is a very reliable car. I put in 330K hard driving miles on my 2002 GTS Auto, average 15K miles a year, with lots of neglects abuses. Car was overheated 3 x, but it still runs smooth and strong, nothing is broken, compression is strong on all cylinders.

How many miles does it have?

Do a compression test of all cylinders as a baseline.

Power steering leak may be sealed with a chemical. Fix the seal before flushing and replacing with new fluid.

I ran the car 200K miles with the cheapest 87 Octane fuel. Sometimes it would knock when stressed at low speed but never at high speed and is mostly OK. I usually drive at high speed, climbing steep hills ect. No problems. Sometimes I would add $1 Octane boosting fluid to the tank.

Check the radiator and all cooling hoses for any leaks or cracks. Run engine to op temp, shine a bright beam of light into engine bay. Any leaks or steam would show up. Fix the leaks, replace cracked hoses, then flush coolant and bleed air. Buy Toyota's red coolant ($25 a gallon) and dilute half and half with distilled water, cheaper. Replace the thermostat, since if it fails you would have to replace it and rebleed air, takes about 2,3 hours.

Mine Had an oil leak from the front timing cover. Took a shop 10 hours to remove and reseal it. I use Walmart 20K miles synthetic oil. Engine is smooth like silk. I cruise at triple digit on long trips often. No problems. It eats about half a quart every 10K now, at which point the oil looks dark and I would change it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Celica GTS with 2ZZ engine is a very reliable car. I put in 330K hard driving miles on my 2002 GTS Auto, average 15K miles a year, with lots of neglects abuses. Car was overheated 3 x, but it still runs smooth and strong, nothing is broken, compression is strong on all cylinders.

How many miles does it have?

Do a compression test of all cylinders as a baseline.

Power steering leak may be sealed with a chemical. Fix the seal before flushing and replacing with new fluid.

I ran the car 200K miles with the cheapest 87 Octane fuel. Sometimes it would knock when stressed at low speed but never at high speed and is mostly OK. I usually drive at high speed, climbing steep hills ect. No problems. Sometimes I would add $1 Octane boosting fluid to the tank.

Check the radiator and all cooling hoses for any leaks or cracks. Run engine to op temp, shine a bright beam of light into engine bay. Any leaks or steam would show up. Fix the leaks, replace cracked hoses, then flush coolant and bleed air. Buy Toyota's red coolant ($25 a gallon) and dilute half and half with distilled water, cheaper. Replace the thermostat, since if it fails you would have to replace it and rebleed air, takes about 2,3 hours.

Mine Had an oil leak from the front timing cover. Took a shop 10 hours to remove and reseal it. I use Walmart 20K miles synthetic oil. Engine is smooth like silk. I cruise at triple digit on long trips often. No problems. It eats about half a quart every 10K now, at which point the oil looks dark and I would change it.
It has 160k miles, so not too bad. 2 Owners before me and has been driven across the USA. I dont think my timing cover has a leak, but brown fluid is everywhere near the PS pump and id have to dye it to know for sure. Im in AZ, and it rarley gets below freezing here. Anything I should do to the cooling to help it take the 120 Degree summer?
 

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They are hard on power steer oil.
Dextron 111 is correct to use.
You done ‘need’ synthetic oil, semi synth will be fine if you change it regularly, but don’t buy shit oil.

it’s a bit harsh to claim all that on the previous owner.. but just service and prep it how you like.

it will have issues, just sort them as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They are hard on power steer oil.
Dextron 111 is correct to use.
You done ‘need’ synthetic oil, semi synth will be fine if you change it regularly, but don’t buy shit oil.

it’s a bit harsh to claim all that on the previous owner.. but just service and prep it how you like.

it will have issues, just sort them as you go.
Bought it from a friend, asked em what they put in it and they said "Whatever is cheapest". Only reason I know the fuel and PS Fluid are bad is because every time they filled it up they just chose what was cheapest, and that the PS fluid is the complete wrong color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Power steer fluid is red, most cars , especially these , turn it black.
If you are from the Honda camp , they use a specific Honda product, which is clear-ish
Its a strange mix of brown, red, yellow, and clear. The color changes depending on where I take the fluid from. Reservoir has clear, Then midway down turns yellow, Steering rack has reddish brown, and the fluid coming from the PS pump is oil brown.
 

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Ah that sounds gross, lol. Flush it ASAP! Your power steering pump is probably working overtime. I bought this to flush since it's cheap and compatible: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B008QDV2JG/ref=twister_B09DZHGK8S?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

I recommend the gallon - I originally bought 3 quarts and it was not enough.

Then finish off with what others suggested. I used Redline D4 for the final flush/fill. Given that a quart of D4 cost the same as 1 gal of Valvoline, I might have overcompensated a little, but my power steering fluid was a deep brown, almost sludge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah that sounds gross, lol. Flush it ASAP! Your power steering pump is probably working overtime. I bought this to flush since it's cheap and compatible: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B008QDV2JG/ref=twister_B09DZHGK8S?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

I recommend the gallon - I originally bought 3 quarts and it was not enough.

Then finish off with what others suggested. I used Redline D4 for the final flush/fill. Given that a quart of D4 cost the same as 1 gal of Valvoline, I might have overcompensated a little, but my power steering fluid was a deep brown, almost sludge.
Anything I should do about it leaking?
 

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Anything I should do about it leaking?
You've confirmed the leak is from power steering?

I personally bought a bottle of ATP AT-205 Re-seal. It suppose to be compatible with most oils (though the general consensus seems to be use a lot less than directed) and a lot of people report success. I bought it for my engine, lol (I suspect the Valve timing cover is leaking, like everyone else). It's suppose to work on power steering as well. I'm not sure if it's working for me yet mainly because I haven't driven much to get the chemicals circulated. I currently have the engine open, waiting for some tools to come in to hopefully help with a broken lift bolt.

If you're sure the power steering is leaking, there seems to be tons of options when just searching "power steering leak" from reputable chemical companies like Bar, Lucas, and BlueDevil. I imagine you just read the reviews and pick your poison, lol.
 
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