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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I have a 2002 Celica GTS with automatic transmission with a little over 267,000 miles on it. I had the transmission replaced when it had about 134,000 miles. Last October (2021), I was driving it on surface streets and slowing down as I was approaching a stop sign when it started shaking hard and then just shut off. When I tried restarting it then, it kept struggling to start but just wouldn't. At the time, neither the check engine light nor any other warning lights came on.

Since then, I've had my car towed home and have had a few mobile mechanics look at the car and give me their initial opinions but based on what I've been reading and understanding, I'm not sure they really know Celicas well enough to know what they are talking about.

I have since removed the valve cover and found that the timing chain was broken. The oil level was fine but I did get a check engine code (P0340) for the CamShaft position sensor when I scanned for codes just to see if anything came up. I'm attaching some pictures here.

I've had to slow down troubleshooting for a few months but really want to focus on getting my daily driver running again as soon as possible.

The compression leak down test today revealed that the 1st cylinder is leaking 40%, the 2nd cylinder is leaking 70%, and the 4th cylinder is leaking 95% (I missed the reading on the 3rd cylinder.)

Considering how low the RPMs were when I was driving, the car could not have been in lift. Therefore it was not behaving as an interference engine at that time despite some of the confusion amongst folks about that on various message boards.
  • Do I really need to swap out the engine? or
  • Can I get the car running again by replacing the cam chain tensioner and the timing chain?
Any actionable feedback that can help me save my car without breaking the bank would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

(I'll update this post as I make progress. I appreciate the comments. Please keep them coming. I need time to save up for the more expensive solution so I'll be reading and thinking through every reply I get.)

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