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All ive heard about the 2000s celicas is that they are unreliable and not worth generally unless you have money to throw at repairs, is that true?
 

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It's not true. Toyota in general has the most reliable cars, cheapest to operate in the world.

I have a 2002 Celica GTS auto with 310K miles, original engine and transmission, still runs smoothly without any major repairs, consuming very little oil between changes. I regularly cruise 90 to 100 MPH on long trips. The car is an excellent high-performance Grand Touring car, more stable and controllable at high speed than other high-performance cars like BMWs, Porches. MBZs. My friends are afraid to drive their high-perf German cars past 100 MPH, but would feel quite safe at those high speeds in my Celica GTS.

The Denso OEM radiator had a small leak after 250K miles when I ran it up to 7500 RPM to check lift. Bought a new Denso radiator and put it in myself, no sweat. Replaced 1 set of engine mount, 1 O2 sensor, 1 Mass Airflow S, 1 coolant hose, 2 serpentine belts, a couple batteries, light bulbs, oil and air filters, 1 set suspension struts, 2 sets hatch struts, 5 sets of tires ect. Nothing else functional broke. .

It just past California smog test with the original CAT, exhaust, muffler.

It had a leak at the front timing chain cover after 200K miles. It was a big job jiggling the engine to remove all pulleys and the front cover. It took a repair shop 9.5 hours to complete the job. Car is bone dry after that. If you do any work on the engine or the brake calipers, remember the whole engine is Aluminum with the torque spec in the 7-10 ft-lbs. Be careful not to over torque and break bolts or strips holes.

I read 2000-2003 Celica GTs have oil consumption problem due to bad designs with the piston and rings.
 
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