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#1 Bitter

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 07:55 PM

Cars.com: 2000 Toyota Celica GTS

Thinking about that pretty heavily, I value this forums input.

loaded, its all in the ad. take a look and give an honest opinion. Fish especially :lol:

#2 01loadedLE

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:37 AM

I used to prefer stick, now I prefer auto. Its just so much more nice, especially in traffic or on hills.

Looks like a nice car inside and out. If you can afford the increased insurance rates and higher gas bills compared to the corolla then go for it.

#3 Bitter

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:22 AM

I used to prefer stick, now I prefer auto. Its just so much more nice, especially in traffic or on hills.

Looks like a nice car inside and out. If you can afford the increased insurance rates and higher gas bills compared to the corolla then go for it.

yep, i know that the extra 10c/gallon of gas won't break me...its the insurance that may be the issue :( currently i'm paying $600 a year liability on the rusty old geo with a clean driving record. i'd obviously want more coverage on a newer car, i just don't know how much of a jump it would be. i'll get some quotes then cry and see what i can afford.

wow, about the same for liability only...i think though i'd call and speak to someone and get something better than that.

with fuller coverage i'm looking at about 543 per 6months...thats roughly double what i'm paying now of $300/6mo.

Edited by Bitter, 17 May 2009 - 11:31 AM.

#4 fishexpo101

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:39 PM

Pretty nice car - just make sure it has the revised "lift" bolts in there (two little screws) - was in a TSB some time ago, you can buy the bolts change them yourself - lots of DIYs on newcelica forum. This 4-speed is one of the "smarter" ones - will hold a gear approaching and in a turn, also downshift appropriately when braking. I believe that was equip'd with steering wheel shift buttons, but I don't remember off the top of my head. Sure 6-speed would be nice, but I always felt that it was angled a bit weird myself - too easy to miss a gear or jam it into the gate.

Looks like it is in great shape - price is about ballpark for that condition. Might be able to get him to shave a little off that price. If one was in my area like that - I would be tempted to look into myself. Drawbacks - only takes premium fuel, mileage will suffer depending on how often you touch "lift". 01loadedLE makes a good point about insurance - shop around for a better rate. That's one of the reasons I went Matrix XRS - insurance was actually cheaper than my Corolla and about a 2/3 less than a comparable Celica GTS, Acura RSX-S I was looking at as well.

#5 01loadedLE

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:46 PM

....That's one of the reasons I went Matrix XRS - insurance was actually cheaper than my Corolla....


Interesting, why, and how much cheaper is it? Whats the hp and gas mileage of the matrix? Is it barely quicker than the corolla or a lot more?

#6 Bitter

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:13 PM

Pretty nice car - just make sure it has the revised "lift" bolts in there (two little screws) - was in a TSB some time ago, you can buy the bolts change them yourself - lots of DIYs on newcelica forum. This 4-speed is one of the "smarter" ones - will hold a gear approaching and in a turn, also downshift appropriately when braking. I believe that was equip'd with steering wheel shift buttons, but I don't remember off the top of my head. Sure 6-speed would be nice, but I always felt that it was angled a bit weird myself - too easy to miss a gear or jam it into the gate.

Looks like it is in great shape - price is about ballpark for that condition. Might be able to get him to shave a little off that price. If one was in my area like that - I would be tempted to look into myself. Drawbacks - only takes premium fuel, mileage will suffer depending on how often you touch "lift". 01loadedLE makes a good point about insurance - shop around for a better rate. That's one of the reasons I went Matrix XRS - insurance was actually cheaper than my Corolla and about a 2/3 less than a comparable Celica GTS, Acura RSX-S I was looking at as well.

talking to him on the phone before seeing the car he mentioned taking it for $6000, after driving it...

I like it, will offer $5600ish for it due to some issues...
1. hesitation at initial throttle tip in, feels like a dirty maf sensor. is present at cold and warm engine. stumbles for a second when you apply throttle from a stop or low rpm. could be worn plugs...but doesnt feel like that to me from previous experiences with bad/dirty maf's at the shop.
2. needs tires for winter, has one pair of advans with less than 1/2 tread and one pair of exclaims with less than 1/2 tread
3. brakes feel....slippery? like they lack bite. front pads are at 50-60% and rears are at 40-50%, one rear rotor has more surface rust than the others indicating a possible caliper slides being stiff or stuck. pads are OEM from the dealer, I'm used to Hawk HPS pads and their awesome bite so most cars with OE pads feel crappy to me.
4. moisture in passengers side headlight, is leaking at top, not a big deal to get another light or reseal that one
5. some normal stone chips in the front paint, a scuff on the side thats small. little clear coat issue on the moon roof.


think $5600 is a good offer? fish, do you agree on my impression of that hesitation? it feels like a dirty maf, but what else could it be? i'll use that to haggle down as tires and a wet headlight are not a big deal, but a potentially expensive engine problem is. i'll price out a new MAF and toss that out as a likely cause of the problem and use that to bargain, good strategy?

#7 fishexpo101

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:02 AM

Interesting, why, and how much cheaper is it? Whats the hp and gas mileage of the matrix? Is it barely quicker than the corolla or a lot more?


Adding the Matrix to my premium only added $5/month (Progressive). Already was paying $105 for the Corolla, for full coverage at the time, bumped it up to $110/month. Premiums dropped a little bit over the years, Corolla dropped a lot, Matrix went up. For some reason, the Matrix XRS was rated the same as the Matrix base/XR/AWD variants - no difference in the premiums.

Powerplant wise, the Matrix XRS has the same ratings as the Celica GT-S - both with the 2ZZ-GE engine, both making 180HP / 130ft.lbs. They also share the same brakes - so lots of aftermarket parts for the Celica will also fit the Matrix. Fuel economy depends on how you drive. City is around 24-26MPG, highway can touch 30-32MPG on the Matrix. But if you have a heavy foot - it will really pull down the fuel economy. If you wind out the engine constantly - you could possibly see MPG in the teens.

Performance wise - the Matrix is quiet a bit quicker than the Corolla (later 8th gen, 125HP / 125ft.lbs.). From a stand still and lower speeds, the torque curve of the 1ZZ-FE in the Corolla can keep up with the Matrix, but as the speed rises and the Matrix starts to get wound out to over 6000RPMs, that high lift cam kicks in ("lift") and the Matrix will pull away so quickly, it will seem like the Corolla was just putting around.

Edited by fishexpo101, 18 May 2009 - 10:03 AM.

#8 fishexpo101

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:22 AM

talking to him on the phone before seeing the car he mentioned taking it for $6000, after driving it...

I like it, will offer $5600ish for it due to some issues...
1. hesitation at initial throttle tip in, feels like a dirty maf sensor. is present at cold and warm engine. stumbles for a second when you apply throttle from a stop or low rpm. could be worn plugs...but doesnt feel like that to me from previous experiences with bad/dirty maf's at the shop.
2. needs tires for winter, has one pair of advans with less than 1/2 tread and one pair of exclaims with less than 1/2 tread
3. brakes feel....slippery? like they lack bite. front pads are at 50-60% and rears are at 40-50%, one rear rotor has more surface rust than the others indicating a possible caliper slides being stiff or stuck. pads are OEM from the dealer, I'm used to Hawk HPS pads and their awesome bite so most cars with OE pads feel crappy to me.
4. moisture in passengers side headlight, is leaking at top, not a big deal to get another light or reseal that one
5. some normal stone chips in the front paint, a scuff on the side thats small. little clear coat issue on the moon roof.


think $5600 is a good offer? fish, do you agree on my impression of that hesitation? it feels like a dirty maf, but what else could it be? i'll use that to haggle down as tires and a wet headlight are not a big deal, but a potentially expensive engine problem is. i'll price out a new MAF and toss that out as a likely cause of the problem and use that to bargain, good strategy?


That would seem to be a great price for its condition. Kelley Blue book has that car around $5300-$5600 for trad-in value. Private party price ranges from $7100-$6100.

I would agree with your assessment of the stubbling problem - could be a dirty/bad MAF or worn plugs. See if the guy will let you take a peek at the plugs, during an inspection. Probably couldn't hurt to havea peek at the throttle body, just to see if it is gummed up as well. If you can get it on a lift, you can go over the bottom and see if the car has ever left the road or anything looks weird. Did you bring a scanner with you to check the I/M status and pull codes? I knew one guy that would reset the ECM before a test drive to hide the constant CEL - scanning it pulled no CEL codes, but the I/M status will be set to "not ready".

The OEM brakes are ceramic - if your used to the Hawk's initial bite, you probably will think the brakes are poor. But the Celica is supposed to have great brakes - slippery will be OK (probably glazed pads/rotors, stuck calipers) as long as the car stops very quickly. Engages the ABS? I'm pretty sure that Celica has ABS and EBC. EBC is an electronic brake force control, sort of a like a computer controlled brake proportioning system (front / rear) - if it is toast, will cause the car to brake weird. Good that you noted the uneven brake wear -

Mixed tires is weird to me - I sometimes will mix tires, but usually because I'm short on cash or trying to get rid of a car. I'd try and get the story behind it - not to be a prick about it, but just to satisfy your curiosity. Like, if he popped a tire due to a killer pothole - then you can get look into the issue in detail. If it was for a nail in the tire - why the switch in brands - all the tire shop had?

Leaky headlight, clear coat issue, chips - all can be expected for a 2000 model year. I'd take a peek at all the rubber trim to make sure there are no surprises. Look around the hatch in particular - just like older Celicas, it will start to rust around there, if it was going to start rusting. Wheels wells lips are another place to check for rot. Here in VA and further south - they don't really salt the roads that much - but in the snow belt up there, even the best cars will start to show signs of rusting unless the owner was a real stickler for keeping his car clean.

#9 01loadedLE

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

You could ask if he's ever cleaned the maf, or ever changed the brake fluid either for that matter and he'll likely tell you. Its very possible he hasnt. Brake fluid is usually neglected by owners and I could definitely feel a difference after getting mine changed because the spongy pedal was gone. I now know the boil point lessens every year from high temps and humidity to where its best to change the fluid at least every 3yrs and I had waited 5yrs so I was unknowingly asking for brake failure as has happened to many other unsuspecting drivers.

Btw I have all maintenance records and I wouldnt be offended to show them to a potential buyer if they asked so I always make sure to ask if I can see their records when Im looking at a car.

Edited by 01loadedLE, 18 May 2009 - 11:50 AM.

#10 01loadedLE

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:57 AM

Interesting, why, and how much cheaper is it? Whats the hp and gas mileage of the matrix? Is it barely quicker than the corolla or a lot more?


Adding the Matrix to my premium only added $5/month (Progressive). Already was paying $105 for the Corolla, for full coverage at the time, bumped it up to $110/month. Premiums dropped a little bit over the years, Corolla dropped a lot, Matrix went up. For some reason, the Matrix XRS was rated the same as the Matrix base/XR/AWD variants - no difference in the premiums.

Powerplant wise, the Matrix XRS has the same ratings as the Celica GT-S - both with the 2ZZ-GE engine, both making 180HP / 130ft.lbs. They also share the same brakes - so lots of aftermarket parts for the Celica will also fit the Matrix. Fuel economy depends on how you drive. City is around 24-26MPG, highway can touch 30-32MPG on the Matrix. But if you have a heavy foot - it will really pull down the fuel economy. If you wind out the engine constantly - you could possibly see MPG in the teens.

Performance wise - the Matrix is quiet a bit quicker than the Corolla (later 8th gen, 125HP / 125ft.lbs.). From a stand still and lower speeds, the torque curve of the 1ZZ-FE in the Corolla can keep up with the Matrix, but as the speed rises and the Matrix starts to get wound out to over 6000RPMs, that high lift cam kicks in ("lift") and the Matrix will pull away so quickly, it will seem like the Corolla was just putting around.


Sounds like the biggest cost increase would be for mileage then, especially if you couldnt keep your foot out of it. $5 more per month for insurance is nothing. Makes sense what you describe since the torque is close. The good hp increase makes the difference in later gears sounds like.

#11 Bitter

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:04 PM

talking to him on the phone before seeing the car he mentioned taking it for $6000, after driving it...

I like it, will offer $5600ish for it due to some issues...
1. hesitation at initial throttle tip in, feels like a dirty maf sensor. is present at cold and warm engine. stumbles for a second when you apply throttle from a stop or low rpm. could be worn plugs...but doesnt feel like that to me from previous experiences with bad/dirty maf's at the shop.
2. needs tires for winter, has one pair of advans with less than 1/2 tread and one pair of exclaims with less than 1/2 tread
3. brakes feel....slippery? like they lack bite. front pads are at 50-60% and rears are at 40-50%, one rear rotor has more surface rust than the others indicating a possible caliper slides being stiff or stuck. pads are OEM from the dealer, I'm used to Hawk HPS pads and their awesome bite so most cars with OE pads feel crappy to me.
4. moisture in passengers side headlight, is leaking at top, not a big deal to get another light or reseal that one
5. some normal stone chips in the front paint, a scuff on the side thats small. little clear coat issue on the moon roof.


think $5600 is a good offer? fish, do you agree on my impression of that hesitation? it feels like a dirty maf, but what else could it be? i'll use that to haggle down as tires and a wet headlight are not a big deal, but a potentially expensive engine problem is. i'll price out a new MAF and toss that out as a likely cause of the problem and use that to bargain, good strategy?


That would seem to be a great price for its condition. Kelley Blue book has that car around $5300-$5600 for trad-in value. Private party price ranges from $7100-$6100.

I would agree with your assessment of the stubbling problem - could be a dirty/bad MAF or worn plugs. See if the guy will let you take a peek at the plugs, during an inspection. Probably couldn't hurt to havea peek at the throttle body, just to see if it is gummed up as well. If you can get it on a lift, you can go over the bottom and see if the car has ever left the road or anything looks weird. Did you bring a scanner with you to check the I/M status and pull codes? I knew one guy that would reset the ECM before a test drive to hide the constant CEL - scanning it pulled no CEL codes, but the I/M status will be set to "not ready".

The OEM brakes are ceramic - if your used to the Hawk's initial bite, you probably will think the brakes are poor. But the Celica is supposed to have great brakes - slippery will be OK (probably glazed pads/rotors, stuck calipers) as long as the car stops very quickly. Engages the ABS? I'm pretty sure that Celica has ABS and EBC. EBC is an electronic brake force control, sort of a like a computer controlled brake proportioning system (front / rear) - if it is toast, will cause the car to brake weird. Good that you noted the uneven brake wear -

Mixed tires is weird to me - I sometimes will mix tires, but usually because I'm short on cash or trying to get rid of a car. I'd try and get the story behind it - not to be a prick about it, but just to satisfy your curiosity. Like, if he popped a tire due to a killer pothole - then you can get look into the issue in detail. If it was for a nail in the tire - why the switch in brands - all the tire shop had?

Leaky headlight, clear coat issue, chips - all can be expected for a 2000 model year. I'd take a peek at all the rubber trim to make sure there are no surprises. Look around the hatch in particular - just like older Celicas, it will start to rust around there, if it was going to start rusting. Wheels wells lips are another place to check for rot. Here in VA and further south - they don't really salt the roads that much - but in the snow belt up there, even the best cars will start to show signs of rusting unless the owner was a real stickler for keeping his car clean.

1. we agreed on $5950 over the phone today, going thursday to get it. lil more, but he was firm and i want it.

2. thanks, very reassuring :) i'll bring a can of maf cleaner with me actually...would be awesome if thats all it was since he had it to the dealer and they 'found nothing' and 'could not duplicate problem' which reeks of lack of any actual road testing. its pretty evident.

3. i'm very used to the hawks bite, ceramic pads totally explains it! the celi's brakes did not have the same bite and grab that mine had and felt...smooth. didn't jam on the brakes to activate the ABS and it was dry so...no. don't know if it has EBC, that would be cool. i would LOVE to find out if the ST165 calipers/brackets i have laying around would bolt to and work on the 7g celica. i'll ask celica forums, but they fit the geo/corolla/6th gen celica as well as the 5th gen that they came off of and lord knows probably a few other toyotas too.

4. mixed tires are because his wife ruined one tire on a road hazard and the advans cost more than they wanted to spend, so they got a pair of general exclaims, i'll be replacing them with those 960AS's i wanted before.

5. i can probably fix the leaky headlight myself or replace it cheaply enough.

6. i probably did not look at it as closely as i should have for rust, that i will admit may bite me in the ######. i was very nervous! this is the biggest thing i've bought EVER thus far! also it was getting late on a LOOOOOONG sunday afternoon, tired out from a LOOOONG saturday of pointless and frustrating work on the geo. minor rust is to be expected here, and nothing jumped out at me.

#12 Bitter

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:09 AM

http://www.billswebs...seLiftBolts.htm found the lift bolt thing, thanks for mentioning that fish! i'm going to do that ASAP

#13 fishexpo101

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:42 AM

Sweet! Pretty good deal - post up pics of the bad boy once you have it in your hands.

Yeah, that is the website I was trying to find. I was trying to find hte link, but you beat me too it. Chances are, the liftbolts are fine - but why take a chance for probably $0.50 worth of screws, that could break and land you with a hefty repair bill. Plus you get to take a peek at the top end of the engine to see how she was treated.

Once you wind out the engine - you'll instantly get hooked. Almost impossible for me to not wind it out and hit lift on my daily commute.

Can't go wrong with the car - great aftermarket support, great info on a number of celica specific forums. Let us know how it turns out.

#14 01loadedLE

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:48 PM

Bet that black leather will be hot getting in during the summer. Better not wear shorts. lol

Hey how does the interior look? Post a pic or two of that as well when you get the chance. Hope the maf cleaning works for you.

#15 Bitter

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:00 PM

Bet that black leather will be hot getting in during the summer. Better not wear shorts. lol

Hey how does the interior look? Post a pic or two of that as well when you get the chance. Hope the maf cleaning works for you.

there are some interior shots on the cars.com ad in the first post, it looks exactly like that. very very clean.

i plan on getting some seat covers to keep the leather clean and keep it from being as hot.

Edited by Bitter, 19 May 2009 - 07:01 PM.