1997 Toyota Celica Review from North America

1997 Toyota Celica ST Special Edition 1.8 7afe

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.8 7afe Manual
Distance when acquired164000 miles
Most recent distance170000 miles
Previous carHonda CR-V

Summary:

Classic '90's Toyota quality

Faults:

Front speakers do not work.

Hinge for center console storage lid is broken.

Excessive oil build-up around oil filter and under oil pan. Either it is warpage around the oil filter (which is replaced often), the oil pan gasket, or warpage in the oil pan itself.

Front CV axles replaced due to ripped outside boots and gear oil leaking from differential seals.

Wheel bearings starting to make noise.

Radio automatic antenna motor runs, but does not go up/down.

Slightly rough idle.

Clutch starting to go (unknown if original).

General Comments:

Bought this car very used from a kid who neglected it. Interior had food stains, cig burn holes in the seats and floor, smelled like gym class, and had a slight moldy smell. Some of the buttons on the radio were broken off.

He also didn't take care of the engine either, because the oil was in poor shape and the filter was too dirty to tell what brand it was. Fuel filter was never changed. Must have been original coolant.

It has also been an outside car its whole life, never seeing shade in South Florida. The roof and hood paint is now only primer, but the sides are good. Only rust to the body is where the stone-chips are.

But, with all that neglect, the car is in good shape. The entire dash functions. The radio, while down to only 2 speakers, still works, with the CD able to play CD-R disks. The cassette deck still works. Rear defroster works.

And the A/C. I can't say enough how amazed I am with how cold it is after 13 years. The blower motor is good and the temp needs to be turned down after a few minutes, even during a 90 degree day.

The engine is still strong at 170K. I don't rag on it since she is an old girl, but if I have to merge into interstate traffic, she can get it done. 5-speed still snaps into and out of gear. I am getting around 25mpg.

All in all, still a great car. Built when Toyota was building great cars for pride, and not building many cars for a huge bottom line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2010