2004 Toyota Celica Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 Toyota Celica as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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6
Known Problems

Sludge can build up in the engine because Toyota did not recommend frequent enough oil changes. Lexus will sometimes offer a discount on cleaning the engine if necessary. Owners who changed their oil every 3,000 miles did not experience these problems. This sludge build up can lead to excessive oil consumption.

The timing chain tensioner on the Toyota Celica is designed to use oil pressure to keep tension on the timing chain. When it develops a leak, it can no longer provide tension, and the timing chain will begin to make a slapping or rattling sound at all times.

If left in this condition, the timing chain may fail, leading to costly internal engine repair.

To correct this issue the timing chain tensioner must be replaced with the revised part.

The Toyota Celica 1.8L engine has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

The Toyota Celica may develop an issue with the fuel tank inlet pipe causing fuel to spill onto the ground when fueling the vehicle.

The problem is a faulty 'check valve' in the filler tube, which normally prevents overfilling. The check valve is known to break off and fall into the gas tank. This can cause:

-OBD Trouble Code P0441

-Engine stalling or hesitation (Rarely)

The correction for this issue is to replace the filler pipe that leads from the gas cap to the gas tank

If the vehicle will not crank over, the most common problem is the starter, which tend to fail at about 100,00-125,000 miles. Sometimes it is only the starter solenoid contacts, but often the complete starter (including solenoid) needs to be replaced.

Toyota has issued a recall because of a possible defect in the check valve that helps prevent spillage at the gasoline pump. A malfunction of this valve could result in a fuel fire in the presence of an ignition source. The dealer will inspect and repair the check valve if necessary.