View Full Version : Deal or No Deal?

06-05-2007, 02:47 PM
First, let me say- I know absolutely nothing about Toyota's. I used to dirve a 91 Corolla, but.. I knew nothing about that car either lol. I need some advice.

I work at a Chevy dealership, and an older couple (original owners) traded in an 88 Celica. I assume it is GT (says GT on the wheel lol). But to be honest, I have no idea what trim it is.

The Good (and Okay lol):
It has 222,xxx miles on it (I heard yotas and go with 400k+ with proper care). Transmission shifts strong(Automatic), and runs good. It does idle a bit high, about 1500rpms but nothing too serious. Has a new alternator. Aftermarket CD player, new speakers. Power sunroof which works, no leaks. Manual windows/locks. New trunk struts. The paint is actually in pretty good shape for it's age. No wear, rust, dents anywhere. There are a few cracks and chips, but nothing major. It is a dull-red now. I assume it used to be a shiney red? Tires are still in good shape, about 70% tread. Motors on both lights work properly. All, in all, seems like a decent car.

The Bad:
There are only couple things I could find wrong with car is that A) it blows out hot/warm air when AC is selected. I assume it just needs to be recharged?

B) Minor cosmetics. Door handle cracked, etc.

And one other thing that has me a bit worried, C) when cutting the wheel all the way to the left and doing a hard turn, I can feel/hear a popping over around the right wheel. It pops about 2-3 times and thats it. What could this sound be? Is it detrimental to the car? What is the repair cost on something like this?

My Price
Since I work at the dealership, all employees get wholesale/auction price on all tradeins. Used Car manager said he would let me have it for $500, instead of wholesaling it out to a BuyHere/PayHere lot.

Deal or No Deal? You decide. :)

EDIT: There is a rumor , from the UsedCarManager and the salesman who traded for it, that they put a newer motor in recently (as in years, I suppose. Not sure.) I couldn't find any paperwork with the car indicating this, is there a way I can tell if it is the motor that came with the car? Until I know, let's assume the motor is the stock one that came with the car. Speaking of which, which motor would it be? 3S-FE?

06-05-2007, 03:03 PM
3sfe and for 500 bux you cant go wrong... usually the high idle has to do with the throttle position sensor its a cheep fix.

06-05-2007, 03:33 PM
Umm the popping noise could be from the axel having a worn boot, but thats usualy more of a clicking noise. You could also have a worn wheel bearing, you would have to jack it up and look while its clicking.
Check on the underside of the hood, it should say what engine it has in it.

If everything is original its worth 500 bucks. You arent investing a ton of money in it, so if something major does end up wrong with it you can fix it.

I would check for oil leaks and normal stuff like that.

buy i then sell it to me:)

06-05-2007, 03:45 PM
Yeah.. 500 is a steal.

06-05-2007, 06:13 PM
It's definently not just a clicking sound heh. It's a distinct popping. I can feel it on the floor and in the steering wheel, as well as hear it.

Any ideas on the cost of repair?

06-06-2007, 01:14 AM
I'd say buy it. If it turns out to be a bust you could easily part it out for more than $500. The a/c could be extremely easy or a pain in the ass but with dealership connections you should still be in good shape. For the turn issue I'd check the wheel bearing, tie rods and ends.

06-06-2007, 02:12 AM
Doooo iiittt! $500 would be well worth it in my opinion (and in everyone elses opinion).

06-06-2007, 02:28 AM
:bigthumbu Good deal

06-07-2007, 10:00 AM
Sounds like a good deal.

It is a Toyota, it will run forever if taken care of.

Stock it will have a 3SFE. The easiest way to tell if it has been swapped out for a newer series engine is to look for the AFM. The 3SFE has one, the 5SFE (new series 2.2l) doesn't. It may have just been a short block change as well.

The popping is most likely either axles, wheels bearings or tie-rod ends. If you are looking for a decent reliable form of transportation these would be things you would want to repair regardless. This is a 20 year old car with an unknown past. If you have connections in the industry you can get the parts dirt cheap. And if you aren't adverse to getting your hands dirty, it is really pretty simple to swap. I am local and depending on my schedule I might be able to help.

But in the end, $500 is a helluva deal. I would be all over it. I gave $700 for Mudhoney. She was in great shape, but still as with any used car, she had her issues. A few hours later and less than $100 she runs like a champ. And can run the Dragon with the best of them. :hehe:

Now I just need wheels. That doubles the cost-to-date though.

06-07-2007, 10:36 AM
The idle problem may very well just be the idle screw. Check that first, if not that, the TPS is usually the problem like Burnyd said.

06-07-2007, 10:32 PM
Sold to me :)

Finishing the paperwork up tomorrow :)
Thanks for everyone's input! Like I said, I am new to Toyota's. This will be my first Celica! :)

Thanks for the advice/help Murgatroy. The Used Car manager here recommended me to a Toyota shop a buddy of his owns over by Knoxville School of Beauty over on.. Callahan I believe? Where about in Knoxville you live? I live up in Union County, and haul my ass all the way to Clinton Highway to work everyday. I take it you can figure out where I work considering there is only one Chevy dealership over on Clinton highway ;)

I have access to the lifts here at the garage, which make working on the car alot easier. Some of us use them on the weekends to work on our own personal cars. Service Manager usually has no problem as long as we are descrete. The only problem is, when I look at the parts of a Toyota it is - quite literally and no pun intended- japanese to me. lol. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I'll get up pics probably tomorrow night :)

06-08-2007, 09:55 AM
Groovy, you will be pleased with your purchase. I have owned only domestics until I bought Chaos, my 5th Gen. I liked her so much, when I was looking for another car to tinker with that was reliable, a Celica was the only choice. This platform has won me over heart and soul. I have owned literally dozens of Camaros and Mustangs, and ounce for ounce I love the Celica platform more. And that is considering a 500 WHP 10 second `77 Camaro I owned. I have never driven anything stock that can handle like this.

There is not a wide variety of aftermarket for these cars, but anything you could want, there is in some form or another. I have started modifying my 4th gen in the last couple of months, with a lot left to do, but she responds well to mods. Fuel economy is excellent. Of course there are the issues that come with owning a 20 year old car, but they are far less than you would encounter in a domestic FWD variant with 200k on the ticker.

I live in West Knoxvegas. There are a handful of us on the board. We get together yearly for a meet, run the Dragon and so forth.

Any questions you have, or help you need, don't be afraid to holler. If I don't know the answer, I know someone who does. There is no better site for Celica information.

Welcome to the club, and like I said, you will find you made a good choice with the car.

06-09-2007, 12:59 AM
Well... on hold still. F&I guy still has to resign the customers who traded it in (its been a week heh, gr). So they can't sell it yet. I was driving it on the Interstate earlier and noticed that at about 70mph, it starts to vibrate quite a bit. I assume it has to do with the same "popping" sound.

In the mean time, I am starting to wonder if I should hold off and maybe move up to a 5th gen? Or even better, I'd like to get an older gen car. They look pretty darn sweet too. I bet they are harder to find heh. Exploring into the Celica world, has gotten me pretty excited about them :)