Toyota celica engine blew

as of yesterday i have a 130k engine burned up because ran out of oil – celica yr2000 – today i need experienced answers as to what year used engine will fit – i hear that 2003-2005 have DBW throttles (drive-by-wire) whereas 2000 is throttle cable, and that 2002 and 2005 have lower rev-limiters in the variable valve timing system that also included different transmission shifting gates to match it – SO, as far as compatibility, what years used engines can i start looking for?? Or what ‘mods’ are needed to adapt DBW or rev-limiters?? I have heard that ECUs can be changed to match the '05 to the higher rev limiter set into the 2000. Anybody know any real answers? It is at Toyota dealer and they have found used '05 to go in yet i wonder if they have really done this before. HELP :slight_smile:

The Toyota dealer will be the best resource on interchangability, so I’d trust their judgement. But you should also pose your questions to them before approving the work.

Thx TSM and I feel in good hands with them. I found this info on the web last night and am waiting to get through to Toyota this morning. I had remembered when I searched for what year Celica to buy several years back I had heard that the 2002 and 2005 were years to avoid because of the “unfortunate decision to cut-back the rev limiters” on these two years along with the redesign of the shift gates to avoid miss-shifts that were occurring as a result. I am happy to believe in Toyota as long as they say they actually have done this before :). And I will be happiest if a good result it obtained. Or I will feel that the money was poorly spent – almost there already with the engine being $4k and the car valued at $6k. Unfortunate day yesterday. Also found on the web that this phenomena of “oil starvation” and resultant burned-engines had some frequency, often occurring suddenly without any oil consumption history and without the oil light warning, which is what happened to me yesterday. I have found reports of this happening as early as 43k and as late 150k. I welcome comments from anyone with experience with this…

I have reached Toyota and they have confirmed that the '05 engine that will be the replacement will be the mechanical “insides” and that all of the controlling functions that I stated as concerns are still of my original '00 car so that all will match. I feel relieved. I am still interested in any other stories out there for this repair should you wish to share them :slight_smile: … and I will have my car back soon, can justify the cost as I love the car so much :). Thanks to cartalk for being here.

I’m happy for you. I trust you’ve learned the importance of checking your fluids regularly?

trust away tsm, and i do have some interest in the sudden loss of oil also reported by others and the lack of oil pressure light warning and am interested in others stories so that i can understand this engine better :slight_smile:

Hello out there :), I am looking for experience in what engines are compatible for 2000 toyota celica gts – seems that 2005 engine toyota dealer found does not fit. Can anyone confirm what short blocks can swap?

Is this the 1zzfe or 2zzge engine? Like used in Corollas and Matrixes?

The are several vendors on the web selling used and rebuilt Japanese engines on the web.
Just find a good independent mechanic to install it.

Dealer service departments don’t make money from car sales typically. They make money fixing vehicles and not having their staff stand around. An engine install is a good profit maker given the markup on parts and labor also.

I found a rebuilt 2001 2ZZ-GE engine, a good fit to my 2000 GTS.

Can anyone answer this question??: My (130k) engine blew last week because of no oil, yet there were about 2qts in the crankcase (adding one qt brought it up to the min line on the stick), and the oil light did not go on. The oil was last checked two months prior at an oil change. Three years of history showed no oil loss. Hearsay on this engine is that there are “oil issues”, some say this is only with the 2000, 2001 GT, not with the GTS, fixed by a recall for lift bolts on the GT.

So, here is the question: why no oil pressure light warning for me?! can this light have a malfunction mode even though it comes on with ignition? does it not measure oil pressure? is it measuring oil level instead? wouldn’t 2qts in the crankcase mean that something else had to fail like the oil pump or an oil passage blockage? Can I add something like a real oil pressure light or gauge to prevent this from happening again?

Can anyone add answers or their experience so that I know how to best work with my new engine? Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

Two months is about a month and a half too long when it comes to checking the oil level. That should be done every few weeks at most and more often if the miles are piling up.

Your car should have a red oil pressure warning light and a light measures pressure only. The problem is that it only takes a low amount of pressure (3-4 PSI will do it) to kill the oil light but that low pressure is not enough to protect the engine.

If by 2 quarts in the crankcase you mean about 2 quarts as it’s checked after sitting for a bit then this would mean that the oil pan was empty when the engine was running because that 2 quarts would be in suspension; meaning that it’s filling oil galleys, coating everything in sight, and pooling in various places while contributing nothing to the oil pressure.

Buy the time you get this car back on the road and running properly, you can buy a replacement car, engine and all…Why beat your head against the wall? To save money? That’s not going to happen…

What does the Hollander auto parts interchange book at any good auto scrapyard have to say about your quest?

The best way to “work with” your new engine is the same way that you should have worked with your old engine: routine fluid level checks. Let your recent experience be a learning experience, albiet an expensive one.

It measures pressure, not level. You can test your oil pressure warning light yourself. Put the key in the “ON” position without starting the engine. If it doesn;t light, it’s broken. That’d mean either the sensor is kaput or the bulb is burned out.

You can add a pressure gage if you’d like, but you don;t need one. All you need to do is learn to check your oil level regularly. I do, especially affter I’ve just changed my oil. Just in case there’s a leak around the filter gasket, or I forgot to tighten the plug, or something like that. One cannot be too careful.

If you’re putting in a 2ZZ-GE engine from 2002 or earlier, be certain that they have changed the lift bolts as part of the rebuilding process.

The earlier GTS engines were subject to failure of their lift bolts as a result of a poor design, which would allow misalignment of oil passages for the variable timing cams. Toyota says that will just result in reduced power under high load, but I wouldn’t trust the engine to function without damaging itself long-term. Replacing the bolts when they aren’t broken is easy and cheap, PARTICULARLY if the engine is out of the vehicle. Waiting for them to break and then fixing? Well, you be the judge of what you think this would cost… my guess is you’ll be looking into the 4 figures at a mechanic:

Thanks for news eraser1998, i have seen posts that indicate that the lift bolts upgrade was for 'GT’s only and not ‘GTS’ can you confirm what you know about the lift bolts being for ‘GTS’ engines?

I appreciate everyone else’s responses. Having worked with engines for decades I understand your comments. I also have seen posts that there are sudden oil consumption events with this engine – I welcome comments from others.

I also am surprised that the oil light did not go on, especially for the extended time that I let this condition go on …(30 minutes… it was a tight morning and engine trouble was not an easy fit into the schedule and the highway was not conducive to stopping) so I listened and continued driving and listened and continued driving … … with my eyes glued to the oil pressure light wondering what was going on.

Maintaining oil pressure is the requirement to bearing integrity and loss of oil pressure is immediate bearing destruction so why not an oil pressure light??? I have seen oil pressure lights act quite reliably and predictably in past situations and am quite surprised that there was no oil light in this situation – I would love comments

peace and smiles to you all :slight_smile: and :slight_smile: and :slight_smile: and :slight_smile: thanks all…

@touche2000 - In the link I provided above, there’s a link directly to Toyota’s TSB at the top of the page. That TSB states that it is for the '00-'02 Celica GTS with the 2ZZ-GE engine. I’d trust Toyota to be giving the proper info here…

They do give a production change VIN after which the problem has been solved, if they happen to have the VIN marked on the engine.

If you have a Toyota Celica 2000-2003 after 30,000 miles your engine is tempted to blow do to a manufacturer defect of seeping oil. Toyota had to fix this problem in the 2004-2005 engines. I suggest if you decide to replace your engine, look for one out of the 2004-2005 model and pay the extra money. According to some sales reps. You will have to transfer intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and fuel rail. This is the 5th engine I have had to purchase due to this problem and finally learned my lesson. Awaiting delivery of my 05 engine, and will confirm the external swaps. Anyone with different info or confirmation of this will be greatly appreciated. As for the lift bolts, haven’t heard that this is what is causing those years to blow. If they are bad you will not get any lift. Recommend changing right away though, as said in earlier post, “may cause other problems”, cheap to replace and many DIY forums online to help. Please correct me if I am incorrect with any of this information. Hope this helps.

@Nokturani you are reviving an 8 month old thread.

OP has most likely fixed the problem by now.

Yeah, from now on, check the oil occasionally. I have been driving 64 years and have never ran out of oil. (nor blown-up and engine)