Question about 2002 Toyota Celica

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Transmission problem on 2001 Celica GT Auto Trans - how can I fix this?

Hi there, I have a 2001 Celica GT Auto Trans. Recently the transmission has been acting very funny and I've heard this is a known problem on Celicas. When I am stopped at a corner, the RPM drops to be below 1000 so that when I accelerate from the stop, the car stalls big time trying to pump power to the wheels. Sometimes spontaneously the RPM will fire up to 2000 in a jolt for no reason as I remain stoped. The car fails to make intelligent shifts also. When I'm accelerating on a highway, the car stays in 3rd gear until I hit 4000-5000 RPM before shifting to 4th which is not usual behavior (usual shift is at 3000 RPM) When I am decelerating, the car will remain in 4th gear and drop RPM to below 1500RPM without downshifting to 3rd or 2nd as usual (usual downshift is at 2000-3000 RPM) Could be a transmission oil problem? What are other potential causes of this issue? Has anyone else faced this problem? Thank you for your help. I have a 2001 Celica GTS which all of a sudden started having a similar issue. It's the automatic transmission and it seems to be hesitating a bit now and shifting VERY weirdly and definitely not smoothly.. Also the 'check engine light came on . . Waited a week and 1/2 for a local appt and the idiots put dry gas in it and turned off the check engine light and drove it 10 miles without really stepping on the accelerator and said it was fine.. I picked it up today and it's EXACTLY the same and w/in 5 miles the check engine light is back on ... . Nice huh... . Oh well , I can't seem to find any more info on this 'intelligent shifting' issue , but if anyone has more ideas or PROVEN results ,let us know... I haven't tried unplugging the computer but does that really reset the intelligent shifting mechanisms? Eric

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  • 10 more comments 
  • ericbr1 Nov 15, 2008

    Thanks, after the check engine light came back on w/in 5 minutes of me picking the car up from the service center, I went back there and asked for the code and they didn't have them or wouldn't tell me! There's 1 AutoZone in Vt near a place I'm going today , so I'll try that.. I'll get back to you . THANK YOU!!!


  • ericbr1 Nov 15, 2008

    Hi, per the autozone test the code was p0171. Any help will be hugely appreciated.


  • ericbr1 Nov 15, 2008

    Hi , I believe the Air Intake Tube is stock . . I've only had the car about 10,000 miles and it hasn't been changed since I got it , (Air filter has just yesterday , but that didn't help) . THANKS! Eric

  • ericbr1 Nov 15, 2008

    Can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. . It's pouring outside now , and I have no garage, but when I get a chance this weekend, I'll get right on it! I'll get back to you hopefully shortly with the results..

    Thanks again


  • ericbr1 Nov 15, 2008

    Toyota Ed, I can't thank you enough.... I found an image on the internet of the MAF sensor and the 2 little wires (Resisters?) inside and that helped also.. Anyway, first I cleaned it and reinstalled and it ran worse.. I got pretty bummed.... Then I figured out (once I found the image) that I had only cleaned the temperature probe.. .I started thinking that I really didn't see 2 little wires... SO took it apart again and shined the flashlight INSIDE and no kidding I saw 1 wire and a 'blob of something"... You know what it was? A tiny leaf had gotten in there on those sensors. . I got it out with a toothpick , spray cleaned those and reinstalled and the 'check engine light' is off so far and it runs like new again (98,000miles but that's nothing ) RUNS LIKE NEW.. . If you want I 'll buy you a small gift for your time... . THANK YOU SO MUCH and hope this helps others


  • ericbr1 Nov 17, 2008

    If they have 6 stars you'd get it, but 4 diamonds will have to do :) THANKS AGAIN


  • timvanmeter Feb 16, 2009

    2001 celica gts will not engage variable timing and lift boost after 6000 rpm

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    Remove the Mass Air Flow sensor from the intake tube . Remove the wire connector, It is held in by 2 screws, remove the sensor from the tube. Using a flashlight, look down into the interior of the sensor, you will see 2 small wires. Do they look fuzzy, is there any debris on them? The 2 wires should be perfectly clean. If not, get a can of "brake cleaner" at that autozone and spray it until they are perfectly clean. Reassemble the sensor to the intake, and drive it for 5-8 miles. Get back to me if the light goes out, and whether it runs better.

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    Did you get my last message requesting input about the air intake tube? P-0171 indicates an issue with the mass air flow sensor, and I need to know if you changed the tube before I can give you additional information...

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    P-0171 indicates an issue with the mass air flow sensor. Do you have the stock air intake tubing, or have you changed it?

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    I will be here until noon, Eastern time. Get me the codes, and I'll get back to you. They would NOT give you the codes? I'd ask for my money back.

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    I will be glad to help you.

    Please respond back to me the DTCs or "codes" for the check engine light being on. Without this info, I can't help. If you do not have the codes, can you take the car to an autozone and get it scanned?



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I am glad my solution provided you with happiness. A gift, no, you do not need to do that. I appreciate the thought, though. The graciousness of a "FixYa" rating regarding my helpfulness would be GREATLY appreciated. That I all that I need form you. A happy Client. THAT is what FixYa is ALL ABOUT. Have a great week. Thanks again.

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