Question about 2000 Toyota Celica

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2000 Celica GT-S. Engine 'bucking' anywhere from idle to wot

2000 Celica GT-S. Throttle response and power is good. But when driving constant speed, often in lower gears, often starts 'bucking', engine speed rises and falls 100-300 rpm in a second or so, does this continuously until I change something, like stepping on the gas, changing gears or putting it into neutral. Also, when driving hard, after shift from 2nd at redline to 3rd (this is not exactly the smoothest shift), engine will 'buck' for 3-5 times as I keep my foot on the floor, before it settles out to its normal good acceleration. Sometimes, when engine is idling in neutral, it will unexpectedly stall. Starts again immediately but it is very annoying. Sometimes driving over bumps or road irregularities will seem to cause the problem, but not always. There is no check engine light or codes showing. Car is driveable, but only barely. Over about a month time, it has been getting progressively worse.

I suspected maybe something with the fuel delivery system or pressure regulator. One mechanic thought it is a worn timing chain, but he's not sure. I really have no idea what it might be.

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  • aligizn Jun 04, 2010

    You are absolutely right. Mass airflow sensor was the problem + one broken wire at the sensor. The check engine light eventually came on and it made it easier to find. I think it may have been caused by a broken support stay for the AEM intake which left a small hole in the intake pipe behind the filter. I fixed the hole long before any serious problems appeared, but enough dust may have been sucked in behind the filter to foul the sensor.

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Locate the mass air flow sensor. it's located inline with the air intake. it should be right after the air filter. disconnect the plug and see if the car runs better. also, when tapping on it lightly on the sensor with a screwdiver handle and the engine skips, could also indicate a bad sensor. these sensors will not always set the check engine light. suspecting the fuel system is also a possibility

Posted on May 27, 2010

Testimonial: "You were right on the money. The problem was the mass airflow sensor. Its amazing how one bad sensor can make an otherwise great engine run like a pig. The sensor has been replaced and a broken wire to the sensor fixed, now it runs flawlessly. "

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