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Toyota Corolla



  • Was wondering what mpg owners of the 2003's are getting with both automatic and standard transmissions, both city and highway figures?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    in my Matrix (same engine as corolla) I went in and said "you will use 5-30 oil right?" to which they replied "if you want us to", so that is what they did.

    It says "use 5W-30" right on the oil filler cap!

    I want the oil to flow better first thing in the morning, when this thing revs up to like 2000 rpm initially. So I want the 5-30 instead of the 10-30.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Thanks for all the comments about the use of 5w30 vs. 10w30. I asked for 5w30 as well but I'm not sure I got it (I should have watched). My gut feeling is I"m better off with that than 10w30 in the winter. I've written Toyota, let's see how they answer.

  • After 4500 miles I'm getting about 35 MPG with mostly highway driving and low 30s with suburban driving. I don't do much city stop and go.
    The Corrola is a 2003 CE with standard trans..
  • vuefor2vuefor2 Posts: 490
    Any one know what kind of financing Toyota is offering on the Corolla right now?

    Looking at buying, possibly before Christmas.
  • One final note regarding oil this is the reply I received from Toyota:

    Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

    We appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

    According to the 2003 Owner's Manual, Section 8, we do recommend using 5W-30 oil, however 10W-30 is acceptable as long as the temperature remains above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The dealership can use Valvoline as long as it is the same oil grade, ILSAC multigrade engine oil.

    It further goes on to say I should contact the dealership with any questions.

  • Just curious, now that Toyota was in touch with you about 10-30 vs. 5-30 what do you plan on using?
  • I guess I'd be inclined to use 5w30 through the winter months since the temp in New England will get down to 0 or below on occasion and 10w30 in the summer for the better viscosity.

    Then there's the whole issue of synthetics and partial synthetics?? Should I switch to that? If I do from what I read, I'm stuck there. Usually the last thing to go on my cars is the engine so I will probably skip the synthetics and go with sooner oil changes and save the money..


  • fgf001fgf001 Posts: 98
    Being in New England your car is a prime candidate for synthetics due to the winter temps. The synths flow better (and quicker) to vital parts on cold start up. With the exceptions of Schaeffers blend (internet order) the others aren't worth having. It's not more expensive because your engine is better protected and you can easily go 7500 miles (more with an oil analysis) between changes. Mobil 1 is the only true synthetic that you can buy off the shelf.
  • At first I wished I would have waited for the 2003 Corollas with the new body style to get a new car. But after hearing so many complaints about the seats,engine noise,squeaks,etc. I have not experienced any of these problems and am now very happy I got my 2001 when I did. I can honestly say my 2001 has not been back to the dealer for any single thing since the day I bought it back in 2000 except for yearly state inspections. I do my own oil changes so it doesn't even go in for them. I just wonder if you people that did get 2003's are sorry you did? I guess its true what they say about not buying the first model year or change of a car(even Toyotas). Lets hope Toyota gets their act together for 2004.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    i have the 2003 corolla and i dont regret buying it at all. only thing(s) that i regret:
    - wish i got power locks/windows, a/c
    - sort of wish i have an automatic when i'm stuck in traffic :)

    since i wanted to save money so i bought the base model so i can't really complain! :)
  • vuefor2vuefor2 Posts: 490
    Problems are always a factor with new car models. Waiting to see how things are panning out with the new Ions also,
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I test drove both a Corolla an ECHO last night. I was under the assumption that the ECHO was comparable, but it's not in the same league as the Corolla. It's lacking in acceleration and ride quality.

    Well my decision is getting easier.
  • Hi. I'm about to do the same the Echo with the Corolla. Please tell me more about your reactions to both cars.

  • I have been surprised by the comments regarding the 2003 problems. I have a 2003 CE and I couldn't be happier with it. I've had not problems other than a little creek that goes away after a minute or two. I'm reserving judgment for a while only becuase all cars seem nice when they have 4000 miles on them (well, except my Olds, that was junk from the start).

    But right now, I'd buy another 2003 Corrola in a second.

  • You wrote:
    "I'm not quite sure how using 10W30 would help car manufacturers comply with EPA regulations but I do know that 5W30 is suggested because of the more minute clearances in todays engines versus the cars of old when 10W30 was recommended."

    This was in response to my post stating:
    "But you have to understand that some things are recommended not because there are good for car or consumer but they help the manufactures to comply with CAFE or EPA regulations."

    Let me elaborate for you.
    CAFE standarts require manufacterers to limit global fuel consumption in the cars produced. The manufacterers often find some fuel savings in decreasing oil viscosity. For example, Ford went recently from 5W-30 to 5W-20 recommendation without ANY changes in some engines and mostly for the fleet fuel savings to satisfy CAFE. I wonder if this is in the best interest of the consumers. Some of this can hold true in the 5W-30 Toyota recommendation. Oil recommendations abroad are frequently diffrent from the ones preached in USA.

    As for EPA, as everyone knows, EPA regulates car emmission standards. Oil was reformulated in 1996 (SH-->SJ) to effectively decrease the amount of some antiwear additives (Zn). Zink (like any other heavy metal) is toxic for palladium catalizers and low Zn oil was deemed important for the performance of catalizer conventers in the new low emmission cars.
    The trade-off is that new oils (SJ and SL) are nor as good as SH in fighting engine wear.

    As you can see in these examples, some things are recommended not because there are good for car or consumer but they help the manufactures to comply with CAFE or EPA regulations.

    5W-30 sounds superior to 10W-30 because has better viscosity in cold. It is true. However, the way mineral oils are formulated, 5W-30 is a 5 weigt base oil with viscosity modyfiers making it behave like 30 oil at engine temp. 10W-30 is a 10 weigt base oils with viscosity modyfiers making it behave like 30 oil at engine temp. Obviously, 5 base oil needs more VI modyfiers. They tend to deteriorate with oil life (oil shearing). The net effect is, after 3k miles or so your 5W-30 behaves more like 5W-20 or so. You can measure this by oil analysis. This is the reason I would stay away from mineral 5W-30 in hot summer. Synthetic 5w-30 is a diffrent story though.
  • m3fanm3fan Posts: 30
    Well, I just got a 2003 Corolla CE with A/C and automatic tranny. I share the car with my mom, which is why it has an automatic.

    We have owned it for a whole 4 hours and 20km now! :)
    ... and I already have a question: the manual says 87 octane would do, but dealer suggested to use premium fuel. Any opinions on this? I have no problem with using only premium fuel as I want the best for my car. I'm just wondering if it's OK or advisable.

  • dealers, especially sales people, do not necessarily know what they are talking about.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    when it comes to mechanical and operational stuff.

    Use 87 - you will be wasting money to use premium in the corolla.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fgf001fgf001 Posts: 98
    nippononly is right on. Any fuel above 87 octane is a total waste of money in this car. Who at the dealer told you to use premium? Do break it in by the book.
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