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Toyota Corolla



  • 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: 12,696
    when it comes to mechanical and operational stuff.

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

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 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.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    87 octane is ok for the corolla as it states in the manual. some cars recommend premium. unless the manual states you need premium then 87 is fine.

    my sienna van recommends premium in the manual so i use premium. i use 87 for my '03 corolla as stated in the manual.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    if anything, DO NOT ever use premium in your Corolla. If you do, premium will actually increase the carbon deposits in your engine and exhaust, because the Corolla engine (and any other 4-cylinder engine for that matter) don't change their timing ratio when you use a higher octane engine.

    The best gas for your Corolla is the cheapest one you can find. Enjoy driving your new car!
  • So I guess what your saying is that Toyota is correct in recommending 5-30 weight oil for colder temps. And I think you would have to agree that todays engines are far more refined and more precise then the engines of the past, therefore it would be benificial to use a lighter oil to get the oil to those moving parts quicker. Maybe these car manufacturers do really care about the performance and longevity of the vehicles they sell and are not just trying to dupe us as you are implying.
  • m3fanm3fan Posts: 30
    Thanks everyone! I'm definitely enjoying it. I'll save the premium fuel for the 20th Anniversary GTI that's coming this summer. ;)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,696
    yes, that argument flies for the shift from 10W-30 to 5W-30, but what someone mentioned earlier is the Ford shift from 5-30 to 5-20, which is a lower viscosity for when the engine is at operating temp, which would net Ford better fuel efficiency for their CAFE ratings, but would seem to be detrimental to the engine for no good reason.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    anyone with a 2003 corolla notice a drop in their gas mileage since the weather started to get colder?

    i noticed that my corolla is not as good on gas mileage right now and i'm assuming it's coz of the cold weather. takes longer to warm up the engine and so on.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    What are 03 owners getting with the automatic? Thanks.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    mine is a 5speed. when i fill up gas and i dont stop after the first click, i just keep going until about the 3rd or 4th click... my car will get at least 400kms. for half a tank of gas. unfortunately, i don't know how many litres i filled up with.

    rignt now, coz i warm up the car longer - i get roughly around 300kms. for half a tank. still not bad compared to my sienna which gets only 250-300kms. with 91 octane for half a tank.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    How does the 2002 Corolla compare to the 03 in gas mileage?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,696
    gas mileage can drop in the winter when they change formulation of the gas.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • RE:
    "if anything, DO NOT ever use premium in your Corolla. If you do, premium will actually increase the carbon deposits in your engine and exhaust, because the Corolla engine (and any other 4-cylinder engine for that matter) don't change their timing ratio when you use a higher octane engine."

    Do you have a reference for this statement?
    Sounds rather dumb.

    Actually, the VVT-i engine (1ZZ-FE) has a hefty compression ratio of 10.5:1 or so. Such compression usually requires a higher octane gas to prevent detonation. For this reason, the ignition timing is heavely modified in Corolla to accomodate 87 gas. Some people report measurably better milage with 91. I would not be surprised if HP also increases.
    Did anybody do a dyno study on 1ZZ-FE with various fuels?
  • I have noticed that I always get more mpg when using 89 octane over 87. The highest mileage to date is 40.6 (2001 Coralla S with 4spd auto with 15,000 miles)
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I suspect that there will be little difference between the manual and automatic unless one really opens it up in each gear with the manual.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    First, let me say that your comments are justified, yet your opinions are not. Calling my statement "rather dumb" is uncalled for in these forums--not a very "friendly" statement at all, as your name would suggest. Please refrain yourself from making such statements in the future, for everyone's benefit here on

    About your comments on the new Corolla engine, yes the compression ratio is very high, but like you said, "For this reason, the ignition timing is heavely modified in Corolla to accomodate 87 gas". In this respect, the Toyota V6 also is modified to accommodate 87 octane gas, yet the owner's manual recommends 91 octane for "improved performance". The Corolla engine, to my knowledge, does not have engine knock sensors like the V6 has, and therefore has no real means of distinguishing between octane differences in the gas. The V6 engine I was told would adapt itself to the kind of gas that was put in by changing its timing ratio. The 4-cylinder does not have this kind of technology. Perhaps due to the higher compression ratio the premium gas would not carbonize the engine as much, but I think it's safe nonetheless to assume that someone putting premium fuel in a Corolla is literally burning away money. In other words, the few extra miles you could get could not compensate for the higher price of premium, and possibly damage engine parts (carbon deposits, and catalytic converter).
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    i have to say that your comments about using premium unleaded will increase carbon deposits sounds strange. i have to agree though that using premium on corolla's are not needed and would be a waste of money.

    as far as corolla's not having knock sensors, i think they do. i could be wrong though... but most new cars nowadays have knock sensors on them.

    you are correct that toyota's v6 will take regular unleaded coz they have knock sensors BUT they recommend premium. just like my sienna's manual, it says ok with 87 octane but 91 octane is recommended. many people use regular just coz its cheaper but i personally believe that in the end when the engine gets older, it will affect the engine. since day one, i've been using 91 octane for my sienna. i bought it new, it recommends 91 octane and i spent over 30 grand on the van - i'm not about to get cheap on the gas!

    i see people driving lexus with v8 that recommends 91 octane, yet the use 87 octane coz its cheaper. they can afford to buy a C$80,000 car but they cant afford to buy 91 octane gas!!
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    Perhaps a car with a much lower compression ratio might have carbon deposits, who knows. Maybe a mechanic here might want to explain this (don't look at me!).

    I've also seen the same phenomenon at the pump, where they put regular in the Lexus. I don't understand that either. Why is it, however, that GM/Ford/Chrysler V6s don't say that they require premium, whereas Toyota does? Is it because the Toyota V6 is picky, and requires only the best gas? Even Honda touts that their new Accord's V6 still requires 87 octane, they say "due to better engine knock sensors". Maybe Toyota is recommending premium to save its owners expenses in the long run? Why, for example, should you put premium in your Sienna when the neighbour puts 87 octane fuel in his Windstar, and it runs fine like that?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,696
    a lot of the Toyota V-6's require premium in some applications, while the exact same engine in a different model will use 87, and this is because of differences in engine management systems, as a result of the fact that different models have different emphases.

    I know you can use 87 in the Sienna, so that is a bad example. But several of the Lexus sedans will recommend premium, but will take 87 only with reduced performance. Some require it, and won't take 87, so you have to find out which you have.

    It is not because some do not have knock sensors - all cars have knock sensors, it is just that some have less ability to retard timing or advance it for changes in octane.

    In the case of a car like corolla, you may just be shortening your engine's life by putting in 91 when it is supposed to use 87, because you are creating a hotter and more powerful explosion in each detonation than the engine is designed for.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • m3fanm3fan Posts: 30
    I have a bridge toll transponder that I need to attach to the windshield. I'd like to stick it above the rear-view mirror. However, there's that black dotted area on the windshield that blocks the sun I guess. I tried with my nail and it seems like it's durable stuff. Would I be able to stick the transponder there and not worry about the stuff coming off in case I want to remove the stickers?

  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    pardon me, but what's a bridge toll transponder? those black dots are hard to remove and are there for a reason - i heard that they help keep your glass from fogging up or something like that.
  • m3fanm3fan Posts: 30
    Well, maybe it's not a "transponder" as such, but it's a little thing that we use around here to pay bridge toll without tokens or quarters. Basically, you go by a toll booth and it automatically takes cash out of your account and the gate opens. :)
    It has two sticky things on it that glue the holder to the windshield. It has to be in clear view for it to register each time you cross the bridge. I'd like to put it on top of those black dots to make it less visible, but I'm worried they'll get damaged in case it needs to be removed. If so, I'll just stick it below the rear-view mirror.
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