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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions

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  • Occasional sporadic faltering was cured with gas-line antifreeze (methyl hydrate) to remove water in the gas. A week later the problem recurred, so I replaced the fuel filter and again added methyl hydrate. Problem was solved for a few days... but is back again! What does it take to get the water completely removed; or am I dealing with an additional problem?
  • Yep, it does apply to the Corolla. I was at a 2006 auto show and looked at the 2006 Corolla LE. Inside the glove box was the owner's manual and mantenance schedule along with paperwork on the warranty, tires, etc. In the maintence schedule book, the cars are up front and the SUV's in the back, it had that re-torque listed for the Corolla. Could it be a misprint?
  • kaulkaul Posts: 4
    The malfunction indicator light is coming on and staying on. Any idea what this indicates. I called toyota customer service and she said she wasnt sure. She said the gas tank cap may not be completely closed. Does that make sense?

    The engine appears to be running fine. It has 107000 miles on it. I am the first owner.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Could be any number of things, most likely related to emissions. You can take it to AutoZone and have the codes read for free, and this will tell you the problem. It could be as simple as a sensor. Please let us know the results!
  • The dealer informed me that my 2003 Corolla S with 41,000 miles needs a Transmission Flush and that it has to have T4 Transmission fluid. They want $190+ to do this. :mad: Does this need to be done at 41k? :confuse: Is this price similar to other places or has anyone gotten this significantly cheaper? Is it correct that this is the only transmission fluid the car will take and that only Toyota sells it? Help, I don't want to overpay, but I don't want to go to someone other than the dealer who puts the wrong stuff in. :confuse:
  • kaulkaul Posts: 4
    Auto zone checked it out and said that I should check my gas tank cap and the vacuum hoses.
    I have'nt had time to do this yet but I will.

    What does gas tank cap have to do with this?

    Dose this mean emissions system is ruled out.

    When u mentioned sensor, are we talking about an emissions sensor. That sounds like a reasonable explanation to me. The sensor has gone bad and this is an indication of its malfunction.

    Why is autozone doing this for free?

    I would be interested in your response. Thank you.
  • I've scoured the maintenance manual that came with my 1999 Corolla, and I'm confused about what maintenance needs to be performed at 100,000 miles. This is mainly due to the difference between a) what the dealership did at the last service b) what the book says and c) what the new mechanic is recommending. The car gets an average mix of highway and city driving in mostly wet conditions in Seattle.

    Done at 80,000 miles
    "75,000 mile service" replaced engine belt replaced rear brakes
    ($800)

    Proposed at 100,000 miles by friend-of-friend independent mechanic
    "100,000 mile service" flush coolant flush transmission (are these two things usually included in a standard service, or are they extra?) replace front brakes
    (quoted $350 for everything)

    (I also need new tires and an alignment, but I'm counting those separately.)

    With the exception of regular oil changes, what else should I be doing now to make this car bulletproof for another 20,000 miles? I intend to drive it into the ground and I'd like to take excellent care of it. Thanks.

    :confuse:
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Just do a drain and fill, not a flush. A flush is not necessary. A drain and fill at a dealer will run $80-90. Yes, use only Toyota ATF T4 (check the manual to be absolutely sure of the type of ATF.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Just do what the owner's maintenance manual says. Per manual, change plugs every 30,000, and air filter and pcv valve. Drain and fill automatic trans fluid, (don't flush) every 30,000, drain and fill coolant every 30,000.

    $800 for rear brakes!!!! That's really expensive! What did they do!?!? For front brakes, pads and rotor turn is about $180 at a dealer. New rotors would be more $$

    Also, I highly recommend using only Toyota parts and fluids. In addition, change brake fluid, power steering fluid every 30-60k.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Gas cap is emissions - loose cap or bad gas cap gasket will release gas fumes into air. Autozone does for free in hopes you will buy parts from them to fix the problem.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    I learned a long time ago... use nothing but Toyota parts. 25 years ago, the additional cost was significant but was still worth it. Today, the gap has closed and the +$ makes the only sense.
  • My engine light is on also and I have a 1999. I was told that my gas cap needed to be replaced but no one ever tells me what else could be the problem. I even had a guy tell me I needed a catilac converter, but someone else said I didn't. Not sure what to do!
  • kaulkaul Posts: 4
    I removed the gas tank cap and I heard a loud whooooosh indicating a bad gasket or seal etc. So I started the car without the gas cap and the malfunction light was still on. Will the light stay on after I install a new cap. Would I have to go to a dealer to have them reset the code to get rid of the malfunction indiactor light. Would autozone do that for free. Thanks for your responses so far.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    ....with the recommendation to just drain and refill the tranny. Doing so only changes out about 1/3 of the total amount of fluid in tranny. Tranny fluid starts breaking down at around 25K-30K miles and if you're looking to get a lot of miles on the tranny without expensive repairs, I would pay the extra money to have a flush done every 30K. Automatic transmissions are usually the weakest link in any vehicle's drive train and it pays off in the long run to take care of them the best way possible......and that means doing flushes instead of just draining them.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Its supposed to go whooooosh and is probably not the problem.

    The light could mean lots of things. My Windstar (stop laughing!) is extremely sensitive to different gas. When I fill up on the road, within 10 minutes, the light will come on. After 4 or 5 future restarts, the computer adjusts and the light goes off. Your problem may be that temporary
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    I would feel just fine doing drain and fills if they are done every 30k. I have heard lots of horror stories about flushes (breaking free lots of stuff and then that stuff gets stuck in the many small passageways in the tranny.) Just following the manual...
  • I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla Sport, manual transmition, with 32,000 miles. I have regular oil changes but I think I need a tune up? It doesn't seem to be running as fast as should. I dont want to take it to a dealer and get screwed. Any ideas?
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    What does "runnung as fast" mean? 0 to 60? 40 to 80? Top speed? Top RPM?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Follow the maintenance guide in the owner's manual. For an '03 with a stick, I would drain and fill the coolant, but I think the owner's manual would tell you that it is not necessary. "Tune-up" is not needed, no plugs to change until at least 80k. I would also change the air filter and the cabin air filter.

    The key is to follow the owner's manual!

    I also have the same questions as post number 223 - ????
  • kanukanu Posts: 19
    I just have a machanic changed my corolla 97 auto transmission fluid. They used Valvoline DEXRON® III/MERCON. I watched him drained and cleaned pan, changed the gasket. After 2 weeks, I checked my transmission fluid after running by have the engine turn on. It was mixed red and dark.

    Would that be the problem? Do I have to change it again?
    I had posted this question in general Corolla board but did not get any reply. So, I'm trying again.
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    I did some resarch, it said the 3 speed have differential oil that need to be replaced too. I knew he did not change that, so I may have to change it again.

    Do I need to use the same exact oil same as the above one for my differential oil?

    Thank a lot
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