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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions



  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    Probably the sound is from a loose belt. Have all your belts inspected and/or replaced.
  • poliva2poliva2 Posts: 25
    Im new to this board, so here it goes.. Today, I went to Sears to get the tires on my 1999 Toyota Corolla changed . The technician said im going to need a Wheel Alignment, So I agreed. The car dries like a dream. No pulling and it drives straight as an arrow. Now i go online, and im blown away to see how many complaints and reports of fraud that were aimed at Sears, My question is , will this wheel alignment cause problems down the road? The technician gave me a printed before and after summary report on the alignment. it seems like its in the specified range. I would like to share it with this board for your advise... Please help!!
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Everytime you get a set of tires, you need an alignment to ensure that the tires will have a long life. After a wheel alignment, the car goes straight down the road. Tires wear out faster when they pull significantly one way or another. The car must have been really bad before the alignment was done.

    Who cares what anyone else thinks about the Sears brand, when your particular Sears tire place did it correctly for you.

    Enjoy your new tires!
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    You don't always need an alignment. If your car drifts to one side or you have uneven tire wear you could need an alignment. Or you could just need to check your tire pressure.

    Getting an alignment won't hurt anything other than your pocketbook. A car with new tires could be driving like a dream just because of the new tires, or it could be due to the alignment. Without actual measurement data taken at the source it is hard to say.

    Gotta watch what these places "recommend" these days.
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    There's people that don't know what an alignment is. The same goes for keeping a tire pressure guage in the car. The steering wheel could be upside down and someone would still drive it in that condition.

    Sometimes you need some help in life.

    After seeing some roads in this country, I don't know how some people even keep their cars in any sort of alignment. I just got back from a big camping trip in VT and its amazing how some states are much better than others in their "road conditions".
  • jen8jen8 Posts: 1
    Just had my usual 6 mo. oil change and mechanic suggested I have the coolant flushed. Can I put this off and go to 50K on an 01 Corolla?
    He also pointed out that the tires need to be replaced soon - am I disillusioned to think they should have lasted longer? Does Michelin/Toyota not put 60K tires on the new cars? Do I need to go Michelin on the replacements?
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Generally, I don't listen to the service advisors at the desks. They are much more salesman than mechanic. If an actual wrench turner makes the recommendation, I pay more attention. I would use the service guide that came with the car for service decisions. If the book calls for a flush at 36k or so, I'd do it. Be careful with the distinction between extreme conditions and normal conditions. Most people have vague notions of extreme conditions to be racing and off road use. But actually daily city driving in heavy traffic with lots of idle time at lights and stop and go is extreme conditions.

    Check the tires on the car for a UTQG number that should be something like 300 A B. The number is the treadwear compared to some baseline standard. If yours isn't in the neighborhood of 500 or higher, it's not a 60,000 mile tire. If you haven't rotated the tires regularly, you'll get more wear on the fronts. Is the mechanic telling you to get a new set of 4 or just 2?
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Generally, Toyota will put the cheapest tire but average quality they can put on the car unless you get like a optional tire/wheel package. However, the more you spend on the car, the higher the probablity of getting decent tires. An Avalon will have nicer tires than say a Echo.

    I know my new xB has those GoodYear "somethings" with average ratings. I noticed that those same tires were on my Dad's new Corolla S as well.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Thinking of attempting my first oil change on our '94 Corolla... questions:

    1- can I use a Mityvac pump to get the oil out? I know it works on several different makes/models, not sure about our car.
    2- where is the filter located? I'm guessing that it's underneath so I may need jacks and perhaps I should bypass the mityvac and just drain the oil out...? [prefer to go with mityvac since I have another car that I can use it with and the filter is accessible from the engine bay]
    3- is it okay to switch to synthetic for this car? primary motivation is to reduce frequency of oil changes (from 3K miles to 7.5K miles).

  • rm_carrm_car Posts: 1
    I have Corolla 99 44K mileage some how last couple of days I hear kit-kit sound while starting and it fails to start in first attempt. It did start affter a few tries.
    Not sure what the problem is. I can switch on my lights etc not sure if its battery or starter or what? How to figure out.
    Please help. Thanks in advance.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Could be a bad battery after six years - or maybe bad (loose) battery post connections or ground to block. Have a trusted mechanic load test it.

    A non-trusted mechanic will sell you a battery whether you need it or not.
  • Hello I have a 1997 Corolla that I really like. However, it needs either a new 3 Speed tranny or a rebuilt one. Does anyone know a dealer? Also...I was wondering if anyone knew what it would take to convert the 3 Speed Auto to a 5 Speed Manual? I would like the improved mileage of the 5 speed and to get every ounce of performance I can out of this little car. My best tank of gas lasted 385 miles! What can I say...I'm a college student and I want to get maximum bang for my buck. PLEASE REPLY SOON as I leave for school in a week! Thanks!
  • kanukanu Posts: 19
    I bought this car four years ago when it was 65K from local dealer who don't know the history of past services. So, I replaced gasket and timing belt when 80K. I have not taken my car to dealer for services (I'm cheap) but just have oil change every 3,000 mile at Walmart. The car seem trouble free until last month, the alternator was gone when it was 101K. It was replaced.

    I plan to use this car as long as possible. I want to go the dealer and start to have maintenance service at 100K as recommended by the manual. But I don't know what else I should change besides these? Or just let them tell me, but I expect they may include something unnecessary. Please help.

  • When I brake, I hear a squeaking noise on the right side of my car and the car jerks a little bit when it stops and vibrates a bit when I am stopped. I have had new struts, brake pads and calipers put in the car in the last 6-8 months. Any suggestions? Sound was worse after I got my tires rotated.
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Check the the axle and the disc brake (front).
  • jen7705jen7705 Posts: 2
    Are these pre paid maintenance agreements a good idea? I just purchased a Corolla S 2005 Auto. The dealer told me that they did not sell them. I was surprised and skeptical. I went on the Toyota website and found info on their plan but no pricing. Does anyone know? When I called Toyota Customer Center they did not have an answer and because they could give me "conflicting answers" they referred me to their corporate HQ. How strange! 1. Are these worth it? 2. how much should I expect to pay? 3. How can I get one since my dealer won't sell it? Thanks!
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    It sounds as though your dealer is being ethical. the pricing that Toyota has for the pre-paid maintanence is between 20-100% more than paying for the services seperately in the service department with the only added benefit that you get roadside assistance for the extra cost. It isn't something that I usually recommend for most, other than for those leasing a vehicle for business as they can include it in the lease and use it as part of the write-off for the business.

    Just my $.02

  • jen7705jen7705 Posts: 2
    Thank you. This is EXTREMELY helpful. I think I will most likely still go to the Toyota shop but pay for each service separately at the time I bring my car in. Question: Do you think I should go to another shop other than Toyota if I get a better price. I'm thinking most likely not since this may potentially invalidate my 7-yr warranty. Thoughts? Thanks!
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    You are not in any way required to have your maintanence done at your Toyota dealer to keep your warranty in force. However, MOST dealers are relatively cost conscious (within a couple of dollars anyway) of a place down the street who only uses 18yr olds being paid minimum wage but have factory trained technitians who will give your Toyota a full look over at each service interval to be a bit more pro-active. Just my suggestion again, but even if there is a small added expense, it's well worth it to have a factory trained tech working on your car each time its in for service.

    Glad to be of help.

  • Hi all,
    Since last 10 days or so, I hear a ticking sound from the right front side of my 03 corolla. It happens mostly when I first start the engine in the morning and disappears after around 10 minutes or so. It does not always happen but around 90 percent of the time.

    Can any one please let me know whether there is anything serious about it. I had it checked by a dealer and he says the sound is because of corroded brake pads but I am skeptical. I have put on 29700 miles on it so far and have always gone for maintenance every 3500 miles. The dealer says I need to pay 189 dollars to get those replaced:-(

    Please advise.

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