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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions

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  • I have a 1989 Corolla DX four-door sedan with the 4AF engine. Recently the charge light and brake light came on simultaneously, and the alternator clearly is not delivering charge because the battery runs down in a day or two. This is with the original alternator, and I think the brushes wore out. (Sixteen years...)

    The thing is, I just changed out the alternator (for a junkyard special) and though the warning lights are no longer on, I still get no charge out of the alternator.

    The obvious answer is that I just got a bad alternator. But I'm wondering if anyone knows of another problem -- perhaps a wiring fault -- that might cause these symptoms. (In case anyone's wondering, I haven't checked for blown fuses yet; I lost the daylight before I got to that point.)
  • skmgskmg Posts: 1
    Hi,

    I have a similar problem, can you please share what you did to rectify. I have a 99 corolla VE with 75000 miles on it.

    Thanks
    skmg
  • shengsheng Posts: 1
    :cry: Just found out my Corolla 2003's dipstick for transmission fluid is missing. It looks dirty around without the dipstick's protection. Fluid still looks good in clear pink. I have never thought about it that the maintainance guy in Toyota dealer may forget to put it back more than 6 months ago. But it does happen. Now I have to order it from the Toyota---cannot blame them. :mad: Anybody can tell me do I need to flush the transmission completely?
  • I have a 95 toyota corolla; bought it in '98, never had problems with it until now, after owning the car for almost 8 yrs, the check engine :surprise: signal shows up. I just replaced a new battery, had an oil change a month ago, and everything else seems fine. All the answers I'm getting from others is that it could be anything. Should I just wing it out and see if the sign goes away within a few days or take it to a body shop and have them check it out? Hopefully I'll get a good response from anyone. Thanks for your help guys! I appreciate it! :D
  • Hi, just bought my 06 LE auto. Does it need some break in period for be better maintained? Thx.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    See the owner's manual.
  • I took my 2003 Corolla S in for an oil change today it has 44,400 miles and I bought it in May 2002. 3000 miles ago I got the 40K maintenance and inbetween I got the transmission flushed. This time they are telling me I need to replace the drive belt ($99), coolant flush ($129) and replace PCV valve ($40). Also they recommended to Clean and adjust rear brakes ($55). Are these things recommented at this milage or are they trying to rip me off? Are the prices resonable to what other people have paid at the dealer? Thanks.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    I would drain and fill (not flush) coolant every 30k, drain and fill (not flush) automatic transmission fluid every 30k, if stick, then do a drain and fill every 60k.

    Forget about the rear brakes for now - not necessary - have you done a pad change to the fronts? I am guessing not, at that low miles. I had my front pads changed at 75k, rear shoes are still fine. Mine is a stick, so my brakes will last longer. Is yours an auto?

    PCV valve is a $5 part, takes me 5 minutes to change it. I would change it if I were you. Very easy to do yourself with just a little know-how.

    Prices at my local dealership - ATF drain and fill about $75, coolant drain & fill $45, serpentine belt sounds about right. But I changed my serpentine belt at 5 years (60k miles) because I could see some cracking. I don't know about yours, but I would be a little skeptical at that mileage/age.
    Don't pay $129 for coolant flush - just drain & fill for about $40-$60.

    Just look in your owner's manual supplement - it lists the factory recommended maintenance for specific time/miles. - do this and you'll be fine.
  • HI,

    I too just had this happen to me. I also have a 99 Corolla CE with under 45000 miles on it. Please let me know if you heard anything. Thanks!!

    Evie
  • eh, sorta right sorta wrong.

    high octane gas is just more stable/predictable gasoline. its not any less explosive than the lower octane. So, high octane should not lower your milage at all.
  • robhillrobhill Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2000 Toyota Corolla with approx 59,000 miles on it. I recently took it in to the Toyota dealership for a check-up and they said the rear brakes only have 20% of their life left (aka, 80% worn).

    They said I didn't need to replace them yet (I didn't), but I was wondering how much longer they would last. I am under the impression that rear brakes last much longer than front brakes, but was hoping for some insight on how much longer the rears would last.

    Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks.
  • poliva2poliva2 Posts: 25
    The owners manual dosent tell you *^&%.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Our '99 and '01 manuals state to not exceed 55 mph, don't use the cruise control, vary your speed (don't drive long periods at the same speed), don't red line it, for 1,000 miles. Also, don't hit the brakes too hard (if you can avoid it) for the first 200 miles. The real key point is to vary your speed!
  • poliva2poliva2 Posts: 25
    Im a little confused.My 2006 Corolla Manual says " Your Vehicle does not need an Elaborate break in period". Ive been flucuating between varying speeds between 50 and 60 MPH. The drivers on the parkway hate my gutts.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    The break in procedure recommended by mcdawgg is not elaborate. As he summarized, just vary the speed - don't lock it it for a long period. I personally wouldn't think 1000 miles is needed. Maybe only 500. Where does the 1000 come from mcd?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    From '99 owner's manual.
  • poliva2poliva2 Posts: 25
    This stuff is Da Bomb!! Gauranted!!!
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
  • rideboyrideboy Posts: 7
    I have a 2003 Corolla that's coming up to the 30,000 mile mark.The dealer's advisor said that I should have the fuel filter replaced,for the tune of $95.00.
    Is he blowing smoke, or is he correct?
  • beato1beato1 Posts: 2
    i had just recently visited my local toyota dealer for parts. i asked about corolla 2003 fuel filter. i was told that the filter is inside the gas tank and does not need to be replaced--it is permanent. thanks.
  • beato1beato1 Posts: 2
    i use the dipstick tube to refill transmission fluid. buy a long slender funnel (as opposed to a short one) to fit in the mouth of the tube--this will prevent the fluid from coming back out as you pour it into the dipstick tube. i bought this yellow funnel at auto zone for a dollar. thanks.
  • rideboyrideboy Posts: 7
    Thanks beato1 for the info.
    It didn't said right to me.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Yes, dealer is full of IT. Just do what your owner's manual says, and I know that it does NOT say to replace the fuel filter, ever. It would be fun to go back to that same person at the dealership and confront him/her with the owner's manual!

    The last time the fuel filter needed to be replaced on a Corolla was a 1997 model or earlier.
  • pcp7087pcp7087 Posts: 2
    I am trying to replace the ignition swith on a 96 Toyota Corolla. I have the new switch and key but cannot figure out how to get the old one out. Does anyone have an idea on how to remove the old tumbler assembly?
  • pcp7087pcp7087 Posts: 2
    I posted message #271. I did get the lock cylinder changed and got the car started, but now it is stuck in park. I opened the hole by the shifter to try and manually override the parking lock but that does nothing. Anyone know what else I can try?
  • clueless7clueless7 Posts: 5
    I am new and clueless, just sick of giving mechanics the upper hand. I just had my 98 serviced. He too told me that my fuel filter needs to be replaced. I guess he is full of it. He also said my coolant serviced and steering fluid. This is after I paid $600 for a tensioner, minor tune up, and oil change. My car only has 51,000 miles on it. MY battery light keeps coming on and off, it's not the battery. If it was the alternator wouldn't they have noticed that in the tune up? Could it be a short or a glitch? I am glad I told him not to replace the plugs. Also if they are platinum, why would they have to be replaced? Any help/aDVICE would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance. ">
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Fuel filter does not need to be replaced. I would drain and fill coolant every 30k or 3 years. The battery light is probably either a battery or alternator, is this the original battery? If so, replace battery first. The plugs should be replaced every 30k. Corollas did not get platinum until 2000 models.

    Please check your owner's manual maintenance supplement- it will tell you what needs to be done and when. Then you can show the mechanic that 98 and newer do not need fuel filter changed. The 97's fuel filters are under the hood, on the firewall driver's side. The '98 and newer are in the fuel tank.
  • clueless7clueless7 Posts: 5
    Thank you so much! Would I never have to replace plugs? Or just that I don't need the platinum ones? It is not the original battery, and when they did the tune up they said everything but the tensioner was fine. He went on the name alternator, brakes, transmission. The battery light only goes on when I am driving, no one else has been fortunate enough to see it!! I really appreciate all these answers!! I can't wait to call him back and tell him. I will look in my owners manual later.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Replace the plugs every 30k miles.

    The alternator should be checked for proper output, but it could be something else, like a loose wire or bad fuse, etc. etc. They would not check this in a normal tune-up. Does the battery light go on and off intermittently? How often?

    What transmission do you have?
  • jlex1jlex1 Posts: 1
    that's great that you got the ignition tumbler changed. did you do it yourself or was it done professionally? I'm having the same problem. I can't even place the key to "ACC", as an instruction indicated. I'm completely stumped. I tried just about everything. I have a manual tranny. Unfortunately, I'm have no answer as to why your shifter is locking up even when you're trying to override it. Lots of luck on that one.
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