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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair

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  • Matrix XR mileage should at least be in the high twenties, even during break-in. I'd have the dealer check it out.
    Also, A/C is weaker when engine is idling, but should cool down well when in higher RPMs.
    Steering on the Matrix is toward the heavy side, so that may give the impression that the turning radius is bigger than it should be.
    Engine RPM during start-up should stay less than 2000 RPM when engine is cold, much less when it's warm (since it's Summer right now). This applies to Corolla engines as well (same as Matrix).

    1matrix
    '03 Matrix XR 4WD
  • I have a black Matrix in NC, and A/C is a must, but I would agree that the A/C in this car has a hard time keeping the car cool, but only IF you have the vents open to the outside. Try turning it to recirculate - it will cool MUCH faster and keep it that way.

    Gas mileage in the teens? Yeah, I would DEFINITELY get that checked out. Even with the A/C on all the time (just about all summer long), the lowest mileage I ever recorded was 24.5 mpg, and I have an automatic trans. Take it back in for service, no way 12/15 is acceptable (my friend's F350 gets better gas mileage than that!)
  • "i've heard this before about black colored cars somehow attracts heat more than other colors! i find this strange and i was just wondering if there is any truth to this at all. i've heard about the same thing with wearing black colored shirts! :) "

    Yes, black will be hotter - it's black because it's absorbing all of the colors of light. Black pigments will typically absorb into the infrared too, adding to the heat. Wear a white T in the sun for a while and trade it for a black one to see for yourself. A white/silver car with a light colored interior will stay much cooler than a black/black one will...
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yes, it is normal for the '03 1.8 to jump to 2300 rpm or so at cold start; it will settle quickly as it warms. Once warm it will be the usual 750-800 or so. This is designed to get the cat as warm as possible as soon as possible to keep the ULEV emissions rating...
  • Under routine driving conditions, good service record, no prior service problem, my wife and I experienced complete engine failure at 62,344 miles. Piston/Rod #4 failed/broke and created three large holes in the bottom block of the engine. Toyota Service Department at Stone Mountain Toyota in Stone Mountain GA refused to cover costs associated with repair despite the fact that we were only 2,000 miles over warranty. I refused service charges of between $6,000 and $2,500 and picked my car up with a flat bed trailer. I have replaced the engine myself with the help of a friend and I continue to pursue reimbursement from Toyota. Toyota national, regional, and local have all refused to consider my case despite the premature death of my engine caused by an obvious unspecified manufacturers defect.

    With Toyota’s current problems with Engine Sludge going back 8 years, I believe that Toyota vehicles are about to see a massive increase in engine failures. Our Corolla is not specifically included in the company’s Engine Sludge alert (Quasi Recall) but I wonder if it could be very soon.

    Buyer BEWARE! Toyota will not help you when their famous high quality engines fail!
  • Under routine driving conditions, good service record, no prior service problem, my wife and I experienced complete engine failure at 62,344 miles. Piston/Rod #4 failed/broke and created three large holes in the bottom block of the engine. Toyota Service Department at Stone Mountain Toyota in Stone Mountain GA refused to cover costs associated with repair despite the fact that we were only 2,000 miles over warranty. I refused service charges of between $6,000 and $2,500 and picked my car up with a flat bed trailer. I have replaced the engine myself with the help of a friend and I continue to pursue reimbursement from Toyota. Toyota national, regional, and local have all refused to consider my case despite the premature death of my engine caused by an obvious unspecified manufacturers defect.

    With Toyota’s current problems with Engine Sludge going back 8 years, I believe that Toyota vehicles are about to see a massive increase in engine failures. Our Corolla is not specifically included in the company’s Engine Sludge alert (Quasi Recall) but I wonder if it could be very soon.

    Buyer BEWARE! Toyota will not help you when their famous high quality engines fail!
  • what year model is your Corolla? At what mileage intervals did you change the oil?
  • While it appears a few people have had problems with their Toyota engines, I would have to say, from experience, that the great majority of Toyota engines work reliably well. I have had past experiece with half a dozen Toyota vehicle models before (most with over 100,000 miles), and none had the engine problems that you speak of.

    1matrix
    '03 Matrix XR 4WD
  • We recently purchased a "new" 2003 Toyota Corolla LE from a dealership in Indianapolis(Northside)( They know who they are) Not only was this car delivered to us in "suspicious" condition, which included a ding, dirt, stains and over 300 miles , it was explained to us by the "salesman" , that the average Toyota that is delivered? (HAHA)!! has on the average 4 flaws on the car. What is this Yugoville? Has Toyota quality sunk lower than a slithering salesman? involved here or is it really gotten this bad? AKA GM Ville . We have bought 3 other "new Toyotas" over a long period of time and have never had this kind of problem at all. Customer Service at least at this dealership takes on a "I LOVE ME"attitude in referring to the salesmen and could not care less about delivering on promises to their customers. They back pedal faster than a cornerback when confronted with a problem. They care more about their survey grades and their bank accounts... I hope not all Toyota owners have experienced these kind of headaches.

    P.S Overall the Corolla is a nice car, but not cracked up to be the "super car" that the dealerships claim it is.. We live in the Midwest and this car "DOES blow you all over the flat interstate roads contrary to what they want you to believe. A good car but not great....

    Fed up in Indianapolis
  • I was aware about rattle noises on Corolla. I was listening hard when I test drove my car. Also I insisted on Japanese built one. Today is my second day on this car and I heard noise coming from CD player area. Noise happens only then I'm driving on bumpy roads. I will wait for a week before taking it back to dealler.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    just a question, have you posted the same message somewhere else on edmunds? sienna boards maybe? just wondering coz your post looks really familar.

    anyways, you were over by 2,000 miles on the warranty so the dealer or toyota have every right to refuse to cover all the charges. you're not 2 miles over, you're 2,000 miles over. put yourself in their shoes and i don't think you would be covering the charges as well.

    our family members have owned 17 toyota vehicles for the past 19 yrs. and none had engine problems or any major problems.
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    did some calculations tonight after gas fill-up, i get approx. 13.25kms./per litre.

    this sound about right to those of you with 03' corolla's?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...mine does the same thing, though I've chosen to ignore it because it only happens on the worst roads imaginable. Frankly, this problem, or something like it, has been present on every Toyota or Honda I've owned, and I've had lots of both. There needs to be a tighter mounting system for the radio/CD insert - I can put finger pressure on the upper left area of the CD insert and the noise goes away.
  • Hi,

    Have a 2003 Corolla CE bought new in May.

    Noticed that the black rubber door seals (the ones on the car body not the door) had both split at a point slightly above the door lock striker in the doorframe.

    Driver side split clean through from too much squeezing. Passenger side showed a line where it will split soon.

    Is this a design bug? Dealer is changing both gaskets this week, but I wonder if it will happen again unless parts are redesigned.

    Service advisor said he'd not seen this before.

    Thanks
  • i have a 99 corolla auto.

    my auto trans shift knob light is out. i can't see at night if i'm in D, N, R, ... is this a bulb or fuse issue. i was told that a fuse controls more then just one light.

    any ideas?

    thanks
  • mpynempyne Posts: 120
    i also have a 2003 japan built corolla with the same problem when going over bumps. also i notice when i put my car in reverse and turn my wheel to the right it clicks 1 time. im almost positive it has nothing to do with the brakes setting(thats make a different sounds that im aware of. anyone have this same problem?

    jrct9454 how long have you had your corolla? do you have problems with rock chips? it seems like my paint is stronger than my canada built 2002 corolla. i have a couple but they are really tiny compared to some of the ones i got when i had the 2002

    thanks
    thanks
  • I had the same click sound on my 2000 Maxima. I think it comes from power steering. I leased it so I didn't try to fix it. I want to put cassette player at the dealership and will ask them to fix rattle noise at the same time. Did anyone put cassette player in 2003 Corolla?
    Thanks.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...and now has just short of 5000 miles. We have our share of front-end nicks from rocks and debris, but certainly no more than usual, and perhaps a bit less. The touch-up "pen" is very good at working these blems, much better than the brush/bottle. It takes some practice to get it right, and you have to shake the bejeezus out of it to get the color right, but I am pleased with the results.

    Ours is Lunar Mist from NUMMI, made first week of March. Very happy with the car overall.
  • mpynempyne Posts: 120
    where can you find them?
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    most likely, the bulb is busted. if every other light inside works then it's the bulb. if you have something else that dont work, then it could be the fuse.

    you have to remove the cover to get at the bulb
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The dealer sells both the pen and the brush/bottle; I bought both, but the pen has worked so well that I have yet to use the bottle. As I said, to work well, you need a bit of practice [on some other painted metal surface], since it is easy to apply too much if you're not careful, but I've gotten pretty good at it. Good color match, too, once it dries.

    Understand, there are also professionals out there that the dealers hire for working on the used car lot; if you have some particularly challenging spots on the front of the car, ask the dealer for a reference and hire a pro.
  • are there instructions to replace auto trans bulb?

    picture instructions would be great on the web if possible.

    thanks
  • This is written in response to posting number 653. This is also a continuation of my original posting at 652.

    Our Toyota is a 1999 and we changed our oil every 4,000 miles. We have all of the documentation to back this up. Still, when the engine failed at 62,000 miles, as described in my previous posting, Toyota has refused to even consider our case. I will never purchase a Toyota vehicle again and I will recommend to all others to never purchase a Toyota. This is a company who stakes its reputation on a quality vehicle and top notch service. We have seen no evidence of either facts. The low quality aluminum block engines that they are now placing in their vehicles along with all of the new evidence of oil sludge caused by faulty engine design have convinced me that within the past few years Toyota has begun to manufacture low quality vehicles that will in the near future begin to fail at much higher rates. The only reason they are not issuing national manufacturers recalls related to the engine sludge problem is because they would have to recall the entire engine which is too expensive. Toyota's only option is to duck, hide, and blame the customer. Read the current press and you will see that I am right. Good luck to all of you fellow Toyota owners. The era of Toyota's lasting forever is over!
  • I bought a new 1996 Toyota Corolla for my daughter when she graduated from high school and went on to college 400 miles away. Oil changes have been done every 3K and tires rotated every 5K. All Toyota maintenance has been done by the book at both the selling dealer and the dealer in Columbus, Ohio.

    She has over 71K on the odometer and the only thing that needed to be changed were the Goodyear tires. She has Michelin X-Ones on the vehicle and the ride has improved a lot.

    There are no sludge problem, leaks or rattles. The paint finish on the car still looks like new. (Maybe it is the Zaino I put on it when she is home for the summer and holidays.

    I will tell you that the Corolla has been more stellar as compared to my Honda Accord.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Has been a great car also. There was a TSB about something in the front end which the dealer fixed and besides oil changes at 4k miles and tire rotations at the same time the oil is changed, flawless car. My teenage girls are driving it now also and they think it's easy to drive. Plan to keep this puppy a long time!

    The Sandman :-)
  • I recently purchased a 2003 Corolla LE and it has 900 miles on it. I have found in letting go of the steering wheel , it will go to the left or to the right. I also have developed the infamous "rattle" problem from the dashboard. Has any one else had these problems, and if so,have they been fixed. The car has the Goodyear Integrity tires on it which I have heard does not make the car handle well. Other owners have had success with switching to other tires. Is this true?? Any help would be appreciated!!!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    For starters, dartiness is probably attributable to wheel alignment. A good 4-wheel alignment on state-of-the-art equipment would be a good investment.

    Secondly, the only thing to recommend the Goodyears is their low rolling resistance. We replaced ours at 3200 miles [we now have 4800] with Michelin X-Ones. They stick better, track better, are a bit quieter, are vastly more secure when it's wet, and ride about the same. And with regular rotations, should last 70-80k miles.

    There are a number of possible reasons for the dash noises - here you need to get to a dealer and start them working on the problem. If you track back a couple hundred posts in this board, you'll read some possible sources and solutions for some of the noises.

    Our car has not had any significant noises - a NUMMI car made in early March. My perception is that the Canadian-built Corollas may have more of this syndrome than the NUMMI cars, but I could be wrong. In any case, get your dealer to do his job....
  • If you were a company would you perform work on vehicles for free if they were out of warranty, I suspect the answer is no. No car company in the world would replace a cars engine for free after the warranty is expired. I sympathize with you and would also be very upset myself. Honda's warranty is only 36,000 miles (among many others). How would you like to have a Honda throw a rod at only 38,000 miles? The warranty has to stop somewhere and for Toyota, they decided 60,000 miles.

    Ryan
  • tja2tja2 Posts: 5
    I have an 03 Corolla CE built in Cambridge. I was opening the CD Storage Container (directly below the ventilation controls)when the bottom left hinge popped out. The dealership knew of the problem and revealed they had ten other units on order. Their opinion was that the clip holding the folding door was at fault...even speculated that a redesign might be necessary. This was a bit disappointing but I guess its part of owning a first year model. The cars been great otherwise!
  • How to make your Corolla better from any year?

    Buy Yokahama tires!

    My two has had Yokahama tires since 96.
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