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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • My 2003 CE's windshield got scratched up when brushed by an ice covered tree branch last year. This glass is just dog crap IMHO.

    Regarding mileage (03 CE 5 speed) great in summer, lousy in cold weather. Sulphur farts are much less than last year, so perhaps the gas is getting cleaner.

    Very fast idle for several minutes in cold weather might waste a lot of fuel.
  • Does anybody know how to identify if the trans is 3 or 4 speed? I am not a very experienced driver and I couldn't tell by driving the car....there has to be something in the VIN...or somwere else?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    VE was the 3-spd auto. Then the VE went away, and there were the CE, LE, and S. At that point the CE became the 3-spd auto.

    Thank goodness, beginning in '03 there is no longer a 3-spd auto. Really they cheaped out badly ever making a 3-spd auto in the 90s. The 4-spd manuals have been gone for 20 years.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    The 3 speed auto does not have an O/D lockout button on the gear lever.
  • I bought a 2004 Corolla LE, 5 speed, in September. I have loved the car so far, but many times, when going over bumps in the road (especially with passengers in the car), I hear a very loud banging noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. I have taken the car in 3 times to the dealer but I feel like I am getting the run around. I even drove the car over speed-bumps with a service guy in the back seat, he heard the noise, said, "that's not normal", and then he told me that he would wrap my spare tire and other parts in the trunk compartment in foam and that it would help reduce the noise coming from the area. Guess what? It hasn't helped a bit. The noise is very obvious and troubling, I don't like to drive people around in my car because of it, and I am starting to regret my decision to purchase this vehicle. Does anyone have any advice for me?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    a clunk or a bang? On my Matrix there is a clunk when the rear suspension comes down off speed bumps, and other Matrix owners have reported this also. I believe the rear suspension is similar between the two.

    BTW, if you have the car really loaded down at the back, it is possible to bang the exhaust on the speed bump as you come over it - that is not what you mean, is it?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    I would take it to a different dealer, and tell them the whole history of your problem and what the other dealer did (or didn't) do. This should be easy to diagnose and fix, if it's a problem.
  • I guess you could call it a "clunk"...but it's very loud and sometimes I feel like I can feel the car vibrate while it makes the noise. It also does this when I have no one in the car with me and I hit a bump at a decent speed.
  • I have a corolla 98 and I recently changed the rear brakes, it was my first time an now the hand brake is all loose and I can't quite figure out how I need to tighten it. The rest of the brake system works fine. Any help please?
  • battb1battb1 Posts: 2
    My 2003 Toyota corolla, bought new on October 27, 2002 is a big mess. From October 20, 2003 to January 22, 2004, we've had to take it to the dealership 5 times for either stalling, failing to start after several trials,or for coming to a complete stop while in traffic. In all 5 occasions, the engine light stayed on permanently. This car had to be towed twice already. The servive technician at the Toyota dealership told us that the ECU module could be the problem. In November, they replaced it, and since then the car stopped twice in a 8-day period,and on one of these occasions (this week), it had to be towed. We have been told that it had consistently generated computer codes unfamiliar to Toyota technicians in several diagnostic tets. Does anyone here have an idea about what is going on? Also, what are your experiences with the Toyota arbitration process?
  • Sorry, this is lengthy but I hope it will help other members.

    Bought our 03 Corolla in March 2002. Experienced cold start problem first winter (2002-2003)when temperature dropped below -15C. Bypassed the problem by plugging in block heater the whole winter.

    November 2003. I said to myself, this is a brand new car, why should I put my 'head in the sand' and pretend all is well? Why should I upgrade the battery to one with more CCA? So I started my pursue for the right solution.

    1st visit to dealer (Nov 2003):
    They replaced the battery with an identical slightly-used 310CCA battery. This didn't help because cold start problem returned on January 8-9 when the mercury plunged.

    2nd visit to dealer (Jan 12):
    They said there was a TSB on defective headlight dimmer switch that was draining the battery. The replacement switch didn't solve the problem either. Thanks to the extended cold spell we had recently, they were able to experience the problem first hand consistently.

    3rd visit to dealer(Jan 15):
    This time they got serious and worked in close partnership with Toyota factory tech/engineer. After working on it for a week, they determined the culprit was the ECU (engine computer) and replaced it. They found no DTC codes. The diagnosis said something like "FC terminal open inside ECU". Bingo! they fixed it! the extended cold spell allowed me to verify that my cold start problem is gone! My car now starts on first short crank!

    Lesson learned: Don't just blame the battery, a more powerful battery may simply mask the real problem. I was lucky to have a dealer who got to the bottom of it. Get it fixed before your warranty expires!
  • 2000 corrolla was consuming oil at 34000 miles,took to dealer ,they said was known valve problem on that engine ,they replaced the engine with no charge.Drove car for 58000 miles on new engine with no problems...yesterday my engine blew loosing all the oil ...prbly main bearing .The dealer that did the work says no warranty.I say the 60000 mile warranty should have started over with engine replacement.In process of contacting Toyota ...but I am problably gonnna eat it.
  • nick29nick29 Posts: 19
    Toyota quality is a total myth. I have a 99 corolla VE. 20 000 miles on it, absolutely babied this car, bought new. Many problems from blown rad for no reason 720 bucks CDN., to paint thats applied so thin it scratches from snow and chips paint in car washes. It was rusting in the first 3 months. Im getting accustomed to the vibrating dash now. I had a geo metro that was far better built than this. As far as design goes why would they build a water run off channel in the roof that dumps its water on the driver when the window is open? Why would they design the spray washer lever to turn one way to spray then you must turn the lever another way to wipe what you've sprayed? Try doing this when a truck splashes the windshield and you cant see while on the highway. I must admit I was myself blinded by the "Toyota Is So Superior Mentality."I thought I sacrificed style for quality. I got neither. People do yourselves a favour save your money and buy north american or whatever you like but dont buy this car expecting premium quality. It isn't. Pure myth. As wide spread as the myth cooking in aluminum pots causes alzheimers. The more people buying Toyota's the more people realize they were blinded.
  • I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla S, I have owned the car for over 2 months. I noticed I have a rotten egg smell in my car just 3 weeks after I purchased the car. I also noticed that my car is not getting great gas mileage either. I used to get close to 600kms a tank, now I'm only getting 420 kms a tank. Is there a recall or TSB regarding the sulfur smell and poor fuel consumption?
  • Enter "sulphur" in the discussion search box. You'll find quite a few posts discussing this issue.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • lpc68lpc68 Posts: 45
    I just bought a 99 corolla today and have a serious concern about a sound i'm hearing from the front drivers wheel area. the previous owner said she just replaced the steering rod.

    the sound i'm hearing is like a rubbing/grinding noise when i accelerate. it's not like a grinding rotor sound... it only happens when i step on the gas. it happens when both turning and driving straight. when the speed increases it turns into a thumping sound (not really a clicking noise). when it reaches about 40 mph it stops.

    i took it to a shop and the mechanic lifted the car and said when he turned the front wheel, he heard a clicking sound in the transmission pan. he said the CV boot was fine.

    the sound is intermitent but pretty frequent. the brake pads are fine. i think the car needs an alignment because it pulls to the right and when it hits 70 mph the sterring wheel vibrates.

    would anyone know what this is... and is it a serious problem. when i first heard it i was thinking cv joint / tie rod... the mechanic thought it was a transmission issue and that i should bring it to a transmission shop.

    i really appreciate any feedback anyone has.

    thanks in advance
  • your catalytic converter probably went bad. that's usually what you smell when they go bad.
  • 96 Corolla 4dr sedan. Taillights work fine. (Both bulbs on both sides). When i hit the brake, only some of the 4 lights get brighter - sometimes, its 3 out of 4, sometimes 2. There appears no particular pattern as to which ones light up. I guess the bulbs/wires are ok, since each bulb has lit up sometime. Could the stop light switch cause the problem ? Where does the signal from the stop light switch actually branch to the 4 bulbs ?

  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    This seems to be a common problem. I had a 95 Corolla with similar problems and I now notice a lot of Corollas that age with one or more brake lights not working or not working properly. In my case it was poor grounding in the rear light assembly. I doubt it is the stop light switch.
  • Interesting to hear that it is common for the car's age. How did you diagnose that it was a grounding issue ? I don't see the light bulbs (neg point on the body) being separately grounded - the ground wire may be brought to the rear as part of the harness itself. or am i way off ?
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