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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions

Specifically I'm looking at the Zymol Japon wax in a starter kit from the autosport catalog. Also any opinions on how long I should wait to wax the car. I've heard from some sources that there is a curing time on new cars. I think I heard something like 3 months.


  • Tup, I've been hearing about Zaino recently. I think I remember it being popular in a Mustang board somewhere. I've also heard good things about Meguiars. Although, XR, I don't think you should have to polish it everytime. Polish contains abrasives. I would think you only had to polish on a paint job that needed fixing like your corolla did. On a brand new paint job I would think that it wouldn't need to be smoothed out, which is what polish does.
  • TupTup Posts: 200
    The dealer told me that the curing time is more for non-clearcoated cars. he said that with the baked on paint from the factory and clearcoating that by the time you get it, you should be fine.

    As for wax type....have you looked at Zaino?

    I have some and will be putting it on our black Matrix soon....supposed to not leave any white residue.

  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Posts: 96
    I use Mequiars 3 step system and it is awesome...step 1 is a cleaner, step 2 is the actual polish and 3 is the carnuaba wax. I like it and it easy to use for the do it wife bought a 94 corolla which have never and I mean never been waxed. We spent a day on it including 2 steps of cleaning and you would not beleive it was the same car. Some people actually asked if it was new.
  • deagleddeagled Posts: 20
    You shouldn't have to wait to wax a new car. The dealer was right about it being fine by the time you get it. Not many cars come without clearcoat now (a few VW's or Honda's with base colors i think).

    just my $.02.
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    I highly recommend Eagle One's Products - you can wax your car right away -
  • Doesn't it have petrolium disstilates in it?
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    I don't think it does - I looked at the label and it says it contains "sodium sulfonate" - but I think it's the best car wash I've tried and it's not expensive - I bought 64 ounces for $4.99 recently at Advance Auto Parts - their Wipe and Shine is also very good - I find these products are just as good as the "high end" stuff I ordered from car care websites -
  • Why would you guys wanna wax a brand new car in its first day of life? I won't was mine for at least the first 3 to 4 months.

    my 0.02 cents
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    I have read conflicting opinions on waxing/polishing new cars - I read that it is not necessary to polish a new car within the first 2 years and yet somewhere else I read that it is good to polish it right away (using a mild polish) to remove any contaminants that may have bonded with the paint that a simple wash would not remove - I have not polished my 1 year old car - only washed & waxed - I find that keeping wax on it helps bugs and bird crap and stuff wash off alot easier...I have decided to polish my car once a year (when it's about 2 or 3 years old) and will continue to wash about every 10 days or so - and wax about 3 times a year - so far the Eagle One Wash is my favorite brand - just my 2 cents -
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    On the M&R board: Zaino Car Polishes/Products--Your Experiences

    Hope it isnt too overwhelming. As of this moment there are only 3502 messages.

    And for all other brands: Store Bought Waxes

    Owners Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • potroastpotroast Posts: 13
    What have you guys and girls been told of when 2 get your first oil change,by the dealer ?Besides the different opinions you hear .?
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    My dealer recommended every 3000 miles even though the manual for my '01 Corolla says every 5000 miles - I think I'll go with every 3000 just to be on the safe side
  • TupTup Posts: 200
    Well, According to my dealer, our Matrix and all newer Toyota's are on the same schedule as with our previous Mazda....every 8000KM's. We used this interval for oil changes with our 93 Mazda MX3 and it was the most reliable vehicle we ever owned.
  • The manual says every 7500 miles or 6 months. Remember, the dealer will tell you whatever he needs to get you in and payinfg for service more often. I plan to follow the manufacturer's recommendations, and expect to get 10 years and 100,000 miles plus.
  • Hey Tup. Got the same. 8000km or 6 months. I'm all booked in already for August.
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 292
    The owners manual lists the break in period at 1000 miles and says you need to stay under 55mph during that time.

    The Vibe manual says that the break in period is 300 or 500 miles, and has no speed limitation (it says not to stay at the same speed for long).

    If I go 55mph on the captiol beltway, I'll be killed.....

    How religiously should I follow the Toyota break in? Can I subsitute the Vibe one instead?
  • TupTup Posts: 200
    I think you're ok to drive over 55 as you won't be exceeding the 4000RPM's by doing so. Perhaps a good idea to vary the speed up somwhat though.
  • alshariffalshariff Posts: 11
    Folks, here's some advice. For the first oil change, I'd recommend you perform it between 1600 & 2000 Km (1000 - 1250 mi). There is a lot of wear in the engine during this time and its best to keep your oil as clean as possible. Don't let a $20-$30 oil change get in the way of protecting your car. After your initial oil change, I'd recommend you perform regular 5000 km (3000 mi) oil changes, unless you're driving your vehicle over 80 km/hr (50 mi/hr) 80-85% of the time. Frequent stops and short trips don't allow your engine to heat up enough to clean out contaminant effectively. With regular oil changes, your Toyota engine should last well over 300,000 km.

    I've managed to get over 375,000 km on all my japanese vehicles (all I've done is use a synthetic oil at 5000 km intervals religiously.

    As for break-in of your engine, just drive carefully. Do not allow your engine to lug and do not tow heavy loads. Also, do not drive at constant speeds for long times. Most importantly, make sure you keep changing the load on your engine on a continous basis. Toyota's 1600 km break in is based on how much engine break-in is done during DVT (dynamic vehicle testing)at the assembly plant. GM plants always seem to cycle more during DVT, hence they call for a shorter break-in. I'm sure Toyota would rather err on the side of running a longer break-in. This is why Toyota car's last longer, they don't take as many risks as GM
  • Consumer's Reports did a test using Manhattan taxi cabs (kinda the definition of severe service.) They changed some oil every 3000 and some at 4000, some at 5000 and some at 6000 miles. After 100,000 miles, they disassembled each engine and had their engineers go over them with a fine-toothed comb. The result, they could find NO significant difference in wear in any of the engines. There was also no indication that one group experienced more problems during the use time than any other group.

    I tend to believe that these recommendations may have been valid at one time, but modern engine and oil technology have made them obsolete, unless you operate an oil change business.

    Since I believe that Toyota has a strong interest in preserving their reputation and knows best what their engines require, I plan to follow their recommendations.
  • alshariffalshariff Posts: 11
    I've read the Consumer's Report article on oil changes a while back and I agree with their analysis. The only thing you must consider when applying their recommendations is that the average car owner doesn't keep their car running for extended periods of time as do cabs.

    The largest percentage of wear occurs during start up. While cabs start and shut down frequently (or in some cases just keep at idle when stopped), the regular public parks their car's while at work or over night when home. This allows most of the oil to flow down into the lower extremities of your engine. Thus you don't have the same amount of protection as a car which is run at frequent intervals. Also remember, oils main job is to keep foreign particles away from mating engine parts. Shut your engine for a long periods of time and you'll allow these particles to settle where they can do damage.

    In my opinion, I just don't understand why anyone would want to take risks when there's only $20 at stake. Whether someone wants to spend $0.006/mi or $0.004/mi on oil is all up to them. Just remember frequent oil changes reduce the amount of time foreign material stays in your engine.

    Good luck!
  • got a quick one, i live on long island were theres too many cars and too few roads. therefore its highly aggressive on the roads. the other day i was driving and had no choice but to floor it. my matrix is at about 400miles. it tach went all the way aboove 6000rpm. i had no choice. what kind of damage is done when you have no choice but to gun it??
  • alshariffalshariff Posts: 11
    I wouldn't worry too much about gunning your engine once in a while during the break-in phase. The key is not to keep it running at any one sustained speed for long periods of time. You also don't want to keep the car running about 6000 rpm for extended periods of time. The manufacturer's recommended break in is geared to keep us drivers driving conservatively during break in. Actually, if you read the owner's manual it will say that running at high rpm causes high wear. In reality, you'd have to consistently keep driving at high rev's to shorten engine life.

    We must all remember to enjoy our vehicles (afterall I don't want to believe that you and I paid good money to [non-permissible content removed] foot the car around), and that sometimes means driving them hard for short periods of time.
  • matrix123matrix123 Posts: 14

    I just got my Matrix (5-speed, base) about a month ago, and I am having a problem which, I suspect, is related to the clutch.
    About a 10 days ago, after I started driving the car, I could smell something like burning rubber. I asked the dealer about it and they told me that I probably burned the clutch and that I should stop riding the clutch. The problem is - I don't. This is not my first manual transmission vehicle and I never had this problem before. Ever since that time, once in a while I can smell burning rubber while I'm driving. Called the dealer - the same story: don't ride the clutch. Am I doing something wrong with the way I change gears (doing lots of city driving), or is there a mechanical problem with the clutch (or something else)?

    Any answer will be much appreciated.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    I don't think even Click and Clack could answer this question as posed. IMO, the thing to do is to take the car in to the dealer and have them look at it. Don't accept "it's probably." Problem is, if the clutch is damaged, you may have a heckofa time getting it repaired under warranty. They'll claim you did it, which is probably true for 99% of these kinds of problems.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The burned smell is from an overheated clutch friction material (basically burning the clutch).

    What are your driving habits (how you drive, how you engage the clutch, etc)?
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    I used Zaino from day one on my '00 Odyssey and the finish still beads after two+ years (just don't have the time like I used to ;-)). Plan to follow the same process on my Matrix (purchased yesterday) this weekend - wash, dry, clay, wash again (yawn), prep and Z2 (as many coats as time allows, hopefully two or three over the course of the first few days).
  • Matrix 123, I have also noticed the burning clutch smell with my XRS. Also, like you I have driven numerous vehicles with manual transmissions without incident.

    I brought the vehicle back to the dealership and they looked over the clutch and brakes, both checked out fine. This weekend I smelled the odor for the third time while backing up. I plan to bring the vehicle back and get the dealership to look it over and document the problem once again.

    There are several comments regarding this same issue over at;

  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    every new car i've owned always have that smell come out once. it's usually when i go uphill. makes no difference if it's a manual or automatic tranny. strange though that the smell only comes out once. no, i dont floor it going uphill or pull a trailer.

    so far on my 03' corolla, no smell yet. just picked it up last week.

    do any of you find the engine noise on the 03' corolla is a bit loud, specially during warm-up? sounds like an old car! :)
  • I noticed the same smell once on my new 03 Corrola backing up with a high rev (stuck in a depression). Not sure what to make of it, should I be worried?

    Engine noise is fine.. a lot more quiet than the Cavalier it replaced.
    I do have an annoying little creek coming from the rear trunk area. Anyone else noticed this?
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