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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions



  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    The check engine light on my '99 Corolla came on yesterday so I took it to Autozone to have them pull the fault code. They said my purge valve needs to be replaced. Of course they don't sell this item, so I had to call the dealer. They said the whole purge valve canister has to be purchased which is.......drum roll please........$225. That's not a typo, yes I said $225. They have got to be kidding me! Why is it the auto parts places only sell certain parts, and the rest you HAVE to get from the dealers? It's like they've got some kind of monopoly going on certain parts so they set the price ridiculously high. I checked on ebay, but no luck. Where can I buy a reasonably priced purge valve for this car?
  • boise1boise1 Posts: 3
    I think I may have done a wasteful thing...I am somewhat old school in some regards. We bought a new LE at and 2k miles I just changed the oil. Was this done needlessly? My mindset it we plan to keep this car for a decade...or longer...and so I will do some overkill in replacing the fluids. But I don't want to be stupid about it.

    I do my own oil changes...takes all of 10 minutes on a Corolla...and am putting in Mobil 1 5W30. What interval is good? Historically I have been a 3k miles kind of guy but if it doesn't make sense I won't do it...and driving conditions here are not particularly severe though summers can be hot. But understand that with one daughter in college who will graduate next year then will pursue her master's and another daughter starting college next fall...we plan on keeping this thing for a v-e-r-y long time. Which is a major impactor on why we chose the Corolla in the first place. Also be aware that my wife is Korean-American and some stereotypes do hold true to some degree...such as driving habits. Riding with her is like going on a carnival ride. No accidents though...
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Not so much wasteful as unwise. 2k is not long enough for proper engine break-in. You sould have run it to 5k with the factory oil, ESPECIALLY since you've put in M1.

    Check out one of the several synthetic oil chat boards. I think you'll find M1 people changing oil at 10k or more.

    When I bought my '05, it came with "free" oil changes every 5k to 20k. All of them have been with M1 provided by me. Now that I'm at 20k with no more free service every 5k, I'm switching to every 10k still with M1. But that's just me. BTW at 10k OCI's, I plan to keep it 10 years, too.
  • boise1boise1 Posts: 3
    Unwise? your opinion, what should I do? Should I go down to Toyota and purchase "factory" oil? What is factory oil? Special additives in it? Special weight?

    Please elaborate.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ....if you get a check engine light and the fault codes indicate an EVAP emission purge flow fault or vent circuit malfunction, replace the gas cap first. The gas cap is the most common cause of this fault, and the least expensive to replace. The next two causes would be the tank bypass valve (many times improperly referred to as the purge valve), or the actual purge valve (only found on '01 and later models), in that order.
  • clueless7clueless7 Posts: 5
    I have the original transmission that came with the car. what kind it is i don't know. As for the battery light, it comes on intermittantly. It comes on goes off, comes on, goes off. I think the longest it stayed on was like 3 minutes then went off, and then came back on, kinda of like the light was blinking. It can stay off for a while and then comes back on. I think it is a fuse or wire, but then again what do i know????
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    "Factory oil", for Toyota, anyway, is just plain old petroleum oil made from dead animals. Nothing special. Use whatever oil the manual says.

    I'd put regular oil back in it at the next change, run it for one cycle, then go back to M1 from then on. Nothing to fret over.
  • sari2005sari2005 Posts: 1
    Speaking of Car Maintenance, am I wasting money by putting the 93 gas in my 2006 Automatic Toyota Corolla LE?
  • Took the car to the dealer for a stalling engine and they told me that I had a bad MAF sensor, so told them to replace...charged me an arm and a leg for it...they also recommended that I get a fuel injector flush and an induction flush...I felt like they were just trying to pump me for more dough...didn't have the money to do it, so just said bag it...are they trying to get more money out of me or are they being upfront? [haven't been good to the car, but have been doing regular oil changes and maintenance tho]
  • theflushtheflush Posts: 100
    They might have ripped you off on the MAF sensor as well as frequently all that is really needed to is to clean the MAF sensor with a $4 can of contact cleaner. It takes less than 5 minutes to replace a MAF sensor and you can get an aftermarket one for about $100, IIRC.

    How much did they charge for the new MAF sensor? What year is your Corolla and how many miles are on it?
  • homethhometh Posts: 7
    I did my first oil change at the dealer for my 2006 Corolla LE @ 2000 miles. Somehow I choose the Valvoline SynPower, which cost me about $50.
    So should I stick to this Synthetics oil or should I switch to other cheaper brands.
    Most of my milage will be local and I'm living mid-west.

    Thank you
  • that sucks....charged me about $560.....corolla is a 2000 and it has about 80,000 on it....know anything about the fuel injector or induction flush?
  • theflushtheflush Posts: 100
    I just bought my 2000 Corolla and one of the reasons I got it so cheap was that the seller was told by the dealer that it needed a $500 MAF sensor. I did enough research to figure out that it was usually a simple cheap solution and took the risk and bought the car. I got a check engine light, had the code read as P0171 (I think that is what is was). Bought a can of contact cleaner, took me 5 minutes to spray some on the MAF and the CEL went away.

    I don't know anything about the fuel injector or induction flush. Ask over at Corolland
  • Hi there,

    Just read your info about Check Engine Light on, My car, 2001 Toyota Corolla with 53000km. get three error code, P0440-EVAP control Sys; P0441-EVAP Sys Purgeflow low; P0446-EVAP vent solenoid pro; These three code get back again and again after I reset each time.
    Do you think I should replace the gas cap? it looks nothing wrong with it. BTW, I am going to take E-test soon. Is that will be ok if I just replace the gas cap? I am new driver. Thanks for your advice.
  • clueless7clueless7 Posts: 5
    Please help me!! My battery light keeps coming on, and I recently had a tune up. Do you think it's bc I didn't replace the spark plugs? My alternator was checked recently in a tune up, no problems. The battery light was going on before the tune up, never mentioned it when I dropped off the car, they never said anything about my alternator when they did the tune up. Do you think it could be a fuse? 98 corolla with 51000 miles on it. No problems starting/driving the car. Btwn both my toyotas this past month both being @ dealership for repairs this last month I can't afford another error.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    The plugs have nothing to do with the battery light. Is this the original battery?
  • If the $50 made you feel well, then it was worth the expense.
    For that type of driving, any 5W30 oil with API: SL or SM certification should be good for 5000 miler OR (important) 6 months.
    If you towed, raced, or lived in arctics my advice would be different. Enjoy your new car!
  • denver5357denver5357 Posts: 319
    I think the A/C is finally giving out on my 93 Corolla DX. I recall something about a change in A/C refrigerants in the mid to late 90s. If I need to get my A/C fixed, does it mean I need to replace the entire system because of the refrigerant change? What does that cost? Has anyone else gone through this? Thanks.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    With the error codes you're getting, I'd start by replacing the gas cap first (you can't tell if it's bad by looking at it), if that doesn't fix it, then I'd go with a new tank bypass valve. Since your's is an '01, it is equipped with a purge valve, but that has a much lower failure rate then does the tank bypass valve. I would only consider replacing the purge valve if the gas cap or the TBV doesn't fix the problem.
  • clueless7clueless7 Posts: 5
    no we have since replaced the battery and just had it tested. Do you think it is a faulty wire?
  • ski46ski46 Posts: 24
    If I were you I would use the new Mobil 1 Extended Drain Interval Synthetic. Mobil says you can use it for 15,000 miles or 1 year whichever comes first. It's a bit expensive, about $6 per quart here in New York but you only have to change it once a year. I am using it in my 2003 Corolla along with a Mobil 1 Oil Filter and am quite satisfied.
  • ski46ski46 Posts: 24
    Blowing smoke! Th fuel filter is in the gas tank and is not considered a serviceable item.
  • saqiqisaqiqi Posts: 2
    Hello everyone! I hope someone can help me with this question. I have a 2005 Corolla (automatic) and I am leasing it. I was told by the dealership merchanic that they "recommend" me to do a 4 wheel brake service, which is rather costly. I don't see it on the service menu, which probably is not mandatory.

    Question: what is it and is it necessary if I am just leasing the car? Thanks.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I would tell them to go fly a kite!! How many miles do you have? I do not know anything about leases, but I am sure you do not need to do this.
  • saqiqisaqiqi Posts: 2
    Right now, I am at 46,000KM. It doesn't seems to be an obligation to do it with a lease (changing air can filter or A/C filter are)
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    = 28,000 miles. I would highly doubt you need any brake work, unless you are REALLY hard on brakes, so don't bother. If you don't hear any squeaking or grinding or feel any pulsation, they are fine.
  • camphorcamphor Posts: 7
    How can I get rid of the sweaty smell when I turn on the A/C? The smell lasts for a few minutes then disappears. I have a 2000 Toyota Corolla.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Turn the vents away from your armpits. HA! that was funny!

    Seriously - do you mean sweat, like perspiration smell or sweet, like sugar or candy?

    Sweat smell is likely just from dust and dampness in the ductwork which may include junk laying in the bottom of the evaporator coil tray - that's where the A/C water collects and runs out. If there is junk in it, it will hold water and start smelling musty. It could also be due to a windshield leak that you don't know about yet.

    Sweet smell is a coolant leak - hose connection, heater core, etc.

    Sweet = coolant = operational problem = fix it now.

    Sweat = musty junk = no problem other than allergy = no rush.
  • brymil1brymil1 Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where the parking brake adjustment is located on a 2005 Corolla? I know on older models it was located under the center console but would like to confirm this for the 2005 before I go through the hassle of removing the console.

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