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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions



  • fgf001fgf001 Posts: 98
    The tranny fluid is unique to Toyota. Although there are a few synthetics that claim to be compatible I won't risk the warranty at this point.


    FWIW our 03 automatic started shifting a little abruptly @ 18K miles. I had the pan dropped, in order to inspect the inside of it for debris, new gasket, refilled with Toyota fluid, and it shifts as new again.


    There was little crud in the transmission pan but it made ME feel better to remove what was there. From this point on I'll drain and refill at 15K intervals to keep the fluid renewed.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329


    Bought a new S in November. At 750 miles, the brake pedal started making an occasional clicking noise on release. By 1400 miles it was most of the time and louder. It seemed like it was something hanging up in the pedal or master assembly. After three visits to the dealer and being told it was "normal" (which I knew it was not) they discovered the brake pedal assembly yokes, rods and clips were deformed in some fashion and were binding up, not fully releasing the pressure on the master for a second or two, then it would snap back up.


    Replacement of the assembly fixed it - no harm done - but the question remains as to how long this would have gone on before the condition got bad enough that the brakes stayed slightly applied all the time and 1) prematurely wore out the pads/shoes or 2) boiled the juice and left me brakeless!


    Anybody else have this problem?
  • 2050 miles and no mechanical problems. I will report that two panels in my dash have warped (I've only put 2 payments on this car). Thats not right. Will post more when more develops.


    Also: I ocassionally forget to release my parking break (ok ok, i know it happens). It still works and everything, is there any permanent damage that can occur from leaving it on by accident?
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Dear MM,

    I wouldn't expect there to be any more permanent damage from leaving the parking brake on by accident than if you had left it on on purpose. (joke)

    First, I assume its a stick. If its an auto, why put the parking brake on at all? I know, the Owner's Manual says blah, blah, blah, but in 130 years of driving, I've never set the parking brake on an automatic. Your choice.

    If you drive with it on, the rear brakes drag and heat up - real hot. This could boil the brake fluid, cause brake failure and kill you and others. Once it cools down and condenses, you're back to normal, but stop doing that.

    If hot enough for long enough, it could compromise the wheel bearings/grease and twist up the drums, so here again, stop doing that.

    As a minimum, the shoes will certainly wear out faster which will cost you money to replace sooner rather than later, so - all together now - stop doing that.

    If you had the parking brake really cranked on, you would probably know it right away. Since you've driven around for a while like that not knowing it, I suspect you only pull the handle lightly - probably nothing to worry about. If you have been doing this a lot, have the dealer look at it for you for peace of mind if nothing else.
  • I would like to save some money. Can someone tell me where I should pour automatic transmision fluid. Is there any filter? Can I have picture or drawing, please? Thanks
  • So, I bought a used Toyota Corolla 2004 and it's almost at the 30,000 mile mark. According to the Scheduled Maintenance Guide, I should get all this stuff done to it. I called some local dealers and non-dealers to ask what it would cost. It's basically between $220 (non-dealer) to $420 (dealer). Now, my question is, do I really need to do everything they say in the scheduled maintenance guide OR can I just a) change the oil b) change the engine air filter and c) replace the engine coolant?

    Is there anything else I should be getting replaced? The Maintenance guide says a bunch of stuff needs to be checked. The cabin air filter seems to be a possibility and people here seem to be talking alot about replacing tranny fluid every 15K -- that seems excessive.

    I live in Boston, where I sometimes do make short trips in subfreezing temperatures. So maybe I should get the auto transmission fluid replaced this time.
  • herrkaleuherrkaleu Posts: 62
    What is the sevice interval for 05 corollas? Often I read 7500 miles. According to toyota it is 5000 miles.
    What says the Manual you get with the car? I fear it says the same like :-(
    Especially if you keep the warranty you need to follow the rules (even when stupid).
    Another one: do i need to take my corolla to a Toyota-shop? Even when it i only an oil change? in order to keep my warranty...
    I read (but unfortunatel didn'T find a source on the civic has got 10K miles service interval. Since that is my second choice... the service could be the deciding factor.
    Talking about oil, why are the oil changes so often anyway? I mean, European toyota have 10K mile changes, VW/Audi , Opel have 20K/2 year miles oil changes (but in the US they sell cars with 5K miles changes). Is the oil cheaper, or the fuel worse?
    so what is the interval without risking to lose warranty?
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    Did you find the filler tube? It is next to the dipstick for the automatic transmission fluid under your hood.
  • Hi
    I own a 2001 Toyota Corolla with about 100,000 miles on it, i have not done a lot of maitenance other then oil change on it, and changed brakes
    What maintenance is suggested to keep it working.
    1, spark plug change
    2, flush transmission oil
    3 change hoses and rubber belts
    what about the struts, do they need any maintenance

  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    flush the coolant

    struts come much later
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329

    The problem with your 2001 Corolla is compelling indeed, particularly since it is in the 100,000 mile range.

    I hope to speak for all respectable mechanics when I recommend the following repair: Go in to the passenger compartment on the right side of the car. Immediately in front of the passenger front seat, like where the passenger's knees would go, there is a hidden compartment with a release latch on the face of it. When you pull that latch toward you and sort of up (not much force is needed), the access door to the hidden compartment will open. Inside this hidden compartment you will find a soft covered book that says "Owner's Manual" or something similar. This book contains much useful information and has a section in it relating to topics of "maintenance" ...............

    Excuse me, I'll be right back..........
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    thats pretty good


    Keeping a record is not a bad idea either of what you done to know your frequencies.

    They used to make those wonderful "at a glance" little books about autos. It was handy to keep all your info in it.
  • 05_xrs05_xrs Posts: 1
    I need to know where the safe jacking points are under the car
    (not the slots on the frame sides)....
    so I can raise the rear of the car and get jack stands in position

    any help or diagram would be great...

  • will i do any damage to my car if i start it in second gear??
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Not if you do it right and not all the time. I drove cars and trucks for a couple of years all together that had no first gear at all. Its not fun, and you can quickly smoke the clutch if you are always in a hurry or beat it too hard.
  • toyo_famtoyo_fam Posts: 1
    My 2001 corolla S 5-speed eats oil. It just disappears! It comes time to change my oil, and there's none left in there. I use Mobil 1 every time, tighten everything (filter, drain plug) and after 5000 miles it's empty. I know what you're thinking, but the concrete carport where it's parked is clean as a whistle, and it doesn't get parked any where else.
    I know I should check it more often, but it's my wife's car and I just don't think about it when I'm not driving.
    anyway, my question is whether or not anyone else's Corolla consumes oil this way...
  • I have an 98 Corolla with about 89000 kms on it - I recently have been hearing a slight knocking on minor bumpy roads coming from the left rear - initially thought it was something loose in the trunk then I've started suspecting the bushings in the left rear sway bar - has anyone out there attempted to replace a bushing and if so how difficult was it ?
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    I feel your pain. The only thing about our 95 Corolla is that it does the same thing with its oil. It did not do this until around 150K. It just disappears. I just carry extra oil and check it every 2000 or so miles. However, I do change the oil at 3000.

    I just replaced my struts and shocks for the first time on the car. Its got around 170K now.

    The car has been great, but it likes oil for the past two years.

    I know someone else that had a 99 LE that was using oil much more frequently. It was doing 3 quarts per 1000. She now has a new Scion tC.
  • My 1990 Corolla has 173,000 miles and has the original clutch in it.
  • giyer50giyer50 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Corolla with about 65000 miles on it. I want to know if there is any chance of the transmission will mix witht he coolant?? What is the best check for this??

    In that scenario will the radiator need to be replaced and transmission need to be flushed??

    Will the coolant enter into the transmision oil or will the trasnmssion oil enter the cooling system.

    I will apppreciate a expert advice on this issue . Thank you very much
  • gulllugulllu Posts: 1
    I am a novice as far as information about cars is concerned. I bought a corolla 2000 ce last year.
    I am hearing a "pulsating" noise from the tires as I drive. The noise seems as if there is one "tick" per rotation of the tyre. It is not very loud but noticeable. I had a minor accident last year where I drove over a stone puncturing my two right tires at the same time. The noise is also coming from the same side.

    Can this be a bearing problem or something more serious ?

  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Did someone put the wrong juice in the wrong hole?

    I don't think its too easy for these two fluids to mix nowadays. Back when Hector was a puppy, trans fluid and coolant got mighty close to one another but I'm not aware that they do anymore.

    I suppose a serious head-on collision could mix them up a bit but a new radiator would be assumed at that point.
  • I just got rid of my 2000 pontiac grand prix, and it did the same thing. I never had oil spots or noticed smoke from the car, and about every 3 or 4 thousand miles I had no oil. I now have a 2005 Corolla S and hope I don't have the same issues.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    As for the ticking tires, you most likely have some rust accumulating on the rear drums or front discs and it's catching each time the tires rotate around. Next time you have it in for service, have the check the brakes and clean up any rust build up. Most likely it will solve the problem.

    As for the hungry-for-oil cars, any and all cars will burn some oil just from normal use. The residual oil on the cylinder walls as the pistons move up and down will burn some oil each time the cylinder fires. If your cars are burning as much oil that you don't have any left in the oil pan at the end of a service interval, I would recommend that you drop a quart or two in the engine between filter changes. You don't EVER want your engine to be running dry of oil altogether. You may also want to get a quote on getting a new set of rings on the pistons as well as this would most likely solve the problem.

    Hope this helps.

  • skwiggleskwiggle Posts: 1
    Hi there-
    I have a '98 Corolla 5 speed that has the same problem. I can't even go 3,000 miles without refilling the oil. I also park in the same spot every day, and there is no oil puddle, and I never see any blue smoke plumes coming out of the tail. I have brought it to be looked at several garages, and no one can find any leaks or problems. I have been scouring the net trying to find clues. I think I read somewhere that somewhere that some damage may have been done to the engine before I purchased the car (used) about 4 years ago. It was something like the previous owner prob let the oil get too low, and this caused small abrasions inside the engine where the pistons scratched the metal, and now the oil leaks out of this teensy openings and burns off slowly. There is no way to fix it other than getting a new engine - tho it did say that if you use oil with a high viscosity, it could slow the process down. I keep several bottles of oil in the trunk just in case, and I top off the oil all the time. I pray that the car won't die on me, and I think I will replace the car in the next year or so. *sigh*
  • i3000gtii3000gti Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 corolla auto and the only thing I did to the car is added a injen short ram intake. Had that for about a year. Have been doing my oil change every 3k and did all the services at the dealer. It has about 53000 miles on it now. the past couple of weeks it have been acting up on me.

    I stop at a red light and when it turns green I step on the gas pedal, it doesn't go. It doesnt rev or make any noise what so ever. It just sits there and rolls like its on neutral or something. Then if you let go the gas pedal and you press it again its fine. It like i have to press on the gas pedal twice, its like nitrous on an arcade game. I was wondering if anyone see or had thing problem before.

    Another thing, has anyone corolla have problem with the power door button not wanting to unlock the doors on the driver side also the passenger side window button not working, the window doesnt want to go up. The car it only 4 years old and its starting to fall apart.
  • cbassicbassi Posts: 1
    Folks, I just bought a 2001 Corolla with 60,000 miles. First Toyota I've ever bought. The dealer is offering a 3rd party 'bumper-to-bumper" 3 yr, 30,000 mile service agreement with a $100 deductible for $1,700. A worthy expense?
  • 01loadedle01loadedle Posts: 23
    no dont get it you'd just be blowing money. did you get a ce/le? what was the cost?

    I3000....check your maf sensor you may need to clean it with throttle body spray. its behind your air filter on the air tube facing the master brake cylinder where you add brake fluid. its mounted with 2 screws and a wiring clip is attached to it.

    if youre using high octane then reduce to 89 and that will work better. some say the motor was made to use 87 but the manual doesnt say that and it says the research octane was 91. the 87 didnt work well for me when I used it either.

    Ive rarely had the same problem with my 01 corolla power locks. my remote securikey wouldnt unlock all the doors a few times too. your window problem may just be because the childproof window button was accidently pushed down without you realizing it.
  • danyos777danyos777 Posts: 4
    Hello: Does anyone know about tune-up? I own a toyota 2000. Do you have idea on what type of tune-up should I do like what I am supposed to change by doing it. My var has close to 65000 miles. I want to know if I need to change the spark plugs and for a better fuel economy, what type I can use without affecting the engine's life. I thank you in advance for your attention to this matter
  • Danyos,

    I changed my plugs @ 68K miles after I noticed the electrodes on the plugs appeared shorter than normal. Although the manufacturer recommends 100K miles between plug changes, I did it anyway. No noticable improvement in fuel economy or performance.

    I also flushed out the old brake fluid. This is one item manufacturers don't recommend changing which I disagree with. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and also reacts with metals that make up the braking system. I've found changing the brake fluid every two years enhances the longevity of the seals.

    If you have an automatic transmission, change with Toyota brand ATF. It appears that their additive package is better than name brand off the self fluids. To make sure all the old fluid has been removed, have it professionally done. Just unscrewing the drain plug and letting the oil drain out will not remove all the fluid. Around 2/3 of the fluid remains in the torque converter. If you're a shade tree mechanic, you'll have to disconnect the transmission oil return line from the radiator, start the car and place it in drive (ofcourse with the brake on), and watch the oil pump out while replenishing the new fluid via the dip stick opening until the new oil starts pumping out. This is a two man job IMO.

    If you don't keep your wheels balanced, you may have to look foward to changing the front and rear wheel bearings one day. A high pitch winning noise will appear as your speed increases.

    If you want peace of mind, change the serpintine belt that drives your air cond pump, power steering pump and alternator at around 85K miles.

    I use synthetic oil and apparently there appears little wear on my cam shafts thereby eliminating the need for valve adjustment. If you notice a loud tapping noise coming from the engine during idle, you may need a value adjustment.

    If you use 87 octane cheapest fuel around like I do, add some fuel conditioner/injector cleaner with every tank refill. This will prolong the life of your fuel pump, keep you fuel injectors clean and provides lubrication for your upper cylinders. I use Redline fuel system cleaner or Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant.

    Make sure your battery posts are clean with good contact. As stated in your owner's manual, check all fluids. I prefer changing the coolant at around 50K miles even though the coolant still looks good.

    Be happy you own a Toyota. Their cars are becoming more and more maintenance free and are extreamly tough and durable. You should be able to go 200K miles without major problems. Good Luck.
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