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Toyota Corolla Basic Maintenance Questions



  • mandycmandyc Posts: 1
    Hi, i'm thinking about buying a 98 corolla LX from a dealor, i really like it, just that it has alot of miles on it (117,000)

    It's my first time to buy a used car, please give me some advice on what i should pay attention to.

  • bhaskar1, I got exactly the same problem with my car. Mine is Corolla 2003 as well. But I forgot to ask dealder when I brought the car in for service today. :mad: My car had 23000 miles now, and I do the maintenance every 7500 miles.
  • I am going to rebuild the old chariot, however I stripped the motor while in the car and now want to separate the tranny from the block, and take out the block but the motor mount bolts will not come off. Is there a way to take out the studs from the mounts? the motor mount has a stud with nuts on both sides. Anyone out there know how to get the block out?
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Answering my own questions here....

    1- used the mityvac last weekend and it worked beautifully!
    2- found the filter... it's on real tight (though I can reach it from above), will need to work on getting that off this weekend.
    3- switched over to Mobil Syntec Blend 7500... oil changes will be on a less frequent basis now.
  • dhrdhr Posts: 4
    I have to engage my clutch sometimes 2 or 3 times before my car starts. Is my clutch going bad or does something need to be adjusted. It does not happen everytime. Anyone know?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Your clutch is fine, but I need a little more info -

    When you turn the key and it does not start, do you hear anything or is it just silent?

    If it is silent, then it is not starting because of the clutch safety switch. It could be because the switch is going bad, or just because a floormat is in the way. If you disengage the clutch (press the clutch all the way down to the floor) HARD, does it start?

    Just curious, how many miles? Ever had any other problems? I have a '99 LE 5 speed.
  • I've always been a North American car owner but decided to try something different. The steering linkages etc of my 1988 Ford requires grease periodically - normally I do this every oil change.

    Is this required for my new Corolla?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    No. See the owner's manual for maintenance schedules.
  • dhrdhr Posts: 4
    It is silent. Yes if I push the clutch in again it usually starts. Where is the clutch switch located? Is it something I can change myself?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I would say it is definitely the clutch not being all the way to the floor or maybe a bad (or going bad) switch. It is located under the dash, near the pivot point of the clutch pedal. Are you sure that a floormat is not in the way, or maybe you just aren't pressing the pedal to the floor?

    How many miles on your '99? Any problems so far?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I will be a little more descriptive - the switch is mounted on the vertical surface of the wall between the engine and the passenger compartment, where the top of the arm of the clutch meets the wall when disengaged (pushed down). Looks really easy to change out, if necessary.
  • I was getting a noise from the 2000 Toyota Corolla VE Engine. It was coming when I was pressing the brake and sometimes when I was accelerating below 40 MPH. I went to the dealer and they told the engine oil was low and added some engine oil I don't get now. They said there may be engine problem which is burning the engine oil. If it's true I have to spend $3000 - $4000 to rebuild the engine. It's a 2000 Corolla and has got a low mileage (60 K). How do I know whether they are telling the truth or not?
  • Take the car to a good mechanic for pre purchase inspection. Try to find out the condition of the engine, transmission, brakes etc.
  • dhrdhr Posts: 4
    Still working on the problem. It does make a click noise. If I put my foot higher up on the pedal it usually starts. It has 157000 miles on it. GREAT CAR! I ordered the switch because it is only 17.00. I want to change it myself. Is it difficult? I am female but somewhat capable of mechanical repairs if they are small. I was thinking it might be the battery or starter but I think they would have gone totally out by now.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    If you hear a click from under the hood when you turn the key, it is the starter motor contacts - either replace the contacts or the whole starter. The starter motor will act like this for a while until it gradually completely wears the contacts. The clicking will become more frequent, then it eventually just won't start. Of course, another advantage of a stick is you can always just roll-start it by popping the clutch, even if your starter is completely dead. Have you ever had any other repairs in the 157,000 miles? Just curious.
  • dhrdhr Posts: 4
    I replaced the clutch master cylinder about 3 years ago. Other than that just tires and brake pads and oil changes. I have not replaced a single belt and have not broken down on the road (knock on wood). I like manual trasmission but I think I might go automatic next time due to the amount of traffic I sit in. I try to use my clutch the least I possibly can.
    Thanks for all your help. I will let you know how it goes.
  • My Corolla LE of 1998 has about 65k miles on it. Do I have to replace the timing-belt? The bottom line, is it still a must to replace the timing-belt on Corolla's of the past 10 years?

    I called Toyota's 1-800 number. The customer service rep read off the maintenance manual and said since the manual only says "inspect" the timing belt, it's not necessary to "replace" it.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    '98 and newer have timing chains. You don't have to do anything.
  • The Corolla maintenance book indicates that propeller bolt needs to be re-torqued as required maintenance. I know of no other front wheel drive car that has this requirement. What is the propeller bolt?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I think this is for AWD or 4 wheel drive vehicles only - does not apply to the Corolla. Check to be sure you are looking at the correct section of the maintenance book.
  • Occasional sporadic faltering was cured with gas-line antifreeze (methyl hydrate) to remove water in the gas. A week later the problem recurred, so I replaced the fuel filter and again added methyl hydrate. Problem was solved for a few days... but is back again! What does it take to get the water completely removed; or am I dealing with an additional problem?
  • Yep, it does apply to the Corolla. I was at a 2006 auto show and looked at the 2006 Corolla LE. Inside the glove box was the owner's manual and mantenance schedule along with paperwork on the warranty, tires, etc. In the maintence schedule book, the cars are up front and the SUV's in the back, it had that re-torque listed for the Corolla. Could it be a misprint?
  • kaulkaul Posts: 4
    The malfunction indicator light is coming on and staying on. Any idea what this indicates. I called toyota customer service and she said she wasnt sure. She said the gas tank cap may not be completely closed. Does that make sense?

    The engine appears to be running fine. It has 107000 miles on it. I am the first owner.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Could be any number of things, most likely related to emissions. You can take it to AutoZone and have the codes read for free, and this will tell you the problem. It could be as simple as a sensor. Please let us know the results!
  • The dealer informed me that my 2003 Corolla S with 41,000 miles needs a Transmission Flush and that it has to have T4 Transmission fluid. They want $190+ to do this. :mad: Does this need to be done at 41k? :confuse: Is this price similar to other places or has anyone gotten this significantly cheaper? Is it correct that this is the only transmission fluid the car will take and that only Toyota sells it? Help, I don't want to overpay, but I don't want to go to someone other than the dealer who puts the wrong stuff in. :confuse:
  • kaulkaul Posts: 4
    Auto zone checked it out and said that I should check my gas tank cap and the vacuum hoses.
    I have'nt had time to do this yet but I will.

    What does gas tank cap have to do with this?

    Dose this mean emissions system is ruled out.

    When u mentioned sensor, are we talking about an emissions sensor. That sounds like a reasonable explanation to me. The sensor has gone bad and this is an indication of its malfunction.

    Why is autozone doing this for free?

    I would be interested in your response. Thank you.
  • I've scoured the maintenance manual that came with my 1999 Corolla, and I'm confused about what maintenance needs to be performed at 100,000 miles. This is mainly due to the difference between a) what the dealership did at the last service b) what the book says and c) what the new mechanic is recommending. The car gets an average mix of highway and city driving in mostly wet conditions in Seattle.

    Done at 80,000 miles
    "75,000 mile service" replaced engine belt replaced rear brakes

    Proposed at 100,000 miles by friend-of-friend independent mechanic
    "100,000 mile service" flush coolant flush transmission (are these two things usually included in a standard service, or are they extra?) replace front brakes
    (quoted $350 for everything)

    (I also need new tires and an alignment, but I'm counting those separately.)

    With the exception of regular oil changes, what else should I be doing now to make this car bulletproof for another 20,000 miles? I intend to drive it into the ground and I'd like to take excellent care of it. Thanks.

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Just do a drain and fill, not a flush. A flush is not necessary. A drain and fill at a dealer will run $80-90. Yes, use only Toyota ATF T4 (check the manual to be absolutely sure of the type of ATF.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Just do what the owner's maintenance manual says. Per manual, change plugs every 30,000, and air filter and pcv valve. Drain and fill automatic trans fluid, (don't flush) every 30,000, drain and fill coolant every 30,000.

    $800 for rear brakes!!!! That's really expensive! What did they do!?!? For front brakes, pads and rotor turn is about $180 at a dealer. New rotors would be more $$

    Also, I highly recommend using only Toyota parts and fluids. In addition, change brake fluid, power steering fluid every 30-60k.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Gas cap is emissions - loose cap or bad gas cap gasket will release gas fumes into air. Autozone does for free in hopes you will buy parts from them to fix the problem.
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