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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • Just picked up my matrix last week and I did notice the rotten egg smell coming through the vents. Thought I was crazy.
    Also have a problem with condensation in the headlight, they have to replace the whole unit.
    Anyone else have this problem?
  • hwaithwait Posts: 1
    In test driving the Matrix XR, I noticed a loud vibration in the interior of the vehicle coming at high revs during acceleration esp. during startup from 0 mph. My partner says there was vibration felt esp from the passenger seat. Question, 1) does anyone agree, or is this an exception in my test-drive vehicle; 2) has anyone compared the XRS 180 hp engine against the XR 130 hp engine for this problem?

    PS My partner asks: is there anyone with a Matrix at 1000 miles + still experiencing RESS (rotten egg smell syndrome)? Or, has anyone actually received any help with this from their Toyota Dealer. We keep seeing alot of complaints about lousy service.
  • matthewemmatthewem Posts: 2
    I have never experienced the RESS, but I can say with out reservation that the service I have received is not the typical Toyota service. I purchased an XR in Lunar Mist, the same color as my Pre Runner which wears very well in the Phoenix sun. After returning home I was looking at all the details on the car and noticed that on the drivers side door the tape on the window frame had a bubble just above the door itself. Took it to the dealer and they told me several different stories, needless to say it has been three weeks on back order and still no satisfaction. Also in looking at what they will have to do to repair the problem I am worried that they can't do it with out causing more damage. Very disappointed that toyota would let this slip through final inspection. Note: I looked at all the Matrix's they had on the lot and everyone had the same defect to some extent.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    I had a mild RES from outside the car when the engine was very new. Suspect it was something in the catalytic converter relating to being new. It went away by 500 miles.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    I have not experienced the vibration in my XR. After reading a report of the door trim tape bubbling here, I inspected mine very carefully, and no bubbles. I'm happy to report that I have not had a single problem with my car!
  • leafguy2727leafguy2727 Posts: 83
    Still got it, I find I have it most when first putting on the heat in the morning. I have just over 7000km on mine so it will be going into the dealership soon for an oil change, I'll report back what they say.
  • jciprianojcipriano Posts: 4
    I have a Matrix XR...
    I wish I was on this site in the last three weeks, because I could have also contributed to the cd player and rotten egg complaints.
    I have had the player replaced already, it made scratching noises when braking. The new one does do the scratching a little bit when braking as well. That is Delco stereos for you! I called the dealership about the rotten egg smell, he said that it should go away over time.
    The gas mileage, has gotten a bit worse from the car's first or second tank. Is that normal? I'm thinking it could be the way it is driven, or heat? I never had the A/C on.
    I think I will be calling Toyota Canada over the CD player...since there are more complaints as well, I'll mention this site. My sister also bought a matrix, and she has these same rotten smells, interesting.
  • kaunukaunu Posts: 1
    What are we going to do with that Elbow killer between the front seats? It is supposed to be an arm rest ... but it is hard as a rock?

    Has anybody figured how to make it softer or found a padded replacement?
  • ski46ski46 Posts: 24
    Ihave a 2003 LE with automatic trans and have gotten 36 mpg on a long trip. I regularly get 33-34 in my mostly highway driving and about 30 around town. This car has never had the rotten egg smell that everyone else seems to have, I guess I'm lucky!
  • jsleesijsleesi Posts: 33
    Hi 8u6hfd,

    After your information, I looked under the air filter, there was no fuel filter can be found.

    I called local auto parts store, like NAPA, GI Joe and Schucks. They all told me none listed
    in their parts book.

    I called local dealer, they told me that, the fuel filter is in fuel tank and no need to
    change, it is permanent.

    What do you think?

  • lfanlfan Posts: 61
    I own a '03 Corolla S (~2000th built)

    I had dash rattle/buzz above the instrument panel since the first few weeks of ownership. Finally took it in couple weeks ago and the dealer service dept installed foam to silence the rattle. What a relief as it was beginning to deteriorate and sounds so out of place in a relatively quiet car otherwise. This is the second rattle fixed on the car with the first being a problem in the rear portion of the headliner.

    I forgot to ask the service dept about the oily smell that comes out of the vents when the AC is on in recirculating mode. Anyone else with this problem? Or is this a normal occurrence on new Toyotas?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Well, there is a permanent fuel filter in the gas tank.

    There should be a fuel filter somewhere in the engine compartment, which needs periodic replacement.

    Try calling some local shops, because there should be a fuel filter in the engine compartment.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    My dealer told me i have a timing chain when its actually belt, and didnt have to change it anytime soon. i doubt they would have foot the bill when i took their advice and my belt snapped and crushed a piston or two.
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    I actually found the center console to be the least-obstructive of the sport wagons I looked at. My right hand is usually on the stick or the wheel, so I don't need it as an arm rest, I just want it out of the way. Some of the others interfered with working the handbrake and even the shifter.

    On the drive home from the dealer, I was pushing a button on the stereo (not sure which one - I was watching the road, but I was looking for the EQ button) and for a second, my dashboard went dark! I hadn't taken my finger off the button, so I pushed it again and they came back on. I have not been able to reproduce it since. Is there actually a button that kills the dashboard lights, or should I have this looked at?
  • wolfgar112wolfgar112 Posts: 5
    I've got it as well. anyone found out about this yet?

    it seems to have lessened over the past couple of weeks, but still would like to know what is causing it.

    only other problem i'm noticing so far is slightly lower mileage than i was expecting, averaged 27 on my first tank 28 on the second. maybe that'll improve over time, so i haven't brought it up with the dealer yet. no rattles so far... ~700 miles
  • 1matrix1matrix Posts: 47
    Any Matrix owners out there have the optional DVD Nav System? How well does it work for you?

    I just read a very critical review of the Navigation System found on the Matrix (see I opted for the Nav System when I ordered my car (a $1,890 option), but now I am having second thoughts.

  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    I hven't had that happen, and I suspect that it wasn't designed to do that. If it happens again, I'd visit the dealer post haste!
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    Still hasn't happened again, but I'll keep an eye on it. On the other hand, I haven't messed with the stereo while driving again, either.

    (We meet again, dogtrainer! ;-))
  • epskiepski Posts: 5
    Re: The dashboard lights - Depends on the button, but the dimmer wheel over on the left is the only switch I know of that can turn off the dash lights.

    Re: DVD Nav system. I've found it to be very accurate, and pretty cool. I started using it last night after calibrating it, and it was very accurate. As I turned into my driveway coming home last night, the navigator told me (I had voice-nav on) I had reached my destination, so that's pretty accurate!
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    Still no repeat on the dashboard lights. Had a scare earlier today when the remote lock wouldn't work on either fob. Turned out Mrs. 3k didn't close the rear gate properly.;-)
  • leafguy2727leafguy2727 Posts: 83
    O.k. I'm now up to 8200km

    Got my first oil change at 7800. $32 at Whitby Toyota

    On the milage I'd say it started doing really well after 5000km

    RESS- Was told this is a result of the break-in period on new converters, I must say it is virtually gone.

    CD - Yes exact problem, grinding when braking. My new one is on order, should only take a few days and 30 minutes was what I was told it would take to install, was happy to hear a "radio guy" was not being called in and that they do it themselves. Go figure, the one GM part doesn't work. God I hate GM, but anyways. So if they replace it and it has more problems I'd go right back.

    On the armrest issue, I've have no complaints at all. I guess everyone has different opinions.
  • 90513369051336 Posts: 2
    How much is that usually? My car is 98 corolla.
    I am wondering whether the dealer is the best place for it or doesn't matter at all?

    Any input is appreciated!
  • robertp4robertp4 Posts: 22
    I have a 2002 Corolla type S. 2 weeks ago while driving home, the engine shut off on the highway and could not be restarted. It was towed to a local Toyota dealer. I spoke to the mechanic the next day and he said he was able to start the motor, and checked the computer which had a code for the #1 spark plug misfiring. When he pulled the spark plug wire, the boot was covered with antifreeze. It was his opion that the spark plug tubes were leaking antifreeze into the #1 cylinder. However he could not explain why the car shut off and could not be restarted. The dealer ordered a new cylinder head and gasket, but after 2 weeks, the parts have not arrived. The car has only 15K miles. I was given a loaner car a 2003 corolla. (Much nicer and the seats are more comfortable). Has anybody else had this problem?
  • bxkidbxkid Posts: 8
    It's brand new 1150 miles and have a knock shifting on this auto tranny, especially from P to R. It is intermittent but appears to be getting worse. Just want to get heads up before Tranny expert takes it for test drive. I would not think it is normal!! Thanks for any advice.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    Could you be a little more specific? Where does the noise seem to originate? Can you feel it as well as hear it? When you say getting worse, does that mean louder or more frequent or both? Is it a knock as in a single discrete noise or a grinding?
  • jdtsjdts Posts: 3
    No problems. No noises/vibrations/rattles/etc. No RESS, car smells new, in and out.

    1st tank of gas 30 mpg - 2nd tank better.

    Air conditioning a little weak - glad we didn't choose a dark color.

    Stereo so-so, but no actual problems.

    Overall, we love the car. We knew what we were buying and are not at all disappointed.
  • bxkidbxkid Posts: 8
    It is a single discrete noise and it is coming from tranny. It is like a loud click. Cant feel it. It can happen in any gear when car is standing still but usually from P TO R . Further use of car indicates that it may not be getting worse but is about same. Still happens in about 1 in 7-10 shifts. Auto tranny expert at dealership heard it and said that he wants to do further investigating, because he could not duplicate on another 2003! Let you know what happens next week. Thx for any advice.
  • nhepker1nhepker1 Posts: 13
    Has anyone replaced the Toyota spark plugs in their Corolla with aftermarket plugs? I know that the Toyota spark plugs have a different design (two prongs, one on each side of the electrode in the middle). I was wondering if it would effect engine performance if I used something else. This is on a 99. I don't know if the generation before it had this kind of spark plug.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The 2 prong copper plug allowed a 60,000 mile life.

    If you used a single ground "U-groove" from the dealership or any other copper plug, the spark plug life will be 30,000 miles.

    A single ground platinum plug will last you 60,000 miles

    If you spent the extra money on the iridium plugs, you may gain a little power, plus 100,000 spark plug life.
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