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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • southpaw1southpaw1 Posts: 34
    Anyone else having problems with defects and things not working properly in their Matrix? I already had to have a latch fixed, one from the spare tire compartment that wouldn't unlock. Now I discover my fog lights aren't working and therefore almost failed state safety inspection. Thankfully the guy was nice and passed me anyway. I've always had great luck with Toyota so this is very disappointing to me. I do love the car and hope my problems are an isolated blip in quality control.
  • The fuel filter in the Corolla is located near the fire wall, under the air box just like the man said. Follow the fuel lines, it is impossible to miss. Corollas have timing belts not chains, and if the belt breaks the car just stops. It does not have an interference engine (in the regular fuel models) so nothing hapens to the engine. It just sits there, cranks, and doesn't start.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    the ZZ engine in the Corolla should be a timing chain.

    the previous A-series are timing belts
  • inkiinki Posts: 15
    I was getting into my Matrix the other morning and I noticed a small tear in the driver's seat fabric. Upon closer inspection, I noticed there was some sort of wire/cable poking through the upholstery. It looks like this wire/cable inside the seat busted and forced its way through the fabric. My first trip to the dealer will be sonner than expected... this really bites. I assume they'll need to replace the entire seat. Anyone else have this happen?
  • raven18raven18 Posts: 33
    kaunu, i know what your talking about. You could have an upholstery shop add a closed cell rubber, such as rubatex to the lid, and then cover with leather. It shouldn't be all that expensive. You could probably even do this yourself. Go to for the closed cell foam a quarter inch thickness will probably do you. I worked in an aircraft interiors shop for several years, and i'm familar with the closed cell foam (rubatex), it is very dense and cushiony, it also is resilient to liquid. The rubber is glued on with a 3M adhesive and the rubber can then be ground and contoured if you wish, and then covered.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    I've just discovered the first problem with my Matrix. Today I noticed a bubble in the black tape covering the window frame. It will be a few weeks before I can get it in to the dealer, but it's definitely going in. Did someone here post that Toyota has issued a TSB on the door tape? If so, I'd appreciate it if you gave me the number.
  • saturnfansaturnfan Posts: 40
    Had the base 5 speed CE for over a month now, and the only issue was that the stitching on the shift boot snapped.

    Fred Anderson Toyota got the part in 2 days and installed it in 30 minutes.

    Great car. Marvelous shifter & clutch.

    Much better interior than my other car, a Saturn SL1 (2000).
  • cards_200cards_200 Posts: 44
    Just purchased a '99 CE w/ 42K miles.

    Does anyone have insight to a good service manual for the more simple Corolla tasks?

    The Haynes book seems to cover a lot of model years ('92-00). This concerns me that it may not be specific enough for '99.

    Also, outside of oil change receipts, I'm not certain of the previous maintenance. Is there any maintenance in addition to that specified by owners manual (e.g. air filter, plugs). I should do?

  • lily888lily888 Posts: 12
    Hi, It is my first time to buy a car. So a little scared.
    I live in Detroit. I am I'm interested in 2002 Honda Civic HX and 2003 Toyoda Corolla CE. Which one will be fit for the snow weather in Detroit? I usually use my car to commute to work and occasionally drive 4 hours to Chicago on holiday. Could anybody recommend me which one I should buy?
    BTW, some people told me that it is a better deal to buying a one or two years used car still within warranty than buying a new car? Could anyone also tell me your opinion on it?
  • lily888lily888 Posts: 12
    Now another question: The ABS system is optional of Toyota Corolla CE. So could anyone tell me if it worth to add ABS? Thanks.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Posts: 96
    See my answer over in "What Did You Pay".
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    I think I have misread the dipstick and now may be a quart (or so) over the second mark. Am I safe to drive it the 5 miles or so to the nearest Toyota dealer? I don't really want to go crawling under it and looking for the drain plug this early on. Besides, I was so sure it was low before I put it in there, I now wouldn't be surprised that I still have it wrong and it is low after all.

  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    Drove it to the dealer this morning. I had indeed over-filled it. I've never had this kind of trouble reading a dipstick before. Somewhere between my apparently deteriorating vision (which I didn't seem to know about before buying this car) and the shiny/silver dipstick (most of mine in the past were flat/grey - easy to tell where the level was) I just couldn't get a read on the oil level. I only drove it from home to the dealer that way and it's fixed now.
  • jsleesijsleesi Posts: 33
    Every morning when I start the car and drove off
    I hear valve lash for a while and then goes away
    about few miles or so.

    It has 46,500 miles. Prior to 40,000 miles
    the valve lash was not there?

    How to fix the problem? Help
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    While many cars with this engine will go to 100k and beyond without needing to have the valves adjusted, yours may be the occasional exception. The owner's manual says that you don't need to routinely adjust the valves unless you hear noise - well, you do, so the first step is to get to a service dept and have it done.

    The second step, if you are going to keep this car to the end of its service life, is to consider a switch to synthetic oil. We have been using Castrol Syntec 5-50 in all of our cars for the past ten years [it is also OEM for BMWs these days], or MobilOne, or whatever. The cost for this car adds less than $10-15 per oil change, depending on what you were paying for conventional oil, and is real insurance for any car you plan to keep a long time.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    For Non-VVT-i Toyota engines, the valve clearance adjustment interval is 60,000 miles. Most people usually ignore the valve clearance adjustment (basically, measure and shim up the clearance)
  • laksjlaksj Posts: 19
    The air conditioning in my 2002 Corolla LE has been producing this intermittent whooshing sound lately. I’ve taken it to the dealer who initially thought it was the belt tensioner. However, after replacing the belt tensioner, the sound still remains. The dealer said that the sound was normal and –since it’s intermittent- that it was probably the A/C’s compressor’s intermittent activation that produces this sound. Now I’ve had a 2000 Corolla prior to this one, which essentially had the same A/C system, but I’d never noticed a similar sound coming out of it. The sound I’m talking about is what you’d hear if a belt were rubbing against something. I initially thought it was an airplane passing (I work near the airport), until I heard it in my building’s underground parking!

    Has anyone else experienced a similar problem with their 1998-2002 Corollas and –if so- was there a fix to it. I fear that, if there indeed is a problem with my A/C which my dealer can’t diagnose, it’s getting worse since the noise in question is getting louder the more I use the A/C.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the compressor clutch, or pulley on the compressor. The pulley might be ever so slightly misaligned.

    Noises are almost impossible to discuss online, since in fact the AC DOES make a faint "whooshing" sound when the compressor kicks in, on virtually every car I've ever owned. Obviously, the question is, how loud is it and if it is getting worse, then I would suggest taking it to another dealer, and pointing them in the direction of the compressor pulley. Also check the belt for edge wear, which is a sign that the path may be slightly off.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I have a 2000 Corolla with beige interior. On both front door panels there are uniform spots bleeding through. I guess it's glue spots.

    Anyone else experience anything like this?
  • daveghhdaveghh Posts: 495
    I am thinking about getting the 1994 Corrolla and it seems to run really good except for two things....

    1) Gas pedal is sticky when accelerating from 0 mph.
    2) One of the rotors might be slightly bent because their is a very slight pulsing when braking. Brakes feel strong though.

    How much below Kelly blue book do you think I should go? Are ether of these common problems for the 1994?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I responded to this in the main Corolla forum...
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    I've had mine for 2 weeks now, and so far, the car has been great overall. However, I have had some very minor problems. The day after I drove it home, I attempted to hang up the tonneau cover and discovered that one of the clips/loops was missing entirely, and another was missing the bolt that attaches it to the car itself. The parts were replaced under warranty a week ago. I also have a clip that came off of something near or under the dash, but I still can't figure out exactly where.

    Also, the little compartment right under the shifter (cheap plastic bin with a flimsy latch) keeps popping open. It's annoying, to be sure, since it pops open with the slightest bump in the road. Anyone else have this problem?
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    I have the opposite problem - when there isn't anything with any kind of wieght in there (it's a perfect place for my sunglasses - the ones that keep me from seeing the odo and the temp ;-)), it won't pop open. If I hit the button just right it will finally give it up.

    There seems to be a lot of cheap plastic in the interior IMO, but given the amount of car I'm getting for the money, it's a reasonable trade-off.
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    I agree.........for the money, I feel that this is the best deal I've ever gotten on a car. It does a little bit of everything and the car is a blast to drive. The problems I've listed are very minor, but can be a little annoying. As for the compartment problem, I think I'll wait to take it to the dealer until my first oil change and ask them if they can do anything about it. Have you tried anything to fix your compartment problem?
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    Nah. I figure it's the design - the latch just gives and it's supposed to fall open, but it's so light, gravity just doesn't apply;-). I might mention it when I take it in at 7500 miles.
  • I have been to my dealer five times to remedy this problem. After the second incident, they replaced the charcoal canister (switch), and after the fifth incident, a diagnostic was performed that was inconclusive.
    The other times, they have just noted and cleared the code.
    They (dealership), in my opinion are in the dark!
    I have been told by collegues that maybe the gas cap should be replaced, or the O2 sensor.
    The car has 60,000 miles on it, and is mostly highway driven.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • shamgottishamgotti Posts: 10
    I recently bought a 2003 corolla le, and i just love my car. Recently I have noticed a loud clicking noise when shifting from park to reverse. The noise is also heard during low speed acceleration,i.e. 10-25mph. Does anyone else have this problem ? Thanks for any help.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    What diagnostic trouble codes were retrieved?
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    you might want to also ask your question at - lots of '03 owners there - good luck
  • tagger18tagger18 Posts: 4
    response to message 614. i picked up my brand new 2003 corolla one week ago and i also noticed a 'click' noise shifting from park to reverse. the 'click' is not too loud and there's no noise during acceleration (yet). but i do have the infamous rattling noise coming somewhere from the dashboard/instrument panel area. the 'ticking noise' is fairly loud and it is continuous while the vehicle is moving. it's really really annoying. i took it back to the dealership and they took the entire dashboard/instrument panel out. They then drove the vehicle around the parking lot and the 'clicking noise' was even louder. after driving around, they still cannot pinpoint where the clicking was coming from. all they told me was that it is not the instrument panel nor the dashboard that was making the noise. so after 6 hours of waiting around, they put the dashboard back in place and told me that they will have to call toyota head office and make arrangement for my vehicle to go in for a major inspection/repair. what a major pain!!! if there's any new 2003 owners with the same problem had their 'clicking'/rattling noise fix, i would like to hear from them. thanx.

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