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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628 - orolla_grade_features.html

    I'd say generally that the equipment/options on most in-stock units will vary geographically. Most Corollas, especially LEs, will have automatic transmissions; side airbags and ABS tend to be a bit hard to find. At least half the 'S' models will have the sport package (rear spoiler and alloy wheels, IIRC). Good luck.
  • vivian24vivian24 Posts: 3
    I have experienced a sudden drop in power while driving. I attribute part of that to the extreme temperatures we are experiencing here in Arizona lately. I am considering replacing the oxygen sensor. Already replaced has been fuel tank, fuel filter, plugs, oil change. I would appreciate any feedback here or my email address of Thank you very much.
  • ranger96ranger96 Posts: 16
    Question for the new 2003 Toyota Corolla le with keyless entry. Can the keyless entry be set so that when either unlocking or locking the doors the lights can blink with a beeping sounds(like the older 2000-2001 camrys)or does the lights only blink.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,338
    vivian---please don't make so many multiple posts. One topic should be enough to get a response.

    thank you


    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • amy89amy89 Posts: 1

    i know this might be a little stupid, but i can't seem to hook up the cargo net to my 04 corolla le. the instructions say that i need to use a plug removal tool but it didn't come in the cargo net package. so, what should i do??!

  • nu2soobnu2soob Posts: 7
    I've had my XR for about a month. Recently the latch on the seatback of the backseat (passenger side) has started to rattle. It only rattles when I hit a sharp bump. Anyone deal w/ this before? Is there a fix? Thanks in advance.
  • terceltom1terceltom1 Posts: 150
    I also have a 2001 Corolla LE. My air conditioner works great. We currently are having 90 degree plus days, and humid and my Corolla chills down immediately. I did find that when you turn the temp. dial all the way to cool you must turn it until the dial actually kind of clicks into the coldest position, not just to the maximum left, but one click farther. This is when it really cools down fast. Also be sure to use recirculate instead of fresh air for maximum coolness.
  • fmnyfmny Posts: 6
    Our water on the rear passenger floor may have been fixed by flushing the moon roof drains. Toyota service told us these drains clog up so easily and often that when we replace this car my wife will probably give up her moon-roof.
    The brakes were checked as a possibility for the squeeking problem. They were ok and the problem still exists.
    I really don't know what's wrong with Toyota with this sulphur issue. Corporate Toyota doesn't seem to care a bit for customer satisfaction on this issue -- with exception of Laurelmarie. In New York the regional service manager has indicated that they've tested and sulphur levels are higher than some standard (standards for which they probably have in Canada). I called Toyota's customer service and indicated to them that Toyota was selling cars in New York that can't handle the gasoline in the state and the consumers have no prior warning about this. She indicated it was the dealers responsibility to advise the customers. If I were a dealer I would be very upset to have to sell cars that have a sulphur problem in the first place (or try to sell them after mentioning the sulphur possibilities).
    I have a couple of loose ends to clean up and will try Laurelmaire's procedure of writing to the dealership owner and Toyota presidents. I have enough written information from corporate Toyota to request assistance from the Consumer Protection Agency and the State Attorney General's Office. I'll decide on that action after I've consulted a lawyer about doing a private lawsuit. (Toyota customer service offered an immediate appointment for arbitration. Having no additional information about how that whole process works... I don't trust Toyota.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    The sulfur smell issue is common to a lot of new cars - look at the Honda Accord. Seems like when the new lower sulfur gasoline comes out that the problem will disappear. I read somewhere that the lower sulfur gasoline standards were supposed to be in place alreay, but our pro-oil company president gave the companies more time to comply. Then I read that BP Amoco had a record first quarter income of 3 times their old record!?!
  • fmnyfmny Posts: 6
    We did experience a noticeable improvement in occurances and intensity of our sulphur condition. Then we saw, on TV news, that distributors had changed to lower sulphur gas for the summer. Although not as severe, our problem still exists. Today for example, after dining out for lunch we filled the car with sewage smell in less than a block of driving. Then we got slowed down on the entrance ramp to the Thruway and got the sulphurish smell bad enough to leave a taste in my mouth. This level of discomfort still occurs with the "good" gas. I'm down to the last of a series of solutions suggested to me from Corporate Toyota. That suggestion is to sell the car. I don't want to take thousands of dollars loss on a car that had the problem before I bought it and became immediately apparent. Also, for the same reason I don't want to stay in the car, I can't sell it to anyone else. In my mind, it wouldn't be ethical to sell this problem to someone. I would sell it to back to Toyota so they can figure out what's wrong with this vehicle. I appreciate your comments, but in this case I'm afraid my car is a "worser" case scenario.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    mine are totally quiet. perhaps a carefully placed slip of paper? or perhaps it is merely not properly closed?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • XR rear seat rattle. I don't have your model, but experienced much the same thing after folding down and later re-latching the rear seats upright on wife's Corolla. After going into the trunk and releasing them again, then using more force to slam them into the locked-upright position, the problem vanished.

    On another front, wife suspected a defect in the upholstery of her 03 LE. Sure enough, when it is viewed in an angled (late afternoon) sunlight, I can see that every 1-5/16" there is a missing thread. This is seen as a horizontal line (left to right) in some seat (cushions and backs) panels. The vertical fabric panel of the rear seat cushion (which touches the back side of a rear passenger's leg calf) has the missing thread oriented vertically. This missing thread is visible on some of the seat panels, while other panels apparently were cut from another bolt of cloth - the 'missing thread' lines are absent. FWIW, the problem can also be seen - from a distance - at night when the interior lights are on, but close up it seems to disappear. The car was mfg'd in Canada, 11/02. Anybody else see this problem?

    Is the steering on an 03 Overly sensitive? I have to keep tweeking the steering wheel to get the car running down the center of the lane on a straight stretch, and just about the time I get it, a curve comes along and then I have to start all over again. I've never noticed this 'hairtrigger' sensitivity on other cars I've driven. Has anyone else noticed this problem?

    JEPROX - Tried to find the ULTRAGUARD alarm via the likes of GOOGLE, but going through the results gets me things like CO alarms, an alarm installation co. in Van Nuys, CA, dead-end auto products listings, car covers, card access (door lock control) security systems, home/commercial alarm systems, an edmunds listing that took me to your post, and on and on. Would you provide a pointer or req my email addr? Thanks.

  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    i suspect that ULTRAGUARD is made by a big company like clifford or some other company. i will try to look at the manual again and see if i can find a name for you.
  • hurler4hurler4 Posts: 104
    To anyone who is looking for a way to cover the cargo area with the rear seats folded down, I was at Home Depot yesterday and they have a perfect rug that can be cut to fit the area. It is called "Tuff Stuff Level Loop Collection," and is 6 x 9 feet. (The cargo area is about 5 feet by 4 1/4 feet at its widest.) It is only $19.95 and is really sturdy. I traced the cargo area, then cut the rug to those specs and am now sewing the edging taken from the scraps onto the rug so it doesn't unravel. It looks great! They have them in light gray and charcoal, too.

    Quick question: I have had my Matrix for 2 weeks now and noticed that the left rear seat has the plastic part a bit separated from the seat itself. It's still on strong enough, but there is a small gap. Has anyone had this problem? If so, how can it be fixed? I figure I should take it back to the dealer, but that can be a pain in the neck.

  • twood2twood2 Posts: 11
    to dispell the mystery of where the friggin thermostat is located on a 1990 corolla, there is a radiator hose located just below the distributor cap on the right side of the engine block.


    Back to the themostat replacement: If you unscrew the metal housing connected to the driver's side of the engine block, that the hose located under the distr. cap is connected to, you will not have remove the hose from the housing. There are only two screws. I had to remove my battery first, then my distributor cap and things flew after that.

    My recommendations for a rookie like myself are:
    1. remove the battery
    2. remove the distr cap and rotor
    3. unscrew two screws that mount this connection to driver's side of the engine block as mentioned above. it's a good idea to place a catch basin under your car as it will leak a lot of anti-freeze. you can just put it back in when you're done and you WILL NEED more anti-freeze.
    4. remove theromstat and replace with new one AND new gasket that goes around thermostat.
    5. put everything back tight.
  • ceedee2ceedee2 Posts: 1
    I have recently test driven several Corollas and one Camry (1997-2000), and on all of them the gas door and trunk release levers feel extremely flimsy. They either barely work, or open both when you are trying to open one, or on the Camry the fuel door wouldn't open at all.
    I really like these cars but the levers feel like they will break. I saw a mention of the trunk release issue, but not the fact that both levers are connected feel so light.
    Does anybody know if this is an easy fix? Does something just need tightening? I have this scary image of buying a nice Toyota and then damaging it when I need a screwdriver to pry the door open the first time I buy gas! The trunk I am willing to use a key, but if the release for the fuel door doesn't work, that's that.
  • ktravisktravis Posts: 1
    Recently my 94 Corolla's engine has shut itself off without warning and without any other accompanying mechanical problem. The car is in excellent condition, but twice in the last two weeks the engine has suddenly stopped running. The car starts back up and drives normally. Anyone else experience this problem? Any suggestions on fixes?
  • The muffler/silencer strap of 99 Corrolla broke, and I am not able to get a replacement. The is a simple 'C' shaped bracket.
    The replacement part that I am getting is a circular clamp, which will require the existing assembly to be removed.
    As per the Toyota dealer the original strap was part of the muffler, and I will need to buy the whole muffler!
    Any place where I will be able to get this part?
  • micliumicliu Posts: 1
    I took my 2001 Corolla LE to the dealership to evaluate the check engine light. They told me that I needed to replace the carbon cannister (it's involved in the emissions). They said that I would get lower gas mileage and would cause more environmental pollution if I didn't get it fixed. I also run the risk of damaging other parts of the engine. I didn't because parts and labor are $400 and I doubt the gas mileage inefficiency will cost that much (I only drive 7000 miles, so even losing 25% its only $120). Plus, the car only has 39,000 on it, and who ever hears about this part failing. The question is, "How big of a mistake am I making for not fixing this?"
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The charcoal cannister is the main component of the evaporative emission system, which stores gasoline fumes from the gas tank when the engine's shut off. Operating a vehicle with a defective evap system is releasing hydrocarbons, a major cause of photochemical smog, into the atmosphere.
  • Leo - I also have a '99 Corolla LE (53,000 miles) that is using excessive amounts of oil. Always changed oil on schedule. Dealer said shot rings. Took it to independent mechanic who ran some tests and they concluded that it was not the rings because the compression tests did not show any significant difference between cylinders. Took it back to dealer and they still say it is the rings. I suspect it could be sledging due to poor engine design as with other oyotas. In any event, the dealer is overhauling the engine under warranty and I plan to drive it until the wheels fall off (again).
  • laksjlaksj Posts: 19
    I was startled today driving my 2003 Corolla back from work when, while going about 100 km/hr (62 miles/hr), I shoved the accelerator trying to overtake the car beside me quickly (to catch an exit I almost over-shot!), only to find the rpm shooting to almost 6000 with no extra momentum whatsoever! It happened once before 2 months ago, but I had just hit a bump at high speed and dismissed it as the reason.

    Has anybody had this happen to them? Is this normal, or should I be worried? I'll send the car to the dealer to have it checked, but I wanted to check your feedback here first.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    what my Matrix does (same engine and trans)...downshift two gears if you hit the gas very fast at highway speed. One thing I have noticed about these "intelligent" transmissions is that they not only decide what to do by how far down you press the gas, but also by HOW QUICKLY you press the pedal. I have tried comparisons, pressing it down the same amount both times, once quickly and the other time gradually increasing pressure. The first time it quickly kicked down to second gear (5200 rpm or so) and the second time it almost didn't change gears at all, but shifted out of lock-up, and then to third at the last second. (never to second gear like the first time)

    It is normal for this car, but I do wish it were programmed to shift a bit sooner under normal gas pedal thrust, and not to shift to second at 100 km/h unless completely floored (and maybe not even then?)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • O.K., all you Rotten Egg complainers. Listen up. I called the nationally syndicated Clark Howard radio talk show last week and discussed the problem. My call was triggered by his monologue about only some of the most elite cars needing something more than the lowest octane. He suggested that I register my complaint with the NHTSA people - . (Suggestion - key it in once for the ENGINE, EMISSIONS category, copy it before submitting it, then enter it again under the ENGINE, EMISSIONS, CATALYTIC CONVERTER category. That way, they will see it two ways, and can't say we didn't enter it right. Limit, 2000 characters, so be succinct.)

    Clark also suggested that I make the same complaint to which has no character limit, near as I can tell.

    Well, the second one paid off. At least they were nice enough to respond, and here's what they had to say.

    "The engine in the Corolla is running too rich. There's not enough oxygen in the fuel mixture. The sulfur in the gasoline is being reduced to H2S rather than being oxidized to SOx. Call Toyota at 800-331-4331. To get EPA's assistance in the matter, call Sheena Dupree at 202-564-9414 who works on warranty issues for them. Or you can write the head of the office at the below address.
    " Margo T. Oge, Director
    " U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    " Office of Transportation and Air Quality (6401A)
    " 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    " Washington, DC 20460

    "Tell Toyota you are contacting EPA. That will get their attention."

    He signed his name, which I'll not repeat here.

    So later today I'll get the ball rolling. And now you too have something to work with, but please, Please, PLEASE be sure to report YOUR problems to those two (now three with ) organizations, too. Only if enough of us bellyache - and to the right people - will we get Toyota to fix a problem that never should be happening. FWIW, my neighbor bought an '02 Honda Civic just before I got the Corolla. Neighbor uses the cheapest unleaded gas he can find, and has ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with rotten eggs smell from his exhaust. I bought the Corolla because I felt it was mechanically superior to the Honda. It doesn't need a timing belt replaced every xxx miles - Toyota went to a chain drive for the overhead cams, in '03, and the rest of the engine dates back several years, so the design is pretty much "proven".
  • laksjlaksj Posts: 19
    nippononly, that's exactly what happens with my corolla. If that's what Toyota calls intelligent, then I don't know how a "stupid" transmission would behave! Another couple of times of the engin suddenly shooting up to almost 6000 rpms like that and an engin rebuild may be needed!

    At any rate, thanks for the info. I'll try to take easy with my technoligical marvel from now on..
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I am pretty tired of it shifting to second when I need some sudden acceleration on the freeway, so I have taken to hitting the "O/D lock-out" button instead....this seems to defeat its desire to shift down to second.
    The thing I really hate about "intelligence" is that if you are most of the time a light-foot like me, to save some gas, it will not shift aggressively at other times when you actually want some rapid acceleration. It assumes that once lazy is always lazy as far as shifting. I find myself shifting the gears on this thing almost as often as I used to shift my manual, and I can't understand how 90% of the drivers in the U.S. want one of these slushboxes (very aptly named, IMO).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mirrormirror Posts: 15
    I have had Check Engine light on for the same reason over the past year or so (I have Corolla'99 LE). I have not noticed any significant fuel efficiency loss. As far as pollution goes, just today I passed my first CO inspection with numbers half of the norm. I also was quoted around $350 for the repair. The check light is on most of the time. Once in a while I see it go off on its own for a short period of time. My only concern is that with the light constantly on some other problem should it happen will go unnoticed.
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    89 Corolla, the oil alarm light turns ON. Anyone knows where is the pressure switch in engine ?
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___A heads up for anyone that may have to change a tire after a flat on the road … I was attempting to rotate the tires on my 03 Corolla LE and I could not get any of the rims off the vehicle. The dealer ripped me for $40.00 on this and I am pissed. They were rusted to the hubs and had to be hammered off from behind. This was at the 42,500 mark but a year and the rims are rusted to the hubs? I have never experienced that before with any other vehicle ever and I hope you don’t either!

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    If this car has 42k miles on it, and this is the first time someone has tried to pull a wheel, then it is no surprise that it took a mallet to move them! I've had this happen on our Mercedes at less than 2500 miles. When I went to rotate the tires on our '03 Corolla, it too was stubborn about releasing the wheels - it took my rubber mallet to make it break loose - this was after only 3000 miles or so. Not all that unusual.

    It is a good point - don't wait too long to get all four wheels off the car, and the hubs scraped clean of rust - fiddling with this on a dark road in the middle of the night is not fun.
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