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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • Do you use the parking brake when you park the car? If you don't, that could cause extreme effort to get it out of park. Also, you may want to check and make sure that the emergency brake doesn't need to be tightened. When I owned a 2000 Prizm, after 15,000 miles I had to have the emergency brake tightened because it wouldn't hold the car on a hill.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    Join other Corolla and Matrix enthusiasts in Toyota Corolla & Matrix Owners Club!
  • This is a question about scratches on an '04 Corolla.

    I have a 1-inch scratch (without any denting) on one of the rear passenger doors. The scratch is not very fine, and I want to know what is my best option to fix it.

    I have read that "scratch remover" products don't work. I have also heard mixed reviews about buying a tube of paint from the dealer: some people say it will leave the car looking like new, and others claim that it won't really hide it. Will applying paint myself make the rest of the paint look darker? Will it even work? Or is my best option to take the car to an auto body shop. Any ideas on how much it would run to do that?

    On another note: what is the consensus on car washing? How often should it be done, does it damage the car? Same goes for waxing, and conditioning of a leather interior.

    (Whoo a lot of questions! Thanks to anyone who helps a young driver!)
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    It does matter how skillful you are, the scratch mark would still show up under angle looking. The best is to leave it for auto body shop. They would repaint the area with exactly match color.
    For washing, do it whenever the car dirty. Hand wash is the best.
    For waxing, it should be at least twice per year.
  • Driving home in a winter storm yesterday and my 2000 Corolla dies (45K miles, original battery. The car will not start. I get someone to help tow me but I cannot get the car in neutral. I had the key turned in the on position and foot on the brake but the car would not start or go in neutral. I get a jump start and I got home. I try starting the car this morning and it works but I'm afraid of driving it. Any suggestions? I'm thinking it may be the alternator (battery should be idle when driving, right??) but that doesn't explain the 'neutral' problem. Thanks
  • On 12/05/2003 I brought my 2000 Toyota Corolla to the Toyota dealership for oil change. About 3:40pm oil was changed. The mileage on my car according to your invoice was 20593 miles.
    I drove the car back to home and parked it. At 5:15 I drove to the local store. On the way home we noticed that the oil warning light turned red, and I heard clicking sound from the engine. We pulled over. I noticed an oil leak under the car then we checked the oil level dipstick, which was totally dry. A closer look showed that the oil drain plug was missing. As it was late I took the car to the dealer the next day.
    What my options are. Should I request a new engine?
  • fmnyfmny Posts: 6
    Our toyota regional service manager has convinced me that if you get the smell in the car while it's in motion, you're getting your own processed exhaust in the car. He also refused to follow up on this issue. I used a Kidde Nighthawk household carbon monoxide detector in my car and on one freeway trip we experienced readings for about a half an hour straight(can't guarantee exactly what caused the readings). The NY State Department of Health indicated the readings were high enough to guarantee the exhaust was from our own car and we should drive with the windows open.
    While we were getting the readings, there was NO sulphur/sewage smell in the car. After a somewhat sarcastic call to the regional manager they did a 40 mile test that indicates at least we're not getting the exhaust in the car all the time. The problem did not occur during that test so they're doing no more on the issue.
    Here's a scenario for consideration. You're driving on the freeway from Savannah to Atlanta on a stormy day (when the exhaust problem will occur more often). It's hot and the air conditioner is barely adequate so you recycle the air in the cabin for maximum cooling. Circumstances occur where you get your own exhaust without the sulphur/sewer smell present...... how long does it take before you run out of carbon dioxide or fall asleep?
     I've sent a formal notification of my car's tendency to get it's own exhaust while in motion to my dealership,and both American and Canadian Presidents at Toyota. Today I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau because this problem pre-existed and Toyota is selling these cars without disclosing it's presence. I'll file the same complaint with the consumer protection agency.
  • My sister has a 200 corolla with about 55K miles on it. Recently she has been having a problem with excessive oil burning. Dealer confirmed this problem and told her basically that she can either pop oil in it every few days or she can spend the major money for a new engine... This doesnt seem like an ideal situation for a car that was suppose to be reliable at least past a measly odometer reading of 55k. Anyways, she says she puts in 3 or so quarts every three days, so the car burns a quart a day??

    For all those auto mechanics out there... Is there anything she can do?? And what causes such excessive oil consumption?? Thanks
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    on that car is 5/60, which she is under. Check the fine print, but I know it includes engine internal parts, which I would hope would include valve seals and rings, one of which is a problem (probably rings?) if it is really burning that much oil. HOWEVER, that sounds like impossibly high consumption - there would be clouds of black smoke - could she have a leaking drain plug or something?


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

  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I recently purchased a 2004 Siennna and Corrolla from Watertown Toyota, in Watertown, MA. As unbelievable as it may sound the Sienna which is just about the biggest minivan out there gets far better mileage under the same conditions than my Corolla. The Corolla has almost 1500 miles on it and still gets only 16 mpg, and often emits a sulfur like smell. The dealership is already giving me the run around, recommending different gasolines etc. and other such nonsense. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions.
  • I've had my new Corolla for only three months; after one GENTLE frost-scraping session, I got back in my car and discovered I had a scratch on my windshield for every stroke of the brand-new plastic ice scraper. Some of the scratches look deeper than others; there must be at least a hundred of them.

    Friends and relatives tell me they've never heard of such a thing. My Toyota salesman thought it strange too, and suggested that perhaps there was a grain of sand or something in my scraper. The dealer's service department told me that windshields are being made softer these days and plastic ice scrapers will scratch them; the glass is not defective.

    Still, I know several people with new cars who have scraped their windows aggressively, without causing scratches.

    Auto glass shops tell me they can't buff the scratches away. To get rid of the scratches, I'd have to replace the windshield.

    Should I continue to pursue this issue with Toyota or my dealer? Or should I "hold" with the soft glass story and live with the scratches?

  • tja2tja2 Posts: 5
    I agree the windshield scratches much too easily. I have a 2003 Corolla. On the first weekend I owned it I was removing pine gum with "Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover" but the resultant scratches remain to this day. I have used this product for a number of years with great success and have never encountered any such problem with any previous car or with my spouse's 2000 Accord.
  • Last Sunday morning when I went out to my car, I found my windshield had a 6" long crack in it starting at the top and running down right in front of the driver. I had the sun visor down so I'm not exactly sure when it happened. I have an 01 Corolla S 5-spd with the tinted glass but no shaded band across the top of the windshield, so I usually keep the visor down to cut down on the glare. I had it replaced with a tinted windshield with the top shaded band. What an improvement. I'm actually glad it happened! My car now has just over 40k miles on it & has NOT needed a return trip to the dealer for anything since new. My gas mileage runs from a winter low of 32 mpg to a summer best (on a trip) of 48 mpg. I was thinking of selling it this spring and buying a new car. Not sure yet just what, but probably another Toyota. Merry Christmas to all!!!
  • Got a 2 week old 04 Corolla LE with 500 miles on it. I'm only getting 22 MPG, which is nowhere near what I expected. Does anybody have any insight into this problem?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    may not be enough to get a true picture of what the mpg is - that is only, what, one or two fill-ups? I would wait a little, get out of the break-in period, and average a bunch of tanks together before I cam to any conclusions.

    That said, if all the mileage is short-trip, in-town, A/C-or-defrost-on, 22 might not be out of the ballpark. What type of driving do you do?

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

  • Two fill ups so far. I was doing a lot of stop and go driving. The past couple of days of been able to do way more cruising on the freeway.
  • Just got a nice example from the local dealer...and after checking the spec on shows that my Corolla has a 3-speed auto trans???Is that possible in 2002???Please give any sugestions!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    had a 3-spd auto...there has been a corolla with a 3-spd auto for quite some time - up until '00 it was the VE in that generation. That dubious "tradition" was only ended for the '03.

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

  • My 2003 CE's windshield got scratched up when brushed by an ice covered tree branch last year. This glass is just dog crap IMHO.

    Regarding mileage (03 CE 5 speed) great in summer, lousy in cold weather. Sulphur farts are much less than last year, so perhaps the gas is getting cleaner.

    Very fast idle for several minutes in cold weather might waste a lot of fuel.
  • Does anybody know how to identify if the trans is 3 or 4 speed? I am not a very experienced driver and I couldn't tell by driving the car....there has to be something in the VIN...or somwere else?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    VE was the 3-spd auto. Then the VE went away, and there were the CE, LE, and S. At that point the CE became the 3-spd auto.

    Thank goodness, beginning in '03 there is no longer a 3-spd auto. Really they cheaped out badly ever making a 3-spd auto in the 90s. The 4-spd manuals have been gone for 20 years.

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

  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    The 3 speed auto does not have an O/D lockout button on the gear lever.
  • I bought a 2004 Corolla LE, 5 speed, in September. I have loved the car so far, but many times, when going over bumps in the road (especially with passengers in the car), I hear a very loud banging noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. I have taken the car in 3 times to the dealer but I feel like I am getting the run around. I even drove the car over speed-bumps with a service guy in the back seat, he heard the noise, said, "that's not normal", and then he told me that he would wrap my spare tire and other parts in the trunk compartment in foam and that it would help reduce the noise coming from the area. Guess what? It hasn't helped a bit. The noise is very obvious and troubling, I don't like to drive people around in my car because of it, and I am starting to regret my decision to purchase this vehicle. Does anyone have any advice for me?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    a clunk or a bang? On my Matrix there is a clunk when the rear suspension comes down off speed bumps, and other Matrix owners have reported this also. I believe the rear suspension is similar between the two.

    BTW, if you have the car really loaded down at the back, it is possible to bang the exhaust on the speed bump as you come over it - that is not what you mean, is it?

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

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I would take it to a different dealer, and tell them the whole history of your problem and what the other dealer did (or didn't) do. This should be easy to diagnose and fix, if it's a problem.
  • I guess you could call it a "clunk"...but it's very loud and sometimes I feel like I can feel the car vibrate while it makes the noise. It also does this when I have no one in the car with me and I hit a bump at a decent speed.
  • I have a corolla 98 and I recently changed the rear brakes, it was my first time an now the hand brake is all loose and I can't quite figure out how I need to tighten it. The rest of the brake system works fine. Any help please?
  • battb1battb1 Posts: 2
    My 2003 Toyota corolla, bought new on October 27, 2002 is a big mess. From October 20, 2003 to January 22, 2004, we've had to take it to the dealership 5 times for either stalling, failing to start after several trials,or for coming to a complete stop while in traffic. In all 5 occasions, the engine light stayed on permanently. This car had to be towed twice already. The servive technician at the Toyota dealership told us that the ECU module could be the problem. In November, they replaced it, and since then the car stopped twice in a 8-day period,and on one of these occasions (this week), it had to be towed. We have been told that it had consistently generated computer codes unfamiliar to Toyota technicians in several diagnostic tets. Does anyone here have an idea about what is going on? Also, what are your experiences with the Toyota arbitration process?
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