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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • cc11cc11 Posts: 1
    i work in an autobody shop and i have never heard of anyone having this problem after being rear ended and you really shouldn't have anything to worry about seeing as that the work was done by a respectable repair shop(i'm assuming- dealerships shops are usually fairly good). all of the inner structures are checked and repaired/replaced as part of the repair. as well if the inside structures were damaged it would make the repairs a lot harder for the bodyman since the parts wouldn't fit together properly if they were damaged.
  • 96accord96accord Posts: 20
    I just bought a 04 corrolla around 2 weeks back and I have done around 1200 miles on it and I have been getting around 25-27mpg with a mix of city and highway driving. I think its pretty low someone told me that I need to wait for sometime until the engien breaks in inorder for the gas mileage improves. I normally drive at around 70mph on the freeway and I am not heavy footed.
    Any advice.
    Thanks In advance
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    For a new one, with the kind of mix you're describing, your fuel use is right on the money with our experience. It takes longer highway trips to break 30 mpg. Your avg will probably be about 1-2 mpg better after the engine is fully broken in, and no, that won't be until at least 5000 miles, based on our history.

    Suburban running around should settle at 26-28, and longer highway runs at 30-33. [This is with an automatic transmission.]
  • ytchenytchen Posts: 1

    Do you solve the problem ? I got the same car and same problem. Please help me.


  • 96accord96accord Posts: 20
    Thanks for your reply. I am using Chevron 87 Octane for my AT Corrolla. I was thinking I will try out another brand of gas to see if there is any difference. I was hoping to get around 30 in the city and atleast 35 on the highway. I am not heavy footed and I guess the mileage may go down a little bit with aircon useage. After 1500 miles the engine seems smoother and hopefully by around 5000 miles the engine should be completely broken in. I am planning on getting my first oil change anytime soon and will see if it makes any difference.
    I use to commute to work which is just 10 miles away and the engine sees a lot of stop and go traffic and short run and no out of town trips as yet. My corrolla is built at NUMMI and I was wondering if japanese built ones would do any better.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...that changing fuel brands will make any difference. Based on our ownership experience, assuming you're talking about an automatic, I think your expectations are simply not realistic. And no, final assembly location has nothing to do with it [all Corollas for the North American market come from either NUMMI or the Canadian plant].

    Good luck, anyway...
  • betongbetong Posts: 2
    actually I am also experiencing this unconfortable feelings about my 2004 corolla S..?????? first of all did you ever tried to put your windows half way then move it side ways if it has a very small clearance you are still lucky, coz mine which I bought last April 16th, and put 300 miles on it I have a very loose clearance,I did took it to the dealer getting an answer it was build that way, I did own older toyotas but the windows were really tight, imagine buying a new car with this kind of problems, and also look at the gas pipe where u put gas going to the fuel tank w/c is only protected by a small piece of plastic shield, if tire burst it might burst into flames, remedy might be customize with a larger and sturdier shield,still hoping for the right solution.....
  • My experience with MPG in my AT 03 Corolla is identical. Initially, I was dissapointed too, becouse I was hoping to get closer to EPA numbers. However, with my driving in many other cars, I almost never got close to EPA figures. Acctually, my last car, 92 Protege, did only 22 MPG in the same commuting in heavy traffic.

    The numbers irct quoted above are right on the money. I heve never gotten more than 31 MPG on pure highway. My city driving is 26-27.
    I understand that some people get 40+, but I am not sure how. Most likely MT, very slow driving, no stop signs, extraordinary gas, lean engines by defect, and perheps errors in MPG computing ;-)

    I also understand that some people expierience 20 MPG in new Corollas in winter, so you have to balance your experience.

    BTW, the thing about MPG improving with a break-in is a myth (IMO). I never saw it in my new cars. On the other hand, the sound of engine (often described as "agrarian") did improve some after first 5000 miles.

    Some people reported 1-2 MPG improvement with mobile 1 oil, but IMO, synthetic oil in this engine is an overkill.

    Good luck.
  • 96accord96accord Posts: 20
    I have 99 Camry which pretty much gives us EPA numbers in terms of gas mileage. I was hoping for the same in my new corrolla. The vehicle should give MPG close to epa numbers or else it defeats the purpose of the EPa numbers which in my opinion could be very misleading. I am not flooring the gas pedal and expecting to get close to EPA mpg. However, my car is still new and I donot want to panic. I will wait and observe the mileage and see if it improves with time which most people on the forums have mentioned only marginally.
    Believe it or not there is a difference between J built and locally assembled cars and JD powers have verfied that too. I only have a minor rattle in my car along with the MPG issue not coming close to EPA numbers. Other than that this vehicle has been excellent. If this vehicle is going to give me 26-28 city and 32 highway then I don't think I should have bought this car as one of reasons I bought this car was for the gas mileage. I'll will observe and see what is to be done in the future if it continues to return poor mileage.
  • cocottecocotte Posts: 6
    Has anyone else noticed vibration or noises coming from their sunroof when it's either open or tilted up when going over bumps?
  • carglowcarglow Posts: 91
    A small percentage of Corollas are assembled in Japan. Their VIN starts with "J".
  • viking3viking3 Posts: 1
    PROBLEM #1:
    We purchased our first 2004 Corolla LE in November 2003. A loud clicking noise is coming from the back of the car. It sounded like it was coming from the trunk. So, as my wife drove around, I put down the rear seat and stuck my head in the trunk. Noises seemed to be coming from below the rear panel where the rear speakers are located. Is this common? Will the noises go away as the parts "settle" or does somthing need to be tightened? Noises occur only when the car is moving ... don't have to be going over bumps, either.

    PROBLEM #2:
    We just bought a second 2004 Corolla LE last week. This one is not making the clicking sounds in the back, BUT it has its own distinct "special" noise. This car is making a high-pitched, whistling sound from the front. The noise occurs when we are stopped at a light, in drive (car is automatic), and pushing on the brake. I opened the hood to try and locate the exact location of the sound. It seemed like it could have been coming from the left side of the engine (or the passenger side) near the belts (or black leather bands). Again, is this just a matter of the car needing to be driven for a while ... or a bigger problem that should be checked?

    Suggestions are welcome on either (or both) problems. Thanks for your assistance.
  • betongbetong Posts: 2
  • ROTTEN EGGS ARE ACKNOWLEDGED!! See emails at bottom of this post.

    WHISTLING SOUND - Try this.
    While in Park & after having driven a while to warm up ALL components, open the driver's door to half-way stop and listen.
    Put foot on brake, or firmly engage parking brake.
    Put tranny in R and listen. No change? O.K.
    Now put tranny in D and listen. Whistle starts? Mine does. VERY LIGHTLY press gas pedal to increase RPM slightly (900-1000 vs. 800 @ idle). Whistle stops? Mine does.
    I suspect that the tranny is slipping in 1st gear at idle (clutches or bands not FULLY engaged) until RPM picks up. Added "feature": the 1st-to-2nd gear shift is very sloppy. It sounds like 1st gear disengages, the engine 'waffles' for a moment (rpm is being limited by the computer) and then finally 2nd gear engages. I can force a faster engage if I step on the gas just as soon as I hear 1st gear disengage. Note that my 2-3 and 3-4 gear shifts are quick and firm, as they should be. (FWIW, a firm or harsher shift is easier on an AT than a sloppy, "can't feel the shift at all" shift. Reason is, those sloppy shifts indicate that the trans is slipping into gear, in much the same manner as a person with a MT revving the engine then S-L-O-W-L-Y engaging the clutch. In both cases, the clutch(es) is being prematurely worn due to slippage.)
    Sniff the fluid on your AT tranny's dipstick. It should smell sweet. If it has a burnt smell or hint of it, those are your wearing-out clutch disks creating that burnt odor. If you're not sure of what you're smelling, open a can of tranny fluid and compare scents.

    SUNROOF. We were driving down the road one night when suddenly FLAP FLAP FLAP... The rear support brace had broken away from the glass of the sunroof, so the glass was flapping like a flag in the wind, pivoting on the front attach point. Could your unit be on it's way to the same fate?

    LOOSE WINDOWS. Ask your dealer's salesperson to open several new cars on the lot and compare the slop in those windows to yours. Try to find cars that are assembled in different plants (sticker in the driver's door area) for a full comparison. Mine was assembled in Canada, and has only a little slop.

    OK - here's a copy of several recent emails on the ROTTEN EGG / SULPHUR / H2S that I received. (FWIW, you can go to and enter the argument rotten egg sulphur smell OR odor or the argument H2S to learn more about what's happening. A Quick explanation can be found about mid-page at )
     Date: 2004/06/09 Wed PM 12:31:46 EDT
     Subject: Toyota Sulfur Odor - New TSB & Repair
     Major development on your Toyota Sulfur odor complaint to the Center for Auto Safety website.
     Toyota has just issued a series of TSBs reversing its position that there is nothing they will do about it to fixing it for free. We have posted the bulletins on our website at:
     Clarence Ditlow
     Executive Director
     Center for Auto Safety
    Clarence -
     thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!!!
     Every time I had to visit our dealer this problem was my first complaint. Each time I was handed a sheet telling me that Toyota doesn't consider this a problem, and would therefore do nothing to fix it. Naturally, the dealer wasn't willing to exert any effort to counter the home office.
     Maybe enough others gave their dealers the same complaint and Toyota finally said, "Enough!" Maybe it was through your organization that Toyota finally saw the light, and smelled the stink. Whatever the case, thanks for being there.
    My spouse and I love you.
    You & your spouse are welcome. We got your complaint and others. We contacted the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the complaints.. EPA put a little pressure on Toyota & you should get your fix which happens to be very expensive for Toyota. Undoubtedly that is why Toyota tried to say "What problem?"

    Tell the world about the Center for Auto Safety. We are good but small. And we can't get our job done without the support and complaints from consumers like you. You can become a CAS member for just $20 at

    Please let me know if you have any problems getting your 2003 Corolla fixed.

    May I suggest to you, the reader, two things.
    1. Write Clarence at <> and thank him (their group) for putting the pressure on Toyota. Also, pop for the $20 - it's a small price to pay for the fix you'll get.
    2. Complain to the dealer's service dept. that you have a rotten egg odor when your windows are open, or your ventilation system's in FRESH AIR mode, and you come to a stop (light or sign) and you get this horrible stink (sometimes), even when no other cars are around. Tell the service dept. that you're using 87 octane, just like the owner's manual says you can (the '04 manual reads the same, and the '04 Toyotas are included in this non-pub'd fix), and the only thing you can conclude is that it's YOUR CAR that's making the stink. Also tell the service writer that you've tried different brands of gas, but almost always get the same results. (FYI, The problem USUALLY happens after the engine warms up. It' being caused by the engine going too rich during deceleration, such as when you approach a stop sign, light, etc. The rich condition is more than one of the catalytic converters - your car has two - can handle, and thus the stench begins.) EVEN IF YOU NEVER NOTICED THIS PROBLEM, have the fix applied. The re-programming of the computer may rectify the/a potential rich-running condition, which - if it's happening - could increase your overall MPG.

    Hope this helps.

    Another Corolla owner
  • ROTTEN EGGS. Found a seemingly decent explanation of what's happening in the catalytic converter to cause the Rotten Egg odor. Try which was updated very recently.
    That explanation makes me wonder if MPG will be adversely affected (lower MPG) after the computer is reprogrammed to (perhaps) not run the engine so lean during straight and level driving. I have noticed that the egg odor isn't as strong (after 13,000+ miles) as it was when we first acquired the vehicle, but then again, the reduced odor may be due to our using a higher octane / better refined fuel as "recommended" on the Toyota dealer's "It's not Toyota's problem so we won't work on it" handout. Oh, well, we'll find out after tomorrow.

    WHISTLING SOUND. I've noticed that in very warm weather, the whistling happens for a while after the AT has warmed up some, then disappears after the tranny is REALLY warmed up. During cool weather, when the trans warmed up, the sound was always present during idle after driving a few miles. In both situations, the 1-2 shift is always VERY sloppy, from cold engine to hot.
    The reason you want to partially open the driver's door to listen is that the sound seems to bounce off the pavement, then off the door panel, and you can hear it better this way.

    SUNROOF. With the sunroof in its closed position, open the sliding inner panel and try pushing up on the REAR of the glass while someone watches from the outside. If you can move the glass up and then down (from the outside) any measurable amount, then I'd guess the bond between the rear steel cross-bar and the sunroof glass may be failing (my situation), so you may want to see your dealer for a warranty replacement.

  • My wife's 5 month-old Corolla LE doesn't seem to cool very well in the Houston heat and humidity. It's mostly driven infrequently or on short hops (it has less than 1000 miles). My 2000 Audi with crapped out AC does a far better job than the Corolla. We realize that Houston is like the ultimate test of automobile AC. But is the Corolla's problem that it is inherently weak? Or does it need some juice in the AC? We'll likely get some window tint film to cut down the heat intake; the good metalized film works great on the Audi. We'd appreciate comments from other owners in regions of high AC demand. Thanks.
  • cocottecocotte Posts: 6
    anyone else noticing slight vibrations or hesitance when turning w/ the 2004 LE? i sometimes feel it when doing sharper turns.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Take out another Corolla on a test drive to compare? When it gets really hot here (90+ degrees, 70% humidity), it takes the car 10 minutes or more to get cooled down. Note: Put it on recirculate after five minutes and turn the fan speed to three or four. Also, point the vents at your face. I find the Corolla is like any other small economy car - marginal AC.
  • chu5chu5 Posts: 3
    I have a 99 corolla with 88,000 miles on it. Start last week, the Check Engine Light comes up. Took to dealer, they found one cylinder pressure is lower (110) than normal (125). What they want to do is to tear down the engine and figure out what causes it. The cost will be $450 for tearing down, plus whatever cost for fixing the problem. What choice do I have? Your suggestions please! Thank you.
  • carbuff88carbuff88 Posts: 1
    get recommendations from friends and coworkers for an independent mechanic, take it there, and get a 2nd opinion.
  • lpc68lpc68 Posts: 45
    i'm experiencing vibration from my front wheels and steering wheel at about 70 to 80 mph. i got a 4 wheel alignment and got new rotors and pads (when i braked at high speeds the vibration was very strong). the braking vibration has been resolved with the rotor change but i am still getting vibration at 70 to 80 mph when driving normally. the vibration seems to get better when the wheels are straight and seems to worsen when turning slightly. the previous owner replaced the steering rod and i replaced the drivers side cv axle.

    thanks in advance for any advice as to what it may be.
  • racrac Posts: 1
    After 30K service I found that coolant in reservoir drops on short time and below "LOW" line now. I didn't find any leak in the system, but I found that dealer didn't put Genuine Toyota Antifreeze Coolant, because it is green now. I didn't find any information about coolant in the service report. Any advices ?
  • Hi-
    I have a 96 toyota corolla, automatic. It currently has 106,000 miles on it and has had virtually no problems. I recently noticed that if I go over 68 miles per hour, the engine is very loud. I had it serviced and had everything flushed/filled but this has not solved the problem. Is this loudness a sign of old age or something else?
  • jansjans Posts: 1
    For the last few months my Corolla is harder to start. It often takes 2-4 tries to start the engine. I had it in for service twice and of course they tell me there is nothing wrong and it started on the first try. Others have driven it and have the same problem so it isn't me. I called 1-800-TOYOTA and they told me that "maybe try to put the foot on the brake to start it" although they were perplexed that it didn't start without the use of the brake. Tried that with some success but it doesn't seem right? Is there a right way to start this car other than turning the key? Anyone else have this experience?
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Try this: turn the key to the on position (all warning lights lit) and wait for three seconds, then turn the key to the start position as usual.
  • I have a toyota corolla with 80k and have not had any problems thus far, knock on wood. We got almost 70k miles on the factory set of tires and obout 60k on the front brakes, 70k on the rear. Oil changes every 5k and a tranny flush is the only maintenance I have done and it runs great. The weather-stripping around the driver window is a little defunked but is only cosmetic and you cant really tell unless you look closely. You can hear a bit of wind at high speeds. My wife drove the car for her sales job and now has a company car. Anyone got any idea what I can get out of this thing. For somereason I dont believe kbb and nada's figures. It has the moonroof and automatic tranny. Thanks!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    Go over to the Smart Shoppers forum and scroll down to "Real World Values"

    People there who will help you.

    Those high miles are a killer. They will affect the value even more than the books say they will.
  • carglowcarglow Posts: 91
    Just purchased a new impluse red Corolla. Upon washing it I noticed that the bumpers have a different "hue" than the rest of the car.

    Anyone else experience this?
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    You'll be receiving a very detailed Quality Control Survey from Toyota. You can indicate the color difference in detail there.

    I received 2 QCS's since I got my Corolla in the beginning of June. The first one was general and the second asks for details. My suspicious nature tells me that something is up with Toyota quality, so I've decided to hold on to the second survey to see what develops with my car.

    On the other hand, in the first survey I wasn't all too generous in assessing the purchase experience. Perhaps Toyota sent me this second survey as result of the answers I put in the first. I don't know.

    In your case, if I didn't receive the second survey, I'd call and write Toyota directly. Let them correct the problem.
  • ejgejg Posts: 2
    I'm in NJ and we get some hot days and yes the 2005 Corolla's Air Conditioning is weak on my car too. I was told by the Toyota dealer to basically aways keep the re-circulate button ON for the air conditioning to cool. If you dont have it on re-circulate it dont really get too cool.. I asked the service dept if there maybe a problem with it or maybe it needs some coolent added and if I should have someone look at and basically they told me "No", thats the way it is.
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