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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • needsahemineedsahemi Posts: 18
    I have a 1999 Corolla which is the worst car I have ever owned. Let me start by saying this car has 30 000 miles on it. After just replacing the radiator at a cost of 700 dollars. I was informed today that the squeaking coming from the front of my car is the tie rod ends need to be replaced. Toyota has a TSB (technical service bulletin) for this problem. Even though they acknowledge they have this problem, they will not pay to fix it. I must fork over the 600 or more bucks to fix this. Well I see I have been duped into this piece of garbage, never again will I buy a Toyota.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Wow, this is very unusual! I have not ever heard of a Corolla radiator going bad, even after 150k miles (with coolant flushed every 3 years, only Toyota coolant.) The worn tie rod ends are surprising, too. Is it just a squeak, or is it really worn out? Maybe the car hit a BIG pothole?? My '99 has 60,000+ miles, zero problems, just like my other Corollas. Sorry to hear you are having problems - the Corolla is well known to be the most reliable in it's class, and rated by several sources to be extremely reliable too. I suppose you got one of the few bad ones.
  • I'll cross post this:

    I was wondering about the quality of the new 05 Corolla's manual transmission. Is the gear box tight and responsive or soft and mushy. I've already taken a test drive and I like the car but all they had was AT. I guess MT's are just not popular in this class.

    I've also noticed that no one seems to be getting to the EPA published figures of 40mpg hwy and 32city. One of the chief reasons I am considering this car is because of fuel economy. I know most (all) cars fall short of the numbers, and 33-37mpg is still better than I get in my current car.

    And does anyone know of the 05 catalytic converter suffers the same defect as the 04 with a rotten egg smell. Thats all I need 17,000 dollars gone and rotten eggs.

    I'm ordering my car from Toyota should I check with my dealer what plant it is being manufactured at?

    Is there anyway to buy a car in the corolla's class w/o being disapointed?

  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    I have an '02 with the 5 speed. It's not exactly tight and responsive as say BMW or Honda, but it does the job. I haven't missed a gear yet, but the shifter requires a longer throw comparing to sports cars. I get 36 MPG consistently on a mixed highway and city traffic commute. If I were to drive long distance highway I will get over 40 MPG.
  • lizservolizservo Posts: 5
    Has anyone gone and had the work done that is suggested in the TSB to eliminate the sulfur smell? I bought a 2004 Corolla LE in mid-April and I haven't noticed any odd smells, but thought I should have the changes made, just incase. Thoughts?

    Lizzie :)
  • riccd2001riccd2001 Posts: 12
    According to Toyota the applicable Corolla VIN cut-off #s for "Excessive Sulphur Dioxide Odour" are:

    for Corolla: 2T1BR3#E#4C312392

    for Corolla S and Matrix: 2T1#R3#E#4C836439.
  • I'm considering buying an 05 Corolla and am very interested in the AC system. Anyone had any bad experience with it not cooling well? And also is the gas mileage accurate? Fuel economy is also one of my reasons for considering it.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    I got my Corolla in June, it's an 04 LE, and well equipped. No problems with the A/C so far. The other day I felt that it wasn't cooling all that well after about 15-20 minutes of driving. So I remember something I read in one of these threads about putting it on circulating. It started to cool very quickly, so much so that I have to lower to medium.

    It's really frugal in the gas department. I'm averaging 25 mpg, and being that the engine and components are in the break-in period I'm satisfied with the gas mileage.
  • raf1raf1 Posts: 3
    I have 94' corolla run 113K. Everything was fine till a week back. My car does not accelerate fast anymore. It looks like it has lost more than 50% of its power. I had changed my timing belt and water pump in Nov'03, but did not use the car much as i was travelling. After the timing belt change, i might have used the car for 2000 miles max. My mechanic is saying it needs a tuning and wants $250/-, but i seriously doubt him now.
  • Curious.

    It may need a tune up, but on an older 4cyl you should be able to do most of that yourself. I would say a tune up would include, timing, plugs, PCV valve, EGR valve (if its got one), new oxygen sensor (if its possible to change it), and an oil change with some oil made specifically for older engines. After the oil change I would put some of that "Older Engine Restore" in there and see if that helps. Also if its fuel injected then I would also use some Fuel Injector treatment or something similar that you put in your gas tank.

    I recently put some engine restore in my POS Oldsmobile and had some success it has regained some of its original acceleration. When was the last time you did this or had it done?

  • eleaheleah Posts: 1
    It's end of July now and I went through a No Touch Car Wash - When I pulled away water literally began pouring out of the control panel/light fixture on the roof of my car. I have a moon-roof but it was fully closed and water didn't come from that item. This has me somewhat freaked out as a serious problem for (my not yet paid for baby). I called my dealership and the guy there said it was a common problem - I checked and didn't see anything mentioning water leaking inside the car on this site. I have an apt tomorrow morning with the dealership but can anyone give me any advice on this subject? Is it a common a problem? If it is how do I stop it? How do I make sure they fix it properly - visions of the wiring for the light where it is leaking from shorting out and causing lasting electrical issues are making me nervous. I live in Seattle WA if it leaked from a stupid car wash what's going to happen when it starts raining here again?
  • raf1raf1 Posts: 3
    I just came to know that my engine oil has turned white, which happens only when the oil is mixed with water. I think the engine gasket is gone. The most probable reason for what happened to my car may be that somehow either the fuel injectors or some sensor has gone bad. Due to this, my engine was missing and now the gasket is gone. Do you have any other explanation.
  • rolla03rolla03 Posts: 3
    I have 2003 Corolla S and brought it in the dealer for 30,000 mile service ($299.98). the dealer advised me that I need to have brake service wherein brake pads and rotors will be replaced for additional $298.88. My question is, is it normal to replace the rotor every time you replace the brake pads?

    How about throttle cleaning service? I had this service at 15,000 miles and again the dealer was suggesting to have it done but I refused.

    When is the cabin filter need to be replaced?

    I live in Daly City, anybody who lives around who can suggest a better Toyota dealer?

    Curious...pls. advise...thanks
  • HI,

    Would you be able to tell me the year of your corolla, and why you needed a new cat converter? I have a 2004 corolla, that gets lousy gas mileage, has vibrations, almost stalled once and stinks. I think I might need a new cat. CAn you give me some info on how you got a new cat converter? THanks for your help
  • Thanks, many, many thanks! I really needed that TSB on excessive sulfur odor. I have a 2004 corolla s. I have had this problem since the the 2nd week of owning my car. I have taken it to my dealership numerous time, and everytime they told me that it was normal, and that there's nothing they could do about it. I was thinking I must be at fault and going crazy. This is my first new car I have only owned. I will be taking my car and the tsb in to my dealership and I'm sure they will do something about it. Many thanks again for your help!

    Also I have a question, are the canadian built corollas included? Any thing else that I need to know? Anything that I could do for you? Please let me know! I will be more than happy to help!

    Thanks again

    Andrew Cramer
    2004 Corolla Sport
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    First thing - don't do the $300 30,000 mile service, or the 15, or 45, or 60, or any of these. At 30, Just ask for trans fluid change (if automatic), coolant change, change air filter, and clean the throttle body every 30,000 miles. You'll save big $$, the rest is just the dealer padding his pockets. Just go by the owner's manual - all this info is listed in the maintenance manual. Just ask for what the manual tells you to do. Replace the cabin air filter - real easy to do, takes <5 minutes.
    Second - it is really unusual for a Corolla to require brake pads at this low mileage, but I suppose it is possible depending on driving conditions. But the Corolla's brakes generally last a long, long time. It is even more unusual to have to replace rotors. Usually just turning them is all that's necessary.
    You need to get away from this "stealer" and try somewhere else. Also, keep reading and learning about your car - it'll save you big $$.
    Finally, you should post questions like this in the Corolla section, not it's own topic.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,375
    # 1532 and 1533 were moved here, hence the reference to another topic on another board.

    thank you

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  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    My guess is that the drains in the sunroof are plugged. Get to a dealer, describe the problem, and let them have a look at it. These cars don't leak - the presence of the sunroof is the clue [I hate these things for a lot of reasons - this is one of them]. If the water is not going where it belongs [down the drains], it will go wherever it wants in the roof area - like the overhead light...
  • carglowcarglow Posts: 91
    Anyone else notice that their bumpers were a different shade (hue) than the body of their Corolla?
  • I have a very strange problem with my brand new Corolla S. It's an '05, 3 weeks old and every time I fill up the gas tank, the car won't start! I've taken it to the dealership and they say everything is fine. My check engine light also comes and goes. Of course when I bring the car in when the light is on, it's off by the time they get to it! So they say everything is fine. Obviously it isn't. Has anyone heard of a problem like this or have any suggestions as to what might be wrong? They've told me that when the pump stops, to take out the pump, don't make the dollar amount even because it can sense the extra vapors. Tried that, the car wouldn't start!Please help me!!
  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    Did you tighten the gas cap after each fillup, letting it click a few times before stopping?
  • I've turned the gas cap real tight, I've let the car wait a few minutes. I've done everything and it still does it. I'm STILL waiting for the toyota service dept. to figure it out. No one has ever heard of this?
  • aj2aj2 Posts: 12
    hi-just curious others opinions on the standard am/fm radio system in the 2005 CE Corolla? I'm disappointed so far with it-I had a much less expensive car before this one-but the quality of the radio at least was much better. :) It seems it fades in and out all the time-is it the antenna system they have the newer Corollas? Anyone else experiencing this-or perhaps is just mine?
  • raf1raf1 Posts: 3
    Hi, i have a 94 Corolla run 118K which is missing for a while. It has lost its power to accelerate from zero. It accelerates slowly and once it reaches 45mph, it runs fine reaching upto 70mph on the highway. The problem is it does not have the instant power to accelerate from standing. I have replaced the spark plug, wires and rotor. Also replaced the fuel filter and used some fuel injector cleaner. Checked the pcv valve, it rattles, so i think its fine. There is no check engine sign. I dont know what else could be the problem. Is it possible that the distributor or the computer might not be working properly. How to check them. Has anyone else had this problem before. I would appreciate any help in this matter.
  • have '99 corolla. Headliner coming loose at front windshield. Suggestions of how to handle this problem appreciated. Thanks
  • Hey, I'm no car expert, but the above messages caught my eye.

    2005 Corolla Air Conditioning by ejg - The color of your car can make a BIG difference in a/c performance. Most mfgrs don't vary the tonnage (cooling capacity) based on color, but the amount of interior 'heat soak' increases dramatically as the car color shifts from white to black. Too, parking so the sun beats down on the dashboard pumps heat into the interior a/c components (ducts, evaporator, etc.) forcing your unit to work for a while cooling those components down before cooling YOU down. Running in RECIRC mode makes this happen faster because you're not trying to cool down the outside air ONE TIME as it passes through the car and out the exhaust vents buried in the rear fender area (peel the trunk liner back to see these). Keep in mind that when defogging your windshield, you DO WANT TO take in fresh air to rapidly push the excess interior humidity out those exhaust vents. Know also that in partial or total defrost mode, your a/c unit is turned on (even if the dash light doesn't indicate this) to dehumidify the air before blowing it at the windshield.

    '05 cat converter by modestmouse - the changes Toyota is making under the TSB are undoubtedly integrated into the assembly line, so you should not be affected, but re-read my post on page 76 to determine how to test for the problem.

    lizservo & stinkinrolla - Not long ago I had the (approx. 1200 Toyota-paid dollars) job done. The stink seemed to abate for a while, but recently the CHECK ENGINE light turned on and the smell has returned. I'd guess that the computer reprogramming now looks for the problem to happen. I'll be taking it back to the dealer.
     Andrew, my car was built in Canada, per the door jamb sticker (and, you're welcome.) It ticks me off that Toyota provides a fix but won't tell anyone who has complained to a dealer in the past about the fix, so I catch every 2002/3/4 Toyota I can (at traffic lights) and inform them of the problem/'hidden' fix.
     Lizservo, I'd suggest that if your car falls in the range spec'd by the TSB, you have the fix installed. Read my post (page 76) to see how to describe the problem to your dealer. If you don't describe it correctly, they (at least, my dealer) won't consider putting the fix on. You MAY have to go back and complain several times before the dealer agrees to fix it.

    Corolla won't start after filling gas tank by erins3204 - Suggestion: next time you need a fill, go to the dealer and take a service writer or tech with you to the gas station. (Keep a spare gallon in your trunk, just in case you run too low.) Believe me, they'll believe you if they have to sit with you waiting for your car to start. If they won't ride with you, at least arrange to meet them at a (same brand) gas station when you call to say you need a refuel. If they won't cooperate & you want to 'force' the issue, park your car on their lot in plain view of shoppers. Put a big sunshield-looking signboard INSIDE your windshield stating their non-service. "My car won't start and this dealer won't fix it!!" Set the parking brake & lock your car and go sit on their customer's toilet with a crossword, your favorite magazine, whatever. Pick a busy day - Saturday?? Negotiate through the locked restroom door.
  • My car has less than 15,000 miles on it. It came with Firestone tires claiming a Wear Rating of 440, per the sidewall info. I keep the tires inflated to 35-36 lb., cold, to 'force' the center of the tire's tread to buldge outward (to increase gas mileage via less rolling resistance, and to push the wear toward the center of the tread). Neither my spouse nor I drive rough, and we both avert potholes, sewer covers et al (to avoid upsetting the steering geometry settings) as best possible. Despite all this, the front tire tread EDGES are already VERY close to the wearbar depth of 2/32" above tread depth. (The outside edge shows more wear than the inside edge.)

    I can't believe that a Wear Rating of 100 equals 4,000 miles (and by extrapolation, a Wear Rating of 440 equals 17,600 miles). Is anyone else seeing heavy wear on their front tires?

    If YES, or even if NO, what BRAND of tires are on your Corolla, and what is the Wear Rating embossed on the tire's sidewall? Sure would appreciate some feedback, especially from one or two unbiased tire experts.
  • scyscy Posts: 1
    My car has approx 30,500 miles on it. I took it to the dealership for maintenance and I was told that 2 of the rear wheels were bent. I inspected the wheels and they seem to look ok to me so I refused to change them. I'm also careful to avoid potholes most of the time. I'm worried that this is a rip off so I need advice on whether should I get the wheels changed?
  • 2 of the rear wheels? I was only aware that there were four on a car; 2 front and 2 rear. *giggle, just kidding*

    I would take it to a third party and have them check it out. They really have nothing to gain and you have nothing to loose. Get a second opinion. And really my question is, how do wheels get bent, and what does that mean anyway? Why to be vague dealer man. If they were "bent" how'd they get bent? Maybe you should tell your dealer to "get bent" HAHA.

  • Hi corollagold,
    Question Re: sulfur smell.
    Have you noticed any MPG changes with your TSB fix.
    I understand that Toyota reprograms ECU to avoid H2S production. The part I don't understand is if they go from lean to rich (to avoid SO3 accomulation in the cat) or from rich to lean (to avoid H2S release from the cat).
    My car has poor MPG as it is now (27/30 city/hwy), I would hate to see it go down (I learned to live with brands lower in sulfur in my area).
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