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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • lu99silu99si Posts: 1
    Hi, my 2002 Corolla's engine check light turned on last night on my way home. There're around 109k on it already. I also drive back to office this morning. Everything looks okay: no extra noise from engine and transmission, steering and brake is also not abnormal. Last night I checked the engine oil, coolant, steering fluid, nothing wrong. I also checked air filter, no much dirt in it.

    This is the first time of my 2002 Corolla. Can anybody help me on doing DIY check first since the earliest appointment I can make is next Monday after I called the bodyshops? Thanks a lot!
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Make sure the gas cap is on tight, then drive it for a couple of days.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Keep in mind that after retightening the gas cap, it takes a certain number of engine "cycles" before the system resets itself. A couple of days may not do it - I think it takes at least 10 new starts before the OBD system will clear a fuel cap fault. Be patient.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Could be O2 sensor, cat. converter (hopefully not, they are expensive). Or any number of other emmissions control things. Could be the gas cap not being on, or you need a new gasket for the gas cap. Have you had any other problems with this car ever? By the way, you will be fine to continue driving it, considering you checked everything out.
  • I bought my 2000 Corolla used in 2002. Never changed plugs (can' t find them in the engine-anyone know where they are?). Late last year, car starting acting up-chugging while in idle when first starting or starting from red lights, hesitating slightly when accelerating on the freeway, and the check engine light stayed on a few days. Took it to CarX, who said it was the fuel injectors, cleaned them for $200, and told me it was a design flaw in that particular engine. They said I would have to have repeated injector cleanings for the life of the car to keep it running properly, and to switch to high grade premium gas, plus add a bottle of HEET to every third fill-up.
    The car ran fine for several months, but a couple weeks ago, it started acting up again, though not as bad. I called the local Toyota Dealership service line, and they said based on the description, it wasn't the injectors, and even said they had never heard of any "design flaw" in the engines that require multiple injector cleanings. I told him my husband thinks it's the fuel filter, and the service tech said the filter is built into the gas tank, and designed to not need replacing, not for a very, very long time, if ever. He said it sounds like the plugs, since they've never been replaced, and told me if we do it ourselves, we HAVE to use special Iridium style plugs (at about $12 each) or it can cause considerable damage to my engine, even destroying it long term.
    I called auto parts stores for the plugs, and they confirmed about the fuel filter, but said they had never heard of a regular spark plug replacing a special one destroying any engine, although not spacing it properly can cause engine problems and cause it to not run right.
    Has anyone else had this type of problem with the Corolla? It's been such a perfect car to me until this, we've never done anything else major on it until that, just regular maintenance and tire changes. I hate to think there are "design flaws" in the engine that will be costly for me down the road, but I don't want to part with the car. Any ideas, or suggestions? Am I getting ripped because I'm a woman calling around? For the record, I'm not Mr Goodwrench, but not a dummy either. I've been helping my husband with auto repair and maintenance since we got married 16 years ago, so I mostly know my way around. We are just unfamiliar with this engine. Thanks!
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    You know you're way around, but you cannot find the plugs? Why don't you just let a Toyota dealership do a service on your car? I think you were badly ripped off by CarX because the Corolla engine has no such "design flaw". How many miles do you have on your car?
  • wayne5wayne5 Posts: 1
    Two questions about a 98 Corolla:

    1. The Brake light in the dash won't go out. We checked the fluid level and the parking brake switch, both were OK. Any suggestions?

    2. the horn also stopped working on the 98. Fuse is OK, power is there, but no power at the horn. Haven't taken the steering wheel cover off yet due to 2 big Torxx fasteners, and I don't have a driver for them yet. Also any suggestions?

    Thanks for any help you can provide...

  • I have a little over 120,000 on there now. I trusted CarX because they were literally across the street for me, and had done several oil changes for me, and had never talked "down" to me. I hate that most places assume I'm going to ask for a doo-hicky or a thing-a-ma-jig. On all my previous vehicles, I had done my own oil changes, radiator flushes, brake changes, standard maintenance like that. But my husband and I got the Corolla, and when he saw the engine, he freaked. He had never had experience with such a computerized, sealed-up engine, and said he didn't want to risk damaging something, so he wouldn't touch anything in there.We had always had older vehicles that we could patch up ourselves.
    I didn't take it to our Toyota dealer because 1) I had most of my regular service maintenance done at CarX, and somehow would have felt guilty taking the work elsewhere. 2) they said if I took it to the Toy dealer, I would have paid 3 times as much.
    I have since learned that not everything that comes from CarX is exactly the truth, though I will not elaborate. It involved a separate matter that happened recently because of a minor car accident. The original damage was because of my husband and some unforgiving midwestern ice, but cost me $700.00, and a couple weeks later, almost the entire front end alignment of the car.
    I am considering taking it to the Toy dealership for the service to the plugs, but was interested in finding out if anyone else had similar problems. I don't think I want to risk a plug breaking off. I had that happen once before on another, older model, and it's a pain to have the broken part tapped out. And I have not tried to locate the plugs on this one; my husband says he has, but can't find them, I feel it would be best if I didn't try to look. I love him more than I want to find the plugs, if you know what I mean.
  • tdbingtdbing Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2005 Corolla and had the same frustration. I took it back to the dealer and hear is what I found out. The Corolla doesn't really have "automatic" lights in the true sense. It has automatic "daytime running lamps" which display at a reduced brightness (about 60%). If you are driving as it becomes dark the system detects the darkness, brings the headlamps up to 100% and turns on the tail lamps and dash lamps. The reason you don't have any dash lights for about the first 30 seconds when you start out at night is because you don't have any tail lamps activated either! :mad: Why Toyota just didn't have the tail lamps activate along with the daytime running lamps I don't understand. :confuse: When I start out at night now I just use the head lamp switch and activate my headlamps manually - I don't want to drive my first 30 seconds without tail lamps - it would be just my luck to have someone run into the back of me and I would be found at fault. Hope this helped.
  • thomasg3thomasg3 Posts: 2
    Recently bought a 2005 white Toyota Corolla in Florida. It is Canadian built. When looking under the hood at and around radiator supports there are patches of black paint over the white body paint. Sent email and photos to dealer with no response, took car to dealer and he said didn't know what it was. Have been told it is just a result of the "robot" painting process. Any ideas.
  • pcotugnopcotugno Posts: 8
    How's the mileage on your 2005 Corrola S? Are you getting what the sticker said? The salesman told me that most people have told him that they're getting better mileage than listed. I'm cosidering buying one, and have noticed that the mpg listed on the vehicle sticker is 41/32 on the 5 speed. I recently got a Matrix, and have found the mileage a lot lower than what the sticker said.


    PS my sunroof on my Matrix has no rattling. Hope you get it figured out.
  • vlanman25vlanman25 Posts: 49
    I gotta agree with grandtotal. With 120,000 miles anything could be going but start with a tune up (plugs) from a qualified mechanic, Toyota or other. The plugs on mine are on the top of the engine under a cover. That's a 2003. There are no plug wires.
  • gorollagorolla Posts: 1
    My '01 LE locks all the doors 5 seconds after I start it. It didn't do that before I disconnected the battery to clean the posts--I guess it reverted to the default mode. I bought it used, and it does not have remote keyless entry or an aftermarket (or any) alarm system.

    My wife's '03 Camry does this, but there is a whole page in her manual about setting it to lock the doors under different inputs. Nothing in my manual and the Camry procedure does not work for the Corolla. Now I see why they're called POWER door locks. I want control of the doors returned to me! Help, I'm being held prisoner by my own car.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Try starting the engine with the driver's door open. Get in, leave the door ajar, start the engine, then finish putting on belts, closing door, releasing brake, putting in gear. In my mother-in-law's '98 with this feature, this defeats the automatic locking for that cycle of use. Doesn't change the default, though...
  • joanna56joanna56 Posts: 2
    Considering purchasing a 2004 Corolla, I'm about 90% sold on it, test drove it the other day and I'm a little concerned about the clutch point. Has anyone noticed a higher clutch point on this car with the manual transmissions? It only has 21k miles on it. Trying to figure out if it's operator error or something else. Thanks.
  • partib99partib99 Posts: 1
    I got a car toyota corolla 2001.Few days ago I found on the screen of the sound system written " SEC".I can't listen radio or cassette any more. One of my friend said I need to get the code to unlock the system. Anyone know the password ,so I can unlock it. I think it should be related with my engine no,is that true?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    What do you mean by operator error? I think you are asking does the clutch engage further off the floor than other cars? I think the Corolla has a long clutch travel, and it does engage a bit higher off the floor other cars I have driven before, but this is not a problem. Be sure and check the clutch out to be sure it is not slipping, etc. I have ridden with lots of people who are sure that they are using the clutch correctly, but the reality is they are not, causing premature failure. Unless you know the old owner, you will never really know how much wear the clutch got the first 21k miles, but just be sure it is okay now.
  • samm1957samm1957 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2005 CE with a 5-speed, stickered at 32 and 41. So far (1,800 miles) I have gotten 40 mpg on four tanks, with combined coming in at 36. At 800 miles I changed to 5W30 Mobile 1 pure synthetic, but I got two tanks at 40 with the OEM oil.

    You may want to check air pressure rating of the tires. I think the label calls for 31, but the tires are capable of higher, which could reduce rolling friction, thereby upping the mpg.

    So far I am very happy with this car, mpg was one of the reasons I purchased it.
  • joanna56joanna56 Posts: 2
    Thanks. Exactly what I was after. And by operator error I meant riding the clutch. I had to replace a clutch in a 1990 Subaru Legacy, but only after 120k miles. And the clutch point was really high in it just prior to the replacement.

    Thanks again! That was a help!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Your welcome. But do not forget to test for slipping. One way to test for this is to try accelerating in 5th gear from 20 mph. The rpm's should not go up quickly - they should very slowly rise, just like your speed. Also, check for a judder, (shudder?) upon release. It should not do this, except sometimes when the car has been sitting out in cold and wet conditions for quite a few hours.

    Toyotas may not be the most stylish or performance-oriented cars, but routine maintenance is so much easier to do on Toyotas than other makes, and reliability and efficiency are tops. Let us know how things go. Good Luck!
  • lucian95lucian95 Posts: 11
    My Corolla CE came with Goodyear Integrity tires (185/65/15). Can anyone share some experience with these tires, especially on wet roads and/or winter driving. I don't see them as a confidence inspiring product. I haven't experienced any driving in heavy rain or snow yet.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I hate Goodyear Integrity tires! Horrible traction in wet conditions, not much better in dry conditions. I know I am not the only one with this opinion! Most OEM tires are bad, especially compared to premium tires you can buy. In my opinion, the extra $$ for good tires is worth it for the added safety. I recommend a high-end Michelin tire. Check Tire-rack.
  • sam29sam29 Posts: 1

    My SRS Airbag light is on and I need to go for inspection too. I am guessing it will fail the inspection unless I fix it.

    Any idea what the problem could be?
    How much would it cost to have Toyota folks look at it?

  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    I swore off Mich tires years ago because on my previous Toyotas, a couple of Celicas, I found them to be very slippery on rain. I prefer Bridgestone because of quiet and ride and haven't had any slippery type problems. I think its mostly personal - unless you are riding on a truly crappy tire.
  • thomasg3thomasg3 Posts: 2
    MY 05 Corolla has em and they aren't so hot. Talked with dealer and he said they were manufactured "hard" for long wear. Most Corolla sites I've seen rate them poorly. They also tend towards low stability at interstate speeds which I have noticed. I put Michelins on my Tacoma and the improvement was amazingly good especially high speeds.
  • I have no idea about what happened??? Went to turn on the defrost and my blows dont blow any more :( !!! Does anyone know why? Cant find my book.....

    Help me someone! :-)

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Well, if there were Michelins on the car when you bought it, then they would be bad, as most original equipment tires are junk. I am not saying all Michelins are good, just like not all Goodyears are bad. The key is spend the big $$ and get good tires. My X-1's are much quieter and have a 80,000 mile warranty, besides the fact that they stick to the road much better than the Integrity's.
  • pcotugnopcotugno Posts: 8
    Hope someone has experience with this.

    I have a 2005 Matrix with DRL. A nice safety feature...only one slight problem. I am an amateur astronomer. About once a month, I drive out to a "dark sky site", about an hour away from any city lights, to observe the cosmos. Before entering these sights, you must turn off your headlights so you don't light up the area, or ruin someones pictures doing astrophotography. I talked to the dealer about disconnecting this feature, and was told it could cost about $200, maybe more. Has anyone had this done, and what did it cost?
  • pcotugnopcotugno Posts: 8
    Where did you get a 2005 Corolla CE for $12,500? The best I can find around here (Denver), is $13,650. That includes quotes from several brokers, even for ones that have none of the option packages.

  • fredyfredy Posts: 1
    I have a corolla'94 (manual). 4 years ago, I took it to the workshop for a clutch replacement, from that time, the car started making a noise (little tap) by the transmission, the mechanic told me it was the transmission which I dont feel any failure, so I thought he didn't do a good job and the clutch was incorrectly installed.
    however, I just replaced the clutch again and the noise is the same, but -since the first replacement- if I depress the clutch the noise goes away until I release it.
    I really appreciate your help cause this problem is driving me crazy. I have asked all my friends and workshops around and they dont have idea what could be wrong.

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