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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I received a response from an online car parts place that has a master power window switch for my Corolla and he said it was $236. Ouch! Why are these things so expensive? I could see maybe $30-$40 for one, but $236 is absolutely ridiculous!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    .... to basically be conversing with myself on this power window issue, I'm going to assume people having problems with the power windows in their Corollas isn't a common occurrance. I was able to locate a master switch on ebay and I won the bid on it. Total with shipping and handling was $34.99. That sure beats the he11 out of paying $236 for one! This one came from an '01 Corolla, and from the picture, it looks indentical to one in my car. Now even if the problem ends up not being the switch, I'm only out $34.99 instead of $236. Hopefully the switch will fix the problem. Replacing the motor assy is a lot more involved in terms of labor.
  • Hello All,

    I have a 2003 Corolla which I bought new that has been great up until about 1 month ago when it started using a lot more fuel for no apparent reason.

    My dealer service department checked it out and have no idea why the car is using so much more fuel than previously.

    I thought it might be water in the fuel tank so I ran a tank of gas with methal hydrate and no luck. It is also not the O2 sensor.

    Also sometimes when I start the engine cold in the morning there is a very loud rattle and clanking sound coming from the engine. This is intermittent but is freaking me out because is sounds like metal on metal. The dealership could not find the cause of this either.

    Has anyone experienced either of these problems with their Corolla?

    Thanks for any info.

  • I am a single mom and I can't afford to get a mechanic. I need help because I really need my car for my 2 jobs. I own 1999 toyota corolla, it has a clicking sound, I already know its the starter, 3 differant people looked at it. I have the part, now i need to know how can I change my starter. Because of my car situation I have to cancel christmas to buy this new starter. So please i have to change this on my own because no one here can help me..
  • The light is coming on & off but the car drives fine until I come to a stop then when I try to take off it goes real slow until it finally picks back up & I have problems pulling hills what could be the problem I am driving a 93 Toyota Corolla
  • Well, the problem with my headlights was a bad ground wire behind the driver-side kick panel. I finally had time between my traveling for work to take it to a dealer. The charge was $140 ($70/hr). Not too bad.
  • kjlikjli Posts: 1
    Hi All,

    I have a 05 Corolla.

    I was involved in a car accident 2 days ago. I was coming off an exit, turning right on an uphill ramp, and the sunshine was in my eyes. I couldn't see for a second or two. I hit the pickup in front of me. No one was hurt although the front part of my car was badly damaged: the hook was bent, the fluid was leaking and it has to be towed away. But my airbag did not inflat!

    I did some research and found that airbags should work in front-end collisions occurring at more than 10 mph. I am sure I was driving in a speed more than 10mph in order to have such damage. One of my friends told me that his father was involved in a similar accident as I had, and the airbag did not inflate neither. And, he was driving a Corolla too!

    I wonder if anyone out there has similar experience.
  • Dear Lady,

    It sounds like you're pretty desperate, so let me give this a shot.

    It's always best to tackle a job like this with a repair manual specific for your car. You may be able to get one at the public library, but if not, sometimes you can get away with unwrapping one copy at the parts store and just reading over the pages you need.

    If you can't do any of the above, a starter isn't *too* hard to figure out ( :confuse: ). It is usually mounted to the transmission housing with 3 or 4 bolts, and has a starter solenoid bolted to it, which has electrical wires going to it.

    Assuming your advisors are correct, the problem is with the starter and not the solenoid. Therefore, you will need to mount your existing solenoid to the new starter. Be sure and note how the wires are connected and then disconnect them (some solenoids are color-coded for this purpose, if not, you may be able to mark them with colored tape or nail polish).

    Another thought: remove the starter/solenoid assembly and take it to a place like AutoZone that does free testing. This way you can be sure you're replacing the right part.

    Also, this job will require going under the car. If you don't have access to a pair of ramps or jack stands, you can try parking the car with the front wheels up on a curbstone. If you do use jackstands, you'll want to position them as close as possible to the point where the front suspension mounts to the chassis, as this is the strongest point. Either way, be sure to chock the rear wheels to prevent any possibility of rolling. :shades:
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46

    I suggest you enroll in an adult school night or day
    class in auto repair, and join the Toyota owner's
    club. Being a single mother, you may not have much time
    for this, but since it sounds like you can't afford
    to really maintain this car anyway, maybe you can meet
    people in a car club who can help you with repairs, and
    you can learn how to do some things yourself. Most women
    don't want to be bothered with car repairs, but if you
    decide to try, you might like it if you really focus on it.
    Since women in general have smaller hands then men, you
    will have the advantage in one respect, accessing hard
    to reach areas in the engine compartment.

    Good luck.
  • My thermostat blew on my corolla, isn't this unusual for a three year old car?
  • Hello

    The "Req maint" light was lit up after my first 5000 miles. I guess it is trying to tell me my first schedule maint. is due. Is this normal? But then I changed eng. oil and filter myself. It is still lit up. Do I have to bring to the dealer for them to do the maint? Do any of you know is there a way to fix this?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ....$40 master switch from ebay yesterday and installed it this morning. I was pleased that this fixed my window problem as having to replace the power window motor assembly would've been more costly and much more labor intensive. All systems go! Merry Christmas!
  • Anyone know how to disable the DRL system on an '05 Corolla?
  • There is a trick to getting the light to go off. You have to have the key off I believe (or on can't remember which) and you hold the trip meter button in. You will see a countdown which I believe starts at 10. Let it go all the way down to 0 and it should reset the maintenance light.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    more than likely, the MRL (MAINT REQUIRED LIGHT) and the CEL (CHECK ENGINE LIGHT) and the SRS (SAFETY RESTRAINT SYSTEM) light, and other indicators on your instrument panel are described in easy to understand terms in your owner's manual.

    the best way for you to avoid damage to your vehicle and maintain and operate it properly (and safely) is for you to start with a read (front to back) of your owner's manual. it is amazing how many people avoid doing this - but the information can be very important...

    sure there's going to be information which won't be new to you like "always buckle up" and here's how. but there will be some specially good information specific to your ride on instrument panel indicators and warnings, how to check proper fluid levels, location of fuses and relays, how to jack your vehicle up to replace a tire, what are the manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals.

    you will always be the very first person who will notice the vehicle not operating properly, possibly it's indicating a problem with a warning light, or maybe it's running rough, or you have noticed it lacks the proper level of some important fluid when you look under the hood, like anti-freeze, power steering, brake, transmission, or engine oil.

    (everyone should be periodically checking these things when filling up (not all the time, maybe every 5 fills and specially before a long trip... noticing a change early can save you serious money and inconvenience.))

    sorry - don't mean to preach but it is amazing that people just get in the car and go, and don't familiarize themselves with the vehicle first...not saying this is you. they'll spend time and effort getting it shiney on the outside, but have little interest on what goes on under the hood.

    true story: my wife and i in mexico rent a vehicle in cancoun (at the most popular of rental agencies) to navigate the yukatan penninsula. first thing i do before leaving the rental lot is check the engine fluid levels. wife and i were glad i did. i discover no oil (none, not even at the minimum mark). lucky we checked this before embarking on our trip, right? imagine we had a breakdown in the middle of who knows where exactly (they mark private roads with sticks and plastic bottles or other materials), where spanish is not our native language, where they measure in kilometers, not miles, where a down-pour is serious, with service stations located far apart, where there is probably poor cell coverage, and even if you could make a call, who would you call? ... you get the point.

    to your question - more than likely the MRL is normal and comming on at a preset mileage interval, and as mentioned there probably is a not-so-obvious procedure described in the manual to allow you, the owner to turn it off after being reminded of the periodic maintenance interval's passing.

    enjoy your vehicle.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ...who's able to read my posts in this topic, because there hasn't been a single response posted to any of them. I find it difficult to believe that absolutely no one in this form has ever had a problem with the power windows in their Corolla!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    My rear passenger window stopped working, but since the car was still under warranty, the dealer just replaced the acctuator(?) and I was back on the road. Sorry I couldn't have been more help.

    The Sandman :)
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    Just when I thought I had my window problem fixed, the dam thing quit working on me just as I was about to pull into a car wash. I paid for a wash and I put my window down to enter in my wash code and then it refused to go up and it was in the fully down position. Needless to say there was quite a bit of cussing and swearing going on! There are few things more frustrating than an inoperative power window in the middle of winter! I was finally able to get it back up by letting it sit for a while then tapping the switch to the up position and repeating. This process took about 10 minutes before I was finally able to get the window all the way up. This just furthers my hatred for power windows. I've always hated them and now I loath them to boot! They are more convenient than manual windows when they work, but they're much more prone to break down, and much more expensive to repair when they do. I guess since the switch didn't fix the problem, I now have to replace the motor. Every vehicle I ever owned would have manual windows if I had my say!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    FWIW: i suggest when it happens again you try opening that door and playing with the door angle or have someone move the wiring harness going into the door while activating the switch. it's possible it isn't the window motor, but the wiring to the door or the connector on the harness to the motor (loose or a broken wire/connector).

    someone once told me in the Grand Caravan (i think that was the model vehicle), his motor wasn't bad, it was the wiring harness to the motor...

    just another thing to check if possible to narrow the root cause.

    if the door window sometimes works, and it isn't an issue with motor thermal over-current protection (say a vehicle that has trouble with a window when left in the sun) or there isn't a mechanical binding problem, i would suspect wiring first and motor second.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I tried moving the door into different positions while activating the switch.....didn't help. The window will come up in small incements, it moves about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch at a time. It moves, then you have to let it sit without moving the switch for 15-20 seconds before it'll move again. It acts exactly like something in the motor is giving out. I would think if the problem was in the wiring, like you said, you'd be able to move the door and/or the wiring harness into a position where the window would work normally. That doesn't happen.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341

    ok, is there a way to remove the door panelling (to get at the motor), and to verify you don't have any mechanical binding of the window glass against the door?

    seems like the motor is perhaps going into some over-current protection mode.

    if there is no mechanical binding, then i'd agree with you - sounds like time for a new motor.

    one thing you can do is scope or put a volt meter across the terminals of the motor which get supply when switch is activated. if you activate the switch and the window starts to move and the volt-meter indicates you have voltage at the motor, then the window stops, but the volt meter still indicates power to the motor, i'd say the protection inside the motor is bad.

    also you could set the voltmeter to current, and you could activate the switch and watch the current draw as the window is in motion. presumably right when it stops, there will be a decent up-tick in current draw.

    your vehicle is a popular one. not sure where you live, or your mechanical inclination, but i suppose you might check a pull-it / used parts yard for a replacement.

    there must be some debugging tips on the web, maybe even installation instructions. also - there's got to be aftermarket or rebuilt window motors (i think they call them window regulators) for sale.

    maybe an independant would toss it in there for a decent price if you weren't inclined to do so yourself.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I have a Haynes manual for the car, but strangely the power window motor/regulator removal and installation procedure isn't in it. I emailed Haynes about the procedure and they've been real good about emailing me amended procedures omitted from manual in the past. I've also done some searching on the internet and have found some new motor/regulators for $50-$60. I'm fairly handy mechanically and I don't have problem tackling this task myself. The new motor/regulator comes with a new cable and I can make sure the window isn't binding when I install it. If I'm going in, I might as well make sure everything is good so I won't have to do it again.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    agreed. for 50/60 $ i'd probably try the same, provided i could figure out how to get the door panelling off. ;)

    if I'm going in, I might as well make sure everything is good so I won't have to do it again.

    "As always, should you or any of your I. M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."

    "good luck jim".
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030 there's a procedure covered in the manual.....
  • On my 2001 Corolla I too have a burned out dashboard light. I am unable to see my fuel gauge. Does anyone know how to change this light?
  • My wife owns a 2005 Corolla and whenever she goes over 60 or 65 mph ( depending on the wind ) the wipers make a loud whining sound similar to blowing on a blade of grass when you were a kid . It becomes pretty irritating when the speed limit is 70 and the car rings out like an air-raid siren . Anybody have a similar experience ? How did you fix it ? :confuse:
  • I just bought a 06 corolla s and discovered I can't get my right arm comfortable,armrest that is on it sits to far back and to far down.My question is, has anyone found a aftermarket armrest that would provide some support.
  • Hi Everyone,
    Can you tell me how long the temporary spare tire is rated to last?
    Also if the spare tire area can handle holding a full size tire instead of just the smaller temporary spare?

    Thanks for any help as we are considering buying a new Corolla but are concerned about the spare tire issue.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, Grimy. Know what - my problem turned out to be electrical; one contact in the sealed distributor cap-spark plug wire was poor (after replacing it, I cracked it open to take a look). Just shows you have to keep an open mind... all the symptoms were seeming to point 100% to a fuel-related problem.
  • In the past two months I feel my car is falling apart. Anyone experiencing the following...
    1 - brakes are making a terrible noise - not when apply them (it actually stops then) just when the car is coasting (below 10 MPH) - had them checked out and they are telling me nothing is wrong
    2- passenger side headlight keeps going out - I've replaced the bulb (twice) - stays on for a couple of weeks and the next thing you know, it's out again - not sure why
    3 - driver's side window has fallen - started making almost a cracking noise when opening - now the window does not go up straight - the front has fallen - how do you remove the door panel?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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