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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • pzegerspzegers Posts: 3
    yeah i suppose it is an older corolla 1989, i was looking for the 1986 style but those one's dont come cheap (you'd think otherwise) but the reason i really got it is because it was kindof a project car. just trying to see what i can do with it but every time i get everything moving twords performance upgrades i have to spend my money on something else. just trying to see what i can do to sup. it up. any suggestions? :D
  • JLawrence you know what?? i think you are absolutely right!!! i tried to look for the drain plug on my radiator and i could not find it and i really dont want to go through the hassle of ruining my radiator/car...i will break down and let the mechanic flush the cooling system and i have to do it pronto because i have a teaspoon amount of antifreeze in my reservoir..thanks!!!
  • kerrysuzkerrysuz Posts: 5
    My mechanic told me I need a new clutch. :(
  • As I read this I couldn't believe the coincidence. I noticed this same problem about 5 days ago...the exact same symptoms, but my car only has 60k on it. So, you say it needs a new clutch....Is it O.K to drive on temporarily or does it need to be replaced immediately? The reason I ask is because I am currently about 200miles away from home and am wondering if I’m going to do any extra damage (besides the clutch) by driving back home. If you don't mind me much did it end up costing you to get it fixed? Did you get it fixed at the dealer? Thanks
  • kerrysuzkerrysuz Posts: 5
    I think you're okay. I just drove 250 miles on it, and to be honest, I am questioning slightly the diagnosis. It just doesn't FEEL like a clutch problem. My husband thinks it could be a loose bolt or something knocking around. I have an appt. on Monday. They told me $1K! Not thrilled about that. I'm going to make sure they give me any parts that they replace so I can see for myself. Check back here and I'll write a response to what they REALLY found! Good luck!
  • kerrysuzkerrysuz Posts: 5
    I've had a heck of a time over the past few days. I had the clutch replaced, but before having it done, I was really questioning whether that was the right diagnosis. Then, upon driving off the lot after having the new clutch, I heard the SAME noise. It was no better after the new clutch! I drove right back and the guy who put in the clutch went for a drive with me and said he heard nothing, even as I heard it over and over!!!

    So I went to a different Toyota dealer, where I actually know one of the mechanics (25 miles from me...not convenient!). He got in the car and immediately heard what I was talking about! (Yea! I'm not crazy!). He also told me the bad news...a bearing was gone or worn in the trasmission. For me, the sound never happened in first gear or reverse, but always in second through fifth. They said I need a transaxle...$2,300, and that's with a used part! So I went back to the first dealer and I'm currently in a dispute with them... I want my money back. The second guy said I definitely didn't need a clutch yet. I'm so mad...and so poor. My husband and I are not talking about getting a new car. I've put way too much into this one in the past couple of years. Disappointing for a Toyota, but at the same time, I was one of the first driving the 2003 design, so maybe they hadn't gotten everything right yet.

    Have you had any luck getting a diagnosis?? Does your sound happen all the time, in every gear, or just in second through fifth?
  • twocents1twocents1 Posts: 4

    I was curious is anyone knew of a way to increase horsepower on a corolla, or if there was a chip or a hypertech like device I could buy? Any info appreciated, thx!
  • Thanks for the INFORMATIVE response! I am scheduling an appointment this week to have them diagnose the issue as well. This will be good ammunition incase they tell me the same thing. I'll let you know the result.

    When I first heat the noise I didn't think it was a clutch issue either, so your I feel your pain. The Bearing in the transmission sounds a lot more like it's the problem....even though the fact that it's 2x as expensive to fix makes me want to believe it's the clutch.

    I think the sound happens in every gear, but it gets louder as I go up in gears (which makes sense if it's the transmission because the transaxle is spinning at a higher rpm)

    I am even more disappointed than you when it comes to the quality...I only have 60k on mine! I used to be an engineer for toyota and I know they pride themselves on good quality, so if you can find a customer service phone number to complain (not a dealer #) they may help you out a little with the cost.
  • kerrysuzkerrysuz Posts: 5
    I'm happy to say, however, that the dealer has been more than accommodating. They are going to put in a used tranmission from a Corolla with 25K miles (vs. my 114K) at cost, meaning I have to pay $1,100), so the total cost to me will be just over $2K. BUT, I got a free clutch out of it and it's slightly cheaper than the dealer who first diagnosed it, who quoted the job at $2,300. They took complete responsibility for it. But good for others to read these discussions to see that Corollas DO have problems! Good luck, and keep me posted. (Feel free to write me
  • toguytoguy Posts: 20
    I rarely use the cruise control on my 2002 Corolla LE, but I do try it from time to time to see if it still works. A few days ago, I tried to engage it but it didn't work! The green 'Cruise' light came on, but speed was not maintained. I went to the dealer and they inspected the wiring, fuses..etc. and said everything looked ok. They are now doubting that it my be the main control :(. I told them I'll think about whether I want to do further diagnosis because it sounds like it will be a very expensive repair for something I hardly ever use.

    What I'd like to get feedback on is whether anyone experienced a similar problem with their corollas of the same vintage, and whether it was expensive to fix. My car only has 50,000 miles, which I think is very premature for a problem like this to happen, especially on a Toyota!

    Any comments/help is greatly appreciated.
  • kar4kar4 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Toyota Corolla. I tried to start the engine and all I got was a clicking noise as if the battery was dead. This happened again when I tried to start it, so I called a friend to jump start the car. In the meantime, the alarm started going off...lights flashing and horn honking with muffled sound to it. After trying to turn it off several times with the remote it finally stopped. We were able to jump start the car and get it going, but I was wondering if a low battery will cause the alarm to go off or could something else be going on?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    it's possible it is the clockspring, or the device in the steering wheel that maintains electrical continutity between the vehicle's electrical harness and steering wheel mounted switches when you turn the wheel from one extreme to the other.

    could you even "set" the speed once you turned on the CC?

    if not, the problem could lie in the clockspring.

    did you check the horn? if the horn doesn't work, i would tend to be thinking clockspring. if it does work, that doesn't rule out the clockspring though.
  • toguytoguy Posts: 20
    user777, thanks a lot for your informative response, much appreciated.

    The clockspring could be it, especially since I noticed the cruise control problem after hitting a "ditch" that was dug at a major intersection to do some under-ground cabling work and was just left there for one day to ambush unsuspecting commuters :mad:. The impact was so hard that I was surprised the car worked afterwords! Am I right in thinking that an impact like that would damage/dislodge the clockspring? If it is the clockspring, do you have any idea how much it will cost to fix?

    To answer your questions, the horn is still working; I can't set the cruise control at any speed, all that happens is that the green "Cruise" indicator comes on in the dashboard when I turn cruise control on.

    Thanks again!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    right, i'm just wagging. if the hit was hard though, boy oh boy, it could be a loose wire, or loose fuse in the fuse holder.

    open your manual and find the location of any fusing related to cruise control and physically pull and check that fuse then re-insert and retest.

    i have no idea how much a clockspring costs, nor the labor involved. it's just a possibility, like the fuse.
  • toguytoguy Posts: 20
    Like I said in my original message, the dealer checked the fuses, wiring,..etc. and found nothing wrong. I'll have them check the clockspring and take it from there!
  • jfknjfkn Posts: 1
    I have a California Corolla 1987 LE Sedan, FWD. 1.6 liter engine. Carbureted 4ALC. It has 80k miles and failed last emission test at low RPM. High RPM was fine. The report shows at 830 RPM CO 3.088, HC 269. At 2460 RPM the CO is 0.026, HC 47, Lambda 1.033. What could be the problem? The car was driven only 2045 miles from the previous emission test that read @810 RPM CO 0.018, HC 54. AT 2750 RPM CO 0.016, HC 52, Lambda 0.99. Any qualified answers will be greatly appreciated. :(
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    you can do some googling and find information on possible contributors:

    there's probably lots more out there for the reading.

    maybe you are driving the vehicle too few miles over a year span, and the vehicle is running a bit rich for those short periods resulting in CAT damage or something. maybe the MAF sensor is off calibration, causing the unit to richen up the mixture at idle. how's your engine air filter?
  • jaredojaredo Posts: 1
    We finished putting in a 2002 Corolla used engine into a 2001 Corolla today. We were assured by the shop selling it to us that the engines are interchangeable. This seemed true all the way as we put everything in its place, but now the car wont start. It will turn over again and again, but wont actually run. We checked the spark plugs (and coils), we know the gas is pumping (when we disconnect it while not running gas comes out of the hose as if pressure has built up), and when we spray ether into the air all it runs is its expected 1 second.

    Other than the engine problem that caused us to replace it originally (ie. bad crank shaft in one cylinder) the car was starting/running fine. It actually drove fine too, just made an aweful sound.

    Any suggestions? Could it be that the engines are *almost* the same but not quite (ie. car's computer doesnt control it the same, etc.)?

  • steve147steve147 Posts: 2

    I love my 1991 Corolla and I want to save it. It has been fine up until now. It has about 119,000 miles on it. It is an automatic 4 door. A few weeks ago, it lost power on the highway and stalled. I was able to restart it. I took it to my mechanic(who is great). He couldn't find anything wrong with it. He suggested a tune-up which was done. Right after the tune up, I drove about 25 miles and it stalled again. I had stopped at a light and was moving forward on green. I had it towed back to the mechanic. It started and ran fine after they got it off the tow truck! The mechanic said he iddled the car for hours and hours and took it on short trips. It never cut off for him. He suggested replacing the distribitor. This was done. It drive fine the few miles home from the mechanic. I took the car out running errands. It stalled again right after I pulled away from a light. If anybody has any ideas about what could be wrong, please let me know. I would like to save this car. There have been no other major problems.
    Thanks very much.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    loose ignition switch, main relay, marginal fuel pump?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    This mechanic might be a nice guy but he's a bad guesser. He needs to drive the car to failure and then diagnose it. I agree, a funky fuel pump sounds likely. I don't know where he came up with the distributor idea, that sounds off the wall. The tune up was an okay suggestion.

    The mechanic is "shot-gunning" the car, that is, firing parts at it hoping to hit something. You need to maybe find someone with more skill and patience---not saying these intermediate problems aren't difficult---they are, and very time consuming.

    Ideally, he'd be driving the car with a fuel pressure gauge attached or maybe he could read a code even with the rather simple onboard diagnostic system your car has.

    Certainly there is no reason to get rid of the car, but you may need to change mechanics if this guy doesn't get scientific instead of playing hunches.

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  • nevonenevone Posts: 1
    I to have found that replacing the struts on my 99 corolla is very expensive. About 800 dollars for all four to be replaced quoted from Les Schwab tires. I think I will purchase some and try to install myself. Has anybody done this and are any special tools needed?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    You'll need good jackstands, a floor jack and a spring compressor.

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  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    And a lot of care to avoid being hurt by the spring if it slips out of the compresser, and a wheel alignment when it's all done.

    Yes, I've done it.....and I've also paid others to do it as well. Much easier to write a check if you can.
  • steve147steve147 Posts: 2
    Thanks for all of your suggestions. I did think it was odd the mechanic did not drive the car more rather than just iddling it. I think I will get a second opinion. If any one has any other ideas, please let me know.
  • chesterbchesterb Posts: 3
    This is a post of over 2 years ago, but does anyone know how to remove the awful fake wood trim on the 2003-2007 Corolla LE?

    For example, is there anyway to install a carbon fiber dashboard kit trim over the fake wood, or would you need to scrape the fake wood out first. Thanks.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    There's a chapter on that in the Haynes manual you can get at Pep Boys. One of the marks of the LE is the distinctive trim...since you don't want it, it seems to me that you could buy the trim for the CE, which offers the plainer trim, and simply switch them out.
  • chesterbchesterb Posts: 3
    Yeah, I had no choice but to buy the LE since I was buying a closeout 2007. I wanted side airbags too, and in Cali I believe only LEs have side airbags. Are you saying that the Haynes manual will tell me how to replace the trim? Thanks
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    My Haynes manual does...the newer generation is made differently than my 8th generation, but the part that covers the radio area just pops out with a flat screwdriver - it's the section that goes down into the console that's more involved.

    Oddly enough I had thought of ADDING the wood trim to my '98, but when I found out the pieces were $300, I figured I could live with the plainness! LOL

    You might even be able to get an interlibrary loan and find it that way. Be careful with library books, though. They frown on you taking stuff back to them all filthy!
  • sjagdalesjagdale Posts: 2

    I bought 1999 Corolla around 6 months back.

    Recently I found that BURNING SMELL IS coming from under hood and near front tires. I inspected the brakes and they are good.

    Can anyone suggest what should I look for ? or ask the mechanic?


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