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Toyota Corolla Maintenance and Repair



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I suspect you'll gets lots of differing opinions before all is said and done. I can only relay what I would do, and the rationale for why I'd do it. Each persons's situation is totally unique and different, and for the same exact problem statement could have a different correct solution.

    Certainly if there was a chance that by simply adjusting the valve you could get the compression up in that cylinder, that is the thing to do as it is non-invasive. If on the other hand the valve is burnt or valve guide noticeably worn, and you are going to have to take the head off (to have 'something' done) (and financially in your circumstances it makes sense to fix as opposed to dump), then you have a risk situation decision to figure out. Is it riskier to a.) only fix the one valve, minimizing any potential unknown ring situation, but maximizing the potential 'other valves have a problem risk' ....or b.) fix all the valves, minimizing valves ever causing a problem in the near future, and increasing the risk that you may have piston ring blow by.

    I personally am a proponent of preventive maintenance, and if one valve has a problem, it is reasonable that since all the other valves have gone thru the same mileage/oil/pressures/temperatures over the years, they all are reasonably worn at a similar rate, and are not too far behind. Since it is incrementally cheap to do and have the financial means, I'd do it. If it turns out the rings become a problem, dump the car. Likewise if you only repair a single valve, if you later have another valve problem, dump the car.

    If you knew the odds this would be an easy decision. Otherwise, you're taking a chance no matter which alternative you decide. If financially you can afford to replace, spend the 200 bucks to try to adjust the valve if they can and you think you'll get that much more back in selling the car, then dump it before you run into additional problems.

    Good luck with whatever alternative you choose. It's only a car and at some point it's going to the junk heap, you've certainly got your money's worth out of it up to this point.
  • Re: "It's only a car and at some point it's going to the junk heap" - that's exactly what I tell my kids when they swoon over late model fancy vehicles and complain about what Dad is driving (with no mthly payments, paid off many years ago!).

    This evening on a relatively short 15 min drive in traffic I noted a "hot" smell coming from the engine when I stopped, although water temp is normal, but the tunnel to the rear axle was also becoming noticeably warm and also around the gear shift.

    So things are definitely not improving, and it would appear that in that in cylinder #2 where the valve is sticking, it is perhaps getting well and truly cooked!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,876
    I don't think you can have a sticking or burnt valve with 110 psi compression. I think the diagnosis is not correct.

    110 psi should fire the cylinder just fine. Yes you might have a lumpy idle but if you had a burned valve or a sticking one your compression would be much lower than that.

    Your valves might merely be tight or you could be heavily carbonized.

    I wouldn't pull the head just yet, not by any means.

    First I'd try a valve adjustment

    Second I'd try to de-carbonize the engine.

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  • Thanks for your input. I have a valve adjustment scheduled for next Monday morning at the Toyota dealer. Then I can decide where I go next.

    Yes, the idle is a little "lumpy", but not stalling, and acceleration has some "hesitation", but overall performance at cruising speed only somewhat compromised.

    I will ask about your suggestion to possibly de-carbonize the engine. Is this a major job? Could using higher octane premium gasoline have contributed to the engine issue I am having, or perhaps after 17 years 238,000 KM this is just "par for the course". I have regular oil changes every 6,000 KM and use Castrol GTX 10W30 oil.

    Toyota would also like to do a "WET/DRY" compression test. The other mechanic who performed the initial diagnosis indicated that his was a "DRY" test and the actual cylinder compressions were 110 psi (Cyl 2), 145, 155 & 160.

    This is the 1600 cc 16 valve OHC engine. The mechanics book time to remove/re-install the cylinder head is 8.4 hrs (@ $60/hr) + about $350 for machine shop to re-do the head and replace all valves & guides.

    It has been explained to me that my concern over the "hot" smell coming from the car is just the catalytic converter burning off the excess fuel products not being properly combusted in cylinder 2. Mechanic says no issue in driving vehicle for short trips around town until the valve adjustment is attempted.
  • I just went to the dealership yesterday to get repairs done relating to a TSB (the sulfur/egg smell issue). When my car was at the shop, they told me that the drive belt tensioner was making noise and was cracked so it had to be replaced. It looks like there were 2 TSB's released regarding this issue but I can only appear to get summaries on the matter and would like to get further information without ordering copies of the TSB. TSB #'s are 02107 and 04004. 02107 states ACCESSORY DRIVE BELT/ BELT TENSIONER ASSEMBLY NOISE. ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 10021536 ) and is from April 2007. 04004 states ACCESSORY DRIVE BELT SQUEAL/ BELT TENSIONER RATTLE. *NM. Any help at all would be much appreciated. I spent about $430 on repairs yesterday that I do not think I should have. Thanks again.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,876
    I think a cylinder leakdown test is really your best test here.

    If 110 lbs is accurate, that shouldn't result in non-combustion of fuel either. Again, it doesn't add up.

    Perhaps the dry compression test is WRONG (it often is) and you have lower than 110 psi---in which case your symptoms make more sense to me.

    Sometimes a couple cans of very strong fuel additive (decarbonizer) and a long hard run at high speed will do the trick.

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  • I have a question regarding my new 2007 Toyota Corolla LE. I just bought it in April and it has been a great car so far as I expected, except for one thing. Just recently I was driving on a hwy going about 75mph and all of a sudden I heard this high pitched noise that seemed to be coming from my front window. I felt around the front of my window and didn't feel a leak or anything so I pulled over on to a rest stop. As I slowed down the noise stopped. I opened the hood and found nothing else out of place or wrong and checked my tires as well to make sure they had air and weren't rubbing on any metal weird. So I got back on the road and drove. Eventually the noise stopped. The next day when I was driving on the same Hwy at the same speed as before I didn't hear the noise again and thought that it must have been something that worked it self out, maybe a wet belt of something. Well again today I was driving on the hwy and all of a sudden the noise was back, then it stopped and then was back again. Well being very frustrated I started to push on everything that I could to see if I could figure out where this vibrating high-pitched noise was coming from. As I was pushing on the inside of the roof of my car I noticed that the noise changed. I started to press on the roof area in front of my visor where the window meets the roof and the noise changed again. Then the noise stopped. I tried pushing on the same spot again while I didn't hear the noise to see what would happen. When I did this I could make the noise on my own. When I got into my town and slowed down I tried pushing on the roof area again and I couldn't make the noise. I think that it will only make this noise at high speeds of 60 or higher. What can I do to make this stop? Do I need to be my window resealed or is there something else wrong and I am totally off base? Any help or advice would be great. Thank you so much!
  • I have manual door locks that are supposed to all lock when the car is put into drive. The passenger and driver front doors lock, but the back two don't. Also, three of these locks seem to be sprung and won't lock at all when the car is parked. Any suggestions on how I can get these fixed without spending a fortune? Is there something I can get from a auto parts store? :confuse:
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Sounds like your windshield may not be installed correctly. That happens sometimes, and is easily corrected (under warranty).
  • PROBLEM SOLVED - Toyota mechanic has examined my car this morning and their compression test showed all cylinders close to spec in the 195 - 205 psi range. The problem was a bad spark plug wire, which is split. The distributor cap/spark plug wire set is only a year old and is covered by the NAPA lifetime warranty.

    The Toyota mechanic said the split on the plug wire to the #2 cylinder was quite bad and noticeable since it was arcing. I cannot believe that the non-Toyota mechanic didn't pick up on this and was suggesting that a $1000 valve job might be necessary!

    Thanks for your help and others on this forum in trouble-shooting this issue.
  • I think that's it. The seal around the windshield glass.
  • The same problem just developed in my Corolla. My wife thought a drink had spilled back there but it just rained and quite a bit of water made it in. How did you resolve this?
  • Anyone experience this? When I cranked down my driver side window 2 inches down, the door panel (above my arm rest) makes sheet metal rubbing noise. Once I crank up all the way then the noise goes away.

    How to remove the door panel and check it out??

    Any information helps and thanks.
  • Had a starter problem for a while before replacing the battery. Turned out that battery was about 20% below cranking par. With a new battery installed, the car started properly except only once when the dreaded click-click occured. So I figured the problem was fixed. Boy, was I wrong!

    Last weekend, after starting the car normally, a cracking noise came from under the hood and the battery warning light came on. After turning the car off, a billow of white smoke exited from under the hood. The engine continued to slowly try to crank and finally died. Upon opening the hood and waiting for the smoke to clear, I noticed that cable from the positive battery terminal to the starter had melted about half the cable insulation. Also damaged was some of the injector wires. The battery was super hot. It seemed like the starter cable grounded out, but I don't know that for sure. Has anyone else had this experience and determined the cause?

    Fortunately we were already thinking about buying a new car anyway, however the old Corolla was a total loss except for salvage value. A mechanic mentioned that it wasn't worth fixing since a new wiring harness alone would have to be ordered from Toyota at a cost over $1000. So I got rid of it, as-is.

    Oh, by the way, if this fire happens to you, don't open the hood until it's cooled off, just in case the battery explodes. I was very lucky not to get injured and didn't realize how dangerous this fire could have been.

    The good news is that I bought a new 5-speed CE Corolla for under 14k out the door. What a way to have to get a new car. However, I love my new candy-apple red car!
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    A mechanic mentioned that it wasn't worth fixing since a new wiring harness alone would have to be ordered from Toyota at a cost over $1000.

    First, you should always carry around a ABC fire extinguisher. These come in real handy when you have smoke under the hood and are usually available at auto and discount stored for under $20

    Had you taken it to an independent shop, the shop would have called around to a junkyard and FOUND a USED harness. I have done this on several occasions with good success.

    You might have a claim against on your comprehensive due to the engine fire. Did you call your agent?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    First I have heard. Since a new battery was put in, and it sounds like a new starter also, I am a little skeptical that someone made a mistake with the electricals?
  • Very good advice:

    I plan on buying a fire extinguisher soon.
    We were planning on getting rid of the car within a year, otherwise I would have pursued fixing it. My schedule just got moved up.
    Unfortunately, I don't have comprehensive coverage anymore, so I'll just take my lumps and move on. A mechanic offered me the equivalent of a used motor, so I sold it to him for that price. Yeah, I know I lost money but the aggravation is gone.

  • I'm thinking of advising Toyota about it, in case there is a flaw in their system. (one of those one in a million shots - rare but possible)

  • hsmdhsmd Posts: 1
    I had this problem a few months ago. At first the car would not start at times, so i replaced the battery. It was OK for about a week, then the same thing. While out for a ride one day i noticed that the starter was running after i turned the ignition off. I restarted it and turned the key off, but the starter kept on running. Finally, the positive wire to the battery melted and being as i had no tools with me to disconnect the battery from the starter i was left with the only option to call AAA. They came out and towed my car and ended up replacing the starter as it had developed a short in it and was the cause of the whole problem.
    I guess i have no real complaints as the car has over 200K miles on it and keeps on going. With 35+ MPG a little "meltdown" from time to time isn't bad although i am happy that it didn't catch on fire.
    I have my tool box back in my car as a result...
  • c2cpc2cp Posts: 11
    I have a 2001 corolla s and when I am driving in a heavy rain I get a loud noise from what I think is the exhaust and I notice a lost in power. My father has a 2002 corolla and he said his does the same thing. Does anybody else have this problem and know what the problem is?
  • stevelstevel Posts: 5
    This happens when cold rainwater hits the spring-loaded bolts that connect the exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold and causes the connection to loosen momentarily. Snowy slush will also cause this. Over time, if not fixed, the condition deteriorates and the noise is present even without going through a puddle - along with the strong smell of engine exhaust in the cabin. I was quoted $300.00 by one repair shop to replace the exhaust flange gasket on a '99 Prizm and another pretended not to know what I was talking about. I had to go to a dealer for the gasket, $50.00 and the bolts, $25.00 and ended up doing it myself. Soaked existing bolts in WD-40 overnight and they came out just like that! You also need to remove O2 sensor to get one of the bolts out and the the pipe slides over with just enough room to slip out the old doughnut and put the new one in. Good luck.
  • I have a 1996 DX Corolla. My problem is i'm haveing problem starting it at time. Sometime I get the "click" noise when I turn the engine but after the second or third try the car turns and i'm good for the rest of the day. It will happen off and on sometime. Today I had the same problem and heard the "click" and i was able to start it on the 3rd try. I cut it off and started it again to make sure it ran but this time the Engine kept running when I cut the key and it still ran when i pulled the key out. The engine go a little louder and sound very different then normal. i put the key back in and turn it and try to cut it off again with nothing. the engine kept running at louder sound then the try it again with the key and this time the engine went to sound normal and you could tell the different in the noise. and i was able to cut it off once it got back to the normal sound.

    Now my question is it still the starter or the Soilonid (spelling) or is it something else.

    Sorry for the long post.
  • See postings #2972 and #2977. Get your starter/solenoid checked out immediately, otherwise you may end up with same situation as us. (MELT DOWN!) Don't delay 'cause it can get real ugly fast. A new wiring harness is also very expensive.

    Good luck!
  • Hi- Anyone having a problem with rain leaks in a 2003 Corolla? They started exactly one week after the 3 year warranty expired. The passenger front seat carpet is soaked, and I have 2-3 inches of water in the rear passenger compartment. I have high pressure sprayed the passenger side of the car top and bottom for hours on end. Sprayed under the hood, under the car, into the heater/ac inlet under the windshield...No leaks. We had 8" of rain in 9 leaks. We get a drizzle and the front carpet is wet from the bottom. Dealer wants to charge me $90 per hour to spray the car to test for leaks! I can spray just as good as a Toyota factory trained tech! Anyone else with this problem. I removed the rubber plugs in the floor to let the water drain out. I also built a baffle in front of the heater/ac intake under the windshield. Still leaks. Gonna drown! Please help. Thanks.
  • Just a thought, but I had the same problem with a different make and model. The dealer completely removed everything from the interior of the car and could not find the reason the floor flooded with water. Do you use your a/c before this happens? My problem was that the a/c evaporator box water drain tube became disconnected and the condensed water from the a/c would run out of the box and drain between the inside of the firewall at the top of the footrest and the top edge of the carpeting. Also, if that box is cracked on the bottom, it will leak condensed water created by the a/c. The a/c can produce quite a bit of water, especially if it's humid. I'm not sure about the '03 Corolla model, but in previous models the a/c was also activated in defrost mode too. The leak wasn't even visible because it was dripping right in between there. The condensed water from the a/c does not drain from the same place as the ducts for the heater/ac air inlet. It has it's own drain path. That drain outlet or tube could be clogged too. Good luck.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I had the same thought, I bet it's the AC drain.
  • lahenlahen Posts: 2
    Recently, I have been having problems with squeaky noise when I initially start my car during rainy weather. I am clueless when it comes to cars. But, I have been able to find some info on the net that this may be due to car's belt or belt tensioner. Am I on the right path? I have an appointment setup with local toyota dealer for this problem. My car does not have any other problems. And, it has been hardly driven for 37000 mile.

    If any one else has gone through this, please advise what should be my financial damage for this.

  • alex24alex24 Posts: 54
    First do not go to a Dealer for repairs, I never as of yet seen a Dealer that was not a rip off, If you have to go to a repair shop, go to a independent repair shop, As for your noise, make sure your air conditioning is off before starting car, then go to a Auto parts store like Auto Zone and buy a can of spray belt dressing and spray your belt, my corolla belt squeaked till I did that, if this does not do the trick, it is possible that one of your belt pulley bearings are dry or est. but its noting to worry about till the noise gets real bad, but may never happen, I say you can live with the noise to see if it ever gets worse and if the spray dresing does not work.
  • lahenlahen Posts: 2
    Thanks Alex24 for a quick reply. My appointment with the dealer is on Tuesday, October 30th. So, I still have some time to play with your suggestion. I'll get a can for spray belt dressing tomorrow. I don't know the definition of worse. But, today after an over night rain, the car made squeaky noise for about 10 minutes after the initial startup.

    I am really clueless as to where on the belt to spray. So, do you have a link to somewhere on the web where it shows picture I can follow.
  • hmohtahmohta Posts: 4

    Please , Please help me !!

    My 1993 Corolla with 125 K miles did not start. It seemed a problem with the ignition from basic checks.

    I got it towed to the hackensack toyota dealer and he told it is a problem with the starter it is burnt
    and charged me 277 $ part and 187 Labor for that.

    Then he called me and told the DISTRIBUTOR is not working and he will have to replace it The cost is 693 Part and 187 labor. :-( poor me. Total 1400 $

    I told him look this is an old car and I came to you for your diagonistic expertise. If you diagonsed earlier and found the starter problem and made me change it and now you are finding the distributor problem and later if u find some other problem I dont want to fix it.

    You complete your diagnostic and give me an estimate - then i will decide if i want to go ahead with the repair.

    Then he assured me that this was all it ..then i told him if it does not work after the distributor is installed
    i dont want the distributor. He said no.. that is not possible. Then I asked him to try it out with old one.
    Then with the shop forman he agreed to put the part and not charge me for it if it did not work but I would still be responsible for the starter he changed.

    This is not the kind of service we should expect from such a reputed authorised service center. He did not do any diagnostic and said we do it as we go. What is the quality of the diagonistic then and why should we pay so much for services for which better diagnostics should be done.
    I asked him to keep my old parts .

    Folks please advise me ...I am feeling completely fleeced !!
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