2003 Corolla - Is it worth a transmission

abc_123abc_123 Member Posts: 4
edited July 2017 in Toyota
Took my car in for a sudden engine noise (they described it as a "growl"). They found a rear wheel bearing needed replacing ($700), but that did nothing for the issue I took it in for, and they said that the transmission will probably need to be replaced. I took it to another place for a second opinion; they couldn't pinpoint the source of the noise, but said either front wheel bearing or trans. A few days later the starter went out ($600)...

The quote for the transmission from the first shop is $3400. (They said "worst case," but I know my luck with cars.) This is the first Toyota I've owned, bought it because of "how reliable" they are, and it's already eating me out of house and home, just like my last vehicle (a Dodge Dakota)! I bought the car for $6000 (+ tax & doc) 11 months ago. Is it worth paying 75% of its cost in repairs?

Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 207,889
    Is it a stick-shift? How many miles are on it?

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  • abc_123abc_123 Member Posts: 4
    5-speed manual, 143k (135k when I bought it).
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 207,889
    abc_123 said:

    5-speed manual, 143k (135k when I bought it).

    It's really rare to need a new manual transmission. Maybe a clutch job.

    If they can't tell if it's a front wheel bearing or the transmission, you should find another shop.

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  • abc_123abc_123 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info, I am crossing my fingers that it's just another bearing.

    I did take it to two shops. Neither could determine where the noise is actually coming from. Both said transmission is a possibility, and to wait until it gets worse so they can determine it for sure. I was just wondering if I should save up the $3k if it's the transmission or $6k for another replacement.

    (Note I'm not having any driving issues, just the noise so far.)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 207,889
    abc_123 said:

    Thanks for the info, I am crossing my fingers that it's just another bearing.

    I did take it to two shops. Neither could determine where the noise is actually coming from. Both said transmission is a possibility, and to wait until it gets worse so they can determine it for sure. I was just wondering if I should save up the $3k if it's the transmission or $6k for another replacement.

    (Note I'm not having any driving issues, just the noise so far.)

    Well.. it's not likely to be the transmission, if it's a manual. It could need a clutch, but you'll know when it starts slipping. Clutches are maintenance items. Not sure what it costs for a Corolla, but it should be $1500 or less.

    Find a better shop.

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  • abc_123abc_123 Member Posts: 4
    My brother told me it has a "wet clutch" and that they never go out. I have no idea if it's true, but he knows a lot more about cars than I do. ^_^

    I just did a little checking on signs that a clutch is going out and I'm not experiencing any of those symptoms. I checked the clutch fluid (I think it uses the brake fluid reservoir) just to be safe, and it's completely full.

    At any rate, I'll hope for a clutch problem over a transmission. It's still 1/4 of what I paid for the thing, and I recently did a price check -- looks like I was gouged for it at that! -- but still would be the cheaper problem to fix.

    Many thanks, much appreciated!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I've never heard of a "wet clutch" but I'm thinking maybe a throwout bearing. Like our host suggested I would look for a better shop! Unusual for manual to go out like that especially in a Toyota!

    Lastly, very doubtful that the clutch fluid is shared with the brake fluid. Low fluid wouldn't make a noise anyway.
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