Buying an older Toyota Corolla

sales2010sales2010 Member Posts: 33
edited September 2017 in Toyota
Hi, I am thinking about buying a certified used Corolla when the new ones come out for my son. Could anyone tell me their reviews on the Corolla. Cons and Pros. Quality problems (rattles,) I read on another forum group about 2005 Corolla hot starting problems. 2006 wind noise by something with the windsheild. Thank you.


  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Hi - welcome to CarSpace! You'll find lots of reviews/opinions in our general Corolla discussion as well as in the other topics contained in the Corolla group. Have a look - and have fun!
  • sales2010sales2010 Member Posts: 33
    Thanks for your help. Do you own a Corolla? I always keep tabs on the Corolla forums, but there is really not a good place to review the Corolla. This is why I started this forum. Thanks again for your help.

    PS I looked on E-bay and noticed that some Corolla's are built in Japan, USA, and Canada. Which built would be a good one to get?
  • sales2010sales2010 Member Posts: 33
    Please, I really would like some reviews. I will appreciate anything you could give. Thanks
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Try the link to the general discussion I gave you in my earlier post. You really can gain a lot from the information already posted there (and in the other discussions in this Corolla group). You can also ask your questions there - more people may see them. Good luck.
  • sales2010sales2010 Member Posts: 33
    Thanks for your help. I will post this on other Corolla places.
  • digitaldragondigitaldragon Member Posts: 2
    I bought a used 2004 Corolla S two months ago. It had 76,000 miles on it, and a standard transmission.

    Con: I have very few gripes. The biggest is that I hate the power steering. It's just too light. I prefer manual steering on a car this light, but I've driven other power steering vehicles that weren't as overly sensitive as the Corolla.

    My other gripes are minor: The left sun visor collides with the rear view mirror. I have my adjustable steering wheel set to its highest position, and it blocks my high beam warning light. More road noise than I expected.

    Pro: 36.1 mpg overall for the 2,500 miles I've driven it (mostly country roads and 70mph freeway, with just a little bumper-to bumper city driving). Excellent power. Very comfortable. Very roomy feel inside. Decent ride for such a light car.

    If it has the reliability of my previous Toyotas, I'll own it for a long time.
  • tunisjstunisjs Member Posts: 5
    hi, returning from an overseas assignment in korea, i bought it used at hertz car sales in portland or in sep 05 with about 24k miles on it. i drove it indirectly across the country, ending up in toronto and have had it since. (its really too bad that hertz discontinued most of its retail used car sales stores. buying used from a nationally known rental agency meant that all service was properly done and a lemon would have been wholesaled away.)

    the car has been essentially bulletproof, now with 57k miles. before buying i watched the edmunds forums on corollas and expected as much. ive done all required maintenance, using synthetic oil, and replaced the awful oem goodyear tires in jan 06 with walmart captive brand vivas, which are great tires.

    its a totally reliable, easy to care for appliance. it lost a bit of steam out west going up mountains, and the cruise control hunts and pecks on hills, but those are known issues. it unfortunately lacks side air bags and abs, so im replacing it with a cpo 2006 mb c280, which is about the same size and has the same tight turning radius. the mb is a driving machine, not an owner's appliance as is the corolla. different cars, different reasons for being.

    if you can find a corolla that has had regular maintenance performed is still within warranty by several thousand miles to take care of any major issues, its a fine transporter.

    good luck!
  • pengwinpengwin Member Posts: 74
    hi, bought one new, did all the scheduled maintenance, at about 65k miles dealership said i had tranny problems, 5k bucks for a new one. decided not to do it. Now its at 140k miles still doing fine. Main problems with mine were the tranny issue, my brakes squeak all the time. changed the whole brake, squeaks in the wet, in the dry, all the time. The hinge on the upper storage compartment in the center stack broke. stupid toyota made plastic hinges with .0000001 inch diameters so that if u accidentally touch it it falls off. The paint job is horrible, bugs are indented into my bumper and litle rocks have scratched the hood to the point that i can see the steel. If you're looking for a car that'll keep running, the corolla hands down is your best bet.

    oh yeah, i have an 03 LE corolla
  • cocopuffs809cocopuffs809 Member Posts: 7
    Hey Edmunds community,

    I have a question. I am a poor college student that needs to buy a car next year because i'm living off campus. Well, my friend, thats a senior is leaving and she is going to sell me her Honda Accord 96, Toyota Camry, or Toyota Corolla (i forget which one it is...I will call her tomorrow and find out)...but basically, she is selling it to me CHEAP. At least from my research and what I think. She is selling it for $3000 (maybe I can get her to go lower). But the only problem is from what I have seen and from what every one says is that she is a crazy driver. She speeds 90s-100s when she can, etc. I assumes that she does regular maintenences on her car because she is very responsible and also, she told me she spent $600 on the car recently. My only concern is her driving habits and the longterm effects it has on the car.

    Oh btw, the its a 96' model Camry/Accord/Corolla ( dont remember) and it has around 106,000 miles on it. Which is good too.

    Ultimately, should I buy this car because it is a bargain? Or should I pass on this deal?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    A major repair that has to happen prior to 100K, is replacement of the internal engine timing belt and water pump. It's a cogged fiber belt which wears out, which keeps the crankshaft and camshafts in proper timing. If that wears out and breaks, your engine dies immediately and you have to have it towed somewher to get repaired. You want to make sure this is done in maintenance mode while you can plan it, as opposed to unexpectantly on the road somewhere. Depending where you have it done, that typically would be about 500-750.

    Find out exactly what maintenance was done for 600, but I would assume (with any used car), that you may have to put 1500 into it to cover one of any number of repairs.......brake pads and rotors, struts if leaking, CV Joint halfshafts, transmission fluid change, etc. I'd have someone check it out before you buy.
  • cocopuffs809cocopuffs809 Member Posts: 7
    We'll its a Toyota Corolla with 106K miles on it. She told me she is very good on checkups and maintainence. Always oil changes on time and does every maintainence necessary according to the Jiffy-lube checklist. So I think I'm buying the car. Thanks. And shes going to do a final tune up before she sells me the car. So I hope it'll be a good deal. Thanks
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    I strongly suggest you look up the recommended services for the car on our Maintenance Schedules, Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins and confirm with the seller - preferably by receipts - that they have all been taken care of. Better safe than sorry, and all that, you know! :)

    She may have done every service she thinks was necessary, but she may not have known of some, you just never know. You at least want to be certain the major items are taken care of, just as kiawah suggests. Otherwise this could turn into a very expensive proposition.

    Let us know what happens.
  • andersonncandersonnc Member Posts: 2
    A local dealer has this for sale. Ive never owned a Toyota but have always wanted one. Im looking all over town for a great deal.

    Is this high mileage for that price? Im looking to spend less than 8000.00 for a used car. I saw this Corolla & wondered if it is a good deal?

    Engine:1.8L I4 OHV
    Ext. Color:Maroon
    Int. Color:Light Tan Cloth

    A local dealer has this for sale. Ive never owned a Toyota but have always wanted one. Im looking all over town for a great deal.

    Is this high mileage for that price? Im looking to spend less that 7000.00 for a used car. I saw this Corolla & wondered if it is a good deal?
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
  • horizontech1horizontech1 Member Posts: 1
    The corola is very reliable car if not abused.Check blue book or nada first before you nake an offer.You can check the trade in value so you can have an idea,then base your offer on that.Remember,that the trade in value is the dealer payed for the car,usually much less than that.I will offer less than that.Test drive the car and check the oil,tires,interior,engine and any thing obvious including under the car.If every things looks good and clean,chances are some one took good care of.If not,ran way.Go some where else.
  • lhylhy Member Posts: 48
    I am considering buying a 1998 Corolla CE and was wondering what opinions people have of this car?

    I have heard that it tends to consume a lot of oil like a quart/month, particularly when it reaches the 110-120K mileage mark. It this true? And is this a major problem?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    Depends on how good the maintenance was. My '99 LE has 108K miles, and does not consume any oil. I have read that both the '98 and '99 can have this problem, so I have been watching mine carefully, and I can say that I am not concerned anymore. From what I've read, many people report that the excessive oil consumption starts long before 100K miles. I have changed the oil every 4 months or 3,500 miles since new. I'd let it go to 4,000, but this car has many short trips, so I am a little aggressive with the oil changes. Besides, I do it myself, so it's not costing me a lot of money.

    Excessive oil consumption can turn into a problem because the cat. converter gets fouled, or the O2 sensors will trigger a check engine light, or if you don't check the oil often, the oil level could get too low, then you'd have a HUGE problem (no more engine!). Of the people that report oil consumption, most just fill it with oil often and keep driving it. If it gets too bad, the compression could be decreased - then, you'd need a rebuild or just scrap the car.

    Bottom line - have it checked out, and most of all, verify the maintenance records. If burning a lot of oil, the end of the exhaust pipe would be oily and the plugs would be very dirty.

    Good luck!
  • terceltomterceltom Member Posts: 1,024
    Had three Corollas so far and never heard of this generalization. I certainly never had this problem with my older Corolla.
  • hoopitup2000hoopitup2000 Member Posts: 46
    My aunt is finally retiring her 98 Corolla CE after an amazing 270,000 miles. No major problems to speak of. Oil consumption was getting higher near the end, but no complaints. I hope my 05 lasts as long. :)
  • matrixcorollamatrixcorolla Member Posts: 9
    The problem is that some of the 1988- 2003's got the IZZ FE engine with the small pistons. These are the oil monsters and the ones Toyota refuses to do anything about claiming no one had complained. Call 1-800-331-4331 PST time zone and file a complaint.
  • matrixcorollamatrixcorolla Member Posts: 9
    Do NOT buy a 1998 -2003 Toyota. Small pistons - big oil burner after 30,000 miles. I am going to Honda.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    Hmm. I had a 1999 that I had until 130,000 miles - NO issues with oil consumption. It used same amount of oil at 130,000 miles as when it was new. I used Castrol GTX 5W-30 dino oil, changed at 4,000 miles or 6 months. Awesome car, never replaced anything except VERY routine maintenance. Original rear brakes when I sold it, put on new front pads and turned rotors around 70,000 miles. I just changed all the fluids a little sooner than the factory advised (and I changed brake fluid because it had ABS).
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Member Posts: 117
    It wasn't because the pistons were too small.
    The drainback holes behind and below the oil rings were too few and too small.
    Under the right conditions they could clog with coked oil.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    Which is why I had ZERO issues with my '99. I changed my oil frequently, NEVER went over 5,000 miles or 6 months, so mine did not use oil.

    So I will say that the car did not have enough tolerance for neglect.
  • zippy99zippy99 Member Posts: 17
    edited September 2017
    My 99 Corolla CE has never seen a tow truck in 18 years. Its keep on going and going at 220k miles
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