Toyota Corolla Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Toyota Corolla based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
At 125,000-150,000 miles, the Brake Master Cylinder may need replacing. It is critical to adjust the brake pedal to Master Cylinder pushrod clearance or the brakes can drag and over heat.
The ignition coil inside the distributor may fail. Our technicians tell us this may result in a hesitation on acceleration, especially when the vehicle is warming up on cold, rainy days. The pickup coils inside the distributor can also fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributors, which can short out. Our technicians recommend replacing the whole distributor with a complete, genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.
A squeak or groan noise may be noted from the front or rear suspension. Spraying a light lubricant on the suspension bushings 1-2 times per year may help eliminate the problem.
Drivers of the Toyota Corolla may notice excessive oil consumption between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.
This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings.
The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced.
To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used.
There are occasional reports of daytime running light problems.
The timing chain tensioner is designed to use oil pressure to keep tension on the timing chain. When it develops a leak, it can no longer provide tension, and the timing chain will begin to make a slapping or rattling sound at all times.
If left in this condition, the timing chain may fail, leading to costly internal engine repair.
To correct this issue the timing chain tensioner must be replaced with the revised part.
The 2005-2008 Toyota Corolla 1.8L I4 models have issues with the circuit board in the electronic control module (ECM) cracking. There is no advanced warning for the issue, and when it occurs drivers will experience:
- Harsh shifting
- Possible check engine light
- Engine stalling while driving
Toyota issued a recall for this issue, and notes the need to replace the ECU if this problem occurs.
The head gasket may fail due to a defect in manufacturing of the cylinder block.
On this vehicle, the head bolts are known to pull the threads out of the engine block, allowing the head to slightly lift, and causing head gasket failure. Symptoms may include:
- White smoke from exhaust
- Rough running conditions and/or inability to start or idle
- White or cream colored oil on dipstick
- Check engine light
- OBD Trouble Codes P2181, P0300
When the head gasket fails, the bolt holes for the head bolts must be repaired before the cylinder head can be remounted.
This issue is not always preventable, but to help avoid it, never run the engine if the engine temperature is ever above the normal range.