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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.

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Known Problems

If the vehicle develops an annoying, clunking sound when driving over bumps it is usually the struts and strut bearing plates. These may need replacing at 100,000-125,000 miles or sooner. If the noise is a more of a squeak or groan, it can be usually be eliminated by spraying a light lubricant on the suspension bushings 1-2 times per year.

The power steering pump and power steering hoses tend to develop leaks and require replacement.

The bolts attaching the front door window glass to the window regulator may come loose. This can cause the window regulator to become damaged and possibly causing the window glass to break. Some 2003 & 2004 models have been recalled for the issue.

The Evaporative system may have problems with the vapor canister releasing charcoal pellets that plug the vent valve. Typically a Code P0441, P0442 and P0446 will be set. The key code is the P0446 which is a vent valve electrical failure. The proper repair is to replace the entire canister with all the valves as a unit. This is located on top of the fuel tank and is expensive. Our Technicians tell us that for awhile Toyota was covering these problems, but this may have changed. It would not hurt to call the dealer if this problem occurs to see if Toyota is still helping with these repairs.

Front brake rotors can wear causing a pulsation felt in the brake pedal. Our technicians remind us to to use only factory quality rotors when brake rotors are replaced.

Over the time the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system may become plugged with debris, the oxygen sensor may also be getting slow or 'lazy' around this time. When servicing or cleaning  the EGR system, it is a good idea to replace the oxygen sensor because it works in tandem with the EGR system.

Typically the AC compressor is worn out by about 150,000 miles in warm and/or humid climates. It is recommended to replace the complete compressor including a new clutch and rpm sensor, and to replace the receiver/dryer as well.

The AC Expansion Valve may develop a very slow leak or allow too much refrigerant flow which reduces cooling. Our technicians tell us that Toyota makes an updated expansion valve to resolve these problems if and when they occur.

At higher mileages, an anti-lock brake system wheel speed sensor may wear out and illuminate the ABS warning light. It is recommended to replace the sensor with a factory part and be sure to clean all rust and debris from the mounting area because the mounting distance is critical. Failure to do so may result in the new sensor setting false trouble codes.

 

Front brake rotors can wear causing a pulsation felt in the brake pedal. Our technicians tell us this condition is best corrected by replacement of the front rotors and brake pads.

Brake fluid can become dirty and may cause problems in the brake system; it should be flushed every 60,000 miles.

Occasionally, the timing chain and sprockets need replacement due to premature wear and problems with the variable valve timing system (VVTi).

The timing belt tensioner may make a rattling noise at a higher mileages. This is due to the adjustment being at its limit. Our technicians tell us the range of the adjuster may be lengthened by elongating the slot where the spring attaches by 2-3 mm to remedy this problem.

The Throttle Position Sensor can get out of adjustment due to wear in the throttle body or due to carbon build up. This will cause the idle timing to advance more than 30 degrees which will cause very high HC and NOx emissions. Conversely, the Throttle Position Sensors can wear out and not properly advance the timing which causes a lack of power and poor fuel economy.

A rough idle and even an emissions inspection failure for high HC and CO can be caused by improperly adjusted valves. Also, exhaust valves may become to tight which can lead to valve failures. Our technicians tell us that regular valve adjustment inspections are a must.