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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 2003 Toyota Corolla

2003 Toyota Corolla

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2003 Toyota Corolla Problems

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to an evaporative emission (EVAP) system fault. Our technicians tell us these EVAP system faults can be difficult to diagnose but it is not uncommon to find a failed charcoal canister or a loose or worn gas cap.

Engine -- Verified

The mass air flow sensor on higher mileage cars occasionally needs to be cleaned or replaced if sluggish acceleration is experienced or the Check Engine Light is illuminated with a mass air flow meter sensor fault code stored.

Electrical & Lights -- Verified

If the engine will not crank over, the most common problem is the starter. These will tend to go out at about 100,00-125,000 miles. Sometimes it is only the starter solenoid, but often the complete starter (including solenoid) needs to be replaced.

Electrical & Lights -- Verified

There are occasional reports of daytime running light problems.

Suspension & Steering -- Verified

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.

2003 Toyota Corolla Recalls (Recent)

Body, Interior & Misc., April 11, 2013

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Airbags use a chemical reaction contained in an inflator module to create the pressure necessary to inflate the bags when deployment is required. These vehicles are being recalled because the front passenger airbag inflator may produce excessive internal pressure when deployed. As a result, the inflator module could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike vehicle occupants. Dealers will inspect and replace any defective passenger front airbag inflator module found.


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Body, Interior & Misc., January 30, 2013

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Certain electrical circuits in the airbag system are susceptible to an internal electrical short circuit. A short circuit can create excessive current flow, damaging the electrical circuit. Damaged electrical circuits could result in an inadvertent deployment of the front airbags and/or seat belt pretensioners. This could increase the risk of injury and the possibility of a vehicle crash. Dealers will install a supplemental wire harness containing an electrical filter between the airbag control module and its wire harness to protect the control module from this electrical interference.

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Body, Interior & Misc., April 16, 2008

RepairPal Expert Overview:

The bolts securing the driver and passenger front door glass may loosen and come off, causing the glass to separate from the window regulator. An abnormal noise may be noted when operating the windows. The window may bind and shatter during operation, causing the driver distraction and/or injury. Dealers will replace the driver and passenger front door glass bolts with newly designed bolts to correct this concern. The Toyota recall number is 80A. The General Motors recall number is 07273.


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Drive Train, March 21, 2002

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Toyota is recalling 2003 Corolla models with VIN numbers starting with 1NX. The bolts that join the rear brake and hub assembly to the rear axle carrier may become loose due to insufficient tightening during the assembly process. Noise or compete separation of the rear brake and hub assembly from the rear axle carrier could occur, leading to a loss of vehicle control. Dealers will properly tighten the bolts.

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2003 Toyota Corolla Questions and Answers

Joe_Cor, 2003 Toyota Corolla, Los Angeles, CA

Hello, anyone know how to change out the 3rd brake light. I tried looking for access but had no success. Any information is appreciated. Thanks.

shannonannkeenan, 2003 Toyota Corolla, Sarasota, FL

I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla and the air conditioning has stopped blowing COLD air (it still blows warm air). My husband checked the pressure to see if it needed to be refilled with one of those ki...

Rimburu, 2003 Toyota Corolla, Bunker Hill, WV

electronic throttle sensor

katherine, 2003 Toyota Corolla, Albany, NY

I had pad and brake rotors replaced in Nov 2007, now I am being told to repair again at a cost of $422.95. I now have only 45000 miles on car. Brought the car in because of scraping noise. Pleas...

katherine, 2003 Toyota Corolla, Albany, NY

I am planning on buying a new car and would like a black top put on it. Can you tell me what this involves and how
durable it would be? thank you

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2003 Toyota Corolla Reviews

Bought a 2003 CE Corolla with 50K on the clock in 2005; it has 222K on it now. Diagnosing why it's using a bit more oil than normal, but 6 sets of tires, 2 front brake jobs, and 1 (yes, changed at 199K) rear brake job (total rebuild), plus 3 rear hubs, radiator, and both control link arms, she still gets me 38-42 MPG on interstate trips at an average of 80 MPH (3K RPM) and 32-36 in the city when hot out, and 23-28 in winter. Bought another car, but kept the Toyota for the long haul trips due to the better gas mileage. I think I've had 2 plug changes and one transmission flush over the last 172,000 miles. I would buy another one if my "new to me" 2009 Volvo doesn't do what I expect out of it, which is a lot of miles on the clock before it is retired with little maintenance, like the Toyota.

we bought our '03 in '05 with 30,000 miles on it. we now have 285,000+. overall it has been an EXTREMELY reliable car. it now burns about a qt of oil a month but still runs well. we've had an issue with the rotars. car was shaking when braking and at highway speeds. replaced rotars problem went away - for about 6 months. same problem again. had to replace one of the ignition coil packs recently. besides that it has needed very little maintenance. we got more than our money's worth out of it. Toyota has earned my business for sure.

Perfect car
Kudos to Toyota Corolla 2003
- Daramson

I have a 2003 Toyota corolla my second one. Everything is what i expected from a corolla but my brakes keep giving me trouble. It will be fine for 3 miles then the brakes will heat up and slow the cars down. it almost became deadly when it stopped moving on a six lane highway. I've done everything from replacing rotors, lines, pads, master cylinder and it still persists. Does anyone have suggestions?

Great car maybe the best engine (timing chain) best automatic tranny ive owned. Bad things suspension is weak on all toyotas. Change out your control arms if vehicle wanders! Replace your rotors and pads aftermarket best way to go $70 for everything lol. Stay away from dealers, aftermarket parts fine. There is no better used car availble, 40mpg. I know a guy with 380k on matrix same car corolla still going strong! p0420 code comes on all these toyotas dont panic.

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