2002 Toyota Corolla Reviews & Ratings

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2002 Toyota Corolla (24 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
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235,000 miles now. Does burn 1/3 of a quart every 3,000 miles. Not bad considering many are burning much more. I started getting piston slap a month ago. Just going to keep driving it, not worth a bottom rebuild to do away with the noise. Brakes are perfect and parking brake holds on just two clicks.

Did have a lot of worn out parts when I got it. Replaced the clutch at 220,000 -- still had the original Exedy. A/C is cold. Did flush out heater core because of poor heating performance and it helped. No electrical issues whatsoever. I have the LE model and it doesn't have ABS, which is what I prefer. And, I get 41 mpg in the summer (two weeks on one tank). I'd buy another one.
The Corolla is the BEST car I have ever owned, it's reliable, easy to drive, comfortable and has never once let me down. When our expensive cars need to go into the shop for work the Corolla just keeps on going. It needs basics like oil changes, brakes, tires but the engine and transmission have never given us a single problem with over 200,000 miles on the car. It seems bullet-proof, I am confident the Corolla will go another 200K without a problem. It's a 4 door car that gets 40MPG without being a 40K hybrid. Reliable, great MPG and easy to work on.
Excellent, reliable car. 190,000 miles, 12 years old and all original. Never tuned-up. Great car!
I bought this car new in Dec. 2001. It has been totally reliable. Changed the oil as needed and followed the service manual until the warranty expired. Still change the oil as indicated. Have only had to do the usual services such as new battery, tires, a couple of light bulbs, and brake pads. I think there might have been a couple of minor warranty issues but all good. Has almost 120,000. Been a great car. Still looks great.
I bought my 2002 corolla brand new 9/01. After 83,000 miles my check engine light has came on every year or it may skip a year and come on the next year. I have bought 3 catalytic convertor 3 02 sensor. My check engine light just came back ( a month before my birthday) I don't know what the problem is at the moment. I replaced the door handles interior and exterior, also the door window motor went out. I can't lock the doors because the original key doesn't really work on the doors. Sometimes takes me about 30-45min to get the doors unlocked so I just don't lock them. I can say it get me from A to B, but will not buy another one if I can help it.
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I bought one brand new and now it has 156,000 miles. The interior is a basic quality of an economic car and is falling apart. The brakes are designed to stop the car but won't impress you. The transmission is amazingly realible. 11 years and the only lights i've replaced are the rear tail lamp side markers. The only problem with the engine is the seals will eventually fall apart (like every car) but other than that it is great. I drive 300 miles a week and spend $40 to do it, not bad for 11 years old. At the 10 year marker the catalytic convertor WILL give out, but thats the only issue with it. The heater will boil you and the a/c will freeze you, no issues. The suspension is loose (because it isn't a sports car) and the steering is also very soft which is great for long drives. This car is designed to get you from point A to point B with comfort and realibility, it does both very well considering it costs only a couple grand.
I bought an LE new in Dec 2001 (12 miles). I have 96K miles on it now. I’ve replace the struts this year. The drivers side door handle needs replaced. Other maintance: oil change every 3K miles, just flushed the power steering, radiator, brake fluid, replaced the serpentine belt, and a new battery last year.
The gas mileage has started to drop I get about 34 miles per gal highway and 26 mpg in town.
The car does OK in the snow I have gotten stuck before. I do feel the wind often as drive (live in a windy part of the state) but that is to be expected as it is a small car. The first 100K miles have gone pretty good so far. I’ll see how the second 100K treats me. I don’t have the oil burning issue that people below seem to be having, but maybe due to the low mileage in comparison.
I bought my Corolla brand new in 2001. I have always loved Toyotas and will continue to use them. The person saying they replaced the timing belt must be thinking about the Camry. I did have a Camry before and the timing belt broke at 125K miles and totaled the engine. This time I made sure my car didn't have a timing belt. Around 130K miles the check engine light started coming on and reading that it needed a new catalytic converter. We replaced the converter and the light was on again within less than a year. The place we bought the converter was shut down so we couldn't use our warranty. We went to Midas and bought another one with a one year warranty. After 6 months the light came on again and the people at Midas did not want to honor the warranty saying that something was wrong with our car. I took the car to the dealership and was told that our car is fine but the after market cats are not any good. To have the dealership replace the cat would cost over $2000 which is more than the car is worth. Midas reluctantly and rudly agreed to honor the warranty on the cat based on what the dealership said but said they would not warranty the new cat they were putting on. Less than 6 months later the light came on again and we took it to another place that said it wasn't the cat but that it wasn't installed correctly. Midas would not honor the warranty and wouldn't correct the situation so we had to get another cat. Now, less than 1 month later the light is on again. I wouldn't worry since it is just a cat but I live in Texas where we have to get our cars inspected and I can't pass inspection with the check engine light on. The car now has over 160K miles, is burning oil and has the check engine light on. It was a good car but it's time for a new one.
i'm a proform bench buil;der. presently rebuilding a 2002 toy. corolla. oil sludge caused poor pumping , led to failure. customer negec. run senthedic oil. it's a good idea to rebuild your top end a around 100,000 miles. thats always been a good way to rebalance your engine without an overhaul , ( pay me now , or , pay me later.) this corolla is only a 1.8 lit. engine not a race car, but do to satisfaction we sometimes neglet them that way. i've found a lot of models, before they went to the 2.4 lit. engines, failures do to timine belt tensioner failure prematurly. if you fould this to be your case don't wait to standerd 50,000 - 60,000 replacement. do at 25,000 - to - 30,000 and save your engine. we havn't had a rebuiuld reture in 5yrs.
p.s. check modle history, alot of manufacture, quality contol caused failure . spes. wronge, torq. wronge, they don't refigure on the line. overall todays car are some of the most trouble -0free in history. rfebuld your top end at 100,000 miles . timing belts on time , and rotate all your trans. fluid at 70,000 or more
My 2002 Corolla is pretty good I can't compalian. Its great on gas especially in a small town. Of course routine maintenance is required. I've encountered a few problems with some the electrical, like the volume for the stock radio shorted out to the dimmer switch for the dash light and the door switches don't quite work right causing me to take the dome light out so it wouldn't keep draining my battery. Other than that the only major problem I've had is the car was abused before I got it so one of my rocker arm has come loose partially blocking oil flow causing it to burn a lot of oil and allow blow by into the exhaust. (and the corolla does have a timing belt or chain, it is needed to run the oil pump)
My 2002 Corolla was a wonderful car. I loved this car! Other than routine maintenance and a few minor issues, I did not have any problems at all. It was quiet, reliable, comfy, and perfect for me. I would not have given this car up unless I had to - with 92,000 miles on it, I had planned on keeping it for a long time to come. Unfortunately and very sadly, my 2002 Corolla was t-boned on the driver's side. The side impact airbag protected me from serious injury. The accident, however, probably totaled my beloved car. I am still waiting for the insurance company to make that determination. For nine years, this car has taken me everywhere I've needed to go - reliably and safely. That made this car worth its weight in gold for me.

(And a side note: the person who wrote that they had to have the timing belt replaced twice - this car does not have a timing belt. You were cheated on that point.)
Probably the best car I've ever owned, out of 30+ different cars that I've had total. I bought it new in 2002, now has c. 140,000 miles with no serious problems. Did replace a window motor once, Set of four tires is around $150. Maintenance is always cheap, serpentne belt can be changed very cheaply. That's the only belt. It sounds like the person below that paid $300+ for each of two belts was seriously ripped off by an unscrupulous mechanic. I agree with the dash board lights, they are half out and not worth the cost of replacing them. Air conditioning has always been outstanding here in hot SoCal, as is the great mileage, 32 mpg + consistently every year. I have never spent more than $200 to do anything to this car, be it brakes, tires, anything, and I have had it serviced by the dealer at regular intervals up to 100k miles.
I bought my '02 CE Corolla brand new; it had 7 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. Yes, the engine has a small issue with burning oil, but nothing dramatic. I've noticed that light bulbs burn out frequently, and the one feature that has always annoyed me is that you can't turn the headlights off. At 108,000 miles, everything still works well enough. The paint is chipping a little on the rear bumper and the rubber on the left side of the steering wheel is slightly loose, but I've had this car for almost eleven years so I'd expect some minor imperfections by now. I love the power; for a 4-cylinder automatic, it really moves! In contrast, I recently drove a Nissan Versa, and it was a gutless wonder. I'd definitely buy another Corolla; I'm only sorry that I'm stuck with manual door locks and windows until I buy my next car.
The one good thing I will say about my 02 Corolla is it always gets me to where I have to go. I bought it used back in 2005 with about 60,000 miles on it from a Toyota Dealership.
Now, the problems;
1. Had to replace 2 struts within the first 3 months - Dealership covered that.
2. Started to burn oil at about 75,000. It now has 145,000 and I add 3-5 quarts per tank of gas!
3. Bulbs burn out frequently and the instrument panel lights went out within the first year.
4. It has a chronic hesitation problem and burns out spark plugs every few months or so.
5. Recently discovered I had 2 leaking fuel injectors that had to be replaced.
6. MAF sensor has had to be replaced twice.
This car is a constant headache but it does get me from point A to point B. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Oh did I mention that the engine needs replaced or rebuilding?
Car works great, just surprised that nobody mentioned that their window motor died. I had it happen and a buddy who has the same car had it happen too.

Besides that car gets me from A to B so no complaints.;
Had this car 6 years. It now has 165,000 miles. I replace the brakes every other year. It used a lot of oil, but what the heck, it's 8 years old. I now add Lucas with high mileage oil and it's fine. Didn't sound right, added Seafoam, now it sounds like new. Got a new serpentine belt, a friend put it on during a lunch break at his work's parking lot, took 10 minutes, cost like $12. Who the heck paid $365 twice for a belt??? I love my 2002 Corolla!
I had it for for 9 Years, just a few problems, I'm still happy
Absolutely do not get this car. I have had millions of problems since i got this. It was my first car. I'm 18, I bought a 2002 corolla wit 88,000 miles on it. Not bad right? Yeah okay.
Hadnt even had the car 2 weeks, check engine light comes on. Needs a new timing belt. $365. About a month later, light comes on again. Needs some other belt. $365. About 2 months later, light comes on again. Gas cap wasn't on all the way, fine. Free. I then hit 90,000 miles. So I got a 90,000 mile tune up. As I'm driving away from the tune-up, I hear a loud rattling. The next day, the mechanic calls to make sure everything is okay with the car. I tell them about the rattling, I take it back in.
Oh, I need a right front strut. $600. I let it be for a while, and drive around listening to the rattling. A few weeks later, light comes on AGAIN. I take it in.
Needs a catalytic converter. Oh and while you're at it, it needs new brakes.
$700 and $600.
Sold that car for $3000 and that's it. i will never buy another Toyota again. I did nothing but pour money into that car. Not to mention I'm a student. And working in a lingerie store does not exactly make me have money bags floating around.

Absolutely would not recommend it unless you want constant problems. All these problems were from October-May.
I have always loved toyota and did love this car until the last year. the check engine light kept going on and off. we took it in and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. We took it in again recently and learned that it has horrible compression in cylinder #4 and burns oil. it would be over $1000 to rebuild the engine. this car only has 139K, and we don't drive it aggressively and have had it serviced regularly. makes me a little hesitant to buy another toyota with very many miles.
I've had my car for 7 years now. I've had nothing but problems with it since i got it. I just recenttly had to replace the motor which was big mistake. Get this car for a first car for kid nothing else
Been driving for over 2 yrs. No problems absolutely except maybe engine oil issue - seems to consume more than normal. No other issues other than that. Great mileage, low maintenance.