Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingVehicle Model Specific Problems Toyota Corolla Problems – Is This Toyota Living Up To The Hype?

Toyota Corolla Problems – Is This Toyota Living Up To The Hype?

by Jordan Harris
Toyota Corolla Problems

Are you in the market for a Toyota Corolla? You probably want to inform yourself before you make a purchase and learn all the Toyota Corolla problems that you might come across. If that’s the case, you are at the right place. Because in this article, we are going to learn everything about the Toyota Corolla problems.

Buying a used car is not easy. There are tons and tons of models that are out there and all of them have some problems in one way or another. It is a good thing that you narrowed down your picks and you chose the Toyota Corolla as your next car.

Toyota always has been the go-to brand for people who want a reliable car for themselves. Toyota is still holding its reputation as the best brand in terms of quality. But that doesn’t mean that there are no problems at all with Toyota and their models. There are still issues and we are going to discuss them.

In this article, we are going to learn more about the Toyota Corolla and its history. Then, we are going to cover the most recent generations of the Toyota Corolla and we are going to learn more about their specs. After that, we are going to discuss the Toyota Corolla problems for you to have better input on what you can expect from the Corolla, and we’re going to cover the possible costs for each of these problems. So, let’s dive into it.

Background Of The Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is a small family compact car. It is produced in a few variations. A sedan version with 4 doors, a hatchback version, and an estate version.

The Toyota Corolla is in production for more than 50 years. The model was officially introduced in 1966 and since then 12 generations of Corollas were produced. The Corolla is the perfect grocery getter and that’s why it is so popular among buyers.

Until 1991, the Corolla was a subcompact car and since 1991, it belongs to the compact car category. It can be said that the Corolla is the best-selling model in the world with over 50 million cars sold during all these years. It surpassed the Beetle by a big margin.

Toyota Corolla Problems

The Toyota Corolla for the US market is produced in Blue Springs, Mississippi. So, the Corolla, because of this, can be considered as an American product. Even though it is designed outside of the US.

In the US, the Corolla enjoys huge popularity. Many Americans know the Toyota quality and it is practically a no-brainer to get a Corolla for themselves.

Toyota makes most of its worldwide sales in the US market. With more than 300,000 cars sold each year in the US, it’s one of the most popular options. Especially if you are on the market for a small compact car and you want to avoid the big gas guzzlers that are mostly driven across the US.

The Corolla delivers a balance between quality and price. The Corolla is a relatively affordable vehicle, and that also delivers a lot of fuel economy on the table. But what about the Toyota Corolla problems?

In the next chapter, we are going to cover the last three generations of the Corolla, their specs, and also the common problems.

Toyota Corolla Tenth Generation 2007 – 2013

The tenth generation of the Toyota Corolla was unveiled back in 2007. The US model was produced in Fremont, California but after 2011, the production has moved to Blue Springs, Mississippi. The Corolla was slightly smaller than its bigger brother the Toyota Camry, but a bit larger than its smaller brother the Toyota Yaris.

Specs And Engines

The Corolla is a compact car. The length for the international version was 178 inches and the width was 69.3 inches, a bit wider than the Japanese version which was only 66.7 inches wide.

It was offered in 5 trim levels, with the Standard being the base trim. Then, there were the S, LE, XLE, and the XRS. The XRS had all the goodies and sporty driving. Including the bigger 2.4l engine, rear disc brakes, traction and stability control as a standard, and a sport-tuned suspension.

There were two engines for the North American market and those were the 1.8l engine and the 2.4-liter engine.

The 1.8l was connected to a 5-speed manual or 4 speed automatic. While the 2.4l used 5-speed shifters for both manual and automatic versions. But what about the reliability and Toyota Corolla problems? Well, we are going to cover that in the next chapter.

Reliability And Toyota Corolla Problems

The Toyota Corolla can be considered an extremely reliable car. Although, there are few problems that appear here and there if you own a higher mileage vehicle. Just to note that small problems, when the vehicle reaches certain age, are a normal occurrence and no vehicle can escape them, unfortunately.

Oil Consumption On The 2.4 Engine

Although a very reliable engine, the 2.4 still has some issues and that is increased oil consumption. As reported, the increased oil consumption starts above 50,000 miles. This is not a deal-breaker. But you need to bear in mind that this engine is burning oil and you always need to have a quart extra in your trunk, just in case you need it.

Cylinder Head Bolts Wear On The 2.4 Engine

The cylinder bolts on this engine are notorious for breaking. When they break, the coolant starts to leak from the rear of the engine.

This means that your engine could possibly run out of coolant and overheat. Overheating can damage the block and scrap your engine. It is important to know the level of coolant. You should always monitor the temperature gauge as well as the coolant reservoir tank. Doing this will guarantee that your engine will never be left without coolant.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light can appear and is considered as one of the biggest Toyota Corolla problems. This is the case because the check engine light can be caused by many different reasons. But the most frequent reason is the EVAP system.

The EVAP system is a system that is designed to reduce the environmental impact of the car. The system collects the bad fumes that are inside of the fuel tank and drives them into the engine to burn.

Toyota Corolla Problems

And in this case, the EVAP solenoid that is in charge of doing this procedure has failed. This can become a problem. Since the flow of gases is unrestricted there are too many gases inside of the engine and the check engine light appears on the dash. The solution for this problem is replacing the EVAP solenoid with a new one. These solenoids are extremely cheap and easy to replace as a DIY job.

Transmission Issues

The transmissions on these older Toyotas also can be a problem. This is the case, especially in cars that have high miles, and in most cases, cars above 200,000 miles were affected by this issue of transmission malfunctioning. This is because the transmission was not properly maintained and the fluid was not changed regularly in it.

Less frequent fluid changes can cause automatic transmissions to fail prematurely because they need the right amount of fluid to keep working properly.

If the transmission oil is full of impurities, it’s going to impact the performance of the transmission. And eventually, the transmission will call it a day and fail when you least expect it.

Although when they fail, the transmissions start to develop symptoms. They start to jerk, shudder, and slip. All these symptoms are a dead giveaway of transmission that is failing.

In this case, your only option is to rebuild or replace the entire transmission. Rebuilding is going to cost you between $1,500 to $2,500 while replacing the transmission will cost more than $3,000.

Air Bag Issues

Airbag issues were also reported in the Toyota Corolla. The passenger airbags were extra sensitive in extreme heat or humid environments. These airbags were notorious for blowing up all of a sudden and potentially hurting your side passenger.

Not a frequent problem, but it can happen. This is one of the Toyota Corolla problems that you need to fix if it goes off. You need to get a replacement airbag and replace it with a new one.

Also, the airbag light is a clear indication that there is something wrong with the airbags. If the light is turned on, then you know that you need to troubleshoot and scan the car for codes. If one of the airbags is faulty then you have to replace it with a new one.

Toyota Corolla Eleventh Generation 2013 – 2019

The eleventh generation was released in 2013 and has replaced the previous generation of the Corolla. This model, as the previous car, was manufactured in Toyota’s factory in Mississippi USA. The new car brought many new technologies and improved safety compared to the previous generation of the Corolla.

Toyota Corolla Problems

Specs And Engines

This Corolla, just like the previous generation, is a compact car. The wheelbase of the new model was 103.3 inches and the length was around 181.9 inches. This makes it slightly bigger than the previous generations.

The new generation of the Toyota Corolla was offered with two 1.8 engines. These engines were paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic. The transmission of choice in the USA was of course the CVT.

There were four trim levels, the base trim was the L trim, then the LE came and offered more options. The XLE was the fully loaded version and the XSE was the sporty fully loaded version.

The more equipped versions included LED headlights, alloy wheels, automatic climate control, and a big 6.1-inch touch screen (7.0 inch in the top trim XSE).

There were also a lot of safety features like a rear-wheel camera and adaptive cruise control. And commodities like an eight-way adjustable seat for the driver, sport mode, and heated front seats. But what about the Toyota Corolla Problems. Well, we are going to cover the Toyota Corolla Problems next.

Reliability And Toyota Corolla Problems

The reliability of the new Toyota Corolla was greatly improved compared to the previous version of the Corolla. Although, even the new model has some Toyota Corolla problems to discuss. In the next chapters, we are going to cover most of these issues that bothered a lot of Toyota Corolla owners.

Check Engine Light

The 2014 Toyota Corolla also has some issues with check engine lights. This check engine light is not connected to the EVAP system, but this check engine light shows up for no reason. The problem to solve this issue was resolved by Toyota by reprogramming the PCM with new software. This new software solved the issues with the check engine light.

Another check engine light problem was also quite frequent and it appeared more often. This would be the P0455 code that said the tank filler neck was not positioned properly. This job required repositioning of the fuel filler neck to be performed to return the filler neck in proper working order.

Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor can also go bad on these Toyotas, and cause the check engine light to appear. More precisely, the code P0171. The solution for this problem was to clean the mass airflow sensor and see if it helps. If this doesn’t solve your problem you need to replace the mass airflow sensor with a new one.

Bad Starter Motor

The starter motor was one of the main Toyota Corolla problems of this generation. The starter motor simply stopped working and the driver couldn’t be able to start and drive off with the car.

A new starter motor could cost between $400 and $550 to be installed. This starter motor does not develop symptoms before it fails, so it can be a bit tricky to diagnose as well. It can be easily confused with a dead battery.

Oil Consumption

Owners of vehicles with higher miles have reported increased oil consumption. This is the case because the piston rings, with age, are starting to get looser and allow a small amount of oil to pass through. This oil can burn in the combustion chamber and reduce the engine oil level.

A low engine oil level means trouble. If your engine has above 100,000 miles you need to track the oil level and fill up when it gets low. By doing this, you will extend your engine life by a lot. Also, frequent oil changes are useful to preserve the bearings.

Timing Chain Tensioner Fail

On some of the cars that are running the base 1.8l engine, timing chain issues can also be present. You will notice this by the increased rattling developed inside of the engine.

This problem usually appears above 100,000 miles. The timing chain tensioners get loose and the chain has play in it. That’s why you experience noise. The solution for this is to replace the timing chain. This can be expensive, but this service has to be done every 100,000 miles.

Clogged Throttle Body

If you are running a higher mileage car, it is useful to clean off the throttle body from debris. This cleaning will guarantee that your throttle body would not fail and your engine would work properly.

This is necessary because the Valvematic system on your Toyota can fail and if you don’t clean the throttle body, you may be required later to replace the Valvematic system that can be rather expensive to replace.

Toyota Corolla Twelfth Generation 2019 – Present

The twelfth generation of the Corolla was released in 2019 and is still in production to this day. This model has brought many innovations in terms of safety, the technology inside of the cabin, and also new hybrid technologies that offer the driver a greater fuel mileage than ever before.

Toyota front-end

Specs And Engines

The newest Toyota Corolla grew in size compared to the previous model and had a wheelbase of 106.3 inches and the length of the saloon was around 182.4 inches while the hatchback was 172 inches and the estate was 183.1 inches.

Same as the previous generation it carried basically the same trims. The base was the L and the better equipped LE. Then, there were the more equipped cars were the XSE and XLE. The XSE is considered a sport package and includes many upgrades compared to other trim levels such as better brakes, better suspension, and stiffer ride. So, if you want comfort you should opt for the L, LE, and XLE.

For the North American market, there was an offer of three different engines. Two 1.8l, one of which is a Hybrid, and a punchier 2.0 liter that is producing a whopping 169hp. All the cars are equipped with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission.

Reliability And Toyota Corolla Problems

The reliability of the new Corolla for these two years in production is excellent and not a lot of people have reported any major problems. This Corolla is a good as a new car, as well as a used vehicle because all of the chassis that was produced until now are still new and are not beaten up. That’s why getting one as a used car can be a great deal.

As with the previous models, the newest model of the Toyota Corolla has Toyota Corolla problems and some of these problems are carried from the previous generation to this generation. This is since it shares some of the engines. So, just what are the Toyota Corolla problems? Well, we are going to list some of the issues that the previous model had with the same engine.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light can appear on the 1.8l engines. This is because of the EVAP system. The only solution for this problem is to address the EVAP system and check its condition.

This problem can appear on higher mileage vehicles, so if the car that you are looking at has this check engine light, it means that it probably is connected to the EVAP system. You can always look for the codes and look online for a possible solution.

Increased Oil Consumption

If you are looking for some Corollas that have more than 50,000 miles, then you can expect them to drink some oil. This is normal for many engines and even manufacturers say that after that number of miles, the engine starts to burn through oil.

That’s why you should always have a quart of oil with you. That’s in case if you need to fill up the oil. If you ignore this problem, then it’s possible that the engine will starve for oil and engine damage could happen.

2.0 Engine Problems

The 2.0 engine is new and just entered production. That’s why there are no complaints about this engine. But as time progress, something may pop up and we will be glad to inform you about the newest information when it comes to this engine that is used in the SE Corolla.

CVT Transmission Recall

There was a recall on Corolla hatchbacks that had the CVT transmission installed. The reason for this recall was the failure of this transmission, more precisely the torque converter failure. This failure then leads to a complete loss of power to the wheels. This complete loss of power would result in some dangerous situations.

Around 3,400 cars were affected and they were recalled for a transmission swap procedure (you can find out more in our look at the Infiniti Q60 manual transmission) at the Toyota dealerships around Canada.

Toyota Corolla: Facts You Need to Know Before Buying Used

  1. The Toyota Corolla has been the best-selling car in history, having sold over 44 million units as of 2016.
  2. Some Toyota Corolla model years have had issues, including excessive oil usage in the engine and transmission problems.
  3. Model years to avoid when buying a used Toyota Corolla include 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2014.
  4. Toyota Corolla model years from 1984 to the turn of the century had relatively few problems.
  5. The AE80, AE90, and AE100 generations from 1983 to 1995 were quality vehicles right off the assembly line and meant to last a long time.
  6. Other than the 2009 model, most Corollas since then have been pretty reliable rides.
  7. The most common complaints of recent model years have been grinding brakes and problems with the cabin’s build quality.
  8. The only model year where internal issues were abundant and expensive was the 2014 model, which had several reports of the radio breaking down.
  9. The most common Toyota Corolla problems include excessive oil consumption, faulty transmission, slow engine startup, and a lit check engine light.
  10. Fixes for Toyota Corolla problems can be expensive, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the issue.

Conclusion – Toyota Corolla Problems

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the Toyota Corolla problems. We learned more about the background of the Toyota Corolla.

Then, we have covered the last three generations of this vehicle. We learned the specs and the engines that were offered in the US market and then we learned about its reliability and the Toyota Corolla problems.

The Toyota Corolla is a fairly reliable vehicle, and it doesn’t have any big issues that will cost you a lot of money to fix. As a second-hand buy, it is a great option. You can find one for a good deal and enjoy it. There are no disappointed Toyota owners, to be honest.

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