Toyota Corolla Common Problems

Toyota LogoIf you want reliability, then you can always go for a Toyota. And one of the most steadfast vehicles in their entire range is the awesome Corolla.  Compared to some of the cars we have profiled in our common problem articles, this one is a real legend with a history that stretches back all the way to 1966 with 11 generations to date.

Named after a small crown, the Corolla was named the best-selling car in the world in 1974 and has even surpassed the numbers produced by the ever-so popular Volkswagen Beetle. With an estimated 40 million cars in existence you should have no trouble tracking down a second-hand vehicle for your use. And even though faults on this car are few and far between, you can make double sure your purchase is a good one with another one of our winning guides.

Water Pump

Looking at purchasing a 10th generation Corolla? There’s a well-known fault with the water-pump in this iteration of the popular Toyota that could cause damage throughout the entire engine if it’s left unchecked. The main symptom is an engaged temperature light and there could even be steam rising from the front of the car. Either sign is one to avoid, regardless of what the seller tells you.

Cold Water Starts

One of the recalls enacted on the Corolla range happened when cars manufactured between 2009 and 2013 were recalled due to problems with vehicles failing to start in colder weather. Take a look at the log book to see if your car has had problems with this issue and was part of the general recall.


A known point of vulnerability in the Toyota Corolla’s suspension is within the bushes in the front McPherson strut and the anti-roll bar, which both can age before their time leading to a tell-tale clanging noise coming from the front of the vehicle when taken out for a test drive. Whilst you may want to avoid a car with this problem, if the price is right then you can get the suspension easily fixed.

Clutch Plate Problems

If your potential Toyota purchase has been badly driven by a previous owner there could be issues with the clutch. The give-away sign is high revs before pulling away and a tendency for the clutch to slip. This is one of the more serious problems on our list and we would advise you to gently walk away from a car with these symptoms.

Fuel Pump

The engine on the Corolla is known to be especially smooth and refined. But this does not mean that it is completely free of tricks and trouble. One of the most prominent faults is jerky acceleration – a more prominent issue when moving off at lights and junctions – which indicates a faulty fuel pump. Again, like the suspension issues, this won’t cost too much to fix.

Brake Problems

The Corolla has been the subject of not 1, but 2 recalls since 2000 due to the brakes, in 2002 and 2005. Check the service history to see if the Corolla you’re thinking of buying has suffered from such problems to ensure that the fix was properly completed.

What’s there not to like about the Corolla? With so many vehicles to choose from we won’t even try to recommend this for any set budget or use, other than to say it’s a solid choice. Toyota is one of the strongest makes of used car, and there’re plenty of spare parts. On the road? Good power, traction and great handling. The only trouble you’ll have is narrowing down your options.

This entry was posted in Cars and tagged , on by Justin Smith.

About Justin Smith

As the man at the helm of BreakerLink, it is no surprise that its Director, Justin Smith, has always had a keen interest in cars, bikes and most things wheeled. Having spent over two decades in the car parts industry, Justin combines his passion that since 2002, has successfully united those looking for new and used car parts with the breaker that supplies them. Follow Justin on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: These articles are for guidance purposes only. If you have any questions regarding any matter relating to your vehicle we would recommend that you seek the advice of an appropriate professional. We accept no responsibility or liability should you suffer financial or personal damages in relation to the advice stated on this website.