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2009 Toyota Corolla common problems

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular cars in the world for a reason. For a number of reasons, actually.

For a start, it’s reliable – perfect when you’re on a budget. It’s also safe, well equipped, and pretty cheap to run.

All good things, but the Corolla isn’t perfect. Yes, its reliability record is better than most, but nevertheless it isn’t immune to the odd glitch here and there.

And at times like these, when living costs are sky-high, then keeping your car on the road for less money is a must. And that’s where Haynes comes in, because we can help you to diagnose that irritating issue with your Toyota Corolla, and then we can guide you through fixing it – saving you a chunk of money on workshop labor charges in the process.

Toyota Corolla

What recalls has the Toyota Corolla been subject to?

Toyota Corolla 1.8 models registered in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming were recalled because a suction port for the brake vacuum could become blocked with ice in freezing conditions, causing braking distances to be extended.

The gas pedal caused a recall, because its sliding surface could become sticky over time, meaning the pedal could potentially stay pressed down when the driver lifted their foot off it. That’d wake you up a bit.

Faulty power window switches caused another recall, because these could malfunction and overheat.

The driver’s airbag clockspring forced another recall, as did seat heaters that could overheat.

Toyota Corolla

What common problems does the Toyota Corolla have?

A number of Toyota Corolla owners have noted a problem with the instrument panel in their cars, which makes a rattling noise in cold weather.

Another untoward noise is the source of more complaints, because the car can generate too much wind noise from the front door.

The Toyota Corolla is also known to emit a clunk or a popping noise when the steering is turned at low speed, and versions fitted with the 1.8-liter engine can also emit a brief rattle or knocking noise on startup.

Finally, the trunk lid on the Corolla can sometimes fail to remain open, which could be a headache.

Is your Toyota Corolla instrument panel rattling?

Your Toyota Corolla is a comfortable car. After all, it has to deal with the worst the roads department can throw at it. But the soft suspension isn’t quite able to stop the instrument panel from rattling over small bumps. This happens predominantly in cold weather.

However, Toyota has produced a remedy kit (part number: 55302-#2###-##). So, you’ll need to study the procedure in the Haynes Corolla manual on how to remove the dash panel from the vehicle, after which you’ll need to affix the repair kit to the back of the panel, before reinstalling everything in the vehicle.

It’s not going to be the work of a moment, but just follow the steps in your manual and you’ll be back on the road with no sign of a rattle.

Toyota Corolla

Is there too much wind noise in your Toyota Corolla?

The Toyota Corolla is known for being pretty quiet, but some owners have reported an issue with wind. And once you’ve heard the wind noise, you can’t un-hear it. Yes, wind noise is an issue in the Corolla. No, not THAT wind noise, the wind noise generated when you drive along at speed.

The trailing edge of the front doors is the problem, because they’re not quite aligned properly.

So, the thing to do is to open the door and brace it against something that won’t scratch it. Then lower the window (if the window breaks, you’ll have more than wind noise to worry about), then gently apply pressure to the top rear corner of the window frame. Use a ruler to ensure that the door no lines up properly with the leading edge of the rear door. Done!

Toyota Corolla

Why is the steering clunking in your Toyota Corolla?

Hearing a clunking or popping noise from the steering of your Toyota Corolla is going to be a bit disconcerting. But that’s what a number of owners have experienced. It’s especially prevalent when undertaking low-speed maneuvers such as parking.

The issue lies with the intermediate shaft in the steering column, which you’ll need to replace.

However, worry not, because the whole replacement procedure is covered in the suspension and steering chapter of your Haynes Corolla manual. Just follow the steps, study the images, then get the wrenches out and swap the shaft.

Toyota Corolla

Why does my Toyota Corolla engine rattle on startup?

Buying a car such as a Toyota Corolla, you expect it to exhibit engineering finesse; to feel like a four-wheeled Swiss watch, in effect. However, hearing a rattle or knocking noise for a second or so when starting is going to dent that impression somewhat.

The issue lies with the camshaft timing gears, and Toyota has produced an upgraded component (part number: 13050-0T011) that will sort out the issue.

As ever, we’ve stripped down and rebuilt the engine, so the procedure to swap the timing gears is contained within the Haynes Corolla manual. Just read up on what to do, make sure you have the correct tools, and away you go.

Toyota Corolla

Why won’t the Toyota Corolla trunk lid stay open?

Ouch. Opening the trunk lid, then bending down to put something into the trunk, only to have the lid land on the top of your head is going to take the shine off your day.

The procedure is pretty simply resolved, and just involves your purchasing replacement left and right torsion bars. Then it’s a case of removing the old torsion bars (ensuring that you prop open the trunk lid while doing so), then replacing them with the new, stronger items.

Again, this is a procedure featured in your Haynes Corolla manual, so just read up and your trunk will remain open as long as you need it to.