Toyota Corolla Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Toyota Corolla reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

How to replace the key battery for a 2012 Toyota Corolla?

Answered by CarsGuide 24 Sep 2020

You should be able to prise open the key’s plastic body and then gain access to the battery-case within. But be careful, as older plastics become brittle with age and you don’t want to snap any of the locking tabs or the body itself (if you do, replacement keys are available online). If that all sounds a bit difficult, you could take the key to a shop or kiosk that cuts keys (and sells watch-bands and batteries) and they should be able to supply and fit the new battery for you. If you do it at home, make sure you dispose of the old button-battery safely as these pose a real threat to babies and toddlers.

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Does the 2012 Toyota Corolla have a timing chain or timing belt?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Sep 2020

Good news, Amy; your Corolla has an engine with a timing chain rather than a timing belt. While a timing belt needs periodic replacement, the timing chain should be good for the life of the engine.

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What is the best small car for under $30000?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Sep 2020

You don't need to spend $30,000 to get a great small car to run around town in. A Suzuki Swift GL Navigator from $17,690 plus on-road costs ($1000 more for the auto) makes for an excellent choice, with a surprisingly roomy interior, a refined, frugal and lively engine, great handling and superb reliability. Great value for money, in other words.

Moving on from there, to the next size up and in our order of preference, are the Mazda 3, Ford Focus Active, Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Corolla Hatch, Honda Civic (turbo only) and Subaru Impreza. All are quality small cars that should fit the bill perfectly.

There's also merit in considering a small SUV, chiefly because their higher roofline and loftier seating positions make them easier to get in and out as well as see out of. Our value pick is the Kia Seltos S with Safety Pack. The Mazda CX-30 and Toyota C-HR are also high-quality and refined choices, though they're right at the cusp of your budget so you may have to search for a discounted demo model. Going small SUV does  mean extra outlay, but they do generally offer better resale value, as their popularity seems endless.

As you can see, there's lots of choice, so take your time, drive the ones you like the look of, and see which feels best. Out of scores of alternatives, these 10 are our top recommendations at under $30K.

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RECALL: Hundreds of new Toyota Corolla hatches could have reverse light fault

RECALL: Hundreds of new Toyota Corolla hatches could have reverse light fault

15 Apr 2020 · by Justin Hilliard

Toyota Australia has recalled 780 new Corolla small hatches over a potential issue with their reverse lights

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What's the resale value of a Volkswagen Golf and a Toyota Corolla?

Answered by CarsGuide 14 Mar 2020

A Volkswagen Golf that is already one year old will already have done a big chunk of its depreciating. The Corolla, on the other hand, will – like all brand-new cars – dump value like crazy. That said, both cars have a fair way to go in depreciation terms. Keeping them for just a year won’t help there, either, as you’ll effectively be maximising the amount you lose.

The trade regards the Corolla (as a Toyota) very highly and, as such, resale values tend to be better than a lot of cars. The VW Golf, meanwhile, still suffers from the stigma of the reliability problems many owners experienced and can be a little more difficult to unload without resorting to selling it to a wholesaler who will make you really understand what depreciation means.

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How do I find a reputable mechanic in my area?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Feb 2020

For a start, where did you get that price for the part? Was it advertised online? Many workshops refuse to use cheap, knock-off (copied) parts from overseas warehouses, so the replacement switch they are proposing to use may easily be more expensive.

I know it sounds like a lot of money, Debbie, but even if that is the price of the switch, here’s roughly how it breaks down. The workshop will usually add a percentage of mark-up on the part involved to cover the cost of ordering it, so let’s say that $84 part will be passed on to you for $100. Then, labour is charged out per hour, and rates can be anything from $75 to $150 (generally speaking, although specialists can charge much, much more than that). But even if we take the middle of those figures and call it $120 per hour, and the job takes one hour, by the time you’ve added the $100 switch, you’re already at $220 and the cheapest of your quotes. And that’s if there are no other little rubber seals, wiring terminals or plastic clips that need to be replaced as part of the job.

Also, consider that to do this job, there’s a fair chance the steering wheel will have to be removed and that’s not as simple as it sounds in a car with an air-bag in the steering wheel. Time is money, but never more so than in a busy workshop. The bottom line is that it those quotes don’t sound like a rip-off at all.

As far as finding a workshop in your area, word of mouth is usually a pretty good indicator in these cases. Ask your friends and family (and anybody else you trust) where they take their cars and be guided on that basis to begin with.

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What used hybrid should I buy?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2020

The world of hybrids is moving very fast, Hannah, and the rule of thumb is that newer is better purely because the technology is improving all the time. You’re obviously concerned with running costs and your carbon-footprint, so the latest hybrid technology with a full factory warranty would seem to be an obvious way to go.

That puts the new Corolla Hybrid firmly in the frame as both a car with the latest planet-saving and life-saving tech as well as Toyota’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty as well as a ten-year warranty on the hybrid’s batteries. For some reason, Lexus hasn’t budged on its four-year warranty, meaning that a 2017 CT200h might only have a few months of factory cover to run if your bought it now. You’ll also potentially pay more for the second-hand Lexus than you will for the brand-new Corolla.

The only real drawback with the Corolla Hybrid is that its luggage space – because of the battery-packs – is quite shallow. But beyond that it’s a great car with the hybrid driveline thrown in for just a couple of grand extra. That’s a bargain and it’s one of the reasons the new Corolla will be a lot of Australian families’ first hybrid.

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Will a Toyota Corolla run on E10 petrol?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Jan 2020

The short answer is yes. All Toyotas sold brand-new in Australia after the turn of the century (and some models well before that date) can run on E10.

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What would the battery warranty be like on a used Toyota Corolla?

Answered by CarsGuide 4 Jan 2020

Because you’re looking at a car built before January 1 2019, the vehicle won’t carry Toyota’s current, upgraded five-year factory warranty. Instead, you’ll get what’s left of the three-year/100,000km factory warranty. In the case of a hybrid Toyota, that also includes eight years and 160,000km worth of cover for the batteries, so if the car you buy is just two or three years old, you’ll have anything up to six years of warranty on the battery-pack. That’s a pretty good deal.

The catch is that the car you buy must have a full service record that shows it has not been neglected in any way. If the service record has gaps in it, Toyota has the right to cancel the warranty on that particular vehicle.

Modern hybrids are clever in that when a battery cell fails, only the dud cell (rather than the whole battery-pack) needs to be replaced. Our experience, too, in this department is that Toyota hybrids are hitting wrecking yards (thanks to crashes) faster than they’re wearing out their battery-packs. That means there’s a decent supply of second-hand batteries with lots of life left in them at reasonable prices. One quote for a second-hand Prius battery-pack was between $1500 and $2000 from a wrecking yard.


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Should I lease a car or purchase one?

Answered by CarsGuide 13 Dec 2019

Hi Sam, I can’t offer financial advice as to whether a lease, car loan, or private loan will be preferable for your individual situation. Leases have been a great way to get into a late-model car while assisting your tax situation, though you do have to be aware of balloon payments due at the end of the lease term. Also consider the value of the car once you’ve racked up plenty of kilometres up and down the M1 freeway each day getting to Newcastle. I’d suggest speaking to an accountant or financial advisor first.

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