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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,404 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Dec 022013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


My engine started making a rattle sound when starting it up. I searched online and found several complaints about this problem. It seems to be a defective cam shaft timing gear assembly, which is no longer covered by my warranty. I am upset that this has not been recalled, since it is a serious concern especially when it deals with the vehicle's engine. I hope Toyota will take responsibility for this. There are many people out there with the same problem. Toyota already has had several recalls for this vehicle, so why not back the engine?

- Patchogue, NY, USA

problem #20

Apr 172014


  • 118,000 miles
Car recently making a loud rattle when start. Toyota refusing to repair a defective cam shaft timing gear assembly. My car is not covered by Toyota's warranty, but this defective cam shaft timing gear assembly has a tsb with many complaints by customers who own a 2009 Toyota Corolla! this is unacceptable and not safe!!! please address asap...I should not be responsible to pay to replace the cam shaft timing gear assembly that has always been defective. Toyota should recall 2009 Toyota Corolla to repair this problem. Thanks.

- Cumberland , RI, USA

problem #19

Apr 232014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Water pump began to loudly whir after 6 hours of continuous highway driving. 200X miles later, began to rattle. 50X miles later, seized completely. Cost to repair: $70 water pump, $60 labor.

- Venango, PA, USA

problem #18

Apr 262014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 28,408 miles


Continuous high pitched whining noise. Had to replace water pump.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #17

Mar 242014


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the motor exhibited a loud grinding noise without warning. The contact continued to drive the vehicle home. The vehicle was not taken for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 83,000.

- Scanton, PA, USA

problem #16

Jan 122014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
At approximately 11:00 a.M. on a beautiful sunny day, I was driving on the pa turnpike at the speed of 65 mph when the power steering in my 2009 Toyota Corolla failed. My car unintentionally veered left and right as if I was encountering hurricane-like strong wind gusts. The car bounced back and forth for approximately 5 seconds, while feeling as if it was floating/hydroplaning, as I attempted to regain control. My attempts at correcting the power steering issue were unsuccessful and ultimately the front right side of my car crashed into the right guardrail. Fortunately, I was unharmed in this frightening accident and the state troopers and tow trucks responded in a timely manner. No other individuals were hurt and there was only minor guardrail damage. My car, however is extensively damaged. I am confident that this was not a result of driver error or unforeseen weather conditions. One of the state troopers that reported to the scene even commented, "everyone out here is driving the same speed as you and no one else experienced any of these wind gusts. I am an experienced driver who has been driving this car since I purchased it in 2009, with no prior power steering concerns or issues. My car was well maintained and a week before the accident, I had it at the dealership for an inspection, alignment and new tires. I intend to file a claim with Toyota.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #15

Feb 292008


  • miles


When slowing down from 65 mph the whole car shakes out of controll. This does not happen every time but pretty consistent now my check engine and traction controll light stays lit while the ESC light blinks. This has happened now three times over past 6 months.

- Chesterfield , VA, USA

problem #14

Jul 242013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 76,100 miles
I noticed last month a "brief engine knock/rattle noise at cold startup. It has happened every cold start since last month. I did research on the internet, and found a tsb-0087-09 issue regarding this problem. Toyota has since corrected this problems on their 2010 models - but did nothing for the current owners of the 2009 models. With a engine any thing could happen regarding safety!!! I believe it is selfishness on the part of Toyota, for what I call a safety issue. The gear in the intake or exhaust is bad in the engine. Not knowing what it could lead too for elderly that love to drive these vehicles?!!! it is covered under power train warranty - 3 yr/60K. But this is a known problem defect on Toyota manufacturing end - it should be covered no matter what. More people have this issue, and probably do not complain to this Agency. Probably never think to - that is why you may not have more complaints regarding this issue (tsb-0087-09). I wish you would address this Toyota over in Japan. Please keep me posted if any thing will come available for the unfortunate consumer!! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #13

Jul 132013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact that when the vehicle was cold and first started, there was a grinding noise heard from the engine. The contact stated that the dealer replaced the cam shaft timing gear assembly, but the failure recurred in less than 25,000 miles. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 98,200.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 072013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 77,798 miles
Car had just been started, was departing a parking garage and power steering suddenly failed, followed by engine failure. Car would not start again; battery was completely drained. Alternator had gone bad and was replaced.

- Venango, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 082013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 68,041 miles


The water pump seized up while driving and shot the remains of the serpentine belt out of the bottom of the car. The change in the handling was immediate, and I am thankful I was not on the highway. The car is not high mileage and is just out of the warranty period. No injuries, it happened late at night, thankfully no one was around, the jolt did cause me to jerk the wheel a bit.

- Manteca, CA, USA

problem #10

May 022012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
I have a loud knock/rattle noise on cold startup on my 2009 Corolla. I thought it was the belt. But, after replacing belts on schedule maintenance, problem still persist. On several occasions, the engine would start but running in abnormal sound with constant big vibrations. Looking up online to see if this is a common problem for the 2009 Corolla, I am surprised this is wide spread problem and that Toyota knows about it and even issued the repair the bulletin. According to the bulletin, this noise was caused by the defective camshaft timing gear assembly, which affect 2009-2010 Corolla and matrix. I don't know how any other owner will have the same problems, and that someday it might cause big accident when the assembly failed while driving on the freeway. I could not understand why Toyota did not issue a recall when they knew there is this problem on the parts. I sincerely hope NHTSA will investigate this issue.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Mar 012013


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle lost power steering on freeway, all electronic components shut down and I was stranded on the side of the freeway. The car would not start, after $3200 in repairs, the mechanic said the pistons looked like they were from a 30 year old car. Regular oil changes, well maintained, this car is not reliable!

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #8

Feb 122013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, a loud crackling noise was heard coming from the engine. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 17,000. Updated 04-03-13 the consumer stated she just found out, there was a problem with the steering intermediate shaft, that was causing a noise. Updated 06/12/14

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 292013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 13,968 miles
Car would not start, kept cranking, some times would sputter. After 10 minutes or so of repeatedly trying finally it started but sputtered severely for about 30 seconds then rev up normally. Drove to dealer. Had to pay for diagnostic fee of $110 + $10.95 for EFI cleaner. Learned symptoms were as stated in tech service bulletin tsb-0182-09 where engine control module (ECM) would cause the engine to misfire terribly. Fix was to have program update and reflash ECM. The EFI cleaner added because misfires may foul fuel injectors. Dealer said they would be nice and not charge me for the reflash /update of the ECM. There should have been no charges at all. I hear 8 years warranty on ECM-what does that include, only flash updates and not diagnostic fees? four recalls and now this. What's next for my 2009 Corolla with <14,000 miles and just 7 months out of warranty. Shame on Toyota.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #6

Jan 132013


  • 74,118 miles
Driving on a straight interstate. Speed limit was 70 mph. Road surface was wet. Drove over water, engine abruptly surged, similar to pushing accelerator to floor. Front end veered abruptly left. I applied brakes. Car spun backwards. Rear right wheel made contact with the metal cable-type barrier on left side of highway.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #5

Jul 202012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph she heard a screeching sound from the engine. The contact noticed smoke coming from underneath the vehicle and the check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact merged to the shoulder of the road and noticed the vehicle had overheated. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated the water pump needed to be repaired. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Sparta, MO, USA

problem #4

Aug 282012


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the battery and check engine warning lamps illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the water pump pulley as fractured and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 55,000.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #3

Aug 182012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 40,088 miles
My vehicle started emitting a high-pitched whine noise on 8/17/12. I went to the local Toyota dealer first thing in the morning on 8/18/12. The service intake person verified the presence of a whine noise but could not identify its cause, suspecting that it might be the alternator. He could not take car in until Monday, 8/20/12, due to a staff shortage. Since I was not told that the car was unsafe to drive, I continued driving it. Late that same day, the vehicle started overheating. I pulled to the closest auto service; they diagnosed the problem and immediately replaced the failed water pump. It is my understanding that this is covered under the powertrain warranty. I needed an operable vehicle and the dealership was closed at that time. I believe I have a right to get reimbursed for this repair by the Toyota dealer.

- Highland, IN, USA

problem #2

Feb 132012


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that the vehicle would make a rattling noise when first started. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told there was a problem with the cam shaft. The dealer stated the cam shaft would need to be replaced, but wanted to do a 1,000 mile oil consumption test instead. The contact was concerned because the dealer stated the engine could also fail. The failure mileage was 78,000 and the current mileage was 94,000.

- Brockton, MA, USA

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