pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,762 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. new engine (5 reports)
2001 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


First noticed this 2 weeks after an oil change back in 2005. Took it back to the mechanic. He said it was due to engine sludge and recommended using synthetic oil for a few more oil changes to address the issue. However, several synthetic oil changes later, problem still continued. Read up articles on the internet about the issue. Ever since then, I suffered the pain knowing I couldn't go on any long drives. Kept topping up 2 quarts of oil every 1000 miles.

I noticed in the middle of 2007 that the check engine light was on and hence the vehicle didn't pass state inspection. Found out that this was due to a bad catalytic converter. Had the catalytic converter changed so I could drive legally. Few months later, the problem re-appeared and turns out that the catalytic converter was blown again. Took it back to the mechanic. This time, the mechanic remarked "Oh it's one of those oil burning engines". Unfortunately, I also found out that the engine oil burn causes the catalytic converter to go bad. So I am in the unfortunate position of having to replace the cat. so I can drive legally fully knowing it will be blown in a few weeks.

The other option I was given was to change the engine which would take at least $2500 which is probably way more than what the car is worth.

Isn't there some way to channel this problem to Toyota? Hope somebody from Toyota is reading this. Their cars are know for legendary reliability, but this has bee n a huge disappointment. If they can do a recall and fix this issue, I would go back to being a loyal Toyota customer.

- , Cedar Park, TX, US

problem #10

Jul 272010

Corolla CE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My car was showing no signs of burning oil or oil leaking, went 5,100 miles and oil light only flickered and I took it for an oil change immediately and my mechanic said that the oil was "almost empty" but no signs of leaking, etc.( I know other people with older toyotas that have gone over 7,000 miles and there was no damage) One week later, I'm passing a tractor trailer up a hill and my car starts making a loud thrashing or knocking noise, the longer I drove the louder it got. Thank God that it didn't stop on 81 and it got me home before it stopped working. I checked the oil and there was oil in it but I guess the damage was done 7 days earlier when almost all the oil was absorbed!!! What is with this- did. Toyota know about this problem and isn't telling us. I own a Honda now. I'm very very disappointed because Toyota Corollas in the past would last over 200,000 miles.

- , Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #9

Jan 012008

Corolla CE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have to refill engine oil every 1000 miles since 2008 (70000 mile).

Deal checked and said it cost a lot to fix it, suggested to fill 10W40 oil so the leak will be slow.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 202009

Corolla S 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 105,000 miles


Once again my engine check light is on! I have been to the mechanic a half dozen times in past year to remedy this. The catalytic converter has been replaced twice. 02 sensors replaced. Now my engine is knocking and seems ready to blow. Burns oil and has not run smoothly in years! I am very disappointed and sorry I put one dime of repair into this piece of sh*t! I am done with Toyota! I have replaced everything but the engine on this car and I am afraid that's coming. Time for a new car and you can bet it will not be a Toyota. I am very disappointed with the deterioration of Toyota. I bought a Toyota corolla in 1995 that never needed more than normal maintenance and oil changes. When I was finished with that car, it still had the original clutch and transmission with nearly 200,000 miles on it. What the hell has happened to Toyota quality! I am sorely disappointed!

- , Middletown, MD, USA

problem #7

Mar 142009

Corolla CE 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Like dozens of others here have said, my car is burning oil. I just bought it six weeks ago, had it fully checked out by certified mechanic, did my research, and made sure there was enough oil in it, etc. Everything looked great.

4 weeks later, noises started up. 5 weeks later the noises got a little louder. 5 and a half weeks later the check oil light would blink on more and more every time I'd hit the breaks. 6 weeks later I take it in, find out there's no more oil. And the timing chain and tensioner were causing the noise and are damaged due to lack of oil!

What's frustrating is that nobody knows why this oil burning problem is happening, or how to fix it beyond buying another Corolla engine. Ugh.

- , South Ogden, UR, USA

problem #6

Apr 142004

Corolla S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Just wanted to add my experience with this car. Bought it as a certified vehicle from a dealer with about 50K on it. Was told by the dealer they had just replaced, I think the head gaskets, right before I bought it - they didn't say why. The biggest issue was having to add oil all the time and the knocking in the engine, especially when cold - I live in MN. The worst part was discovering for the first time it was a problem - that is, checking the oil level and none on the dipstick - not good! I wonder how much damage has been caused by this problem in vehicles whose owners don't pay as much attention to this stuff - I guess the noise probably gets bad enough at some point that people end up taking it in to have them looked at?

Have also replaced the rack and pinion on this vehicle at about 85000, all the steering fluid ended up on my garage floor one time when it finally went ~$1500. Also a left front wheel bearing needed replacement about that same time to eliminate a 'ratcheting' in the steering wheel that the Toyota dealer couldn't figure out ~$300. Thank goodness there are still skilled, honest independent mechanics in small towns yet to help us figure out these problems.

- , Brainerd, MN, USA

problem #5

Jul 012007

Corolla LX 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


This car used almost two quarts of oil every thousand miles. I'm a commuter, so I was dumping oil into it every day. I just ended up buying a Honda, I'm much happier now.

- , Red Hook, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 242006

Corolla CE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I bought the Corolla used at 91K. I discovered the hard way, that it burns oil. To the tune of 1 quart per 1000 miles or so. I discovered this when the oil light came on. It took 4+ quarts to fill it up. By filling up the oil it did stop the engine from pinging. Temporarily that is. After another 30K in miles, the engine pings continuously now up the slightest incline or when accelerating. The engine light also came on too about 10K miles ago. The diagnostic code says that the oxygen sensors needs replaced. I did and the engine light came on within 1 mile of the repair shop. After reading about similar problems here and with the Prism, I guess I will just drive this car into the ground and not worry about the lights coming on or putting much more money into

- , Germantown, MD, USA

problem #3

Jun 012007

Corolla CE 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This is my first car ever and I bought it based on Toyota's so-called reputation for producing reliable long lasting cars. Well, that turned out to be a load of ...you know what.

This car has probably been burning oil for a while and at one point when I went for an oil change a mechanic told me that it took a lot of oil to fill it. I just dismissed it thinking that the guy before did not close the cap properly. The problem first starts as a rattling noise that you can hear when you're at high RPM. Considering this is a manual car, I have better control of when to shift gears. First mechanic I took it to thought it was some heat shield about to fall off. A few months later, I was told that the bottom of the crankshaft and engine are damaged and that the engine needed to be replaced. When I looked this problem up on the web, it seemed to be quiet common among the 98-02 corollas. I don't see point in getting another engine as I'm 100% sure it will have the same problem, so I'm trying to get rid of the car before it completely dies on me.

The moral of the story:


- , Revere, MA, USA

problem #2

Aug 272007

(reported on)

Corolla S 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,380 miles

My corolla burns way too much oil. I would put in 1 quart 1 week then more the next. I thought after my oil changes I would not have to put oil for awhile but no I would have to put more in. It has gotten worse and now I need a new engine. I was told that noise that just started means I'm losing my engine and don't know how long it has left. I wonder where has all that oil gone too? How can there be no oil? There is no leak, its not smoking. It will cost me almost 3k to fix it. I have heard this engine has had problems but it's a little to late for me.

- , Montclair, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 192007

(reported on)

Corolla E 1.8L VVTI

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

ok, I always own Corolla since 1990, I never had any problems with them, that is why I always own corolla, recently I took my sister's Corolla from Indiana, I live in California, I got here in California fine, I change the oil, I even put one lucas oil, it helps the regular oil to run more smoothly thru the engine, it also helps not to burn as fast. but this time I drove it for about 1500 miles, I drove to Sacramento which is about 500 miles, I got back, and drove it for about a week, I always keep track of the miles, and just a day before it reached the 3000 miles it started to have a noise in the engine, I ignored it because the next day I was going to change the oil, but the next day just before I change the oil, I checked the oil dip stick, and it was empty, I unscrewed the oil pan, and only about 1/2 quart came out, I never checked the oil because I never had problems with corollas. also the oil light never came on, usually when the oil is low the oil light comes on and off, if its empty the light stays on. after I filled the oil, I thought the noise was going to go away, but it didn't, I didn't bother to take it to Toyota dealer because they charge so much money just to check it. I just took it to a regular mechanic. I was told that there was some thing wrong with the headers, they want to charge me $750 dollars, they said the engine is still good, because it has not lost any power, it's just the noise on the top part of the engine, I might fix it, or I might just buy a used engine, which might cost $1000 dollars.

I will still buy corollas, I know they are good, but I was disappointed with this one, I guess every make has mistakes, this was one of them, I hope with my next Corolla I don't have the same problem.

- , Cathedra City, CA, USA

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