hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,676 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.

2003 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Toyota Corolla:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #14

Mar 032015

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles


2003 Toyota Corolla. Consumer writes in regards to airbags and belt tensioner deployed in vehicle without being involved in any collision.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #13

Mar 122012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 191,000 miles
I was driving home from work when the transmission locked up. I pulled over turned the car off and back on. I managed to put the car in first gear and make it back home even though the transmission was making this loud grinding noise. I brought the car for repair and they tell me I need a new transmission. Just 6 weeks ago I had the clutch replaced. After investigating this issue I have learned this is a very common problem. Something must be done about this.

- Woodland Park , NJ, USA

problem #12

Jul 132011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 130,383 miles
I was driving the car, a Toyota Corolla 2003 on July 12 and while driving it turn on the check engine light, next morning while driving the car in a highway the car turn off. I didn't have an accident because it was too early in the morning, after couple attempts the car turned on, I call a Toyota place, where I do all maintenance of my cars, and after I called I went there so they can run a test. The result was shift solenoid "E" malfunction. The worker told me that most likely the problem is the computer, that there was a recall but on the Corolla 2006 not 2003. Hopefully you can help me with this. He told me to file a complain so I don't know where.

- Doral, FL, USA

problem #11

Nov 012002


  • 200 miles


I had a 2003 Toyota Corolla that stalled repeatedly while the car was at high speeds. Hamer Toyota never said anything was wrong with this car. This was just one major problem with that car. This was the most dangerous incidents. I no longer own the car for the reason it kept breaking down, and I felt unsafe and feared for my daughter at the time who drove when this was happening.

- Agoura Hills, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 222004


  • 35,000 miles
2003 Toyota Corolla has been using oil since 30,000 miles. Toyota dealer said the engine needed replacing at 35,000 miles because sludge was in the head. Oil was changed between 4,000 - 5,000 miles since new. Now we must replace the engine after it was just paid off. I sincerely believe this was a default from the factory.

- Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #9

Sep 282007

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While driving 35 mph, the battery light illuminated and the steering wheel was difficult to turn. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed radiator fluid leaking and stated that the engine overheated. He further stated that the serpentine belt disengaged. As of October 2, 2007, the dealer had not inspected the vehicle. The contact felt that the cause of failure was a failed bolt that held the engine. The current and failure mileages were 180,000.

- Weyauwega, WI, USA

problem #8

Sep 112007

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,500 miles


My Toyota Corolla started making a hammering noise when pressing the accelerator I was going downhill on the expressway. I drove to the nearest town and called Toyota who informed me I had to get a tow truck and get it to the dealership for service. I did so, and the next day was informed that the car's engine needed replacement as it had been damaged due to lack of oil. I was surprised since my car's last service was at the same dealership for an oil change just a month and two weeks before. At that time they did not indicate a problem with the motor and said my car was ok. My car has 49,500 miles and I am now facing a very expensive repair (change all the internal motor parts) since my car's 5 year/60,000 warranty expired just last month.

- Guaynabo, PR, USA

problem #7

Jan 012003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While driving 45 or 65 mph, the vehicle makes a squealing noise. The serpentine belt was replaced five times, but the noise persists. The vehicle is currently at the dealer who stated that the tension pulley was causing the belt to detach. The manufacturer stated that there is no recall due to the small number of complaints. The current mileage is 93,620 and failure mileage was 1,000.

- Whinter Haven, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 202004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,874 miles
Engine replaced at 55874 mls dealership said "vehicle was not mantained". even though oil was changed every 55 to 7500 mls. 3 weeks later while driving on hwy car suddenly started accelerating on its own, when I tried to slow it down the brakes did not work. After about 5 miles & 3 near collisions I was able to get off hwy and pull into a parking lot. The brakes were still locked up and the engine was still accelerating, car would not stop! I then threw car in park and cut engine off in order to avoid injuring someone else or myself. Smoke poured from under hood. Had towed to dealer could not duplicate said their was nothing wrong! 2nd incident 3 days after getting car back took to dealer again and they once again said could not duplicate and that they found no problem!this car almost killed me and is very dangerous!!!!

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #5

May 032004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle is letting out fumes from the engine and through the vents into the vehicle. Driver tends to get drowsy, and her asthma tends to get worse because of the fumes.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #4

Aug 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles


I have had numerous unresolved problems with my 2003 Toyota Corolla. The air conditioning/heater fan quits at random. It does start back but obviously has a short. It comes and goes. The dealer has stated each time they are unable to duplicate the problem. It also has suspension problems. Since new the car has made unpleasant claning and rattling noises in the front end. I have had it looked at many times with no resolution. It feels unstable in windy conditions and un even surfaces. I've actually thought I had a flat tire because of the car swaying so badly in the wind and on uneven surfaces. I've owned many small cars before and even an older Corolla so I'm aware of what is normal. It has definite supsension problems. I honestly feel it's dangerous for myself and others due to the suspension. I need help. There are other problems with this car as well. It's a true lemon.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #3

Nov 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Purchased car new on 10/4/02. Within a month noticed a very significant sulfar odor expecially when coming to a stop at traffic lights particularly when the engine is cold. I have taken it to the dealer twice and they tell me that nothing is wrong. Their explanation is that some gas stations put additives in their gas that create this odor.. they have done nothing further to solve this problem.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #2

Jul 222003


  • miles
While traveling on the highway and without prior warning. There was loud knocking noise coming from underneath the vehicle.

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #1

May 022003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Twice while driving the car has suddenly dropped out of overdrive while coasting on flat road or going down a slight hill. In addition, the engine makes an unusual and very loud 'tingy' or high pitched reving noise when accelerating, which disappears when at cruising speed. The first incident occured about 2 weeks ago and was followed by the inability to go above 15 mph. This persisted despite pressing the accelerator fully to the floor. The only way to stop this was to pull over and restart the car. The most recent incitent only involved dropping out of overdrive. Dealership has been contacted and has tried to find problem with no success. Manufacturer will be contacted.

- Durham, NC, USA

Not what you are looking for?