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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,900 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. make Toyota be responsible and give me a new engine! (1 reports)
  2. paid 5k to replace with a new engine and still having sludge (1 reports)
2003 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 232010

Corolla LE 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 96,800 miles


08 February 2010

In January of this year my 2003 Toyota Corolla LE experienced catastrophic engine failure as I traveled from Florida to Ohio. I had just had the oil changed and have been very anal about oil changes for the life of the car. The car had about 96,800 miles on it. The Toyota garage I took it to said that I needed a new engine but they were not sure what had caused the problem. My brother (smarter than any of their mechanics) pulled the pan and checked the oil there where there was some sludge. When he took off the oil pick up and looked inside, the pick up screen was completely clogged with crystallized gunk. There was no way any oil could get to my engine.

So far I decided to buy a new pick up and add a thicker oil to the engine. The car still drives, but does sometimes have some engine noise. I have no idea how long it will last.

This whole affair has made me sick. I am between jobs and do not have even the >$3,000 I would have to pay for a halfway decent used engine. I have looked online and seen that there have been many complaints about engine gunk in Toyota vehicles. I had expected to get over 120,000 miles from this car and now the engine is toast. My brother has a Camry with over 140,000 miles on it that is a commuter car. He has never done anything to it except change the oil. My car is a lemon.

I have called the Toyota Customer (Bad)Experience Line and so far they have been unwilling to work with me on a solution to this problem because the car was out of warranty and there had been no recalls of that model that year. I do plan on following up with a letter explaining my problem. Our family has owned over 10 Toyotas in the past 15 years. If Toyota doesn't work with me on this by giving me some compensation, this will be the last one that any of us will ever buy...and we have alot of friends to inform about this.

Disillusioned Toyota Owner

- Christine B., Delaware, OH, US

problem #1

May 152007

Corolla S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Thought Toyota's were supposed to be "reliable" cars. Won't ever buy a piece of Toyota again. BUYER BEWARE!!!!

- j23, Jacksonville, FL, US

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