really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
119,000 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (3 reports)
  2. junked it and bought a new car (1 reports)
2004 Toyota Corolla transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 302014

Corolla LE

  • Manual transmission
  • 128,000 miles


My Manual Transmission failed, and the car is completely inoperable. The solution is a complete replacement of the transmission and clutch. My mechanic states that the gears "exploded". There was no warning other that the engine being slightly louder when accelerating or maintining speed (foot on gas). The increased engine noise vanished when I pushed in the clutch.

I am a veteran manual transmission mission driver and have driven many clutches (some with 300k+ miles). I have never had to replace a manual transmission before. THIS IS A DESIGN FLAW OR SUBSTANDARD MANUFACTURING WITH THE TRANSMISSION AND NOT AN OPERATOR OR MAINTENANCE FAILURE.

I opened a case with Toyota. They are requiring me to have the vehicle towed to the dealer ($150.00) and pay another couple hundred dollars to have their mechanic tell me the car needs a new transmission and clutch! But as I still owe on the vehicle and think Toyota should pay for the repairs and wave the last few payments. I guess I will have to do this. But I am not happy about it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when the transmission seized my car came to an abrupt and sudden stop. I was fortunate to be on a rural road and traveling at a low speed. It is only a matter of time before there is a fatality. Toyota, own up to the problem and correct it!

Update from Jan 6, 2015: Toyota said they would not repair or replace the transmission due to the fact the car was 11 years old. Disappointing. Toyota as kniwn for thier reliability. I guess since Toyota is no longer manufacturing manual, they dont want to service or care for the manuals still on the road.

The local dealership went out of thier way to find me a new car, and give me a peace of mind; so I will give Toyota one more opportunity. Hopefully, they return to thier former business philosophy and create good reliable cars once more.

- , Sussex, NJ, USA

problem #3

Sep 072012

Corolla CE 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles

For 1-2 weeks I was hearing a grinding noise when in gear only. At first, I thought it was the transmission and I was right. While driving on the highway the noise started to become louder so I downshifted and then the car started blocking. After I stopped it wouldn't go in any gear... everything was jammed. Took it to a local garage and ending up paying 2800 $ for a used tranny and a new clutch. This is my last Toyota my next car will be Ford or Honda

- , Blainville, Quebec, canada

problem #2

Apr 092012

Corolla CD 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles

same old toyota manual problem. slight noise for a few weeks, dealer can't find problem, says drive the car. Bam!, the tranny fails completely. Waiting on a used tranny to be shipped. No more corollas for me.

- , Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #1

May 142009

Corolla LS V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I have had no real troubles with my car until now. As a back story, I bought my corolla used from a dealership about two years ago. It had 50K for mileage and I have added a substantial amount of mileage in the past year due to a much longer commute to work. For a while now, I had noticed the sound of the engine was much more pronounced/loud then when I first bought the car. I assumed it was related to the car getting older. I have taken care of this car and felt I was safe. I took comfort in the fact that I had arguably the most reliable / everlasting car in the industry. I was apparently wrong. I was in fifth gear yesterday heading to work when all of a sudden I heard some sort of noise and before I knew it, there was a loud grinding noise and vibration that I could feel in my stick shift. That was the death of my transmission.

Long story short, I needed an entirely new tranny and opted to replace the clutch as well. The overall costs were $3,000 and change. The repair tech said it was like a grenaid went off inside the transmission. I still cannot believe this just happened and at a time where money does not exactly grow on trees. I truely am at a lost for words and I am sure anger will soon set in if it has not already done so.

- , Allston, MA, USA

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