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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
62,850 miles
Total Complaints:
39 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace water pump (28 reports)
  2. car now needs a new engine! (5 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. replaced water pump (2 reports)
2009 Toyota Corolla cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jun 212019

Corolla LE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,203 miles


Driving down the freeway and the check engine light comes on. Car is over heating, water pump seized up and pulley snapped off, belt broke or fell off. Brought my car to a stop and turned it off. I replaced the water pump, new serpentine belt and drained and refilled the radiator. After doing all of this the car will not start. Everything looks fine, oil, compression, spark, fuel, battery, not sure what it could be. Replacing the crankshaft sensor tomorrow. When I put the car in the ON position the RPM gauge doesn't move at all. Also when trying to turn it over nothing on the RPMs. Anything would help not sure what it could be at this point.

- Derrick M., Carpinteria, CA, US

problem #38

Dec 152018

Corolla S 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,282 miles

Fair warning-- check serpentine belt at every oil change, make sure there's no slack or obvious wear. Not sure exactly how to check to see if a water pump is working correctly, but it's sounding like I'll replace it every 30,000 - 40,000 miles as standard maintenance, assuming I keep the car that long.

I got myself safely off the highway when my battery and check engine lights came on and smoke rose from under the hood-- the water pump had seized, the serp belt stopped turning, my engine overheated, spitting burnt coolant.

A 100 mile tow home, replaced the water pump and belt to no luck. Another tow to a service station for diagnosis and the engine was cooked.

Final bill unknown (still in repair today), but no less than $4,000.

- jhi29, Green Bay, US

problem #37

Apr 162017


  • Manual transmission
  • 35,000 miles

The car only had 35000 miles and the water pump went. Most cars I've owned didn't have this problem until almost 100k. Toyota's response was "well it's 8 years old and the parts are plastic now" ridiculous

- fssu, Spokane, US

problem #36

Jan 052016

Corolla S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


I'm really disappointed with my corolla 2009 but more with the Toyota company because they sell me a lemon car,

now I'm paying for those engine and body defects, until now more than 1000 dlls!

- Victor L G., Mou, CA, US

problem #35

Jul 132016

Corolla XLE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Picked up a used 2009 corolla xle with 67k miles, and noticed the noisy water pump right away but was not concerned. My mechanic replaced it for $289, with a much better pump.($95 for the pump plus 1.5 hours labor and some antifreeze, etc) (Pep Boys charges $500, a dealer around $700) The noise was a crunchy, popping, rattly, kind of sound I could hear outside, but the dead giveaway is how noticeable it was inside; a bad water pump always kind of reverberates through the cooling system. I have mixed feelings about this. My 04 corolla water pump lasted 230k miles. However, I would have replaced this pump regardless at 80-100k anyway. Same with the alternator. Why wait for something to fail when its less than $300 to just replace it?

- Bill S., Ocala, FL, US

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problem #34

Apr 062016

Corolla LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

A little over a year ago, I had to get the water pump replaced by my brother in law after it sheared off the engine. Now I had to replace it again after it started to make a clunking noise. Luckily I was able to get the part for free since it was under warranty and under 2 years old, so all I had to pay for was labor. Just goes to show that water pumps made for this car are crap.

- Carrie C., Manassas, VA, US

problem #33

Feb 022016

Corolla S 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


I bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla for the perceived reliability that is often advertised and backed up by Consumer Magazines and such. This car has have many recalls and terrible electric steering that makes it difficult to keep in a straight line on the highway and now the water pump failure at 55,000 miles. I replaced the water pump myself to save the $500 or more it would cost me at a dealer. I never thought I would need to replace parts like this on a Toyota with relatively low miles.

I have 2 older GM models with higher mileage with less issues. Also it cost over $700 to add remote start and the dealer wanted to charge for recalls to be completed. There is not a very good warranty on this car. Toyota does not stand behind there products. They want to charge to fix the electric steering module to be replaced that newer models already have. I am done with Toyota. I wont buy another.

- fosterjaka, Blackwood, NJ, US

problem #32

Feb 012016

Corolla LE 1,4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

A water pump replacement after 50000 miles of "regular" travel !!! How come I drove a 2003 Corolla for 12 years and 250000 miles without any problem. This new generation is cetainly nothing to compare with the old one. Too bad Toyota doesn't recognize it publicly.

- Pierre S., L'Assomption, QC, Canada

problem #31

Oct 142015

Corolla SE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

My husband was driving my Corolla on the Interstate when the vehicle started to stall. He was able to safely steer the vehicle to the shoulder and receive towing through our car insurance. The water pump went bad and fluids damaged the serpentine belt. Those items were replaced and my vehicle still will not start. I will find out tomorrow if I need a new engine : This occurred after I had to replace the alternator in July which cost me over $500 in repair cost.

- bris, Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #30

Aug 092015

Corolla 1.8L V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Water pump stuck and pull the bell off; Engine was overheated and lost generator.

Do not know how bad was the engine damage but for sure have to replace the pump.

- Nate R., Alstead, NH, US

problem #29

Jun 072015

Corolla 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Similar to the Boyd TX Toyota driver: Lights came on but car ran OK long enough to get to next exit. They say this burned up the engine. So it now needs not just a new water pump and belt, it needs a whole new engine to repair. An irritating fact is that I had had a full regular service at a Toyota dealership just 3 weeks before!

- galdegal, Alexandria, VA, US

problem #28

Nov 112014

Corolla Le 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,234 miles

Engine water pump seized and cut the serpentine belt. Engine burned up by the time I was able to find a place on the highway to pull over. Cost me $1,250 to replace engine and pump. Toyota is setting new lows in reliability.

- Anthony F., Boyd, TX, US

problem #27

Feb 072015

Corolla LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

click to see larger images

water pump failure water pump failure water pump failure

The charging system light came on while we were driving my car to go pick up my husband’s. Once we reached the lot where his car was, he tried turning the car off and restarting it to see what happened. It clicked a few times, then started. We got in our cars to drive home before I had any issues, but as I backed out of the spot I noticed the power steering was gone. He tried turning off and restarting the car again, but this time it wouldn’t start. We heard a soft dripping noise from the engine and then antifreeze started pouring out all over the ground. Before leaving the car in the lot for the night, the entire antifreeze tank had emptied out onto the ground. After my insurance towed it the next day we found out the water pump had become detached and the serpentine belt had begun to fall off (it completely fell off when the tow truck dropped it in my garage). Since the serpentine belt fell off it stopped charging the alternator and battery which caused the battery to die. The antifreeze came out from the broken water pump itself. My brother in law diagnosed the problem and fixed it with after-market parts.

- Carrie C., Manassas, VA, US

problem #26

Mar 012015

Corolla S 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Just a little background: I purchased my 2009 Corolla S in March 2010 as a certified used with 7000 miles. Everything was fine until i had to have my water pump replaced at 69,000 miles. I lost power steering and almost crashed. The water pump failed, they said it was partially seizing. They also replaced the serpentine belt as they said it had coolant on it and would slip. 1 month later at 70122 miles they had to tighten the serpentine belt because now the belt was screeching upon start for 1-2 minutes. 82,210 miles I had to have the serpentine belt replaced again, It was glazed over from it slipping so badly. 95380 miles the belt was screeching again, they re-tightened. 99827 miles I had to have the water pump REPLACED AGAIN!!! More screeching and an ominous whirring noise made me drive her to Toyota. Oh, and the serpentine belt was replaced again because this time the pump not only failed, it completely seized and it cut grooves into the belt! So now at 120,355.... my water pump is failing again. The screeching is back, the whirring noise, now when I start her she makes this horrendous grinding noise. But Toyota insists its not out of the norm for a water pump to fail. 3 failed water pumps in 50,000 miles, but they don't see a problem with that.

- potts1609, Southbury, CT, US

problem #25

Dec 302014

Corolla LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Dealer told me the replacement would cost $440, including labor, new pump and belt. I suggested that I'd do the job myself. They recommended that I'd buy the pump from Toyota, suggesting that the OEM was better than an aftermarket pump. I asked why should I buy their pump when the original only lasted 60,000 miles?

- John R., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #24

Dec 242014

Corolla XLE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Toyota apparently knows about this problem with the failed water pumps in the 2009 Corolla and have not recalled it. This is wrong. When the water pump failed it caused my car to heat up causing the serpentine belt to break. This happened on Christmas Eve. No shops open Christmas Day, of course so I have been without my car now 4 days. Had to have it towed to a mechanic who will replace the water pump tomorrow, December 29, 2014. Then I will find out if there is any damage to the engine which will result in more cost to me. Car only has 64,000 miles on it. I am a legal assistant in a law firm in Columbus, Ohio. Can you say Class Action Lawsuit? Because I will be initiating one if I have engine damage.

- jpettibone, Grove City, OH, US

problem #23

Sep 292014

Corolla LE Vvt1

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,900 miles

My 09 Toyota corolla's water pump is busted and I thought all along that corolla are supposed to be the best????? My husbands GMC Sierra is an 02 and never have to change his water pump. I would like Toyota to fix it for free.

- Eve N., Brownsburg, IN, US

problem #22

Dec 112014

Corolla LE 1.8L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

This really annoying issue, with only 45,000 miles on the car the water pump shouldn't just worn out by itself!

- al-qizwini, Lansing, MI, US

problem #21

Nov 172014

Corolla XLE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,295 miles

click to see larger images

water pump failure

Took my wife's 2009 Corolla XLE (1.8 engine / 74,295 miles) in for routine oil change and to check for noisy (loud grinding, whirring) engine sound on cold mornings. I mentioned to the Service Asst. Mgr. P that the sound seems to lessen with a warmer engine. Without looking at the vehicle, the young Service Asst. Mgr (P) stated that it was common with this vehicle and others also. He said this without even looking at my vehicle! I asked if it would do any damage to the engine if my wife continues to drive it and he said, "no and this was common with many vehicles" I drove home and the next couple of days, I noticed that the sound was getting louder.

So, I researched it online and found a Youtube video (Amir) that had the same problem. In his video, the sound his Corolla made was "exactly" like my wife's car. Some Corollas will have a rattle or knocking sound on cold starts which usually only last a brief second or two. This is not the same sound when it is the water pump. Then, I chatted with a Toyota Tech (online) and he said I could check the pump myself by releasing tension on belt and see if the pump pulley was loose, binding or leaking. He said it should turn fairly free and smooth. I did this and found the pulley to be stuck and hard to rotate. I dropped the car off that night so the Toyota Dealership could listen to the cold start up noise themselves. I also had two recalls that I was never made aware of. So, I wrote that I wanted these recalls fixed also and to check the noise.

Mgr. P calls back and says they got the recalls fixed and their Tech said the noise was the Cam Shaft Timing Gear Assembly! Mgr P stated it would cost $494.29 plus tax to have it repaired. After watching the video and examining the pump myself, I replied "No thanks, just replace the water pump". After mentioning all the problems with water pumps and recalls to him, he replies "You really need to stop reading stuff on the internet about this". I thought to myself, if it wasn't for researching the internet, I would have never found out about the defective water pumps or about the recalls from Toyota! When Mgr. P calls to tell me my wife’s car was ready, I ask about the old water pump condition. He replied “Well it is a little tight, but normal for 74,000 miles” When I got home, I looked at the pump and could barely turn it by hand and when it did turn, it wobbled.

So, I return to the dealership and told the Service Manager the whole story. Then showed him the water pump and told him the sound the car made was gone. I also had my car checked by another mechanic and he said there was absolutely nothing wrong with the Cam Shaft Timing Gear assembly. The Service manager apologized for Mgr. P’s unprofessional behavior. I hope others may learn from this incident. I also hope Mgr. P will learn how to be a better Service Manager. This will be my last Toyota I purchase!

- Frank R., Lawrence, KS, US

problem #20

Sep 302014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,265 miles

The leaking water pump was found while the car was in for another problem (bad alternator) and had it taken care of at the same time. It was still under warranty...however both these problems seem to be surprising in a car with under 60k miles....and both parts seem to be common problems in this yr/model.

- lorico, Fort Collins, CO, US

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