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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
64,100 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced the alternator (7 reports)
  2. replace alternator (2 reports)
2009 Toyota Corolla electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #9

May 042018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,800 miles


On Thursday night I saw my battery light had come on. I pulled into a auto part store and unfortunate for me my battery light turned back off which caused the alternator to pass the load testing. I left the part store and the light came back on. I also noticed that as I drove with the light coming on and off my automatic head lights were not coming on as long as the light was on. Little back story the auto part store told me it was a fuse causing the light (completely wrong) My father and I checked all the fuses and they were all fine. As I drove home everything was fine till I was pulling up to my garage my lights were very dim. Just then I lost power steering and every time I hit the brakes the battery didn't have enough power to use the brakes and the radio which then turned off. The ABS light, Check engine, Electric Power steering lights and many other pretty lights also came on. I back the car into the garage which then died. The next morning ( After having to skip a day of work) We replaced the Alternator with a used one for a 2010 Corolla since they seemed to not have as many alternator problems. Which was 50$ Verses 170$ for a new one. The alternator itself was easy to replace, Only taking around a Hour and a half.

Still love my little white pearl. Just gonna watch for the water pump to go next (Since that is also a pretty popular problem)

- Matthew B., Circleville, Ohio, US

problem #8

Nov 022016

Corolla S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

First the water pump then the engine alternator, I don't know how more problems does my Toyota Corolla has hidden. I'm so disappointed :(

- Victor L G., Mou, CA, US

problem #7

Apr 232016

Corolla LE 1.8L I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,036 miles

The charging system error light came on (looks like a yellow'ish/orange picture of a battery.) I used a multimeter to check the charging system and it showed that the alternator was not charging battery. I took the car to O'Reilly Auto parts and they tested battery and charging system, too, verifying that the alternator had indeed failed.

I bought a new alternator and installed it myself. Problem solved. The only reason I reported it here is that a failed alternator at only 89,000 miles seemed premature to me.

- Mipat C., Boerne, TX, US

problem #6

Jul 042016

Corolla LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles


After I had the water pump replaced twice within two years on the car, I was on the way to work when the charging system light started turning on and off. Since I knew about the water pump issues, I checked under the hood to make sure everything looked in place. While I was driving, suddenly a bunch of lights came on and I could feel the power steering start to shut down. I was 2 miles from my work, so I tried to make it, but about a mile away, all the electrical systems had shut down, so I had to pull over and had the car towed. My brother in law replaced the alternator, the part being about $200 when you trade in the old one. He said there should be no reason the alternator should have gone out that early on the car. I read that if liquid gets into it that it could be damaged and the water pump exploded coolant all over the engine the first time it went out, so that might have contributed.

- Carrie C., Manassas, VA, US

problem #5

Jul 292015

Corolla SE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My dashboard lit up on my way home from work. The vehicle ended up not starting again and I had to get the vehicle towed to Midas for repair. I was informed that the alternator needed replacement. I bought the part from O'Reilly's with a lifetime warranty and had a mechanic from Midas install the alternator. This was a pricey repair.

- bris, Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #4

Jul 082014

Corolla LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

I am the original owner of a 2009 Toyota Corolla, purchased new from a local dealership. I have had them service the car and I purchased it because me and my family have always bought Toyota, in fact I bought my first one in 1972. At 27,000 miles the car started making a rattling under hood and was hard to start. I took it to the dealer for service. I was informed the alternator had failed and if that wasn't bad enough in the middle of repair I was told the water pump was cracked as well. Cost me $768, which was not covered so I paid out of pocket. I also had the battery replaced in 2013.

On Aug 9th, 2015 after barely turning over the battery light came on and I lost my power steering. I had the car towed to the dealership. The mileage is still under 32,000! I was informed that the alternator was defective and needed replacement again. It was just replaced 13 months before and was 1 month outside of the warranty. The dealership worked with me and I still had to pay $132 in labor plus towing, etc. Now I'm afraid what will go next. I paid this vehicle off early as I intended to keep it for years. I think this will be my last Toyota car.

- Alan W., Charleston, US

problem #3

Sep 302014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,265 miles


Alternator died without warning. Car just shut down while driving. No warning of any problem. Seems like pretty low mileage for this part to go bad. It appears it has happened to a lot of 2009 Corolla owners. It is not covered under the drive train warranty which is when it happened. If this is a fairly common as it appears Toyota should be covering it.

- lorico, Fort Collins, CO, US

problem #2

May 152014

Corolla XLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,700 miles


- Dave D., New Orleans, LA, US

problem #1

Sep 102012

Corolla LE 1.8L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,032 miles

I was attending an evening job interview with a large property management company, (I'm a Chief Engineer) and on the way there, without warning, I started hearing this loud screeching coming from under the hood. I kept on driving because I had short time to get to the interview. As I got to the garage for the interview property my serpentine belt broke due to the alternator completely seizing up. This knocked out the power steering, water pump and alternator. I completed the interview and called a tow truck to take my wonderfully unreliable Corolla home. I had to buy an alternator and serpentine belt to fix this.

Needless to say I was not hired by that property and I found out later that the garage attendant had made a comment "Wow, that guy needs a more reliable car, the engineers here are always on call!" At least it didn't fail me at a critical time, (sarcasm intended). You know I'm an Engineer so I know things break, but come on, on that new of a car? Then the transmission goes out?? Wow. They can look at the black box and see I never raced the engine or drove fast or hit bumps. I was so careful and I still had all these issues on top of a ton of recalls. So much for Japanese car reliability.

- Kevin C., Chicago, IL, US

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