really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,430 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.

2009 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

May 292015


  • 79,000 miles


H first time the car malfunction I was coming back from returning the rental truck, I was pulling out on the highway and at that time the steering wheel locked up, the battery indicator light come on, ABS brake light come on, and rest of the idiot lights on the panel come on. It was very hard to steer the car, will all my effort with two hands I can steer the wheel and control the car. The engine was running really rough and sounded like it was going to quit. This lasted for approximately 20 seconds it seemed like, and then the car started running right now and I was able to steer again and all the lights on the panel went out. I was very concerned about this thinking my car was failing and I knew that there is probably something the matter with it but when it started running right, I figured I just can't fix something that's not broke and really take no notice of it. How my daughter got a driver's license on August the 4th and then on August the 6 you wanted to use the car. So I let her use it. The car malfunction again on this day and and it took out the alternator when it did. So I change the alternator in the car and let my wife use the car for two days because she travels a short distance to work to see if it's ok. After two days of my wife driving and then I resume driving it to work. Didn't appear to be the car was working fine until August 13th, and that's when my daughter erica drove the car again and while backing out of the driveway the car malfunction, she couldn't steer the car the brakes won't work and naturally grown in reverse the emergency brake is not that effective in she ran off the road and damage the car.

- Orland Hills, IL, USA

problem #41

Aug 142014


  • 59,000 miles
A year after the warranty year period ended and less than 60,000 miles, the water pump and serpentine belt both failed. Under the hood, hot coolant was sprayed all over. The coolant level leaked dangerously low, and engine temperature rose without any check engine light on. The incident happened with no sound from the engine upon starting and driving.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #40

Apr 092015


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 65 mph, the steering failed and was difficult to control. In addition, the engine stalled. As a result, a crash occurred. The contact was injured and received medical attention. A police report was not filed. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a salvage yard and was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Benson, NC, USA

problem #39

May 102015


  • 58,000 miles


TL-the contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated the vehicle accelerated when attempted to park causing the contact to crash into a church wall. The contact sustained chest injuries that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,000.aw

- Webster , NY, USA

problem #38

May 192015


  • 69,000 miles
Engine light on. Belt fell off vehicle. Engine overheated. Waterpump failure.

- Waverly, IA, USA

problem #37

May 072015


  • 25,000 miles
I was driving and was close to my destination when I hear something go wrong. I park at my destination and I see a pool of what I think was coolant on the ground. It also felt like it was overheating so I did not want to risk the car blowing up so I had it towed. The problem was that the water pump ceased which caused the serpentine belt to also break. I searched online and found this to be a common problem and I am surprised that there have not been any recalls.

- Longwood, FL, USA

problem #36

Apr 242015

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


My mother is 75 years old. Here Corolla is 6 years old. She took it to Toyota on April 23rd, 2015 for the recall of the airbag (spiral cable sub assembly and cable kit) and updated software and install update label (smart stop technology and elsbos update ECM software) to correct the recall issue. She was sent home as it was supposed to be fixed. On Friday April 24th, 2015 at 10pm she was driving home from an event at approx 45 mph the vehicle stalled. She took it to Toyota the next date on Saturday April 25th, 2015 at 11:00 am. Toyota inspected the vehicle and sent her home. On the way the home the same day at 5:26pm she was going approx 10 mph coming through a light and it stalled again. The engine kicked back in and then it stalled again. Her vehicle was running fine until Toyota changed out the recall parts. There is something very wrong with this and needs attention. Although there was not accident it was a close call she was almost rear ended. I am writing now because something needs to be addressed with Toyota and her car needs to be fixed in the same condition that it was prior to going to Toyota. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Largo , FL, USA

problem #35

Feb 052015

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Car was purchased new and has been maintained. Took car to dealership to identify sporadic odd "grinding" noise upon cold start. Was first told it was the serpentine belt. Replaced and next day noise was still there upon cold start. Returned and dealer then stated it was the bendix in the starter. Replaced starter. A month later the noise happened again and squealing from serpentine belt was still occurring. Third trip to dealership and I'm now told that, like many other 2009 Toyota Corolla owners, that it's the gear in the camshaft. The serpentine belt squeal is from my water pump leaking. Now replacing water pump and camshaft gear. $2000 in repairs that, from reading, Toyota is aware of! ridiculous! there should be a recall. If the dealerships state that their technicians are "certified" then they should know of this problem and not have to fix things that aren't broken at my expense!

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #34

Sep 032013


  • 49,729 miles
In 2013, we discovered that my 2009 Toyota Corolla S was using excessive oil. We reported this to our local dealership service department and they added a note to my service record, but nothing was done about it. Since we always have our service done there, and I have the oil changed long before it's due, we don't normally check the oil ourselves. However, while washing the car on Sunday, 03/08/2015, my husband checked it and had to put in 1-1/2 quarts of oil. On Monday, 03/09/2015, I took the car in for an oil change and apprised the service department again of the excessive oil use. They again made a note to my service record. The service tech told me she had a lot of cars in with the same problem and that Toyota did not have a fix for it. She said mine was not one listed as having this problem, but it is. She also stated that they had to put in 1-1/2 quarts of oil. I was advised to bring it back in for a check at the next 1,100 miles. The worst part is that my car was still under warranty when first reported. Warranty has now expired so if my engine blows I could be looking at thousands of dollars to have my engine replaced!!!!! shame on you, Toyota!!! I thought I had purchased a trustworthy vehicle from a trustworthy manufacturer!

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #33

Feb 162015

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
While driving on interstate 395 in Connecticut the engine died. I was able to coast over to the side of the road and after multiple tries the car stated. I drove a little further and the engine died once again while I was driving. I was able to start the car and get it to my mechanic. The engine error code stated that 2 of the 4 starter coils failed. The mechanic replaced the 2 starter coils and the car drove fine. After the car spent the night in my garage it would not start again. I had the car towed to mechanic and he replaced the crank shaft sensor. The car again ran fine for 1 day than after the overnight in the garage the car would not start. At the recommendation of my mechanic I had the car towed to valenti Toyota in westerly. Ri where I purchased the car. They kept the car for a week first stating that the computer was bad and needed to be replaced. I pointed out that Toyota had a recall of computers in 2008 Corolla and since my car was built in 2008 did they use the same faulty computers? they stated no and would order a new computer and have it the next day. I received a call from the dealership stating that Toyota would not release the part to them and they would be dealing with the regional parts engineer. After 4 days and still no computer valenti Toyota called me back and stated that all 4 starter coils needed replacing and that the car is running now. The charge for the repair was $768.52 (customer #20437 and invoice #tocs275417) this does not make a lot of sense to me as I have never heard of a company not releasing parts to its own dealership. My question is did my car have a faulty computer and is this a cover-up" why would the car engine just stop when driving at a speed of 60 mph" luckily I had no one behind me and was able to coast to safety.

- Gales Ferry, CT, USA

problem #32

Jul 092012


  • 19,000 miles


I purchased the car used 12/3/11 with 12,716 miles. Within 6 months I would hear a grinding/screeching noise when starting the car. This would happen intermittently on cold starts. I had to leave the vehicle with the dealership for over a week for them to finally acknowledge the issue. On 7/13/12 they replaced the timing gear assembly and the camshaft gear. To date, the car has only 52,700 miles and the noise appears to have come back. I have checked the battery, alternator and starter and they are fine. I had originally purchased an extended warranty with 6 year/100,000 miles and was told that January 1, 2015 that expired. So, I have a defective car with camshaft issue that returns? I am frustrated because there are many stories of people having this re-occurring issue every 30,000 miles (www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/Corolla/2009/engine/engine.shtml). I know there is a Toyota service bulletin on the camshaft, but feel it should have been a recall. Neither the customer service or warranty carrier are willing to work with me and this is dangerous because one can become stranded or blow a rod driving down the street.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Nov 122014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
After the smart technology software was installed on my vehicle the check engine light came on. With the recalls Toyota has been having I felt it was necessary to take my car to an outside entity so I took my car to ntb for a diagnosis and was told that the 02 sensor on my vehicle was failing, the P02420 catalyst was below threshold. The consensus was that when the smart stop was installed that the 02 sensors should of been replaced as well. In addition the codes were flagged shortly after ECU update. Why was this not done as part of the recall" these two go hand in hand. The smart stop recall needs to be recalled or upgraded to include the sensors. My car shutters now when coming to a stop or start, which did not occur prior to the software upgrade. I am afraid to drive it.. I don't know when it will stop altogether and not restart. Will I be on the highway?" this was not thought through and rushed into. As a consumer, I am looking at a huge repair bill that I shouldn't have to if the recall was done properly.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #30

Aug 232014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 94,659 miles
Dealer did smart stop technology, upon picking up car noticed it running rough. After driving a few miles it seemed to improve. Over a period of a few months and approx 3000 miles engine performance and fuel mileage have gotten much worse, mileage has dropped off almost 10 mpg! took the car in for nysi today and asked dealer about this. Was told by service advisor that the car had to relearn certain functions. Asked how long this should take and was told a few months? I said to them they it has already been a few months and about 3000 miles. To me this is unacceptable. I will give it a couple thousand more miles and see what happens. If I see no improvement I will be back to the dealer looking for answers. Driving habits have not changed from pre smart stop. This is also a highly maintained vehicle and has been serviced at the same dealer since new.

- Endicott, NY, USA

problem #29

Nov 142014


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. When the vehicle was started, an abnormal noise emitted from under the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #28

Mar 012014


  • 5,000 miles
The transmission hits so hard that it feels like you have hit a speed bump. This happens when you try to accelerate to pass.

- Florence , KY, USA

problem #27

Jun 152008


  • 2,967 miles
Engine by driving when excelling engine shut off this car was T taken to the dealer up to five times and three accidents. The dealer ship keith pierson Toyota 6501 youngerman circle jacksonville fla 3 2244. Also I have claim number file with Toyota corporations [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #26

Mar 092010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Even when the car was new I always noticed that there are times when I am slowing down to stop and put on the brakes, I feel the car surges before it stops. We complained about it that time when the Camry/Lexus floor mat incidents were in the news. I think there was a recall for that and our brakes were fixed by the dealership. But the problem persists to this day. I also feel an engine surge on my sister's new 2013 Corolla.

- Whitwell, TN, USA

problem #25

Jun 302014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 58,950 miles
While I was driving the car started stalling really bad and losing power, the engine light came up and I couldn't speed more than twenty five miles, because the car started trying to shut off on me in the middle of the street again. I took the car to get checked out and the troubleshooting codes came out as being the ignition coils due to the engine harness being bad, (difficult to believe I said ), cables don't go bad like that in Florida.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #24

Aug 072014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 88,083 miles
ECU is defective in 2009 model just like in 2005-2008 model. When it reaches 90,000 it brakes. The car starts jerking and doesn't want to change gears. At home all of us drive Toyota Corollas and all of them had the same problem at 90,000 mileage.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 182014


  • 47,000 miles
Driving on interstate and suddenly check battery light and check engine light came on and temp indicated vehicle was hot. Pulled over as soon as able to safely do so.

- Pierre, SD, USA

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