pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
129,450 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (8 reports)
  2. replace shifting cable (1 reports)
2009 Toyota Corolla transmission problems

transmission problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #9

Mar 152018

Corolla LE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,800 miles


Changed transmission fluid and filter almost a thousand miles before the problems started occurring and noted that the fluid was black and burnt smelling, a sign of a failing transmission. About two months before it failed entirely, it started shifting erratically and I pulled into a gas station and it wouldn't go into gear for a minute.

After this incident it worked flawlessly until March 15, where it started to shift in and out of overdrive and a few minutes later started slipping when attempting the overdrive shift. I stopped and checked my fluid and it seemed fine, but I added a little more to top it off. The fluid was only a thousand miles old, but it was extremely burnt and reeked of piss/coolant. I want to say my mechanic put coolant in there to sabotage me, but I really don't think that happened. The transmission was just about gone by the end of that night, it would slip trying to back out of the driveway and make massive holes in the dirt from spinning the wheels and going nowhere, because you would have to floor it. The experience was similar to flooring a manual car in first gear and letting the clutch out too early. I sold the car when it got in this state.

- Poohbear P., Goldsboro, NC, US

problem #8

Jun 302017

Corolla LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

No warning, just wouldn't go into gear. Garage says transmission is full of metal!

- Chris H., Intercourse, PA, US

problem #7

Dec 152016

Corolla 1.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

woudn't go into gear , fluid all leaked out , would bang . this is the 2nd transmission too be replaced in a little over a year and this isn't covered by warranty. as soon as car is fixed I'm getting rid of it, I love it but not going to keep replacing transmissions. not sure what cost will be this time. It's still in the garage.

- Barb S., York, PA, US

problem #6

Apr 062016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles


We've had three transmission go out on 2009 Corolla in our fleet of dental lab delivery vehicles.

- Corban C., Bellevue, WA, US

problem #5

Feb 252016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,492 miles

Transmission went bad. Dealer replaced it with a rebuilt one.

- Corban C., Bellevue, WA, US

problem #4

Jun 122015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,396 miles

Had the transmission rebuilt on this one. We've had three automatic transmission go back on our 2009 fleet of Corollas at our dental laboratory.

- Corban C., Bellevue, WA, US

problem #3

Aug 052014

Corolla Sport 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 112,000 miles


Car began grinding going into third gear. Happened only when the car was cold, then more intermittently. Took the car in for service. Shifting fork was damaged so they suggested a used transmission with only 20k on it. Ouch to that bill. Have had two other problems which I intend to report and guess what? Car began grinding again! After four Toyotas, I am not a happy camper.

- J P., Harrisburg, PA, US

problem #2

Aug 052014

Corolla Sport 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Hey, I just got my car back after replacing the manual transmission. Two weeks later I am merging into traffic and no gears! Just a floating gear shift. The shifting cable snapped. Hmmmm. Coincidence? Or when they installed the main tranny, the cable was worn or reinstalled poorly. Really very unhappy with Toyota at the moment.

- J P., Harrisburg, PA, US

problem #1

Sep 272013

Corolla LE 1.8L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,007 miles

I bought my 2009 Toyota Corolla new (1st new car ever) from Schaumburg Toyota in 2008 as a 2009 model. It was fantastic when it was new. Great mileage and supposed legendary reliability. This was my first non-American car. I was so tired of the fix or repair weekly BS of the Chevy's, Fords, etc, that I wanted to avoid working on a car at my age. I'm over 40 now and its getting harder to do it.

I noticed that my car was shifting really hard from 1st to 2nd gear and then it would run fine. After about a week, the car would not make it up the ramp in my parking garage at work so I had to reverse it up to my spot. I could not fathom a transmission failing in a car that I had been so careful with and bought new. In fact I bought a driver's side half shaft (CV axle) and replaced it thinking that had to be it. Nope, not at all. no change whatsoever. The car finally died in front of the house and I had to buy another one fast to keep my job. Needless to say, I am now paying two car payments and 2 insurance bills, one on a dead car. This is not what I expected.

I have not contacted Toyota yet because I know they will ask for money with it being out of warranty and I cannot afford anything right now with my 2 car notes and double insurance bills. I see that the complaints about the shoddy work of the NUUMI plant lived up to it's reputation. If only I could have known sooner. That's what I get for buying a first year model.

- Kevin C., Chicago, IL, US

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