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New Member, Some Good Adventures

By AlexP, March 21, 2011

Hey everybody, my name is Alex and I'm from Southern California - Fontana, CA to be exact. My wife and I own a 2000 Toyota Corolla, CE. Her father purchased this car back in 1999/2000 brand new, and it spent some time with my brother-in-law, then with my wife. I started doing maintenance on it at about 2009 - just typical stuff, oil, air filter, tune up, etc.

So far I've had to: replace the motor (rare, I know ), front and rear shock absorbers, brakes and this past weekend I had a weird issue with the o-rings on my injectors.

First the motor: I get a call from my wife that the oil light turned on (this is a day after an oil change), and the car is making a weird noise. No oil leaks, dip stick reads great - oh, and she is about 25 miles from home. She tells me its still driving, so she takes the streets and makes it home. My grandfather (about 40 years experience as a mechanic, specifically an auto transmission expert) helps me diagnose whats going on. We remove the valve cover, and start inspecting the motor, and we find the worse sludge that my grandfather has ever seen (according to him). The oil was literally baked inside of the motor, and as much as we tried to clean it, it would not improve. After more work, we discovered that the oil pump had malfunctioned - my grandfather repaired it we put it all back together. However, due to oil build up, and unknown maintenance that was or wasn't performed on the car prior to me getting it, and my grandfather's recommendation - I ordered a new motor. It might have been a tad bit overkill, but my wife was pregnant and I wanted to have reliability in her vehicle. I go out of town for work quite a bit, and would have hated my wife being stranded because the work I did wasn't sufficient. So that was the motor.

This past Friday the CEL came on, and we got 8 codes. Primarily was P0300, P0302 (random misfire, random misfire cylinder 2) and a bunch more regarding the injection system (P1300, 1305 and 1315... I don't recall the rest). Symptoms were missing (spelling?) motor, but just while in gear and much hesitation when on the gas except at gear shifting. So I got to work browsing around online, talking to my uncle who is another mechanic, but knows more about modern cars than my grandfather, we came to the conclusion it might be a bad coil or injector... the autozone by my house didn't have the injector, but did have the coil so I picked it up. after I installed it the issue persisted, so I eliminated that possibility. Next I started fumbling around with the injectors, and I pulled out #2 and #3, swapped them, erased codes and drove around to see if it threw a new code for coil 3. A code came up again, but it was the same for cylinder 2....pulling my hair out at this point.... so back to the drawing board. I sat down, got a beer, and put on my thinking cap. I remembered that the o-rings were looking worn , so I pulled it again to take a closer look, and they were ripping! I went to autozone, picked up some new ones, and fired it up - no fuel leaking, put her in gear and waiting for the hesitation. And there was none needless to say I was very relieved.

I found this website, and there are some great write ups regarding maintenance and repairs, so I will be lurking around quite a bit. The car is important to my wife, as my father in law passed away just prior to my wife getting the car for her use. I'm going to try and keep it going as long as possible.

Upcoming tasks:

Replace valve cover gasket (noticed while tinkering with injectors, I have oil leaking from back of valve cover...)

Accelerator cable adjustment (noticed also that it has a bit too much play)

Front passenger window repair (goes down great, but doesn't come up all the time, VERY annoying)

Hello and welcome to the forum! Looks like you got your hands full with the Corolla - fortunately, it is more or less a pretty reliable car, and most of the issues that you'll likely run into have already been hit on in this forum. Since you mentioned the rearward leak valvecover, if that is closer to the belt side (pulley side of the engine) I'd also suggest cleaning that area up well, to see if it is from the valvecover or from the timing chain tensioner o-ring. That is a pretty common leak point to pretty much any Toyota engine that has variable valve timing. Since it is so close to the valvecover, that oil can wick up and around, making it look like a leak from the valvecover gasket.

Thanks for the welcome and the tip on the timing chain tensioner o-ring. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but will probably do so this week or next. Any known issues with the window motors or regulator? I'm having a weird issue with my front passenger window, again just haven't taken the time to figure it out. Thanks again!

As for issues on the window motors and regulators on the 8th gen Corollas - not that I know of, just the usual stuff that can happen to any make or model. There was an issue with some 9th gen Corollas / Matrix / Vibe (2003+) that had stuck windows due to the bolts that hold the window's bottom frame to the regulator loosening or shearing off.

If the window goes up if you "help" it, chances are there is some binding in the regulator itself (lube it with some white lithium grease) and/or binding on the window track. If there is aftermarket tint on the window in question - make sure the tint hasn't peeled up from the bottom of the window and gummed up the window welt.

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