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2004 Corolla Le Cv Joint And Boot

by Bed7526, May 12, 2013

Just upgraded from 2002 LE to 2004 LE 55K. Dad found it for me and notice a chatter in the brakes.

I took the tire off and could not find a problem in the brakes, dealer did a full brake job to "fix" the problem.

I did see a ring of grease slung out from the boot and assumed there was a split. I confirmed the split in one driverside boot at the transmission. I also see a transmission leak and traced it to the axle seals.

How much play should their be in the CV joints? At the transmissin? Up down/Side to side?

Jacked the car up and put it in gear and localized rumbling sound on passenger side and a chattering on driver side when lite brake applied. I noticed the chatter while driving and no other sound or problems with driving or turning.

I am thinking there is too much play and want to replace both drive shafts and seals. Will this correct the play? How much time do I have? No tranny oil on driveway just on inspection.



In and out play - might be a little bit, but otherwise should be very little slop.

Hard to say how long this will hold up - usually, once the boot is pierced or damaged, just a matter of time. Could be as short as a couple of weeks to as long as years - only sure thing is that it will fail eventually.

Thanks Fish, I have another issue with my 2002. Still getting a check engine light, misfire on cylinder #2 and bad cat (that is new)

New plugs Sunday and Tuesday morning lite comes on. Check shows two codes, misfire and bad cat.

What is my easiest fix for these issues? State inspection due at end of May what can I do to pass? I want to sell it mid July once my son goes back to college. Aftermarket cat? Some other fix for cat I should check?

Misfire? What should I begin to check? If I run the car with no warm up and never let it idle cold then I do not get the error. But if I let her idle cold or drive it and let it idle at 1st stop lite I can feel a shutter like a far distant beginning of a stall. Once car is hot there is no

problem ever.


For the misfire - try swapping coil on plug packs - see if the CEL follows the cylinder or the coil on plug pack.

Getting a P0420 code with a new replacement cat sounds like the downstream O2 sensor (after cat) is reading poorly or dying. Replacing it may or may not fix the CEL - depends on a number of factors. Might be able to trick it with the sprak plug defouler trick - basically pulling the downstream O2 sensor away from the exhaust stream - making it read a little differently. That would be the least expensive/quickest way to see if it will get around the P0420 code.

The other strange behavior - I'd look at cleaning the MAF sensor and throttle body first. Check for obvious damage to the airbox, tubing leading to the throttle body, any missing or loose vacuum hoses. Might also try cleaning the IAC valve - little tougher to get at, but worth cleaning in hard to diagnosis situations. The symptoms you are describing sound like a classic vacuum leak. Could be a leak around the induction system (airbox, throttle body, intake manifold, EVAP system, etc.) - could also be a leak in the exhaust system, either right at the front pipe where the exhaust manifold runs to the pre-cat, or close to the O2 sensors.

There is also a low probabiliy that all this is caused by a faulty coolant temperature sensor or faulty chassis ground/EMI/RF noise. Incorrect coolant temperature reported to the ECM can cause misfires and screw up the air/fuel mix enough to trigger a P0420 code. Electrical noise can cause all sorts of problems, many are hard to troubleshoot as they jump around to seemingly unrelated systems. The coolant sensor is on the right side (driver's side) of the engine - right behind the radiator hose, has an electrical connector with brown and white wires running to it. There is also a radio setting condenser (capacitor) that helps limit EMI/RF noise in the ignition system right behind it - might be a good idea to check those connections, the capacitor - just have to replace it to test, the coolant sensor - you can check if you have a mutlimeter handy. Toss it into water, heat it up and see that the resistance changes (temp goes up, resistance goes down).

Installed new plugs, moved coil packs and install test plug on O2 sensor after the CAT. No further problems the rest of summer. Son left for school and then I sold the 2002 LE.

Now back to the 2004 Alxe noise. Replaced both axles and seals at the tansaxle. Sound ok but then worse, assumed front bearing. Replace it with Timkin bearing and no change sound still there. Replaced left axle under 1 year warranty tonight and no change sound still there.

A whaa whaaa whaa at 30+ mph and then pitch changes with higher speed. Heard some CV joint noise duing a slow speed turn so I assumed a bad rebuilt CV but I was wrong.

CV rebuilter said there is a "thingy" at the transaxle or tranny that also produces this noise and is a frequent failure point.

I will review this with him once I return the core and see what I can research on.

Any insight on this?

Thanks Greg

Could be whining from the transaxle itself - but seeing that it changed when the axles were replaced, could be either a faulty axle assembly (happens fairly often) or the snap ring broke off and is stuck in the transaxle. Usually, axle whine or differential whine are related to the bearings going out. Could be a faulty wheel bearing or worse case, bearing that is going out on in the transaxle.

Double check that there are no cracks in the transaxle housing - sometimes, when the installer gets too aggressive, they can crack the case when trying to pop the axles out.

Transaxle service? Assuming that this is an automatic transaxle (most are in the LE trim). Last time it was done, how it was done, did they replace/clean the filter? Any shavings on the bottom of the pan? Used the correct fluid - Toyota Type T-IV ATF? Newer Toyota WS is not compatible. Dexron/Mercon ATF are not compatible. If it is a manual transaxle - definitely check the gear oil, change in out.

Question on terms. Transaxle and Transmission are they the same thing?

I will look at the housing where the CV goes in to look for cracks, leaks and damage. The CV Axles were complete when removed and not missing the snap ring at the end of the shaft. I will lift it up and spin the tires to see what sound I can hear while under the car.

A Transaxle service, is there a pan for the transaxle and a pan for the transmission?

Thank you FishPro, enjoy the holidays.

Though technically different - they can be used interchangeably - transaxle is just a transmission with the differential inside the same case. Usually, when referring to a FWD application - it is called a transaxle (transmission with the differential in the same case), For most RWD applications - the transmission is generally separate from the differential. Though you could have a RWD transaxle in certain applications.

There is a transaxle drain bolt and oil pan. Usually drains and refills are what the service manual recommends - but sometimes dropping the pan is a good thing from time to time. Lets you clean off the little magnets in the bottom of the pan and change out the filter "screen" when needed.

I support Fish's idea and I appreciate his comment.

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