7th Gen Corolla: The guide to the guides - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Corolla 7th Generation (1993-1997) Specific discussion of the 7th generation

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post #1 of 16 Old 06-06-2014, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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7th Gen Corolla: The guide to the guides

Every now and then there seems to pop up a question on the forum on which repair guides to get for a 7th gen Corolla. I thought I'd give a brief overview of the ones I've seen in the US, and I know there are other alternatives in other countries that people might want to chime in with as well.


  • Owner's Manual. Ok, you can stop laughing now. Seriously. The owner's manual is actually quite useful and has DIY information for several common maintenance tasks. It also states technical info you need, like fluid specs and quantity, spark plugs, etc. For example, the owner's manual will tell you to use ATF in your power steering - so you don't make the mistake of putting power steering fluid in. Don't ignore your owner's manual. Don't have one? Well you're in luck: Toyota's online owners manuals go back as far as 1997 for the Corolla and can be accessed through the "Owners" link on toyota.com. If you have a 1993-96 model there is very little difference so go ahead and download that 1997 manual. This is also available on TIS: https://techinfo.toyota.com/techInfo...chinfoPrelogin (try to copy/paste this link if it doesn't work)
  • Repair Manual. The repair manual is in two volumes. The first covers the Engine (NOT including the transmission). The second volume covers the chassis (and transmission is counted as part of this), body and electrical. If you're buying the repair manual on eBay you should make sure you get both volumes, unless you are specifically only interested in one of them. The obvious benefit to having the repair manuals is that you're getting all the information you need for a repair, directly from the horse's mouth. There are a few disadvantages too: The repair manuals assume you have access to a full set of tools found in a shop. A lot of procedures also assume you are working with the engine removed from the car even when this is technically not needed. It is sometimes also overly complicated. But despite all these disadvantages it's an invaluable source for any serious DIYer. The repair manual is frequently seen on eBay, and it shouldn't matter too much which model year (93 through 97) you're getting, but obviously if you can find an exact match that might work the best.
  • Transaxle Repair Manual. The second volume of the Corolla repair manual covers the transaxle, but a majority of the content is devoted to troubleshooting (more than 50% of the pages). There is a separate set of repair manuals dedicated to the specific transaxle in your Corolla, with more detailed disassembly/assembly instructions. For the 7A-FE engine with an automatic transmission the transmission repair manual to get is the one for the A245E. Like the Corolla repair manual, the transaxle repair manuals are also often seen used on eBay.
  • Haynes. The quality of Haynes guides vary from vehicle model to vehicle model. The one covering the 7th gen is "decent". And unlike the factory manuals it's written with the DIYer in mind, so it has some practical information of how to do things even when you're not sitting with a full shop at your disposal. You might find it at your local library, or buy at a bookstore. Right now walmart.com sells it for cheap.
  • Chilton's. The impression I get is that it's slightly more inaccurate than Haynes for the 7th gen Corolla, for example there are several torque values that users on this forum have discovered are way out of whack. In addition to the print version there's an online version that some libraries give you access to for free (check with your local library). You might also find the print edition at your local library or buy it in a bookstore.
  • Autozone.com. The more I compare Chilton's and autozone.com's repair manuals online, the more I'm convinced that autozone.com's repair manuals are just rebranded Chilton's. It's completely free though, which is great.
  • alldatadiy.com - home of online factory repair manuals. You pay a fee to access.
Feel free to respond to this thread and chime in on other sources (maybe complement my transaxle listings?) and I'll see if I can keep editing the main post to expand the list. Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-06-2014, 03:36 PM
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I own both a Haynes and a Chilton manual. I say don't even bother with the Chilton, it's wildly inaccurate in many ways. It's for the 6th and 7th gen Corollas, which differ more than the 7th and 8th that Haynes covers. It specifically states that the 93 and up don't have a throttle position sensor (obviously wrong). I was so tired of it I bought a Haynes manual, which has served me FAR better.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-06-2014, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Good input! Yeah, I've only seen the Chilton's manual online (I have access through my local library). I recall the timing belt procedures had some very strange and unnecessary steps including removal of the left (front) engine mount.

I recently bit the bullet and bought the two-volume 93 Corolla Repair Manual and the A2451E/A244E/A245E/A246E Repair manual off of eBay. I wish I'd done it much sooner, I only had the Engine (Volume 1) of the Repair manual prior to this.... but that was a big help in and by itself, obviously.

I have checked out the Haynes guide (paper version) from my local library quite frequently in the past and agree it's pretty good.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-06-2014, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 94RollaDad View Post
Good input! Yeah, I've only seen the Chilton's manual online (I have access through my local library). I recall the timing belt procedures had some very strange and unnecessary steps including removal of the left (front) engine mount.

I recently bit the bullet and bought the two-volume 93 Corolla Repair Manual and the A2451E/A244E/A245E/A246E Repair manual off of eBay. I wish I'd done it much sooner, I only had the Engine (Volume 1) of the Repair manual prior to this.... but that was a big help in and by itself, obviously.

I have checked out the Haynes guide (paper version) from my local library quite frequently in the past and agree it's pretty good.
I should buy a factory repair manual. I actually don't use the Haynes manual all that much, but it is pretty good. Not great, but very helpful at times. For the price, I'd recommend it.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-18-2014, 11:49 PM
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Awesome post! Thanks for the insight!
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Last edited by helloha; 06-19-2014 at 12:08 AM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-19-2014, 01:23 AM
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X2 on the owner's manual. It goes waaaay deeper than the typical motorist is ever going to have the courage to venture.
I'll keep Haynes in mind, and I've bought them for other cars in the past, but I'm thinking that I can fly by the seat of my pants - or at least do all of the ground maintenance from there, with just my saavy, experience, and the interwebs. I mean let's face it: Corollas don't often DEMAND repair - unless you're REALLY beating on them, or maybe if you're trying to restore every single function (like the light in the defrost button) back to original factory provision.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-19-2014, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94RollaDad View Post
  • Repair Manual. The repair manual is in two volumes. The first covers the Engine (NOT including the transmission). The second volume covers the chassis (and transmission is counted as part of this), body and electrical. If you're buying the repair manual on eBay you should make sure you get both volumes, unless you are specifically only interested in one of them. The obvious benefit to having the repair manuals is that you're getting all the information you need for a repair, directly from the horse's mouth. There are a few disadvantages too: The repair manuals assume you have access to a full set of tools found in a shop. A lot of procedures also assume you are working with the engine removed from the car even when this is technically not needed. It is sometimes also overly complicated. But despite all these disadvantages it's an invaluable source for any serious DIYer. The repair manual is frequently seen on eBay, and it shouldn't matter too much which model year (93 through 97) you're getting, but obviously if you can find an exact match that might work the best.
I've got a Prizm, and the Prizm factory repair manuals. It would be interesting to compare them with the Corolla factory manuals. The cars are almost exactly the same. I wonder if GM tells you to do things differently than Toyota does when working on the same part.

1996 Geo Prizm LSI (2nd Gen 4A-FE) 1.6 liter
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-19-2014, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glatt View Post
[/LIST]I've got a Prizm, and the Prizm factory repair manuals. It would be interesting to compare them with the Corolla factory manuals. The cars are almost exactly the same. I wonder if GM tells you to do things differently than Toyota does when working on the same part.
Yeah. I suspect that they are largely just copies of the Toyota manuals, but who knows. Both Corolla and Prizm were obviously economy cars where the goal was to drive high volume and low cost. It seems like an unnecessary cost to have a team assemble a repair manual from scratch for the Prizm if they could largely just lend the content from the Corolla.

I have the 1993 repair manuals, and they contain A LOT of grammatical errors and poorly constructed sentences. I'm guessing that as they issued the repair manuals for the later model years of this generation they probably cleaned up a lot of the language issues. Apart from the move to OBD-II and some minor styling changes there really wasn't that much evolution between the start (93) and end (97) of this generation. Which isn't a bad thing, keeps it simple!
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-19-2014, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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X2 on the owner's manual. It goes waaaay deeper than the typical motorist is ever going to have the courage to venture.
Yeah, if I compare the owners manual for my 1994 Corolla vs my 2012 Outback, the Corolla is way richer on stuff you can do yourself, like how to change spark plugs.

The Outback manual, following the industry trend these days, is focused on keeping Subaru out of litigation by spending most of the manual warning you about everything you shouldn't be doing. You can tell it's heavily edited by lawyers as opposed to engineers. Not blaming Subaru, sadly that's just the way frivolous lawsuits are making us dumber by the day.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-22-2014, 02:37 PM
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Just picked up a mint set of Prizm Factory Service manuals on ebay for just $7.50 shipped. I figure they'll be largely the same, and I can refer to the haynes at the library for any differences. The cheapest I could find a set of corolla manuals for was $120, so I'm totally cool with dealing with any differences for the huge cost savings. The fact that they're formatted in exactly the same way as the corolla ones with two volumes leads me to believe that they are probably nearly identical.
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-23-2014, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Just picked up a mint set of Prizm Factory Service manuals on ebay for just $7.50 shipped. I figure they'll be largely the same, and I can refer to the haynes at the library for any differences. The cheapest I could find a set of corolla manuals for was $120, so I'm totally cool with dealing with any differences for the huge cost savings. The fact that they're formatted in exactly the same way as the corolla ones with two volumes leads me to believe that they are probably nearly identical.
That's awesome. Great idea.
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-26-2014, 09:27 AM
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Auction 1

Auction2

A couple of eBay auctions with OEM repair manuals at decent prices were posted in the last 24 hours.

Best regards,

Scott
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-08-2016, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 94RollaDad View Post
[*]Repair Manual. The repair manual is in two volumes. The first covers the Engine (NOT including the transmission). The second volume covers the chassis (and transmission is counted as part of this), body and electrical. If you're buying the repair manual on eBay you should make sure you get both volumes, unless you are specifically only interested in one of them.
The 93 & 94 Toyota Repair Manuals are 2 volumes while the 95, 96 & 97 are single volumes. I'm not sure why they split the 93-94 into 2 volumes. I just bought a 1997 Toyota Repair Manual off ebay in like new condition for $58. The 97 repair manual is still just 2/3 the size of the 1990 repair manual. (90 covered 4A-FE and 4A-GE and coupe/wagons, etc.)

My 90 manual has basic, complete wiring diagrams, but it didn't show the exact illustrations of where the wiring harnesses were routed, whereas my 97 doesn't have any wiring diagrams. There are separate, more complete volumes covering wiring diagrams for each year of 6th and 7th gen models. These are available used also. I picked one up for $26 but it hasn't arrived yet.

1990 Corolla DX sedan, 4A-FE, 3-speed auto A131L
233,000 miles and counting...

1997 Corolla DX sedan, 7A-FE, 4-speed auto A245E
213,000+ miles
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-08-2016, 05:34 PM
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As soon as I started reading this all I could think of was Bonnie Tyler lol
Quote:
Every now and then
Because I had to sing "Turnnn around, every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming around" lol.
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I have not used a Haynes (or any) manual in years but I do remember Haynes was always easier to understand than Chilton's.

Let me ask this about the Haynes manual for the 1993 - 2002 Corolla (since I am considering buying one)
Does it have the habit of saying stuff about "this repair is involved/dangerous and should be done only by a qualified mechanic"? I always think, "Wait a second, I already know how NOT to work on my car and how to call a mechanic."

Also, does it have all the bolt/nut torque specs without leaving out really important ones like head bolts, water pump bolts, etc?
What about steps to replace the clutch? Or is that one of those "go to a mechanic" chapters?

[QUOTE=aaronvincent;11613921]As soon as I started reading this all I could think of was Bonnie Tyler lol
Because I had to sing "Turnnn around, every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming around" lol.
[QUOTE]

Did you have a good cry also? If you like Tyler, check out her song "Faster than the speed of night". It is basically the Meatloaf song "Bat out of hell" from another perspective. Plus the last couple of minutes during the fast rhythmic symbol crashes, you hear a high pitched note from her voice, what she might sound during a "romantic" moment
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