I picked up a 2009 Corolla from a co-worker for $800, it had 260,000 miles on it and the check engine light was on. It ended up being a head gasket, I changed it myself. When the head was off, I inspected the cylinder walls and the crosshatch marks from the factory were still there!
The car felt like it gained 20hp with the new head gasket, so it was definitely down on power when I got it.
Now the car has 281,000. It runs better than my 2010 Forester with 160,000 miles and the car averages about 34 mpg
I should mention that it is an S, with the premium sound system and was in almost showroom condition cosmetically, except for the alloy wheels. I live in Wisconsin where the roads see a lot of salt in the winter.
Glad to be back after about 3yrs! A lot has changed since, my 96' with 245k was wrecked, I have since gotten a 99' which I got for $600 because it was sanded and about to be hit with paint - finished Uni, and am now living abroad in South America! My 99' unpainted corolla is sitting in the driveway back at my mothers with 204k .. you guessed it, can't let it go emotionally. Best offer I've gotten is $200!!
Edit: P.S: 7th gen here still go for about 5k used... I think im going to get myself an 83', they're still on the road here, see them almost daily next to brand new cars.
My Corolla in disguise is a 94 GEO Prizm LSI. It just reached 307,554 miles with the original engine & transmission. Besides routine and expected maintenance items I recently replaced the transmission cooling lines. Now my ABS light is on. If anyone has a suggestion for low or no cost diagnostic method to locate the ABS issue I would be very appreciative.
The problem is the Yodameter stops at 299,999! My 2004 CE 1.8 MT was a work car for four years then teens high school car now nurses commuter car. Over 300,000. I’ll check the trip odometer it’s probably about 304,000. Still just as fun to drive zips up hills like always. Just replaced the rad support second time due to rust. Got high heat Rustoleum that’s the last time. My 2000 Sienna has 275,000 running strong. We don’t get rid of cars until they are over 300,000 and going downhill. But that was three used Volvo’s so we may change that paradigm to 400. Miles not Km.