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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at buying my first Gen 9 Corolla.

It's a 2007 Corolla LE with only 102.3k miles (I see the odometer) and automatic transmission, reportedly maintained at dealer and independent mechanic. Seller detailed the car, so exterior, interior, and engine bay look like new.

I verified smog testing.

What problems if any happened with this generation, both common and expensive/unusual? Anything I should look for when checking out the car?

Thanks!
 

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Sorry no one has answered your question. Common problems are minimal. This Gen 9 Corolla (especially 2006-2008) is one of the best cars ever. One common issue is the intake manifold gasket should be replaced with a new, updated Toyota gasket (the updated gasket is orange in color). Another one is some of the fuel filler necks have had rusting problems. Cats going bad after many miles is often because of lean conditions causing the computer to dump fuel in the combustion process. Replacing that intake gasket will help prevent that. Paying a mechanic 1 to 1 1/2 hours of labor to check the car out is worth it. Probably cost you around $100 to $125 depending on where you are. If you don't want to pay a mechanic, try checking the inside of the tailpipe (when it's not hot). You will get a little bit of dirt on your finger, but if your finger comes out completely BLACK and OILY, then run away.

Make sure to use an oversized oil filter since the way it is oriented allows you to completely fill the filter with oil and it won't ever drain back into the engine, so it's a no-brainer. I'd do a transmission fluid exchange. Make sure to use fluid spec'd for T-IV. Valvoline MaxLife synthetic ATF is very popular in this forum and has a much cheaper price at WalMart. Replace the PCV valve and the hose to it if it looks compromised.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

Is there a maximum mileage that I should not even consider buying a Gen 9?

I'm seeing two groups of Gen 9 Corollas: about 100k; about 140-150k. Would the 140-150k Corollas need much more work than the 100k? If so, which repairs?

All things equal, what sort of price difference should I see between the 100k and 140-150k?

I'm also thinking about getting a similar vintage Matrix for hauling more things. Are those Matrix any different component and durability-speaking than the Corollas?

Thanks
 

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The Matrix shares the same platform and engine, so the issues are relatively the same minus wear and tear items. Mainly just the rear glass struts and rear hatch struts.

Always check the overall condition of the car first, not just the miles. I've seen Corollas that are low mileage but need major exterior work and up-keep. But sounds like this was very well taken care of.

Check for oil leaks from the oil pan area and the rear side of the engine. The timing chain tensioner starts leaking around 100K and sometimes the serpentine tensioner makes a noise from the pulley bearing.
 

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The timing chain tensioner starts leaking around 100K and sometimes the serpentine tensioner makes a noise from the pulley bearing.
Duh, I forgot about that one. Cheap fix.

The cluster will stop recording mileage at 299999 miles/km.
And that one. Not really a deal breaker. I hit the tripometer the moment it stuck at 299,999 and have been keeping track of the mileage that way. Other cars whish they only had these issues.

Is there a maximum mileage that I should not even consider buying a Gen 9?

No. I have 387K miles on my 2004 Corolla and it runs fine. All the problems I've had have been minimal or expected: A/C compressor at 185K (oddly enough my cheap replacement Denso aftermarket compressor has outlived the original and that's here in hot Texas), intake manifold gasket (cheap fix), timing chain tensioner o-ring (cheap fix), transmission gear selector bushing (cheap fix), digital clock repair (free fix), starter at around 285K miles (new TYC starter for around $85 now has over 100K miles on it). Cat finally died around 350K miles, but I put an extender on it instead of replacing it (cheap). Replacing cat is easy on this car if I ever wanted to do that. Shielded wire for the front O2 sensor whent bad a couple of years ago. Currently have an evap code and will fix it later when I get my car back from my daughter. The original driver's suspension control arm is mildly clunking. I still have the original radiator, thermostat, water pump, coolant hoses, all four struts, and alternator. Yes, I still have the original struts and believe it or not they are still working fine. I've never had uneven tire wear. Rear brake shoes didn't need replacing until after 325K miles. Original calipers/wheel cylinders. Other items replaced as they wear, like light bulbs, brake pads, O2 sensors, etc. This is by far the best car I've ever had. It's not even close at all.
 

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Oh, and 10 months ago I replaced all four motor mounts. That was probably around 265K or 270K miles. Not bad longevity for the original mounts.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. Did you have any oil burning issues? What type of motor oil did you use and how often did you change it?
 

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I had fuel burning issues because I never bothered with fixing the cause of a P0420 catalytic converter code (the O2 sensors) until it was way, way past their time, and because of intake gasket. It now burns 1 quart of oil every 3,100 miles. Not bad for the mileage I have. Well....part of the "burning" is a small rear main seal leak, which isn't worth fixing. So, it's not all being "burned".
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Did you get a check engine light/OBD-ii code for the intake manifold gasket leak?
 

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Did you get a check engine light/OBD-ii code for the intake manifold gasket leak?
Yes, P0171, which is common on this generation, especially after the vehicle is over 10+ years old and especially during the winter.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks. I'm a bit intimidated changing the intake manifold gasket. When I get a Gen 9 Corolla, if vacuum is good (I know how to measure vacuum) and there's no P0171 code, can I defer changing the intake manifold gasket?
 

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Yes, but this is pretty much a job that will need to be done at some point later in the life of this car. There is a thorough DIY on this forum showing how to do it. I followed this DIY and had no problems:

 
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You can verify it easily. Look to see if it's orange. If it is, it has the revised intake manifold gasket.

Look this over.



I haven't done this job, as I own a Corolla xrs. For years, I was intimidated myself on working on my car. Bit the bullet and just did it. So satisfied that I avoided needing a mechanic to keep on the maintenance.

When you find your Corolla, I suggest you check the basics. Fluids, spark plugs, timing chain tensioner, and motor mounts. The tensioners on the 1zz and 2zz will leak over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks.

I've been looking for factory service manuals for Gen 9 Corollas. I can't find any made by Toyota. Any idea where I can get one?

Also, how often should I change the ATF filter on a Gen 9?

Thanks
 

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Thanks.

I've been looking for factory service manuals for Gen 9 Corollas. I can't find any made by Toyota. Any idea where I can get one?

Also, how often should I change the ATF filter on a Gen 9?

Thanks
I found mine on eBay.

The other option is to sign up for access for 2 days @ 19.99$ and download as much as possible. The FSM is roughly around 250$ for 2 volumes plus ewd.
 

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techinfo.toyota.com

The cheapest is a 2-day access. Download as much as you want. It took me about 5 hours to download the FSM and some other stuff, but I was probably doing it the wrong (slow) way. There might be a faster way to download it. I paid $20. Not sure if the price is still the same.
 
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