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Toyota Corolla: In balzakovskom age

“Corolla” was the success of the company “Toyota”, a kind of Japanese “Golf”, not losing popularity for 30 years with all the changes in the model range. Last year, the ninth generation of the Corolla made its debut, but there are still few of them in Russia, but the generation that preceded it from 1997-2001. (By the way, the winner of the Grand Prix “Driving”) is widely represented. About him and tell.

Like the previous models, the choice of bodies – for different tastes: sedan, three-door and five-door hatchbacks (the latter “Toyota” calls liftback), wagon.

Of the most common engines injected 1.6 liter and 1.3 l carburetor (option for the Asian market, in Europe is not supplied). Slightly less cars with 1.4- and 1.8-liter injection engines, 1.3-liter injection engines are very rare. Diesel Corolla were not officially delivered to Russia. Most of the gearboxes are mechanical, five-speed, but there are also “automatic machines”: three-stage with “hydraulics” or four-stage with electronic control (the latter are much more). The type of automatic gearbox is easily identified by the presence of the Overdrive Off switch – hydraulics do not need it. Completed “Corolla” and ABS, front passenger and driver airbags, air conditioning.

Officially supplied to Russia, “Corolla” collected in Japan, their VIN (vehicle identification number) begins with the letters JT. If the first letters of the SB number are a vehicle of English assembly, in Russia such are rare. When buying, however, it is advisable to make sure that you do not slip a white crow: externally inconspicuous differences can become significant when troubleshooting or ordering spare parts. However, it will be needed infrequently: the Corolla stably keeps in the first lines of the reliability ratings, and recently in the USA it has risen to the highest step of the pedestal. For information on local features of operation, we turned to the Toyota-Center Bitsa dealership service — hundreds of automobiles are stored here, and their mileage often exceeds 200 thousand km. But there were very few diseases …


Dynamics “Corolla” does not have to “street racing”, and for the state of the engine in the first 160-200 thousand. Km you can be calm. The exception is the 1.3-liter versions, especially if they were operated with a full passenger load (the only car in a large family) or with a trailer. Such cars to 160-180 thousand km can wear piston rings.

Hydro bearings in the valve mechanism are absent – instead of them usual washers. But to regulate the gaps is practically not required, at least in the first 100 thousand km. This run will have to replace the timing belt. “Original” can withstand the allotted time without complaints. However, troubles with a belt break threaten only the owners of 1.3-liter twelve-valve; all other (sixteen-valve) engines will remain unharmed at the same time (pistons will not meet with valves). At the slightest backlash or noise of the tension roller bearing together with the belt, it is also changed: against the background of the cost of the work, the price of the part is low. After 130 thousand km the wear of the pump bearing is possible, it will also show itself by noise. And here with the repair you should not.

Special attention – to spark plugs: missing a spark in the cylinders can disable the expensive neutralizer. Replacing the spark – every 30-40 thousand miles, as well as the fuel filter. Carburetor engines are less demanding on the quality of gasoline, but it is not easy to adjust the work of a clogged device – not everyone will understand the intricacies of its channels and tubes.

The peculiarity of our summer – poplar fluff. It clogs the cooling system radiator and air conditioner condenser. By the way, the poor performance of the latter may indicate a honeycombed honeycomb. And overheating of the engine is fraught with unforeseen expenses. External examination and surface cleaning of radiators are sometimes insufficient – down can accumulate in the interval between them. It can be completely removed only after dismantling the cooling system radiator.

If the engine management system malfunctions, the Check Engine light comes on. It is possible to determine the malfunction code without complicated devices, by counting the number of flashes of the lamp with the diagnostic socket closed.

Sooner or later, those who serve the car themselves are faced with a surprise: the exhaust system is welded at the factory as a whole, where and how to install the purchased muffler is not clear. You should not be frightened: having tried on a new part, the pipe should be cut in place and, having joined the parts “pipe into pipe” (as on “Zhiguli”), pull them off with hose clamps.

Transmission and brakes

Gearboxes, both mechanical and automatic, are completely reliable. Once every 40 thousand km they only require an oil change: 75W90 GL-3, 4 or 5 for the “mechanics” and Dexron II or III for the “automaton”. Moreover, the filter is reusable in the latter: it is not necessary to change it, you just need to clean it. By the way, the malfunction of the electronically controlled automatic gearbox can also be determined by the flashes of the corresponding light bulb on the dashboard.

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