2003 Toyota Corolla



February, 8, 2011 AT 7:10 AM


I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla 160i GLS which I bought at 124000KM (Currently has 138000KM). I've got the car for +-8 Months and since purchasing it, it's been giving me endless problems. I bought it from a Second Hand so called reputable dealer at quite a hefty price.

Let me start from the beginning and list the problems from the time I’ve purchased it.

1) The first day I took delivery of the car, I found the clutch was riding. I sent it back and they replaced the Clutch or so they say.

2) Few days later, the car started making a clicking sound every time I went over a "bump" or turned in a certain direction. Sent it back and found it was a faulty CV Joint which they replaced.

3) After 2 or 3 weeks, I was planning a trip which was a little bit of a distance than I do on my day to day runs. I decided to pop by the Garage, filled gas and the thought of checking oil never crossed my mind previously, but this time I just decided I'd get it checked and good thing I did cause it was 3 Pints Short. Sent the car back again and they supposedly did a Service.

4) After 4 Months, a clicking sound started especially when turning. I ignored it (I know I should never do something like that but this is the purpose of this message) and it got worse. Eventually decided to get it checked but this time at my own expense as the agreement with the dealer was +-3 months. It was the CV joints again, the same one that was replaced. So I had my own Mechanic replace it but decided to go a little further. What I forgot to mention was every time I would drive at high speeds especially on a Highway, I could hear a whining, humming sound. It ****ed the hell out of me and I decided it was time to sort out whatever problems I’ve had once and for all. The sound my mechanic said was a bad Wheel Bearing so here’s what I did.
a) I replaced both Sides front wheel bearing only using the same hub.
b) I replaced only the left side CV joint as my Mechanic said the right side is still fine
c) While we had everything stripped, it replaced Brake Discs and Pads.
d) I did a service (Oil Change, Oil Filter Change, Air Filter, Plugs) and it’s a good thing I did cause the dealer I bought it from never did a proper service, they just changed oil.
e) I spotted an oil leak. Mechanic found it was leaking from the tensioner. He removed the Tensioner and sealer it with some silicone.

5) A month or so later, a noise on the same side as where the bearing and CV joint was replaced started to develop. Over time it worsened to the point that my car at 60KM/h sounded like I was driving on Gravel Road. I mentioned it to my mechanic who drove the car and suspected the tyres could be a problem, so I swapped the front with the back but the noise persisted. We eventually stripped the wheel bearing again and found the bearing was faulty yet again, Supplier swapped out the faulty bearing which we then fitted.

6) its been 1 week since the new bearing is in and I can still hear a faint whining sound. Time will tell whether this bearing survives or is it going to give in like the other.

7) Another sound has started to develop but this is not constant, it's very occasional especially in the mornings. When I start my car, I warm up for not more than 20 seconds, then I move. Right in from on my parking is a speed hump which I have to cross over each day. To exit my parking, I go over the speed hump which is not more than 5 Metres in front of me and I have to turn full left which I then have to climb a small hill before I get to the driveway gate. Every morning, I find a faint clucking sound as I exit. Once I’m on the road everything is fine. That noise however does seem to appear very seldom more so when I turn. If I go over a speed hump its perfectly fine, no noise. It I take a sharp bend, it seems fine but what I can be certain about is if I take a sharp bend at a slow speed almost like stopping and then taking the bend, the noise can be heard but again no always, just some times. Very occasional noise.

8) Last and I say this Touch Wood, I have a GGGRRRRR noise in my engine when I accelerate. It sounds almost like a Diesel vehicle sounds. This sound only occurs on take off when in first gear, btw my car is manual. Once i'm on the road or a highway, everything is fine.

I’m so disappointed right now and so disheartened, as I spent so much purchasing this vehicle and now I must spend more to fix it. Sending this car into a Toyota Workshop is not an option for me as they will just rip me off. I have a mechanic who fortunately is quite reasonable and can easily change any part if I tell him what to change but unfortunately he has some difficulty diagnosing a problem just by describing the noise or type of problem to him, so this is where I need your assistance.

My question is as follow.

Based on the descriptions above, can you advise me on the probable cause of the following.

1) Bearing seems to fail continuously after replacement, not even more than a few 100KM and it starts failing.
2) What could be the probable cause of the "clucking" sound I can occasionally hear?
3) What could be the probable sound of the "Grrrrrr" sound when I accelerate?

Other than what's mentioned above, "Touch Wood", the car moves beautifully except for front wheel balancing and Alignment.

Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.



Front Wheel Bearing


4 Answers



February, 8, 2011 AT 8:12 AM

You didn't mention where you got parts? I know if you are usuing chinese made parts you are in for trouble. Especially bearings!



February, 8, 2011 AT 8:32 AM

Hi Fixitmr

Yes, you are certainly right.
It is Chinese Made parts. The Original toyota parts are 400% more.

Would you recommend any specific make of parts for Bearings and any idea what could be the cause of the other problems I've described.

By the way, I'm from South Africa




February, 9, 2011 AT 6:18 AM

You are from or IN SA? My local parts stores have a better grade of stuff to move up from than the chinese cheapies. Usually a few dollars more. Still much less than OEM.



February, 9, 2011 AT 6:31 AM

Yes, I am from SA.
Hard to find Good Stuff here but I'll have to keep trying.

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Wheel Bearing Replacement
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Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement - Front
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Rear
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Rear
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Front