1990 Toyota Corolla



October, 25, 2008 AT 1:33 AM

Brakes problem
1990 Toyota Corolla 4 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 156000 miles

Discovered this site only today. My car was performing all fine, until one day going at a good speed, it suddenly jerked very badly (as if the brakes were pressed all the way down, and let go in an instant; Then the same process repeated until it came to a standstill). In seconds it stopped. Since then the engine runs absolutely fine (Quick startup etc) but can't move the car either ways. Very high pressure on the throttle might even move the car just a teeny weeny bit. Mark that when the flat bed tow truck took it to my place, and I started engine again, the car moved as if nothing had ever happened. 150 ft later I touched the brakes while turning a little, and jerk and stop again.

An emergency mechanic (don't trust one word of what he said) said the problem was Brake booster and Brake pump. Got those replaced. No change in results. Any suggestions?

Regular maintenance has been done religiously including timing belt change, oil change etc. Should I invest any money into this car at all? What are the possibilities I could look at? Seems to me that the brakes are jamming too hard on the wheels. Brake shoes were replaced 5 months ago.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions.


Brake Shoe Assembly


Brake Shoes


3 Answers



October, 25, 2008 AT 5:25 AM

Toyota uses a seperate differential and fluid supply to turn the axles.

Looking underneath the car you will see two drain plugs, one for the trans and one for the differential.

It sounds like the differential is out of fluid and has siezed.

To confirm this, remove the differential fluid drain plug (to the rear of the trans pan. If nothing comes out, the differential has siezed and the trans will have to be replaced. This occurs when the axle seals leak, or the axles are replaced and the differential is not refilled.

You can look for a used trans (A131L) from a junkyard, usually $300 and get it installed. Look for model years 90-92 Toyota Corolla or Geo Prizm.



October, 25, 2008 AT 10:24 PM

Luckily for me it seems the transmission fluid and such stuff is ok. The rear brakes are jamming up, (one wheel or both). Basic analysis seemed to prove the point as well. When pushing the car from front to back, the front part lifts up, and the rear wheels seem to dig in (literally goes down a little). When you try and push the car from back to front, the car doesn't move at all

So, assuming a problem with left and right rear brakes, and figuring a replacement, it seems the brake shoes, drums, hardware kit etc should cost me under $150 (new). Labour for around 45 minutes should probably not be too much of a concern. So it seems like I can keep on driving my beloved.

: -)

Will update you as and when I can start the process. In the meanwhile thanks again for the prompt help and suggestion.




October, 26, 2008 AT 7:44 AM

Good news (well better than a siezed differential).

I would replace the rear brakes, turn drums or replace, check wheel cylinders for leaks, and install new hardware kit. Also make sure the parking brake cable is not binding.

Please login or register to post a reply.

Brake Shoe/Drum Replacement - Rear
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Rear
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Front Ford
Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement - Front
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Rear
Brake Pad/Rotor Replacement - Front BMW M3