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Are Toyota Corollas Expensive to Maintain?

POR: Keith Benline
Cars in a Toyota dealership

Plenty of drivers own Toyota Corollas. In fact, it’s the best-selling light vehicle model worldwide. But buying the highly-rated Japanese hatchback is just the first step—you’ll need to take care of it, too. Every vehicle comes with a recommended maintenance schedule, and following it is relatively straightforward. Paying for it, on the other hand, is something most vehicle owners don’t particularly enjoy.

So, are Toyota Corollas expensive to maintain? Let’s take a closer look at the car in question, the average maintenance costs you can expect if you own one, and some tips for keeping your outgoings to a minimum.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about this vehicle.

Getting to Know the Toyota Corolla

Originally established in Japan, Toyota cars came to the U.S. back in 1957, and it has since become a household name. It wasn’t until 1968 that the Toyota Corolla found its way to American soil, but it’s safe to say it went down a storm with drivers. Since then, it’s become the world’s best-selling passenger car, with over 30 million units sold in more than 140 countries.

With an MSRP starting at just $21,900, buy a modern model, and you’ll find yourself with a reliable ride that effortlessly balances style with performance. The exterior is sleek and stylish, with a low, wide, and aggressive stance, finished with 18-inch alloy wheels.

Despite its compact status, interiors are roomy and ergonomically designed, with all of the infotainment bells and whistles you’d expect from a vehicle at this price point. High-tech Toyota Safety Sense™ 3.0 safety features bring with them a pre-collision detection system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alerts, and more. As well as standard combustion engines, hybrid versions are also available.

Toyota Corolla Average Maintenance Costs

During its first 10 years of service, a Corolla will cost an average of $4,087 for maintenance and repairs (with an average annual cost of around $362). This beats the industry average for popular sedan models by $3,009, which is some very good news for Corolla owners. Of course, there may be some repairs required during that time, which will increase that cost depending on the severity of the issue that happens to your used car.

For the first 30,000 miles, the manufacturer-recommended car maintenance schedule for the Toyota Corolla is as follows:

Mileage Recommended Maintenance
5,000 Inspect and adjust all fluid levels. Inspect wiper blades. Rotate tires. Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs.
10,000 Inspect and adjust all fluid levels. Inspect wiper blades. Rotate tires. Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs. Replace cabin air filter. Replace engine oil and oil filter.
15,000 Inspect and adjust all fluid levels. Inspect wiper blades. Rotate tires. Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs. Inspect ball joints and dust covers. Inspect brake lines and hoses. Inspect drive shaft boots. Inspect engine coolant. Inspect exhaust pipes and mountings. Inspect radiator and condenser. Inspect steering gear. Inspect steering linkage and boots. Inspect rear differential oil/transfer case oil (4WD).
20,000 Inspect and adjust all fluid levels. Inspect wiper blades. Rotate tires. Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs. Replace cabin air filter. Replace engine oil and oil filter.
25,000 Inspect and adjust all fluid levels. Inspect wiper blades. Rotate tires. Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs.
30,000 Inspect and adjust all fluid levels. Inspect wiper blades. Rotate tires. Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs. Inspect ball joints and dust covers. Inspect brake lines and hoses. Inspect drive shaft boots. Inspect engine coolant. Inspect exhaust pipes and mountings. Inspect radiator and condenser. Inspect steering gear. Inspect steering linkage and boots. Inspect rear differential oil/transfer case oil (4WD). Replace cabin air filter. Replace engine air filter. Replace engine oil and oil filter. Inspect transmission. Inspect fuel lines.

Key Factors Influencing Maintenance Costs

One major factor that will influence the average cost of maintenance is component failure. Unexpected mechanical breakdowns can set drivers back quite a bit financially, with major repairs work like engine work costing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

De acuerdo a our friends at RepairPal, some common Toyota Corolla repairs include:

Repair Estimated Price
Windshield washer pump replacement $120-$173
Engine compression test $110-$139
Battery cable/battery terminal end service $26-$33
Antitheft system diagnosis and testing $44-$56
Engine oil light diagnosis $88-$111
Crankshaft position sensor replacement $179-$233
Brake master cylinder reservoir replacement $367-$417
Engine mount replacement $505-$549
Brake power booster unit check valve replacement $111-$127
Strut bearing replacement $259-$297

The other major factor is where and how you have maintenance carried out. Just like different stores charge different prices for the same groceries, different auto shops will charge different prices for the same maintenance tasks. Toyota dealerships, in particular, are known for charging more than independents, so make sure to shop around if you definitely require the help of a professional. If you don’t, why not try carrying out the maintenance tasks yourself? DIY maintenance is a great way to save some money on some jobs.

How Does the Toyota Corolla Compare with Similar Vehicles?

By comparing the Toyota Corolla with other similar vehicles, you can start to figure out whether you’re better or worse off than other vehicle owners. RepairPal has awarded the Toyota Corolla 4.5 out of 5 as a reliable car, which puts it in first place out of 36 other compact cars.

With an annual average maintenance and repair cost of $362, the Corolla comes in significantly cheaper than the average of $526 for compact cars and $652 for all vehicle models. Corolla owners have to bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.3 times a year, which is the same as other compact cars and less than 0.4 times per year for all vehicle models. The probability of repairs being severe is 7% for the Corolla. Again, this is less than the 11% for compact cars and 12% for all vehicle models.

Finally, let’s put the $362 average annual maintenance cost of a Toyota Corolla side by side with the average annual maintenance costs of other popular low-maintenance compact cars:

Make & Model Average Annual Maintenance Cost
Toyota Corolla $362
Honda Civic $368
Ford Focus $569
Nissan Sentra $491
Hyundai Elantra $452
Volkswagen Jetta $609
Chevrolet Cruze $545
Mazda 3 $345
Subaru Impreza $653

5 Tips for Keeping Corrolla Maintenance Costs Low

Man driving his car and smilingThere are a number of ways you can reduce the amount that you spend on annual maintenance for your Toyota Corolla or other car, including:

1. Proper Research

Don’t just have any auto shop look at your vehicle. Put in the research and find a licensed and ASE Certified mechanic who will carry out quality work at a reasonable price. Dealerships and major chains will always go for higher margins, so stick to smaller, independent shops that won’t try taking you for a ride.

2. Coupons and Discounts

It applies to almost anything, but take some time to search for any deals that might be on at the moment before you spend money unnecessarily. By planning ahead and not leaving maintenance tasks to the last minute, you give yourself more time to find coupons and discounts, and you can strategically plan to have work carried out when an offer is running.

3. Going DIY

Not every maintenance task needs to be carried out by a professional mechanic—with a little know-how, there are some things you can do by yourself. Even oil changes can be tackled at home if you have the right tools. Just remember only to take on tasks that you’re fully confident with, as damage caused as a result of poor workmanship will void any warranties that might be in place.

4. Sticking to Manufacturer Parts

Generic or aftermarket parts may be cheaper to purchase than buying manufacturer’s parts, but they could cost you much more in the long run. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and cheap parts will not last anywhere near as long as the more durable and reliable alternative. This means more frequent maintenance, more frequent repairs, and ultimately, more money out of your pocket.

5. Invest in an Extended Warranty or Vehicle Service Contract

Vehicle service contracts, more commonly known as extended warranties, are great for saving money on mechanical breakdown repairs, but did you know they can save you money on car maintenance, too?

First, only licensed auto shops are authorized to repair covered vehicles, meaning work is carried to the highest standard using manufacturer parts. Secondly, a market-leading auto protection plan like Advantage from Endurance includes up to $3,500 in annual maintenance fees:

Yearly Regular Maintenance:

  • Up to 3 oil and filter changes
  • Motor diagnostic exam
  • Alignment check
  • State safety inspection services
  • Tire rotation

Special, One-Time Services:

  • Brake pads/shoe replacement
  • Cooling system maintenance
  • Front or rear wiper blade set replacement
  • Battery replacement
  • Scheduled service coverage

Stay Prepared With Endurance Auto Protection

Keeping on top of regular maintenance is a great way to cut the cost of vehicle ownership, but the unfortunate fact is that all components fail eventually. When the worst happens, you can bet it will be at the least convenient time, leaving you stranded at the roadside and faced with an eye-watering repair bill. Because of this, it really is no wonder that drivers across America are looking for new ways to protect their wallets, and a contrato de servicio de vehiculo from Endurance is the ideal solution.

From everyday commuters to luxury car owners, we offer a wide range of customizable plans aimed at an even wider range of drivers. Our commitment to quality customer service has made us the top recommendation among auto experts, but don’t just take their word for it—we have thousands of 5-star reviews from happy Endurance customers.

If all of that sounds good to you, just wait till you hear about our benefits. Every Endurance plan comes with 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, trip-interruption costs, and replacement travel reimbursement as standard. If that wasn’t enough, all new Endurance customers also get a year’s free access to our Elite benefits package, which adds on tire repair/replacement, key fob replacement, total loss protection, and much more.

Want to find out what we can do to protect you and your vehicle? Give our award-winning customer service team a call at (800) 253-8203 o request a FREE quote online.

If you’d like to keep reading about all things automobile, we have plenty more useful resources just like this on nuestro blog de garantía extendida, so head on over and check it out.

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