1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon DX 1.6 liter from North America


I recommend Toyota without a doubt!


Having some transmission problems - think it may be the diff problem mentioned by a few others. Not sure yet!

The half shafts have been replaced, but those were my fault.

Exhaust has rusted through in spots, but the roads where I live are treated with salt every winter, so that's not surprising.

Other than that, only normal maintenance has been necessary.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2015

13th Jul 2015, 21:43

How much did you buy it for? Stick or auto?

1990 Toyota Corolla SR5 1.4 gas from North America


Great car that Toyota should have kept building '92


Needed new front fenders and repair to the rear fender due to rust (16 years old at time of replacement).

Needed head gasket in 2006.

A/C died 2009.

General Comments:

Real fun car to drive. Good on fuel thanks to the 1.4 litre engine. If taken care of, it will last at least another couple of years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2010

1990 Toyota Corolla 1.6L from Australia and New Zealand


Great 1st car, would own another!!


All up in the 9 months of owning this car I had to fix:

# CV joints $500 approx.

# Timing belt etc. $1200.

# Fuel lines done. With timing belt.

# Master cylinder, $700, and because of rear brake problems, the front brakes have overheated... the mechanic has told me it will cost $700 to fix front brakes.

# Had to replace rims due to a crack.

# I have spent around $3500 on the car all up, which is a heart break considering I bought the car cheaper.

# Fuel pump is very noisy when there is less than 1/4 of a tank.

# I have had electrical problems, which when you go around a corner, the car feels like its has stalled, then runs like crap for the next few kms. Have also had problems with turning the car on, alternator won't even turn over, but the car will start if you put it in neutral.

# I can't open the front passenger door with the key.

# I can't open the boot with key either.

# Driver's door doesn't shut properly... many flat batteries over this and many problems getting out!

# Interior light works when it wants to.

# A few mechanics have told me the previous owner has done some very dodgy wiring etc trying to make short cuts including for some reason pulling out the fan.

# Rear shocks need to be replaced.

General Comments:

Great first car if you buy it off the right person...

Try to buy the car completely stock...

Fun car to drive; excellent response once you tweak it a bit.

Cheap on fuel, but seems to lose fuel economy if you're heavy footed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2009

21st Jan 2009, 16:13

I had the same car, more or less, a 1989 model. I agree that it's important to buy a stock example, or if a modified one, then it has to be one where there was no expense spared.

My modified corolla cost me about 2 grand to fix up in the first year of ownership, then after that the mechanicals kept functioning while the rest of the car (interior, accessories, etc) sort of stopped working or fell apart.

They are a 20 year old car, after all - even Toyota's have use-by dates.

1990 Toyota Corolla Base 1.6 from North America


Reliable, powerful and gas saver


This applies to what I've done to any car I've owned (these are the most common problems you'll have, pretty much in this order) :

Put WD 40 EVERYWHERE that moves or is an electrical connection; except brake rotors and pulleys.

Silicone spray (armor all or any cheapo stuff - if it says tire shine, it's silicone emulsion) to every rubber part, pulley or plastic stuff around the car.

Changed oil (semi or synthetic 20w50; it's hot in this area)

Added leak seal in oil (stops leaks in valve seals and smoke in tail pipe great)

Added slick 50 to your oil (extends life of the engine, consumes less oil, consumes less fuel, lowers operating temperature; my opinion)

Changed Spark plugs (platinum 2 tip - saves some gas)

Changed spark plug cables (also distributor cap and rotor if needed or wanted) if your car stutters on and off, it is probably these cables.

Change battery.

Change starter.

Changed alternator.

Installed free flow air filter (a piece of cotton rag across an empty air filter does the trick too) (saves gas, more horsepower; you choose. I prefer to ease on the pedal and save gas).

Remember to check:

Oil level (carry 1 bottle of oil to replenish)

As someone else said before me, CHECK THE DIFFERENTIAL FLUID!!. It cost me a big headache, a ton of head scratching and a new differential (400 dollars and a whole week dismounting and mounting the spare I bought) That considered, I bought a whole automatic transmission that comes with the differential in it.

If you want to save yourself some trouble, break your piggy bank before your used car strands you somewhere (an ounce of prevention is WAYYYYYYY better than a ton of cure).

This car left me stranded only once. It was due to a faulty starter solenoid (did not know at the time you could tap it and it would work again, at least until you change it)

General Comments:

The best and most reliable car I owned.


Everything conspires so that you do not check the DIFFERENTIAL FLUID.

Most cars 1993 onwards share the same compartment with the automatic transmission.


Seats could be better, but I've seen worse.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2008