1 - Tie rod ends replaced: I knew these would need to be replaced when I purchased the car, and saved $450 by doing the work myself.
2 - Sway bar linkages (all four): Also something I found in the pre-purchase inspection, that I did myself at a total cost of $150 for parts and 2 hours of labor.
3 - Shocks/struts (all four): One week into owning the car, I hit a bump and the shocks never released again ($800).
4 - Seat belt tensioner: Seat belt began locking in all positions, to the degree that once I had it out, I put a pin in it so it could no longer retract; still haven't replaced.
5 - Wheel bearings: Contrary to what Toyota tells you, you can replace JUST the bearing and not the whole assembly; saves over $300 in parts.
6 - Power window relay: Toyota dealership will try to get you to buy a motor; it is almost ALWAYS the relay, which saved me $150.
7 - Headlamp assembly: The pre 99' Toyota Corolla's are all known to have their headlights fog over within 100,000 miles, to the point where it can be dangerous to drive at night. Found replacements at a junk yard for $28 a piece.
8 - EGR valve/plugs: This was a very expensive but necessary fix, with a cleaning of the throttle body and a new EGR valve ($250 part MINIMUM)
9 - Clogged fuel pump/filter: Was harder than I thought it would be, but saved again over the dealer!! ($300 savings)
Overall I am very pleased with this purchase; I spent $1000 to replace my 2002 Hyundai Accent (WORST car decision ever in my opinion). I have put my fair share of sweat equity into it, but it runs better than my mom's 2009 Corolla!
Every older car has its quirks, and I have been very fortunate with mine. The suspension was shot when I bought the car, and I knew that, so really I have nothing to complain about, but I would advise ANYONE with this car to NOT take it to a Toyota dealer for service. They want almost three times what it's worth in labor charges and parts!!! I fix it myself using a Chilton and Haynes manual (with both you have a perfect overview of locations, easy fixes, etc that fills the gaps left by the other).
This car hadn't had it's oil changed in 4 years according to the service records that I have found by running its VIN number, and it still to this day burns NO oil between changes, and doesn't have a gasket issue.
I performed all of the fluid flushes upon purchase, and thought that the car was running funny, so I ran a diagnostic and found that the EGR was nearing the end of its life (stuck open), and the fuel filter/pump were both going out.
I've gotten many good miles out of this car so far, and for everything I have had to replace, I have NEVER been stranded! I will drive this thing until it enters Toyota Heaven, but until that day comes if it ever does, I will enjoy every bit of this AMAZING piece of engineering!
Only reason I said I don't know if I would own another one is the recent decline in Toyota quality... they just don't make em' like this anymore...