Hello, original reviewer here again with an update:
My Corolla is now at about 179,200 miles. I haven't had any issues since my last update.
At my last fill-up, the Corolla returned 38 MPG. Not bad. My Neon got that once driving all highway at 55 MPH, Corolla did that in mixed driving with highway sprints of up to 75 MPH, heheh.
I have noticed that I will need to replace the struts soon, they have started to get a bit noisy and the ride is slowly getting a little less comfortable, however I can live with this for a while. It doesn't surprise me that they need replacing, the car is 14 years old with nearly 180,000 miles, that they've gone this long is pretty good.
I have noticed 3 VERY SMALL rust spots that I will be repairing myself next week. These spots are literally tiny, and I didn't notice them until I washed it and actually got a real good look at the paint.
Other than that, the car has been excellent. I still love driving it and I can't get over the mileage.
Overall the car impresses me more and more each time I drive it. It amazes me that a car with this many miles can pretty much feel and run like new. It's nice to sit at a stop light and not hear failing rod bearings too (ah Neon, you will not be missed).
Back again with another update.
It just turned 180,000 miles and it has continued to be excellent. I replaced the air filter and changed the oil at 179,200 miles. Gas mileage has increased to about 40 MPG in mixed driving.
I switched to full-synthetic oil at my last change, and have noticed a very significant decrease in oil consumption. I bought the car knowing that it used about 1/2 a quart of oil every 3,000 miles (this is very good. The acceptable range is 1 quart of oil every 2,000 miles) but since switching to full synthetic it hasn't even started to use any at all. Before using synthetic, about every 800 miles the dipstick would read about 1/16 of inch below the full mark. It's been 800 miles and it's still full.
I have repaired the few rust spots the car had, and thankfully I got to them quick enough that none of them had the chance to go completely through the sheet metal. Right now it has a few bare primer spots where those rust spots were. Doesn't really bother me, I will be getting it completely repainted at the end of summer anyways.
Next week, I will be using it to drive up to Vermont to visit family. It's about a 350 mile drive each way. I will report on how it performed when I return.
Original Reviewer again.
My trip to Vermont was cancelled due to family matters, so unfortunately I was unable to evaluate my Corolla's performance on such a long drive. Was looking forward to seeing what my gas mileage would be like in all highway driving.
That being said, I drove it around town all this week. It hasn't seen the highway even once, so I did get to see what it's gas mileage is like in all city driving. After filling it up yesterday (it didn't even need it yet, it was only down to just under half a tank) I got 35 MPG.
So far I have nothing else to report, it's continued to be pretty much flawless except for the struts which really do need replacing. But hey, they're the original struts with over 180,000 miles on them, so I really don't count that as being a serious problem. At this point, that's just maintenance.
I know it's only been a few hours since my last update, but I wanted add that one unexpected repair came up.
I discovered my windshield washer fluid pump died when I tried to give my windshield a quick spray going down the highway today. Checked the fuse and it was fine, so I've determined it is in fact the pump. No big deal, only costs $15.00 down at Autozone, and should only take about 15 minutes to replace.
Original Reviewer again:
I now have 182,000 miles. I replaced the windshield washer pump in ten minutes and it worked great. Then my washer fluid tank cracked (I honestly have no idea how, in no way did I do anything to the tank while replacing the pump to cause this); not a real big deal though, I pulled a tank out of a junkyard for about $10 and just replaced the tank. Works fine now.
I just changed my oil again. I only had to top it up once during this change, and it only took about 1/4 of a quart. The full-synthetic oil is really helping. I even got 41 MPG at my last fill-up.
I still love my Corolla. These few very small issues were nothing compared to the problems I had with my previous car (Dodge Neon). I have absolutely zero regrets with my purchasing of this Corolla.
I have purchased another vehicle, a '95 Subaru Legacy Wagon. I only paid $300. This Legacy will not be replacing my Corolla of course, it will actually just save it from having to drive in the harsh New England winters (among other things, such as heavy loads or carrying my dogs). Check out my review on this Subaru titled "For a $600 car, it's incredible".
Original Reviewer here again:
Soon after writing my last comment, my check engine light came on. I figured an oxygen sensor had gone bad. Upon hooking it up to a scan tool, I found that I was right. Only a minor issue, however the O2 sensor was awfully expensive at almost $150.
I replaced the O2 sensor, cleared the code, and haven't had any problems since.
I did not have the car painted (the autobody shop I brought it to originally told me they would strip and paint it for $300, however that quickly became over $1000 once they saw the condition of the paint, and the car just isn't worth putting that much money into. Oh well). Not all is lost though, as I just traded my Subaru Legacy for a '99 Chrysler Cirrus in near perfect condition with only 80,000 miles. What a find! I'll be keeping my Corolla, I'll just have to live with the peeling paint. But now at least if I want to look good, I've got my Cirrus.
Well my Corolla has only had about 500 miles put on it since my last update (I try to drive both it and the Cirrus equally, so one or the other isn't sitting for a long period. Isn't good to let a car sit). It did end up getting painted. Me and a friend of mine spent a few days completely sanding it, popping out dents and repairing rust. I decided to paint it black (cheapest color). Was going to clear coat it, but I actually really liked the look of it in flat black, so I'll be keeping it that way. I'm very happy with it, it finally looks as good as it runs!
I haven't had any issues with it since the 02 sensor, and I will be replacing the timing belt, spark plugs and wires and water pump within a few weeks.
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