Original poster here. Yeah, case in point.
You know exactly the noise I have in the brakes; 'unsticking' is the perfect phrase for it.
I've been doing some research, and there are plenty of other owners with the same concerns online.
I've seen a lot of the series 1 Korean sourced Cruze models with the chrome on the handles coming off.
I work in the auto industry, and it's kind of a dirty little secret that Toyota's legendary quality is slipping. It makes sense though, as automakers get ever larger and produce massive quantities of cars, quality control usually goes down. Toyotas used to have very superior interiors, but these new ones have been cheapened a lot. Never thought I would believe GM cars had the best interiors in the industry, but it's getting to be true. The all-new replacement Corolla is about to come out, and it's supposed to be much better.
It's not really a secret anymore. Slowly but surely, people are finding this to be true.
I myself have been in the repair industry for years, and it seems there are more repairs on today's Toyotas that were unheard of years back.
Before this turns into an argument, take notes that I'm not bashing Toyota in any way... I'm just calling it how I see it.
A friend brought me his 2009 Corolla today for several issues. After only three years, his A/C had quit working. In addition, his puny plastic radiator fitting had broken, allowing most of the coolant to drain out. The "check engine" light was on. This on a car that supposedly is "reliable"? I don't see it that way at all.
There is little real quality in a Corolla. I've seen 10-year-old GM and Ford vehicles that have never had a single repair. Calling a three-year-old car that is falling apart "reliable" is really a stretch.
I purchased my 2011 Corolla brand new. In four months the A/C is out and the brakes sound as if I have had the car for years. I took the car back to the dealer and it's not covered under warranty, costing $1200 to fix a new car.
I made a terrible choice, thinking my 2000 Corolla was so awesome, I would buy another Toyota. The new cars built lack protection for the A/C compressor, so Toyota does not cover it under the warranty. It can go out at any time, and you're screwed... I will never buy another one, and my family won't either. I make sure to tell everyone I meet it's not worth it, and never buy one.
Unfortunately the quality of Toyota in 2000 was a lot higher than it is now. However, I don't see how they can refuse to fix the A/C during the warranty period. Are you sure the dealership wasn't trying to get out of fixing it? I'd check with the Better Business Bureau. I have never heard of any car manufacturer not covering the A/C on a new car.
My overrated 1999 Corolla cost me more in 5 years than all my Jeeps in 20 years.
I just helped a friend trade his crappy 2009 Corolla for a solid and reliable Ford Focus, the world's best selling car now for two years straight.
You are right. My 1977 and 1980 were like that. After 2000 they were lousy with engine and trans issues.
You need to share the name of the tire brand you use for such exceptional mileage wear.
Handbrake 'clunk' issue.
While rolling down a hill, or just while driving in the city on an empty street, regularly slow down the vehicle using the handbrake only. Don't try to immobilise the car by fully pulling the handbrake, just pull it slightly so the car slows a little bit. This will help the rear brake drums to wear a little bit and prevent rust from building up.