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 Post subject: Driving a Toyota Corolla
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 pm
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Location: East Dorset
Car Models: 9-5 9-3SSx2 Sonett T16S 9000
This would initially seem like a daft post, but bear with me....

I have been driving a 2003 Corolla diesel for the last month. Mainly because I can pinch a parking space at work while some of the companies that share our block are not there. I am not leaving either of my 9-5's in a tight car park where people do not seem to care about either their parking or their cars.

The Corolla was my wife's uncles car which I serviced and MOT'd for about 12 years mainly because the local Toyota dealer was an utter crook. The car had felt heavy to me for a few years, particularly the clutch, but driving it regularly has started to hurt my left leg. Moving my 9-5 diesel round on the drive today felt like I could operate the clutch on that with a feather.

I wanted to know if anyone on here had driven a diesel Corolla and noticed a heavy clutch and gear change compared to a 9-5?

The car has only done 42k miles and I suspect the clutch pressure plate could be stuck, but the clutch seems to behave normally, it is just heavy. Don't worry about trying to diagnose it, I have a range of things to look at, I just wanted reassurance that it had a problem. I was expecting Toyota's to be light to drive.

Other than this the car is quite competent, if a little dull. It does 60mpg on my run to work and everything works, even the A/C, which is more than car be said for my diesel 9-5!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:24 am
Posts: 1314
Location: Cullompton Devon
Car Models: 900 96 drop top
I as I run a small courier company and do a lot of miles myself and drive a lot of different vehicles I have a good understanding of your problem (did I ever mention this :D :D :D )

I would say the early oil burners do have heavier and probably cable operated clutches
The older Berlingos and Partner vans do give me a bit of knee ache on the clutch
The worst however is the flippin new Ford transit of all things . I do a bit of running still and I am normally OK but driving this thing makes my right Achilles heel sore due to the position of the accelerator I avoid this van at all cost

I would make sure if it is cable operated that the cable on all the components are lubricated well . One of my work vehicles is an old 2004 Pug Partner combi ( seats and windows ) and I WD40 it once a month then put some grease on it

Those Toyotas are the best cars on the road I would jump into your car and drive it down to Athens this afternoon if you really wanted me too :D I would have that much faith in it

The only Saab injury I can report is sun burn on a hot day with the roof down (ha ha ha :D )

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 pm
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Location: East Dorset
Car Models: 9-5 9-3SSx2 Sonett T16S 9000
I think sunburn is on the self-inflicted list! :D

The car is quite decent, it just has been modified on each corner by the gatepost or wall jumping out when it was being reversed. It was the last one of these, when the rear wing and light got damaged that uncle decided he would take taxi's everywhere from now and not have the hassle of parking.

I too would happily drive it anywhere (what is the obsession of forum members with Greece? :P ). Since I looked after it, the car has only ever let him down on the drive with a flat battery, but being a diesel driven around 1000miles a year, it needs careful attention to the EGR every service to ensure it behaves.

Anyway, I too was expecting a heavy clutch, just not like this. It is hydraulic, which leads me to wonder about the pivot points wearing, like a high mileage 9000.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:47 am
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Location: Queenborough, Kent
Car Models: 9k, 9-5 Aero & a Jaaag
I had a Toyota avensis of a similar era (Y-Reg, 2001 - one of the first with the newer engines). I ended up getting rid of it because of the clutch being heavy and it doing the busted disc in my spine no favours when sitting in traffic. Whilst I had it (a couple of years), I had it checked at the garage - who reported it was “normal”. I also spoke to an engineer from a different company who had the diesel version (mostly likely the same engine as in your Corolla) and when I asked him what he thought of how the car was to drive, the first thing he mentioned was that the clutch was heavy! Go figure ...

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:07 pm 
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none of me mums earlier petrol corollas were stiff clutched quite the opposite
id have an orange one cant be many orange ones around

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:22 pm
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Location: East Dorset
Car Models: 9-5 9-3SSx2 Sonett T16S 9000
The generation before was much lighter, I remember driving a petrol one which was feather light.
I can't get much info from the Toyota forums, apart from the diesel can be heavy. The clutch kit is just over £100 for an LUK one, so it isn't too horrendous to replace. With no subframe it should be far easier than my 9-5! I might take the clutch pedal apart first, just to check it is aligned before I get too excited. I can't carry on with it being this heavy, my knee is not enjoying it.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:39 am 
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Learned to drive in a 1999 Corolla diesel, it was brand new at the time, and I don't recall the clutch being notably heavy. We had a mk3 Cavalier 1.8i at the time, I think that had a heavier clutch.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:20 am 
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Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Kent
It may be that the diaphragm has got tired and lost its spring. That's more down to clutch use than mileage. Side effect of this is that they can cause broken clutch cables because of the extra strain. Had this on a Cavalier but cable change was about 10 minutes or less so not too much hassle.


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