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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:00   #1
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Default Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience

Hello everyone,

I thoroughly enjoy my Thar, one year old, completed 11500 kms, my daily drive, a looker, drives beautifully, no issues so far and a great road presence and feel.

Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-thar.jpg

Ok, that is for me and my wife who whole heartedly are in love with the Jeep. As mentioned even in my Thar ownership report, my kids are not fully in terms with the Jeep as they are the affected parties - Sitting on the side facing seats, climbing from the back or climbing from the front in between the seats, soft top, outside noise, crude etc. as negatives. But one thing they also appreciate is, that our Thar is majestic and their friends appreciate it.

My parents came with me a few times as well in our Thar and my Dad used to sit at the back and he always mentions his head almost rubbing the roof. But, they were very accomodative and never complained as such. But, I could get a feeling that my family deserve something little better when they travel.

So, how do I do it within a limited budget ? I cannot give up my Thar and at the same time, please them. Originally, I never had an intention of having two cars and infact I sold my Petrol Fiesta to buy my Thar. But, that money was really needed to buy my Thar an year back. Now, with one year passed, I had saved some money and thought it is time to buy a used car so that both ends are happy !

Parameters and conditions :

Budget of maximum 3.5 lakhs + little buffer
Needed a comfortable and spacious car
It should handle well
It is OK even if it is older like 7 or 8 years
It should be good for long drives with a good A/C
It should be reliable
Should not have too much of expensive maintenance
A reliable brand

Just on some quick calculations, the following cars came to my mind - Mitsubishi Cedia, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Fiat Linea. Somehow I liked the HONDA CIVIC from the beginning and heard that it as a Sporty high revving VTEC engine, good handling, looks awesome. Therefore, I thought I will just focus on Civic so that I do not wander around.

My hunt started ! Olx, Quickr, Cartrade, Carwale - kept looking and discarded many advertisements outright from the details and photos itself. I went and drove a few 2007 models which were all V MT versions. The drive was fantastic with awesome power and lovely handling to my tastes. The interiors were wonderful with that dashboard and the A/C was absolutely stunning. But, it was too low a seating position and I myself was struggling to get in and out of the driving seat. I had to hold the door and push myself up when I want to exit. This became a concern considering my parents are around 80 years of age and I was looking for a used car primarily for my family. Still I pursued it and the best quotes were coming close to 3.80 lakhs for a 2007 well maintained model.

While searching, i was also on a thread in our forum and many of our members and friends were suggesting a Toyota Corolla which they said will be more comfortable, but may not be as pleasurable to drive as a Civic. I checked with one of my close friends who has a 2010 Corolla Altis and he said his decision to go for a Corolla then over Civic was purely because Corolla does not scrape that much as a Civic and more comfortable for the rear passengers. He also confirmed that the maintenance is pretty descent.

Ok, then I shifted my focus on Corolla and it was a Saturday, looked in Cartrade and there was this 2003 Toyota Corolla 2nd Owner, 83000 kms, asking price of 2.40 Lakhs at a dealer called Bright Choice in Medavakkam. I called up that number just for the sake of it as I was not very convinced with the fact that it is a 12 year old car. The dealer on the other end said, Sir, come and see the car, it is in very good condition, very well maintained etc.,. But, i thought i will leave it and is not worth it.

Another call to another person at T.Nagar, H4, 86000 KMS, 2005 model, White colour, company owned, asking price 3.5 Lakhs. Spoke to that gentleman and he was honest to tell me over phone, Sir, a lorry tanker hit my car from the front right side only yesterday and it would need a paint job. You can see the car, if you like it, either we can discount the price to that extent or I shall repaint it and give it to you. This seemed to be a fair deal.

Around 10.00 a.m. I started my Enfield Thunderbird and came up to Sholinganallur Junction, stopped and waited for the green, If I go straight on OMR, I go to T.Nagar, if I take Left, I go to Medavakkam to check the 12 year old car. Split second decision, Ok, let me have a look at this 12 year old and then proceed to T.Nagar.

Went to the dealer and saw the car and the outlook was great. I told him, I want to take her for a spin and the employee accompanied. First time, I drove a Corolla and took it up to Selaiyur and it was a good road to drive. It felt amazing and super smooth and silent. May be it was too much for me after sitting in a Thar for the past 1 Year - everything seemed SILENT and the rev and power was adequate. it was not like Civic, but I somehow felt more at ease, probably due to larger steering wheel, comfortably higher driving position, I was feeling at home and never felt like I am driving a totally new car. The interiors were very nice and the seats were good and firm. The AUTO A/C was a chiller ! The positiveness started settling in.

Came back to the dealership and I told my condition. I need to take it to my known garage and if they certify it, I can discuss the price. No second thoughts, the dealer said, absolutely fine and he gave Rs. 500 to the driver and asked him to fill Petrol to take it to the garage. I would like to state here - even though I did not look too many cars, the 3 dealers where I looked CIVIC were very hesitant to send the car out and rather they said, "why don't you bring your friend here to check" which I was totally not accepting. I felt this dealer to be very genuine with this approach.

Took it to the garage and the expert drove the car and inspected it and he made some observations like 1. Clutch may need replacement 2. rear suspension may need replacement and he said, whatever price you pay, keep another Rs. 30000 for these type of work. I was prepared for it. He also pointed out that some touch ups, paint work has been done to the fenders etc., Eventually he said, the car drives well and for this price, I can go for it.

Came back to the dealership and I started at Rs. 2.10 Lakh. This dealer is a park and sell type and the actual dealer is someone else. A conference call was made and we settled the price at Rs. 2.25 Lakhs + 2% agency commission + RTO expenses - total came out to Rs. 2.31 Lakhs.

Transferred money through RTGS and took delivery of the car in the next couple of days. Drove straight to a good tyre shop in OMR and changed all four tyres to YOKOHAMA Earth I which costed me Rs. 21000 including Wheel alignment and Balancing + Tropicool Air Compressor Free. Now, the total is Rs. 2.51 Lakhs.

The previous owner had changed the Battery recently to a new one.

Next day, took the car to Lanson Toyota for a Check Up. Everything checked up, Car washed, A/C disinfectant done, all fluids topped up. Did a good road test and they said that, at this point, nothing wrong with the Clutch and need not worry about the suspension as well for now. But their observation was -

Rear brake disks are little out of tolerance and needs replacement. They also said the actual next service due is at 89000 kms or January 2016 and I can do these changes then.

While sitting at Lanson for 4 hours, I had time to check the complete service history for the past 12 years.

Every 10000 kms, the car has been brought for service
Regular changes have been done
Two times, it has visited body shop - to replace right side fender, headlight, front bumper, rear bumper
Clutch has been overhauled and all parts replaced around 50000 kms
Rear Suspension was replaced at 60000 kms
Some other additional work done during the 60000 kms service which I guess is usually expensive than other services
The car had mostly run on Synthetic Oil
All parts have been replaced during regular services as required
They do not have any history of accident or any other major work
The last service was done at 79000 kms during January 2015
They said, it is a good car
I have asked for print out or a PDF of the service history and I will get it soon when I meet them next

The gear knob was worn out and the leather was sticking - messy. I changed it to a MOMO gear knob for Rs. 800.

Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-8.jpg

Other observations :

The left headlight had condensation and Lanson cleaned it using air and they said, it will again come up. They further said, there is no way you can avoid as there is something wrong and I need to replace it. I checked through the Internet God - Google/YouTube for any remedies. There were few to identify the cracks etc., Last week, I removed the bumper with a help of my friend, removed the head light, removed all the bulbs, poured water - NO LEAKS ! So, what is causing the condensation ? no answer. While doing that, I noticed that there were 3 ventilation plugs for each of those barrels. Without even knowing what was it, I just removed the plugs and something like a dirty tablet came out of all three - Mud and dirt. I cleaned them up and put everything back together logically thinking that this blockage in the ventilator is probably causing the problem i.e., there is no escape path for the condensation or moisture. Praying, I put everything back, drove for few kms from then on, and NO CONDENSATION !! gone. Not sure, why I could not find this Ventilator clean up tip anywhere in the internet. If someone had mentioned this, I would have first tested it by just removing it without going through the pain of removing the bumper, headlight, pouring water etc., anyway, i hope it stays like this

The interiors are extremely clean and the seats are very supportive. Only thing, it does not have driver seat adjustment, but only a lumbar adjustment.

Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-3.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-5.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-6.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-7.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-10.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-9.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-11.jpg

The Air Conditioner is extremely good and works beautifully on AUTO mode

The gear shifts are nice and smooth and only the reverse is somewhat harder compared to the other shifts

The head lights are adequate, but I would prefer more power and I will start looking for an upgrade in the bulbs.

The Music system - pretty old stuff, 6 CD changer, a Cassette deck and Radio. It works pretty well though. I bought a Cassette adapter from internet for Rs.500 and connected by Ipod and it works fine. The overall sound quality seems to be pretty descent. Since I have my FOCAL 4 AMP lying idle along with my XL audio components (retrieved from my Fiesta), I may try and put that into the Corolla. I do not have any intentions of changing the HU for now as I feel this is enough for me.

The brakes are crisp, but it does not have ABS

It has dual airbags

The steering is pretty good and I have not really driven it hard to test the handling capabilities. I will take it for a spin on the ECR in the next couple of days to know that

There are no engine noise inside the cabin - a little bit though. The car is very silent otherwise

It does not drag to one side or the other. It is quite good

To me, I do not see any slippage in the clutch and it drives normally after few adjustments to the driving style. i.e., to adjust for a fraction gap between the release of the clutch and the throttle response. No shudders.

All power windows and Central locking work fine. The motorised ORVMs work fine too.

This car drives very well at these RPMs in the following gears :

1500-1700 RPM at 40 Kms on 4th Gear
1600-1800 RPM at 50 Kms on 5th Gear

Similarly, I am able to drive at slower speeds at lower gears like 2nd and 3rd comfortably without any perceivable stress to the engine. It just drives smooth. Hope it is a good sign. I down shift to 1st only when it really comes to a stop, otherwise, just keep slowly moving in 2nd and pick up.

One last question to myself - WHY DID I BUY A 12 YEAR Old Car with just 3 years more for FC and RC paperwork ? my mind worked as below :

Original budget was 3.50 Lakhs, but I was getting any good car only around 3.80 lakhs for 2007-2008 models (CIVIC)
another Rs. 20000 for tyres
Agency commission Rs. 7500
Plus reserve additional Rs. 30000
Total - approx 4.40 Lakhs for a car around 2007/2008 model

This one, 2003 model (4 years older) - Rs. 2.51 Lakhs incl Tyres
Reserve Rs. 30000
Total - approx Rs. 2.80 Lakhs

Difference of Rs. 1.60 Lakhs

I thought it does not make any big difference on anything except for the number of years older, all other vehicle parameters being the same. Since I am getting a good car, I decided to save that money and drive this for few years and see how it goes. It is not a big investment as it is around Rs. 2.50 lakhs which I was willing to take a chance for the Toyota Corolla. Let me see after 3 years, whether I want to keep it or sell it of for whatever it is worth that time.

When many of the new cars like Honda City, Hyundai Verna and many others are costing around Rs. 11 - 12 lakhs On Road for a new car, I am having two cars for the same price i.e., My New Thar (Rs. 8.50 L) for my tastes and a old Corolla (Rs. 2.50L) for my other family needs, which made sense to me.

Hope my Toyota Corolla serves me nicely.

DIY planned :

Buffing and Polishing
Alloy wheels, clean up, Sanding and repainting (as it is chipped at some points)

Finally, my family really likes the car and my kids claim that the rear seat is like a sofa and so comfortable. They are so happy that it is completely noise free.

Thanks for all your patience in reading this. Now, some wholesome pictures of the Corolla

Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-1.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-2.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-4.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-12.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-13.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-14.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-15.jpg
Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience-corolla-16.jpg

I clicked all these photos on my mobile and would like to take some better pictures later using my SLR on some trip.

Swami
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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:44   #2
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Default re: Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience

Congratulations on the Corolla, rather the bullet proof Toyota Corolla. You did well to go for it against the Civics and Lineas. 2.5 lac for a third buyer is a very good price. They aren't this cheap in my region.

One of my client had a petrol Corolla and he used it for around 1.1 lac kilometers in about 4 years and then sold it for 5 lac. The Toyotas are very very reliable and I hope your Corolla allow you to munch more and more trouble free miles on it.

Could you mind sharing the cost of clutch replacement?
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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:04   #3
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Default re: Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience

Great find! I too am very tempted as I have always been a fan of the corolla. But unfortunately I live in a Tier III city with not too many corollas around so I fear getting parts may be a real big problem here. I will be following your ownership experience very closely. Who knows maybe one day I just might let my heart rule over my head while making a car buying decision.

Do keep us posted regarding the servicing, parts availability of the corolla.

Last edited by amrisharm : 3rd September 2015 at 13:05.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:31   #4
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Default re: Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience

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Originally Posted by Swapnil4585 View Post
Congratulations on the Corolla, rather the bullet proof Toyota Corolla. You did well to go for it against the Civics and Lineas. 2.5 lac for a third buyer is a very good price. They aren't this cheap in my region.

One of my client had a petrol Corolla and he used it for around 1.1 lac kilometers in about 4 years and then sold it for 5 lac. The Toyotas are very very reliable and I hope your Corolla allow you to munch more and more trouble free miles on it.

Could you mind sharing the cost of clutch replacement?
I did not replace the clutch, but the previous owner did in one of the regular service. But, when browsing through the service history, it was around 10K for that. Many related parts changed and overall it was called Clutch replacement. Hope it helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Great find! I too am very tempted as I have always been a fan of the corolla. But unfortunately I live in a Tier III city with not too many corollas around so I fear getting parts may be a real big problem here. I will be following your ownership experience very closely. Who knows maybe one day I just might let my heart rule over my head while making a car buying decision.

Do keep us posted regarding the servicing, parts availability of the corolla.
Servicing is not a problem at all as there are many dealerships and mine has the next service due at 89000 kms or January 2016 whichever is earlier. It is LIVE ! Parts - Common parts are stocked by the dearlership, but some slow moving parts will be ordered by the dealership with TKM/Bangalore and it will arrive in 1 or 2 days, this is what I was told. So no problem there as well.

Swami
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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:32   #5
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Congratulations!! What a beautifully maintained car!! Does not show it's age at all.

Could you please tell me where the last two pics were shot.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:42   #6
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Default re: Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience

Congrats on your new set of wheels.
Corolla is a very logical choice for your requirements.
It will serve you well for your needs and best of all, you will not lose much when you are ready to sell the car.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:44   #7
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Congratulations!! What a beautifully maintained car!! Does not show it's age at all.

Could you please tell me where the last two pics were shot.
Hi Shanksta - Those photos were shot at Classic Farms in Sholinganallur, just behind where I stay. The road which goes inside next to Aavin takes you there.

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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:53   #8
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Congratulations! The car doesn't show its age, and looks less than 5 years old. It is when we see such well maintained cars, the NGT ban of vehicles based on their age seems plain rubbish.
Great work on your part in finding this solid car at such a price. For a comparison, nowadays, one can just buy a new Nano at this price!
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Old 3rd September 2015, 14:04   #9
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Excellent choice Swami, The Corolla is an excellent vehicle and ticks all the right boxes. The engine is a gem and can easily last for 2 lac + kms without any issues if serviced regularly.

Very smart decision to buy a solid sedan and still retain your Thar. I'm sure you're family must be thrilled with the Corolla after having being driven in the Thar. ;-)
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Old 3rd September 2015, 14:53   #10
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Default re: Why did I buy a 12 Year old Toyota Corolla - My experience

Swami, Congrats ! The car looks very well maintained. These can go on for ever .. and it is quite likely that you will get bored of the car when ever you give it away

Till then, wishing you many happy miles.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 15:08   #11
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Congrats on the car Swami. We own a 2005 Toyota Corolla which has done about 75k kms and drives like an absolute dream. No rattles. No part failures. And the best part is that the annual servicing is dirt cheap for a car of its class. Other replacement parts are not too expensive either.
You got a very good example for the price you paid. We got an offer of Rs. 4.5 lakhs for our car recently which was politely rejected as the car will stay with us till it can
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Old 3rd September 2015, 15:27   #12
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Nice Car there Swami. Seems to be well maintained and is evident from the service history.

Corolla is a reliable car and always give it to an authorized Toyota service center for service. My Innova has been going to Lanson and has never seen unauthorized mechanics for any sort of mechanical work. It is still reliable after 9 years of use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami69 View Post
Hello everyone..........
The previous owner had changed the Battery recently to a new one.

Swami
I do see that the battery still has the plastic wrap on it. Not a good idea to keep it with the plastic cover since the battery has to breathe. It has to vent the vapors generated while charging. Kindly remove the plastic covers off the battery.
Congrats and all the best for munching more miles with the new entrant in your family.

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Originally Posted by swami69 View Post
Btw, which Lanson Service centre you use and I can probably build a relationship there too. Thanks.

Swami
I go to the Pallikaranai Branch for service. Every scheduled 5K and 10K services have been done there.

Last edited by Jack Sparrow : 3rd September 2015 at 15:42. Reason: Adding Lanson Toyota branch @Pallikaranai
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Old 3rd September 2015, 15:34   #13
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Nice Car there Swami. Seems to be well maintained and is evident from the service history.

Corolla is a reliable car and always give it to an authorized Toyota service center for service. My Innova has been going to Lanson and has never seen unauthorized mechanics for any sort of mechanical work. It is still reliable after 9 years of use.



I do see that the battery still has the plastic wrap on it. Not a good idea to keep it with the plastic cover since the battery has to breathe. It has to vent the vapors generated while charging. Kindly remove the plastic covers off the battery.
Congrats and all the best for munching more miles with the new entrant in your family.
Thanks amansanc, condor, lalvaz, hybridpetrol for all your wishes and comments.

Thanks Jack Sparrow for your observation on the battery. I will remove it immediately. Btw, which Lanson Service centre you use and I can probably build a relationship there too. Thanks.

Swami
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Old 3rd September 2015, 17:17   #14
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Great choice! I'm considering getting a 4x4 of the same age/running profile as your Corolla, will be looking forward to this thread. An immediate question that came to mind is how much mileage you'll be getting out of the car. Please do update about that at some point. : )
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Old 3rd September 2015, 19:33   #15
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Congratulations Swamy on your new acquisition. Two different purpose two different vehicles. Makes sense.
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