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Old 31st March 2021, 21:08   #1
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Default Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

Introduction

Belated Holi greetings !!

This is to re-celebrate the festival of colours – Holi with more colours of a holy car. Variety is the spice of life, and there cannot be better variety for a petrol head like me than being involved in the ownership of many cars of the same type but in different shades – different colour shades but the one common shade of quality; quality aka Toyota Corolla. This thread is yet another tribute to this great car. In this age of hi-tech cars in which extended warranty is a must have, the 9th Gen Corolla was one car that one could safely acquire even without warranty.

Shades?

The forum has seen many a 2003-2008 Corolla in many a shade as follows:

1. Black - by @catchjyoti
2. Blue - by @arjunrudra, @camchennai, @lamborghini, @vigsom
3. Champagne Mica – by @Aditya, @AK_, @asit.kulkarni93, @bajica, @baskar, @dkaile @sanyog26, @subbarp, @V12
4. Light Green Mica – none yet
5. Pearl White – by @flipsyde, @prateekm, @R2D2
6. Silver – by @BeemerBug_06, @fulcrum29, @KK_HakunaMatata, @swami69, @vasudeva
7. Simpson Red – none yet
8. Super White - by @vigsom

I do hope I haven't left anyone out. Shades might be different but I am sure the one thing that resonates with all owners is – Sit back, relax and enjoy the Corolla experience. With the Corolla, reliability is assured unless some unskilled technician puts a spanner in the works. My contribution to the above list is how I helped two friends in Chennai acquire and maintain Corollas - a 2006 Simpson Red H6 and a 2007 Silver H2.

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How did I end up recommending the Corolla to two friends?

The following two threads describes the Corolla in good detail with my experiences of owning and maintaining them.

Blue (2003 Toyota Corolla H4 Automatic Review The Blue Beauty!) and,

White (2005 Toyota Corolla Facelift H5 Review Clean Pure Love!)

My first Corolla was a mixed bag, thanks to some meddling of the aircon by unskilled technicians with the first owner, but my experiences with the second Corolla was absolute bliss. My evaluation and first few days with the 2005 Super White Corolla was enough to affirm that the Corolla was indeed built to last, reliable, feature rich and a machine with good snob value for its time. Icing on the cake – a big petrol that would depreciate fast in the used car market. I got both my cars at age 07 at a little under 30% of what they would cost when new. Quality + Cost + Delivery comes in a big package but at a small price !!!

Last edited by vigsom : 31st March 2021 at 22:57.
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Old 31st March 2021, 21:30   #2
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Default re: Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

Chapter 1 – story of a 2006 Simpson Red Corolla H6

My designated buddy in my new company owned a KA registered 2006 Baleno LXi and a TN registered 2009 Tata Vista Terra diesel. One look at my 2005 Corolla that was just a few days old with me and he was smitten. Although he didn’t express his desire to me, I could gauge from his queries that he was also interested in owning one. The Saturday before Friendship Day, he asked me if I could help him check out two Corollas that he had shortlisted – one was a 2007 H5 and the other was a 2006 H6. I knew the H6 as I was tracking that car on Carwale from the time I was in Surat, just before relocating to Chennai.

Friendship Day – Aug 2012

Come Friendship Day, my buddy comes over with his better half, whom I met for the first time, and the three of us went to check these two Corollas out. The first example was a 2007 Corolla H5 in Pearl white, sitting with a dealer in RA Puram, and within a few minutes of evaluating it I rejected it. The leather trim was partly torn, the steering leather was getting to come off, the panel cover below the AC Controls was loose, the gear knob leather was missing, the coolant wasn’t red, and the engine note was not reassuring. I took a test drive, but was clear that this wasn’t it.

We then went across to ECR to evaluate the 2006 H6 in a bright shade called Simpson Red. I was seeing a red Corolla for the first time. The H6 trim was as good as the H5 trim except that this one had fabric seats.

The Great

• Single owner, company owned
• Approx. 89,000 km on the odo but I knew that this car had done a shade over 1,00,000km and that the odo was back clocked. Typically company cars are sold only when they cross 1,00,000km
• Healthy engine- the engine note was clean and again, I used a torch to look all the way down the engine through the oil filler port – the engine was quite clean and minus any sludge indicating that oil changes had been done in time
• Excellent air-conditioning
• The center console flap operation was perfect – not loose or ripped off as I have elaborated in my earlier threads
• Original glass all around
• Five Michelin Primacy LC tyres with more than 80% tread left
• Zero corrosion
• Structurally sound
• No signs of accident
• Steering boots and driveshaft boots in perfect condition
• All engine mounts were observed stock and intact
• Leather on the steering wheel in excellent condition
• Wood veneer finish on the steering was as good as new. The steering itself felt premium
• Rear sunshade like in the H5 variant
• Chrome alloys, running board skirts and a sun visor on the rear windscreen added to the styling – this car looked different.

Shortcomings

• Only one remote key
• Brake pads were at the end of their life
• Clutch was operating with some shudder – the clutch disc was fine but the pressure plate was ageing
• Owner Manual not available in the car
• Foul stench in the car – they had cleaned the interior and had not left it to dry properly

Sealing the deal

After a long test drive, I gave my friend the go-ahead and he eventually sealed the deal at 3.8 lacs ( purchase cost plus dealer commission). It was the first time in his life that he was going pre-owned, and I know he never went back to new cars after this.

Front view
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Rear right view - note the side skirts at the running board
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The "Limited" badge
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Chrome alloy - sample picture
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Chrome spare alloy wheel
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Interiors - fabric like the H2 variant
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View from the driver door
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Steering wheel with wood veneer - like the H5 variant
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Last edited by vigsom : 31st March 2021 at 22:28.
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Old 31st March 2021, 21:42   #3
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Default re: Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

Chapter1 (Contd.)

Ownership and maintenance Experience

My friend absolutely loved the car since it was a huge step up from his Baleno LXi. However, since he was a novice at maintenance, I helped him with getting the car serviced immediately after purchase. An oil change, a new set of spark plugs, a new set of brake pads and skimming the rotors was all that was needed. The car was sold to another friend in end-2014. Since I knew this person too, I became his advisor as well for more critical matters. Sometime in early 2017, the new owner requested for my help on two issues

1. The right ORVM glass had broken and the mirror assembly was found detached and the mount attached to the door frame had cracked. This was because someone had hit it hard
2. Bearing noise in the front

When I went to check the car out, I found that the key that they were using was a poorly finished non-remote aftermarket key. Remember that the car came with only one remote key and this poor quality non-remote key was added by the dealer when the car was delivered to my friend. This key blade was bent, and the material didn’t seem good. I tried to straighten it with very little force but it broke it two. We had to get back to the original remote key, whose plastic shell had also cracked just at where the key blade meets the shell, repair that with some adhesive, reinforce the plastic body with tape and, then getting down to using it.

The remote key in the Toyotas of 2005-2008 was the only weak point in the otherwise fuss-free experience, and that is probably why Toyota went back to offering the remote-less keys with remote keychains on the 2008-11 Altis. Moral of the story – never get a low cost key. Inspect the key for finish before going in for it.

Good remote key
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Bullet-proof original remote-less key
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Damaged remote key - portion prone to damage encircled
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Key blade detached from the shell
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On inspection, the front left bearing was observed to be faulty while the right one was noiseless. The faulty bearing was a Fu-Gen make and was replaced with an original FAG bearing. The Fu-Gen meant that the OE bearing has already been replaced once probably due to wrong diagnosis, and a low quality bearing was used, which failed well before its time.

Front wheel bearing - sample pic
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Front wheel bearing - OE
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A new ORVM assembly was costing a bomb – approx. INR 10k. I went scouting for an old mirror assembly and found one for INR 2.5k at Pudupet, the Chennai equivalent of the Mumbai Chor Bazaar. The only issue was that the wiring harness of this mirror was too short and the shop selling it had used some single coloured cables to extend the length of the cables. This sure looked like a chor mirror. However, since the original harness in the red car was still intact, a mix and match of the existing cables with the new ORVM made it work seamlessly, plus the red mirror outer cover was used on the new mirror.

Money Matters

A: Expenses on routine maintenance

1. 90,000km service ( Engine oil, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, brake pads (front and rear - PAGID), rotors skimming) INR 7,900 approx.
2. 97,000 km service (oil, oil filter, spark plugs inspection, labour) INR 2,200
3. Right ORVM assembly plus fitment INR 3,000
4. Front left wheel bearing INR 1,200
5. Front wheel bearing hydraulic press plus fitment labour INR 950
6. Battery INR 3,400

Sub Total A INR 18,650 approx.

B: Expenses on Accessories NIL

Sub Total B INR 0

C: Expenses on Air-conditioning NIL

Sub Total C INR 0

Grand Total A + B + C INR 18,650

Departure

This red Corolla was sold in end-2017 to a dealership as a third owner car for INR 1.7 lacs under exchange for a 2016 Wagon-R AGS that had a mere 4,500km on the odo. The reason for parting with the Corolla was just because the owner wasn’t adept at handling this car in the city, and preferred a smaller AGS for his use. The two owners technically spent INR 3.8 lacs plus INR 0.19 lacs for upkeep minus INR 1.7 (sale proceeds) = INR 2.29 lacs over 5 years.

At the time of sale, at approx. 12 years of age, the car was still looking smokin’ hot and ran like a charm. The year 2017 was when the 2003-08 Corollas started finding a good user base,and resale values had started improving, much unlike until 2015 when Corollas were one of the least preferred cars. I remember the sales lady at the dealership telling me that the demand for good Corollas had gone up. I also remember that this Corolla was eventually sold to the 4th owner for some INR 2.1 lacs.

Last edited by vigsom : 31st March 2021 at 22:40.
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Old 31st March 2021, 21:53   #4
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Chapter 2 – story of a 2007 Silver Corolla H2

Oct 2014

The gentleman who bought my 2005 Corolla is a martial arts expert, and one of his disciples, a martial arts teacher himself, had a horrible looking 2004 Corolla which he had procured just a few days back. When they came over to take delivery of my car, the master requested me to evaluate his car, and in a few minutes I told him that his was a car in which multiple panels had been replaced, plus the car wasn’t mechanically good, and that he should get rid of the car ASAP. It was kind of disappointing for him, but he was able to sell the car off at ZERO loss in just a few days. Brand value of a Toyota was that even a bad Corolla could be sold for little to no loss !!

Oct-2014 to Mar-2015

The master, was, in the meanwhile, scouting for another Corolla, by when my buddy was contemplating selling off the Simpson Red Corolla that I had just described. Red wasn’t a favoured colour for them else it would have been a happy ending for the master. God, however, had other plans. Master was drawing blanks in his search for Corollas for four months. Sometime in Mar-2015, there was this 2007 Corolla H2 with 83,000km on the odo that was up for sale at the same dealership that I had got my 2005 Corolla from. I had assessed this car in mid-2014 for someone but the car wasn’t favoured since this person wanted an automatic.

Evaluation

Since the master, had by then gotten desperate, I told him to check this car out and he was bowled over. Although I had seen the car in mid-2014, I went with him to re-assess it. In 2014, the owner was demanding an arm and a leg for the car and it didn’t sell. Now, in Mar-2015, the seller wanted to give it away and the selling price was bumped down big time. The seller was a senior executive in a leading company in Chennai.

The Great

• Single owner, two entry ( Company to individual transfer)
• Genuine 83,000 km approx. on the odo
• Healthy engine- the engine note was clean
• Excellent air-conditioning
• The center console flap operation was perfect – not loose or ripped off as I have elaborated in my earlier thread
• Original glass all around
• Four Bridgestone B290 tyres with the Potenza RE88 as spare
• Zero corrosion
• Structurally sound
• No signs of accident
• Steering boots and driveshaft boots in perfect condition
• All engine mounts were observed stock and intact

Shortcomings

• The center of the alloy wheels had developed some minor pitting, possibly due to use of hard water to wash the car. The imperfection was done up but it was quite obvious
• Gear lever leather was missing
• Clutch was operating with some shudder – the clutch disc was fine but the pressure plate was ageing

Sealing the deal

I found the car good to go and advised the master to take a call. He was able to eventually get the car for INR 2.85 lacs plus dealer commission of INR 5.7k which meant a total outgo of INR 2.91 lacs; not a great deal for a 8 year old Corolla, but again, not bad, either. Master was just thrilled. I could understand how dejected he was in Oct-2014 when I told him to give away his 2004 Corolla and could therefore understand his sentiments.

Front view
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View of the dashboard
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Last edited by vigsom : 31st March 2021 at 22:43.
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Old 31st March 2021, 22:03   #5
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Default re: Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

Chapter2 (Contd.)

Ownership Experience

Mar-2015 to Oct-2018

This car was a true fill it – shut it – forget it car for 3 years and 7 months and approx. 27,000km with the only major expense being a new set of tyres. This car did multiple trips from Chennai to Sabarimala, Tirupati and Vijayawada in style.

15 Oct-2018

The car being driven by the master had to brake suddenly somewhere between Tindivanam and Chengalpattu, and got rear ended by a Vento. The Vento lost its coolant, front bumper, hood and much more while the Corolla suffered comparatively less damage – rear right taillamp, a damaged boot panel, a flared bumper and some damage to the boot. I unfortunately do not have pictures but am sharing some blurred ones for whatever it is worth.

Since this was a 11 year old car, only on Liability-Only insurance, the master decided to foot the bill by doing what was really necessary. Here is where the tinkerer called Kumar in Chennai ripped him off, knowing that this was an “elite” car. He eventually spent approx. INR 35k on

1. rectification of the boot panel
2. partial rectification of the spare wheel well
3. repair of the existing boot since it wasn’t badly dented
4. a new rear bumper, and a new right side taillamp assembly
5. painting of the affected parts.

Master was, by design, a person who would get overly worried for minor issues, and this accident put him off badly. He complained that the car wasn’t riding as well as before, but the truth is that she was absolutely fine.

Blurred images of the damage
Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles-silvercorolla_damaged.jpg
Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles-silvercorolla_damage2.jpg

Blurred image of the rear end after repair
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Money Matters

A: Expenses on routine maintenance

1. 90,000 to 1,00,000 km ROUTINE SERVICE - INR 20,000 approx.
2. Battery INR 3,500

Sub Total A INR 23,500 approx.

B: Expenses on Accessories INR 2,800 for a reverse camera plus display

Sub Total B INR 2,800

C: Expenses on Air-conditioning NIL

Sub Total C INR 0

D: Capex INR 22,000 for four tyres

Sub Total D INR 22,000

Grand Total A + B + C+ D INR 48,300

Departure

Master eventually sold this car sometime in Nov-2018 with the odo at approx. 1,11,000kms with the car still on the original clutch. I've driven the car many times until the incident and trust me, it was pure bliss. The car eventually went ONLY for INR 1,15,000 because of the shunt; so he technically spent INR 2.91 lacs plus INR 0.48 lacs for upkeep minus INR 1.15(sale proceeds) = INR 2.24 lacs over 3.5 years

Pictures of the silver after repair and just before departure are showcased here.

View from the rear right - note the rear after repair
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View from the front right
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Summing Up

Both these Corollas demonstrated yet again why this is one of the world’s most loved cars; where else can one get Quality, Cost, Delivery – all in one, at such steal deals. Will there be a day when such cars are built again? Hoping against hope.

Elusive Shades

Calling on bhpians to post reviews of the 9th Gen Corolla in black and Light green mica to complete the party. Belated Holi once again !!

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Last edited by vigsom : 31st March 2021 at 22:50.
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Old 1st April 2021, 07:45   #6
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Default Re: Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

This generation of the Corolla (and the one after this) makes for a terrific used car buy because its cheap / well-priced, practical & reliable. Check out Mod Aditya's pre-owned Corolla here (Buying a 9-year old value-for-money sedan : My 2006 Toyota Corolla).

Will go to our homepage this week .
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Old 1st April 2021, 09:52   #7
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Default Re: Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

This thread definitely hits home with me. I used to have a 2004 Corolla G AT and boy was that car something different. I think one has to own one of these beauties to understand exactly why the owners are fascinated with this model. I think most of the Corollas were way advanced and ahead of their time, I still remember how big of a deal Automatic Climate Control and Electric adjustable and foldable ORVMs were back in the day. Fortunate to have owned one of these!
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Old 16th April 2021, 15:41   #8
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Default Re: Pre-owned Toyota Corolla | Two more shades, many more smiles

Hello all,

Little late to the party, but reached there....

Here is my contribution to the Pre-owned Corolla's of our forum.

Mine is a 2005 1.8E corolla. When I bought this, it was a single owner car with 72+++ kms on the odo. I would say, I was lucky since the first owner had a covered parking at his residence as well as office which has kept this beauty in good condition. After purchasing the car, I have done the following expenses on it.

Tyres - full set of 4.
Suspension - it was worn out at the time of inspecting the car, which helped in negotiating the buying price. Changed both the front and rear suspension with front linkages.
Battery - Have changed battery.
Clutch - Have changed the full clutch (pressure plate, clutch bearing & clutch)
Headlights - Though the old ones were ok, I got the new ones from US.
Music system - Changed the original company 6CD changer to a new touch screen one.
Rear camera - Fitted it nicely over the rear number plate, thus no holes on the bumper anywhere.
Front Wheel bearings - Have changed both the front wheel bearings.
Registration renewal - Have done this in February 2021 thereby allowing me to enjoy this car for another 5 years.
Alternator - This one failed during a night drive, thus prompting a change in battery as well as new alternator.
Also covered the old steering wheel with a new cover as well put on a nice Gear knob cover.

Since I bought this, I have been emjoying it on long drives, especially 500KM night drives from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. The current odo reading is 95+++ kms. It still has the original Stanley leather covers from the day it was put on new. Air conditioner is still running perfect without any changes.

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