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"Fixed" my wife's Corolla

TL;DR is at the bottom you lazy bums.

This past weekend, I finally had time to work on my wife's car. Some of you may remember me asking for suggestions of things to fix on the car to make it last for another year.


I talked to my mother in law and she gave me a list of things that had been done just before we got married (2 years ago). So the PCV value was replaced, new spark plugs we installed, and possibly something else. I was left with a few gaskets to replace and a mass airflow sensor to clean.


Friday night my wife and I cleared out some of the junk/ in the garage so I would have room to work.

Saturday morning I woke up somewhat early and went to advance auto to buy the parts. The mass airflow sensor cleaner was in stock, the two gaskets were not. I ordered them to be in, in the morning. I went home and decided it couldn't hurt to start taking the car apart. I began removing a number of cables and hoses, while taking pictures to remember where they all went. I removed the Mass Airflow sensor and it was DIRTY. A few more sprays than what the can said it would take, and the sensor was looking nice and clean. I moved onto the throttle body and after a few swear words and some leaked coolant, I had it out of the car. I used throttle body cleaner I had on hand from when I cleaned my Stang's and got it looking good as used. Then, I put it back on to stop any extra coolant from leaking. At this point a few hours had passed and since I had no other parts, I called it quits for the day.


Sunday, I woke up early, picked up the gaskets from Advance and stopped by the bakery to get a few doughnuts. When I got home, I started working on the car again. I pulled the throttle body back off and began disassembling it to get to the throttle body gasket. There were 4 Philips screws holding this together and of course I stripped one. I put that on hold knowing I will need to go to Home Depot to by a new screw and something to removed stripped screws. I proceeded to begin work on removing the intake manifold. The videos YouTube that I found for the 1zz-fe were for a scion xb Toyota matrix, and that had a plastic manifold. Looks like I was on my own. Once again I took pictures and as I removed bolts I laid them out in an organized fashion. I struggled to get some hoses off of the manifold and began to try and removed it with these still on. I did manage to get the manifold disconnected, but not out of the engine bay. Time to put on the brand new gasket. What's this a blue rubberized section? Called advance auto, a friend of mine and also posted on oppo. To determine which way this should go. I also decided this would be a good time to go to Home Depot.


Determined it probably didn't matter and went with the blue side toward the manifold. Put the manifold back on and moved back to that stripped screw. I used the speedout I just purchased and it worked at extracting the screw. Pulled the old gasket out, cleaned it up and put it back together. I ended up reattaching everything without much trouble. I checked the coolant level and it was low, since I had spilt some during the process. Ran out to Advance again and then topped it off.

I then took it for a 30 mile test drive to make sure everything was acting right and it was.


Monday my wife drove it and said it felt considerably better driving it, but the check engine light came back on. I plan to have her bring it to have the code read and cleared again. We'll see if it is the same one and decide from there if it is worth trying to repair anything else.

TL;DR: Spent the weekend replacing 2 gaskets and cleaning the intake and throttle body of my wife's corolla. Still has a check engine light, but running much smoother.


Woot I mended something. This was one of the first mechanical jobs I have tried on my own.

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