2010 Toyota Corolla/ What repairs should I tackle first?


None of them . You had a post about engine noise and this thing is past it sell date . Put over 5000.00 in this will just be the start.

Can you eplain your response a little more… I just called the shop to have the car re-inspected, since this inspection was a year ago. But are you saying I should not make ANY repairs to ensure the car is safe???

side note: Can you tell me how to change my email address on this CarTalk site??

You have said in the past you don’t like my opinions but here goes anyway . That repair cost is close to value of a 2010 Corolla that does not need that much work . I would move up to a newer vehicle that will have better safety stuff be better all the way around . I also think you would be reall unhappy after doing some of the repairs or all and then need a transmission or something major .

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The first 6 items on that list should all be done at the same time, it doesn’t make sense to do them 1 at a time.

You don’t trust your car for long drives, engine makes noises,

It’s either dump $5k into repairs on a car you don’t trust or use that $5k as a down payment on a newer car


I see you went to Firestone… lol

1st, the sway sway bar for the $1107.58 is priced WRONG, someone new priced that out that doesn’t know what they are doing, they priced you 2 front sway bars, not end links or bushings, so that corrected will be WAY cheaper…

2nd, the front axles pricing looks ok, but the axles should be closer in price, they may have priced the axles from different places… But it you notice the labor is for both, if done at the same time, saves money…

3rd, front lower control arms look priced ok also, again the labor is for both, saves money if done at the same time…

4th, front struts look priced ok, again the labor is for both, saves money if done at the same time…

5th, rear shocks look priced ok, again the labor is for both, saves money if done at the same time…

6th, front outer tie rod ends are priced WAY wrong, should be 2 outers at $119.99 each and then labor for both, not just one side doubled, they have 4 front outer tie rod ends priced, you only have 2, the $746.36 should be a little over half that price…

7th, cabin air filter priced ok

8th, wrong spark plugs, your Corolla does not take G power NGK’s, your vehicle calls for a NGK or Denso Laser Iridium spark plug, so the labor is correct but the plugs will be double the price… lol

9th, the FST (fuel system cleaning is priced ok

When doing front outer tire rod ends, front lower control arms and front struts, the vehicle will need an alignment, so unless you already have a LTA with Firestone, it would be cheaper to do all 3 of those together…

That is a break down of repairs shown…
You need to have it checked out again to see what is required, suggested and or recommended based on mileage according to MAP standards, I would also ask Firestone to take you out to the vehicle and “Show & Tell”, meaning, show you what is wrong with each and every part that they are recommending replacement, and what is mileage based, the Spark Plugs are a 120K mileage based replacement… If the sales person can not explain, ask the mechanic what and why…

I am not saying you should or should not do any or all of these repairs with the very limited info given…

I can see how that ticket was priced out and tell that, that is someone new and or doesn’t know a lot about vehicles… I would never let a ticket go back to the customer priced out like that period, and I would always have notes for every item priced out why and how bad it was…


There are notes on the estimate: 1, 2 and 3, it appears these are the priorities. The service advisor should be able to explain the reasons why these parts need to be replaced. I will guess the CV boots are torn, the struts and shocks are leaking oil.

The anti-sway bar is an expensive repair, was this recommendation made in order to satisfy a “squeak” complaint?

Same goes for the control arms, are the bushings torn and loose? Or was this recommendation made to resolve a squeaking bushing complaint?

It is priced wrong, it does not have 2 front sway bars, once priced correctly, the price will be much less…


how do you know I went to Firestone??? lol

I know the Point Of Sale (POS) system like the back of my hand… lol

If I am right, I know the way they do things better than anyone else on here so far… I trained lots of employees, including some store managers etc…


It appears they have already been listed in some sort of priority. The last three items definitely seem the lowest priority. I’d skip the fuel system cleaning entirely, unless you are experiencing well-diagnosed fuel system problems. As far as the other items, are you noticing any related symptoms? What is your shop’s reasoning for that priority list? If there’s nothing seriously wrong that can’t be deferred, first on my list would be replacing the two CV axles. If either of those breaks, your car will become a paperweight, you’ll be stranded & will have to be towed to a shop. The cabin air filter btw is often treated the car-owner’s task. Suggest to read the owner’s manual instructions to decide if that’s something you’d like to do yourself instead of hiring it out. Say it takes you 30 minutes. Do the math. You’ll effectively be earning 42 dollars ($21 X 2) per hour tax free. Pretty good pay for what is usually a relatively easy job. Don’t skip this task entirely though, it has to be done otherwise the clogged filter may damage something else.

I would find an independent shop through friend/co-worker/etc. referral, check the reviews on Google, etc. (ignore the one star ‘I didn’t like how they talked to me/didn’t call me back’ reviews, concentrate on those describing actual work done).

Please describe all front end symptoms your car has, with all this recommended work there must be all kinds of problems!

But, I’m still trying to wrap my head around a situation where somebody asks “which repairs should I do first”, when the supposed problems were noted by a mechanic in January, 2023.

I have to wonder whether the car was mothballed for the past 17 months, or if the OP has been driving it.


I’m still trying to figure out how hard this thing was driven, with low 137K miles on it for a Corolla and needing all that work… I mean I had over 180K miles on my 06 Corolla and they were very Very VERY hard miles, I hit a set of double RxR tracks at 30 MPH 100’s of times and never replaced or needed to replace an axle, control arm/ball joint, sway bar link, tie rod ends or even struts/shocks/springs, or or or, I did basic maintenance and brakes and tires, never touched the coolant or trans fluids either, those little cars are about built prof for 250-500K miles… Now I could blow through a set of tires in 50-70% of there mileage, also did a brakes multiple times… lol
But the oil was changed, tires R&B and aligned every 5000 miles (mostly) Replace the air filter once and blew out the C.A.F. once, and replaced the plugs and serp belt once, that’s it…

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I doubt all that work is actually needed, that’s why a second opinion is in order.


Should that second opinion be sought now, or can the OP wait another 17 months before visiting a different mechanic?


If the customer was there or close by, I would have them come see for themselves, or I have taken pictures and or video some times…

I had to call a guy with a Jeep Wrangler once that was in for new tires at 25K miles that his brakes were almost metal to metal , like within a week would probably be grinding, and almost begged him to come look, he kept saying I trust you, just fix it, I still kept all the pads and rotors for him to see, cause I knew people would be like they just ripping you off and crap… lol… I triple check everything before I called…

But yeah, 2nd opinion is needed here most likely… or again, make them take the OP out to the car and show him…

If I were taking on that list for my own Corolla (as a diy’er job), that’s indeed how I’d do it. Removing both axles would make the other tasks a little easier. The diy’ers constraint tends to be a time rather than a cash. But in the OP’s case the constraint may be cash; if there just isn’t enough at the moment to do everything at once , then the work may need to be broken up in a less than optimally efficient way. I do this sometimes too, even as a diy’er. For example I don’t replace the water pump as part of replacing the Corolla’s timing belt.

Get a second opinion.

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Is DIY an option? Instead of paying $5k for this unnamed repair shop to do the work, you could literally buy all the parts online for less than $1000, download the instructions online, DIY, and $ave! And I am talking about buying quality brand-name parts, likely better than what this shop would use.