Toyota Corolla Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)

Introduced in the US in 1968 the Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling car.

Its hugely popular thanks to its fuel efficiency, comfort, practicality, and reliability at an affordable price

In this article we’ll give you the full breakdown of its maintenance, tune-up and running costs.

Here is the short answer to are Toyota Corolla expensive to maintain:

The Toyota Corolla has very affordable maintenance costs. It would cost you around $362 to maintain a Corolla every year, which is notably lower than the average of $526 annually for compact cars. A tune-up will be around $309, including the replacement of spark plugs.

Are Toyota Corolla Expensive to Maintain?

One of the Corolla’s big selling points is its reliability, and with good reliability comes cheap maintenance costs as the car requires fewer repairs.

When looking to buy a new vehicle it’s important to assess maintenance costs to ensure you’re able to properly look after it.

Failing to stay on top of routine servicing and repairs will lead to poor reliability and shorten the lifespan of your vehicle.

Below you’ll find a complete price breakdown for some of the most common costs for the Corolla, all data is from RepairPal:

Corolla MaintenanceCost
Average annual repairs and maintenance$362
Tune-Up Cost$309
Alternator replacement $407 – $452
Oil change$117 – $129
Wiper blade replacement$61 – $85
Air filter replacement$44 – $56
Battery replacement$327 – $333
New brakes$241 – $277
Coolant change$100 – $126
New tires (set of 4)$296 – $880
New tire (one only)$74 – $220
New spark plugs$142 – $159
Tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance$79 – $100
New transmission$3500
Insurance$1234 / year (average)

How Much is a Tune-Up on a Corolla?

This will vary greatly depending on where you take your Corolla and you’ll likely have to pay more at a Toyota dealership than your local mechanic.

Toyota recommends having a tune-up every 5,000 miles or six months whichever comes first.

You can expect to pay in the region of $309 for a fairly comprehensive Corolla tune-up that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Replacement of plugs, wires and other parts in the ignition system
  • Thorough inspection of engine components
  • Thorough inspection of belts and hoses
  • Filters changed e.g. oil, fuel, air, and cabin.
  • Fluids changed where needed e.g. engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid.

Whilst your Corolla is under warranty it is advised you get it serviced at a registered Toyota dealership.

Regular tune-ups are highly recommended because:

  • They can bring more power back to your engine.
  • Helps your engine run efficiently and start smoothly, which equates to lower emissions and better fuel economy.
  • Ensures long-term engine health and performance

Alternator Replacement Cost?

A new alternator on a Corolla will set you back between $407 – $452 for a replacement which should last around 80,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 – 10 years

While the battery is used for starting your car when the engines off, the alternator keeps your car alive when the engine is running. 

The alternator powers most electronic components while you’re driving around or idling and is also responsible for charging the battery of your car while driving.

Oil Change Cost?

The cost of an oil change should cost in the region of $117 to $129, this includes parts and labor, however does not include taxes and fees. An oil change is one of the most meaningful and vital services for your car.

  • An oil change should be performed on the Corolla every 3,000 – 5,000 miles for conventional oil. 
  • Synthetic oil typically should be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles.

At most, oil change intervals should not exceed 10,000 miles, twelve months, or 350 hours of engine run time (whichever comes first)

Wiper Blade Replacement Cost?

This is a relatively simple and quick fix, and you can easily save yourself a few bucks by buying your own wiper blades and installing them yourself, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on this. 

Most Toyota Corollas use a 26″ wiper blade on the driver’s side and 16″ on the passenger’s side.

Wiper blades for the Toyota Corolla can be picked up for around $25, and installed by yourself for free. 

However, if you want a professional to fit them for you then you can expect to pay in the region of $61 to $85 for parts and labor with taxes and fees on top.

Air Filter Replacement Cost?

According to RepairPal, air filter replacement cost on a Toyota Corolla is between $44 to $56, not including taxes and fees.

The good news is this task, which should be performed annually or whenever the filter is clogged or dirty, is another fairly straightforward DIY.

Simply open the hood, locate and open the air filter’s housing, remove the old one, insert the new one and replace the housing cover. 

This will help both your car and your bank account breathe a little easier, lots of tutorials on YouTube for this one also. 

Battery Replacement Cost?

According to RepairPal, the cost of a battery replacement for a Toyota Corolla should cost $327 to $333.

Whilst there are no specific mileage recommendations for when a battery needs to be replaced, they do eventually die.

In general, it’s a good idea to replace your battery once every 4-5 years.

A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many different factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.

To help your battery last longer:

  1. Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
  2. Limit short rides: Short rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
  3. Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.

New Brakes Cost?

Toyota Corolla brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 miles and necessary brake work isn’t a cost you can afford to neglect.

The average cost to replace your Corolla brake pads, according to RepairPal, is between $241 and $277.

Brake pads will wear out at different rates depending on factors such as climate and your style of driving.

Pro tip: To prolong the life of your brakes – Keep your speed low in heavy traffic and avoid any sudden braking.

Cost to Change Coolant?

If it’s just a top-up your Corolla requires then this is a simple task you can perform yourself. 

You can pick up coolant at any gas station for a few bucks and top up to the level required.

If on the other hand, you require a coolant change, which simply involves draining the coolant from the base of the radiator and then replenishing with fresh fluids, this is going to cost you a bit more.

According to RepairPal, the average cost of a Toyota Corolla coolant change is between $100 and $126 (excluding taxes and fees).

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Toyota Corolla Hybrids Last?

How Much Does a New Transmissions Cost?

Transmissions on the Toyota Corolla typically last 10 – 14 years or around 150,000 to 200,000 miles, depending on how well they are maintained and how the car is driven.

The average cost for an aftermarket or rebuilt transmission for a Corolla could be over $3500. This range may vary depending on the model year.

Tire & Wheel Assembly, Rotate & Balance Cost

Tire rotation ensures each tire gets worn evenly whilst balancing ensures they roll smoothly and there’s no vibration (this also helps improve your fuel economy).

According to RepairPal, the average cost for a Toyota Corolla tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance is between $79 and $100 – this does not include taxes and fees.

How much Insurance Cost?

According to, the average cost of Toyota Corolla insurance is $103 / month or $1234 / year. The national average car insurance rate is $1,523.

These figures can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as your age, driving record and state requirements etc. 

  • It’s always best to shop around and get at least 3 quotes, make sure the company you choose is reputable.
  • Use price comparison sites like
  • There are big discounts available for taking additional driving courses or being a senior
  • The best way to keep your insurance costs down is to drive safely

Toyota Corolla Repair Costs Compared to Similar Cars

In this section we’ll compare the maintenance costs of the Toyota Corolla to some of its biggest rivals, using data from RepairPal.

Toyota Corolla Vs Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is another hugely popular car known for its reliability and fun driving characteristics.

The Toyota Corolla is cheaper to maintain with an average annual repairs total of $362 Vs the Honda Civic’s $368.

Toyota CorollaHonda Civic
Reliability rating4.5/5.04.5/5.0
Repair Pal ranking1st / 36
Compact Cars
3rd / 36
Compact Cars
Visits to a repair shop per year0.30.3
Probability of a repair being severe7%8%

Toyota Corolla versus Honda Civic is one of oldest rivalries in the automotive marketplace.

However the Civic offers more advanced tech, it’s quieter and more comfortable.

Toyota Corolla Vs VW Golf

The VW Golf is a pioneer in the compact hatchback segment.

The Toyota Corolla is cheaper to maintain with an average annual repairs total of $362 Vs the VW Golf’s $630.

To put that into perspective the average annual repair cost for all midsize cars is $526 per year and $652 across all makes and models.

Toyota CorollaVW Golf
Reliability rating4.5/5.04.0/5.0 
Repair Pal ranking1st / 36
Compact Cars
25th / 36 
Compact Cars
Visits to a repair shop per year0.30.3 
Probability of a repair being severe7%11% 

The Golf offers more of a traditional hatchback driving experience however it can’t compete with the Corolla’s reliability and running costs.

You can find a full price breakdown of VW Golf ownership costs here.

Toyota Corolla Vs Chevy Malibu

The Chevy Malibu is a mid-size family car that was first introduced in 1964.

The Toyota Corolla is cheaper with an average annual repairs total of $362 Vs the Chevy Malibu’s $532.

Toyota CorollaChevy Malibu
Reliability rating4.5/5.04.0/5.0
Repair Pal ranking1st / 36
Compact Cars
9th / 24
Midsize Cars 
Visits to a repair shop per year0.30.3
Probability of a repair being severe7%15%

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Malibu is classed as a Mid-size car, while the Corolla is rated a Compact.

Therefore if you need more space the Malibu is the obvious choice however the Corolla is cheaper to buy and maintain, has better fuel efficiency.

You may also be interested in our article: Toyota Corolla Beeping? (9 Causes & Solutions)

How Long is the Toyota Corolla Manufacturers Warranty?

When you drive your new Toyota Corolla off the dealership lot, you’ll be covered by Toyotas factory warranty of 36,000 miles / 3 years basic coverage and 60,000 miles / 5 years (whichever comes first) powertrain coverage.

This length of protection is actually quite common among car manufacturers however it is on the shorter side of warranties

You can check your vehicle warranty status, track your service history, view your Owner’s Manual and more on the Toyota website which you will need your VIN for. If you cannot find the VIN number, the only real way to check your vehicle’s factory warranty is to call or visit your local dealership.

You may also be interested in our article: Toyota Corolla: 12 Common Problems


Related: 7 Most Common Toyota Corolla Problems (Solved & Explained)



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...