I'm driving a Toyota Corolla Base 5spd what is the difference when I go look for parts between Geo Prism, Chevrolet Prism, Toyota Corolla are they interchangeable?

Robert Wolfe

Asked by Aug 18, 2013 at 05:42 PM about the 1996 Toyota Corolla Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am currently driving a 1996 Toyota Corolla Base 4dr 5spd with 1.6L.  I am wondering if while looking for parts down the road are the parts off a Chevrolet Prism or Geo Prism the same as Toyota Corolla & if so are they interchangeable?

28 Answers


From what I recall (and from looking at Wikipedia), the Prizm and Corolla were jointly developed by Toyota and GM (Thankfully, the Prizm went bye-bye in 2002). The Geo line of cars used really cheap plastic interiors...Geo Storm was horrific in this regard. I would suspect engine parts from a 1996 Geo/Chevy Prizm to be interchangeable, but I would avoid getting any interior parts from an old Geo/Chevy Prizm (Good luck finding one at a scrapyard...though you might get lucky).

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

There is a lot of evidence that it will fit. The 3rd Generation Prism and 8th Generation Corolla was a joint venture between Toyota and GM. The two cars were built at the same time on the same assembly line in Fremont California. wheelbase is the same, all Glass is the same (Source: Three different Auto Glass suppliers list windshield and door glass as Application: Corolla 1996 to 2002 and Geo Prism 1996 to 1999). I am not definitively saying it will fit but presenting this information for what it's worth. Racer X has a good point, 80% of Corollas built since the 2003 model year are still on the road, and half of those in junkyards are there because they were wrecked, only 10% from mechanical failure. Most Corollas in junkyards look like this, click on the picture

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Best Answer

I realize what is posted is mostly redundant, and I am not trying to come across as knowing more than RacerX, or he needs me to validate his answer, I type so slow and was trying to find a picture his post was not there when I began ....and no. it's not a convertible somebody had to have been extracted, and the place I got the picture does not show images of wrecked card anybody died in, so fortunately, as bad as it looks it was not fatal. That car is a 1999 and Corolla got 5 of 5 stars in crash tests, it is the toughest little car there is

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Hey DavidH25...When it comes to the Toyota Corolla, you have a LOT more knowledge about it than I do, since I never owned one or worked on one. In fact, the only Toyota area where I probably have an edge on you would be the 2nd Gen. MR2, since I was once a proud owner of that car :) Hmmm? If 80% of Corollas since '03 are still on the road (Unlike its direct counterpart, the old Geo Prizm...although I see an old beat up Geo Metro or Prizm on VERY rare occasion), Robert may be in for a bit of a challenge finding parts at an auto salvage yard...but who knows?

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Thank You for the Compliment. Indeed, Corollas are my specialty. I studied them before buying one, no matter how you look at it it's a huge amount of money (to me anyway) and I was not about to spend that much money without thorough research first. I had been saving for 3 years to buy a car, decided on Corolla a year before I bought it, could have had a Camry with a 2.4 V6, but that little 1.8 will surprise you. 130hp in a 2400lb car will scoot. My Town Car became such a money pit I didn't time to save enough to pay cash, but had pretty good leverage when I went to the Dealer. I knew exactly what I wanted, and have NO regrets, it gets better than the specs say for mpg. My next car will NOT be a Corolla...if you are the slightest bit interested, read the reviews I wrote after driving a 2011 and a 2013 last week. I WILL NOT HAVE a CVT transmission. Judge Roy, if you see this would you please give your opinion on the CVT, matter of fact anybody that has one, please?

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okay Mr. H25, yes you must look 'pon how tenuous this belt with the flexible teeth is....certainly NOT the most efficient of designs...quite different sensation driving it....the Toyota Prius secretly uses one of these as do a few NIssans...the design is a bit hitchy...when combined with an electric motor output is not noticeable...no one likes to be jerked forward or backward suddenly is the basic design flaw...even requires accelerating with "kid gloves" to avoid being jerked~ not my favorite...just have it 'cause the wife refuses to learn stick....such is the price of a happy marriage....the car is basically a design statement...the Cooper S with the timing belt engine and blower is entirely more robust and I should have waited for one of those...o well live and learn....or not~

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

the R50 timing chain engine is robust but difficult to work on as you must access everything from the bottom after first having removed the stone sheid...necessary around here~ pretty satisfied but cannot help but feel "outsmarted" by the automatic systems therein...Prius is worse...makes me want a MOPAR 440 engine~

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I had a '96 corolla I had bought from a fellow Engineer at Polycold...had one ooops on the bay bridge, but still tracked straight...trouble installing the cv axles had me hiring a mechanic to re-do the job...he said one of the c- retainers was out of place and sheared when they pulled the axle back out--- no wonder It was a bitch~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

...sold it to come back out to California...it was the Corolla or the Nissan Altima...in retrospect should have gone with the Corolla...man that nissan had me busy with problems the entire time I was in Wisconsin...bad choice, man~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I always reflect on the Pakistani Taxicab which is still an old Corona MkII...these are plentiful and run like hell~....still to this day are one of the most common Pakistani taxi cabs~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

The Altima was a bad boy and sparked on the up-stroke causing detonation as a result of an oil leak above the distributor....design flaw~....they don't make them like that anymore~....you cannot fix a bent crank...which is what happened~....bet the Corolla would have never designed in such nonsense~

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

THAT, Judge, is exactly what I wanted to be educated about (Love the accent) and am going back and watch the rest of the series. Even though so far it seems to be presented by the inventor, designer, manufacturer, i.e. somebody that is trying to sell it to a dubious, skeptical, potential buyer such as myself, and it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. But educational to be sure. Inside of a decade there will be no other choice? I am cynical about that part. Maybe in a couple three years they will have improved on it, than I will consider having one, just too new of a design but the concept as a whole is very good. 1zzfedesigndoc.pdf ...is a technical article that I thought interesting on the 1.8 in my car..a bit dry, have to be in the right mood for that one but also very educational.

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What you described there is the "waste spark" that the crankshaft sensor 'tells' the ECU to ignite the spark plug each TDC of every piston. Yep, it ignites 8ยบ BTDC even on the exhaust upstroke on some cars, A Nissan article is what I was reading when I learned that. The plug fires twice as often a need be. And correctomundo, the Corolla coils 'know when TDC is coming up on the exhaust stroke and does not ignite, no waste spark

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in this case was like the distributor had "lost it's mind" sparking at random this and that bending and self-destructing the engine...took me a minute to figure it out...pesky oil leak~

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgBwxLl162w ..."How to get 221hp From your MINI" Judge Roy if you have $3500 that you don't know what to do with...and this night when sleep did not come I have learned volumes about the CVT. The jury is still out on this however.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Regarding the CVT with its unlimited number of gear ratios, I have a love/hate relationship with it on my Mitsu Outlander SUV. It does go thru gear changes more smoothly (more efficiently, I guess) and I get better gas mileage vs conventional AT. However, going from a dead stop and getting up to speed seems to take an eternity..something about the power and torque isn't what it should or could be. Also, I have a 2.4L 4 cylinder when I should have gotten the 3.0L SOHC V6 version (but the SOHC made this version kinda blah when I test drove...Mitsu should've used DOHC). Here's a good article on pros/cons of the CVT: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/cvt-transmission-pros-and- cons.html

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Well Robert.....I know we changed topics...LOL! But hopefully we were able to address your question!!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

RacerX one of the videos I watched demonstrated exactly what you just described a Nissan Versa demo 0 to 60 it took a long time to get to 35~40 mph and it was taching at over 6000 rpm, then from 35 to 60 it was a Friggin rocket. I don't know how real it was...seemed almost TOO good, in the video, assuming real time I used the stopwatch on my phone and it did it in 8 FLAT. I am skeptical..very, Not a rolling start even

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My car is treated well...I am not afraid to approach the 6,200 rpm red line but don't make a habit of it. Not too long ago I was on a straight flat open no traffic road, and just to see if it would do it..... I pegged my speedometer at 110 @6000rpm. I do have 130mph tires, I am aware of the dangers all around but it was a situation that would have gotten nobody killed but myself. It handled like I was doing 70, impressive for a 1.8 ...then 15 minutes later a CHP passed me from the other direction while I was doing 75 in a 55, but didn't turn around..I was watching for his brake lights and knew if I saw them I was busted, for 75 anyway, but I guess he had other things to do..they have forward looking radar that shows speed of oncoming cars. But I wiped my brow and went 55 the rest of the way home

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

OMG...Funny that you mention the Versa. I had my Mistu in for some warranty work recently and got a free Enterprise rental, my choices, 2 Nissans: Versa (econocar) or Titan (monster truck)...I refused to take either one and waited in the rain for 20 mins, for a Murano to be returned..lol. But yes, my Mitsu, like the Versa is sluggish from 0...slightly better though than Versa though. 0-25 is the slow area..past that it zooms along pretty good and can get to 100 MPH with seemingly little effort.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Gents, zero to 15 Mph is dismal with this CVT....almost like "you should have bought a Cooper S" with a blower....car has 1.6 liter motor and is "geared" to go to autobahn speeds....man, it's fun to open 'er up a bit---2200rpm at 65 MPH...the stuff that autobahns are made of~ 1.6?!?!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

the word "BLOOD" is something that you'll see if you are shopping at the pickNpull identifying what you're gonna find if you try to part this car~...creepy~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

hi Rob,I also have a toyota corolla 1996 1.6 model built in Thames New Zealand.I never thought Id ever buy one but at the time i was working at the car factory and drove a V8 ford fairmont.


Any way I did buy one thru the company and still own it now with 445,000ks on the clock.im just about to change my first wheel bearing on the left rear,so far its cost me 4 cambelt changes,oil and filter I do myself,one stater motor,one clutch,even changed first set of plugs at 400,000 ks and has never had motor work or a tune up .my mates 89 corolla did 1,000,000 ks on his,replaced his motor and is now 700,000 ks on this motor so thats toyota for ya,cheers.

Jonathan Murray

What's wrong with trans I'll tell what you need to fix it I was at shop Counter 20years at Toyota dealer gota love it .i do learned to much What's is it doing I'll tell you what to order to fix ,I never miss


I've tried searching for the answers. But maybe you guys could, btw,. excellent resource for info regarding Corollas, kudos. Well, my real question is about the OEM steel wheels on an 8th gen corolla. I've been seeing silver ones on them but mine is black on my 8th gen. What year did Toyota started using silver steel wheels on the 8th gen Corolla? Thanks.


Stick with Toyota part, other parts may not work, especially if you are buy on line...its gonna cost you more trust me on this one!

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