We have a 03 Corolla that had a leaky radiator. The leak started while we were on a 1400 mile trip. kept on adding coolant and finished the trip. Near the end of teh trip could hear a knocking or slapping nolise when the engine was loaded. I changed the radiator and now the engine is VERY sluggish and when under load the engine knocks/rattles/pings, what ever noise it is it is bad. I pulled the plugs and all 4 are white. I pulled the O2 sensor and it also is covered with a white coating. I think the engine is running lean and I am wondering if the coolant was sucked through the air filter and damaged the injectors or the cat. The engind never indicated getting hot during the radiator problems. Thanks for the help.


Asked by Oct 02, 2014 at 11:17 PM about the 2003 Toyota Corolla CE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

03 Corolla with 455,000 miles.  Still runs good and uses only a very little oil.  No indication
of overheating but pings very badly and is very sluggish.

2 Answers


You sure have gotten your money's worth out of that Corolla! Are you the original owner? All things being equal, the two problems may not be related. Typically, a coolant problem will not cause a performance issue (except overheating but you said no temp light was coming on). You may want to look at the cat converter and see if it has gotten plugged. Age sometimes does this and yours certainly qualifies on that basis.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yes, I'm the original owner. How do I test to determine if the cat is bad? Thanks for your help!

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