Toyota Corolla Manuals

Toyota Corolla: Maintenance and care / Cleaning and protecting the vehicle exterior

Toyota Corolla 2019-2024 Owners Manual / Maintenance and care / Maintenance and care / Cleaning and protecting the vehicle exterior

Perform cleaning in a manner appropriate to each component and its material.

Cleaning instructions

  • Working from top to bottom, liberally apply water to the vehicle body, wheel wells and underside of the vehicle to remove any dirt and dust.
  • Wash the vehicle body using a sponge or soft cloth, such as a chamois.
  • For hard-to-remove marks, use car wash soap and rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Wipe away any water.
  • Wax the vehicle when the waterproof coating deteriorates.

If water does not bead on a clean surface, apply wax when the vehicle body is cool.

■ Automatic car washes

  • Fold the mirrors before washing the vehicle. Start washing from the front of the vehicle. Make sure to extend the mirrors before driving.
  • Brushes used in automatic car washes may scratch the vehicle surface, parts (wheel, etc.) and harm your vehicle’s paint.
  • Vehicles with a rear spoiler: In certain automatic car washes, the rear spoiler may interfere with machine operation. This may prevent the vehicle from being cleaned properly or result in damage to the rear spoiler.

■ High pressure car washes

As water may enter the cabin, do not bring the nozzle tip near the gaps around the doors or perimeter of the windows, or spray these areas continuously.

■ When using a car wash (vehicles with a smart key system)

If the door handle becomes wet while the electronic key is within the effective range, the door may lock and unlock repeatedly. In that case, follow the following correction procedures to wash the vehicle:

  • Place the key in a position 6 ft. (2 m) or more separate from the vehicle while the vehicle is being washed. (Take care to ensure that the key is not stolen.)
  • Set the electronic key to battery- saving mode to disable the smart key system.

■ Wheels and wheel ornaments

  • Remove any dirt immediately by using a neutral detergent.
  • Wash detergent off with water immediately after use.
  • To protect the paint from damage, make sure to observe the following precautions.
    • Do not use acidic, alkaline or abrasive detergent
    • Do not use hard brushes
    • Do not use detergent on the wheels when they are hot, such as after driving or parking in hot weather

■ Bumpers and side moldings

Do not scrub with abrasive cleaners.

■ Plated portions

If dirt cannot be removed, clean the parts as follows:

  • Use a soft cloth dampened with an approximately 5% solution of neutral detergent and water to clean the dirt off.
  • Wipe the surface with a dry, soft cloth to remove any remaining moisture.
  • To remove oily deposits, use alcohol wet wipes or a similar product.


■ When washing the vehicle

Do not apply water to the inside of the engine compartment. Doing so may cause the electrical components, etc. to catch fire.

■Precautions regarding the exhaust pipe

Exhaust gasses cause the exhaust pipe to become quite hot. When washing the vehicle, be careful not to touch the pipe until it has cooled sufficiently, as touching a hot exhaust pipe can cause burns.

■Precaution regarding the rear bumper with Blind Spot Monitor

If the paint of the rear bumper is chipped or scratched, the system may malfunction. If this occurs, consult your Toyota dealer.


■ To prevent paint deterioration and corrosion on the body and components (aluminum wheels, etc.)

  • Wash the vehicle immediately in the following cases:
    • • After driving near the sea coast
    • • After driving on salted roads
    • • If coal tar or tree sap is present on the paint surface
    • • If dead insects, insect droppings or bird droppings are present on the paint surface
    • • After driving in an area contaminated with soot, oily smoke, mine dust, iron powder or chemical substances
    • • If the vehicle becomes heavily soiled with dust or mud
    • • If liquids such as benzene and gasoline are spilled on the paint surface
  • If the paint is chipped or scratched, have it repaired immediately.
  • To prevent the wheels from corroding, remove any dirt and store in a place with low humidity when storing the wheels.

■ Cleaning the exterior lights

  • Wash carefully. Do not use organic substances or scrub with a hard brush. This may damage the surfaces of the lights.
  • Do not apply wax to the surfaces of the lights. Wax may cause damage to the lenses.

■ To prevent damage to the windshield wiper arms

When lifting the wiper arms away from the windshield, pull the driver side wiper arm upward first, and repeat for the passenger side. When returning the wipers to their original position, do so from the passenger side first.


■ When using a high pressure car wash

  • When washing the vehicle, do not spray the camera or its surrounding area directly with a high pressure washer. Shock applied from high pressure water may cause the device to not operate normally.
  • Do not bring the nozzle tip close to boots (rubber or resin manufactured cover), connectors or the following parts. The parts may be damaged if they come into contact with high-pressure water.
    • Traction related parts
    • Steering parts
    • Suspension parts
    • Brake parts
  • Keep the cleaning nozzle at least 11.9 in. (30 cm) away from the vehicles body. Otherwise resin section, such as moldings and bumpers, may be deformed and damaged. Also, do not continuously hold the nozzle in the same place.
  • Do not spray the lower part of the windshield continuously. If water enters the air conditioning system intake located near the lower part of the windshield, the air conditioning system may not operate correctly.
  • Do not wash the underside of the vehicle using a high pressure car washer.

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