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Toyota Matrix Engine Questions



  • I'm a newbie here, but couldn't find anything on this. just purchased on '08 Matrix xr, and today after about 35 mins of stop/go driving around town, I popped the hood to make sure the fluid levels were right (going back to the dealer for a few things tomorrow). when I tried to prop up the hood, the black spindle that props the hood was really really hot. facing the engine, it's on the left side of the engine bay, and it did seem all the metal I touched around that area was really hot. too hot to touch.

    is this normal?

    is there any sort of "fix" for it?

    thanks in advance for any/all help....

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    It is normal for anything metal under the hood to be very hot to the touch immediately after driving around. You should be able to use the hood prop, however, but not to hang onto it for several minutes.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I agree with moontom. I have a Matrix and do my own maintenance. Yeah, that thing can get kinda hot, but I'm only touching it for about 5 seconds at a time, and I try to focus on the little plasticky-rubber thing at the end that inserts into the hood.
  • I've had lots of toyotas and recently a mazda 3, and all would get somewhat hot, but not to the point where you pull yr hand away trying to just prop up the hood. the temp gauge seems fine so I'm not going to worry. but when it's time to work on this puppy I will find a shady spot and proceed with caution.

    thanks for the insights!
  • Check the color of the ECT sensor plastic portion. If it is black the problem is the sensor. Change to the gray sensor. The female vehicle connector will plug into either sensor even though they have different raised keyways on them. It worked for my '03 Matrix XR
  • tkerrtkerr Posts: 2
    My matrix is as gutless as the rest. (more-so with the AWD) But recently when getting into the passing lane, or climbing up a hill, the engine RPMS will start to rise, then quickly drop back 1500 RPM with the pedal fully depressed, in about 5 seconds the RPMS climb to about 5000 but the car does not pick up speed. Had it hooked to a cpu but no issues were found even when this event happens. Put in some injector cleaner, with a full tank of gas...see what happens I guess....Any suggestions??? :sick:
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Is this a manual transmission? Sounds like your clutch is mis-adjusted and starting to slip in high gear.
  • tkerrtkerr Posts: 2
    No sorry, forgot to mention its an automatic!
  • First post, tried to search but I am not really sure if this is a transmission problem or clutch, or both. If anyone has had a similiar problem any help would be appreciated before I
    get this checked out.

    Quick stats: 6-speed manual XRS, TRD intake, bought July of 2002, drive it hard but not insane.

    Today I noticed when I pressed the gas in, mostly in 6th gear, the RPMs would rev higher but then it would seemingly catch and be grabbed back down at a higher RPM and then speed the car up. The same idea as a bike chain skipping a few teeth and then eventually grabbing ahold of one and pulling the bike along as normal. It just started and I do not want to let it get bad incase the situation can be remedied and prevent any other damage to the car's motor. I see many people have been having transmission problems with theirs but I am not sure if a manual has a transmission being that I know little about cars.
  • I'm not a mechanic or a Matrix driver but am a lifelong MT guy, and what you described sounds like the clutch to me. I would have a qualified mechanic look at it soon. What is the odometer reading? Unless you are driving waaay more than average it seems pretty early for clutch failure. My current car has 148k miles on it and the original clutch is still fine and I hear that's normal for this car (not a Matrix).
  • That is what I figured, and yes it seems very early for this to happen. I am currently at just over 70k miles yet my last car it went out at about 125k. I have no idea how my last car was driven up to 122k (that is when I bought it) but with 5 owners and being a MR2, I was not surprised to get the short end of the stick on that one.

    I can see Toyota telling me that this is no way covered under warranty being that it is the clutch unless others have had the same problem. Are clutch and transmission the same thing? I will start my search for incriminating evidence to show them :) any input would be helpful.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The clutch and transmission are different parts, although bolted together. You have an engine, a clutch, and a transmission.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    The clutch connects the engine to the transmission when you want to go. It is a wear part, and 70K, while short, is not unheard of for a clutch, particularly in a car with sporty intentions that has been driven "hard but not insane".

    Insanity in a sporty car with a high-revving engine like this one, BTW, can reduce clutch life to 20-40K miles....

    Oh, and yes, what you have there are the classic symptoms of a clutch just beginning to go. Replace it before the car becomes unsafe to drive...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I have a 2004 Matrix and my battery died yesterday. I think I left my interior lights on over night. Tried to jump it, nothing. Tried to use a charger, nothing. Took the battery to Auto zone, they tested it and the batter was put to rest. Brought home a new one and the car is still not getting any power from it. The dome lights won't even try to come on. Any suggestions? A co-worker told me I should reset my battery sensor but cannot find that in my car anywhere.
    Thank you
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I'll assume you have the terminal connections on correctly (plus to plus, ground to ground).

    I'd check any fusible links the car would have. I don't have schematics for the Matrix, but fusible links are like the main breaker for the house. They are a hunk of thick wire, sized to carry a lot of current, and will blow at ratings like 100 or 120ish amps. There usually always up in the engine compartment, within reasonalbe physical proximity to the battery. Could be near or in the first fuse box.
  • moon7moon7 Posts: 2
    Does the 2009 Matrix have a timing chain or a timing belt? Does it have an interference or a non interference engine??

    How do you think it compares to a Mazda 3 - 5 door?

    Thanks, Rod.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Also...Mazda3 5-door has the edge on sportiness and fun as well as amenities-per-buck, maybe interior too if you don't mind the silly red LEDs spread across the dash.

    Matrix has the edge on fuel economy with the 1.8, also on interior space, especially passenger space in the rear.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • loudog2loudog2 Posts: 83
    Did you need to reply to 20 threads about you buying a service manual??????
  • wilson12wilson12 Posts: 8
    Help. My 2007 Matrix has an idle problem. It fluctuates from 700 to 1000 while idling. It also surges at low parking lot speeds. Unfortunatly it can't be reproduced on demand, and can be actually eliminated by riding the clutch, therefore I can't get the service dept. to admit a problem. Is there computer analysis that can be performed to evaluate this? Is there an idle sensor, can the ECU be the problem or even a small vacumn leak, and if so can this be diagnosed by computer analysis. It's my understanding that warranty work pays little for diagnostics, therefore if the symptoms can't be reproduced on demand not alot of time is spent on the problem. Thanks.
  • sharkbait3sharkbait3 Posts: 5
    I am in the same boat with you on this one. I have a 2003 matrix 5spd. I have followed most of the electrical things that I think could be causing this. Everything checks out okay they (toyota dealership) say. I have been told until it generates a check engine light they cannot really help me. If you have found a solution to the problem let me know.
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