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Matrix Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • aa262aa262 Posts: 1
    Have a 04 Matrix standard that is shifting from 4th gear
    to neutral on itrs own Any ideas Only has 67k miles
    out of warranty
  • keilsekeilse Posts: 16
    Hi Tim,
    I have a 2003 5 speed matrix and the tranny failed at 102,000+/- miles. I am in CA, so rebuilding mine would be pretty hard to do unless I somehow ship it to you...I was wondering...do you sell overhauled trannys for this model car at all? I need to have my mechanic here look at what's left of the tranny before I can safely say that it's shot completely, but I bet money it is.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

    Thanks in advance.
    Sincerely,
    Sara Keil
    keilse01@verizon.net
  • jamesimcbjamesimcb Posts: 13
    After going through this expensive experience once, the guy at Mr. Transmission told me that there is a revised kit and that I shouldn't have the problem again. The first time the tranny failed was at 130,000 km's....well I put another 25,000 km's on it and guess what...the sound is slowly creeping back. Not sure if it was fixed properly or not...but beware...once you spend 2500-3000 fixing the POS it may come back. My transmission was fixed at Mr. Transmission in Peterborough...I would highly recommend against using Mr. Transmission!!!!
    Is this really a Toyota? I could get better reliability out of a chinese engineered look alike! JUNK
  • Follow up with my first message #284:

    The reply from Toyota.ca to my question about their responsability with that transmission problem was as expected: «We are not aware of any common problem with the Matrix transmissions».

    So I reply to them telling my thoughts about their attitute. And went to have my car fixed. It has finaly been done by an independant mechanic, because my Toyota dealer asked too much and insisted to change the clutch as well (it was finaly only 25% worn).

    Meanwhile, I received another message from Toyota. They replied to my second message telling me they opened a file for my case.

    Two weeks later, a phone call from them: they offer me the parts, I pay the labour. I asked how much was the part: $2800CA they said. So I guess it was a new transmission. But when I finaly said I had my car fixed with an independant, they said they can't do anything for me. Bye, file closed.

    So clearly, they know there is a problem even if they deny it first. To me, it looks like a strategy to wait that long before admiting their fault and compensate for it.

    I have transmited my whole case to the APA. They were very interested and mentionned they receive many complains regarding those transmissions. And they were not surprised Toyota did their offer by phone. And as they predicted, Toyota did not reply to me by writen, even if I asked for it and even if they said they would.

    If you hear your transmission start to make a very faint and distant noise, act fast with Toyota so they will have time to answer before you fix everything...

    And by the way, I have friends that work in different media dedicated to automobile and for sure, I will manage to have that story reported so people know what to do. And who they deal with.

    One last thing: I have two friends who followed my case closely. Both have old Toyotas, a Tercel and an Echo. One will switch to Hyunday, the other to Honda. That doesn't put a cent in my pocket, but it doesn't put any in Toyota's either!
  • zbadrexzbadrex Posts: 4
    I know this is a Matrix forum - but I have pertinent information as I have been dealing with the same issues on my 2003 Pontiac Vibe (same lovely Toyota drivetrain). I too had a bearing disintegrate the week after Christmas at 124,000mi that wallowed out my housing to the point of replace rather than fix. Good luck finding a good 5-speed! I have been researching other options, and just yesterday purchased a used 6-speed Matrix tranny. The castings are identical except for the end one that houses 6th gear, and I have found only that my Vibe speedo gear will need to be used - I haven't swapped it yet, and will post if there are any problems. From what I have seen, and what I have been told, the 6-speed is a direct replacement. I am including the website where I found my info and purchased my clutch kit: http://store.monkeywrenchracing.com/ They were very helpful to answer my many questions. I have been watching this forum hoping that someone would post a better solution, or that Toyota would finally issue a recall, and I had read where someone else posted that the castings were different between the 5 and 6 speeds - but so far I don't see any difference, except what I already mentioned. I will post again if I run into any problems installing unless someone gets ticky that mine is not technically a Matrix - but consider, if this goes well, it will be partially a Matrix! I hope this info will be helpful to someone else out there going through the same ordeal I have been. Thanks, April
  • zbadrexzbadrex Posts: 4
    Just a quick update - no snags at all. Dropped my 5-speed speedo gear into the 6-speed's bell housing, new clutch assembly(ordered for 6-speed), same old axles, a wire loom holder from the old tranny(not necessary, just picky), and buttoned it all back up. Added synthetic gear lube as recommended, and an oil change too from sitting since December. After charging the dead battery, runs and drives great again!
  • cassadcjcassadcj Posts: 4
    Wow! After reading this entire thread, I feel that I've been very lucky. I purchased a 2003 Matrix XR with 5 speed manual transmission in March 2002; so, a very early Matrix. For over 7 years, it had no significant problems other than the windshield cracking immediately when hit by a rock; rocks are sharp around here and the car now has its 5th windshield! I finally had the air conditioner relay problem at about 195,000 miles. Fortunately, that was only about $100 to fix and I had an oil leak fixed for $150 at the same time. There were also two accidents with extensive body panel damage but no mechanical damage. The passenger side was wiped out and cost $9K to repair in December 2004 and the rear was caved in and cost $8K in May 2005. But, neither of those accidents were the fault of the Matrix--and they weren't my fault either. The most annoying thing is that the body shop had trouble getting Matrix parts and I was without my car for 7 weeks in the first accident and 8 weeks in the second. (And, after never being in an accident in over 30 years of driving, two stupid accidents that weren't my fault in less than 5 months began to make me feel like I was driving around with a "Hit me!" sign on the Matrix. :sick: )

    There were no transmission problems until at 205,000 miles in May 2009 a rattle developed when the car was moving and in gear. It went away when the clutch was pushed in. Two shops thought that it was the flywheel going bad, so I had the flywheel and clutch replaced for $1K. That didn't stop the rattle and the suggestion was a bad bearing(s). With another 1,000 miles of driving the rattle was getting worse, but the car still drove OK. After reading about the 2003 Matrix manual transmission experiences on this thread and elsewhere, it began it began to look like this could cost about $2-3K more and be time consuming. :cry: I'll be driving a lot this summer and needed a car right away. So, I traded in the 2003 Matrix for a 2009 Honda Fit. (I love the Fit, although its seats aren't as comfortable as the Matrix.)

    I only got a $2,500 trade in on the Matrix due to its transmission problems and some minor body problems. But, that was about what I expected based on the used car price calculators here at Edmunds. My Matrix was a great car and I got my money's worth from it! I'm sorry that many of you have had transmission problems and feel fortunate that mine didn't happen until high mileage.
  • Hi, I guess I want to add my woes to this thread. I need some advice from people who have had similar experiences with their 2003 5 Speed Toyota Matrix. My car recently broke down about 2 and a half hours from where I live. My car was towed to the dealership where I was informed I would need a brand new transmission. The car has 103,000 miles on it. This isn't supposed to happen. It couldn't come at a worst time financially and I don't know what to do. I JUST decided to sell my car a week ago after I realized the car payments just weren't in my budget. Ironic? Yeah. The dealership is quoting me $2900 for a new transmission. They said they can get a used tranny in there for $1900-2100, but I would like to avoid that if possible. Jasper Engines doesn't have a transmission for that year, so I think I might be stuck with putting in the new transmission. I am waiting on quotes from shops in the area, but it is a very small town and I think that is going to be the standard price. My question is: if this whole thread is dedicated to defective transmissions, what will happen if I put in the same transmission again? Will it just go out again in another 100,000 miles? I still owe $3000 on the car, so selling isn't an option because I will come out at a big loss and I don't want to screw someone else over and I wouldn't have enough money for another car. I would really appreciate any advice or stories of how people resolved their issues. Any tips on contacting Toyota directly to see if I could get a discount on the part? Thank you!
  • jamborskijamborski Posts: 7
    I bought a rebuilt transmission from Anaheim Gear, in Anaheim CA, they warranty their tranny for one year and said that toyota just got a bad batch of bearings, and that I shouldnt have a problem with it. the tranny cost me $1000 after trading in the old one. I recommend looking them up. I swapped the tranny myself, whcih is no small task but new tranny and clutch and misc expenses cost me about $1200. but it took some work.
  • Thanks for the response, jamborski. Since the car is 2.5 hours away from me, I decided to just get the dealer to replace it for 2900. I was just passing through that town, so if it breaks down again I need to be able to take it somewhere local.

    A note to other victims of this crackerjack transmission: I just got off the phone with Toyota's national customer service line. The woman I spoke with said that there is no documentation of a similar problem with the 2003 Toyota Matrix 5 speed, so there was nothing they could do to help me. I know that there is an acceptable amount of complaints that they will field before acknowledging the defect or issuing a recall, but she told me that it was confidential how many complaints there have been so far. Because I haven't taken the car to a dealer to be serviced (and pay twice as much), they were unwilling to offer any help through their "goodwill" program. I am in law school and told the woman that in two years I will be an attorney and have nothing better to do with my time than spend the next two years researching this and mounting a case. I was hoping that would have had a more dramatic effect, but she just cheerfully thanked me for calling Toyota. Oh well. I encourage everyone on this site to call Toyota and lodge their complaint. While there will likely not be any immediate relief, at least there will be a record. Maybe one day we can file a class action suit for the defective bearings. I am not imagining anything big or dramatic, but if there are enough people with the same problem, we could at least collect what we have paid on the part and the service. That number is 1-800-331-4331. In the meantime, everyone should keep a copy of all service records and detailed accounts of conversations with any Toyota employees and what they have said.

    The other consideration is that if the transmissions are giving out at or around 100,000 miles, there may be a lot of Matrix owners who have yet to reach that mileage. So, this could just be the beginning of a huge problem for Toyota.

    Good luck to everyone.
  • jsal3jsal3 Posts: 2
    My standard 5-speed 03 Matrix suddenly shifted from 4th gear to neutral while I was driving on the highway this morning. While searching for anyone having had a similar experience, I found your posting, as well as the postings about Matrix transmission failures around 100K. My car has only 62K miles - I'm now worried about whether the "slipping to neutral" is a precursor for the failed transmissions discussed in the other postings. Have you found out anything more about the problem?
  • sms9758sms9758 Posts: 2
    I am looking to purchase a new Matrix or Vibe, can anyone tell me if the transmission problems still exist and are the problems only with the manual transmissions?
  • I haven't found out anything else beyond what they told me initially. Once they get the old transmission out, I will put another post about what they said went wrong, specifically. I will tell you that starting about six months before this happened, I noticed that the car was driving differently. There seemed to be a lot of "road noise" and it seemed like the car was working a lot harder to keep up anything over fifty miles per hour. When the car actually broke down, I was pulling off the interstate and there was a loud clank and the stick felt very loose all of a sudden. Then there was a metal scraping sound (which I think was probably my shift plates scraping against each other?) The car would lurch suddenly every quarter mile or so. I kept driving a little further to an oil change place and the mechanic got in the car with me and immediately identified the problem as bad bearings in the transmission. I didn't have the option to stay where I was and he told me to drive back home and he thought I could make it. Thirty miles later, then the car knocked me out of fifth gear and went into neutral. I tried to get it back in and it went into fourth for about one minute and then the speedometer went to zero. It just completely broke down from there and I found myself on the side of the road in Alabama in a grove of trees with the ten commandments nailed to every tree. It was peculiar. I know this is a long and boring description, but maybe it can help you. I would say call Toyota and take it into the dealership for any problems you are having. Since you are at 62K, that is close enough to their original warranty that if something catastrophic happens you are covered. Raise holy hell if they try to say they won't cover it. EVERYBODY needs to call Toyota and make a record of the problems they are having or they will never issue the recall.

    When I get my car back next week, I will post a follow up of what the mechanic said.
  • From my understanding, it is just in the manual transmission. Other than this whole mess, the Matrix has been great. The only other complaint is that the cheap plastic Toyota parts fall off all the time.
  • hiddot84hiddot84 Posts: 10
    Sounds like the same thing that happened to me. But, it has happened to me twice already with 2 different transmissions. I think everyone with this transmission problem should contact toyota and they should be forced through a class action suit to recall these matrix's. Other than that I have had great success with my matrix. I just filled up the tank yesterday and got 43MPG!!!! with 165k miles on it.

    Update when you can,

    T.
  • tarakheidtarakheid Posts: 1
    My 2003 standard 5-speed Matrix has been slipping out of 3rd gear. I have to hold the stick in 3rd gear position (with a pretty good amount of force) until I completely let off the clutch or it will slip into neutral. I brought it in this morning thinking maybe I would need an adjustment on my clutch since I just had a brand new transmission and clutch installed in January 2008. The technician called me and told me the transmission is bad and they recommend replacing it. Apparently the internal gear fork is warn pretty badly which is causing the slipping. I can’t imagine putting another new transmission in after only a year and a half. I love the car. The transmission has been the only problem I’ve had with it. I just hate to dump another $2.5-$3K into it. I don’t know if this is similar to your problem, but thought I would share my experience with you and any others experiencing similar problems.
  • I wish I could emphasize enough to everyone about calling Toyota and registering a complaint about this. I have the number listed in one of my earlier threads. With enough complaints, they will issue a recall.
  • jamborskijamborski Posts: 7
    did toyota replace your transmission the first time? I hope you have a warranty on it. I've got a one year warranty and I think I'll drive my matrix as much as I can to make sure it won't break
  • jsal3jsal3 Posts: 2
    I wrote a message a week or so ago, about having my 03 Matrix 5-speed suddenly shift all on its own from 4th to neutral on the highway. Thank you, those of you that responded to my posting.
    I took my car in to the dealer the next day, but they were unable to get the problem to recur, and so just charged me for the test drive and sent me home with my car. They questioned whether I could have bumped the stick, or not had it completely in gear... The conclusion (for them) was that it was a "freak" occurrence. (I had made mention to the service person about having read about transmission problems on the net, and that I had found another person with the exact same problem. They didn't offer any response to that.)
    I took my car on a 3 hour trip the following weekend, and the "spontaneous shifting" happened again (from 4th to neutral), twice in succession. I was going up an incline on the highway.
    On my return, I checked out this site again, and read even further back in the postings. I came across one posting in which the NHTSA site was given. I went to that site and it looked as though this was the organization that investigated the power window regulator bolt problem on the Pontiac Vibe. I'm wondering if this is what led to the subsequent recall. I found no investigations on their site looking into the Matrix transmission problems or bad bearings. Has anyone submitted a request for an investigation yet?
    I'm including the website here, again:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm

    I'm heading back to the dealer again. We'll see what they say this time...
  • I am going to pick up my Matrix tomorrow from the dealership with the new transmission put in. I will ask them if that is a sign of what eventually happened with my car. I will also post exactly what they said and any other problems that cropped up as a result of the failure. Good luck!
  • hiddot84hiddot84 Posts: 10
    Toyota did replace my first transmission 23k miles *under warranty*. They said, " there must have been aluminum in the transmission from the factory". But the second one they replaced had a faulty bearing in it *no warranty* 123k miles. However, this one has done OK thus far. I think everyone should call Toyota and complain or contact their State's Attorney Generals Office in which I think I'm going to do this week, so that we can get this thing rolling, becuase if enough people complain then there will be a recall.

    T.
  • Well, I picked up my Matrix on Friday. I am supposed to have a year warranty on the new transmission, which is one of the reasons I decided to have Toyota do the work. When I asked the parts manager about some paperwork for the warranty, he told me that it was in their system and I didn't need anything. I politely asked for him to print out whatever he was looking at that would prove that I had this warranty. We went back and forth like this for about ten minutes. I eventually asked him just to jot something down on the back of my receipt with his name and date - just SOMETHING to prove the part was under warranty. He kept refusing and then finally he got exasperated and ripped a page out of his employee manual with information about warranties and thrust it at me. Another employee was standing there and said "I can't believe you just did that!" and he said "She needs it more than we do." I handed it back to him and asked him to sign and date it. He treated me like I was demanding something impossible. I offered to type up something about the warranty, I offered to show him how to hit print screen so that whatever was on his computer screen could be printed out, etc. and I did all of it as politely as possible. Needless to say, I am so underwhelmed with Toyota right now. The car seems to be running well with the new transmission, but I didn't get any explanation about what went wrong or anything else, just a rude man who couldn't understand why I would want something in writing about my warranty. So, now I guess I just wait for it to crap out again after 100K miles. I'm so angry. I am keeping a log of this entire ordeal so that when they finally issue a recall I can demand a refund or raise hell.

    I am going to pursue this with the attorney general's office and through the online link that someone provided a few posts back. I am also going to call Toyota and update my complaint file. I like to think that I have better things to do with my time, but I am done accepting poor quality products from huge companies that rely on consumer laziness to protect themselves from any sort of repercussions from their crappy products.
  • bhechtbhecht Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 xrs with a little over 60,000 miles and bought it used. The guy I bought it from kept it in very nice condition and told me he had a new transmission put in around 23,000 miles. At around 50,000 miles I had to have a new clutch installed and now am having major transmission problems. It would not go into 3rd gear, and then when I got it going I couldn't shift down. I tried backing up and an awfull smell came from the engine area. I limped home in the car and now am going to have it fixed. This is my first Toyota, and my 8th stick shift. I drove the car very easy after the new clutch because I wanted it to last a long time, and no problems for over a year. I will also call Toyota and complain and whoever else that might help me. If anyone can help I would be very greatful for any advice, or phone numbers I can call. I live in southern Michigan and am also going to look for a good auto shop.
  • chan9chan9 Posts: 3
    Hello
    I was looking forward to buying a 04 toyota matrix . Can I know that does the transmission problems both in manual and automatic.
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    The automatic transmission are not much trouble, but such a small low power motor is more fun to operate with a stick shift. I think the 2006 and 2007 don't have manual trans problems.
  • chan9chan9 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply.
    Can I also know of the little troubles faced in automatic transmission if u know them. I agree with your statement regarding stick shift option but actually I have a 04 deal available to me in automatic transmission currently.
  • I'd like to stress the importance of upyourstoyota (great name) message. And I'd like to add to it. Another poster gave the federal website. It is, again:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm.

    (Sorry, I can't get it in blue to link, please just copy.) There are currently 22 complaints on the manual transmissions of 2003 and 2004 Toyota Matrixes. (Under the "Components" category, go to Powertrain.) They also give an 800 number if you prefer to call in. Enough complaints can trigger a recall. We need to really push on this. It is outrageous nad it could result in someone's death.

    Also call or write or use your State's Attorney General's website to file a complaint. Write to your congressman. If this site alone has 32 pages of complaints, think of how many people must have been screwed.

    Further, I am thinking of contacting an attorney for a class action. Please let me know if you are interested.

    My 2003 Matrix has only between 62,000 and 63,000 miles. Now I'm supposed to put in another $4000 on a new transmission - the bearings are shot. I don't have $4000 laying around. Further, the dealer was trying to find a used one to put in - it would have the same problems as the old and I'd be paying another $4000 in a very short time.
  • Another poster gave the federal website. It is, again:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm.

    (Sorry, I can't get it in blue to link, please just copy.) There are currently 22 complaints on the manual transmissions of 2003 and 2004 Toyota Matrixes. (Under the "Components" category, go to Powertrain.) They also give an 800 number if you prefer to call in. Enough complaints can trigger a recall. We need to really push on this. It is outrageous.

    Also call or write or use your State's Attorney General's website to file a complaint. Write to your congressman. If this site alone has 32 pages of complaints, think of how many people must have been screwed.

    Further, I am thinking of contacting an attorney for a class action. Please let me know if you are interested.

    My 2003 Matrix has only between 62,000 and 63,000 miles. Now I'm supposed to put in another $4000 on a new transmission - the bearings are shot. I don't have $4000 laying around. Further, the dealer was trying to find a used one to put in - it would have the same problems as the old and I'd be paying another $4000 in a very short time.
  • I'd like to stress the importance of upyourstoyota (great name) message. And I'd like to add to it. Another poster gave the federal website. It is, again:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm.

    (Sorry, I can't get it in blue to link, please just copy.) There are currently 22 complaints on the manual transmissions of 2003 and 2004 Toyota Matrixes. (Under the "Components" category, go to Powertrain.) They also give an 800 number if you prefer to call in. Enough complaints can trigger a recall. We need to really push on this. It is outrageous.

    Also call or write or use your State's Attorney General's website to file a complaint. Write to your congressman. If this site alone has 32 pages of complaints, think of how many people must have been screwed.

    Further, I am thinking of contacting an attorney for a class action. Please let me know if you are interested.

    My 2003 Matrix has only between 62,000 and 63,000 miles. Now I'm supposed to put in another $4000 on a new transmission - the bearings are shot. I don't have $4000 laying around. Further, the dealer was trying to find a used one to put in - it would have the same problems as the old and I'd be paying another $4000 in a very short time.
  • Hey dissatisfied4, I would be interested in a class action law suit. You can email me if you want to talk more about that: marpants at yahoo dot com (writing it that way to avoid spambots). Also, I don't know if anyone listens to Car Talk on NPR, but their website is terrific. As far as directing your complaint to the person in charge, here is a list of all the CEOs of the major car companies: http://www.cartalk.com/content/features/To-The-Top/ . The rest of the site is great for do it yourself tips and all sorts of resources. We can all draft a letter and attach each of our names and addresses and phone numbers and send in one to the president of Toyota as well as sending a copy to the Attorney General's office for our respective states and then find a news agency to send it to as well (will get their attention more). I think that sending it to Car Talk might be the best bet. The other avenues listed in the previous threads are also great ideas and everyone should take the time to fill out their complaints. Think of it this way: it will take fifteen minutes tops and there is a chance that you could be reimbursed the thousands of dollars that you spent replacing a defective part. A chance at $3000+ aint bad for fifteen minutes of effort.
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