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Matrix Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • How many miles?
    Was the trans oil ever changed?
  • yes, it was... we did all the maintenance when needed. the car had 92k miles.
  • My car is 7 years old, but I hardly drive, my car has 58,000 miles on it and the transmission just took a dive.....So much for Toyotas lasting forever, and so much for me stating I would never drive anything but a Toyota. The repair is higher than bluebook. Just for the record it is a 2004 Toyota Matrix XRS 6 speed.
  • I have owned this car for 3 years. Only 76,100 miles. The clutch had been replaced twice. The clutch broke a 3rd time, it broke the transmission housing, and now, just 5 months later from having the whole transmission replaced. The clutch is out again.

    I am not in a position where I can buy a new car. I'm at such a loss.
  • I think folks need to start contacting the Better Business Bureau, State's Attorney's office, news media or whoever it will take to get Toyota to wake up and get this transmission matter on a recall.
  • 2004 Matrix 5 SP, Sounded like a bearin goin@85k.........R.I.P.@97k...1-4-2012
  • How often was the trans oil actually changed?
    The Service Guide only calls for inspection every 30K miles.
  • kbettokbetto Posts: 1
    I had the same problem this past December 2011 where my check oil light came on and the Matrix 2003 suddenly died on the freeway. I had it towed to Toyota and I was told by the dealer that my engine was not getting oil on the top part and I needed a new engine for $7000! Had to sell my car as junk. I had had regular care and oil changes since I bought the car used with 50,000 miles on it. It had 130,000 miles on it when it died. The only other problem I had with it in the past was when a check engine light went on intermittently and a new catalytic converter/tailpipe took care of that problem. I will not buy another Toyota and just bought a Honda Fit which I hope will give me at least 10 years of good driving.
  • kbetto you could have had an independent shop put a rebuilt or junkyard motor in for much less than $7000.
    There's generally no need to take an out-of-warranty car to the dealer, their prices tend to be the highest.

    It had "regular care and oil changes" while you owned it, but what care did it get during its first 50,000 miles?

    And the $64 question: how long did you keep driving after the oil light came on?
    If more than 30 seconds then that engine failed due to your negligence, not Toyotas fault.
    It's not a "check oil" light, it means there's no oil pressure and damage is imminent.
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    You're obviously one of those gullible people that refuses to believe these cars are crap. Why would kbetto take the car anywhere for a new engine for any amount of money? It was junk. Would have died no matter how long the light was on. I was one of the early posts on this way back in fall of 2007 when I also replaced my Toyota junk with a Honda Fit and am loving it. May be smaller but it's way faster and better built. That matrix was gutless on the highway.
  • You're obviously one of those irresponsible people that refuses to take any blame ever for problems in your life.
    When something goes wrong you start pointing the finger in all directions except inward.
    Your post is pure venting and pretty nonsensical.
    You like your Honda then good for you, however it's not suitable for my needs.
    I owned a Civic and 3 Accords and liked them all too.
    I've had 5 trouble free years with my Matrix and I'm convinced it's not "junk".
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    I'm the one that will be laughing at you when your matrix dies too. It's at that ripe age of 5y. Mine was gone at 5.5y and had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY I DROVE IT OR MAINTENANCE OF IT! Pure junk. Enjoy the day you get stuck on the side of the highway like the rest of us.
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    Oh, and don't ever call a person irresponsible when you know nothing about them. You keep insisting in every post that these problems are the drivers' fault which is completely untrue. The bearings do not get enough oil, they pit, and then they fail. They possibly don't all have the same bearing from the same manufacturer so perhaps some won't fail and those owners are simply the lucky ones, not the more responsible ones.
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    edited January 2012
    Oh, and don't ever call a person gullible when you know nothing about them.
    I'm not insisting on anything, I just stated fact.
    If someone continues to drive with the oil (pressure) light on for more than a brief time the engine will be toast.
    Doesn't matter if it's a Toyota or a Bentley.
    And now you've confused transmission bearing problems with kbetto's engine failure.

    Maybe kbetto's engine could have been saved if he/she hadn't continued to drive it with the oil light on.
    Maybe it just had a clogged oil pickup screen, not unusual if the previous owner was stingy with oil changes during the first 50,000 miles.

    You have no evidence that EVERY transmission or engine failure is Toyota's fault.
    The hand full of people on the internet with problems multiplied by 100 isn't even 1% of the Matrixes out there on the road.
    Clearly you have some axe to grind with Toyota, but you'll never match wits with me.
  • stan83stan83 Posts: 1
    bought 09 matrix 1st trans replaced under warranty at 14000 km didnt think to much about it ....in shop now for 2nd trans at 54000km being replaced under warranty.....dealer great about it no hassles just replaces trans like alls normal...driven standards for years never replaced trans even in younger days driving older vehicles..car serviced only by dealer and wife drives conservativly...i agree toyota needs to look into and correct these problems.
  • jchan01545jchan01545 Posts: 3
    edited January 2012
    Purchased new in April 2004 (manual 5-speed, XR model). Started making scraping noises @ 109K about a month ago (sounded a bit like brake rust, "hissing" or "growling" when accelerating or decelerating, but with clutch down the noise quieted down). Got worse (louder and more obnoxious) over the past week so I tried changing the transmission fluid this past weekend (fluid was the color of black coffee - I'd never changed it since new) with no noticeable metal swirls. Noise was reduced by maybe half for a couple of days.

    A hundred or so miles later, the noise is back but worse. The growling is accompanied with more "chatter" and shifting gears is stiffer but all gears still work. Took to an Aamco shop, they had one Matrix 2003 failure like mine (replaced the transmission since they couldn't find parts). Claimed that they saw some metal swirls in the transmission fluid and recommended that I do the same for $3900. I opted out and will likely try to do the repair myself. I'll just have to figure out how to get the Matrix high enough off the ground to drop the transmission out onto a dolly and back.

    If it's just bearings, I'll order a transmission rebuild kit for $300 - $350 and swap out the bearings. I suspect its the input / output bearings or both since the noise is present even in 4th gear (which I hear bypasses the throwback bearing). If the gear(s) are shot, I'll try to find a used C90 6-speed transmission and toss that in.

    Interestingly, the Aamco manager told me that he sees a lot more Honda Odyssey transmission problems than Toyotas, any given week they see several in the shop. They were three in the shop while I was there.
  • Thank you for the thoughtful post - being a 'shade tree mechanic' i appreciate your approach and anticipate the same as mine developes.
  • I am in for the lawsuit.
  • jchan01545jchan01545 Posts: 3
    edited February 2012
    It's taken a month (augmenting my tool collection and working on the car after-hours and weekends) but was finally able to drop the transmission out and get it open. Me thinks that the Toyota manual is deliberately vague to protect their service revenue, lots of hurdles to overcome.

    For anyone who's interested, below are pic's of my blown output bearing along with the shattered ball bearing cage and 5th driven gear that sits above the bearing:

    http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd495/littlome/ef19cd03.jpg

    http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd495/littlome/ae456d2e.jpg

    One of the bearings was rattling around (only a matter of time for the others to break free, the cage was cracked in mulitple places). From the photo you can see that the ball bearing is pretty pitted. I spotted chunks of metal and several of the other balls were also pitted.

    Long story short, I don't recommend driving on a transmission that has my previously described symptoms. I cringe at the thought of an output shaft seizing from failed bearings going at highway speeds.

    Next up, checking the other other bearings and synchro's...
  • What year is your Matrix? I am looking for a good repair/shop manual and have only found Chilton's which is NO HELP AT ALL for anything more detailed than changing a lightbulb (at least for Matrix). So what have you used and your experience? Noted your comment on manual and interested in more. How about doing an Instructible (Instructibles.com) on tran repair -- haha! But you do write well and good pics.

    Thanks
  • What year is your Matrix? I am looking for a good repair/shop manual and have only found Chilton's which is NO HELP AT ALL for anything more detailed than changing a lightbulb (at least for Matrix). So what have you used and your experience? Noted your comment on manual and interested in more. How about doing an Instructable (Instructables.com) on tran repair -- haha! But you do write well and good pics.

    Thanks
  • jchan01545jchan01545 Posts: 3
    edited March 2012
    Mine is a 2004 XR with about just over 109K. I recommend getting a Matrix service manual (check out eBay). Below is the blog that I found very helpful in describing how to get the transmission out. Once out you can follow the directions on rebuilding the "Manual Transaxle Assembly" - starting on page 41-26.

    http://wehavescissors.blogspot.com/2009/12/changing-clutch-in-pontiac-vibe-or.ht- - ml

    Here's the original thread, useful tips from other user:

    http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=21943

    It's my understanding that the Vibe is a Toyota with different branding.

    If you're going to take on this major undertaking, you're going to need lots of tools and time. I've run into lots of issues that took way more time than I expected (some requiring purchasing specialized tools) to get past steps that the service manual and blogs make sound like a piece of cake (i.e., remove the transmission cover by tapping with a plastic hammer -- yeah, right). Harbor Freight and Amazon are very happy with me but my wallet is suffering. And there are steps in the service manual that can be skipped.

    Here are the trouble-spots that I ran into:

    * Removing the drive shafts. Now that I know how much pressure it takes to remove them, I'd just use a flat crowbar with a piece of wood against the transmission body to pry the driveshaft housing away from the transmission -- you don't have to pry all that hard, it comes out rather easily. I rented a puller from Advance Auto Parts to do this (no charge once you return the equipment).

    * Getting the transmission separated from the engine. There is a guide pin on the firewall side of the engine and transmission that refused to separate. Once I got some light on that side I was able to see the pin. I squirt some Kroil Oil on it and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes later the transmission was finally off. I think that if I had pried the transmission away from the engine evenly it would not have hung up on that pin.

    * Getting the transmission cover off. Spent a couple of hours banging with a plastic hammer like the directions said. I tried heating the gasket and top cover with a torch, no success. Tried using a brass rod and hammer, still a no go. Finally found a spot that I could use a flat crowbar without risking any damage to the housing, about 30 seconds later the cover was off.

    * Getting the 5th driven gear off (to expose the output bearing). I needed to purchase a gear puller that had a narrow enough profile to get beneath the gear, ended up purchasing a Posi-Lock Model 104 puller from Sears (couldn't find anything else locally that would fit). It was *just* narrow enough to get beneath that gear and worked like a champ. The straight arm pullers that the service manual recommended were a lot more money.

    * Separating the bell housing from the mid-section of the transmission. Instructions say to use a brass bar and hammer. The instructions failed to mention that the input and output shafts and their bearings need to be coaxed off while splitting the housing before the sections can come apart. Don't do what I did, I split the two with the transmission was on its side to get more leverage and ended up spilling some of the gears and levers inside the housing, it was a huge mess with gears hitting other gears and parts falling out. Took me an hour figure out where things go.
  • kingkueikingkuei Posts: 1
    I've got a 2003 Corolla 5-Spd using the same C59 transmission. At 162,000 miles, my transmission gave up the ghost. At first, I thought it was just my clutch and flywheel since the clutch has been slipping for awhile now. I just didn't have the money to get around to replacing them right away.

    Three weeks ago, I suffered a sudden and catastrophic failure driving home on the freeway (thank God it was midnight and barely any traffic). I started to hear an usual whining from the transmission coupled with scraping and grinding noises and periodic screeching).

    Anyway, I was still on the original clutch and I had already ordered up a new Fidanza clutch and an MWR chromoly flywheel in addition to a TRD Japan clutch line. I was actually getting really excited, but after putting all these shiny new parts in, I've come to the realization that it was not the clutch that failed, but rather, something inside the transmission. I talked to a well-regarded and heavily-recommended gear shop nearby (3 out of 6 mechanics in my area recommended the same guy). As soon as I mentioned I had a Toyota 5-spd, he went on a rant about them and how many rebuilds he's done on these Toyota transmissions. He then proceeded to show me up a blow-up diagram of the transmission and started pointing out the bearings that have most often failed. He was even aware of the plastic cage inside that he thinks has probably shattered.

    Luckily, my rebuild is going to come out to around $1300-$1400 (that includes labor to remove and reassemble the transmission back on my car), which I think is an incredibly good deal. I've heard of people spending twice as much on parts and labor!

    Anyway, just wanted to post my experience. After reading this thread, I almost feel like one of the lucky ones. My original clutch lasted 162,000 miles, as did my transmission. While I would have liked this transmission to keep humming for another 40,000-90,000 miles, it seems unrealistic to expect any vehicle component to last that long. I suspect that the bean counters at Toyota figure an average person will keep a car for max 10 years and drive about 15,000 miles a year. So shooting for component life of around 150,000 miles is probably expected. It's a mechanical device, and I know that there are going to be plenty of other things that will break down as I start getting closer to that 200k mark. It's just inevitable.
  • We had to replace our five-speed manual transmission at 98,000 miles! I sent a certified letter to the president of Toyota Motor Corp. North America. I was told since there is no recall, I would not be compensated. The cost was $3,100!

    Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/unbearable-transmission-bearing Hopefully if there are enough signatures, Toyota will do a recall.

    Thank you!!
  • We had to replace our five-speed manual transmission on our Toyota Matrix at 98,000 miles! I sent a certified letter to the president of Toyota Motor Corp. North America. I was told since there is no recall, I would not be compensated. The cost was $3,100!

    Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/unbearable-transmission-bearing Hopefully if there are enough signatures, Toyota will do a recall.

    Thank you!!
  • We had to replace our five-speed manual transmission on our Toyota Matrix at 98,000 miles! I sent a certified letter to the president of Toyota Motor Corp. North America. I was told since there is no recall, I would not be compensated. The cost was $3,100!

    Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/unbearable-transmission-bearing Hopefully if there are enough signatures, Toyota will do a recall.

    Thank you!!
  • Hi all,
    I plan to buy a 05 XRS Matrix. I'd like to ask your opinion about that year with XRS 6 speed transmission problem. I'm interesting in a 05 XRS with 125K miles, just replaced OEM clutch . Do you think that is OK to buy it? or maybe not? Thank you for your recommendation.

    Eric
  • Eric prior to buying the '05 Matrix, I suggest you do extensive research on it to see if the same transmission problem exists. If so, I would not buy it. It is a very expensive repair.

    I have also heard that the clutch on the Matrix is not suitable for the weight of the car. I had to replace the clutch at the same time as the transmission! Big bucks! Both of these were replaced at 98,000 miles.

    On the Matrix petition site, several people posted they had the same transmission problem with their Matrix. Definitely do your research.
  • Thank you for fast reply. Your advise is definitely make me think twice about Matrix. I'll looking for something else. Thanks again and good luck with your class action.

    Eric
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