Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Matrix Transmission Problems



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    You could try a recycler like this one:

    If you can find a recent model car that was crashed, chances are very good that the transmission will be fine, and it's your cheapest price for sure. Of course, it's also not warrantied like a rebuild would be.

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

  • badvibesbadvibes Posts: 2
    a used transmission is likely to have the same faulty bearing that has caused this ever growing thread. our used vibe's tranny main bearing failed at 85k taking 5th gear set with it...we came out just under 2 grand for a rebuild with only 6 mos warranty with new tranny parts. find my original post for all the gory details.
  • azureskyesazureskyes Posts: 1
    Man, I wish I would have found this forum sooner! I bought my 2004 Toyota Matrix XR back in 2003 brand new. I have been the only owner and only driver. I have an Automatic transmission. Back around 55,000 miles, my transmission started catching between 1st and 2nd gear. It was almost like it would stick between gears, shift hard and then any gears after that were fine when shifting. I took my car to the Toyota dealership and complained of the shifting/transmission issues. They said my transmission fluid was *dirty* and they flushed the fluid and gave it back to me. 1 week later I was driving home from work on Interstate 95 in 5 o'clock rush hour when my transmission completely went up. It locked up, hitting the gas pedal would do nothing except rev my engine. Shifting between gears made no difference. Had to get a tow to the Toyota dealer. This time they put in what they referred to as a *brand new transmission*. I was under 60K miles and therefore still under warrenty so no charges incurred. A few weeks later I was at a drive thru window when I heard a very loud noise under my hood. Took the Matrix back to Toyota dealer only for them to tell me that I had a bad bearing in my engine and they had to completely rebuild my engine. Still under 60K though and I was still under warranty. 1 year and 5 months later (2 days ago) I was driving home from work in rush hour again when my car just wouldn't shift again. I had to drive all the way home at 30 miles an hour revving out at 5,000 RPM's. Relying alot on my coasting of having an automatic and the grace of God to get me home. I made it to my condo parking lot before it burned. But it burned before I pulled into a spot. My husband had to push me in. Got another tow to the dealer. Now they are saying something *exploded* inside my transmission. I got an extended 1 year warranty when the transmission was replaced back in December of '06. 5 months out of the warranty and my tranny blew FOR A SECOND TIME. I have been fighting with the :mad: dealer for days about this!! Ahhhhhh! I too have owned Toyota's in the past and I have never had a single issue until I bought my Matrix XR
  • slowzukislowzuki Posts: 3
    2003 Matrix XR 5 speed

    The output bearing is going, at the 95,000 km mark I asked the dealer to check the noise in the transmission and the fluid level, they said nothing was wrong. Now at 130,000 km the noise is very very loud. I found this forum and starting asking the dealer questions, the parts guy admits there are alot of failures but the services guy act like they've never heard of it.

    I'm in Fredericton, NB, Canada

    Tried phoning around for used trannies but the yards say, yup very familiar with this problem, sorry all our vibe, corolla and matrix trannies are sold out.

    The dealer wants 600$ for the parts alone and no returns on unused pieces.

    I found one used tranny a distance away but its about the same milage as mine, no guarrantee the bearing has been done.

    Anyone have the updated bearing number? Anyone have an aftermarket cross number?

    I'm going to call the Toyota line this afternoon but I doubt I'll get anywhere.

    Sure wish I had bought the 1999 Tacoma that was next to it for the same price, would have 20,000$ in hand to spend instead.
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    My advice, sell it fast. If not, get that bearing changed before it blows apart. Funny that Fredericton Toyota doesn't admit problems. I had my Matrix transmission replaced there in Oct/07. THere's an older guy at the desk, can't remember his name, he must be the manager. Tell him that you know for a fact that a Ms Laurinolli had a tranny replaced there, only 60% paid for by Toyota. Cost me $2000. He seemed to be fully aware of the bearing problem because the first question he asked was if my car had sat unused for awhile, which it had for 2mths. The bearing seized up and didn't have proper oil apparently. I thought Toyota released a bearing upgrade package or something?? Someone on here said that.
  • doobiedwdoobiedw Posts: 1
    Add my 2003 Matrix to the long list of trans problems. I am just over the 5 year/60k mile warranty. I had the previously described grinding noises and the dealer just quoted me $3,200 to fix. When I told him about this forum, he looked it up on the Toyota website and said they show no problems. He said this sort of half-heartedly as if this is just the company line. We have had a long history of good relationship with our dealer and he is currently looking into doing something for us with the goodwill program. I'm hoping he comes through for us. Other than this problem, the matrix has been a perfect car for me.
  • slowzukislowzuki Posts: 3
    I wish I could sell, no one would buy a car with a bearing noise that loud. I'll look into it but I doubt they will help since they didn't sell me the car and the warrantee is up.

    Can't believe Toyota won't admit there is a problem!
  • aleonaleon Posts: 2
    Hi All, man I bought my toyota matrix from a coworker. In mint condition. 1 year later, I hear a spuddering or rattling sound everytime I press the gas after shifting. My heart dropped and knew it couldn't be anything simple to fix. After reading this blog I am so blown away from all this. I've had 3 toyotas in my past life and thought for sure this was going to last me a good while. I was wrong. I need either a new transmission or a rebuilt transmission. It is a bearing failure. Oh and throwing in extra cost for replacing the clutch, the price is very costly! Yeah I have over 60,000 miles on mine. I was shocked, now I'm shaking my head. BTW, Honda had a law suit against them for transmission failure between 1999-2001 or 2002.. I guess it could happen to even the most reliable vehicles!
  • dasheddashed Posts: 1
    It all started with service at a Toyota dealership 7 months ago.

    3 days after the service ($300 overall check of the vehicle) the engine seized-apparently the radiator drained instantly with no warning. "We've never seen anything like this happen before on a Matrix"

    4 days after the engine was replaced the transmission seized-apparently this was related to the engine failure. "We never see transmissions go on these vehicles."

    Replaced with a used transmission by the same dealership. "We'll put in a used one for you, as we never see problems with these transmissions."

    6 months later I hear a strange grinding noise. Told that my transmission needs to be replaced. "Sorry the used transmission only had 3 month warranty, we can't help you out. We never see any problems with these transmissions though. Just bad luck I guess."

    Have now battled it out with the dealership and Toyota Canada. Neither of which will admit to any problem or wrong-doing. Write it off to really bad luck I was such a good car until that fateful service. Very disappointing.

    Last bit of advice from the dealership "Vehicles do not become more valuable as they get older, or increase in value as their mileage increases, the cost of maintenance starts to sky-rocket and reliability and safety decreases. The point is the longer you keep your vehicle, the more it will start to cost you due to wear and tear."

    Thank you to Peace Arch Toyota in Vancouver, BC for the mind-blowing advice!
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11
    I am just experiencing the same problems. It is not acceptable for Toyota to have an issue with their manufacturing and not deal with it. I have just sent a link of this thread to Toyota Canada and my Local Dealership - Jim Pattison Toyota North Shore. They can't say its a one off problem.

    A recall must be started. To do this everyone must send an email or letter to the Ministry of Transportation. The link to his contact page is here -

    Everyone also needs to send a link of this thread to Toyota Canada and their local dealership. Toyota prides itself on reliability and low maintenance costs - we for us it was a lie. They are tarnishing their image and word of mouth.

    This is not a one off issue. This is Toyota have a known manufacturing issue and not being responsible for it.

    Good luck everyone.
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    While you're at it, all Canadians write to W5 at CTV. Might not be a big enough story for them, but worth a try. They love car scams. I wrote them a letter but haven't heard back. Wonder what consumer reports' used car guide has for reliability for the 2003-04 Matrix? Should be zero.
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11
    I will call them, email them and write them a letter.

    For a good laugh, here is the response I just got from Toyota Canada regarding the my transmission:

    "Toyota Canada Inc. is not aware of any common concerns with the transmission on the Toyota Matrix. However, we suggest discussing this directly with the Service Manager at your Toyota dealership. They would be in the best position to advise you in this regard."

    Poor dealers having to lie on behalf of Toyota Inc not taking responsibility.

    Lets all chant together "Buy a Honda, Buy A Honda, Buy a Honda, Buy a Honda"

    When I get my car fixed, I am going to put a info sheet on both windows as well as stick notes on other Matrix Cars, telling the world what Toyota is doing. Bye Bye Reputation!

    We should all do that!
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    I've been tempted to leave notes on every Matrix I see, but haven't had the time. I emailed Toyota dealers in Halifax, Dartmouth, Fredericton and Saint John as well as Toyota Canada.
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11
    Just so everyone knows the president and CEO of Toyota Canada is named Kenji Tomikawa.

    I am trying to search for an email address or phone number. If anyone can assist, then post what they find on this blog, it would be appreciated.

    Also another problem.....

    Since Toyota will not admit there is a problem, then there is no sure fix. If you purchase a replacement part for your transmission from Toyota, it will blow again. If you purchase a used transmission from the wrecker (if you can find one, because I just called everyone in Greater Vancouver and they are all gone as its a hot item), it will blow again as this is a manufacturing problem.

    Luckily my brother-in-law who is a Honda mechanic is getting a new custom main bearing made for me and doing the work for free. I'll just pay for the parts. So I am luckily. But Toyota is wrong and I will not purchase from them again.

    Until Toyota admits there is a problem, there is no fix. So to those that have fixed their transmissions already, you also need to keep up the pressure as your transmission will blow again - sorry.
  • jamesimcbjamesimcb Posts: 13
    No custom bearing is needed. There is a updated kit. The problem is a defective main bearing from Japan. Not sure where the revised kit bearing comes from. My personal opinion is that Toyota will not do anything. The 5 speed transmission is probably only 10-15% of all of the Toyota Matrix on the road. I have heard of some going up to 200K before failure. As it only affects a very limited sub set of customers and most bearings are lasting at least 100K km's I think we are all screwed. If the automatic transmission was failing you could be almost certain that there would be a recall.

    Keep in mind that this is the same Toyota that for years did not admit to the sludge problem in their 4 bangers. The dealers were trained to say that it was normal just as the dealers are trained to say that our 5 speeds wear out and that they have never seen the premature failure before!

    It sucks but it is fixed in the 2005 on. Lesson learned that first gen cars always have more potential for problems until they work out the bugs. Usually in the second or third year of a bran new car.
  • Alright, I have have heard enough!! I have been on this website for over a year listening to all the complaints about the Toyota Matrix between 2003 - 2005. Is anybody willing to do anything about it???? I go to Japan every year and I can tell you that if the President's of Toyota in Japan knew what was happening in Canada they would be totally ashamed of what is happening. DO YOU KNOW THAT THE MATRIX IS BUILT IN CANADA AND USA? I have a Matrix 2004 XRS manual transmission and had to have the clutch replaced at 113,000, I am waiting for the transmission to go. If YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING SOMETHING HAPPEN THEN I NEED YOUR VIN NUMBER ON YOUR CAR, YEAR, AND CONTACT INFORMATION. I will definitely contact W5 and get this process started. I have been a committed Toyota user for over 20 years and have never had such a lemon as the car I am driving now - 2004 XRS Matrix 6 Speed. STOP COMPLAINING AND MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN... I went to a Toyota dealer in the lower mainland who fully admitted that there was a problem with the Matrix between 2003 - 2005 because of the gear ratio and transmission. MY DAD IS A MECHANIC AND AGREES WITH THIS! When I logged onto this website there was only 8 there are 162....LET'S GET THINGS MOVING! PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS AND I WILL GIVE YOU CONTACT INFORMTION....MATRIX RELOADED
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    Not sure how to contact you directly, but since I sold this car, I don't mind putting the VIN on here.:
    2003 Matrix Base indigo blue purchased May 2002.
    Only became available Feb'02 so mine was in one of the earliest batches of cars.

    My 1986 Corolla was way better than this piece of crap and had 230,000km on it when I sold it. Hence the reason I bought another Toyota! I like my Honda Fit, but it's kind of small and I don't appreciate a new car payment again after just paying off the last lemon.
    I did email W5, but the more people who do the better. I tried
    I'd still love to get my $2000 back from the repair job. Sold it 2mths after I fixed it so I could get a reasonable amount of cash for a down payment for a new one rather than waiting for re-failure.
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11

    Thanks for your help.

    Here is what I have now done.

    1. Wrote a letter to W5
    2. Wrote a letter to the Ministry of Transportation who is responsible for Vehicle recalls.
    3. Wrote a letter to Toyota Canada
    4. Went to my local dealer whom I bought the car from and complained to the service manager (whom, without outright admitting there is a problem, said there is one and that the new bearing will not explode).
    5. Sent a link for the blog to Toyota Canada and my dealer.

    I think your idea of complaining directly to Japan would be awesome. Also, I have been trying to get a lawyer who would be willing to take this to a class action level. I will keep trying.

    I dont want to post my details on a blog, so please email me at and I will follow up.

  • I own a 03 Matrix XRS "AUTOMATIC!" and it currently has 67,000miles. I purchased the car summer of 04 as a "CERTIFIED" pre-owned with just over 8,000 miles. The car has been making a "GRINDING" sound like it is stuck between gears and it is getting louder and louder to the point "my teenage boys hate seating in the back seat." The noise is worst when I'm on the highway "loudest between 55mph and 70mph." I had taken the car for new tires at SEARS where the mechanic took the car for a test drive and confirmed the bearing on the car needed to be addressed. I'm will be scheduling an appointment with the dealership this week in hopes this will not turned in to a nightmare. :( I will post outcome.
  • pannobajipannobaji Posts: 8
    there is a court case going on in toronto against toyota canada as regards transmission failure
    toronto provincial courthouse
    347 sheppard avenue east
    toronto ontario canada
    10.00am july 11, 2008
    third floor
    i am not sure of the room number its probably 304 but if i am wrong try room 301
    might help your cause
Sign In or Register to comment.