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Toyota Matrix



  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,675
    A writer with a national magazine is writing an article on 8 cars that are under $20K for families on a budget or as a 2nd or 3rd car. He is looking for parents with young children who have recently purchased or are planning to purchase any one of the following vehicles: VW Jetta the new “Value Edition”, Chevy Cobalt (with SAB), Mitsubishi Galant, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Ford Focus Wagon, Honda Element, Kia Sorento or Dodge Caravan. The writer would like to know if they like it, dislike it, what are the family-style features and what kind of deal did you get on the car? If you fit what the writer is looking for, please email your responses to by May 13, 2005.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • vero1vero1 Posts: 4

    I just got my new Matrix xr 4wd on the 12th of april and I love it. The only thing is that I hear a toc in the front left wheel when I'm driving slowly and I hit a bump or when I'm at an intersection and I start moving. They checked everything at the dealership yesterday and one of the 3 bolts on my shocks was not at the proper tighness. The thing is that I still hear that "toc". I'll be going back to the dealership next week but; does anyone have an idea of what it could be? Could it be normal that a new car adjust itself in the first little while and some noises are heard?

    Thanks :confuse:
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 469
    Both our 2003 Matrix and 2004 Highlander work as nippononly described. You have to start the car with the parking brake on to keep the DRLs from coming on. With the Matrix being made in Ontario it's curious that it hasn't always had the Canadian system.

    The question about disconnecting the thing came up as early as 2003. I seem to recall someone reporting that a service manager had reported that the headlights wouldn't work at all if the DRL sensor was removed.
  • pcotugnopcotugno Posts: 8
    Thanks for all the ideas about the DRL's. For some reason, I never thought about this problem and if it could be solved when I purchased the car. I'll try out the handbrake thing and let you all know if it works on my car.

  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    New to the Matrix forum. We got our 2005 XR 2wd in Super white and love it. :D I wonder why some DRL work one way and a different way in the same kind of car. If we start our car with the p brake on no DRL come on. Take off the p brake and they come on. pull back up on it they go off.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    Since DRL's are daytime RUNNING lights, it seems logical that if you have the parking brake on, you're not running, and thus, the lights don't need to be on.


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • rossm2rossm2 Posts: 96
    This is exactly how every car I've driven since 1990 has operated. It does seem to be a very logical implementation.

  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    I don't mind the DRLs, during the daytime. I just wish there was a way to toggle the automatic headlights on or off at night. I would like to have the ability to switch to just parking lights when I go through a military gate at night.

    Makes me wonder why I have a light switch at all in the car.
  • mgvh1mgvh1 Posts: 6
    I don't bother with the light switch at all. Note that there is a light sensor on the top left of the dashboard (that round plug sort of thing). It brightens the DRLs as soon as it gets dark enough. I figure this way I never forget to turn the lights off. I do have fog lamps, so I use those as needed.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Toyota doesn't have a separate setting for parking lights and headlights? They only have an auto and headlights on setting? That is odd if that's how it works. My Chevy's headlight switch default mode is the auto setting but it also has a separate parking light and headlight on setting that overrides the auto sensor on the dash. Say its raining out but not quite dark enough to trip the light sensor: I would manually turn the switch to the headlight setting and then if I didn't want the headlights on but still want the parking lights, I would just turn the switch back to the parking light setting. I can also flick the switch to the left to completely shut off the DRLs. It resets everytime you start the car though. I love the control this switch setup gives you. Is it possible GM finally has a better idea then Toyota? LOL :)
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    There is a light switch on the left stalk that allows you to turn on the parking lights and headlights as desired when it is light out. Once it gets dark, the headlights are on. Period. The end. It is convenient in the sense that you will not have to worry about drained batteries from leaving headlights on. But for the few of us that would like to have the ability to use parking lights only when it is dark, it is an annoyance.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    I wonder how many owners even use the p-brake. I always use it but I drive a stick shift. I would say here in the midwest most do not use it... I know they don't use turn signals or mirrors... so I'm guessing the p-brake isn't needed either. I laugh and say when they buy the new car the first thing they do before leaving the lot is break off the turn signal lever and the rear view mirror and throw them out the window.

    On the light issue. I'm one for more driver control so the auto lights are something that I care little about. Also on cars with fog lights... there needs to be a rear one too.
  • bobsk8bobsk8 Posts: 3
    Never use the Parking brake unless I am parking on a Hill
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,409
    Bad move.
    It'll gradually corrode if you don't use it regularly.
    It'll still "parking brake" just fine...
    ...but it won't release properly.
    Ask me how I know this... I've bought a lot of used cars.
  • bobsk8bobsk8 Posts: 3
    I drive about 20- 40,000 miles per year and have for around 45 years. Never had a emergency brake problem on any vehicle I owned and for many of these years I lived in the Northeast, where snow and Ice are the norm in the winter.
  • 2labs2labs Posts: 1
    For those of you who have a child carseat in your Matrix/Vibe is there enough room if the car seat is in the middle in the backseat for a dog on each side? How much room do you think there is on each side of the car seat. I have one 65lb lab and a 85lb lab - no kids yet but ?? in the near furture, so I want to make sure it can work, since I hope to have this car for 5 years.

    PS - My dogs wear a harness seatbelt, so they won't be running loose back there with a child.
  • yyzguyyyzguy Posts: 1
    I'm not sure if this has been discussed on this forum...haven't quite made it through the 145 pages just yet :)
    Anyway through my general research I have found some claims on the internet that the supercharger available for the matrix can actually improve fuel economy. Anyone heard of/experienced this? Seems unlikely to me but I am very far from an authority.
  • pcotugnopcotugno Posts: 8
    I tried all the suggestions with the parking brake, driving then quickly turning off the engine and restarting, etc., and none worked. So, I took it to my mechanic, and for $44, he got rid of them. The only thing is that the brake light is always on, even when the brake is not. So, he said to check my brake fluid each oil change, since the brake light would come on if the brake fluid was low.For about $180, he could have made it so the brake light would not be on all the time, but I don't mind checking the brake fluid. It's nice to have control over your lights!

  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    For safety reasons, I wouldn't want my brake lights on all the time. There may even be a law against it. I wouldn't trust a mechanic who would even suggest doing this. I understand that you didn't want the DRL's. However, in my opinion, your vehicle is now less safe. Not only are your DRL's no longer functioning (a proven safety feature), your brake lights are always on (no one will know when you are attempting to brake). That's scary.Your insurance may not cover you if someone hits you from behind if they prove your vehicle's brake light system was deliberately altered. Incidentally, I doubt the brake fluid has anything to do with it (you never had that problem before). The bottom line is... it's your car. Good luck.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,409
    "Not only are your DRL's no longer functioning (a proven safety feature)"

    Oh come now, it's not that big a deal.... if the DRL's were functioning properly, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I like mine, but I don't like that I can NEVER turn them off.

    I wouldn't be satisfied with the brake light on all the time either, but it's not a crime against humanity.

    BTW, by "brake light" he's talking about the little indicator light on the dash, not the rear brake lights that tell the guy behind you that you're slowing down. Now that would be bad...

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