Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota Matrix Brake Questions



  • Replacing rotors is easy. Remove the wheel, pull off the caliper (two bolts), slide the old one off and the new one on. It took me about an hour to do both front wheels. Replace with quality rotors. Spend a little extra and get a pair of quality slotted and/or cross-drilled rotors. Then replace the brake pads with a good semi-metallic or even better ceramic. You'll really notice the difference.
  • Welcome to my 2003 Matrix world. I have always been a Toyota man, but this Matrix is proving to be a piece of engineering crap. At 85K miles my catalytic converter went south. Of course it was only warranted for 75K. Now, I have the same problem as you, my right front caliper is frozen. One day I'm driving down the road and a loud roar from the right front tire followed by horrific shaking of the steering wheel. I pulled over immediately, checked the front tire and noticed the wheel was extremely hot. After a lot of checking, found the caliper frozen in place. It sucks too because I had just replaced the rotor and ceramic pads. Now in addition to a new caliper, I have to replace the pads and rotor again. The rotor got so hot it warped pretty good (tire dealer didn't do a good job of torquing lug nuts). Doing a little search on these types of blogs, I find the catalytic converter and calipers to be a common problem on the 2003 Matrix. Of course Toyota says they haven't really had any complaints. My next car will probably be a Subaru. (Funny how they stopped making the 4WD Matrix like I have. I wonder why?)
  • Good point about the brake fluid and need to bleed/replace on a regular basis. Based upon research on the web and talking to several mechanics, it's a bigger problem than you would think and can lead to costly repairs. One other issue that I found, the boot will sometime crack (with heat and age) and the salt from winter road treatment will get into the boot and corrode the piston from the other side. Also a good point about replacing both calipers at the same time.
  • So in addition to my brake going out the first time... I just got the car back from the dealership, with a new brake system, I had the car for less then 24 hours and it happened again to the same brake. This time though, I was driving for about 5 blocks when the right front brake seized up again and the rotor was extremely hot again. Any comments or suggestions on this one... I have brand new calipers, rotors, pads, the works and the problem is still not fixed. My next though was the master cylinder, but the dealership said that they checked that the first time and everything was fine. And I was under the impression that if the mast cylinder goes out, it affects both brakes.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Well this is simple, take it back. You paid to have it fixed, and they didn't fix it.

    This is a little hard to diagnose further without looking at it, but I'll give you my thoughts of what come to mind...hopefully others might chime in as well.
    - first thing that comes to mind, is that they didn't get the caliper and brake pads (or the wrong brake pads) put back correctly, and something is binding
    - second thing that comes to mind, is that you might actually have a frozen piston on the left side caliper (you didn't replace this, right?), which isn't doing any braking whatsover, in which case all of the front braking is done by the right side....and it is getting hot under what one might consider normal braking. If you let go of the steering wheel when you put on the brakes, will the car continue tracking straight? or does the wheel and car turn to the right?
    - might be a crimped brake tubing/hose in the front right.
    - starting to get less likely, but might have a blockage of some sort in the brake distribution circuit. I don't have the Matrix service manuals to know exactly what is included with the Matrix.
    - Assuming the master cylinder is like almost every other vehicle, you'd have a front and back fluid circuit. No problem there would effect only one wheel.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Anyone know the torque on the front and rear caliper mounting bolts on an XRS? My son replaced his pads but didn't have a manual and I'm not sure if he even had a torque wrench. I would like to torque them to spec. Thanks.
  • Hello, I have a 2004 Toyo Matrix. I'm going to be replacing the rotors and brakes on it. Before i get started wanted to know if there is a special tool i need to take off the rotor when i first took tire off to inspect rotors i noticed a nut holding on the rotor which i suspect is connected to the half-shaft. Im asking because the new rotors i have seem different than the old ones. Any help would be great, thanks for the help in advance.
  • I have the same question, on the 4wd XR is there a special tool needed to replace the rotors? I took off the caliber and can still not get the rotor off. It looks like it is held to the shaft.
  • We have a 2005 Toyota Matrix and the ABS brakes have a terrible grinding noise which the dealer says is normal as the brakes have to pulsate and consquently a noise.
    However this is an excessive noise that grinds when the brakes are applied during snowy or icy conditions.
    Any suggestions to fix the problem.
  • Is this your first experience with ABS? ABS should kick in if you are skidding. There is pulsating, and you should hear a grinding sort of noise. Take a technician for a ride and put the car into an intentional skid. See if he/she says it's normal.
  • I have a 2008 Toyota Matrix XR w/ 14,500 miles. I'm having what sounds like the same problem expressed by "chailes" in # 31. In snowy, icy, or slushy conditions - especially if the road is rough - I get a terrible grinding noise and severe vibration in the brake pedal when the brakes are applied. In addition to the noise and vibration, the brakes fail to stop the car. I pump them, but it does not seem to help. So far this has only happened at slow speeds on local country roads, but I'm afraid it will also happen at higher speeds where similar brake failure would be disastrous. I'm spooked about driving the car in anything but clear dry weather. Any ideas what is causing this? Also, any ideas as to the fix? It is an hour&half drive to the dealer and they tend to say "it is supposed to do that" a lot. Besides, this only happens in snowy, cold conditions so I likely could not recreate it for the dealer.
  • Maybe the brake master cylinder is malfunctioning in cold and damp conditions. Try replacing the brake fluid.
  • danitdanit Posts: 1
    We purchased a pre-owned 2007 Matrix with 12K miles on it and managed to add an addition 17K miles in the span of 6 months (do LOTS of commuting for work and also did a trip to Florida to and from NYC). Lately, I noticed that every time I stop at a read light my car starts vibrating. Also, notice this when I'm braking the car. However, when I put the car in neutral the vibrating stops. Before I bring it in for servicing, what o you good folks think? I suspect it may be breaks, alignment, or just the tires (I heard the tires are poor on the Matrix). Thanks.
  • motwnbromotwnbro Posts: 6
    i have an 08 matrix.....i had my brakes checked and were said to be good....but i have a noise that comes come on intermitently...mostly after when the car has been sitting...i'll apply the brakes and get a click clack frome each bracke...some time only one will sound....does this have something to do with abs system....thank you....martin
  • I have the same year and exact same issue. My garage (today) say, 1 the brakes *are* safe and 2 it is a known issue and 3 there is a Technical Bulletin on it (I have been unable to find it so far) it, they say is due to normal wear and slight misalignment and will be a 1/2 day fix and should be covered by warranty. My garage took the brakes apart, lubed some bits and put them back together and the noise has gone but they say I should expect it recur
  • I had similar problem and Toyota dealership service persuaded me to have some kind of belt change. But it did not stop the vibration after spending a few hundreds more.
    A few months later, the battery died. And amazingly the battery change fixed the problem. I have a more powerful battery though. Maybe you can try it.

    The vibration at stop used to drive me nuts, especially when the A/C is on. Now no more vibration. Good luck to you.
  • Anyone has similar experience and can give any advice? Thanks.
  • How old was the battery? Did it ever need water added?
    Sometimes an old battery will draw a lot of charge current due to worn out plate separators. The alternator would have to supply that extra charge current. That increases alternator drag and makes the engine work harder, especially at idle.
  • The battery is almost new. I just had it replaced a few months ago. The shaking happens at high speed braking not at idling. Thanks.
  • I bought a brand new Toyota Matrix 2006 FWD from the dealer for my brother. He has been behind the wheel for more than 10 years, good records as I did. He told me he could feel that the brake doesn't response quick enough, but I though he possibly just needed some time to get used to it. Last Winter he made a left turn on a snowy day, about -20 degrees, he found the brake responsed wierdly and he lost the control, and the car hat the curb and bent the front wheel. I thought he possibly just careless driving, and we switched our car. This winter I encounted almost the same problem as he did. I drove on a snow day for about 60KMH with about -20 degrees, found a car stalled at least 20 meters in front of me, start to brake but my car shaked uncontrollably once brakes are applied, and it turned almost 90 degreees and slipped on the car in front. Well my car didn't have an ABS and snow tires, however, I had driven cars without them for more than 10 winters and never ha such a bad situation. Could anybody explain to me what might be wrong with the brake system?
    Thank you in advance!
Sign In or Register to comment.