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Toyota Matrix Brake Questions



  • You need to find a good mechanic at an independent non-chain shop check out the brake system. You're due to have the brake fluid changed anyway.
    I don't think anyone can offer more specific help sight-unseen.
  • 2003 Matrix XR. Is this normal? I thought brakes systems had 2 separate circuits to avoid it: This has happened twice to my car: I started off with the handbrake engaged. After about a kilometer, I noticed it and released the handbrake. All seemed normal and there was braking. About ten minutes later, total brake failure. Luckily this happened in a place where I could coast down to a safe stop. When the car cooled down (about an hour later) braking returned to normal. Dealer check said nothing was wrong and that I boiled the fluid into its reservoir and this is normal. Same thing happened to my wife a year later now. (Not so lucky, but only car damage, happily.)
  • You overheat the rear drums then it takes time for the heat to reach the slave cylinder and boil the brake fluid.

    Brake fluid attracts and absorbs water, which lowers its boiling point.
    You should replace the brake fluid every 3 years for this and other reasons.
    If you don't have ABS it's a moderate DIY job:
    siphon out and refill reservoir then bleed brakes (and clutch if manual).
  • mw20mw20 Posts: 1
    My 2009 toyota matrix has an awful grinding noise when brakes applied in snowy, icy conditions. It sounds like throwing it into reverse while going 40 mph down to road. I rode with my local technician a very short distance and applied brake going only 10 mph and the horrible grinding noise was there. He told me that the grinding,slamming sound was normal not to worry about it. He said all matrix's do it and it was coming from a pump in ABS system. Not sure whether to believe him or not though. Anyone else have any input on this?
  • I don't own a Matrix but plan to buy one in the near future, that's why I come here often.

    In the past all my vehicles that had ABS system made a funny sound (grinding noise) or other sound depending on the model.
    Those where a 1991 GMC Safari, the sound resemble a mooing cow, I called my Safari "my big cow" because of this, it was my first with ABS, I freaked the first time I heard that sound.
    Then a 1994 Chevrolet Blazer, this one had a grinding sound but I knew it came from that ABS system, after that a 1999 Chevrolet Venture, this one I'd say a "humming sound" almost like a organ note and presently I own a 2005 Equinox and the ABS system produces a very soft grinding/humming sound.
    It seems that the sound comes from the brake system computer adjusting the wheel so they don't stop turning giving them the same pressure on all 4.
    That's what makes you steer your vehicle while applying the brakes.
    Weird isn't it. Four different vehicle, four different sound.
    Your grinding sound seems pretty normal to me.
  • mw20, You are the first person who has adequately described the awful ABS brake noise I get with my 2008 Matrix. I've tried to describe it here but no one seemed to believe me or thought I was exaggerating. I too have been told this noise is "normal" both by people in this forum and by others. It may be "normal" but it should not be acceptable! I think Toyota trying to pass this horrible noise off as "normal" is insulting. My main question to you though is, Do you think it is safe? I have had this happen a number of times and I think the there is virtually no braking power when this noise occurs. I think the brakes basically fail whenever this noise occurs. The noise is bad enough, but thinking the brakes have failed is really scary. It is so bad that we never drive this car if the roads are snow covered or snow is threatened. Therefore, the car sits unused for about 3 months every year here in Colorado. I'm really disappointed in Toyota on this one and we will sell the car this summer.
  • Like I was explaining to "mw20" there is nothing wrong about the noise that you are hearing. It's totally normal.
    I've been hearing that noise since 1991 when applying the brakes on every vehicle I've owned, every time I apply the brakes on a icy or snow covered surface and even on dry or wet surface every time the brakes are applied hard I hear that (grinding/humming or ever) sound that you hear.
    By the way...not an accident since I started to hear that sound.
    It doesn't even come from the brakes, it's from the ABS system.
    Don't worry, it has nothing to do with the recalls that Toyota came out with recently.
  • transfertransfer Posts: 1
    I have a 2009 Matrix and I too have a brake problem. When I apply the brakes it's more than the grinding noise but the resistance of the brakes bouncing back against the foot pedal. I just called Toyota to put my car in and they told me two weeks and no guaranteed that I get a loaner. I'm very disappointed with Toyota and now that the dealer is making no effort in working with me. I believe I made a wrong choice now. In the past I had only owned Honda cars and never had a problem.
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    By the year of your car it must still be on warranty.
    I had a similar problem (not a brake problem) but a problem with the service at the dealer where I had bought the car and I simply went to another Toyota dealer across town and they where extremely nice and polite with me far better than the dealer that had sold me the car.
    They gave their 100% for my satisfaction.
    Any Toyota dealer can, will and are supposed to take care of you with respect and loyalty.
  • mwc979mwc979 Posts: 1
    Changed the rotors and drums and pads. Bled 2x and still have pulsating on slow breaking. And wheel shake on fast breaking. Checked vacuum at assist canister..seems good...anyone have an idea??
  • Maybe bent hub or debris on mating surface between rotor and hub.
  • mantechmantech Posts: 28
    I already reached the 50,000km, Brakes and gas accelator has been done, Now I'm having experience (occasionally) squealing noise coming from rear wheels.
    If I drive the cars on the \wet days, in the next morning noise can be heard after releasing the parking brake. Not sure if it's coming from the rear brakes.
    The noise could last for a few seconds while driving, Is ehre anyone who experienced this kind of symptom? It,s a 1.8L, Touring package. I have to make an appointment soon before the warranty expires (60,000K) Don't know if there's
    some chargeable things so I have to watchout carefully. If it's the brakes issue.
  • jimkatzjimkatz Posts: 2
    TOYOTA - Once You Drive One, You'll Never Stop
  • 383383 Posts: 1
    I own a 2006 matrix all wheel drive. bought the car with 24,000 miles on it. and it now has 134,000 miles. have replaced the front brakes 4 times so far. after rotor and brake replacement the pulsating and wheel shake is hardly noticeable. after about 8,000 miles the pulsating and wheel shake comes back and gets so bad I have to replace the brake pads and rotors way before they should be replaced.. I have tried several different types of rotors and brake pads with the same results. I suspect the wheel hubs are flawed. need to put a dial indicator on the hubs and see if they are out of round. I just have not taken the time to really check out the problem. so far toyota has not responded to inquiry this seems to be wide spread on the matrix.
  • I posted exactly the same problem before. I finally found another personal with the same experience. Mine is 2003 Matrix xR, too. I still have not figured out the cause. It shakes like crazy when I brake at above 55MPH. I am about to change the front brakes and rotors. Not sure if this will work. Any advice from anyone?
  • I have the same problem but on a 2003 Vibe. 139k miles on it. This will be the fifth set up brake pads for the front as I today am having new brake pads put on again and turning rotors (which are new in last year) again. I did have a bad brake caliper which was causing wear on the front driver side brake pad. Did you find anything with the wheel hubs. Other than the door lock actuators this is the only problem Ive really had.
  • Replacing front brakes and/or turning or replacing rotors does fix it....but it seems to come back within 15,000 miles for me. It didn't start happening on mine until about 80k. Mine is about 55mph and I believe that is a sign of warped rotors. What I can't figure out is why they are warping so quickly and I do seem to go through front brakes much faster on this car than my other vehicles in the past.
  • fritz49fritz49 Posts: 1
    My 2003 Matrix AWD has a similar brake problem, but mine will act like warped rotors only part of the time! The first few times they acted like this was in the rain and after I had been driving for miles without touching the brakes! Weird! Now they act up after continued braking, I live in the Ozarks we have hills! So, I've never had warped rotor symptoms on any vehicle that go away. Once the rotor are warped, they are warped! What the heck is going on? I'm ready to buy after market front brakes, rotors calipers and all. Anyone know a good brand? You can spend as much as you want, I don't want to buy another car, just fix the brakes.
  • ravorravor Posts: 2
    Just replaced Back brakes @ 40,000 km and now need to do the front @46,000 km. never in my life have I replaced back brakes before the front 2009 matrix bought new
  • ravorravor Posts: 2
    Before they did the back brakes the only way to remove the back wheels (to put snow tires on) was with a rubber hammer as the wheels would not come off. After the brake job they come off like a normal wheel does - think the wheels interacted with the brakes cover and may be causing problems with them
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