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Toyota Matrix Tire/Wheel Questions

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  • I'm still trying to grasp the scope of this problem...is this occuring on all Matrix/Vibes? Or is it a select few that have this issue? I would have thought if this was a problem on all Matrix/Vibes that there would have been some sort of recall by now...I'm considering purchasing a used 2006 Matrix, but won't if it sounds like this is an issue on every Matrix.....forget it.
  • jaqfirejaqfire Posts: 9
    Hey Gasman....I had a feeling it was Something related to the way the car is being built/designed. It's just ridiculus for So Many tires to be tearing off all these Matrix. I love the look/style of it but, that sure doesn't keep tires on. I am about ready to sell it...not even 18K on it yet, on 2nd set of tires and due for another rotate/oil service in days. No other problems with mine...yet. Yeah, Toyota's R&D Team sure dropped the ball on this car. Inforce lemon law would be my alternative to having to keep buying tires for the life of the car. Sad.
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    Well, the attorney gen of NY says I don't qualify for lemon law (mileage) but they told me I have other avenues. If you problem started within the 12 month/20k miles on alignment you may be able to sue in court over this. Look up the Magnuson-Moss Act. under breach of warranty we may have a leg. The women at the AG office said I have other avenues but she couldn't tell me what they were so I did 2 days research (thank you google) and found a leg to stand on. Arbitration is tomorrow and if we can get them to give us a credit against another toyota this is the route we will take...a long time to get into court and then about 3 sets of tires...LOLOLOL. Anyway the snow tires on my car are cupping too 1k miles on them, and when we put it on the lift to check them we found the transfer case is leaking and the clutch know is making noises from the oil from the transfer case dripping in it...I swear you can't make this stuff up! I guess this car is just not ment to be and that is why it is being replaced with the Blade in '08. Good luck to all us Trixies!
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    Well, the AG of NY says I don't qualify for lemon law (mileage) but they told me I have other avenues. If your problem started within the 12 month/20k miles on alignment you may be able to sue in court over this. Look up the Magnuson-Moss Act. under breach of warranty we may have a leg. The women at the AG office said I have other avenues but she couldn't tell me what they were so I did 2 days research (thank you google) and found a leg to stand on. Arbitration is tomorrow and if we can get them to give us a credit against another toyota this is the route we will take...(too long of a time to get into court and then about 3 sets of tires...LOLOLOL.) Anyway the snow tires on my car are cupping too, 1k miles on them, and when we put it on the lift to check them we found the transfer case is leaking and the clutch now is making noises from the oil from the transfer case dripping in it...I swear you can't make this stuff up! I guess this car is just not meant to be and that is why it is being replaced with the Blade in '08. Good luck to all us Trixies! :sick:
  • natasha2natasha2 Posts: 3
    Hey Moos - please let us know what happens at court.
    I need to replace my tires and need ADVICE on where to buy them. Should I get them at the dealership (at extra cost), so that there is a record of it (and of regular rotations), in case I'm going to have to go to court on this later? Or, should I buy a very good pair + warranty at a tire store. Would the warranty cover a new pair, if they continue to cup?

    The whole issue makes me mad, since I thought I could trust Toyota. It's back to a Honda for me next time!
  • mtx52mtx52 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Matrix basic model. I bought it in West Virginia
    in 2003. It had the Goodyear RSA tires as original equipment.
    I had them replaced at 54,000 miles with some tread still on.
    I replaced them with Yokohama triple tread tires and they have
    about 10,000 miles on them with no problems.
    I always ran all my tires 2psi less than the tire maximum stated on their sidewalls and always get good life.
    My Matrix is front drive 5 speed manual base model. I rotated front to back at about 25,000 miles to put the good back tires on front.
    I have had none of the problems others had and my independant tire shop alignments shown good.
  • natasha2natasha2 Posts: 3
    Thanks mtx52 for your comment! It's a relief to here that someone has not had such a bad experience. Also, good advice about the air presure. I love my Matrix and am going to give it another try with some better tires (but ones with a long tread wear, just in case)!
  • rocky101rocky101 Posts: 7
    It appears that I have solved our problem with extreme tire wear on our 2006 Matrix!! Our car had similar tire wear problems to those widely reported on this and other websites. A new set of Continentals were destroyed by misalignment in less than 15,000 miles. The tires were rotated four times, realigned and checked by a Toyota Dealership, but Toyota was unable or unwilling to correct the problem.

    Our 2006 Matrix was purchased new in December of 2005, the first new vehicle we have been able to afford in 25 years because of kids and jobs and other financial situations. We test drove other comparable models, but settled on the Toyota because of reputation, reliability, fit and finish and fuel economy.

    The abnormal tire wear was apparent the first time the tires were rotated at 5,000 miles. I then kept closer track and rotated the tires more often. I was unable to compensate for the uneven wear with just rotation.

    Dealer service is a pretty big problem for us because the nearest acceptable Toyota dealer is 180 round trip miles away. This usually means a whole day off work.

    We did take the Matrix to the Toyota dealership in Ridgecrest, CA for a check and alignment in November 2006 with 11,000 total miles. The result was the tires wore faster than before. Following the service, the vibration in the steering became pretty severe, the car pulled left up the crown of the road, the HOWL from the tires became much louder than the wind noise, and travel at speeds greater than 65 MPH became pretty scary. This, in a "new" car!

    Then at 15,000 miles, the front tires are on wear bars and the back tires are severely cupped on the inside edges, as other drivers have reported. Time to buy new tires. But why ruin a new set with the same alignment problem? Time to solve/resolve the tire wear problem. Do I take another day off work, travel 180 miles and still not get the Toyota warranty problem resolved? No.

    I purchased a new set of Yokohama Avid V4S and had them mounted and balanced.

    I decided to take the Matrix to the local garage where I have had a long standing relationship with the owner, a place where I have worked on my own cars. I was employed as a mechanic for a number of years in my past life. I still do the greater part of the work on our current our fleet of 6. John put the Matrix on the Bear Alignment rack and the misalignment is glaring.

    The camber showed -1º on the left and -3/4 º on the right. The toe was found at 3/8" out on the right and 1/4" out on the left. The camber specs are something like -1/4 º and toe IN at 1/8". No wonder the tires were wearing on the inside edges. The alignment is way off. But, Toyota does not build the front end with adjustable camber, only adjustable toe. The cars are built on a computer controlled jig and the "factory" camber setting is supposed to be close enough to prevent tire wear. Camber adjustment is not possible as the car is assembled. Refer to Wikipedia for an explanation for camber and toe adjustments.

    To accomplish camber adjustment, a Moog "Magna-Cam" camber kit is required to tip the tires inward at the bottom. These consist of a couple of eccentric bolts with corresponding sleeves to replace the top anchor bolt of the McPherson strut / spindle assembly. The parts are available online for about $12.50 each, two required for the front.

    The camber and toe are now set to factory spec.

    A funny thing happed. The car tracks straight down the road and there is no longer "plowing" in the curves and pushing in straight line driving. There is a different feel driving down the highway - a little lighter throttle is required to maintain the same speed as previously, and the tire noise blends with the wind noise. I think this is how the car is supposed to drive.

    Time will tell if the tire wear problem is truly solved and if there is a fuel consumption benefit to the correct alignment on the front end. But, right now the car feels pretty good.

    My greatest disappointment is with Toyota, which refuses to acknowledge the "problem" and correct it. I contacted them on three different occasions and was told it is a tire defect, check with Continental. A $16,000 car with a pretty much worthless warranty. I do plan to file a claim with Toyota but do not expect any satisfaction. I bet Toyota engineers can figure out the tire wear solution if others can.

    I believe Toyota is reluctant to recall a bunch of cars because of the great expense of doing so. How many other owners have been disappointed with their Matrix, when $25.00 worth of parts and an hour or two on the alignment rack will solve the tire wear problem? Too bad the factory did not install the adjustable camber bolts and dial in the front end before selling the cars.

    I wish you all good luck in your quest to solve tire wear problems. It now appears that I have solved mine.
    Rocky
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Thank you for sharing that with us! It is very helpful information!
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    All I can say is ....HOLY SH** WE WON!!!!!

    I still can't believe it ...the arbitrator say the same thing we have been saying all along....tooo many repair attempts and 3 alignment shops saying it is out of alignment.

    I'm glad some of you have found a fix for this but we tried everything and still pulls to the right and out of alignment.

    I thought for sure we were goners since the arbitrator pulled up in a Toyota but I guess they are fair and impartial. (Kind of hard to not see it...you could look at it and see how the tires were sitting)

    I hope that Toyota starts listening and realizing that this is their Vega...remember that stinker!

    I will probably buy a RAV 4 after reading all the posts about them...don't like the CRV and out of all the cars on the road only really liked the Matrix.

    For anyone who has documented evidence that they brought this to the dealer BEFORE the 1yr/20k mile warranty on alignments and the can show it was not fixed I would suggest that you take a shot with the process Toyota has laid out and maybe if enough people go into Dispute Settlement Toyoat will finally realize this and fix these once and for all. It should not be up to the owner of a new car to have to fix it, when it is supposed to come out of the factory in perfect working order.

    Good luck to all,
    Moos
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    So are they buying your car back? What happens now?
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    Yes, they will be buying it back with a mileage allowance deduction....it has 26k on it but they can only charge for 16k. I HOPE that Toyota will eventually see the error of their ways with tis alignment issue and fix these cars...except the fix might not work either.

    Now the ? is what to buy.....either the Rav4 or the Forrester so I'm on the other Forums trying to decide. Once burned twice shy I guess.

    I hope everyone can get things worked out with Toyota. I spoke to the shop who checked the alignment for me the last time and he said he had a Matrix in the shop right then and it was in the same shape as mine....

    the sad thing is I went through this about 18 years ago with a Ford Probe...got the same runaround from them as Toyota so I guess all automakers are the same.

    I'll keep following this forum as I am interested to see how all of you make out...shame because I LOVE this car as far as gas mileage, fun to drive (when it isn't fighting to go to the right) but it just EATS tires and is just not fixable.

    I know they are coming out with the Blade in 08 maybe it will be the end of the Trix...though I read somewhere they might make it bigger, better not til they fix this issue.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Well I know you can gather lots of info about the Forrester in the Subbie forums. The crew there is great!
  • quaestusquaestus Posts: 1
    I have explored many other possible new car models, yet despite the horrible sales people at Toyota and all that I have read above, I still may go ahead on a 2007 Matrix.

    Anyone out there with a 2007 care to share? :confuse:
  • brianb4brianb4 Posts: 6
    I bought a 2007 XR Automatic last September. After reading about the tire issue I've been checking the tires closely but have noticed no unusual wear at 7k miles. I love the car for running around town but was a little surprised at the actual gas mileage (around 24 city and 28 highway).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    I have only 2500 miles on mine, XR 5 speed, but no unusual tire wear or noises so far, and it is a nice tight little car to drive. And with the stick I am averaging 34 mpg.

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

  • sciconfsciconf Posts: 2
    I am investigating a used car.

    Can someone do me a CarFax pls?

    acura07 at sbcglobal Dot net
  • 62hawk62hawk Posts: 1
    Our 05 Matrix has 16,900 all city miles. All four tires are badly worn and need replacing now.

    Car has been completely checked out by the dealer----everything is OK----alignment, suspension, etc.

    Dealer also admits that they have had numerous premature tire wear complaints on Matrix.
  • topcat105topcat105 Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Matrix 4WD XR. At 20,300 miles heard rumble at all speeds - orig. Conti. tires all worn on inner tread (nearest center of car - negative camber). Dealer did alignment last summer - said "needed slight toe adjustment on rear wheels only - not enough to cause tire uneven wear". - Hah!!
    Blamed tires....
    Spoke w/ dealer again last week - requested new tires and alignment. Told him of history of common problems reported on this website. Said he's speak w/ Toyota rep. about getting new tires.
    Stay tuned...
  • We have a Matrix in Upstate NY with tire wear problems and unfortunately we didn't rotate ever 5,000 miles at the beginning with our all-seasons, and it shouldn't matter because every tire expert we've gone to says the chopping of our tires has nothing to do with rotation (for one thing, it happened on all four tires before we rotated it the first time!).

    BUT we did rotate our snow tires on time, and they're all worn badly just like the all seasons ("cupping" "chopped" "uneven" were a few of the words used to describe this wear).

    Same as everyone else, a horrible loud noise accompanied the tire wear, and Toyota has been a *** to deal with. Had the alignment checked, alignment is officially fine.

    Summary: This is NOT a tire problem, this is NOT an alignment problem, this is a CAR problem. Has anyone had any success with Toyota on this?

    Thanks,
    Alison
  • venture222venture222 Posts: 1
    General question:
    I notice that Toyota warns that low profile tires on new Corollas and Matrix's can have low life - they say less than 24,000 miles.
    The standard Corolla tires are 185/65 15 or 195/65 15 and they warn about the 195/55 16's. On the Matrix the standards are 205/55 16's and they warn about low mileage on 215/50 17's.
    It's strange that the 55's are a problem on the Corolla's but standard on the Matrix. I guess it's really not strange - the folks that want to dress their cars have been suffering with tire problems from low profile tires for a long time.
    Has anyone tried retrofitting the 185/65 15's wheels and tires from a Corolla to a Matrix?
    Noell
  • cklho818cklho818 Posts: 29
    My girlfriend just had her 2005 Matrix XRS serviced for oil change and tire/brake check this past weekend at our friend's shop. Our friend noticed the abnormal tire wear at the inner side of the 3 tires except the rear-right one. He explained that alignment is not the cause (we've had the dealer checked the alignment before). He suggested us to take the car back to the dealer and ask for explanation.
    The car has only 22,500 miles on it. The first time we notice there's a slight steer pull to the left. We had our shop checked and the Toyota dealer checked the alignment last year and both said alignments are okay.

    Anyways, we've booked an appointment with dealer this coming weekend to see how it goes. So far I see a lot of postings regarding similar problem but Toyota is ignoring as if there aren't enough cases to warrant a recall. :sick:
  • I've had my new '07 for about 1500 miles and haven't had a problem yet. Though there probably aren't enough miles to see it, there's no abnormal wear on my tires. There's also no pull either to the left or right; the alignment seems perfect.

    Still, after reading all of this, i'm going to keep a close eye on it, get the tires rotated every 5000 miles per dealer recommendation, and keep all of my paperwork, just in case I have to go yell at my dealer in another 20,000 miles.

    Here's hoping that they got the problem fixed for the '07's. Has anyone with an '07 experienced this problem yet?
  • brianb4brianb4 Posts: 6
    I also have a 2007 XRS with around 7,000 miles. No tire wear or pulling problems yet. :)
  • bargbarg Posts: 2
    the 2007 matrix will probably not have any tire wear issues since they are not available in 4wd. most of us having problems are on the 4wd models.2006 was the last year with the 4wd option,and in my opinion toyota quit making the 4wd because of all the tire problems with it. but the problem is toyota will never acknowledge this engineering flaw and will keep on making excuses and blaming the vehicle owners for improper tire rotation.the fact of this matter is these 4wd vehicles will always wear out the tires prematurley no matter how there rotated or how often.get rid of your 4wd matrix's or get used to replacing tires every 15,000 to 20,000 miles
  • Great to know. Thanks!
  • ar79ar79 Posts: 2
    I have an 06 Matrix that also has the abnormal tire wear. I bought it one year ago and have 15500 miles on it. I took it in a couple months ago after my dad noticed the wear problem. I've always known the car to have a pull on the steering wheel but assumed that the alignment was fine since I never hit any curbs and the car was new. They said my alignment was far off due to something I did - not true. Now the tires are rigid and it sounds like I drive a truck -tremendous amount of noise at all speeds.

    We have been calling the complaint line and are trying to arrange a meeting with a representative to have this looked at. My dad noticed the back rear tire has more of a camber than the others (you can tell just by looking at it that the tire is angled) We are demanding new tires since they are completely worn - but new tires will be no good if this problem is not fixed first.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    There IS no '07 XRS! It went away after '06, as did the AWD models. You must either have an '06 XRS that you bought in '07, or an '07 XR, I would think.

    My '07 XR is at 5000 miles, no funny tire wear to speak of, nor alignment or steering issues. I plan on doing tire rotations every 10K miles just as I always have with all my Toyotas. And my tires are the Eagles, not the Continentals, which makes me less worried about the whole thing. I have been noting tire brand every time I read one of the posts about tire wear, and the tire is always the Continental, not the Goodyear. My fingers remain crossed......

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

  • brianb4brianb4 Posts: 6
    My mistake. My Matrix is an '07 XR not XRS. It was also equipped with the Goodyear Eagles. At 8,400 miles, no sign of abnormal were.
  • cklho818cklho818 Posts: 29
    Hi all,

    For all of you who are experiencing the same cupping/ abnormal tire wear on you Toyota Matrix, I suggest we take this to the next step by filing a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration. The Administration needs to receive enough filings before they will act and look into this matter for us, Matrix owners. Wheel and tire problems are very serious for every single one of us out there who are still driving the car.

    Here's the link:
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm
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