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Matrix Transmission Problems



  • gmoregmore Posts: 11
    Hi Everyone,

    I appreciate the comments, but we are going on a BIG TAGENT. I dont want to see this blog go off its rails as I have just replaced my matrix transmission and I want some positive results.

    So please please, just post problems with your Matrix Transmission on this blog.

    Sorry that I cant make it to the court house on the 11th as I am in Vancouver. I was a media person for a Ski Resort here. I can write a press release, but it will need a contact person in Toronto. Please email me directly at [email protected] to discuss further. Yes, I still have my media list. Its a couple of years old, but it should do.

    Great work. Keep it up.

    By the way, the new improved bearing just did a 5 hour Mountain Highway freeway drive from Vancouver to Kamloops. It did so well I got a ticket doing 144 km/h. Man, that sucked. No more speeding for me. Anyways, new improved bearing works!
  • pannobajipannobaji Posts: 8

  • pannobajipannobaji Posts: 8
    Someone on this blog said the car can .not handle the power.
    This is kind of true. But they did not explain why! Here it is!!!
    What the experts have told me is that there are two bearings
    on the lower shaft of the transmission. Both bearings will fail.
    But the one on the outside towards the drivers wheel seems to
    be more prone to failure. Why you ask! Well it can not handle the load
    when you accelerate/downshift etc. It only has 7ball bearings in it.
    the expert told me it should really have 9 ball bearing inside the bearing.
    Then it probably will not fail.
    And secondly that bearing is in a different compartment they
    told me and that lubrication is minimal to this bearing causing
    it to pit etc.Because there is plate between that bearing and the rest of the transmission. He told me there is no upgrade bearing out there.
    Have to use the original equipment only.
    That is why it keeps failing.
    Only way to fix this transmission is a redisgn!!!! That would cost
    millions since you may have to recast alot things , redesign the end
    part of the transmission where the fifth gear sits with this bearing.
    I learnt of this recently from the experts.
  • mantechmantech Posts: 28
    It does make sense! I hope the 2005 model and onward were all redesigned! :surprise:
  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,151
    The first front wheel drive claimed that the coolant was good for 100,000 miles. It wasn't as they all the auto makers acknowledge now. It ate through the freeze plugs, water pump, radiator, and anything it came in contact with. True that here in Texas the heat takes a toll on cars. Then the motor mounts gave way and took out the power steering. Both front windows had their motors replaced. The brake lines justed busted one day. The AC quit twice. This was anything but cheap to keep, unlike my prior Toyota's (79 Celica/82 Supra). I had more in repairs than the sale price of the car new and it was a disappointment in ride comfort/performance.
  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,151
    No disrespect intended but I just had to google it. Old people forget alot. And your right.

    I had the 82 Supra and there isn't any Camry, now or then, which could even compare in performance. It came with Ricaro seats, pop up head lights, Crager designed mag wheels, and a nine band graphic equalizer. It had 4 wheel disc brakes and the parking brake housed inside the rear disc rotor. It made the 82 VETT look sick and handled much better. The motor was a double over head cam V6 which looked like a V12. Over 70% of Porche's business is consultation and in 79 the Tagra band, large pistons, and large crank on the Celica reeked of German engineering.

    I know this is way off topic. However, I have a 2002 Z28 which is fast over, 300 horse power. The way they measured HP then as to today is different. They use it as a steroid to sell cars today and prior they tried to hush it down so the car would be insurable.
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11

    There are a lot of people posting on this blog out $2500 or more each for a failed main bearing in a Matrix transmission. We are using this blog as a means to organize and do something about it. Please start your own blog and enjoy the rest of your conversation.

    PLEASE START YOUR OWN BLOG AS THE REST OF US ARE TRYING TO GET OUR MONEY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11
    How did the court case go???
  • Okay, so I scheduled my appointment for the dealership to take a look at my bearing issue, and so they did. Results: Right rear bearing along with Hub needs to be replaced, everything else looks fine. It took them 5 hours to do the job of replacing the parts. Total cost $410.29, only paid $50 for out of pocket based on my extended "CERTIFIED" warranty. No more "LOUD SOUND" car is running smooth. The dealer was great dealing with the situation, they also provided me with a loaner during repairs. I hope this is the end of my problems! I'm very happy with the outcome. :shades:
  • canonlawcanonlaw Posts: 20
    Wow, they must have worked on them a bunch before. I have never heard of it being so cheap. Most of the time, they have to tear into the whole transmission.
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11

    The reason that it was so cheap was because they fixed your WHEEL bearing, not the main bearing INSIDE the TRANMISSION. Book time to remove the transmission is 6 hour, plus another book time of 6 hours to put it back on, plus a book time of 18 hours to rebuild.

    Lots of bearings on car, fortunately, your problem was the wheel hub not your transmission.
  • Add me to the list of failed transmission. My 5 speed 03 went out at 72,000miles. Had the same noise issue as every one else. Took it into the dealer and told me not to worry. Had the transmittion fluid flushed 2 weeks prior. Waht can we do to hold toyota responsible?
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    Still heard nothing more on this so called court hearing. Any chance at all of me ever getting my $2000 back?!! Does anyone else get angry every time they see the new commercials for the '09 Matrix at the movie theatres?! I used to love the old ads because I was so proud of my Matrix. Hate the piece of crap bloody things now. Still pissed that I'm paying $350 a month for a new car when I already had one that should have lasted 15y+. So few people actually have '03-04 5spds compared to the total number of cars that Toyota sells that it doesn't matter what we do. No one cares.
  • My 03 5 speed just went out at 72000 miles. I can not give you the vin number as the car is stranded 5 hours away at some small town garage awaiting it's used new transmission. What can we do?
  • my 03 5 speed @80k is is just a name that is way upthere for what it really is......people lets do something about this and let "toy"ota to make real cars not toys.
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    I've almost always bought cars in the last year or two of a generational run, when the bugs are worked out. My '81, '85 and '88 Accords were all fine, trouble free machines. The '88 still functions as my second car at 217K miles. I bought an '06 Matrix 5-speed in April '07. It didn't have the wheel alignment problem and I'll keep my fingers crossed for the tranny.
  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    Fine and dandy plan... but were you shopping for a small station wagon or hatch in 2002 in Canada? I'm thinking not because the options were Protege, Focus, Impreza, Golf or new Matrix/Vibe. The choice was obvious at the time since I couldn't afford a Subaru. The Matrix was supposed to be a Corolla wagon. Corolla's have been around forever without problems, so I assumed Matrix had the same stuff under the hood. My new Honda Fit is small, but at least it works and is not the first year model! Mom and brother had 16y old Hondas with zero problems. I will never buy another Toyota.
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    "were you shopping for a small station wagon or hatch in 2002 in Canada?"

    First, I never buy brand new cars. I aim for used ones ~3 years old. That would have opened more options. VW's would be out because they're not reliable. I'd have to look at the details from back then, but a '99-'02 Accord or Camry wagon would have been my starting point. I would have bought an Accord or Camry wagon last year if they still made them. The Matrix is a little smaller than my ideal. I maybe would have got a CRV or RAV4 if they weren't so thirsty and had the stupid tire on the back. And the new CRV? No stick shift? Bo-oh-gus!

    Anyway, my '06 Matrix had 8200 miles on it when I got it; newer and smaller than my new-old car target, but I still managed to pay for it with cash.
  • gmoregmore Posts: 11
    Here is a reply I got from the Minister of Transportation's Office.

    Please read and EVERYONE call the number!!

    By the way a seized transmission at high speed will cause a car to loss control.....

    Thank you for your correspondence of June 12, 2008, to the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, regarding transmission problems with your Toyota Matrix. The Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf.

    At the outset, please be assured that Transport Canada’s top priorities are safety and security. As such, the department establishes motor vehicle safety standards and enforces the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA). Section 10 of the MVSA requires a manufacturer or importer, upon discovering a defect in the design, construction or functioning of a vehicle or equipment that may affect the safety of any person, to notify the Minister of Transport and all affected vehicle or equipment owners.

    The “Vehicle Defects and Recalls” section of Transport Canada’s website offers more information about the process by which potential defects are assessed by the Defects Investigation and Recalls Division.

    With respect to your complaint, you may telephone a Defect Investigator at 1-800-333-0510 on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The investigator will require the 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number of your Toyota Matrix. You may also file a complaint online via the Public Complaint Form .

    I should mention that Transport Canada only has jurisdiction over safety issues. This being the case, matters involving financial disputes regarding dealer or manufacturer warranties are not covered by the MVSA and therefore cannot be addressed by the department.

    I trust that the foregoing will be of assistance. Again, thank you for writing.

    Yours truly,

    Andrew Walasek
    Senior Special Assistant
  • Thanks for the work. I live in the USA but my matrix was made in the Canada so i'll be calling the number. My transmission went out whilst doing 55 mph and I felt the front of the car was going to ripe of the frame. It scared me. To top it of I had my wife, her friend and most importantly my 3 year old in the car at the time. Let collectively make Toyota own up.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If you are in the USA and your car was first sold for use in the U.S., then you don't call Canada. You contact NHTSA instead. The website for reporting problems is below

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • roarmcroarmc Posts: 1
    No response... because he lost and has to pay toyota
  • Thanks. Just got my car back from the shop $2,400 later.
  • Yesterday I started my 2005 Matrix and the check engine light was on. When I drove it the speedometer did not move-it was stuck at 0. Car ran fine though. This morning when I turned the car on the speedometer jumped up to 80. When I drove it the speedometer was all over the place-not reflecting the speed I was going. Then the car would rev up when I pushed on the accelerator but would not move much. It's really weird. I took it in to the dealer this morning and they seemed very perplexed when i described the issue to them. They are currently looking at it now. Has anyone every heard of a car doing this? It seems that there is some sort of disconnect between the speedometer and the accelerator.
  • Okay the dealer just called me back. Rodent damage. Apparently squirles crawled into the engine and chewed away the wire in 2 locations. The one they were able to repair but the other goes to the oxygen sensor and the entire unit has to be replaced. You can do all the preventative maintenace in the world, be prepared for as much as you can and then something like this happens. Fun fun.
  • slowzukislowzuki Posts: 3
    My 03 transmission bearing had failed as was on its way to taking out the rest of the transmission. I bought a low mileage 2006 transmission out of a smashed Corolla and its been good so far.

    It took me and my brother in law about 8 hours to swap the old one out and the new one in. He had got a hold of the instructions that skip the factory method so you don't drop the rack or cradle.

    I was gonna replace the clutch at the same time but it looked in good shape.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I was gonna replace the clutch at the same time but it looked in good shape.

    You might regret that later. So much easier to do with the tranny already out, the whole clutch kit would have been less than $100.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • rhoovisrhoovis Posts: 1
    Our son called us 2 nights ago from Oregon. Stuck on the side of I-5. At the time he is sure his transmission is shot ( He has a 2003 Matrix manual trans.) For the heck of it I jump on the web and plug in 2003 Matrix tranny problems. I was shocked!! I got way too many immediate returns! Our son calls us the next day - He bought the extended warranty (100,000 miles) Believe it or not he was only 1600 miles over the warranty when the transmission went. NO coverage! It will cost $3300 for a new tranny and clutch. Our son is a poor college graduate who thought he bought a reliable used car. We all incensed!! I plan on writing Toyata - does anyone know how to proceed? I have read something about a "goodwill" program? Can someone advise? What will it take for a class cation suit to become a reality? How do these people go to bed at night and look at themselves inthe mirror?
    Rob from Connecticut
  • canonlawcanonlaw Posts: 20
    I just read your post. I live in Tacoma, WA and when mine went out, I took it to SeaTac Transmission, in Seatac, WA. They are a VERY good shop, and it was only $1,800 (which is still a TON!)

    The rebuilt it, so I am hoping they put better parts in it....
    Just an FYI for you. It might be able to be done cheaper than $3,300.
  • maturcomaturco Posts: 3
    I just went through the tribulations with my 2003 Matrix XR 5-speed. Here's what happened. You may have recourse for at least some good will, esp. if you have had the car regularly serviced by Toyota, and even if you are out of the warranty period.

    My experience was very much like that of the other good people who reported on this thread. About three weeks or so ago I heard a tapping sound from the front of the car, primarily in 4th and 5th gears. I went through the usual suspects. Valve tap? No, can't hear it under the hood at idle or under acceleration at low gears. Hole in exhaust? No, can't hear it outside of car. Water pump? No. So I took it to my local Toyota dealer where I get service regularly. After one day ($75 + tax) of diagnosis, here's the quote on the receipt:


    Oh, really? It's about to come apart?? That's $3506.99?? (I loved the $6.99). I have to replace the transmission at 87,000 miles??! Needless to say I was not happy. That's when I found this forum, thanks to my boss. Lots of people reported the same problem, 2002-3 Matrix w/ manual trans. I called the dealership where I bought the car and explained the issue to their Service Director. I got the service records from my local dealer and met with him. He said he would have his Service Mgr. call me the following week. The Service Mgr. called and said I would have to make my case with the dealer who did the most servicing. Toyota acknowledges nothing about an on-going problem with these transmissions.

    So I went back to the dealership where my car is serviced in Glen Mills, PA, USA (a nice dealership overall) and spoke with the Service Mgr. in person. "There's nothing we can do" is how the conversation started. I presented the ream of paper I had in my hands with this forum thread and mentioned the slew of people reporting the same problem, and that it appears to be a faulty bearing in the transmission. He gave me the same story as the Service Director in the original dealership, i.e., he confirmed that Toyota has no service advisory or technical bulletin on the problem. After I presented my situation in more detail, including that my extended warranty had run out at 75,000 miles, he agreed to go to the Toyota regional rep and see if they (Toyota) would do something for me.

    He called back a day or two later and presented an offer that I agreed to. The dealership would diagnose the problem, even if the trans had to be disassembled, and effect a repair. Toyota agreed to pay for 1/3 of the cost of the repair, the dealership would pay 1/3, and I would pay 1/3. (The issue of replacing the transmission went away).

    It took about a week to get to the problem. At first they replaced the 5th gear (and did he say differential?), but that did not solve the noise problem. So they took the transmission apart and, guess what? It was a bad bearing. I swear I told them that. Anyway, according to the the repair bill, they replaced a needle bearing, along with a spacer, synchromesh key and spring, transmission sleeve, shaft snap ring, transm. hub, radial bearing, ring set and bolt, all under warranty.

    The total transmission repair bill was reported to be $1,200 of which I paid one-third. The clutch replacement was $394 total parts and labor, which I paid in full. Total cost to me for everything, including taxes (6% in PA) was $845.

    $845 is by no means pocket change, esp. with my two daughters' tuition bills due this month, but it seemed like a fair price to pay. The car feels like new, and the clutch pedal is light as a feather. I do like the car. It's a great runabout and commuter car that gets me 34 mpg, and can carry a surprising amount of stuff when I fold down the seats. Other than the trans, it has been bulletproof. I serviced it by the book and could prove it. I believe that was at least part of the reason for the good will.

    If I were you, I would take the experiences of those on this forum under advisement and try to get some good will on a repair before incurring the cost of replacing the entire transmission. Note the bearing repair is a replacement in kind. According to the Service Mgr., there is no upgraded part. So in time I would assume the problem can recur. I have decided to take my chances.

    Good luck. If you need any more detail on this, I would be glad to copy you on the repair slip.

    Mike T.
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