Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota Matrix Check Engine Light

Can someone please tell me if I need to be concerned if my maintenance light has turned on at $21,000? I have done all the scheduled oil changes up to this point. Thanks in advance.


  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    If your car is not shuddering, and the light is not blinking, it normally is a oxygen sensor code/emissions related. It could be as simple as: you did not tighten your gas cap properly. If you sense no abnormal conditions in the car's drivability and don't observe smoke coming from the tail pipe, first check the gas cap and fully tighten it by clicking it several times/and even pushing in slightly as you turn. This will ensure a proper vacuum seal. Anyone can read your check engine light code, so don't go rushing off to the dealer to have it checked. If it is not flashing, you are unlikely to be in any imminant danger.
  • Just had my check engine light come on and it was a loose gas cap. Last time it came on it was the catalytic converter but under warranty at 65000k. Get it checked. They shouldn't charge you for the simple things.
  • scootsscoots Posts: 2
    My wife and I live out in the country and about 45 minutes from our Toyota dealer.

    As the Matrix is the "wife's" car she brought it into an independent mechanic for its 5k service, but he didn't know how to reset the "maintenance light".

    I've been going thru the owners manual (for the last hour), but somewhere I'm missing how to reset this indicator light. Anyone able to help me out?
  • scootsscoots Posts: 2
    I just found the answer on page 113 of the owners manual. :D
  • Four days ago I bought a 2004 Matrix XR in Los Angeles. When I test drove it, the check engine light was on, but they reassured me it was nothing to worry about, and before I bought the car they fixed it. Today the check engine light came back on. I'm really annoyed. I never would have bought the car if I thought this would be an issue (in the past I owned a Jetta that had a problem with the check engine light, and I got really sick of it). I took the Matrix back to the dealership today and they took it and gave me a rental. I'm not very happy about the situation ... wish I hadn't bought the car.
    Oh, and BTW, the car didn't come with an owner's manual, so I can't refer to page 113 to figure out how to turn it off myself. Anyone know how I can get an owner's manual?
  • This is just one more useless/annoying alarm on the Matrix. What possible good does this thing do?

    Toyota needs to get a new attitude about this sort of thing.

    I have to refer to the manual every time I reset this pointless alarm. It really gets old.
  • 2007 Toyota Matrix 3736 miles. Already had to get a new battery at 700 miles. Check engine light went on and I called dealer. They said they would make me an appt. and I would have to leave it. I said that I would wait for it not matter how long, just bring a book whatever.. I live 60 miles away... No, you have to leave it.. OK I'll call a closer dealer... In the meantime, a light bulb goes off to call my mechanic. Now, I have already read the manual and done the usual-(gas cap, etc.). He asks me these questions, I say yes, yes, yes. His advice is to disconnect the battery for 5 minutes and see if the light stays off. If not bring it to him on Monday.. Light stayed off -- No more problem...No more light..
  • I have 46000 miles on my 2004 Matrix. Just had the manual transmission replaced a month ago... ask me how much I like this car right now.

    The check engine light came on duing my drive home earlier this week. I followed the advice to disconnect the battery, which seems to have solved the problem. Thanks for the tip, since it save me having to deal with the Toyota dealership again.
  • You effectively reset the car's computer. My mechanic told me that after a reset it can take several starts or even a couple of weeks (for a less critical signal) for a warning light to come back on, if the symptom that tripped it the first time is still present . So unless you are at least a couple of weeks past the reset you might still see that warning light come on again.
  • My toyota matrix has 39000 miles on it. It's running smoothly, maintenace every 3000 miles and always go to shops to re-check all brakes, rotation etc....Yesterday when I was driving, I down shifted to 3rd to pass slow cars. My rpm almost reach 5000 rpm when my check engine light flicker / blink. It did not stay on. When I went home from work, I tried it again and it did not blink. Is there any negative effect of oil being over the line (max). My oil is about 1/4 over the line. OR Is this a sensor problem? When I went yesterday its perfectly fine. Can you guys give me some input?
  • Last week my check engine light came on and I took it to the dealer. They said it was probably a loose gas cap. I'm always careful about tightening it when I replace it.
    This was the second time it happened. They charged me $110 even though it's a 2008 and 6,000 miles (still on warranty). They said, "Toyota won't pay us for this!" Has anyone else had this problem?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Questionable in my mind whether they should have charged you for this, unless they really did find a loose gas cap (still think that's a cheap shot).

    What you could do is to buy an inexpensive OBD2 reader, and next time you have a CEL read the error code, plug it in and read the error. Determine whether it could be a user caused issue. The price on these have come way down, and you can get them as cheap as 25-50 bucks at auto parts chains on sales.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I believe there are also some auto parts stores that will read the code for you for free - worth investigating.

    This situation is exactly why some cars are beginning to have a separate light for "loose gas cap" (separate from the check engine light) and other models (Fords) are beginning not to have gas caps at all.

    And the dealer is within their rights to charge you for a diagnostic that does not turn up a manufacturing defect. It stinks, but it's true. It would have been free to you if they had turned up any other code besides loose gas cap.

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

  • Thanx for the info, nipponly also. I didn't know you could get those at the store. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • I have a 2007 Toyota Matrix and the check engine light goes on too. It has happened about 4 times so far at different intervals in the year plus that I have owned it. My mechanic's remedy is to disconnect the battery for five minutes and the problem may go away as it did with mine. I sure is better than the $110 dollars. If it comes back on I would get it to the dealer. I also found a fix for the maintenance required light. It has to do the holding down the odometer button and turning the care off and then on. There is a sequence to this but I cannot remember the whole thing. It truly disappoints me that Toyota comes up with these money making lights. Granted sometimes they are for real and there is something wrong, but sometimes not. And you will never never have a dealer tell you about any of these quick fixes.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Resetting the maintenance due light is detailed in the owner's manual, it's no secret. Basically, with the odometer appearing in the IP, turn off your car. Then press and hold the tripmeter reset button and turn the key to on. Count to ten, and the maintenance light will go out. Voila! You have just reset it.

    Check engine lights are not some trick Toyota puts in the car to make more money from service. They indicate a problem that may just be a loose gas cap, or may be a problem sensor or something. I would say it is a fairly irresponsible mechanic that will just disconnect your battery to reset the light, without taking the 30 seconds it would take to read the code and tell you what the problem is. The fact that yours has reappeared four times in a year is evidence that you may have a problem with your car (which would be covered under warranty at your car's age).

    Oh, and you don't need a mechanic to disconect and reconnect your battery - you can do this at home in your driveway....

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

  • On Feb 9, my elderly mother (passenger) and I (driver) were subject to a potentially injury/life threatening situation.

    My 2007 Toyota Matrix (13K) lost engine and steering power while in operation near/on a major roadway in NJ.

    On no less than 3 occasions, I was able to start the car, and travel short distances before loosing engine power, steering control and total shut down.

    After approx. 20 minutes to travel about 1-2 miles, I was able to bring the car to the entrance of a Toyota dealer .

    There, I called Toyota Road Service and the Toyota Service Center. I had the car towed to the Service Center. Once there, the service manager informed me that he had an idea of the problem - a shut down/failure of the auto's computer module that controls essential functions (power and steering).

    I was informed that there is experience with this problem and that I was unfortunate to have a complete failure of the computer module. Others experience computer dysfunction in time to bring the car to service and have the computer module replaced, I was told. The service center had the part in stock because of the problem.

    I was told that the original part came from Delphi Auto Parts (of General Motors) which shares parts with Toyota. The Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe are similar cars.

    I believe that both Toyota - the company and its service/sales people are familiar with this potentially dangerous defect and that Toyota is responsible for producing a faulty or dangerous vehicle.

    So much for Toyota's "bullet proof" reputation.
  • thaittthaitt Posts: 1
    dear all,
    my car have the problem with light on, the simple I just check:
    1 Brake Fluid
    2 Power wheell Fluid
    3 Water.
    I did found brake fluid uneder normal, then i was refill brake fluid, after that my car
    seem be ok .
  • lchawlchaw Posts: 1
    You must place the key on the ACC (not off) position, hold the trip meter reset button and turn the key to ON, don't actually turn on the ignition just place the key to the ON position and continue to hold the button for at least 5 seconds and the Maint Req
    light will magically turn off!
  • Thanx Nippononly. I've done that twice and it works like a charm.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    That maintenance light is programmed to reappear at 5000-mile intervals, I believe.

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

  • :lemon:
    On October 7th, 2009, I experienced a very similar situation to what Richard described. In my case, my 2007 Matrix lost engine and steering power in the middle of the freeway while I was on my way to work. Thank God I was only traveling 40 or so miles per hour because of traffic; if I had been traveling faster, I have no doubt this incident could have resulted in injuries and/or fatalities. Did I mention there were four other vehicles involved? After investigating the incident, my insurance company told me I'm not at fault because the car stalled. The CHP and highway transportation personnel at the scene also told me it looked like a mechanical problem. My car was towed to the local Toyota dealership and they've had it since that date. I have received a phone message from Toyota service each day, near the end of the day, telling me they are testing my car, their computer reports aren't showing any problem codes, and they need to keep working on my car. Finally this afternoon, around 4:00 p.m., I received a call from the service manager who told me "there is nothing wrong with your car", "come and pick it up", and (by the way), the daily rental car fee clock is ticking. To top things off, I was told by service I would not be charged for a rental vehicle and have no intention of paying them one penny. Toyota is taking absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for this situation, and I have decided I will not drive the car again because I believe it is unsafe. This is a warning to other Toyota customers...Beware!
  • A mechanic told my husband that he should disconnect the battery and re-connect it. No problems were detected when it was connected to the computer. Ours turned off.
  • I have a 2005 automatic with 115 thou miles on it.Its in the dealership right now getting the transmission replaced for $3900.00.This is the last Toyota Ill buy.Im so mad right now Im considering a lawyer. :lemon:
  • hunkymonhunkymon Posts: 12
    Looks like time has proven you right. It's not only mechanical problems that caused their fall from grace. It's also because their after purchase service is so poor.
  • mscangamscanga Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Matrix and today I noticed this ( !_) warning light on... The marking has a line under it. What does it mean? I bought it from the dealer Certified Used 3.5 months ago.. In the first 6 weeks, the computer went while I was parking it. This is my first Toyota.

    Any advice would be appreciated!
  • hunkymonhunkymon Posts: 12
    It means the tire pressure is low. That light came on in my Matrix once and the mechanic found a nail in the tire.
  • mantechmantech Posts: 28
    Correction please, The 2007 Matrix does not have a Tire Pressure Monitor features.
    No doubt, I used to own that wagon and i sold it. ;)
  • indgomtrxindgomtrx Posts: 7
    edited June 2010
    It is the tire pressure monitoring light. I have a 2006 and it has it. Check the tire pressure of all 4 tires to determine which tire might be low. Once you've corrected the tire pressure issue, to reset it, there's a button over by the little drawer and below the power mirror switches to the left of the steering wheel. It's the button to the right of the glass hatch release.
  • hunkymonhunkymon Posts: 12
    I have a 2008 Toyota Matrix. The check engine light came on and the scope came back with torque converter problem. Does anyone know what this involves and how it would affect the transmission? Thanx

Sign In or Register to comment.