Toyota Corolla Accessories and Modifications

xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
If anyone hears of a roof rack for a Matrix...let me know about it. I need to haul my Kayak and 2 mountain bikes as I do now on my Corolla (Thule roof rack which attaches to the rain gutter).


  • just_some_guyjust_some_guy Member Posts: 52
    according to the Matrix accessory brocure I have there is a yakima roof rack available. I don't know how much it is though. Also I'm in the US so I don't know if it's available in Canada.
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Excellent...that is the best news I heard in a long time...Could you tell me is this a Factory accessory brochure from Toyota? I think my Thule components will fit a Yakima...thanks again
  • joee1joee1 Member Posts: 16
    Yes, I called Yakima.
    They said that it's just one of their removable std. racks.
    Their telephone number is 888-925-0703.
    Too bad we can't find one that would compliment the design of the Matrix.
    Toyota really dropped the ball here.
  • just_some_guyjust_some_guy Member Posts: 52
    but it does look like a regular roof rack. It doesn't look like the included one from the Vibe.
  • leafguy2727leafguy2727 Member Posts: 83
    I'd like to get the XRS fog lights put in my XR. Does anyone know if all the wiring is there? I noticed on the grill it has the two spots for the fog lights, has anyone done this yet or have a guess on the price and installation?
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    I noticed the knock outs too and I am thinking the same way as you...I will ask my dealer parts department at some point and will post here if I get an answer. Maybe an XRS owner can answer a couple of questions for me/us. Where is the toggle switch for the driving lights...are they in the centre console under the air conditioning controls? Do they shut off with the high beams and come back on with the low beams as most factory vehicles do? (as an aside I never understood this...Do you not need the most lights on 'high beam' when you are travelling fast and alone on the highway and less when you are on 'low beam' around the streets? I don't understand the logic of having them shut off on high beam)

    The front lower peices which form the complete ground effects package from the XRS would be available as a part # too if you really wanted to mimimic an XRS. As you know these are missing on the can have a body shop paint them to match and bolt them on. The only difference in exterior view of the XR vs an XRS then would the 16" vs 17" wheels and some of you americans may have ordered those as well...
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Thanks Joee1 and just_some_guy for the info, the standard removable rack is the one I want anyhow!

    A rack for me needs to sit forward more on the vehicle than the non-removable rack on the Vibe. The Vibe rack may look good but it is practically useless...sitting at the back of the car like that. I have a 17' sea kayak that is strapped on to the car near the cockpit...if I tried this on the Vibe rack I would have 8 feet of boat out the rear while the front would barely reach the windshield. The removable racks are great because you can centre them properly...the boat is about the same length as the car and it is really nice to have it directly over the car. They are also nice in that you can remove and store them when you are not using them as all racks add noise and wind resistance to a car decreasing fuel mileage.
  • just_some_guyjust_some_guy Member Posts: 52
    I don't know if this is the right place to mention this or not but I've seen some neat stearing wheel shaped keyrings on Ebay with a toyota symbol in the middle. They're not quite the same shape as the Matrix wheels but they're still cool looking. I got one myself. A bunch of different people have them but they all look to be the same thing.
  • deagleddeagled Member Posts: 20
    The toggle for the fog lights are on the factory headlight stem, and yes they turn off when you turn on the high beams.
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96 you turn the fog lights on and off on the signal light stem...well I guess that answers that question doesn't it leafguy2727. You would need a different signal light stem so it looks like the wiring is not included (from the firewall back at least) to allow a slick factory type setup of your fog lights...
  • joee1joee1 Member Posts: 16
    just_some_guy and xr_matrix:

    Can you tell me how the removable rack works.

    Is there something that is permanently mounted on the roof that you attach the bars to when you need to set it up, or does the whole thing detach from the roof?

    I agree, it's nice not to have the wind noise and drag and also that rack on the Vibe is almost useless.
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Yes...I can at least in a Thule rack setup...I have a Thule rack now on my Corolla. The Corolla is quite different because it has rain drip rails and the Matrix does not. On the Matrix, the rack consists of 2 horizontal bars which sit on 4 rubber feet. There is metal plate which slips under the door opening and holds the rack to the car. There is no drilling and the rack is locked on until you need it off. The entire rack is removed in about 2 minutes and you never know you ever had one on. They don't scratch (as long as you handle them carefully during the install/removal process) and they are very sturdy. There are a lot of different attachments for them for whatever you are into. I recommend the windjammer (a long black plastic air dam) which forces air up and over the rack to remove wind noise. You can see the racks in detail at or
  • just_some_guyjust_some_guy Member Posts: 52
    I'll have to go with XR on this. All I have is one picture in a brocure of the roof rack and it "looks" removable to me.
  • potroastpotroast Member Posts: 13
    Anyone know what trailer hitches will fit ? Is the frame and rear bumper about the same as 2002 corolla ? Is trailer wiring prep. prewired ?
    Are the Matrix's clearcoated ?What size is the block-heater?
    you can check Yakima roofracks online.
    Also ,have you Matrix drivers noticed when you release your emergency brake the front lights go on ,I think dim and rear lites don't ?
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96

    Here are a few answers for you...

    Not sure in aftermarket who makes trailer hitches for the Matrix yet...but Toyota make a mini-receiver as a dealer installed option. I think it is 1 1/4" receiver the same as a Rav4. Frame may be similiar to a Corolla but I doubt the rear bumper is even close. Trailer would not be pre-wired but again available as an accessory. There are some really neat do it yourself kits out now that pop into the rear tail light assembly. Matrix's are base coat clear coat paint. Block heater...not sure of the size but should always get the block heater from and installed by the dealer. You don't want a $50 part failing and taking out an engine! Yakima make a rack to fit...Thule does not (YET!)

    Daytime running lights by design are designed to shut on and off with the emergency brake. Unless things have changed (My Matrix is still on order) it should work that starting the vehicle with the parking brake on will not enable the daytime running lights. Releasing the brake will enable them.

    hope this helps
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96
    If,like me, you don't normally use the parking brake (automatic drivers usually use Park,) they also turn on when you shift out of park.
  • potroastpotroast Member Posts: 13
    Thanks 4 the reply.I'm driving a base with "b" pac.5 sp.Platinum-beautiful
    On our previous 4runner(auto) all lites came on after starting. Now I have 2 turn tail lites on .
    I was concerned with the wattage of blockheater,can't hear it ,could here one in the 4runner.Who handles the wiring kit U mentioned ,2 fit toyota's ? I've heard of them 2 but had 2 wire my 4runner myself.the wiring on left side rear looks like it may have a connector. Several hitches fit 2002 corola but matrix is 2003.
  • highcountyhighcounty Member Posts: 10
    Has anyone seen seatcovers for the active,(outdoors), Matrix owner?
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Canadian Tire offers the wiring kits through Reese, the famous trailer hitch company
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    From sar4 -> "For XR_Matrix: Good idea to get 15" steel rims for winter (especially in salty N.S.). What size of tire are you going to put on them?"

    I have not yet decided on the tire size for the wheels...I will likely not buy the tires until next winter as I am not taking delivery till June. The trick is to get the combination of 15" wheels and tires which is exactly the same height as the P205/55R16 and alloy combo. I am not exactly sure how to do this math but I had a tire dealer do it for me on another vehicle and the heights were within millimeters. You need to have the heights identical in order to keep the speedo the same...

    When I get the right combination, I will post it in this forum...
  • deagleddeagled Member Posts: 20
    To replace the 215/50/r17's with 15's you will need 205/65/r15's. if you want steel rims for winter, you will need to get them from pre-91 camry V6.
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Thanks deagled

    Can you tell me if the overall height of the P215/50/R17 is the same as the P205/55/R16? I doubt it huh?...the 5% profile difference would not make up extra 1" of height! If that is the case the speedo must be geared differently in your XRS when compared to my XR. hmmm so I will need a slightly smaller winter tire...possibly 185 or 195/65/r15. Do you have rims off a pre-91 Camry on your XRS now? That is excellent...that will be a lot less expensive than new 15" 2002 Corolla rims from Toyota (ouch they will not be $20 each, I can guarantee you that)
  • deagleddeagled Member Posts: 20
    The overall diameter of the 205/55/16's are not the same as the 215/50/17's. They are different because the engine/tranny (gear ratios) is different.

    For you to go from 15's to 16's (tires), you're best bet is a set of 195/65/r15's. This brings your overall diameter up to 25" from 24.5, which will decrease your speedo about 0.4% (807 revs/mi to 811 revs/mi). These tires can be found pretty cheap too. As far as rims go, you should be able to get away with a multi-purpose set of steel rims (if for winter).

    Steel rims are around $45 CND each. I got mine at Palmar (wholesaler in Atlantic Canada). In Halifax, you can get a good deal at Dartmouth Surplus (see Robert).

    PS. Buy winter tires now, they are cheaper this time of year.

  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Thanks Deagled...

    Wow you know your tire and wheels...yes these are just for the winter so muli-purpose black would be perfect. I was just in Halifax last weeked too but I should be there again soon...thanks again for the info...I will see Robert at Dartmouth Surplus
  • TupTup Member Posts: 200
    XR Matrix There is a Palmar in Charlottetown. It's on the road leading from rt.1 to the airport. Just before the Suzuki and Toyota dealerships. Surplus store might be cheaper.
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Thanks TUP

    Are you going to get aftermarket wheels for next winter? Save those nice alloys you have...
  • TupTup Member Posts: 200
    I'm not sure if we will get winter wheels or not. In the winter we mostly drive the Forester which we have a second set of wheels and Michelin Arctic Alpins. The Matrix will only be used to spin into town once in a while. I'm hoping that the alloys are the more salt resistant type. I like the fact that the balancing weights are the flat type that fit inside the rim. Balancing weight scars often lead to blemishes on alloys.
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Does anyone have any good ideas on how to improve the performance of the Matrix without getting into significant engine modifications like Superchargers, NOS kits etc...

    I am thinking more like K and N filter, free flowing muffler, performance chip etc.

    any ideas?
  • matrix99matrix99 Member Posts: 4
    Hello fellow owners,

    I have some trouble with my DRL on my XR Matrix:

    1. DRL will turn on my low beam at full strength when it is very sunny outside. When it is partly cloudy, then it will turn on everything else (fog lights if you set it to on, and tail lights). Is this what you guys experienced?
    2. My headlight switch is practically useless, since almost all the time, all my lights are on (even on a bright day, all the lights will be turned on).

    Any comments / help ?


  • TupTup Member Posts: 200
    Are the daytime running lights differen in the US than in Canada? I seem to recall there being a sensor mentioned to detect light levels. I don't think this exists on the Canadian version. As far as I know, when you start the car, the high beams go to 40% or something like that(most common drl setup in Canada.) Sounds like an extra complex system for the US.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96

    Sounds like a trip to the dealer is in order, since this is definitely not how they are supposed to work. They should come on at reduced brightness until the sensor on the dash detects low light level. At that point, they should begin coming up to full brightness. However, the taillights should come on only when you turn on the switch.

    It wouldn't explain all of the symptoms, but covering the sensor (driver's side top of dash) would cause the lights to be at full brightness all the time.
  • joee1joee1 Member Posts: 16
    I'd like to ask the new owners if they plan to add any body side molding to protect the doors and the beautiful sheet molding of the Matrix?

    If so, where would you purchase the molding?
  • just_some_guyjust_some_guy Member Posts: 52

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that you go the nav system. Could you tell me if the CD changer in your XRS is a Pioneer and if it can play CD-Rs?
  • oogumoogum Member Posts: 7
    A lot of Celica owners have removed the butterfly valve from their engines. The increase was dyno'ed (sp.?) at 3 hp, 4 torque. I'm guessing this would work on our cars, too, or at least the XRS.
  • TupTup Member Posts: 200
    The base stereo in the Matrix will play CD-R's but didn't seem to like the Verbatim CD-RW I tried. Every CD-R brand I have tried has been fine though.
  • just_some_guyjust_some_guy Member Posts: 52
    I still need to verify the cd changer but that makes me think it will work. I've read on Usenet many posts saying that Pioneer do read CD-Rs and I'm pretty sure that I read "Pioneer" on the front of the CD changer of the XRS I saw.
  • alshariffalshariff Member Posts: 11
    Okay folks, here's the skinny on sizing tires: Whatever tire combination you choose, you're goal should be to maintain an equal circumference.

    Now a few different sizes have been mentioned, however some are incorrect. Here are sizes which are considered comparable:
    17 in 215/50 = 16 in 205/55 = 15 in 205/55 or 195/60. The optimum size for 15 in tires is 205/55 because you're overall circumference will have the smallest differential at this size. However for winter use, I'd recommend 195/60 because of its narrow width. Remember, with a smaller foot print, your tire will cut through the snow better. Hence you'll get better grip. In the summer, the opposite is applies. Get the widest tire you can get! Good luck!
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    Hey alshariff

    I am a bit claim "17 in 215/50 = 16 in 205/55 = 15 in 205/55 or 195/60." How could a 205/55x16 and a 205/55x15 be equal in height? There is an inch difference in diameter in the rim.

    Also, could you tell me what the 15" eqviualent would be to replace my P205/55r16 factory tires? Deagled and I thought P195/65r15 would be the cats meow...

    thanks for your help

  • deagleddeagled Member Posts: 20
    Alshriff, where are you getting this information?

    You are right when you say you need to maintain an equal circumference, but the sizing you suggest is incorrect. Perhaps you know something I don't (insert joke here). I know from experience that to go from a 17 to a 15 (for winter tires for example) you need to go 205/65 15's. this keeps the diameter at 25.5 inches and the circumference at 80.0 (give or take a mm). This setup would only throw your speedometer off 0.1% (slower).

    Please help me understand why/where you got these numbers.

  • TupTup Member Posts: 200
    Here's a useful link:

    195-60-15 seems to create less speedometer error.

  • alshariffalshariff Member Posts: 11
    Hi folks,

    The tire sizing site's pretty good. Thanks TUP!

    Here's how I came up with my tire sizing:
    215/50R17 = 323.4 mm Radius
    205/55R16 = 315.9 mm Radius
    205/55R15 = 303.2 mm Radius
    195/60R15 = 307.5 mm Radius

    Obviously these figures are all different, however the matrix is set up to run 205/55R16 tires. The 215/50R17's are a size up and the 195/60R15 are a size down. Both deviate less than 9 mm from the 205/55R16. When we look at a tire, 9 mm can easily be eaten by tread wear, inflation pressure and temperature.

    I admit, I was smoking some pretty cheap stuff when I typed 20/55R15 (because thats probably pushing the envelope of error). All in all, as long as gauge error is kept below 10%, you'll have whats considered a capable gauge. This is you should always fight your speeding tickets!
  • deagleddeagled Member Posts: 20
    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
    For all of you bike/canoe/boat transporter types out there, who maybe like me have a Thule rack which will not fit a Matrix anymore, Thule
    do have a solution now, they are just not telling anyone about it.

    Thule now make a TP Top Track to fit just about any vehicle including the Matrix. If you go to http:\\ now and use their fit
    guide you are told there is no roof rack solution for a Matrix, but you do have this option. You need to bolt to the roof so my suggestion would be to have your dealership do it...but for $120 USD you can bolt this setup rail system to your roof and then connect your existing Thule components to it (providing you have the right
    connection feet).

    The ad also claims it accepts Yakima rail riders as well.

    I thought I would share this because I was just about ready to sell my entire Thule Rack system and purchase an entire Yakima system...this rail system is saving me hundreds of dollars...

    XRS 6spd...1450km and counting...
  • xr_matrixxr_matrix Member Posts: 96
  • dkirk2dkirk2 Member Posts: 1
    Just bought 2003 Corolla LE and was wondering if the undercoating offered is worth the investment. Have previously used Rust Check and it saved previous vehicles. Most dealer applied materials actually seal in water and salt increasing damage rather than preventing. Rust Check uses an oil like substance that remains liquid. Any opinions?
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96
    One of the things I don't like about the Matrix is the restricted vision to the rear when backing. To resolve this problem, I'm considering having a backup aid installed. I've heard good things about the Puron systems. Anyone have any experience or know where I can get one? Their web site doesn't list the price or give dealer names.
  • matchrevmatchrev Member Posts: 1
    I'm just curious: Do the 16 and 17 inch wheels/tires on the Matrix fit on a 2003 Corolla? Are the bolts/offsets the same on these two vehicles? I know that the Corolla now uses 5 bolts.

    I'm thinking going aftermarket would be better, cost-wise, though. . .
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96
    I don't know if they are compatible, but I'm certain you could save money using aftermarket wheels. Suggest you check out Tire Rack at
  • bxkidbxkid Member Posts: 8
    The right arm rest on the drivers side (the one that is the access hatch for storage) on a 2003 CE Corolla has no cushion for your arm/ elbow. This bothers me since I am skinny and have no meat on my arms!
    Toyota at least put a cushion on the driver door for you left arm!! Does anyone know where I can get a modified hatch so my elbow does not get inflamed? Thanks.
  • bryanf1bryanf1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a corolla S, and was wondering if using the tire size 225/50-16 would be alright? Also, if you go to, you notice that the size of the tires are different then what is already posted on this web page. They say that you need a 55 sidewall, when this page says that you need a 50 sidewall on a 16" rim. Does it make that much of a difference?
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