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Toyota Matrix Brake Questions



  • I have a 2008 Toyota Matrix XR w/ 14,500 miles. I'm having what sounds like the same problem expressed by "chailes" in # 31. In snowy, icy, or slushy conditions - especially if the road is rough - I get a terrible grinding noise and severe vibration in the brake pedal when the brakes are applied. In addition to the noise and vibration, the brakes fail to stop the car. I pump them, but it does not seem to help. So far this has only happened at slow speeds on local country roads, but I'm afraid it will also happen at higher speeds where similar brake failure would be disastrous. I'm spooked about driving the car in anything but clear dry weather. Any ideas what is causing this? Also, any ideas as to the fix? It is an hour&half drive to the dealer and they tend to say "it is supposed to do that" a lot. Besides, this only happens in snowy, cold conditions so I likely could not recreate it for the dealer.
  • Maybe the brake master cylinder is malfunctioning in cold and damp conditions. Try replacing the brake fluid.
  • danitdanit Posts: 1
    We purchased a pre-owned 2007 Matrix with 12K miles on it and managed to add an addition 17K miles in the span of 6 months (do LOTS of commuting for work and also did a trip to Florida to and from NYC). Lately, I noticed that every time I stop at a read light my car starts vibrating. Also, notice this when I'm braking the car. However, when I put the car in neutral the vibrating stops. Before I bring it in for servicing, what o you good folks think? I suspect it may be breaks, alignment, or just the tires (I heard the tires are poor on the Matrix). Thanks.
  • motwnbromotwnbro Posts: 6
    i have an 08 matrix.....i had my brakes checked and were said to be good....but i have a noise that comes come on intermitently...mostly after when the car has been sitting...i'll apply the brakes and get a click clack frome each bracke...some time only one will sound....does this have something to do with abs system....thank you....martin
  • I have the same year and exact same issue. My garage (today) say, 1 the brakes *are* safe and 2 it is a known issue and 3 there is a Technical Bulletin on it (I have been unable to find it so far) it, they say is due to normal wear and slight misalignment and will be a 1/2 day fix and should be covered by warranty. My garage took the brakes apart, lubed some bits and put them back together and the noise has gone but they say I should expect it recur
  • I had similar problem and Toyota dealership service persuaded me to have some kind of belt change. But it did not stop the vibration after spending a few hundreds more.
    A few months later, the battery died. And amazingly the battery change fixed the problem. I have a more powerful battery though. Maybe you can try it.

    The vibration at stop used to drive me nuts, especially when the A/C is on. Now no more vibration. Good luck to you.
  • Anyone has similar experience and can give any advice? Thanks.
  • How old was the battery? Did it ever need water added?
    Sometimes an old battery will draw a lot of charge current due to worn out plate separators. The alternator would have to supply that extra charge current. That increases alternator drag and makes the engine work harder, especially at idle.
  • The battery is almost new. I just had it replaced a few months ago. The shaking happens at high speed braking not at idling. Thanks.
  • I bought a brand new Toyota Matrix 2006 FWD from the dealer for my brother. He has been behind the wheel for more than 10 years, good records as I did. He told me he could feel that the brake doesn't response quick enough, but I though he possibly just needed some time to get used to it. Last Winter he made a left turn on a snowy day, about -20 degrees, he found the brake responsed wierdly and he lost the control, and the car hat the curb and bent the front wheel. I thought he possibly just careless driving, and we switched our car. This winter I encounted almost the same problem as he did. I drove on a snow day for about 60KMH with about -20 degrees, found a car stalled at least 20 meters in front of me, start to brake but my car shaked uncontrollably once brakes are applied, and it turned almost 90 degreees and slipped on the car in front. Well my car didn't have an ABS and snow tires, however, I had driven cars without them for more than 10 winters and never ha such a bad situation. Could anybody explain to me what might be wrong with the brake system?
    Thank you in advance!
  • 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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