Matrix Electrical/Lighting Problems & Solutions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
Having an issue with the electrical system or lighting on your Matrix? This is the place to ask for help and offer solutions!


  • chuck1chchuck1ch Member Posts: 15
    After hearing some crunching sound when shifting in and out of Park and Drive, one night while driving, I noticed there is no light luminating thru the PRND2L window corresponding to the gear I am in. I think the peanut bulb on the automatic shift lever has come loose and got crunched.

    Anyway, has anyone gone into this area of the center console. I see a screw on the shift knob, but how do I remove the cover to get at the bulb, which I assume is at the base of the shift lever.

    Any ideas?

  • gwmchunggwmchung Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. Did anyone figure this one out?

  • fear_hopefear_hope Member Posts: 90
    Doesn't the way the outlet cover is constructed limit the use of the outlet. How do you use it with larger plugs? The ones with an adapter at the end seem to be at a total loss... :confuse:
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    You're right. At least on the 2003 model, both the cover and the position of the outlet make it next to useless. When we first got the vehicle I wanted to test the outlet to make sure it worked. After trying several devices with plugs that didn't fit, I tried a small desk lamp and an old electric radio. Not likely to need either of those devices while cruising in the Matrix.
  • bearabull1bearabull1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2003. I'll have to check it out. I now Sams Club sells an outlet converter which will angle. Would I be able to use the laptop on a cigerette converter if it's under 100 watts?
  • freedom2freedom2 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone found an answer to the light bulb problem on the shift lever? Our lights on the odometer etc are also out. The dealer's service center failed to correct the problem and the car is now 1 week out of warranty.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    A week out of warranty?? Just call Toyota (800 number in your owner's manual) and explain the situation. I almost guarantee that they will cover it, considering you're only a week past. Also explain that the dealer screwed up, and they will make it right, free of charge.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    mcdawgg is right. As long as the problem was brought to the dealer's attention before the warranty period expired, Toyota should still cover the repair. You probably will be asked to provide a dated receipt from the service department as evidence that you tried to address the problem during the warranty period.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    Even if it was shortly AFTER the warranty expired, Toyota will more than likely cover it, if you call them. I know this from experience. We were a month or so after it expired, and Toyota picked up the bill. You will have no problem - just call Toyota (customer service center in California.)
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Member Posts: 470
    Toyota might pick it up without a fight, or they might not. I have a friend who was denied a claim for something a couple of weeks after the warranty expired.
  • thornewoodthornewood Member Posts: 1
    My check engine light came on the other day and it wasn't the "normal" check engine light, the one for regular maitence. This one simply says in the manual to take the car back to the dealer. So I made an appointment. The service department thought it might be that the gas cap wasn't on tight enough but infact it turns out to be my ECU. They conuldn't fix the problem on that day so they had me come back after the part was in. When I came back I found out that the part ordered was not the right one and the one needed for my 06 Matrix is on NATIONAL BACKORDER. I'm interested to find out if anyone else has had this issue and if it's been resolved.
  • budhbudh Member Posts: 109
    Most laptops use voltage between 12 and 24 volts and current less than 10 amperes.

    (The Dell Latitude D820 which I am typing this from is about 5 amps. As a general rule, any electronic device can be used with the plug. It is the devices with major motors or heater elements that may draw too much current, such as electric drills, electric heaters, possibly a small vacuum might be too much, also).

    Bud H
  • aws1aws1 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 07 matrix and the other day i plugged my cell phone charger into the outlet and i guess it was too much and it fried the electrical system like blew the fuse is my guess.....any ideas on a quick fix so i can have the radio and clock back on in the car?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Replace the fuse

    You should take care when plugging in your phone charger outlet. Note on the male plug, where the side metal contacts are. Look in the female plug, and see where the metal sides are continuous. You want to put the plug straight in so that the metal contacts on the male plug, make clear straight contact down the side. Push it straight in, and don't twist it while putting it in. What generally happens is the male plug shorts out the contacts if it is loose enough, and twisted around.
  • harkyharky Member Posts: 13
    Hi all

    I have a 2005 Matrix XR 4WD (39K miles on it), and few weeks ago, the air-bag warning light came on. I parked the car on the side street and turned off the engine. I waited few minutes, then when I re-start the engine, the light disapperaed. But, today, while I was driving, the air-bag light came on again and it won't go away. Is this something that I should be really worry about? If anyone experienced a similar situation, would you please share your thoughts? Thank You
  • neild1neild1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 03 Matrix XRS, recently started acting like battery going bad, checked and replaced battery now 2 weeks later sounding like weak battery, now won't turn over r even click when try to start, battery good, alternater good, starter good, clutch engage switch good. can puch start and everything is fine, lights, running lights, radio, windows, until turn switch off. Having to park on inclines to get running
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Sounds like either your alternator is defective, or something is on draining down the battery.

    You say the alternator is good, how do you know that? You need to have it checked under load, and any of the autoparts chains can do that for you for you, usually free. This is actually a combination battery and alternator test.

    If they check out, then you will need to measure the amperage draw on your battery when everything is off. If you find amperage draining, then you'll most likely need to get an electrical schematic to figure out how to start methodically unplugging fuses to find the culprit circuit.
  • trundleymetrundleyme Member Posts: 2
    We plugged in a Sirrus radio to cigarette lighter and now cig lighter and radio do not work in our 2004 Matrix. The manual shows 2 sets of fuses but we can only find the one in the engine. The book says #28 fuse could be the one but can't find it. It is not under the lower left side of the instrument panel like someone from the dealer thought it would be. Any one else had this problem?
  • trundleymetrundleyme Member Posts: 2
    Did you get a solution? I have a 04 Matrix and lost radio, clock and cigerette lighter.
  • mattd182mattd182 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 03 matrix xrs and I have been having the same problem. Toyota has replaced my battery and It's still going dead. Have you found the problem?
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    It means there is a problem, probably electronic, in the airbag system. It is likely that right now the airbags would not deploy even if you were in a bad accident. It would be a good idea to have your mechanic check it out.

    You can check with the dealer to be sure, but I think the airbags are covered under a longer warranty than the bumper to bumper, so it is likely any needed repairs would be free.

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

  • etchedetched Member Posts: 6
    Any clue to how to get doors to stay locked when shifting into park? I have a 2009 T Matrix X FWD w/auto, power doors, keyless entry. I read the manual as did my spouse, but it still won't switch to keeping the doors locked when in park. I shift into drive, they lock, into park they all unlock, very bad. I also can't believe (as stated on page 421) that I have to go back to the dealer to have this customization done.
  • zombietom3zombietom3 Member Posts: 74
    It sounds like that was designed into it, with the expectation that when the car is in Park the passengers will want to exit the vehicle. Once you are outside you can use the remote to lock the doors again. If you want to lock the doors while still inside the car, remove the key after shifting into park and use the remote lock. Yes?
  • etchedetched Member Posts: 6
    thanks for the reply, but I already thought of that. There's a thing going around where young men circle a lot to see if someone's about to park and they jump out and grab a back door handle to see if it's not locked when you are parking. They jump in behind the driver's seat and I won't go on from there. This is a dangerous set up. Even hitting the master door switch may not be fast enough.
  • zombietom3zombietom3 Member Posts: 74
    That scenario crossed my mind but I hoped it was not what you were worried about. Now I totally agree with you that the feature must be defeated. I hope the dealer can do that for you. It's clearly a security issue.
  • irishtigeririshtiger Member Posts: 4
    Personally, I find the unlocking of all doors absolutely brilliant. The efficiency and convenience was well thought out. The owners manual is very explicit about "customization" of the door locks in automatics as versed in the sub chapter "Customization" residing in the "Vehicle Specifications" chapter near the rear of the manual. Again, efficient and convenient. The default of opening the doors while putting the transmission into "PARK", can be customized to OFF. Setting and canceling these functions resides in the sub-chapter of "opening, closing and locking all the doors" in Chapter 1 of "before driving".

    1. Close all doors with engine switched to "ON".
    2. Shift lever to Park or Neutral, then hold the driver's door lock switch (on the arm of the driver door) in the door's lock position for 5 seconds.
    3. When the setting or canceling operation is complete, all doors are locked and then unlocked.

    Otherwise, your Toyota dealer can complete this function.

    Ah, I would suggest that not parking in such a parking lot where "young men" circle the lot is the best prevention. The more direct route of assaulting the driver extricating themself from the vehicle, is more effective then vaulting over rear seats through unlocked back doors. Should they enter the back seat, pull out the keys and leave, thus immobiling the vehicle. Then press the panic button on the key remote to signal for assistance.Then run for safety. May the safest and secure driving follow you.
  • etchedetched Member Posts: 6

    I tried those steps already and still it doesn't change. So, I tried contacting Toyota's chat line, that was a bust. Called the dealer and he said they could do it in seconds, we shall see.
  • bebopperbebopper Member Posts: 1
    I recently had body work on the rear door and quarter panel my 2004 Matrix that caused the shop to disconnect the battery. When I picked the car up, I noticed that a portion of the radio face plate's LED screen is unreadable. A small bulb behind the screen must've blown out. Of course the body shop insists that nothing they did would've caused this to happen, but it seems unlikely that it would have happened coincidentally.

    Anyone with any thoughts on this?
  • kjtkjt Member Posts: 8
    I've tried the Pontiac forum and thought maybe someone with a Matrix could help on this problem. I have a new 09 Vibe, luv it, but you can not turn off the headlights at night with the ignition turned on, not even to the park lights. The headlights work properly without turning on the ignition, like any other car you can turn them to park and then to full headlights, but as soon as you start the car all that goes away. Very frustrating when you are sitting somewhere needing to dim your lights to park for any reason, the only way you can do this is to shut the car off. No luck whatsoever with GM's customer service on this issue and the local dealer told me that it was built into the computer that way. He told me that the Vibe was Pontiac's low end car and what did I expect to get from a low end vehicle anyway. Well I didn't think it was asking that much to be able to have some control over your headlights at least. The one thing I did learn from all this is that the local Pontiac dealer in North Platte, NE will never get any of my business again. Any ideas from anyone?
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Member Posts: 117
    Here's instructions on how to add a separate switch to control the headlights:
  • kjtkjt Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info and taking the time to reply. I'll try to figure all this out on the 09 Vibe and see if it doesn't work for me. Thanks again.
  • kjtkjt Member Posts: 8
    The 2009 DRL control module is located in a different place from the previous years. It's behind the glove box, much easier to get to and work on. Just remove the glove box completely to make it easy. There are 3 white plugins behind the glove box, the bigger and farther to the right is the DRL plugin. The #12 pin that you're looking for is located directly under 2 bigger wires, one is brown and the other white and the 09 models changed the wire color, you are looking for a small blue wire. You can either cut the blue wire or have a service tech remove it from the plug, takes a tool to do it, but at least you can put it back in if you trade the vehicle etc. Either way make sure to tape the ends of the wire. This eliminates the daytime running lights completely and auto headlights at night, but you have total control over your headlights. If you're intent on having daytime running lights (which they are nice to have) you can simply cut the blue wire and wire it into an extra switch on the dash somewhere. Then you can turn the switch off at night and have control of your headlights like any normal vehicle. Either way works, I just use my headlights in the daytime anyway, so don't have any use for daytime running lights and don't have to worry about an extra switch and other wiring to mess up. Once I figured out where to look and what to do, it took the Toyota service tech about 10 minutes to complete the job and get me on the road.
    Just remember, the 09's is the #12 blue wire, not red. Thanks goes to this website for your help and especially to 2 great Toyota service techs at the local dealership here who took the time to research and solve my issue on a Pontiac Vibe.
    Note: 2009 Matrix, Vibe and Corolla are all located in the same location, behind the glove box
  • sage3sage3 Member Posts: 47
    My wife's 2006 XR (with 71K miles on it ) has the original battery which displays a green indicator for good battery yet the car will not start and once jumped runs for about 10 seconds then dies. The belt has about 3/4 on an inch of play at it's longest reachable testing point is that too much play? Any feedback is welcome...
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Member Posts: 117
    Once running a loose belt or weak battery will not make the engine die. Does the check engine light come on?
  • sage3sage3 Member Posts: 47
    Yes, the light was coming on at low RPM's.
    I thought it was the alternator so I exchanged it for a new one. Now the car will run without dying but i hear a whine that fluctuates with the RPM'S. The vehicle will not start without a jump so I was planning on getting a new battery tomorrow.
  • sage3sage3 Member Posts: 47
    The battery light comes on; not the check engine light. The car manual states that if this light comes on when the engine is running the charging system has a problem?
    Once I put in the new alternator the light comes on erratically but the car does not die. Is the battery low on charge or dying?
  • sage3sage3 Member Posts: 47
    Replaced the alternator and battery, all is working fine for 2 weeks now. The noise from the new alternator was from a disconnected ground wire. :)
  • DON__FLORIDADON__FLORIDA Member Posts: 14
    I have an 09 and the tire warning light comes on some times. The tires are fine with proper inflation. The dealer said this can happen in cold weather. If this true I am gald I live in Florida. We do not have many cold days. Does anyone else experience this?
  • jeffreyfrogjeffreyfrog Member Posts: 1
    You have a faulty master switch on the drivers door.Could be caused by excess moisture...

    az locksmith
  • jquajqua Member Posts: 4
    Sounds more like a problem with the dealer.

    Have driven a few cars with tire pressure systems..... If temp falls from 60 F down to -10 F I'd have to check them otherwise nada. The temp range in FL at this time of year shouldn't be an issue.

    Makes notes on conditions when the warnings are coming on. If it continues sounds like a system fault.
  • matrixdougmatrixdoug Member Posts: 1
    Should I buy this car. Are these any problems with it? What is the standard maintenance milestones?
  • funkmanfunkman Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Matrix and have recenty had the starter replaced a few months ago, The reason the starter was replaced was that the car would not start so I had it towed and that was apparently the problem.

    Okay so I thought...

    Well a few weeks ago I went somewhere and turned the car off. When I tried to start it again after a few minutes of it being off, it would not noise like it trying to start, just a tiny hum if even that. The dashlights and dome light are all bright and do not dim when attempting to start. I waited about 10 or 15 minutes and eventually it started. Went home, turned it off and tried again and sure enough...would not start. waited for a bit and went out, started right up.

    Had the mechanic that replaced the starter check it and he said the connections are all fine and the starter is good. Drove the car for a bit after that and have had no problems. Yesterday it started acting funny again.
    The only common thing I can think of is that this seems to happen when I turn it off after a good drive. I work about an hour away from home and had to pick my wife up yesterday and since the car was running for an hour, it was naturally hot. Turned it off to wait for her to come out and after 5 minutes of it cooling, it was still pretty hot and would not start. I let it sit for another 5 and tried..nothing. Again, no noise or dimming of lights. Popped the hood and looked around, nothing out of the ordinary that I can corrosion of the battery terminal, nothing.
    Kept the hood open and waited for another 15 minutes and tried it and it tried to turn over but stalled. Waited another minute and it started right up.
    Got home, turned it start.

    I am at work now and went outside, started right up, but it has been off for a couple hours. Turned it off after running for a minute or two, started right up again. Did this a few times.

    At lunch I have to run somewhere that is about a half hour away and will turn it off and try to start it again to see what happens.

    Any ideas???

  • agarntoagarnto Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with no light in the automatic gear shift. I checked the fuse and it was ok but I can not see how you can get inside to replace a bulb. Any suggestions?
  • alexk9578alexk9578 Member Posts: 2
  • alexk9578alexk9578 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 matrix, just replaced the master window switch because the driver side window switch was broken. The driver side window still won't work. I checked all fuses and relays finding nothing wrong. what could possibly be the problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks.

  • grunpy39grunpy39 Member Posts: 1
    For a while, I have had a daily problem with a new battery.
    With battery +&- attached, battery dies overnight.
    With - disconnected, battery holds for work day but not overnight every time I test.
    With +&- disconnected, battery holds overnight.
    Good starts with jumps.
    Everything is OFF when ignition off.
    How do I diagnose further?
  • indgomtrxindgomtrx Member Posts: 7
    The light for my rear defogger that illuminates when turn the headlights on went out on my 2006 Toyota Matrix. The light bulb for when I activate the rear defogger was fine. I hated that the button just didn't illuminate, so I wanted to fix it. I looked online and found some website where someone asked what the part number was, but didn't get a response. Well, I ordered the light bulb, replaced it and am now happy. Replacing it was pretty simple. Can't find that website now, so in case someone needs the info: the part number is 90011-01022 description "bulb, w/cap".
  • carowner2012carowner2012 Member Posts: 1
    My door open light makes a clicking sound when it flicks on and off
    And I am sure all doors and trunk are closed.
    This happens on more uneven roads. Highway is fine.
    Any help ?
  • rondo1rondo1 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2007 matrix,that did the same thing,it was the back window over the trunk. Looked closed but was not,if you can open the window when the car is locked that's it. The weight of the window bumps the switch when you hit a bump.this worked for me,hope it works for you.
  • rondo1rondo1 Member Posts: 4
    You didn't say what year matrix you had,I got a new 2011 matrix and went out and l00ked,this one doe's not fold out,and i am glad of that,I didn't like that any way. Did you find the problem,it may happen on my 2011 matrix and It may help me find it too. post your year model please?
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