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Toyota Matrix Tire/Wheel Questions



  • you better read through this entire thread. an alignment will most likely NOT fix the problem....
  • Whatever you decide to do, contact Toyota and file a report. I think I did this on the phone. Check their website online to find a place to start. I've since sold my 2006 Matrix back to the dealer and purchased a 2009 (at zero per cent interest).
    My dealer was adding a part to the wheels that should have corrected the problem when I decided to buy the new car. Again, I'll have to go into my files to find out exactly what the part was.
    They didn't do it for free though; it cost $180 for the part and the alignment. Unless everyone reports their problem to Toyota, they won't accept (at the dealer) that this isn't your fault.
  • Does anyone know where the tpms sensors are located in a matrix? I have a 2006 AWD and my mechanic says they're not inside the wheel but on the ABS brake system. I've never heard of this before, I always thought all carmakers put them in the stem valves. How can they read the tire pressure from the ABS system? All this came about because I'm trying to put together a winter wheels/tires package so was looking to find out how much the sensors were going to be.
  • doodedoode Posts: 18
    From what I understand it doesn't measure the actual tire pressure from inside the tire but senses if one tire is under-inflated by sensing the suspension is uneven
  • I think it senses the wheels spinning at different RPMs. The low tire spins faster.
  • sjoshsjosh Posts: 1
    I have 2010 Toyota Matrix with 18" tyres. Do I need chains while driving in snow?
  • The question of whether you need chains has nothing to do with the diameter of your tires.
    How much snow?
    How hilly the terrain?
    Maybe you just need snow tires.
    Happy holidays.
  • stk2stk2 Posts: 2
    I just bought a used 2006 Matrix XR All Wheel Drive. The tire pressure warning light went on and I can't get it to go off. Does anybody have any information on how to deal with this?
  • 2004 Matrix - front wheel drive - auto trans.
    Had original tires rotated as suggested and ended up replacing them @30k. Was told by Dealer the original "Continental" tires only last to about 30k. So we bought the Yokohama you mentioned. They have been on for 3-4 years and already need replacing. We have had a front end alignment per warranty for the tires purchased at Plaza tire (Forever Tire program - which I'm assuming they will not honor). This is a Toyota issue that I want to know if they have corrected. Dealers do not know anything about this (including service department) locally. We are in the market for a new one - other than the tire wear issue - we love our Matrix. Sad that Toyota won't fix this issue with the $180 part someone mentioned for newer models - unless they have fixed it. Anyone know?
  • Sorry to hear you aren't happy with the Yokohamas. How many miles did you put on the vehicle in the 3 - 4 years?

    Ours have been on the car (AWD) for just 5 months and about 5,000 miles. So far we have no complaints, but it's still early.
  • I am a retired truck/motorcycle mechanic. I have 45 years experience and have worked at two dealerships, two major fleets, crewchiefed a pro dragrace team and been in partners in a hi performance bike shop and fabrication/machine shop. The parent company for any dealership is NOT going to admit fault for anything unless it is going to put $$ in their pocket or make them look like heros. Fat chance on the $$! So when you have a problem with their product you can expect a good stone-walling from them. This is how they train their managers. They are told to deny, deny, deny. This tire wear problem is way over almost all of the techs in a dealership. The service manager will not allow someone to try to figure it out. Even if they knew how to solve it Toyota does not care or they would be trying 24/7 to solve it to keep us as customers. Most of the techs at a dealership are taught to change parts. That is easy to justify as warranty work. If a tech is smart he will go to an independent shop or into business for himself. I have an issue with tire wear on my '06 Matrix and am taking it to my independent wheel alignment shop on my own dime. At least I can figure it out without any more lies and deception. Then I am going to tell Toyota how unhappy I am and every other forum like this one will be where the story is told.
  • My '06 Matrix had inside tread wear on its Continental tires in spite of alignment being OK.
    I had alignment checked at an indy shop (I knew not to try Toyota and their stonewalling) and it was OK.
    My solution was to have the tires flipped over on their rims before the inside edges got too worn.
    That's evened out the wear and they also roll quieter, for now at least.
  • I traded my 2006 Matrix with tire wear problems in on a 2009 model on the same day that the dealership was installing a gadget to fix the alignment problem. There is a fix and the dealers do know about it. Guess I'll find out if they listened to any of the complaints on this forum when my new car has a little more mileage on it.
    The most important thing you all have to do is to register your complaint with Toyota. You can do this by phone. Check the website for phone numbers.
    I'm convinced that not enough Matrix owners know about Edmunds or have bothered to register their complaint with Toyota.
    There's probably some way to find my old postings--with more specifice details on the
    "fix" on this site, but I haven't had time to go back this evening. I know I was back--probably before the 100th post. Looks like the entire discussion has come full circle.
  • Sally, dealers are denying ever hearing of a problem with tire wear on the Matrix. One went so far as to say the total redesign should have fixed any issues IF there were any. We ended up walking away from Toyota (after years of owning them). Now the recall has me wondering and worrying over our 04 matrix we handed down to son #2.
  • I have a 2006 Matrix XR that I bought new back in November 2005. Replaced the tires with some Goodyear tires from Wal-Mart for about $100/tire at around 24,000 a couple of years ago. I normally rotated & balanced the tires every 5,000 miles whenever I got an oil change (and still do). Now at around 62,000 the Goodyear tires seem fine with none of the odd inner wear or loud road noise that the Continental tires I had exhibited before I got rid of them. Last time I got an oil change ( I get them done at Wal-Mart since the tires had lifetime balancing rotation free since I bought them there) and the wear on the invoice showed 8/32 and no advisory that tires are worn. I did get an alignment (front wheel I believe, not 4 wheel) after replacing the tires partially because of this but mainly because of potholes during winter months in Indianapolis, IN. Leads me to think that it was the tires since the "new" tires seem fine.
  • I'm also convinced it's mainly the Continental tires, not the Matrix, for several reasons:

    The excessive wear on my tires is only at the extreme edge, only the last band of tread. If it were a camber problem I think it would be a gradual transition from one side to the other.

    An independent shop showed alignment is well within spec.

    I had a co-worker with a Matrix that came with Goodyear tires and had even tread wear.

    When I had my tires flipped over on the rims (see my previous posts) an SUV was also in the shop getting its Continental tires replaced because guessed it...excessive wear on the edges.

    I'm not denying that some Matrixes have bad alignment, but I've yet to see anyone complain of edge wear and noise with tires other than Continental. Ironically I use Continental tires on my bicycle (I commute to work every day on) because they are far better than any other brand I've tried.
  • There was a post here stating that the camber may be in spec but the spec is written so the camber is excessive so when the Matrix is performing the slalom movement the tires are flat and the Matrix will not roll over easily. When the tires are in spec they wear on the inside edgedue to camber set for the slalom. If you ever go to a short track high banked auto race the right front tire is cambered excessively so when it is under power and on the banking it will be closer to flat and give good traction. I have Continental tires on my Matrix and they are very noisy and the car has terrible ride characteristics. The dealer has just a list of BS reasons and with the gas pedal debacle now they are not going to do anything for us. I will never own another Toyota!
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 858
    Let me confirm what Friday said:

    The alignment specs for the Matrix include a rear camber of 1.45° ±0.50°. My experience is that anytime the camber is specified over 1°, then the vehicle is likely to have tire wear issues.

    But what triggers this wear is the toe. The rear toe is specified as 0° ±0.20° (per side). My experience is that anything over 0.06° (again per side) leads to wear issues.

    This means that not all Matrix owners are going to experience this wear - and it's going to depend on how far off the nominal value the vehicle is.

    This also means that vehicle can experience tire wear issues even if the alignment is "IN SPEC",

    And lastly, it also means the tires are not the source of the problem - which would explain why folks have seen the wear on more than just the original tires.

    But you should be aware that most alignment techs aren't savvy enough to recognize the issues about tolerance. They are usually a "set and forget" type. This would be especially true at a car dealership - where they probably have explicit instructions to set the alignment at the factory values. Most of the time this is OK, and it makes sense in the context of trying to do maintain what the alignment setting are when the vehicle leaves the shop. It just makes sense that they ALL be set according to the factory setting, so if the vehicle comes back with an alignment issue, it would be clear that the vehicle encountered an object that changed the settings.

    So my advice would be to take the vehicle to an alignment shop NOT affiliated with a dealership and have them set the camber below 1°, and the toe to the nominal value.
  • Great reply! I did not have the specs but I have an understanding of how a suspension works. At the dealer, the SM said our car got 28K miles out of tires that normally just get 10K before they were worn out. He said my wife must be very easy on the car. She is the primary driver and she IS very gentle on the car. I noticed the noise and thought it may be wheel bearings. Then after talking with him and trying to understand how she was at fault for her "problem" he told us she is making the car turn too often. I can see that there is no way they are going to do anything. The offer to waive the $15 installation fee on a new set of tires just made me madder! I repeat that this is my last Toyota. I was duped by their highly successful racing programs over the years thinking it would carry over.
  • I respect your expertise.
    However, all the camber and toe #s on my Matrix meet your criteria, and the edge wear only happens on the front tires.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 858
    It wasn't clear, but my earlier post was about irregular wear - commonly called "Cupping".

    You should also be aware that tire wear is very complex and even vehicles with the alignment settings outside the settings I stated MAY get even wear. It's kind of a "tendency" sort of thing.

    But in your case, there are some questions that your earlier posts don't answer:

    Were the front tires EVER on the rear? If so, then it's quite possible that the wear occurred on the rear - where there is a lot of camber - and wasn't noticed. Then when those rear tires were rotated to the front, the front positions added wear on top of the wear that was already there, making it appear that the wear occurred on the front.

    Plus, it's also possible to get the type of wear you describe from "spirited" driving - and this would include sharp turns when pulling into a parking spot.

    I did a quick look at the alignment specs for the front of the matrix and I see 2 things:

    1) The front camber spec + the tolerance does have a range from +0.18° to -1.32° - so it's possible for the front to be "in Spec" but over -1°.

    2) The front caster spec is a bit on the high side - 2.78° ± 0.75°. Caster can be considered "Camber gain on turning", and that would add camber during cornering situations. So if you do a lot of turns compared to how much you drive straight ahead - in other words, short trips - then you could also experience wear on only one side.
  • Front and rear camber are negative and less than 1°. I've misplaced the alignment printout so I don't have specific numbers.

    When I got the car it had 8100 miles. The rear tires looked nearly new and the fronts had some wear on the inside edge. I had the Toyota dealer rotate them before I drove it away.

    For the next 7000 miles I watched as the inside edges wore away on the front tires. At that point I had the tires flipped on the rims.

    I drive pretty gently most of the time. Stop and go city driving.
  • Since I last posted on this topic, I've probably logged about 25K+ highway miles on my 08 matrix (new goidyears about that time). It's been a source of constant consideration....oil change and tire rotation every 4-5K miles and paying attention to how the car tracked after each rotation. I even played around with different combinations of front to back, cross cross etc. There's been trips where it seemed to drive very straight and others where it still drifted s bit. Things are better since replacing the tires. I have to imagine that the profile of the matrix makes it more susecptable to winds too. My final deduction was that since my rear total toe was ok, but the rear drivers toe is actually just barely out of spec, perhaps that is causing uneven wear on that tire which becomes more noticable when on the front.

    Can't say I am happy to see what is happening with Toyota With all the recall crap but part of me is. I remember back to when I was incredibly frustrated with this...the thought of having committed myself to $20K+ for a car that wouldn't even drive straight...and to have multiple dealers tell me there was nothing more they could do ad it was within spec, it was the road, etc. (essentially, "hey, you're supposed to keep you hands on the wheel and your eyes in the road), it does in hindsight bring mr a little satisfaction. Afterall, in the last decade, before buying toyotas we've owned five new fords and one used ford and not one ever had as much trouble finding straight ahead as both our toyotas. (yeah, same issue with a corolla though itcwas remedied with one alignment)
  • doodedoode Posts: 18
    I've had similar problems with an extra sensitive rear alignment on my 06 solara convertible resulting in excessive premature wear. The dealership has responded by doing an alignment check at every oil change period and free adjustment if neccesary. They also credited me for a prorated portion of wear on the tires.
    An overall hassle and it took alot of effort for them to admit the alignment was the issue, not the tire.
  • This is a follow-up to my original reply #191. Just over a year from that post and in 9 months of actual driving, I put another 15,000 miles on the tires. Found that I had replaced the Continental's at 33,000 and now have twice that mileage on the Michelin Exalto A/S tires. I'm glad I haven't experienced any of the problems I read about. Again, I aligned the wheels when I purchased the tires, and haven't done a thing since. I have no vibration or pulling. Based on all of this, I expect another 9,000 miles easily (75K on a 45K tire!). As I said, I feel really fortunate after reading all the problems others have experienced. :)
  • stilldlstilldl Posts: 6
    I had the same thing happen on my 2007 matrix. I had all 4 tires checkked for pressure and have to check the spare now. Will let you know...
  • I have a 2006 Matrix XR and had the tires worn out in 30000miles. It's the negative camber problem, but within the specs. I am interested in installing two camber kit bolts, but not sure if it's safe to replace the upper bolts at the strut/knucle joint. Have you had any problems after installing these camber bolts in the upper holes?
  • Hi,

    If i remember correctly, to maintain the suspension geometry, the camber bolt need to go in the lower hole. 30,000 miles is pretty good wear for oem tires. Mine were GONE at 14,000. The new tires on ours have lasted more than 40k. I am happy with the Magna Cam bolts and alignment. John
  • My mechanic, who was a Toyota mechanic for 20 years before he opened his own shop, told me the cupping wear is not camber, alignment or any other mechanical issue. He said any of that will not really solve the problem, Toyota is very much aware of the issue and won't do a thing about it. I'm getting ready to change the rims on my Matrix 2005 with the hopes it will finally solve the problem, if not I give up.
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