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Matrix Transmission Problems



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If you are in the USA and your car was first sold for use in the U.S., then you don't call Canada. You contact NHTSA instead. The website for reporting problems is below

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

  • roarmcroarmc Posts: 1
    No response... because he lost and has to pay toyota
  • Thanks. Just got my car back from the shop $2,400 later.
  • Yesterday I started my 2005 Matrix and the check engine light was on. When I drove it the speedometer did not move-it was stuck at 0. Car ran fine though. This morning when I turned the car on the speedometer jumped up to 80. When I drove it the speedometer was all over the place-not reflecting the speed I was going. Then the car would rev up when I pushed on the accelerator but would not move much. It's really weird. I took it in to the dealer this morning and they seemed very perplexed when i described the issue to them. They are currently looking at it now. Has anyone every heard of a car doing this? It seems that there is some sort of disconnect between the speedometer and the accelerator.
  • Okay the dealer just called me back. Rodent damage. Apparently squirles crawled into the engine and chewed away the wire in 2 locations. The one they were able to repair but the other goes to the oxygen sensor and the entire unit has to be replaced. You can do all the preventative maintenace in the world, be prepared for as much as you can and then something like this happens. Fun fun.
  • slowzukislowzuki Posts: 3
    My 03 transmission bearing had failed as was on its way to taking out the rest of the transmission. I bought a low mileage 2006 transmission out of a smashed Corolla and its been good so far.

    It took me and my brother in law about 8 hours to swap the old one out and the new one in. He had got a hold of the instructions that skip the factory method so you don't drop the rack or cradle.

    I was gonna replace the clutch at the same time but it looked in good shape.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I was gonna replace the clutch at the same time but it looked in good shape.

    You might regret that later. So much easier to do with the tranny already out, the whole clutch kit would have been less than $100.

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

  • rhoovisrhoovis Posts: 1
    Our son called us 2 nights ago from Oregon. Stuck on the side of I-5. At the time he is sure his transmission is shot ( He has a 2003 Matrix manual trans.) For the heck of it I jump on the web and plug in 2003 Matrix tranny problems. I was shocked!! I got way too many immediate returns! Our son calls us the next day - He bought the extended warranty (100,000 miles) Believe it or not he was only 1600 miles over the warranty when the transmission went. NO coverage! It will cost $3300 for a new tranny and clutch. Our son is a poor college graduate who thought he bought a reliable used car. We all incensed!! I plan on writing Toyata - does anyone know how to proceed? I have read something about a "goodwill" program? Can someone advise? What will it take for a class cation suit to become a reality? How do these people go to bed at night and look at themselves inthe mirror?
    Rob from Connecticut
  • canonlawcanonlaw Posts: 20
    I just read your post. I live in Tacoma, WA and when mine went out, I took it to SeaTac Transmission, in Seatac, WA. They are a VERY good shop, and it was only $1,800 (which is still a TON!)

    The rebuilt it, so I am hoping they put better parts in it....
    Just an FYI for you. It might be able to be done cheaper than $3,300.
  • maturcomaturco Posts: 3
    I just went through the tribulations with my 2003 Matrix XR 5-speed. Here's what happened. You may have recourse for at least some good will, esp. if you have had the car regularly serviced by Toyota, and even if you are out of the warranty period.

    My experience was very much like that of the other good people who reported on this thread. About three weeks or so ago I heard a tapping sound from the front of the car, primarily in 4th and 5th gears. I went through the usual suspects. Valve tap? No, can't hear it under the hood at idle or under acceleration at low gears. Hole in exhaust? No, can't hear it outside of car. Water pump? No. So I took it to my local Toyota dealer where I get service regularly. After one day ($75 + tax) of diagnosis, here's the quote on the receipt:


    Oh, really? It's about to come apart?? That's $3506.99?? (I loved the $6.99). I have to replace the transmission at 87,000 miles??! Needless to say I was not happy. That's when I found this forum, thanks to my boss. Lots of people reported the same problem, 2002-3 Matrix w/ manual trans. I called the dealership where I bought the car and explained the issue to their Service Director. I got the service records from my local dealer and met with him. He said he would have his Service Mgr. call me the following week. The Service Mgr. called and said I would have to make my case with the dealer who did the most servicing. Toyota acknowledges nothing about an on-going problem with these transmissions.

    So I went back to the dealership where my car is serviced in Glen Mills, PA, USA (a nice dealership overall) and spoke with the Service Mgr. in person. "There's nothing we can do" is how the conversation started. I presented the ream of paper I had in my hands with this forum thread and mentioned the slew of people reporting the same problem, and that it appears to be a faulty bearing in the transmission. He gave me the same story as the Service Director in the original dealership, i.e., he confirmed that Toyota has no service advisory or technical bulletin on the problem. After I presented my situation in more detail, including that my extended warranty had run out at 75,000 miles, he agreed to go to the Toyota regional rep and see if they (Toyota) would do something for me.

    He called back a day or two later and presented an offer that I agreed to. The dealership would diagnose the problem, even if the trans had to be disassembled, and effect a repair. Toyota agreed to pay for 1/3 of the cost of the repair, the dealership would pay 1/3, and I would pay 1/3. (The issue of replacing the transmission went away).

    It took about a week to get to the problem. At first they replaced the 5th gear (and did he say differential?), but that did not solve the noise problem. So they took the transmission apart and, guess what? It was a bad bearing. I swear I told them that. Anyway, according to the the repair bill, they replaced a needle bearing, along with a spacer, synchromesh key and spring, transmission sleeve, shaft snap ring, transm. hub, radial bearing, ring set and bolt, all under warranty.

    The total transmission repair bill was reported to be $1,200 of which I paid one-third. The clutch replacement was $394 total parts and labor, which I paid in full. Total cost to me for everything, including taxes (6% in PA) was $845.

    $845 is by no means pocket change, esp. with my two daughters' tuition bills due this month, but it seemed like a fair price to pay. The car feels like new, and the clutch pedal is light as a feather. I do like the car. It's a great runabout and commuter car that gets me 34 mpg, and can carry a surprising amount of stuff when I fold down the seats. Other than the trans, it has been bulletproof. I serviced it by the book and could prove it. I believe that was at least part of the reason for the good will.

    If I were you, I would take the experiences of those on this forum under advisement and try to get some good will on a repair before incurring the cost of replacing the entire transmission. Note the bearing repair is a replacement in kind. According to the Service Mgr., there is no upgraded part. So in time I would assume the problem can recur. I have decided to take my chances.

    Good luck. If you need any more detail on this, I would be glad to copy you on the repair slip.

    Mike T.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Tie a small bundle of German Shephard hair in the engine compartment.
  • I purchased used 03 matrix on March 18, 2008 for my daughter to drive car was very nice. My husband and myself both drove the car before purchasing it the car was great we found all the orginal service records in the car and even found a phone number for the orginal owner of the car (the only other owner) talked with her she said she never had a problem with the car. The car had 109K miles on the car when we bought it, about 4 to 6 weeks later the car just starts making this grinding sound and hard to go in gear we thought it was the clutch. After having a friend that is a certified bmw mechanic look at it we discovered it was the transmission! So, i call salvage yards, transmissions shops nobody can get me a transmission when i did find one it was $1500 used with close to 70k with little to no warranty!!!
    So, now i am stuck with a car that needs a transmission and a $320 month car payment. If i take it to the shop to fix the transmission, clutch & get my check engine ligh tto go off i am looking at close to $5000.

  • marjomarjo Posts: 28
    Really sorry to hear this. Does suck. I doubt they'll do much for a second hand vehicle, but maybe you could find out what dealership it was bought and serviced at previously. See if they can do anything for you under the "goodwill program". Print off all these complaints from this website and bring it in. File a complaint with Toyota. I did in Canada, but they still have told others after me there are no complaints. We have to all keep complaining about this to Transport Canada, Toyota, NHTSA ( and everyone we know. Tell everyone not to buy a 2003-4 Matrix 5spd. Anyone who still owns one should trade it in at Toyota and let them get stuck with all these lemons. I find people are still extremely skeptical because of Toyota's reputation, but that's only because their car hasn't failed YET. Happens at around 80,000-130,000km based on previous posts, almost all past warranty. I miss my Matrix, but I'll never buy another Toyota until they admit this issue.
  • I'm from Montreal and I just got my car back, guess I got lucky (if you can call it that) because I heard that weird sound comming from the trany early enough to get the car to the shop.

    I then brought it to Toyota to get it inspected and mentionned this forum, but they denied the problem as have so many others I have read on this forum

    They changed 2 bearings and charged me 1400$ ......

    To top it all off, my 5 year warranty ended July 16 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I bougnt my Matrix 2004 used and not from the dealer, so I received no special treatment and got my car fixed elsewhere...

    I am VERY dissapointed, this being my 1st Toyota, which I bought because of their good reputation.....

    I can't really afford 1400$ right now, but what choice did I have??
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If you were under the mileage limit on July 16, it would have been worth your while to approach Toyota and ask for a good faith repair, even though you are not a regular at the dealership. That is especially true if you are still under the mileage limit now. We are talking four weeks here...a case could be made that it was already beginning to fail before the warranty expired, and it was just attended to later.

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

  • The output shaft bearing is my 2003 Matrix 5sp manual transmission has joined others in failing. Thanks to this forum I recognized the problem early and was able to get the transmission repaired before the bearing failed completely and took out other components. As with others I was out of warrantee (77500 miles) and Toyota made like they had never heard of a transmission failure on this vehicle. Since I do my own maintenance (faithfully and by the book) I didn't have Toyota dealership maintenance records to point to. There was no help from "customer care" at Toyota. They offered me $ 6,000.00 for my Matrix if I wanted to trade it in. I went to a transmission shop and had the transmission repaired. The output shaft main bearing was failing. The shop installed an updated bearing kit in the transmission for around $ 2,300 total (removal, disassembly, bearing kit - includes all bearings in the transmission, reassembly, new clutch, flywheel surfacing, and re installation of tranny into vehicle). They told me they could not see any lubrication issues related to the bearing or transmission case design. Their best guess: Toyota got a bad batch of bearings. The new bearings in the updated kit appear to be the same design as the old ones. Toyota dealership told them they knew nothing of an updated bearing... parts from Toyota would have to be purchased one-at-a-time thus costing 3 or 4 times as much as the kit. The kit comes from an aftermarket supplier and cost around $ 675.00. Here's hoping this thing will last... I don't want to get rid of this vehicle which gives me 38-42 mpg on the highway.
  • I have an 06 base model Matrix with auto transmission. How is the trans serviced on this vehicle? Does it have a "conventional" pan and filter that is dropped and changed? Do most people just have it flushed or is there a drain plug in the trans that lets the mechanic drain the fluid and then just refill it? I would like to do some preventative maintenance since I plan on keeping the car for some time. Also, what fluid does it require, Dexron?, Mercon?, etc. Thanks! ;)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    The one I had was an '03, and there was a sticker right on the auto trans dipstick that said something like "no routine maintenance". I may have misread the manual, and your '06 may be different from my '03 (although they otherwise have identical powertrains), but there is no scheduled maintenance for the automatic in the Matrix.

    I know that in my case I never had it changed prior to selling the car. I would imagine that if you tow with yours, that would change things.

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

  • I want to replace a 2003 matrix 5sp manual trans with a 6sp manual trans.has anyone done this and does it pose many alterations?
  • If you would like to swap the transmission from 2ZZGE (Xrs 6 sp) to your 2003 Matrix, that would be impossible, Since the 2ZZGE has different casing configuration,. You better replace the whole engine with transmission If you can find one. :D
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