Toyota Matrix Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your Toyota Matrix

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Toyota Matrix Problems

Check Engine Light and Harsh Shifting

The 2005-2008 Toyota Matrix 1.8L I4 models have issues with the circuit board in the electronic control module (ECM) cracking. There is no advanced warning for the issue, and when it occurs drivers will experience:

  • Harsh shifting
  • Possible check engine light
  • Engine stalling while driving

Toyota issued a recall for this issue, and notes the need to replace the ECU if this problem occurs. 

Rough Running Conditions and Smoke From Exhaust

The head gasket may fail due to a defect in manufacturing of the cylinder block.

On this vehicle, the head bolts are known to pull the threads out of the engine block, allowing the head to slightly lift, and causing head gasket failure. Symptoms may include:

  • Overheating
  • White smoke from exhaust
  • Rough running conditions and/or inability to start or idle
  • White or cream colored oil on dipstick
  • Check engine light 
  • OBD Trouble Codes P2181, P0300

When the head gasket fails, the bolt holes for the head bolts must be repaired before the cylinder head can be remounted. 

This issue is not always preventable, but to help avoid it, never run the engine if the engine temperature is ever above the normal range. 

Excessive Oil Consumption

Drivers of the Toyota Matrix may notice excessive oil consumption between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.

This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings. 

The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced. 

To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used. 

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Toyota Matrix Questions

What does it take to repair/replace the radiator (2 answers)

The cost of a replacement radiator and how difficult is it for a laymen to do.

Check engine codes PO420 and PO741. (1 answer)

The car is actually a Pontiac Vibe. I don't know the history of the car. I am looking to buy it from a friend who's daughter drove it to college. I drove it about 110 mikes yesterday. I put the scanner on it and got back PO 420 Catalyst efficiency below threshold and PO 741 Torque c...

check engine light on (1 answer)

replaced the vapor canister and replaced the gas cap with an oem.PO 442 code comes on

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Toyota Matrix Recalls

Passenger Frontal Air Bag Inflator Ruptures On Deployment

The passenger frontal air bag inflator may rupture on deployment, causing metal fragments to come through the air bag and injure occupants. Dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator or in some cases replace the air bag assembly free of charge to resolve the concern.

Recall 16V127000

The passenger frontal air bag inflator may rupture when deploying the air bag due to excessive internal pressure. As a result, metal debris could be sprayed onto vehicle occupants. Dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator or air bag module depending on the model free of charge to resolve the concern.

Passenger Frontal Air Bag Inflator Ruptures And Sprays Metal Fragments

The passenger frontal air bag inflator may rupture when deploying the air bag. This is due to excessive moisture intrusion compromising the inflator. As a result, metal debris could be sprayed onto vehicle occupants. Dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator or air bag module depending on the model free of charge to resolve the concern.

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Toyota Matrix Reviews

239K miles 300+ miles to the tank. No major services ever. Runs great though now I will be. Needing a new compressor. Has never left me or my college aged kids stranded. Think a lot of mechanics scare you into repairs due to lack of business. I was told 4 years ago that I had a transmission problem and needed work inside transmission to this day I have not had any problems with my vehicle n...
Bought this car new in 2007. I live in Canada, and drive it year round. Have 202000 km on it and still runs like new. I have rust proof the undercarriage, and the body still looks immaculate. Except for a tranny flush and regular maintenance the car is amazing. Work with buddies who have Hyundai's with all the gadgets and they are constantly visiting the dealer to get something serviced under w...
Bought new in March 2007 and now have 165,000 miles... NEVER needed a single repair. In fact this car has never seen a mechanic except to have new tires installed. On my third set of tires and third set of brakes. I have easily maintained it myself, only needing oil change/tire rotation every 5k miles and an occasional air filter change. At 100k I changed the Transmission fluid, coolant, spark ...

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