5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

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cthomasparr
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5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by cthomasparr » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:30 am

Hi,Was looking at buying a 2004 vibe with a bad 5 speed transmission. After some research was surprised to learn there are problems with these transmissions leading to somewhat early failures. Does anyone know if these problems were eventually corrected after 2004?Also, if I was in the market for a replacement, is there a direct replacement available that is also reliable. putting in a lower mileage overpriced suspect trans is not a good option.For replacing a 5 speed, I have read the vibe GT 6 fits in without any alteration, but results in a higher engine speeds on the highway. The local junk yard told me corollas from 2004-2006 are same as 5 speed Vibe in 2004. Does anyone know of a resource that shows the compatability?Thanks

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trb
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement (cthomasparr)

Post by trb » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:37 am

http://www.car-part.com agrees that some Corolla and Matrix transmissions are a direct exchange. They use the Hollander Interchange manuals for parts compatability. I just ran a query for 2004 Vibe with 5 sp manual and got lots of salvage yards nationwide with Vibe, Matrix and Corolla (not FX), transmissions from 2003 through 2008 that should fit.
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unbearable
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2004 Matrix 5-speed transmission failure: Vibe also??

Post by unbearable » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Hello everyone. It is my understanding that the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe have the same transmission and engine. Please be aware of a serious transmission problem on these vehicles.

It seems that many Matrix owners are having problems with a faulty transmission bearing which necessitates the transmission needing to be replaced prematurely. I would think this applies to Vibe owners also. We had to replace our five-speed manual transmission on our 2004 Toyota Matrix at 98,000 miles at a cost of $3,100! Models besides the 2004 are also affected, but I don't know which ones. I sent a certified letter to the president of Toyota Motor Corp. North America. I was told since there is no recall, I would not be compensated.

It is important to notify Matrix and Vibe owners about this problem before their life is endangered when the car breaks down without warning on a 70 mile-per-hour highway. This is what happened to me. There are numerous reports of Toyota Matrix 5-speed transmission failures due to a defective transmission bearing. I don't believe a manual transmission should need to be replaced at 98,000 miles. Some vehicle owners have had it happen at less mileage. The regional manager of the repair shop I took it to said he has seen this problem before, and he believes there will be a recall. At this time, Toyota will not compensate Matrix owners for this very expensive defect.

Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/unbeara ... on-bearing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Hopefully if there are enough signatures, Toyota will do a recall .

Thank you!!

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joatmon
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by joatmon » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:40 am

cthomasparr wrote:. After some research was surprised to learn there are problems with these transmissions leading to somewhat early failures.
A number of us here were surprised when our 5-speeds failed. Toyota really played up their bullet proof reliability, and the fact that car was mostly Toyota was considered a significant advantage for a number of Vibe buyers. It has since really soured my opinion of Toyota. I was no fan boy before, but now I find myself quite anti-Toyota

There are some high mileage 5 speed Vibes with no tranny troubles. I suspect that in addition to the weak bearing issue, there is some driving style that somehow accelerates the weak bearing failure that unfortunately seems to be my driving style, but that's only conjecture.

Unfortunately, my advice would be to pass on the 5 speed, and instead find an automatic tranny Vibe. Manuals are more fun to drive (imho) but the auto tranny used in Vibes has been quite reliable, and the power/acceleration differences between auto and manual tranny vibes is token. Because of the different gear ratios, the 6 speed should be less efficient than the 5 speed, but I don[t remember seeing any documented numbers, especially ones that eliminate the unintended change to driving habits.

However, if the price on the bad tranny Vibe is too attractive to pass up, then try to find a replacement from the latest compatible model possible, even for a higher cost. I do trust the car-part.com site trb posted to provide accurate parts compatibility info.


unbearable, I am not sure the tranny reliability issue is really a recall worthy problem. Good luck to you on the recall petition, but I wouldn't be too optimistic.

circuitsmith
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by circuitsmith » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:32 pm

I suspect some of those early failures are due to the fact that (at least with my 2006 Matrix) Toyota doesn't recommend changing the trans oil except when towing.
I've owned 3 5-speed Hondas and they all called for changing the trans oil every 30k miles.

I changed the oil in my Matrix early at 21k miles and it was dark with a metallic sheen and a slightly gritty feel.
Looked worse than the Hondas ever did at 30k.
I'd hate to see what what it would have been like at 90k miles.
I plan to change it again after another 20k. If it looks good I'll stretch the interval to 30k.
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GTwannabe
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by GTwannabe » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:14 pm

circuitsmith wrote:I suspect some of those early failures are due to the fact that (at least with my 2006 Matrix) Toyota doesn't recommend changing the trans oil except when towing.
I've owned 3 5-speed Hondas and they all called for changing the trans oil every 30k miles.

I changed the oil in my Matrix early at 21k miles and it was dark with a metallic sheen and a slightly gritty feel.
Looked worse than the Hondas ever did at 30k.
I'd hate to see what what it would have been like at 90k miles.
I plan to change it again after another 20k. If it looks good I'll stretch the interval to 30k.
I've always changed my fluid every 30k miles and the transmission suddenly failed at 160k miles.
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lm7212
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by lm7212 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:02 am

Add me to the list, found a nice low mile stored inside '04 Toyota Matrix with 73k miles from an estate, an older gentleman owned it. At 81k 5th gear failed on the freeway at 73mph. Pulled over and called my mechanic friend, he said keep it in 1st 3rd and 4th to get it somewhere I could work on it. Towing company quoted me $450 to get it to the next major city 40 miles away. Made it to my cabin going 52mph, with my handicapped son and our dog in the car. I kept looking for occupied houses we could walk to if the thing decided to sieze up on us, as it was 12 degrees that day.

Found an '06 vibe at a bone yard near me, replaced trans and clutch assembly and the works, took a buddy and me 2 days and a lot of up down up down. Car made it a quarter mile and that tranny failed too. That one did lock up trying to limp it back to our shop. I gently placed it in reverse and back into first and it let the car move, thankfully.


Had it towed to a transmission shop. They frankensteined the 2 transmissions and installed a complete bearing set for $2640.


Anybody want to buy a low mile Matrix? I can hardly stand to look at the thing. I had a '05 Corolla and a Vibe I put well over 240k miles on both and sold them running just fine. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND STEER CLEAR OF 03-05 TOYOTA MATRIX 5 SPEEDS! This car literally put our lives at risk several times in it's failures. Shame on you Toyota bean counters who decided to use substandard materials in your bearings to save a few bucks.

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SeattleJeremy
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by SeattleJeremy » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:43 am

lm7212 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:02 am
Shame on you Toyota bean counters who decided to use substandard materials in your bearings to save a few bucks.
I agree that people should be aware of the 03-05 5-speed issues, but from what I remember it wasn't the bean counters fault this time. The Toyota C59 transmission works fine in the 2500lbs 1998 corolla (for which it was designed for), but it wasn't up to the task of the heavier and taller 2700lbs Vibe/Matrix.
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zbyers
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Re: 5 Speed Transmission Problems and Replacement

Post by zbyers » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:48 am

SeattleJeremy wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:43 am
lm7212 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:02 am
Shame on you Toyota bean counters who decided to use substandard materials in your bearings to save a few bucks.
I agree that people should be aware of the 03-05 5-speed issues, but from what I remember it wasn't the bean counters fault this time. The Toyota C59 transmission works fine in the 2500lbs 1998 corolla (for which it was designed for), but it wasn't up to the task of the heavier and taller 2700lbs Vibe/Matrix.
Absolutely agree. Had nothing to do with cost cutting.
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