2007 Matrix Base Dashboard lights flickering fast while making clicking sound - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Corolla 9th Gen/1st Gen Matrix (2003-2008) 9th generation Corolla and 1st generation Matrix discussion.

 
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-16-2017, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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2007 Matrix Base Dashboard lights flickering fast while making clicking sound

I just purchased a 2007 Matrix today as my daughter totaled her 1998 camry and is starting a new job Monday so I am having her use my 1997 Camry with 250,000 miles on which I would drive anywhere.
I purchased it from a very small dealer. Driving it this evening, I noticed the dashboard lights seemed to dim as I hit bumps in the road. then I noticed the clock lights started flickering, getting brighter and dimmer very fast as I heard a clicking sound, sounding almost like an electrical short. We thought the sound may have been coming from the glove compartment area. I was afraid of an electrical fire starting. Any idea of what this could be? I purchased it from a very small dealer with a good reputation. He usually only has about 5 cars on his lot at a time. I searched for this problem online and nothing comes up. We were under such stress to get a car by today as we live in a small town, no buses and my daughters job is 45 minutes away. I'm hoping it's nothing major. I'm thinking the dealer probably wont do anything about it, but I will call and ask. I do have a video but it didn't catch it at its worst point. It doesn't do it constantly. Oh also, the air conditioning lights or lights around there would go out, then I'd hit the dash and they'd come back on. Any advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-17-2017, 05:40 AM
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There are 4 relays near the glove box, blower motor relay, tail light relay, and two relays for the power outlet and they are very difficult to see. I suspect a the loose or bad tail relay. I would wait for other responses as I am not entirely sure that is correct. Could also be a failing alternator or bad ground. Do you know if the ECU was ever replaced under a recall?

The tail relay is near the passenger air bag, which is a very inconvenient location as you cant see it to remove it, it is done by feel. Do you hear a relay click when you choose a blower motor fan speed, with key on, car off? Does that relay click sound familiar to the relay click you heard when you had a problem? That is the location of the 4 relays, again it is very difficult to see, you will have to do it by feel. After you feel for the blower motor relay, move over two relays, that will be your tail relay. Look for signs of burning, either visually or with your nose. Might as well inspect the other 3 relays while you are at it.

location here:http://i27.tinypic.com/6ozl7o.jpg
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-17-2017, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, thanks for your response. I do not know if the ECU was replaced. I do know there are no open recalls on this car and the original owners had it until 2015 so I would think they took care of any recalls. We talked to our mechanic and he's thinking it could possibly be the tail light switch and wants us to drive with someone behind us to see if the tail light blinks too. So we will try that. He doesn't think it anything major that would cause the car to catch fire and it's safe to drive. I didn't smell any smoke or burning. He also said the same thing about possibility of failing alternator or bad ground. So we will see! I'll try to see if I hear the clicking with the key in, car off. The clicking sound is really fast clicking as is the blinking or flickering of the lights. It reminded me of the sound of my laptop when my cord was fried and I plugged it in without knowing all the wires were exposed. I hope that's not whats going in in the car.

Thanks again,
Kim
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-17-2017, 10:03 AM
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Let us know what the cause turns out to be. My money is on the bad relay.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-17-2017, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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My husband followed me and confirmed that the tail lights were flickering too. So we ordered a tail light relay and a running light relay to both be replaced.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-17-2017, 01:03 PM
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Did you confirm or inspect the relay is bad before ordering? Did your mechanic agree?

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-20-2017, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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No we haven't yet, this week we will do that. My husband got the relays. The dealer told him that the lights wouldn't be flickering if it was the relay, that they would just be out. Hope that's not true. They flicker more when going over bumps. The sound definitely is coming from behind the glove box as they are flickering off and on. The red heat/ac lights flicker, radio control lights, tail lights. It doesn't seem like the speedometer and the gauge lights flicker. Any new opinion with this info? I'll keep you posted. Again thanks for your reply.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-20-2017, 07:15 AM
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There are only 4 relays behind the glove box, and relays do click, when they are turned on. Unless the ECU is clicking... Do you have a video of the clicking? Can you feel the relays while this clicking occurs to observe if the clicking comes from the relays?


Interested to see their diagnosis.

Last edited by mikered30; 02-20-2017 at 07:49 AM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-20-2017, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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On my way to work this morning, I think the lights went out all together cause they didn't come back on. So the a/c - heat control, radio lights, plus the daylight running light symbol went out, as well as the tail lights and license plate lights. Here is a video of it right before they went out. You can hear the sound and see the flickering.

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post #10 of 12 Old 02-20-2017, 10:49 AM
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Never saw anything like that before. Maybe someone else can chime in. Maybe time for a battery and alternator test and inspection of all grounding points. I still don't know what is clicking, it almost sounds like your CD player is attempting to read a CD after the power to it is interrupted, it doesn't sound like a relay click. Do you have any LED bulbs installed, either interior or exterior? When your dash lights worked, was the battery light illuminated? Are your battery terminals tight?

Last edited by mikered30; 02-20-2017 at 01:04 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-21-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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It turned out to be the daylight running relay was not plugged in all the way. Everything is working fine now! Yay. Thanks so much and I'm loving this car after 1 week having it.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-21-2017, 07:30 PM
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Glad you got it fixed.
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