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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello - Since joining I have been reading new discussions and combing through previous discussions. Thank you all for your sharing your knowledge and experiences.
Here is the history: I am the original owner but my husband used it as his daily driver because of the great MPG. In 2014 after going 158k miles the Matrix was diagnosed with a transmission issue and thus no longer driven. (you guessed it; never had the transmission fluid changed). Many times since it was parked I have wondered if I could fix it. I love fixing things but maybe fixing a transmission might be beyond my ability. I am mechanically inclined and fix everything around our place that breaks.
I decided to start working on the Matrix a few weeks back. But before attempting to crank the engine I purchased a battery and left it disconnected, changed the engine oil and filter, drained the gas tank, added a cleaner and filled the tank. I then replaced the gas cap, plugs, under-hood and in-cabin air filters, put a new battery in the fob and replaced the dry rotted tires.
After connecting the battery and ensuring transmission was in neutral, I crossed my fingers and turned the key. The Matrix fired up and did a rough idle for a second or two. No check engine light. After a bit I put it in reverse, backed up, put it in 1st and drove down the drive. Pulled out on the road, and shifted to 2nd. Did a little test drive to town and back. Still no check engine light but confirmed the noise exists in 2nd - 5th and goes away with the clutch disengaged (pedal pushed to the floor) and in neutral.
I have done a few more things such as made sure all the lights worked, checked for leaks, replaced the PCV and hose, the timing chain tensioner (it was leaking), wipers and fluid, cleaned the MAF, and did a good cleaning inside and out. The Matrix passed inspection and I got it registered. I never cancelled the insurance cuz I always wanted to get it back on the road.

This week I took the Matrix to a shop in the next town. They confirmed the noise is the transmission and it needs work. They won't know how bad until they open it up. I agree. Since there is a possibility it cannot be fixed they found another 5 speed for $1350. So about $2300 with labor. And if the clutch needs to be replaced, that would be another $250 for parts. no additional cost for the labor cuz that is already included in the reassembly labor cost.

So, do I have the shop open it up and see if they can fix knowing that I am looking at possibly a bill for $2300 or do I bring the Matrix home and attempt to do it myself?
 

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Super Moderator
2006 Corolla XRS
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8,103 Posts
What type of noise do you hear in 2nd to 5th gear?

Is it louder as you increase speed?

With each gear change, do you feel resistance in the gear shifter as you go from 2nd to 3rd, etc?

Whining sound indicates pilot bearing.

Possible sources could be shifter shaft on the top of the transmission, clutch fork in the slave cylinder.
 

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493 Posts
Just drive it into the ground or fix it yourself. Not worth spending $2300 on a car that's probably worth less than that. You can get a used 5 speed or have your transmission rebuilt for like half the $1350 they want to charge you just for the transmission...
 

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Super Moderator
2006 Corolla XRS
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8,103 Posts
What's the condition of the cable ends? Did the bushings deteriorate?

Hopefully your issues are minor ones and will get you back to rowing through the gears again.
 

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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your questions. The sound is more similar to a clatter and does increase with speed. Resistance while shifting? hmm. There is a slight catch when shifting but it goes right in gear with normal effort. I think the catch has always been there.

I just returned from picking the Matrix up from the shop. On my way home (45 minute drive) there is now the occasional short screech followed by second of silence and then continuous clattering. Also new while driving and listening to the continuous clatter is sudden silence quickly followed by a slight buzzing. This happened a few times so I was able to test barely letting off or barely pressing the accelerator causing the buzzing to stop with a second of silence followed by clattering. The screeching and buzzing seemed to only occur while holding a steady speed in 2 - 5 gears on a somewhat flat section of the road.

I notice in 2nd - 5th gears the clattering is affected by changes in road pitch. Slightly going downhill would cause a hesitation in the clatter and slightly going up hill would ensure there was clatter. Coasting on a somewhat flat section of road in gear reduces the clatter and at times almost removes the clatter. I did notice while coasting if the pitch of the road changed downward and was too much for the gear the clattering could be heard. If I disengaged the clutch the clattering would almost go away.

Check these possible sources...
1. check the shifter shaft on the top of the transmission
2. check the clutch fork in the slave cylinder (I read somewhere on here how to do that so I will look that up)
3. check the condition of the Cable ends and determine if the bushings deteriorated (I know this was mentioned before as a possible issue for someone else but I do not recall if it was explained how to check)
 

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Registered
1995 T100 2WD
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3,766 Posts
You'd probably better off to get a good used one and do the swap yourself. The problem with a rebuild is tools, some specialized and recognizing the problem. Figure $500 in parts. Don't know where you are but a quick check of car-part.com shows a good selection of transmissions. Some lower mileage units (less than your's) with at least a short term warranty.
With some shopping you could put a used one in with a new clutch for $700-$1,000
 

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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I did check car parts and found this one. About an hour from me.

2004
Transmission Assembly
Toyota Corolla
RED EXT,1.8L,AUTO TRANS,- CALL US OR TEXT US AT 469-274-5951 WE HAVE THE LOWEST PRICES IN TOWN
141,525​
A​
10554
$150​
 

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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The transmission shop guy sort of scared me when I mentioned dropping the transmission myself. It said tha because it is a fwd and needing to support the engine that it was not a driveway type of job. Hmmm. I guess that means you need an engine hoist or a bunch of blocks.
 

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1995 T100 2WD
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3,766 Posts
The one you picked is an auto trans.
I'd lean towards getting the trans from a Matrix then there's no surprises. Saw some in the $200 range close to you.
Yes pulling it is a chore! You might ask the shop how much they would charge to do the R&R if you supply the transmission.
 

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Super Moderator
2006 Corolla XRS
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8,103 Posts
I'd drain the gear oil to see if there's metal in there.

Op, can you make a video of the noises you are hearing from the transmission?

The Corolla transmission will swap in.
 

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Super Moderator
2006 Corolla XRS
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8,103 Posts
Here's a guide written up by @hardtopte72. In this guide, the transmission is removed to replace the rear main seal and clutch.

 

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312 Posts
hold engine with jack and (or) 2x6 board on top, use 2x12x8 board and concrete blocks as transmission jack. I bought nice transmission jack for $100 from HarborFreight.
 

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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
well...thought I would drain the gear oil. when I removed the plug there was a black speck on the bolt. since no gear oil dripped out I checked with my pinky and could not feel any oil but did end up with some dark oil and a shiny flake. Since I had a quart of gear oil, I thought I would see just how low. I pored over 3 pints in the gear box before it started dripping out. I guess that means the transmission is going to be really bad.

If the transmission has never been serviced, why would it be so low on gear oil?
 

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Super Moderator
2006 Corolla XRS
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8,103 Posts
Could be rear main seal leaking.

When the fluid comes out of the fill hole, it's full.

Have you driven it since you refilled the transmission?
 

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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I did drive it just enough to put it in 2nd and heard all the noises, and turned around.
 

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Super Moderator
2006 Corolla XRS
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8,103 Posts

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2005 Matrix XR
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
What is the name of the big company in USA specialising in manual transmission parts?
 
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