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Member Since 04 Feb 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 20 2017 03:26 PM

Topics I've Started

Airbag Light On? Code Reading And Fault Diagnosing Instructions Here

12 January 2017 - 12:50 AM

If your airbag light is on or flashing (beyond the normal 'on' period when you first start the car) you have come to the right post.


If you have a 2003-2004 Matrix, first check [USA] to see if you qualify for a free recall repair. Canadian VIN check here. If not, I recommend you check your VIN for recalls anyway. Many serious recalls have been issued for the Matrix, some even involving the airbags, just do not expect the other recall(s) to fix your airbag light.


If the repair will be on your dime it is time to roll up those sleeves and read the code. Here is a video showing how to read the code by connecting pins 4 and 13 in your OBDII terminal, turn the key, and count the flashes your airbag light makes.


The service manual has a written explanation of how to read the code, and then goes on to include a trouble shooting guide for the 2004 Corolla, which should apply to the Matrix from 2003-2008. If the previous link listing the codes is no longer available click here for a list of ALL Toyota codes.


Service manuals are great if you are the first one with the problem, but what are the 'real world' experiences with Matrix airbag codes?...


Many report that reflowing the solder on the contacts in the Matrix- Corolla clock repairs not only the dimming clock display problem but also repairs some airbag light issues. If your code leads you to "Airbag sensor assy center" (and possibly other fault codes) this might be the fix for you. The clock dimming issue seems to be caused by poor connections on the largest chips on the board. If you try this intending to fix the airbag light, try to reflow ALL of the connections on the board. Unless you have bionic vision, you may need to up your game with some visual aids such as this, or a pair of these. This is not a soldering project for a novice, and a mistake could kill you.


Other common repairs require replacing the "clock spring." If your code returns the possibility of needing a "Spiral cable sub–assy" then this fix might be for you. This is a device behind the steering wheel (click for a how-to replace video) which connects your horn, airbag, cruise and other buttons through to the steering column even though the wheel has to be able to turn. Your part number will differ depending on what features are embedded in your steering wheel so be careful to order the correct part.


Sometimes a replacement airbag computer is required. The airbag computer hides under the center console. I could not find a video or pictures of this so if you do this please document it for all and share. This module has a big brother memory which fills up and flags the airbag light, so if you get this computer from a parts yard, either get one from a car which was not wrecked, or be ready to figure out how to clear the memory.  I did not find these instructions to be clear but they are the only instructions I could locate. When seeking a module on internet postings make sure you are obtaining the correct module and not a module reset "service."


I did not take much time in selecting the product links used on this page. Shop around for price. Some clock springs are available direct from China for $11.


Do any of this at your own risk. The airbag system contains explosive charges. Any mistake could injure or kill you or an occupant during an improper repair or after an improper fix.


That is all I know. It is not everything there is to know but it assembles most of what is known across the internet and puts it in one place. I hope this helps.

Hacked Drl Relays For 2003-2008

19 January 2016 - 08:53 PM

Would there be an interest in hacked DRL Relays for 2003-2008 which are modified to:
Disable headlight dusk auto-on
Disable DRLs

Allow for the fog lamps to operate any time the DRLs can, including during high beam.... essentially then you can use the fog lights as DRLs
... or any combination of the above
If so I can pull some relays at the parts yard and work some magic on them.
I also note that with the headlight auto-on disabled that one can drive with the DRLs, and optionally the fog lamps too, without any light from the rear until the breaks are pressed.
I can do one with whatever mods you like for $50 shipped to the US.
This mod is probably NOT legal in your state, province, country etc etc. I hold zero liability in any way. You take total responsibility. I'm just a tinkerer who likes to get things to work the way I want them to and thought I'd share.


The mod simply requires one to swap out the DRL relay. All of the modifications are done inside the DRL relay box. Plug n' play.

Alternate Battery Sizes That Fit, Pros And Cons

19 January 2016 - 07:47 PM

The space allotted for a battery in a trix leaves the least room for experimentation of any car I've ever owned. It is simply a small space for a battery.  There are only very few batteries which will fit a trix at all, let alone be larger. I just assumed nothing better would fit! I'm glad vtirx looked in to this.


Not every battery will use every inch allotted in the BCI size standard but the larger capacity batteries in the line will be close. I've noticed for eg., that the Exide 36R(-60), which is in a group size which can be nearly a 9" tall battery, is actually only 7.5" tall. There are a few 24F batteries in some manufacturer's line-ups which will fit in a Trix as well. A 24F can be up to 11" L so most higher end batteries in the line will severely pinch the upper radiator hose.


The bottom line is that other sizes will fit with a little coaxing / shimming. Many other possible sizes have no real advantage, but who knows what sale you might run in to. If your trix needs a battery at the same time a buddy of yours is about to trash a car with one of these odd sizes in it, you can use this guise to exercise your environmental 3Rs- Reduce, reuse, recycle!


Listing dimensions for all possibilities gets pretty tedious. Different manufacturers might make different sizes in their lower capacity batteries. Here is the Interstate battery guide with the dimensions to their battery line.


I will assume that you do not want to convert to side terminals or extend the wires to allow for reversing the post polarity-

(not necessarily an exhaustive list but I tried)

Alternative fitments which will only work in very specific instances-

24F, IF the L is 10 3/8" or less

36R, IF short like the Excide I mentioned. It is max limit in length, so fitment will be tight with no real advantage in capacity.

I am sure there are others but these are the only ones I ran in to.



Group  CCA / RC  / CA / Lbs.

124F     700    120   875   40  Max capacity, max L&W dimensions.

H5-47   650     100   810   33  Good weight to capacity ratio. Size wise it looks to be a painless substitution.

35         640    100   800    38  Stock

24F       600    100   750    39 (using the specifications of the one Interstate 24F which would fit.) Max L dimension

H5-90   600     100   750    32 OK weight to capacity ratio

26R      540       81   675    28  lightest


Stand-out options

Anyone looking to shave pounds (looking for racing performance) should consider installing a H5-47 or another lighter option.

Anyone looking to shoehorn in the largest capacity and weight possible should consider installing a 124F.


If anyone tries something that does or does not work, let us know.

I know the short group 36 will fit but it is real tight between the upper radiator hose and the fuse box just as the 124F will be.

The 124F will fit with a modification to the battery tray and the fuse cover.

Tow Points For Rear 2005 Matrix?

04 April 2015 - 04:16 PM

I made a wrong turn and got the trix stuck in mud. Can anyone help me locate the rear tow attach points? (Moving forward is not an option.) I have an offer of a pull for $50 but I have to attach the chain. Its that or $150++ to have it done professionally. I assume there are holes in the rear axle but I don't want to go making a pretzel out of it if I get it wrong.

Any help is much appreciated!

Oxygen Sensor Part Number Cross-reference Guide

27 December 2010 - 09:51 PM

Anyone who has used any of the online O sensor parts selectors knows that the more you ask, the more different numbers you end up with that are supposed to fit. Some dont ask if you have the XRS or the 1Z, others if it is the 'upstream' or 'downstream' sensor you seek, and others give you the number for the 4WD version without asking what car you have... Then there are the OEM, and the universal fit options. Its pretty bad.

For the Denso brand, one can check here for a breakdown that includes XRS, 4WD, front or rear sensors. Pretty cool. But for the universal fits, one can go crazy trying to find the correct number. If someone knows of a guide THAT WORKS, please share! All I find are contradictions. If not, I hope we can use this topic to post what works and what does not work, and some color code info for making the universal fit parts work.

If we can figure out the correct parts, there is $$ to be saved. For Example:
The "front" (upstream) sensors for an '05 XR 2WD by Denso start at $100. A universal that some guides say is the correct fit is $40.55 delivered. IF its the right one that is quite a few clams to save. BTW Autozone.com claims the number should be 15733, but then again, they cite the same part number for the after cat sensor... hence the need for this topic!!

While Im here, these are the codes that bring us together :-/

P0130 O2Circuit Malfunction (Bank #1 Sensor #1)
P0131 O2Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank #1 Sensor #1)
P0132 O2Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank #1 Sensor #1)
P0133 O2Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank #1 Sensor #1)
P0134 O2Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank #1 Sensor #1)
P0135 O2Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank #1 Sensor #1)
P0136 O2Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank #1 Sensor #2)
P0137 O2Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank #1 Sensor #2)
P0138 O2Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank #1 Sensor #2)
P0139 O2Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank #1 Sensor #2)
P0140 O2Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank #1 Sensor #2)
P0141 O2Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank #1 Sensor #2)
P0142 O2Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank #1 Sensor #3)
P0143 O2Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank #1 Sensor #3)
P0144 O2Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank #1 Sensor #3)
P0145 O2Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank #1 Sensor #3)
P0146 O2Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank #1 Sensor #3)
P0147 O2Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank #1 Sensor #3)
P0150 O2Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank #2 Sensor #1)
P0151 O2Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank #2 Sensor #1)
P0152 O2Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank #2 Sensor #1)
P0153 O2Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank #2 Sensor #1)
P0154 O2Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank #2 Sensor #1)
P0155 O2Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank #2 Sensor #1)
P0156 O2Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank #2 Sensor #2)
P0157 O2Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank #2 Sensor #2)
P0158 O2Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank #2 Sensor #2)
P0159 O2Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank #2 Sensor #2)
P0160 O2Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank #2 Sensor #2)
P0161 O2Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank #2 Sensor #2)
P0162 O2Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank #2 Sensor #3)
P0163 O2Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank #2 Sensor #3)
P0164 O2Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank #2 Sensor #3)
P0165 O2Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank #2 Sensor #3)
P0166 O2Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank #2 Sensor #3)
P0167 O2Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank #2 Sensor #3)

I see people ask if they can run the car with these codes without doing damage. Any of these codes will hurt your fuel economy, so unnecessary delay is foolish. A rich mixture will will waste fuel and take some life out of the cat. A lean mixture might preignite and cause engine wear. The only code I would feel OK letting slide for awhile is a heater code for the front sensor, and then only for someone who mostly takes long trips. Correct me if Im wrong but that sensor will heat up on its own from the exhaust gases and function, just not as fast as it should. In short, I feel all Ox codes should be dealt with AYEC. My .02