Hi Scotty, I have a 2014 Toyota Matrix with the 1.8L 2ZR-FE engine and 4-speed automatic…


Hi Scotty,

I have a 2014 Toyota Matrix with the 1.8L 2ZR-FE engine and 4-speed automatic transmission. I bought it 10 months ago used with under 43,000km, Toyota Certified. I've only put on less than 5,000km since then.

Sometimes when it shifts from 1st gear into 2nd gear there is a light shock. Most of the time it's fine, but there have been a few occasions when there is a pretty strong shock, seemingly when the transmission is warm/hot. (Engine speed hangs briefly, then 2nd gear engages/'catches' very abruptly with a thud. Not slipping.)

It became much more frequent lately but I think the issue may have been hiding for a while since I do not drive a lot, usually no longer than a 10 minute trip and mostly in the city. There are no warning lights.

I visited my dealership today to get the car diagnosed. 7 hours later, they decided they could not replicate the issue since it is quite intermittent. (They drove about 20km.) Their scan tool did not find any transmission codes. They say that the transmission fluid level and condition are good. (My private mechanic says there is some contamination and a slight odour.)

I am afraid that they will not find the problem before the powertrain warranty expires at the end of May 2019. Changing the fluid will only hide the cause of the issue longer. Long term reliability is a big concern for me now. The car is otherwise in mostly mint condition and the engine does not lose a drop of oil.

Please advise.

Some potentially related issues:

  • My mother commented about a slight odour as I was driving uphill, on two recent occasions.
  • I have experienced some sort of shudder when accelerating from a slow roll, only once during ownership.
  • Consistently poor fuel consumption; only Top Tier fuels are used. New engine oil/filter, new engine & cabin air filters, new tires, tire pressures and alignment are good.

Sorry about the length of this. Your response will be much appreciated. :)

Comments (1)
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Odds are it's a tranny problem. I would video it until it acted up, then take it in under warranty with the video. They sold it, they guarantee if, make them fix it.