Just picked up a super clean 2003 Matrix XRS with 75k mi. Few Q’s

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Rocklin, CA USA
So I’ve been searching for a Vibe GT or Matrix XRS 6-spd manual for a while now. I finally got lucky! Drove three hours to Santa Rosa to pick it up, but it was well worth it. 75k mi. on the clock and it still drives like new and all is tight. Everything works and no leaks whatsoever. Been garaged for nearly its entire life. Very clean paint/body with very few scratches (lower front bumper). It’s been maintained with only Toyota 5w30 and Toyota Filters… Now I want to start my own maintenance program. I want to go full synthetic…
-Should I do it gradually with a syn blend first or would full syn be ok right away?
-Should I run High Mileage oil at 75k?
-Doing a drain and fill. What transmission fluid should I use in this 6-speed manual?
 

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Doing a drain and fill. What transmission fluid should I use in this 6-speed manual?

Amsoil MT 75W-90 two quarts GL4 and GL5. Should last you 3 years or 50,000 miles minimum.
 
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I have an 03 Matrix Base, so I'll chime in. First, the 03 - 08 Corollas, Vibes and Matrixseseses have a windshield leaks, so watch for that. It's located on the top seal. Mine drives like a washing machine, very rough, but oh well, it's paid for, starts right up, and cold A/C. I use Supertech 5w30 and works well. These models tend to burn a little oil, so HM might be good. Changed mine recently to STHM and hasn't burned so far, but that's just 1500 miles. Full synth is fine. If yours is not burning oil, then just go with ST full synth every 5k miles. Any good filter will work. I'd change the trans fluid. Flush radiator, new thermostat, flush brake and power steering fluid. Dex III is for the power steering. New radiator hoses. Trans fluid drain and fill every 30k miles or so. New plugs. New belt. Clean mass air flow sensor. New air and cabin filter. I've done all that and it runs like a champ. Gonna keep it until it dies. Air bags had a recall so keep that in mind.
 
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No need to go for a specific brand as long as it meets the rating and viscosity for the trans. i'd feel comfortable using supertech syn gear oil if i were you. i used it in my 5spd manual Mitsubishi i have in mexico and it liked it. As for oil it doesn't really matter if its labeled full syn since api sp syn blends are very good.

I'd order Quaker state syn blend high mileage 5w-30 or 10w-40 on wm.com since it's under $15 or supertech HM full syn 5/10w-30 thats around $17 but it's available in store.

it's a 2003 so those gaskets may be a bit old and dry. Miles don't really wear out a gasket the age usually does and seal conditioners can delay the inevitable by a lot so i would go with an HM labeled oil.
 
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I have an 03 Matrix Base, so I'll chime in. First, the 03 - 08 Corollas, Vibes and Matrixseseses have a windshield leaks, so watch for that. It's located on the top seal. Mine drives like a washing machine, very rough, but oh well, it's paid for, starts right up, and cold A/C. I use Supertech 5w30 and works well. These models tend to burn a little oil, so HM might be good. Changed mine recently to STHM and hasn't burned so far, but that's just 1500 miles. Full synth is fine. If yours is not burning oil, then just go with ST full synth every 5k miles. Any good filter will work. I'd change the trans fluid. Flush radiator, new thermostat, flush brake and power steering fluid. Dex III is for the power steering. New radiator hoses. Trans fluid drain and fill every 30k miles or so. New plugs. New belt. Clean mass air flow sensor. New air and cabin filter. I've done all that and it runs like a champ. Gonna keep it until it dies. Air bags had a recall so keep that in mind.

Good recommendations. I had 03 and 04 Corollas. Got the 03 to 250k miles. Never touched the ATF. The 04 ATF leaked out from the cooling lines that run parallel with the radiator. They go metal to rubber to metal to rubber to metal. That middle metal section rusted. Replaced it all with rubber ATF hose. No more leaks.

There is a timing chain tensioner that mounts externally and has a small o-ring seal. That o-ring can leak. It's behind the valve cover and hard to see.

The OE intake manifold gasket was weak and wears out on them. So if it flashes a code, change the gasket. Easy job. Also, check the valve cover gasket. Not too bad of a job. Harder than the intake manifold gasket but not a big deal.
 
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Tampa, FL
I have an 03 Matrix Base, so I'll chime in. First, the 03 - 08 Corollas, Vibes and Matrixseseses have a windshield leaks, so watch for that. It's located on the top seal. Mine drives like a washing machine, very rough, but oh well, it's paid for, starts right up, and cold A/C. I use Supertech 5w30 and works well. These models tend to burn a little oil, so HM might be good. Changed mine recently to STHM and hasn't burned so far, but that's just 1500 miles. Full synth is fine. If yours is not burning oil, then just go with ST full synth every 5k miles. Any good filter will work. I'd change the trans fluid. Flush radiator, new thermostat, flush brake and power steering fluid. Dex III is for the power steering. New radiator hoses. Trans fluid drain and fill every 30k miles or so. New plugs. New belt. Clean mass air flow sensor. New air and cabin filter. I've done all that and it runs like a champ. Gonna keep it until it dies. Air bags had a recall so keep that in mind.
Quality information, people like you make this site great. So many people over look simple things. I've read things here for over 10+ years and the information has been great.
 
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Pennzoil Synchromesh (GL-4) works well in Toyota manual transaxles, that‘s what my xB has had in it since 50K miles, and I would run top shelf 5W30 in it, like M1 EP, Pennzoil Platinum (or Ultra if you can find it), or even Castrol Magnatec or Edge. The drivetrain should outlive the car! Watch for water pump shaft seal leaks. We have 2 Matrixes (Matrices?) & a Corolla in the family with the lower perf 1.8, and they’ve all been perfect except for the intermittent WP leakage.
 
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Dude... I'm literally looking for a Matrix XRS or Vibe GT myself forever now, but most are just too far gone, or too close to 299k miles (if you know you know).


1) My first was a 2003 Pontiac Vibe, FWD automatic. Sold it at 270k miles, should've kept it. Most reliable vehicle I ever had.
WP_20140823_002.JPG

WP_20140823_001.JPG
2) Due to how awesome this^ Vibe was I decided to get another one. This time it was a 2006 Pontiac Vibe AWD. 90k miles and was one of the most unreliable vehicles I had due to bad previous owners. It was hecka lot of fun on snow and ice, but extremely slow otherwise. Good on gas though and AWD worked great when needed. Sold it shortly after hitting 100k as engine was full of hard crud and sludge, despite my efforts to clean it up with short oil changes. I must've changed the oil at least 12 times between 90k-100k.
Screenshot_20211026-220010_(1).png
Screenshot_20211026-220032_(1).png
full-72491-16276-img_20160206_162328_zpseruzxhsi.jpg
Anyways...

3) Now my goal is to find Pontiac Vibe GT (2ZZ/6-speed) in that body style. And maybe a regular Pontiac Vibe manual (1ZZ/5-speed). That way I can say I owned every single model and trim level of Pontiac Vibe in that generation. That's how much I love the Vibe/Matrix, despite my second one being a lemon. If you ever think of selling - hit me up.
 
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Congrats on the score! I have an 03 XR with about 80K miles (owned it since new). It has a different engine, different tranny so I can't directly relate but, some GREAT information about your specific model is available here:

I have found a lot of helpful info on that site, specifically the maintenance sticky and the DIY sticky.

Enjoy the vehicle.
 
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montreal ,canada
Dude... I'm literally looking for a Matrix XRS or Vibe GT myself forever now, but most are just too far gone, or too close to 299k miles (if you know you know).


1) My first was a 2003 Pontiac Vibe, FWD automatic. Sold it at 270k miles, should've kept it. Most reliable vehicle I ever had. View attachment 75647
View attachment 75648 2) Due to how awesome this^ Vibe was I decided to get another one. This time it was a 2006 Pontiac Vibe AWD. 90k miles and was one of the most unreliable vehicles I had due to bad previous owners. It was hecka lot of fun on snow and ice, but extremely slow otherwise. Good on gas though and AWD worked great when needed. Sold it shortly after hitting 100k as engine was full of hard crud and sludge, despite my efforts to clean it up with short oil changes. I must've changed the oil at least 12 times between 90k-100k. View attachment 75650 View attachment 75651 View attachment 75652 Anyways...

3) Now my goal is to find Pontiac Vibe GT (2ZZ/6-speed) in that body style. And maybe a regular Pontiac Vibe manual (1ZZ/5-speed). That way I can say I owned every single model and trim level of Pontiac Vibe in that generation. That's how much I love the Vibe/Matrix, despite my second one being a lemon. If you ever think of selling - hit me up.
Really like the wheels on that red one. Sorry about the crud, can't say you didn't try to clean it up though.
 

Nicasio

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Nov 24, 2013
Messages
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Rocklin, CA USA
Dude... I'm literally looking for a Matrix XRS or Vibe GT myself forever now, but most are just too far gone, or too close to 299k miles (if you know you know).


1) My first was a 2003 Pontiac Vibe, FWD automatic. Sold it at 270k miles, should've kept it. Most reliable vehicle I ever had. View attachment 75647
View attachment 75648 2) Due to how awesome this^ Vibe was I decided to get another one. This time it was a 2006 Pontiac Vibe AWD. 90k miles and was one of the most unreliable vehicles I had due to bad previous owners. It was hecka lot of fun on snow and ice, but extremely slow otherwise. Good on gas though and AWD worked great when needed. Sold it shortly after hitting 100k as engine was full of hard crud and sludge, despite my efforts to clean it up with short oil changes. I must've changed the oil at least 12 times between 90k-100k. View attachment 75650 View attachment 75651 View attachment 75652 Anyways...

3) Now my goal is to find Pontiac Vibe GT (2ZZ/6-speed) in that body style. And maybe a regular Pontiac Vibe manual (1ZZ/5-speed). That way I can say I owned every single model and trim level of Pontiac Vibe in that generation. That's how much I love the Vibe/Matrix, despite my second one being a lemon. If you ever think of selling - hit me up.
Vibe GT looks lowered on Scion wheels. What springs are those? Any rubbing at all with that set up?
Too bad for the red AWD. That could’ve been an awesome ride with f the PO’s would’ve just changed the oil properly :(
 
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Vibe GT looks lowered on Scion wheels. What springs are those? Any rubbing at all with that set up?
Too bad for the red AWD. That could’ve been an awesome ride with f the PO’s would’ve just changed the oil properly :(
It's not a GT, just basic vibe with slow 1.8L and automatic. Those are Scion TC wheels, as they match the rare bolt pattern. It was lowered on Tein S lowering springs, with new chinese shocks. Rode extremely nice, handled great on twisty roads, and only bottomed out on rear beam once: when I decided to transport 1500 square feet of flooring in it. It worked, but I wouldn't do it again. Transmission definitely got a work out that day. Otherwise never any rubbing or bottoming out issues.
 
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