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About Monochromatic

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  1. Fishexpo, as usual, very helpful and informative response. Thanks a bunch. I'm getting the engine checked out on Monday with a full compression check and everything else. I will ask them to double check on the timing chain tensioner and the water pump. I checked out the liftgate and it seriously looks like its almost never been used. There were no scratches in the back, the carpet was pristine, and the window popped (and stayed) open perfectly. So, perhaps that's a good sign? I have a few questions, if you want to answer them, about your own experience with the Matrix. Any particular issues you've had? Any quirks you've observed about the car? I checked out your Photobucket album -- how many of those repairs are on the Matrix, or are they on the Corolla? How long do you think the clutch will last? Can the timing chain in the 1ZZ-FE really last the life of the engine? I've got a 90 Toyota pickup and the timing chain guide in the otherwise indestructible 22-RE had to be replaced relatively soon -- at about 180k. But the engine as a whole was in great shape for the teardown, just the guide needed to be replaced. Thoughts? Thanks again.
  2. Apologies for the long topic name. I previously owned a 2004 Corolla S, with auto transmission. I sold it two years ago because I inherited a free Civic from a friend and wanted to learn how to work on cars, and it was a 5 speed (which I should have bought on the Corolla instead of an automatic). Who wouldn't turn down an excellent running free Civic, right? The Civic turned out to be a little too small for me and since it was a coupe, didn't have the cargo capacity I was looking for (The Corolla didn't really have the cargo capacity I wanted, either). Thus, I've decided on the Matrix. I've come across a 2005 Matrix with 100k miles, that is in excellent condition externally and internally, and the price is right. I turn to the experts at this forum who have been very helpful in the past (particularly fishexpo). I checked out everything that can be visually inspected, and the car appears to be in very good condition. The clutch is fine, it drives straight and stops straight, the engine sounds just like my old 2004 so I don't think there are any valve issues, the crankcase doesn't appear to have any buildup or residue, the fluids have all been changed recently, the tires are fairly new, the interior is immaculate, the AC blows ice cold, the cruise control works great, all the power options work fine, all the lights work, there are no squeaks when going over bumps. Oh, and it's only had one owner and no accidents according to Auto Check. The 100k miles is a concern for me, but the previous owner worked in sales and had to drive long distances for work, so the vast majority of the miles are freeway. This is also evident because of the small rock chips on the front of the hood, and a broken fog light, presumably from rocks. Having driven Toyotas for my whole life, I'm not scared by a seemingly high-mile car if its been taken care of properly. I'm familiar with most of the mechanical components of my old Corolla, but I'm not familiar with the differences in the Matrix. So, here are my questions: what significant mechanical differences exist between a 1ZZ-FE Matrix and a 1ZZ-FE Corolla, in terms of suspension, transmission, electronics, etc? Also, pending a thorough buyers inspection with a compression check, what should be primary concerns for me in buying a Matrix with 100k on the clock? Thanks for your input and advice.
  3. I appreciate your guide, fish. I would add that you might want to wear goggles if you're stupid enough like me to get down there with your head close to the drain nut when it starts pouring out. I got some coolant in my eye once and it wasn't fun; on top of a coolant flush I had to do an eye flush as well!
  4. I would recommend a professional tint job. Many places charge less than a couple hundred bucks for expert application and brand name film. They also tend to come with warranties for their work. If you consider the cost of film and supplies, the time doing it yourself, your likely lack of skill, and the frustration that's bound to occur, for me it's a no brainer. If you decide to do it yourself, you should come back and tell us how the experience went, because I'd be curious to know.
  5. Thanks for the responses. Fish, is there any way to manually burp the air trapped in the heater core?
  6. Hey guys, I have a problem that's more of an annoyance than anything. My heater in my Corolla works great, but there's a noticeable gurgling sound that occurs every few minutes. I'll turn my car on and then turn the heat on to "LO." Within seconds, a 3-4 second long gurgling sound will occur. It sounds similar to sucking liquid through a straw, if that makes any sense. If I could locate it, it sounds like it's coming from deep behind the stereo deck, or from the engine compartment maybe (it's not loud, but noticeably audible). It will go away for a few minutes, then I'll hear a gurgle for about a second, and this behavior continues every 5 minutes or less as long as the heater is turned on. What could be causing this sound, and is it something I can fix? Thanks! -M
  7. Thanks for your help guys, I thought I would do a follow up to share my experiences. The good news: I fixed the rattle! Since I couldn't find any decent tutorials on the internet about fixing these door rattles, I decided to create my own. I also posted it at, but here it is for you guys too. Thanks again! -M ------------------------------- If you have interior door rattles and want to fix them, I diagnosed and fixed mine this afternoon. It's pretty easy so I'm not sure why I'm posting this, but I was a bit scared to pop off my door panel. People here don't seem shy to play with their cars but hopefully I can encourage someone less confident to do the same. Rattles are annoying and make driving my Corolla less enjoyable. Now they're fixed! Two things: I have a 2004 Corolla S with leather trim and power windows. Secondly, the directions are almost identical to the Hayne's manual but with better pictures and more explanation. 1) Disconnect your negative terminal from your battery. 2) If you don't have a trim removal tool or thin putty knife, you can do what I did. Take the end of a large flat head screwdriver and tape it a few times. I used duct tape because it was handy. Taping it will help prevent scratches on the plastic. 3) Gently pry off the power window switch panel using your trim tool. It doesn't take a lot of force as it's only held on by one clip. 4) Disconnect the power connector from the window switch. I had to use pliers to gently wiggle it out of the connector. 5) Inside the door handle you will find a small plastic cover that can be swung open by a flat head screwdriver. Open the cover and remove the screw. 6) Using your trim tool, pry the arm rest off by working around the edge. It's attached by two clips and might require some force. 7) After you've removed the arm rest, two screws will be exposed. Remove and set them aside. 8) The door is now only being held on by 7 clips. Using your trim tool, start at the bottom of the door and work your way around until you've released all 7 of the clips. These don't take very much force to release. 9) Once the clips have been released, the bottom of the panel will be loose from the door. At this point the panel is just hanging by a lip near the edge of the window. To remove the panel, simply lift it upwards. Once the door panel is off, you can inspect it thoroughly and get a feel for what could be causing your rattling. In my case, there were a few factors for consideration. First, one of the 7 clips fell out of the bottom of my door during the removal process because it wasn't connected. That was a possible source for the rattle since the panel wasn't properly attached to the door. Secondly, my car has custom interior (which was probably the cause for the push-type clip being loose). This meant that the trim panel wasn't properly secured. The trim panel attaches to the door panel with 9 screws and washers. On a whopping 4 of my screws were loose to the point that I could spin the washers. Once I tightened them all, the rattle was gone and could be verified by hitting the door panel while holding it in my hand. Here is the trim panel screws with the washers that were really loose on my car: There are other potential sources of rattling. On cars equipped with power windows, the cables are retained to the door by wiring clips. Check these to see if they're loose as there's many potential locations where rattling could occur. The cables for the door handle and door lock are also potential sources of rattling because they're in very close proximity to the metal on the door. Reverse all the steps and put it back together. It took me 45 minutes from start to finish to take the panel off, diagnose and fix the problem, and put it back on. Just don't forget to plug your battery back in. -M
  8. Great job, that looks very nice! I think the hood is a little bit whiter than the front quarter panel in the first pic, but with white that's almost impossible to match it perfectly. Well done. How does it run?
  9. That's all good information to know, I didn't know there was such a large market for car interiors. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The leather is pretty decent and the heated seats work like a charm, but if they ever break that may be fun to fix. I'm going to pry off the door in a few days and I'll get back to you guys with the results. A couple questions, too, if you can answer them (you guys have experience and knowledge so forgive me for wanting to take advantage of them). There's a few things I've noticed on my car since I got it and I was curious to know your opinions. First of all, the Corolla idles at about 2k RPM when it first starts after being cold all night. It doesn't seem high to me but I thought I'd ask because it's about 500-700 RPM faster than my old car (a 1999 Malibu, POS edition -- piece of snip). Also, every once in a while and particularly after I've been driving, when I get out of the car or into it the suspension squeaks slightly. It doesn't happen 100% of the time and it's not very loud but I'm not sure what the problem might be. Maybe this is common. Thanks guys, I appreciate your help!
  10. Wow, thanks for all the great feedback guys, I really appreciate it. It seems the next best move for me would be to take the panel off and see what's going on. I can't tell if it's potentially missing clips, or if it's something inside the door, but I'm leaning toward the latter. When I push on the door as it's rattling, the rattling actually gets louder and worse (more constant/frequent, like it's pushing against something). It makes me think that there's something just on the other side that's vibrating against the door panel, so that would tend to support a few opinions here. After I take a look at things I can see if it is missing clips. I'm really surprised that the leather is an aftermarket job, but then again did Corollas ever come with heated seats either? Because my Corolla has them on the front two seats, and they work great. Perhaps that's what necessitated getting the new interior, or vice versa and because he was getting heated seats installed he decided to get leather too. I will never know. The switch is located on the panel where the power plug is located, so maybe that's custom too? If the seats are custom, they look great and I can't tell. Here's a few pictures: Corolla Interior 1 Corolla Interior 2 *Edited because it won't let me show direct images for some reason, or maybe I'm just stupid...
  11. Hi Fish, thanks for the welcome and for replying. The leather was actually a factory option from my understanding. I don't think it's real leather as it feels like leatherette. I looked at other used '04 Corollas with leather so I'm assuming (and hoping) it's not aftermarket. So the panel is held to the frame with clips, does that mean it's relatively easy to take off? I'd like to pop it off and check for myself, but would I need to replace the clips after taking the panel off (if they're single use)? If you're aware of any instructions or anything online I'd love to be directed towards them. Or, perhaps this process is documented in a third-party repair manual (like Haynes) or something. Thanks!
  12. Hi guys, this site was a great help to me before I bought my Corolla, and I'm now a proud owner! I have a 2004 Corolla S with leather interior and the passenger side door in the back rattles incessantly. I've had a friend push against the panel while I'm driving and the rattling sometimes gets worse, sometimes better. When I hit the panel lightly, it won't rattle for a few minutes but then it gradually starts to rattle again. What are my options to fix this issue? Should I take the paneling off and put it back in, maybe with some foam or rubber around the connections? Is this a common issue? Thanks all! -M