2007 Toyota Matrix shaky/rough steering at hwy speeds

Asked by Mar 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM about the 2007 Toyota Matrix XR

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2007 Toyota Matrix, with approx. 115,000km on it. This past fall I had it in to the dealer to
have oil and filter changed, and winter tires put on. They also informed me that there was an ECM recall
and changed the ECM free of charge. Since the ECM change I have noticed a shaky/rough feeling in the
steering wheel at highway speeds, which feels like it is coming from the engine. At first it was only
around 115km/h+, now it is down to 100km/h+ or so.

I called the dealer yesterday and service dept. said this is likely due to a dirty throttle body, because the
new ECM is calibrated to require more air than the old ECM. Does that make sense? He also suggested
trying cleaning the fuel injectors and changing the engine air filter. Of course they wanted me to pay for
all this, despite the fact that I had no such problem before they changed the ECM.

Or, is it possible this shaky/rough steering at hwy speeds could just be my winter tires? They are only
on their 2nd season (mounted on basic steel rims from Canadian Tire) - so I can't imagine they are so
worn or unbalanced as to cause this...? Any thoughts welcome. I drove them last winter (2010/2011)
and had no such problems.

6 Answers

Hello, I would start with the winter tires. If your winter is almost over, change to your summer tires and see what happens. Good Luck!

45

I would agree your tires are the most probable cause of your symptoms, I had the same issue a few years ago tires couldn't be balanced (bad tires) got replacements and no more shaking, try your summer tires and see if there is a recall for those. also consider a 4 wheel alingnment

45

Also fuel sys. has nothing to do with shaky steering wheel...Ever!

70

There is an old rule when it comes to cars and vibrations etc. when you change from summer to winter tires. If there is a vibration, take the winters back off and put the summers back on. 99% of the time it will be a tire issue. Storage of winter tires is something most people don't think about and when they get older they will show up issues.

1,475

Always store your winter tires laying down, then have them balanced when you first put them on for the season. Also the shaking could be caused by a warped brake rotor.

1,595

I figured ill pack down the responses some more and say I agree with the others about the tires. I had this issue with mine at higher speeds with summer tires and winter tires separately.in the winter wheels can develop flat spots from sitting or packed snow can accumulate and freze to throw the balance off. The vibe/matrix requires those sticky wheel weights and if the tire shop doesn't clean the rim first they will fall off easily and throw off the balance. Engine will rarely if ever cause shaking in steering wheel unless its severely misfiring or similar issue in which case you'd feel it at all speeds not just highway. Most dealer employees don't know a single thing about cars so I wouldn't take what they say to heart unless they are relaying information from the actual technician. They may just be trying to sell things or just trying to make you feel better by giving the illusion of knowledge and having potential solutions.

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