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!


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


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


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.


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.


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.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Matrix in your area?

CarGurus has 1,105 nationwide Matrix listings starting at $1,995.


Toyota Matrix Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
    Paul Washburn
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Corolla
678 Great Deals out of 66,255 listings starting at $1,599
Used Toyota RAV4
495 Great Deals out of 65,431 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Camry
807 Great Deals out of 71,623 listings starting at $1,400
Used Pontiac Vibe
10 Great Deals out of 812 listings starting at $650
Used Honda Civic
374 Great Deals out of 51,346 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Yaris
34 Great Deals out of 2,505 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V
569 Great Deals out of 66,216 listings starting at $1,800
Used Honda Fit
82 Great Deals out of 17,490 listings starting at $2,000
Used Toyota Prius
218 Great Deals out of 16,063 listings starting at $1,200
Used Honda Accord
553 Great Deals out of 91,963 listings starting at $1,495
Used Mazda MAZDA3
209 Great Deals out of 25,896 listings starting at $1,900
Used Nissan Versa
225 Great Deals out of 20,711 listings starting at $2,200
Used Ford Focus
397 Great Deals out of 70,146 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota Highlander
441 Great Deals out of 44,104 listings starting at $1,750
Used Toyota Tacoma
425 Great Deals out of 40,424 listings starting at $2,600

Used Cars For Sale

2013 Toyota Matrix For Sale
18 listings starting at $6,795
2012 Toyota Matrix For Sale
13 listings starting at $5,930
2011 Toyota Matrix For Sale
27 listings starting at $5,994
2010 Toyota Matrix For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 150 listings starting at $3,500
2009 Toyota Matrix For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 329 listings starting at $2,992

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.