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Big 2005 Toyota Matrix Maintenance Bill


I just took my 2005 Toyota Matrix 4WD in for its 90,000 mile maintenance at a Toyota dealership here in Southern California. I’m the original owner of the vehicle and have been diligent in bringing it in for all scheduled maintenance.

The service department came back with the following issues and estimates to fix them:

- Drive belt is cracked and should be replaced immediately (which I had them do) - $159

- Right and left front inner CV Boots are leaking - $315 each

- Transmission fluid is dirty, recommended a transmission flush (my service included a change of fluid up to 2.5 qts.) - $170

- Front transfer case is leaking, service/drain/refill recommended - $90

- Rear differential is leaking, service/drain/refill recommended - $90

- Transfer case extension housing seal is leaking, service recommended - $349

- Throttle body is dirty, EFI throttle body service recommended - $237

A grand total of $1,725

I’ve had no issues with this car to date (including all the parts noted above) and would like to keep it for a couple of more years if it makes financial sense. Lacking a mechanic buddy to glance at the situation to let me know what’s BS and what’s real, I’m hoping I could get some advice here.

So which of these items are likely true issues to be addressed? And which are standard service department up-sells?

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks everyone,


Take it to an independant mechanic that works on foreign cars and specifically Toyotas. Pretty much all the “leaks” with drain and refills are suspect. If you look under just about any car you can point to a “dark” spot and say it is a leak. My guess is these leaks are pretty minor if they are leaks at all. Now, changing differential and transfer case fluids is generally a good thing, and if they’ve never been changed before now this might be the time to do it.

All these prices are high, and some may not be necessary at all. Give the independant mechanic a good review of all the previous service, have him look over the car and make some decisions. Me thinks Toyota has a “sucker” label on you and they are looking to clean out your wallet.

Anyone who drives into the dealer for maintenance after the warranty is expired generally has a bullseye on their back.

Accessory drive belt replaced for $159? Probably took 15 mins to swap out a $30 belt.

Inner CV joint boots leaking? The outer boots tend to crack and leak before the inner ones. Get a second opinion.

Transmission fluid service? Only 2.5 qts? This is way overpriced and not near enough trans fluid for a meaningful change. You need it, especially if this is the first. But can be done better and cheaper at an independent shop. (Not a chain, like AAMCO!!)

Front and rear diff cases leaking, but only wants to change the fluid? Uncle Turbo nailed this one.

Transfer case extension housing seal leaking? Price seems high. Get a second opinion.

Throttle boy dirty? Maybe, but this seems pricey for a cleaning. Are they going to dip it? I just cleaned mine with a rag and throttle body spray without removing it.

That’s insane. Find an honest mechanic to take your Matrix to.

Thanks everyone, much appreciated.