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Just got a '03 Matrix XRS w/ 84k miles! Has a few issues though

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Hey all, just bought this car for super cheap. When I bought it the ABS and brake light was on (bad rear left sensor and bearing, will replace later - not a priority for now). Has a new clutch, new brakes and drives perfect. Well, almost perfect. 

After driving it for a week, the check engine light came on. I did notice the car had a bit of a rough idle and probably has a misfire. I got it scanned by a mechanic, it came up with a few misfires and evap system errors, and for some reason he suggested that I replace the coil packs, so I bought them online and replaced them myself. IDK why he suggested that but it was a complete waste of money... Anyways the light was reset but just came back on. I had it re-scanned at autozone and it says misfire cyl 1 and evap control system. They suggested I replace the fuel cap, which I did and noticed the old one had a pretty badly cracked rubber o-ring. Idle feels massively better now, but still not 100% sure the issue is gone. The other issue is when I get over 7500 rpm, sometimes the CEL flashes and the car starts smelling like gas. Obviously that means there is a serious misfire. After replacing the gas cap, I've been driving it around trying to reproduce the issue but it hasn't happened yet. No smell, no flashing CEL. The light is still on solid though as it wasn't cleared. I plan on replacing the spark plugs next, but was wondering what other things I might want to look at. The car has full power, doesn't sputter or anything like that. Honestly since I replaced the gas cap everything feels smoother...

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On 9/30/2019 at 10:37 AM, Toyota Owners Club said:

I would personally look at replacing the spark plugs as you have already replaced the coil packs.
Make sure you gap the plugs perfectly beforehand and ensure they are not overtightened when refitting, this will give a longer life to the coil packs in the future.

I replaced the plugs. No difference. The only symptom I have left currently is the car starts up, then nearly dies, then recovers and runs perfect from then on...



like that...



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  • 2 months later...

clean the MAF sensor.  I hope you got oem coil packs and not Accel as they are notoriously bad. found that out the hard way.  I assume the intake filter has been checked. 

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  • 6 months later...

Double check for vacuum leaks, since most of your issues were resolved from replacing the gas cap, there might be evap leaks elsewhere. Also check the charcoal canister, that might also be a source of the problem. 

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