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Toyota Camry Transmission Questions (MY Prior to 2007)



  • vicuvicu Posts: 1
    When the car is cold, I can't get it into gear until the engine warms. Even when I warm it up for about 15 minutes, when I put it into drive, there is another 1-2 minute wait until it engages. Once engaged, the gears run smoothly, and for the rest of the day, the car is fine, even after repeated stops to various stores. I was thinking about changing the oil and filter, but the tranny has not been serviced for a long time, and I'm afraid I could make it worse.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Sounds like you need to get the transmission looked at pronto, by a reputable shop. Get recommendations from friends, relatives or co-workers. You don't have to go to a Toyota dealer.

    If you know how to check the tranny fluid level, you may at least want to do this first.
  • I've had my 2000camry LE, V6 since new. I only have 50,000 miles on it. Two months ago when driving in rush hour, stop and go, freeway traffic the car started kicking whenever I took my foot off the gas. Happened most often if I was accelerating and then had to lift my foot off gas to put on break. I'd get a slight bucking, and thump-thud noise. It got progressively worse and I took to the dealer. They replaced the bone joint and motor mount. I picked it up and drove it and no change to the problem. I had to drive with the technician because they were testing it in straight freeway driving and the problem was not occuring. I had them simulate stop and go traffic and then they felt it. Said it needed a new transmission. They put in a whole new transmission--no change to the problem. I took it back and they said it was a problem with the throttle cable. Tightened that. I drove it today and now it's worse. Not only happens when I take my foot off gas but now sometimes happens when it's shifting gears. It's much worse when the car is driving between 40 and 50mph.
    I took it back and they say there is nothing wrong with it. HELP!
    (My husband said he thought it was the U joints but the Toyota people say this car doesn't have U joints.)
    Thanks for any help you can give. I'm frustrated and it's an uncomfortable ride but I can't afford a new car right now.
  • I'm no expert, but just a shot in the dark: Years ago I had a problem that sounds similar to yours, with bucking and hesitation. It turned out to be a dirty fuel filter. Hard to believe they would not have thought of that, however it's a cheap repair so it might not hurt to try it.
  • I am planning to attempt to change the transmission oil. I have an engineering background and a garage full of tools. SO what type of fluid do I buy for that model/ vintage. What else do I need to do or replace.
    This is our 'standby vehicle' and the fluid is VERY brown and the vehicle has started jumping out of gearoccasionally..The transmission has also been OVER filled.
    Any assistance greatly appreciated.-
    Thanks , John.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I know that this is the Camry transmission questions section but no one seems to be answering my question in the "Transmission Trauma" section. I have a '98 Lexus ES300 with 152k miles. About two weeks ago when the engine wasn't quite warm I got a hard shift and a thump when shifting from park to reverse. When the car warms up it disappears and shifts fine. Anyone experience this. The last time that I changed the tranny oil was 137k miles. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In the olden days, days gone by, my first thought would have been worn u-jounts, nowadays excessively worn CV joints would be the most likely cause.

    Next time when the car is cold try turning in a tight, the tightest, circle while driving slowly forward and see what kind of sounds you get from the CV joints.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Thanks for the advice. I'll give it a try. I went to my mechanic who said that the tranny fluid was fine. He said that he has a tranny guy who could take a look but offhand his thoughts were something internal like a shift solenoid. I'm not sure about that because the other gears shift fine.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    wwest, I did listen to cv joints - no sounds from them and drive boots are intact. So I took the car back to my mechanic who took it to his transmission guy to check it out. My guy returned back to his shop with my car and he said the tranny guy said that there were no codes in the transmission. The tranny guy concluded that all of the engine mounts needed to be replaced; he felt that the clunk was due to this. My guy said that the rear mount was the worse - supposedly shot. He quoted me at $700 parts & labor. I feel that the mounts are not that bad. Has anyone had this issue? Will it cause real problems if I elect not to replace the mounts. A friend of mine has a "95 Camry V6 coupe with almost 200K miles on it and he said that he never changed the mounts and had no problems - his car is older than mine's. What do you folks think?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Why do you think your engine mounts are not that bad?

    Maybe you can get a second opinion from another shop -- your original guy should have been able to spot the bad mounts before the car was sent to the tranny guy.

    I don't think it's too wise to have the engine/tranny flopping around if the mounts are indeed shot. But maybe you could replace just the rear one first if you want to minimize costs for now.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I don't think that the mounts are bad because it does not feel that bad. I'm not a mechanic but it just doesn't feel like my engine and tranny are "flopping" around. I looked at the torch strut (passenger side by coolant reservoir) and it seems tight and there is no deterioration of the rubber. Also, my guy has looked at the car extensively prior to this and he never mentioned bad mounts - I take it to him exclusively. He only said that the rear mount was really shot. Like you said, I think that he would have caught this a long time ago. But, I also agree with you about just replacing the rear mount for now. My mechanic does not have a problem with installing parts that I buy and supply to him. I searched eBay and the rear mount is only $49 new. Labor should not be that much since I'm only replacing one mount. Thanks for the advice.
  • bkamalibkamali Posts: 4
    Hi All,
    I have a Toyota Camry V6-XLE, year 1997 and about 175000Km on that.
    A couple days ago I noticed that when I go from Neutral to Direct, there is a sudden movement on the motor. So far it never happened when I start the motor and it is cold; but it happens when the motor and transmission are warm.
    It happens occasionally. Sometimes everything is good but sometimes it happens. The transmission oil has been changed (flushed) about one year ago.
    I appreciate any suggestions about the probable cause.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You're quite welcome. Sounds like you have a good solution for now; also if you have a trustworthy mechanic, that's great.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    If the engine is actually moving with respect to the rest of the car, it could be the engine mounts -- see the past few posts.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I had the same problem with my '98 Lexus ES300. The front engine mount was bad (attached to the frame of the car and the engine bracket by the alternator and the belts). The mount is commonly called a torque strut or referred to as a "dog bone" (shaped like one). It was replaced and all other mounts were checked and found to be good. I still have some movement but I am told that it is minimal, the mechanic said that the engine has to have a little give because the mounts are made of rubber. I have replaced this mount on my previous cars which were two camries ( '92 4 cyl. and '95 v6). Do you also hear a clunking sound accompanied by a hard shift or jerk when putting the car in gear? This would occur with my car when moving the gear selector from park to reverse and a little in drive.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    210delray, see post #104. It was not the rear but the torque strut. You will see the rest in the message.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Hi. I posted on es300/330 forum, but I wanted to try this one too, since Lexus is made by Toyota (Camry). I am still having issues with tranny/engine mounts. Replaced the front (torque) strut but advised to change the other three mounts too. What may or will happen if the mounts are not replaced? I am assuming that these are original mounts - have 150K miles on the car. Others have said that they have more miles and have no issues.
  • Hi,
    Thanks for advice.
    I noticed something else, which is the shifting happens in 3000 RPM, normally it was less than 2000RPM.
    Do these problems relate? (probably yes) What is your opinion?
  • I am not sure but my es300 shifts in second gear around 4000 rpm' s. The mechanic that changed the dog bone mount said that it is shifting a little late but may be because of the mileage and the age of the car. He also said that the important thing is that the tranny is shifting fine. A guy on the es300/330 forum (Larry1) said that his 1992 es300 was operating fine when traded in at 255K on the clock with the original engine and tranny. So, in short, I don't think that you or I will have any major problems with our cars. I mean, Camrys and Es300's are similar and both made by Toyota. In answer to your original question, I really do not know if the two issues coincide.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    [quote name='kolkh' post='127828' date='Sunday, Sep 2, 2007 @ 06:24 PM']DISCLAIMER:
    Previous post is not a simple reply – this is actually 11-th edition of “Wwest Mythology”. Previous 10 editions have been discussed and bitten to death in approximately ~1000 posts in a number of forums/sites. I have read some of those. What is the result? See here:


    As if previous discussions do not exist, wwest posts the same stuff again and again and again…
    Like a Big Propaganda Machine, wwest is in a win-win situation: if you start infinite discussions and win – it does not mater, next time he will post exactly the same stuff. If you ignore him – he will flood forums and poor readers would have to deal with it anyway.


    Okay, "teacher" will take a different tact, tactic.

    Do you know how many things in a car simply waste energy....???

    A) Power stearing hydraulic pump when there is no "stearing" to be done. What, 98% of the time?

    And yes, I do know that PS pressure helps "hold" the stearing in a "set" position, but just how much energy does that require in comparison to the HUGE losses?

    The PS must have the pumping capacity/volume/displacement to help, SERIOUSLY help, turn the wheels at or near a dead stop(parallel parking...), all the while with the engine turning only at idle, of maybe slightly above.

    So, 2200 RPM and driving straight down the highway at 65MPH guess how much pressurized PS fluid is simply being bypassed back into the sump.

    Is it any wonder that many cars are converting to electric power stearing, even at the risk of having the solid state electronics overheat and therefore automatically going into a sub-standard power assist mode?

    B] Gear-type engine lubricating pump. Again, pumping volume/capacity/displacement must accomodate full pressure and flow even with the engine at idle. So as engine RPM rises the EXTRA pumping capacity must be bypassed back into the sump.

    Either BMW or MB, don't remember which, has already gone to a variable displacement engine lubricating oil pump in oder to reduce these losses and thereby reduce the engine heat load and also increase FE.

    C) A/C compressor. Here again, the compressor pumping capacity must be such that it can provide FULL cooling capability at engine idle on a BRIGHT and SUNNY 100F (or above) day. In this case the A/C clutch along with a reasonably sized liquid refrigerant storage reservoir has been used for "eons" to ammiliate the effects of continuous engine loading by the A/C compressor.

    So why do you suppose so many new vehicles are coming out equipped with the new variable capacity "swash plate" type A/C compressor, and the compressor clutch?

    Because it is better design practice, overall, to have a continous ~2HP load on the engine rather than an intermittent load of ~7HP.

    [b]Getting the picture..?[/b]

    D) And just what is the deal with the torque converter (hydraulic TURBINE pump, slush pump, etc.), just how lossy is that sucker?

    The slush pump, torque converter, is really required ONLY to act as an automatic clutch. At low engine speeds, idle, the losses are so high that virtually no torque is coupled to the transaxle input shaft. NONE would be ideal, but nowadays you need a clutch pedal for that. The nice thing about the torque converter is that it also acts as a reduction gear ratio at low torque loading. But, that's where the torque converter lockup clutch comes into play. In OD it is highly desirous to have the engine operate at the lowest speed at which it can produce "just" enough torque for the current load factor...roadspeed. So at low engine RPMs the HIGH LOSS torque converter is bypassed by the lockup clutch.

    E) This one is slightly off point but I bring it because if I don't someone else will.

    The engine coolant water pump.

    Almost all engine coolant water pumps are of the centrifical, turbine, type and thereby self limiting insofar as pumping volume is concerned. Obviously there is some "needless" loss involved here otherwise the water hoses would not "swell", balloon, as engine speed rises beyond the point wherein the thermostat will accomodate the pump volume. Other than the current crop of hybrids, all equipped, to my knowledge, with electric water pumps, other manufacturers have already converted to electric pumps, if not altogether then at least apartially so, for the cabin heater.

    [b]Get the picture..?


    F) And finally....

    The gear type ATF pump.

    Like everything else above the most critical situation insofar as determining base pump volume occurs with the engine at idle.


    Let's think this over a bit.

    Just what "work" does the ATF pump have to do with the engine at idle?

    Shifting from park or neutral to drive or reverse is clearly not critical insofar as pumping volume is concerned...

    Upshifting once underway always involves engine RPM well above idle....


    So, when does an automatic downshift with the engine at idle or nearly at idle.

    Not for passing, kickdown, certainly...

    But then how about just before coming to a full stop...?

    Or during coastdown periods with the throttle fully closed...?

    In both of these latter instances if the transaxle is to downshift lots of ATF pressure/flow will be required to ascertain the downshift clutches are quickly and firmly seated. Otherwise, with low or marginal ATF pressure these clutches would undoubtedly incur some serious level of slippage and the wear associated thereto.

    So, the engineers say to each other, if we could eliminate just these two instances the ATF pump FIXED capacity could be a LOT lower and that would undoubtedly inprove FE overall while reducing the heat load and clutch wear rate.

    Say, what does a stick shift driver do in these instances. Well as the cars coasts to a stop teh driver would normally disenage the clutch and slip the transmission into 1st.

    Well, we can't disenage the clutch....Can we...??

    Sure can, simply "upshift" the transaxle a few notches, no substantial level of engine compression braking, NO transaxle clutch wear. Who cares if the upshifted clutches don't quickly fully and firmly engage...!

    But what about coastdown periods at 40-30MPH with the engine at idle...?

    Why not upshift then too, who's to notice?


    The theory behind the above dissertation arose because I noticed a seeming abiguity between my earlier theory, "protect the drive train using DBW to prevent engine compression braking.'

    Owners have been reporting that while in cruise control the engine/transaxle ECU will actually command a downshift to retard roadspeed going down a hill.

    Me..."What? Downshift a FWD or F/AWD vehicle and actually take advantage of engine compression
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