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2007 Toyota Camry Transmission Questions

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  • Yes, had the latest 4-cylinder TSB installed, hesitation gone (although air con does suck some power from the engine at times) and yes, still have the cruise control problem. I am taking the car in to the dealer next week to get oil and filter change, and will discuss it with dealer at that time. When cruise set at 70 mph, and speed dips below 70, transmission downshifts, and car races to attain speed, sometimes overshooting 70. After speed attained, engine stays at high RPM for 3-5 seconds before dropping down again to 2000+ range (where I'd expect it to be). Happens quite a bit on trip from Charlotte to Raleigh (mostly uphill). A little disoncerting to say the least, and makes me wonder if this behavior is damaging to the engine/transmission.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A slight correction...

    With OD gear ratios of ~1:1.7 (engine turning once for each 1.7 turns of the transaxle output "shaft") the engine RPM is down in the low 2000 range when just cruising along at hwy speeds.

    Since torque converters MUST act like a clutch at 800/1000 RPM, low torque coupling, at these low engine RPMs the lockup clutch must be used to bypass the torque converter.

    So modern day vehicles are almost NEVER in OD without the lockup clutch being engaged unless a reasonably high level of engine torque is required, bringing the engine RPM up into the range wherein an unlocked torque converter can operate with efficiency.

    But.

    These days a significant improvement in FE is being attained via using the lockup in gear ratios below OD. Eliminating the inefficiencies of the torque converter at times when its torque multiplication factor is of little or no use. Making a 5 speed, 4 speed + OD, transaxles into "six" speed transaxles.

    Now, the "driveability" issue.

    Were you to have an accelerometer in hand at the times your car "downshifts" when it exceeds the cruise control target you might find something unusual.

    Even thought the engine RPM jumps quite noticeably aurally and "visually", the accelerometer indicates a nice smooth transition.

    Say WHAT...??!!

    Your were doing 60MPH in cruise control and now that uphill slope causes the speed to decrease slightly, so more engine TORQUE must be applied.

    So the lockup clutch disengages.

    But in the INSTANTANEOUS case, at the "current" engine RPM, the torque converter is simply not efficient enough to maintain your speed, let alone bring it back up to the "target".

    The engine/transaxle ECU has been made well aware of this fact and therefore it will use DBW to open the throttle slightly, simultaneously with releasing the lockup.

    Why the attention given to this issue??

    With you, "soft-footing" the accelerator pedal, the very same thing, VERY SAME THING, happens. But since YOU are the causative factor in the downshift sequence it simply doesn't get your interest as does having it happen automatically.

    Also, can you really "soft-foot" it just barely enough to keep it in the OD gear ratio but with the lockup disengaged or do you mostly end up in an entirely lower gear ratio.

    The ECU via DBW can....

    While you would have to search for "it", via some hunting, dithering of the gas pedal, the engine/transaxle controlling ECU "KNOWS" just EXACTLY what engine RPM, torque output level, will be needed, without any EXCESS whatsoever, once the lockup is released.

    "Driveability".

    And by the way the lower HP/torque I4 will be much more subject to this "effect" vs the V6.

    And by the way these matters, issues, effects, have been exacerbated in the past few years by some breakthrough technology. My 2001 RX300 cruises at 65MPH and 2700 RPM. The new RX350 cruises at 2200 RPM at 65 MPH.

    VVT-i? Dual intake plenum?

    Doesn't matter, the fact is that many modern day engines now have a higher torque level in the low RPM ranges than we ever dreamed of just a few years ago. So the OD ratios are getting higher and higher, allowing the engines to operate at even lower RPM levels while just cruising along.

    Lower RPM levels = Lower, LOWER, torque converter coupling efficiency. In the next decade we will begin to see torque converters disappear from the passenger vehicle marketplace.
  • Hi Kiawah, You say your flare-up in rpm and downshifting on any up-hill inclined road(cruise control "on") has been fixed by the latest TSB? I wish I could say the same, but I cannot. Still have the flare-up/numerous downshifting problem. As I also have the 07 Camry LE 4cyl/5spd automatic, I am wondering if my dealer properly installed the latest TSB. Since my hesitation problem was fixed, I am not very anxious to take my car back and let them screw around with it and possibly make matters worse. Let us know if your problems with the flare/downshifting reappear in the future as it has with some others reporting in this forum.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    CamryOwner1,

    Just to be clear up my personal situation, as I think you have it a little confused.

    - Back when I bought the car a year and a half ago, I experienced the cruise control downshifting problem, and a slight hesitation. I have never experienced a transmission 'flare' (I have the 4cylinder LE).

    - The original TSB from a year ago, resolved both of the above symptoms that I had. No problems have surfaced since then, and now have over 20K miles. EG056-06

    - I have NOT had the updated TSB performed yet (release Aug 2007), but plan to at the next oil change. EG036-07

    If you have had the latest TSB performed, and have the sticker to prove it (inside your hood), and it has not fixed your problem.....I'd take it back to the dealership and indicate to them your problem. I'd personally ask them to re-install it.
  • Kiawah, Are you stating that your car does "not" display a rapid increase in engine rpm(flare-up) and corresponding downshift on upgraded roads while the cruise control is "on"? Did your car ever perform in this way? Toyota TSB fixed it? Also, does your VIN start with a J or does it start with 4T? The J means it was assembled in Japan, whereas 4T incicates it was assembled in USA.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    My car used to downshift harshly while using cruise control, trying to maintain speed as I've previously written. This was elimated by the first TSB.

    Please do not use the word 'flare' in describing the transmission downshifting. The flare problem is when the V6-6speed transmission is accelerating, and when UP SHIFTING, where it appears to go thru neutral. These are two totally different problems, on two different models. There is a post from probably 6-9 months ago where a poster actually took a video of the transmission flare. If you see it, you'll recognize it is not anything like a normal transmission downshifting. With the cruise control problem, the car is maintaining a steady speed on the interstate, and does not appear to have enough power to handle even the slightest of inclines/upgrades. The cruise control senses it is loosing mph, depresses the accelerator, and downshifts the transmission to accelerate back up to target speed.

    I found the video for an upshifting transmission flare, here it is:
    flare video

    My car Vin is USA w/4T, made in April '06
  • Was this issue resolved with late 2007 and 2008 production Camry?
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    You're one big contradiction Dwayne. If you don't have a problem with your car why are you slandering a manufacturer on a public forum? "This new vehicle has a transmission problem
    purchased at XYZ Toyota!
    Ask me about it!"

    There are civilized and diplomatic ways to get things done. You have the Owner's rights and notifications booklet that came with your owner's manuals and advices you how to go about getting satisfaction if you think you might have a :lemon: Use it!
    Mackabee
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    "With the cruise control problem, the car is maintaining a steady speed on the interstate, and does not appear to have enough power to handle even the slightest of inclines/upgrades. The cruise control senses it is loosing mph, depresses the accelerator, and downshifts the transmission to accelerate back up to target speed."

    This is the way it's supposed to work! I've been driving for over 30 years and all cars with cruise do this. Foreign and domestic. When going up a steep incline the vehicle will slow down. It's just a law of physics. The ECU senses this and downshifts until it gets back to the preset speed. It then upshifts to a higher gear and maintains the preset speed.
    :)
    Mackabee
  • mackabee, you are correct, the car should downshift, and attain speed. You would also see the RPMs go up. However, with this problem, after attaining the set speed, my car shows RPMs between 3K and 4K, and holds this high RPM for 3-5 seconds prior to upshift to a higher gear. After the upshift (which, by the way is not smooth), the RPMs drop to around 2 to 2.5K. So, the car downshifts, surges ahead, and then seems to be in a "suspend" state for what I consider a long time, prior to upshift; it's almost as if it's not connected to the transmission for that period of time. I know this isn't a technical explanation, but it is what I observed. I too have been driving for more than 30 years, with many cars I've owned with cruise control. I never experienced this problem until now. Personally, I think part of the problem is the car is underpowered.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Mack,

    You are right, however what you are missing, is that the vehicle didn't have enough power to hold the target cruise speed thru even the slightest of inclines. This is an old past tense problem for me, because the has TSB resolved this problem.

    I drove the same interstate beltline every day with a number of different vehicles on cruise, rarely is there a need for the other vehicles to downshift to maintain cruise speed. We're not talking the hills of West Virgina, where you would expect downshifting to occur.... we're talking about very-very slight grades in normally flat terrain.

    If I drove without the cruise control using standard old gas pedal, it would rarely downshift (but I would be allowing the speed to drop slightly). With the cruise control engaged however, it would downshift many times from 5 lockup to third, sending the rpm's sky high while it's doing it. The shifting is really so bad, that you don't want to use the cruise for fear of doing damage to the engine or transmission.

    Between all of the cars I've owned and the hundreds rented over the years, I've never had anything perform so poorly on cruise. But again, this was a past problem. The original TSB a year ago resolved this problem for me.

    I've been a VERY happy camper for a year, and would not hesitate to buy another one. It's one of our daily drivers...great car.
  • chuck28chuck28 Posts: 259
    Don't think calling the # in the owner manual will get your car fix. Toyota knows all the laws and the system and will use it to benifit them.
    I know I still have problems with my car and have gone through Arbritration.
    If you noticed you don'y hear to many people talking about winning in Arbritration?
    Toyota has tuned this into a fight with the consumer.
    I know I don't like spending this much time on these web sites and I'm, sure nobody else does either.
    It's real and beaware of buying a Toyota Camry until Toyta says they have fixed the problem. The dealerships are trained to say this is the first we have heard od the problem.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Dear Mackabee:
    Please be advised, that if your read my posting "very carefully," you will notice that I am trying to "support" those Camry owners who have the problem with their vehicles!---------- I stated in my posting that I enjoy my Camry, and I do not have the problem at 16,000 miles. (That does not mean that the problem will not surface in the future, but at the present time, I do not have the problem.) I do not believe that Toyota has done enough to help the Camry owners who have the problem. These people have purchased this vehicle in "good faith" believing that they were getting a high quality vehicle. As we can see, this was not the "reality" that they expected.
    I do not understand your comment. Kindly explain your position with regards to my posting. I doubt that I will purchase another Camry in 2010, even though I love my vehicle, and I am very satisfied with the selling dealer. My dissatisfaction comes from the way "Toyota" deals with the consumer after the purchase! There is TOO MUCH TALK, and NOT ENOUGH ACTION! Every customer has a right to expect a certain level of value for their dollar. I could have easily gotten one of those "problem vehicles"! Why should I take a chance on another Toyota product???? Let Toyota persuade me to make another purchase by solving this issue in a professional manner! When I make a purchase, I expect "quality" for my money, and I also expect the parent company to "back up their product". My obligation is to service the product in a professional manner!
    Best regards. ----- Dwyane :shades: ;) :)
  • kiawah,

    With that video, do you know the model of that Camry. The instrument panel/gauges look different than the ones in my 2007 LE I4 Camry.......I do not have an "S" next to the "D" in my car, and where the mileage is displayed, I do not have a line above the mileage readout.

    Also, it looks like the person's window is down because snow is coming into the vehicle.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The transmission upshifting "flare" problems for those that might have it, is on V6 engines with the 6 speed transmission. It reportedly typically would do it once, while the engine/tranny is cold.

    You and I have an I4 with 5 speed transmission.
  • Just to recap, it seems that to achieve Nirvana for the 4cylinder AT, you should have TSB EG 056-06 and TSB EG 036-07 installed to take care of the hesitation problem and the cruise control problem, correct? I have EG 036-07, but not sure if I have the previous TSB. Can anyone suggest how I would check? My car is less than 6 months old, born in the USA.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    joel16 wrote: "and holds this high RPM for 3-5 seconds prior to upshift to a higher gear. the car downshifts, surges ahead, and then seems to be in a "suspend" state for what I consider a long time, prior to upshift" This is not flare.

    Yes, it is going to hold a higher RPM for a while, because it just downshifted. It downshifted because it needed a lower gear for however long (could be a short time, could be miles up a very long and steep grade) to maintain the same speed. If the car would immediately upshift again, it would start losing speed again, right? This is normal for automatics. Of course, if you have a larger engine, the need to downshift may not be necessary.

    From what I have read, I think the new TSB solves the complaints about the 4 cylinder.
  • Thanks for your input mcdawgg. Just seems like the high RPMs last for too long. I experienced this symptom again last night. I have come to the conclusion that to really fix this problem, the Camry 4 cylinder engine needs more HP. I said in a previous post that I drove the 177HP and 190HP 4 cylinder new Honda Accord. I wasn't able to get the 177 to the same roads I drive with the Camry to see if it has the same/similar symptom. The 190hp seemed like it had plenty of power, not quite a V6 quick, but a noticeable difference over the 177HP. I assume, but didn't check, to see if the transmissions are the same.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,534
    >and I do not have the problem at 16,000 miles. (That does not mean that the problem will not surface in the future, but at the present time, I do not have the problem.

    It's my studied opinion your car has the capability of displaying the problem. The factors are the "learning" that the computer has done in your case adapting to your driving acceleration methods and your actual driving patterns not involving need for quick acceleration after hesitation or decel.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    EG036-07 supercedes and replaces EG056-06.

    To check whether you have EG036-07, you should look on the underside of your hood for a sticker.

    But joel as I've mentioned before, you supposedly have the latest 036-07, but you car isn't behaving like you have it. If you don't have the sticker, you definitely don't have the TSB installed. If you have the sticker, I personally would take it back and suggest to the dealer that you are still experiencing the problem and could they re-do the install.
  • Thanks Kiawah. Sticker is there, so I must have the TSB. It could also be that the car is performing as it should, with the power available, and I'm just too stubborn to accept what my car is telling me I should be happy with. I'm sure there are other cars I've owned that have tried to tell me what it wants me to do, but none have been so "in your face" as this one. ;-) From what I can gather in the car mags, it will only get worse (better from a safety standpoint, worse from the perspective that I am the human, and the car should do what I want it to do). Progress?
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi imidazol97:
    You are probably correct with regards to your analysis of my driving style, and my vehicle. I tend to accelerate slowly, and on the highway, I tend to leave a large space between my vehcile, and the vehicle in front of me. When I do accelerate to pass, I "press the accelerator slowly," the trasmission does down shift, and the vehicle does accelerate very rapidly, after which I slowly "back-off" on the accelerator as I return to the right hand lane. Maybe the vehicle has learned my driving style, and has adapted. On the city streets I tend to drive the vehicle in the manual transmission mode. I set the selector for #4 in the manual mode, and the transmission shifts from one to four. I ride the 4th gear through traffic. It gives me "engine braking" and "quick acceleration". Sometimes I set the manual mode to 3rd gear, and I ride this gear in city traffic. (It depends on the speed of the city traffic.)
    Best regards. ----- Dwayne :shades: :confuse: ;) :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    NOT..!!!

    These engines, I4 or V6, attain the BEST FE when operating at WOT (lowest pumping loss) or at the lowest possible RPM (lowest frictional loss) that will still maintain the current roadspeed.

    AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE RPM THAT WILL STILL MAINTAIN THE CURRENT ROADSPEED.

    Get it..??

    The lowest, LOWEST, possible RPM...

    Right on the cusp of just barely producing enough HP.

    These vehicles DO NOT have CVTs so I would imagine that a lot of computer time is burned modeling the transaxle gear ratios in order to come up with the most OPTIMAL OD and higher gear ratios

    Folks, you are now driving a finely tuned, SWISS WATCH, type of vehicle.

    So, yes, there is a while lotta shiftin' going on.

    If you have a six speed, 5 speed plus OD w/lockup, you really have a NINE speed gearbox, as the lockup will often be used in the gear rations below OD.

    And keep in mind that the cruise control system does not have your forward vision. Absent that, the cruise control must sit there "dumbly" waiting for the speed to decline AFTER starting up the incline, downshift accordingly (HARSH, ABRUPT, LATE downshift insofar as YOU are concerned), and then HOLD that downshift ratio BEYOND the crest, or until the roadspeed begins to rise.

    With nine forward gear ratios the ECU has the ability to keep the engine well within the operating parameters for attaining BEST FE, but in the process it will use ALL of those gear ratios, AND OFTEN.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Mack,

    The problem is that these days more attention is being paid by the manufacturers to the issue of FE. Again keep in mind that the engine/transaxle control ECU is programmed to do its best to keep the engine operating at it's LOWEST possible RPM during constant speed "cruising", especially under cruise control.

    So, yes, the speed starts to decline slightly due to reaching the inclined roadbed, but now....

    The ECU is BLIND, is this to be a brief declination in speed, and if so it should maintain, for driveability aspects, the current gear ratio. How long should it wait before coming to the "realization" that the declination in speed is prolonged. Certainly long enough that the driver doesn't become irritated by "too much shiftin'".

    I admit, readily, that I was very irritated at the number of shifts, gear changes, the two 2007 vehicles I drove this past spring would make in relatively level terrain. But the fact of the matter was that it soon became clear that the use of the cruise control would reduce that number substantially.

    Thankfully I'm not in the market for a new vehicle, but if I were I think I might stick with manual transmissions until this "Perfect Storm" blows over.

    We have entered a new era, get used to it.

    But the above is by no means intended to be an excuse or explanation for the flare issue nor the hesitation issue. Those are REAL problems and something Toyota should undoubtedly be paying a LOT more attention to.
  • Your post is interesting. The OFTEN downshifing is extremely annoying. One thing you left out: When the ECU/cruise control shifts back up to the set speed, it does not hold it there very long, and going up any lengthy incline is like a sawtooth. Desired speed is set on cruise control, ECU/cruise control can't hold it there, downshift, set speed is again attained for short while, downshift again, set speed is attained again for short while, downshift again, etc., etc, etc, etc. If I had known of this annoying performance prior to purchase, I would not have purchased. Wish Toyota would recall their SWISS WATCH.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    "Thankfully I'm not in the market for a new vehicle, but if I were I think I might stick with manual transmissions until this "Perfect Storm" blows over. "

    That's what I did, manual tranny Camrys are hard to find, but they are out there.

    "But the above is by no means intended to be an excuse or explanation for the flare issue nor the hesitation issue. Those are REAL problems and something Toyota should undoubtedly be paying a LOT more attention to. "

    From what I am reading, the new TSB is correcting most people's problems.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "like a sawtooth."

    That is quite clearly a design flaw within the cruise control ECU firmware. The cruise control ECU should be programmed to hold the transaxle in the downshifted range until/unless the incline steepness becomes less, lower enough that an upshift would still allow enough "on the cusp" engine torque to the roadbed to sustain the set speed.

    I would ask the dealer about a TSB for this symptom, and if one is not presently available complain to Toyota directly.
  • I agree that this is obviously a design flaw, however, local dealer and regional Toyota Rep. maintain that car is operating "as designed". They do not admit to "design flaw". Called Toyota Customer Experience Center and explained my frustration. They told me that since local dealer found normal operation of car, they could do nothing but assign a case number and forward to National Headquarters and send arbitration papers if not satisfied. I then went to Toyota.com/AskToyota and again told them that latest TSB did not fix the problem with cruise control downshifting. They thanked me for my input and told me how the local dealer service technicians are well trained and should be able to diagnose any problems. I in turn wrote back and politely told them that my problem needs to be addressed by their Design Engineers so that a fix could be made. I stated that I did not feel that my concern was reaching anyone at Toyota with the expertise to fix. Just read my reply: "Thank you for your input, a case number has been assigned and input forwarded to National Headquarters".
    Sound like the RUN-AROUND? OR CATCH-22?
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Sure it will. You just have to follow the steps that are required. I have a customer with the tranny problem on one of the early production 07 V6 Camry. She kept bringing the vehicle back as required and documented it then took it to arbitration. Guess what? She got a brand new 07 V6 Camry, same color and options as the problematic one. No problem on this one. Customer is satisfied. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease. ;)
    Mackabee
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    "They told me that since local dealer found normal operation of car, they could do nothing but assign a case number and forward to National Headquarters and send arbitration papers if not satisfied. "

    Read my response to above message.
    Mack
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