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2007 Toyota Camry Transmission Questions

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  • 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: 1,667
    "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
  • mackabee, I get the sense you work at a Toyota dealership. A couple of questions
    1. are people, in general, for the most part happy with their Camry's
    2. is Toyota what it professes to be? a company that cares about it's customers and the reputation of its cars?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Joel,

    When you are having this sawtooth cruise control problem, how fast are you going, and what is your rpm?

    Assuming that the original rpm's are lower than 2K, can you try a test along the same road....drive faster to get your rpm's up at say 2000 and then another at 2500, and see if that doesn't stop the sawtoothing.

    At those RPM's, the engine has more torque and HP, and I'm thinking it will hold the target speed.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Dwyane, how has this affected you personally? Have you been mistreated by Toyota Motor Sales USA or your local Toyota Dealer? I believe my post was very clear. What part did you not understand?
    :)
    Mackabee
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    How could the transmission on the Honda Accord be the same as the transmission on the Camry? :confuse: They are two very different cars!
    Mackabee
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    What is this "flare issue" you guys are talking about? Explain the "symptom" and when does it happen and what happens? I'm lost on this one. I think I know what you are talking about but need elaboration on it please.
    :)
    Mackabee
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    What on earth gave you that idea?? :blush: Yes, I do work at a Toyota dealership. Been selling Toyotas for 10 years and driving them for over 26. Most people including myself are happy with their Camry. Even if I could afford a Lexus I would probably still drive a Camry. :) We currently have two in our household along with a Corolla (second one). Our first Camry was in an accident and totalled. It had 130k miles, 92 dx and we replaced it with a 93 which I drive daily. My wife drives a 97 that just went over 110k miles. My oldest son drives a Scion tC *(made by Toyota with Camry engine) and his wife drives a Corolla S. So you could say I strongly believe in their products.
    2. Toyota the manufacturer does care for its customers. The dealer network is where some of the customer service issues reside. There are a lot of what I like to call dinosaurs that still do business like they did 30 years ago. Slowly but surely these will go out of business or get taken over by other mega dealers. You are probably aware that the president of Toyota Japan is very concerned with the recent lapse in quality with some of our vehicles and wants the problem rectified. Toyota didn't get to where it is today by not caring for their customer base and making top notch vehicles.
    Mack
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Mack, You have miss-understood joel16's statement, he said the 190HP Honda and the 177 HP honda likely have the same transaxle.

    But I wouldn't be so quick to jump in and assert that the Camry and the Honda do not have the same transaxles. The japanese manufacturers are not any different than US manufacturers in that regard, they often "share" the same suppliers. Is there any japanese manufacturer, or even asian for that matter, that doesn't use NipponDenso as the supplier for climate control systems?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Mack,

    Previously described in post 566 & 574.

    The transmission 'flare', happens on 6 cylinder engine/6 speed transmissions, when the transmission is cold. One poster has captured it on a video, which is in post 574. This is known problem, TSB issued but seems to not fix the issue and Toyota will either replace the solenoids and/or ultimately the whole transmission on a number of vehicles. Sometimes the issue is resolved, other times still remains and is believed to be an inherent problem of the 6 speed design. Some users have had the transmission replaced a couple times.

    The cruise control, hesitation, and what recently Joel has nicknamed the 'sawtooth' problem, is on the I4-5speed. For most folks, there was an early TSB last year, which was superceded by a recent TSB in August. For most folks, the TSBs have resolved the problem. Read earlier post for the cruise control/sawtooth symptoms.

    These symptoms/problems have been described and documented in these Edmund forums since a month after the vehicle started selling.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Hi Mackabee:
    Kindly be advised that I have a GREAT Toyota Dealer, who gives me outstanding service every time that I present my vehicle for service,(which is every 2,500 miles.) Now having said that, there is another side to this transmission issue. When I see other people having a problem with the same vehicle, and the parent company is not taking a serious interest in their concern, and I own one of these vehicles, ---- that is VERY personal to me! It is very possible, that my driving style is masking the problem in my vehicle, since I DO NOT USE my cruise control, and I use the manual side of the transmission in city traffic. I simply do not like the cruise feature in any vehicle. I would rather make my own driving decisions.
    I have been following this issue, since I purchase my 2007 XLE Camry in January. The reason for this interest is as follows: ----1.)I want to know, for future reference, what if any solution to the problem Toyota is developing; ---- 2) At what mileage does the problem show it's ugly head; ---and ----3.) What actions are being taken by the customer base to get the problem corrected. This is called being an informed consumer.
    I have nothing personally against the Toyota Corporation. As a consumer, I purchased a "loaded" top-of-the-line Camry. I have an expectation that I purchased a "HIGH QUALITY PRODUCT" that is backed by both a warranty, and an extended 100,000 mile warranty that I purchased at the time of sale. Should something malfuction, that expectation includes a timely diagnosis of the problem and a professional repair. If Toyota cannot accomplish that task on a particular vehicle, they had no business putting that vehicle on the market, and in the process taking the money from consumers, based on Toyota's past reputation. I think the word that describes this is "ethics," (a set of moral principles or values). The customers on this board are concerned with being stuck with a vehicle that is going to have a major transmission failure after the 3 year / 36,000 mile warranty has expired, and as such, they will then be responsible for the cost of the repair. In addition, they are concerned with an "operational / safety issue" as they use this vehicle on a daily basis. As an owner of this vehicle, I have the right to exchange ideas on this subject, because I have a vested interest in this subject. I paid my admissions fee to this party in the form of the purchase price of the vehicle. If these vehicles,(that have the problem), are operating as designed, then let Toyota prove that fact to the customer! That is Toyota's obligation! If they are not operating properly, then let Toyota fix the problem of buy back the product!
    Best regards. It is always a pleasure to exchange ideas and opinions in a professional manner. (Nothing personal, just business!) ----- Dwayne :shades: :shades: ;) :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Or "those" videos actually.

    The first one, left on the screen, is very enlightening.

    We see the drop in engine RPM as the shift into third (presumably) occurs, pretty much SOP.

    Then with the shift into fourth(?) it is quite clear, not only via the tachometer but aurally, that the engine overspeeds briefly and then drops back into the "proper" range.

    In both videos the engine appears to be dead COLD and the RPM and speed ranges involved also makes it clear, to me anyway, that the driver was not by any means "lead-footing" (not even close IMMHO) it at the time.

    But the second video raises some serious doubts in my mind regarding its circumstantial authenticity.

    Not only is the surge in the extreme, well above 5000 RPM, but the engine drops to an idle RPM level immediately thereafter and the roadspeed begins to decline.

    It's possible the driver got off the throttle quickly upon encountering such a serious engine overspeed/flare. But that explanation doesn't seem to be cognizant with what the driver was trying to accomplish.

    Looks like, rather than an upshift flare, a quick shift to neutral to me...

    Is/was there an explanation..?
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