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Toyota Camry Transmission Questions (MY Prior to 2007)



  • skyflyskyfly Posts: 3
    I have a '95 Camry with approx. 160,000 miles on it. Currently the transaxle seal is slowly leaking transmission fluid, although I keep an eye on it so it doesn't get low. The dealer quoted me $135 to fix it, but I tend to think dealers charge a little more than someone else who can do the same thing. Also, It has been a little more than 60,000 miles since I had the timing belt changed, and an independent shop quoted me $125 (after a $50 dollar discount) to change it. Are these good prices or should I shop around? Is there a specific type of part that will last longer or are they all pretty much the same.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    THe leak repair seems reasonable and the timing belt change is as low as I've ever seen. My local dealer charges $260 for a 4 cyl and about $100 more for a V6 timing belt change. My only advice if you are going to an independant shop is get some references if you haven't used them.
  • icehengeicehenge Posts: 9
    Out of curiosity I have a question that has me scratching my head.

    The 98 Camry owners manual makes no mention of checking the automatic transmission fluid level. Why would that be?

    I assume the instructions in the Haynes repair guide is correct. Check after vehicle has been drive at least 10 miles, place transmission selector in each gear once, then check fluid level with transmission in park, engine running.

    Why would Toyota feel it necessary to leave this out of the owners manual?

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    That is correct (Haynes manual).

    I didn't realize it wasn't in the owner's manual. I guess not many people bother to check it themselves these days, preferring to leave the job to the dealer or quickie-lubes of the world.
  • redrikkaredrikka Posts: 2
    My aunt took her Camry to Firestone where she has a credit line and they told her that she needs a whole list of maintenece perfomed for the 60K service. The technician wrote "trans fluid burnt" on the vehicle inspection. When she called to ask about it they said "it may be discolored, if it is burnt you need to take it to a Transmission Repair shop." They wanted her to bring it in again for service on the trans. after just having it for an oil change. When does the trans. need to be serviced? Why would he say to bring it in if supposedly the trans. fl. is burnt? They had the car only hours prior. I think they are trying to get her to spend a bunch of money since they know she knows nothing aout the car and they are playing on her emotions. Please help, this could cost her a bunch of money that she can't afford. Thank you!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'd avoid Firestone like the plague. Just follow my advice in post #674 and get a second opinion from a reputable shop. Your aunt probably needs to only have the transmission fluid drained and refilled. Toyota doesn't list trans. fluid change intervals for normal service.

    Don't let any repair shop sell her on a "flush" -- it is expensive and unnecessary.
  • marc781marc781 Posts: 25
    No i dont think you are overdoing it. However , you may be using the wrong transmission fluid. My 2002 Camry V6 calls for Toyota T IV fluid, only, as your parts guy said. If you can post a copy of that TSB i would like to see it.
    But Toyota says to use no other kind of ATF other than T IV because it can cause poor shifting. You have got me wondering alright lol
  • redrikkaredrikka Posts: 2
    Thank you so much for your reply! I intend to find another shop. No wonder they pass out a credit line to anyone who applies for it! Never again! Thank you! :)
  • icehengeicehenge Posts: 9
    I think you've got the best suggestion already. Take the vehicle to get the transmission inspected by another party.

    You can check the fluid yourself though as its rather simple. The fluid is red when its new and discolors with ages and abuse. Also the smell of the fluid will change.

    Here are some links which might help on how to check
    the fluid level.

    How to check automatic transmission fluid:
  • marc781marc781 Posts: 25
    You can smell the fluid yourself. Compare it to new fluid for smell. If it is burnt anyone with a nose can tell. If the trans works ok i would just get by with a fluid change, but i would do it right away. And if it were burnt badly enough to affect operation the driver would probably feel it by now.

    It's a good idea to change the fluid every 30,000 miles to keep it in good shape. You can change the fluid yourself, on the Camry it's easier than most vehicles because it has a trans drain plug, which alot of cars don't.

    If there is a burned smell just change the fluid and then drive it a few hundred miles. Change it again, drive it again, once or twice more. And that will give your transmission a good shot at further life if it is still working ok. Changing the fluid will take about a case worth, 12 qts and this will cost about $20 -25 if it uses Dexron. (Check owners manual on what fluid to use, this is important!)
  • tywitywi Posts: 10
    RE: 2002 CAMRY LE 4CYL-at 35000 miles i had a transmission flush at the toyota dealer.i am coming up to 60000 miles should i change the fluid by droping the pan and also changing the filter if there is one.i also changed the coolant at 30000miles by draining the radiator and adding new coolant and water.should i do more more the coolant change this time.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    If it's only been 25,000 miles since the tranny was flushed, you don't need to do it again so soon.

    Next time though, refuse a flush. Just drain and refill -- there is a drain bolt on the underside of the transmission pan. Just under 4 quarts will come out -- replace with the same amount of fluid -- Toyota T-IV ATF. True, with a drain and refill, you won't get all of the old fluid out, but that's ok.

    If you changed the coolant at 30K miles (and refilled with the original Toyota super long life coolant), you're supposed to be good for 100K miles. Some say, however, not to wait that long.

    When you do change it again, it IS better to flush with water so you get all of the old coolant/water mixture out of both the radiator and engine block.
  • afm127afm127 Posts: 1
    i have just recently changed the transmission pan and fluid in my 1995 toyota camry LE.... i drained the transmission and the transaxle transfer case... Not realizing that i had to replace the fluid in the bottom of the transmission for the transfer case, i just put fluid into the transmission through the dopstick tube... now after driving the car back an forth from a friends house down the street from me about 3 times i cant change gears..... i put the car into drive and my speedometer will go up as if i am driving but i wont move... i have been told by a friend that this might be a diagnostic problem where the car knew that there was no fluid in the transfer case and disabled my transmission.... what is the proper way of resolving this problem?
  • carpluscarplus Posts: 1
    Hi Everybody..

    I have a 2003 Camry SE 4Cyl Auto that has a peculiar problem. It seems as if whenever the temperature rises, the car has a tendency to not shift out of park at all. The pedal can go all the way to the floor, handbrake down, ect... but the darned thing won't shift out of park. Now this only seems to happen during warmer temperatures and only just recently seemed to happen. Anyone have any ideas or similar problems?

  • Can anyone suggest what might cause my 91 4 cyl to jump out of 5th gear when accelerating or pulling a hill?

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I had an '82 Peugeot that would pop out of 2nd gear unless I kept my hand on the shifter. Turned out to be nothing more involved than a simple linkage adjustment the dealer took care of in five minutes. But, not all gear jumping's that simple - best to have a transmission specialist look at your car. A misadjustment the wrong way or amount can also accelerate internal transmission wear.
  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    I put tranny coolers on all my cars including the 2006 camry and 2000 Lexus I live in southern California and I am a salesman and I drive in bumper to bumper all the time I also use synthetic trans fluid in both cars using Amsoil due to the type of transmission fluid that toyota/lexus uses. They use a type 4 trans fluid so Amsoil says their oil in compatible so far no problems. My toyota cressida using a transmission like the lexus and toyota truck ran 385,000 miles on the same trans using mobil one tranny fluid due to the older cars could run the dexron 3 from 2002 the camry runs type 4 fluid you can also buy it from the dealer and change it your self just use the drain plug in the tranny and I change all my tranny fluids at 20,000 and synthetic fluid is supposed to run 50-100,000 miles I also change my power steering fluid with synthetic tranny fluid at 20,000 miles for the engine I use mobil one 5-30 getting 200,000 to 400,000 miles on the engine use synthetic oil in cold weather it will go down below 0 and still work.
  • I own a 1994 4 cyl LE. Recently, the transmission has been hesitant to shift into high gear until the car has been running for a while, espescially when it is cold. I sometimes have to drive 8-10 miles before it shifts into high gear. The trans fluid level is good. What could be the problem?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    If you're lucky, just a gucked-up valve body. How long has the current fluid been in service?
  • mamapmamap Posts: 2
    Can anyone tell me what's going on here?

    First: The speedometer/odometer cut out and works only sporadically
    Second: The car began to stall at stops RPMs drop sometimes while still stopping, other times once stopped or in park
    Then: Had my husband change spark plugs and problem stopped for a few days then came back and..
    Finally: Transmission does not always shift while accelerating. For insatance-was doing 15mph at over 3kRPMs.

    All of these things happened within about a week of each other. I had my transmission fluid replaced and a leak repaired at the end of November.

    Thanks for your help!
  • 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.
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