Toyota Corolla Transmission Questions

soynutssoynuts Member Posts: 7
I have an 03 Corolla CE with an auto transmission. My odo reads 78xxx miles. Is this a little early for a toyota transmission to be going out?

Here is the background info. I added some gumout fuel injector cleaner to my gasoline after changing the oil, but put in twice the amount needed by accident. Immediately after, when i pressed the gas pedal, the rpms would hit somewhere between 2 and 3k before first gear would catch... Above first gear, there has not been any catching or rough shifting at all. I drove until the tank was empty. I asked around about the concequences of this and was convinced my car would be ok. After refueling, the car ran a little better. I then disconnected my battery to reset my computer and changed my spark plugs which has helped but did not fix the problem. The first gear is still catching slighty it seems when I am driving at low speeds or starting... I do know that I need a new catalytic converter, but have put off the $400 repair. I am skeptical that it is the transmission because the problem seems to be going away gradually. Next on my list is changing the air filter, and maybe some seafoam... Any ideas, hints or similar experiences??? Any help is appreciated.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    I doubt the transmission was damaged from Gumout--unless you put it into the transmission (which you didn't). One thing that can happen with fuel injector cleaner is that it can affect oxygen sensors. And those can affect drivability. But should that happen the Check Engine light should come on.
  • soynutssoynuts Member Posts: 7
    Ahh! Thanks for the tip. I haven't thought of checking there yet. My engine light may have indicated this had it not already been on regarding my catalytic converter...
  • scottevil907scottevil907 Member Posts: 2
    Ok so my car has a problem when its shifting gears. Its a 2006 automatic, only about 15000 miles into the car, every tune up and oil change on time. I dont drive the car, its my wifes. so i dont know how this happened. but when i drove it i noticed this problem.

    As soon as it shifts from first to second there is a pause, then it kicks in... just the same in the other gears, but not as noticable. now iv looked under the car and i dont see any leaks. my next step is to check the level of the fluids. Any help or ideas too why my car is pausing and kicking into gears like it is would be great.

  • scottevil907scottevil907 Member Posts: 2
    mot trying to up the thread, but im really worried something could be wrong with my car. its brand new and im wondering why this is happening and what could be causing it.
  • jrcarderjrcarder Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Toyota Corolla with 79K miles. I purchased the car new and have had the manual transaxle fluid replaced twice since owning the car. Recently, the car has begun making a clicking sound in 2nd gear and higher. The noise is not noticeable in 1st gear or neutral. But is a continuos clicking sound that is consistent with the engine speed in 2nd gear and higher. I was unable to identify the location of the sound so I brought to a trusted mechanic. He put the car on the lift and said the sound is coming from inside of the transmission. He showed me how the right front accel has "too much play in it". He also said that the problem may be related to the differential but that in my my model the differential is combined with the transmission so it's the same work required, replacing the transmission. I wanted to hear your thoughts on whether there are other "less expensive" possiblities as to what is causing the noise and not require replacing a transmission prematurely.
  • irismgirismg Member Posts: 345
    That's similar to what my old-timer is doing, except when it's low on fluid, it has trouble downshifting to first or upshifting from first; unlike yours, it doesn't affect the higher gears. A dipstick check could tell the tale, but you may just have to let a Toyota mechanic diagnose it for you. And I know what a hassle that can be!
  • raye5raye5 Member Posts: 3
    1998 Corolla with 55k miles met an Acura while moving forward out of a parking space. Damage to front left bumper, lights and hood ajar. Car spun 180 degrees to the right on impact with side door of moving Acura. Corolla exhibits a new noise (rumble) when going forward only at low speed. Its an automatic but the noise is at the equivelent of low gear maybe up to 15 miles per hour. It this a transmission problem or other.
  • pengwinpengwin Member Posts: 74
    i dunno, might just be a crooked frame or wheel, sounds like your car got hit pretty hard.
  • westwind4westwind4 Member Posts: 1
    Can i tow the max 1500 lbs with my 06 automatic corolla, thinking of buying a pop up trailer that weighs 1450lbs. is this ok or will i cook the trany
  • alivesalives Member Posts: 1
    Today as I was driving downhill on a very busy highway, my new 2008 Corolla (1000 miles as of today) just stopped. The engine was running, but there was no power. It was only a miracle I wasn't killed in the approximately three blocks it took to get off the road at 5 miles per hour with trucks coming up behind me at 70!!

    After waiting for the police for an hour, I started the car again, and was able to drive it (with escort) to the dealer. They checked it out and could find no reason this would have happened. I had to drive it 70 miles home on the freeway wondering if this would happen again -- or when it will happen again. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • whcc90069whcc90069 Member Posts: 1
    that's quite an interesting event. i wonder if gm/pontiac did any work on the transmission. if they did, then it doesn't surprise me that you had this problem.

    afterall, gm/pontiac worked on the power windows for the vibe/matrix and corollas. of course, they screwed it up and those cars are/were being recalled to have the power windows fixed.

    i'm a huge fan of toyota as well as honda. but, if toyota keeps collaborating with american auto companies, then their products will continue to have problems and then i'll end up buying a honda civic rather than a toyota corolla.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    I had this happen to me in a GM vehicle years ago.

    If it happens again, try this and see what happens...Come to a dead stop, then put the transmission in park...rev the engine a time or two quickly, and then shift back into drive.

    If it returns to driving normally, you have a transmission issue...

    Good luck!
  • carhunt08carhunt08 Member Posts: 1
    I have an automatic 95 Corolla w/140k miles. I've been experiencing (for several months) what I fear is the start of transmission problems but two mechanics can't diagnose it since the problem doesn't occur all the time.

    Here's the problem: I begin to accelerate from a full stop and the car sounds like it's in the wrong gear. The car moves forward at about 10-15 mph and the engine sounds like it's trying its hardest. Suddenly the car will jerk forward like it's finally gotten in the correct gear and pick up speed. This occurs randomly and not frequently. Enough for me to be concerned though.

    Two mechanics checked the transmission fluid and found no discoloration or burned smell. My records show a transmission filter and fluid change about 20,000 miles ago. Since fluid checks out as OK, what else could it be?

    I plan on selling the car at the end of the month and want to have a better idea of what could be causing this.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    The transmission is attempting to start in a gear other than first gear. That's what you described as the engine straining. As pressure builds, it then down-shifts to first, causing the lurching sensation you described.

    It could be caused by a number of problems. You need to have a reputable transmission repair shop take a look. Could be a failing sensor, or internal issues...
  • lattylatty Member Posts: 1
    My 2009 Corolla automatically gears down if I touch the brakes going down a steep grade. I can find nothing in the manual which mentions this feature. Is it a feature or is something wrong with it?
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaMember Posts: 405
    Electronic Brake-Force Distribution ( ESB) Maybe ??

  • 759566759566 Member Posts: 3
    I had only aprox. 1800 miles trans. quit started back done it one more time, took it to dealer couldn't find anything wrong. After 3300 miles had same problem, this time had to put it in 3rd to get home. Next moring shifted fine, took to dealer said he couldn't find anything. I need help afraid to go on long trip. Also had problem with floor mat carpet wearing where my heal rested on, service manager said it was normal wear, that was a joke, went to sales rep. he gave me a new set of floor mats
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    This is normal, the owner's manual of the older cars did mention this feature.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    Buy a set of Toyota all-weather mats from the dealer or internet, or buy a set of Weather-Tech mats. The carpet ones are no good, it's been that way for at least 10 years.
  • joeyjoejoejoeyjoejoe Member Posts: 68
    I posted this question in the repair section, but thought maybe someone would know in this forum instead. Does anyone know where the transmission oil drain/fill plugs are on a 2000 LE? I got under the car and I am lost. I'm able to do a few things like change the oil, rotate tires, etc....but otherwise I'm not all that great at finding things....especially on my back under the car.

    The owner's manual is anything but helpful. It just says to change at 90,000 miles and continue to check, but there is not dipstick or anything. Not sure how to even check. I've owned mine for almost 4 years and it now has 94,000 miles on it. I think it is about time to get it changed. Would like to do it myself if possible. Thanks.
  • veronnieveronnie Member Posts: 2
    Well, (this is a long story, but I need some help) I don't have a new version car, but I have a 93 TC (kept in good shape) that has been very good to me until a week ago; I purchase $20.00 worth of gas that gave me a half a tank and a day later my car start acting up..... I was driving about 40 mph going up an incline leading up to 45 and it begin to drop back in speed. Then I shift down to second gear hoping it would bring the speed back up but it didn't, so each time I was pressing the gas paddle I was not getting any power....its like somebody pull the plug out on me....Anyway...I was able to get through 2 lights before I had to pull over. I was going up an incline and the more I press the paddle I wasn't getting any speed. it was going slow.....pull to the side of the street and the car cut off. Try to start it up nothing. We tried everything to get it started up ....nothing. Then I was so mad inside because no one stopped to help me in this heat, not even the popo (police)......Called my husband for help. A private auto repairman friend and myself checked everything to see what the problem could be....Battery..good, each time turning the ignition switch the car not start until my good battery went down. After about 4 hrs it eventually started up with the help of a bottle of HEET (after taking off the fuel ejector and taking it to a auto shop to purchase thinking that was the problem according to ..... wow for one ejector cost $129.99 a piece...put on order). Went back to the car and for about 10 block it was driving well; then it cut off again couldn't get it started back up. Had to push it. So, this is what i already purchases: TSP, spark plugs and wires, fire ejection O rings etc., air filter, A HOLD LOT OF PATIENT. So who can help me because the ppl that knows about cars????? keep telling me its this and its that. What do you all have to say that can help me get my car started. Oh yeah it have 172253 thousand miles....highway miles and 15 yrso. Help!!!!!
  • raye5raye5 Member Posts: 3

    I am not an expert but I have a thought based upon something that happened to me back in the 80's with a Corolla I loved and pumped life into until it was a losing battle. I think your engine (piston's and rings) are asking for retirement. Have someone check the pressure in the engine when you can get it running. If the engines sound - congratulations. If it is not, decide where you want to put your dollars.

    Good Luck
  • veronnieveronnie Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for that information because no one seem to know what the problem is. I was told by a guy to drain the oil out and refill it with some heavier oil for old engine to help reseal the piston and etc. so, I guess he was right since you mention it. The engine sound good, but it seems as if something is clogging it up because once you drive it around and come back and turn off the car it want start by up and pressing the paddle sometimes cause the car to shut off. What problems did you have in 80?
  • brittajonesbrittajones Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Corolla with almost 56,000 miles and I am having the exact same problem! It is in the shop as we speak, so if Toyota finds anything- I will definitely post it. I had a trusted mechanic tell me the exact same thing- that one of my front axels has "too much play" in it and that it could be the differential in the transmission... which would cost a min. of $1,000 to get into that- I have only 4,000 miles left on my powertrain warranty so I hope that they figure it out, but it took a good 1/2 hour of driving with the mechanic to have it finally make the noise! I am so happy to see that I am not the only one and will definitely, definitely post something later after I get another call from them!
  • 759566759566 Member Posts: 3
    I had a problem with my trans, this happened two different times and i told them the next time they would have to buy it back under the lemon law. The trans would just quit pulling, get in it the next day it would work fine. I read about another person who had the same problem in 08. So I told them to do some research. They did and toyota told them to change the engine wireing harness, so far it has worked.
  • 759566759566 Member Posts: 3
    I only had about 3,000 miles and a place starting wearing out at the gas pedal. They told me that was normal wear, that was a joke these mats costs $161.00. I made them give me a new set, they are doing the same thing. This is the first Corolla I have ever bought and the worst car I have owned. Trans. problems and floor mats won't last 3,000 miles
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    Just buy some WeatherTech mats or Toyota all-weather mats. Both these are made for your specific model. They last a lot longer and provide better protection. My '99 Corolla had carpet mats that wore out very quickly, but no other issues, still going strong at 104,000 miles.
  • evil1603evil1603 Member Posts: 2
    Hi there,

    Odometer: 93,000 miles. I recently discovered a slightly grinding noise, that got higher in pitch the more I accelerated. When I reached 40 mph is usually disappeared and came back once my speed dropped below the 40 mph mark again. After a couple of weeks the noise disappeared. But now my reverse gear is causing problems. When I shift into RG the transmission does not pull. I hit the gas pedal but the car won't move. It basically behaves as being on Neutral. Do I have to get a new transmission? Any help is highly appreciated! Many thanks in advance!
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    How's the transmission fluid level?
  • evil1603evil1603 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply!

    Fluid level looks ok to me.

    Two additions:

    1. This car is the Sport ('S') model.
    2. If the engine is cold, the reverse gear works (f.e. if I start the car in the morning). Once I have driven a couple of miles and the engine is warmed up, the reverse gear does not clutch anymore.

    Many thanks in advance!
  • 19841984 Member Posts: 16
    2003 Corolla S, Auto. Shifter was difficult to move from P to D etc. Took to dealer last week. They claimed cable needed to lubed - so they lubed it. Was still difficult to shift still (little better than when car went to dlr. Started car this morning, reversed and wanted to shift to D. Now car won't start and will roll no matter what indicator is - even when in P.
  • JpisJpis Member Posts: 2
    I was wondering if you get any answer from the shop.
    I have a 2001 corolla and Just had the same problem last week.
  • davec4davec4 Member Posts: 8
    Hello all! I have a '95 Toyotao Corolla with about 175K miles. It feels like my transmission won't go from 3rd to 4th (overdrive). At first it was intermittent but now happens more often than not. The transmission fluid level is good and there's no "check engine" light. Any possible cause?
  • JpisJpis Member Posts: 2
    Well, After going thru a lot of options, finally I had to change the transmission of my car. The fluid look ok , when I checked, but when I try to change all the fluid I found out that is kind of burned (weird), and the transmission will fail If I speed over 20mph.

    With the new transmission I havent had any trouble. It works perfect.
    So I will have to trust the mechanic and believe it was the transmision and nothing else.
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    A catalytic converter will act similar to that when they need replacing.
  • jsuperjsuper Member Posts: 1
    When should I have the Transmission fluid changed along with the spark plugs? I now have 77000 miles on my 2002 Toyota Corolla.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    Toyota iridium plugs cost about $10.00 apiece and last about 150,000 miles. I would say drain and refill the tranny fluid now but don't flush and refill.
  • ayman1ayman1 Member Posts: 1
    my car is 2001 corolla Sport ('S') model.
    problem is:

    If the engine is cold, the reverse gear works ( if I start the car in the morning). Once I have driven a couple of miles and the engine is warmed up, the reverse gear does not clutch anymore.
  • joseph31joseph31 Member Posts: 1
    When I drive 2010 Toyota corolla LE 1.8L I got speed 70 MPH, I saw # 4000 RPM. Is this normal ?
    Could Someone please tell me when speed 70 MPH, 80 MPH how RPM should be with Toyota LE 1.8L. Thank a lot for help.
  • pyeepyee Member Posts: 2
    Ok, I have a 04 Toyota Corolla with 75000k, that in the past year my husband has dogged the crap out of. This is the situation. Because I wasn't usto driving stated vehicle for a while I wasn't usto the breaks. Anyway, I didn't have my foot all the way down and put car in park. Ever since than the check light has been on. Also, when you start it, it races to like 3k and then dies down but as it is coming down it acts as if it want to cut off, which it does sometimes. I also have a 07 Ford Focus battery in it. What sound like the problem.

    History: Oil Change, Spark Plugs Change, Filter Change, Fuel ejector cleaner in and a new starter which is about 8 months old.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    No timing belt in your car, it has a timing chain and they rarely need any kind of servicing.
  • pyeepyee Member Posts: 2
    So what does the problem sound like. Plus today when I started it up a whole bunch of I would say gray to white color smoke came out and this is not the first time.
  • toyotablacktoyotablack Member Posts: 2
    Never changed the transmission oil corolla 2003 175000
    wondering if is ok to do a flush or just change oil and filter
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    I have a 2001 LE I never changed the Trans. fluid either. Of course my 2001 LE only has 47,000 miles on it. I was always under the impression that it's best not to do a total flush and refill, it was not good for the transmission. I always thought it's best to just drain and refill. But yes, I do suggest you do the drain and refill now with the mileage on that baby.
  • raye5raye5 Member Posts: 3
    Please drain and refill. At 175,000 miles I think you are traveling on good will.
  • toyotablacktoyotablack Member Posts: 2
    Who knows How many Qts. a Corolla 2003 takes for the transmission oil change
    The manual says 3 Qts. when I drained came out a lot more than that. So I call the dealer told me 5 to 6.
    My Haynes Repair Manual say's 3.2 Qts.
  • anterazzaanterazza Member Posts: 1
    I was told to flush this transmission when I had an oil change. The vehical has 100,700 miles with no signs of transmission problem(s). The fluid was dark, not burnt. The last time it was changed was at 71,000 miles. Should I flush, or, just drain and replace. Also, should I have the transmission filter replaced if that is offered?
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    I have a 2001 LE with 48,000 mile on it. I'm due also. But I will not flush the trans. I will only drain and refill. I heard too many stories from people who had problems after flushing that never had problems before. I didn't know the trannys still had filters but if it does why not just drain, change filter and refill?
  • khornungkhornung Member Posts: 1
    i have a 93 corolla , daughters car, car is really sluggish in drive, but when you use second things seem fine. i then have her shift into drive,,,, tranny going bad? 108k on car

    thanks ken
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    No, it doesn't sound like a transmission problem at all. Sounds more like a spark plug or wire problem. Whats happening is the car is not firing correctly on all four cylinders. When you reduce the gear ratio it makes it much easier for the car to pull because of the lower gearing. When was the last time the plugs were changed?
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