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Toyota Venza Transmission Problems

wingrwingr Posts: 5
edited February 2018 in Toyota
I have an AWD V6. When cold starting I let the car warm up for at least a minute (after work) and up to 3 or 4 minutes, first thing in the morning. I need to back out of my driveway and my space at work, both are pretty level. Anyway, after shifting into reverse (foot on brake), the Slip Indicator blinks for what seems like 5 seconds or more and the car doesn't do anything. Then I'll hear a noise under the middle of the car and the slight clunk of the transmission engaging. Is this normal or is something wrong with the trans or a sensor? Once warmed up, nothing else has ever occurred that would be out of the ordinary. There is only 250 miles on the car since picking it up on Monday. TIA! Regards, Chris


  • anry555anry555 Posts: 9
    Hi guys,

    Just took Venza V6 and V4 for test drive. I found the same weird behavior in both of them.
    You drive the car in a manual transmission mode (let's say using 3rd shift) and fully stop (not changing the shift). The panel will still show 3 for the shift and it won't change it to 1 as it used to be in other cars. So, you start driving again and keeps showing 3.

    Do you have the same in your Venza? is it by design?
  • toledo73toledo73 Posts: 170
    HUH? If you have the shifter in 3rd it will not move to 1st. You're still in 3rd at a stop. Just like if you're in D, it does NOT change to 1 at a stop.
  • anry555anry555 Posts: 9
    What? How come the transmission doesn't adjust it? It makes no sense to start driving with 3rd (or 4th..etc) gear. Or driving 40km/h after highway in 6th gear.

    I drove audi and hyundai with tiptronic before and they used to adjust it. Yes, It still gives you a feeling of controlling it but it has some protection as well. For example, driving over 6000rpm (in a manual mode) the transmission will give you 1-2 seconds for adjusting and will automatically shift itself up.
  • anry555anry555 Posts: 9
    For example, as used by some cars, their five-speed Tiptronic will automatically make the upshifts from 1 to 2 when moving off from a stop, even when in manual mode; the transmission then waits for the user's upshift command before proceeding from 2 to 3, 3 to 4 and 4 to 5, although the transmission will still upshift if the redline is approached. On deceleration, the transmission will make all downshifts automatically when close to the tick-over or idle speed, to avoid running the engine at too-low an RPM, although the user can accelerate any downshift (that would not violate the redline), thus allowing improved engine braking, or preparation for intended acceleration.
  • md_outbackmd_outback Posts: 185
    I'll have to agree with anry555 on this one. I've owned several cars with shiftable automatic transmissions (i.e. Tiptronic) and they all "automatically" downshifted to 1st gear after coming to a stop and the indicator on the dash reflected this. With my wife's Lexus IS, the indicator does not change when you come to a stop with the shifter in manual mode so it may appear like the car is still in 3rd gear. BUT the transmission has actually downshifted after the stop so you are really starting up in 1st gear even though the dash indicator continues to show 3rd until you are going fast enough to upshift to 4th or you switch to full automatic mode. Seems like a Toyota/Lexus thing.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A "true" stick shift wouldn't automatically upshift so now that DBW can be used to prevent an over-rev why not? Same with downshifting...if the engine doesn't knock due to lugging what's the harm...??

    And if it does knock due to lugging DBW can be used.....
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    "...Just took Venza V6 and V4 for test drive...."

    That would be i4 and V6. The four cylinder engine is an inline four, not a v-configurated four.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    Bring it in for diagnosis under the warranty. A pause that long, before reverse engages, isn't normal, even when cold starting.
  • cbrodskycbrodsky Posts: 2
    I have the same car AWD V6 and the same thing happens to me. I just got my car 2.5 weeks ago and the SRS Warning light kept intermittently coming on along with the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) light (it should only come on when the car is sliding on ice, wet road, etc.). If the VSC light does not stay on, there is no dianosis the car dealer can do! Thankfully the dealer did get the SRS light to go on and they replaced the driver side seat belt mechanism-no problem so far. I still to this day am getting the VSC light indicator when I am at a standstill in my garage and when I initially put the car in reverse (I am not on any hills or inclines when this happens), but once I start to move, the light goes off.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I have an AWD V6 and have not noticed a delay or the VSC light when shifting into reverse. I have a slightly sloped driveway.
  • halwickhalwick Posts: 45
    I have a 4-cyl FWD. When I first start up the car, place it in drive and slowly accelerate away, I hear a soft clunk or thud noise approximate in middle of the car when the transmission shifts from 1st to 2nd. When I stop and then accelerate again, there is no noise as it shifts from 1st to 2nd or thereafter. The noise only occurs ONCE after the engine is turned on. Does this have anything with the transmission or VTC? I read in the manual that you can expect some kind of noise but did not specify the kind or occurence. I'm having it checked out at the dealer.
  • wingrwingr Posts: 5
    I had to bring mine in when my bumper protector came in. The service adviser said the Slip Indicator light and delay before engaging the transmission is because the car is doing a diagnostic test when it's a cold start. Some report a similar condition, others do not. Time will tell if it's really a problem or not. I haven't had any other issues.

  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    That is probably the ABS brake self test noise that you are experiencing. It happens just as you state. Once after the car is first started and driven for the first time. If you park the car, turn off the engine and start the whole procedure again, it may do another self test.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    When you first move the vehicle the ABS/TC/VSC is tested so I wonder if this isn't simply an indication of same.
  • verndogverndog Posts: 6
    I posted another thread with the same issue, I didn't see this. Yes, I am having the exact same issue. FWD V6, TCS light comes on backing from driveway, or after releasing ebrake from slight grade. I get the delay and light and not always when cold either. Its inconsistant which tells me its a problem. If it did something the same each time then I'll buy that as possibly normal. I think the service guys have no clue and since there is "no code" then there is no fix. Dont buy that either, there are "no codes" with flat tires, piston slap, or any of 1000's of other issues, but there sure as heck is a problem in need of fixing. This can be dangerous since the car will just "let go" and start moving since your foot is off the brake waiting to go...and you dont know when it will take off. Sometimes 2 seconds...sometimes 5-6 seconds.
  • halwickhalwick Posts: 45
    Yup, you were right. Took it into the dealer and they confirmed your assessment....ABS self test diagnosis. Odd that it makes that kind of noise, yet my 1997 Toyota Camry with ABS brakes didn't make any noise.

    How did they determine it was the ABS self-test diagnosis? Maybe they read your post? ;) In fact, how did you know? Is there a TSB on file?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Maybe too many owners concerned about the ABS startup noise and so Toyota has added the indication to allay the fears..??
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    I knew from experience. I have had ABS in most of my cars since 1988. They all made the sound in question. Some of course, a lot louder and more pronounced than others. My two Camrys with ABS certainly made the noise and the most irritating of all was my 2001 Corolla. It was ridiculous. The Fords that we have owned have been the quietest.
  • halwickhalwick Posts: 45
    Now you've got my curiosity. At times it is a soft clunk or slap, other times a definite clunk. How is that diagnostic test generated? Couldn't Toyota have designed it using an indicator light or something? It is irritating, disconcerting and not what I would expect in a $30K car.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    It seems that mechanical and electronic parts are moving about during the ABS test. This results in the noise in question.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    During the previous period the vehicle was parked the probability that the "reserve" ABS pumpmotor brake fluid pressure has leaked down to too low a level to be fully functional is fairly high. So, as a minimum the ABS pumpmotor will soon begin running after engine start, and certainly before/as you put the vehicle in motion.

    It would also be wise to cycle each of the individual brake release/apply(TC equipped) solenoids so as to "arm" the pressure side with the newly available high brake fluid pressure.

    Not exactly a good idea to perform this test once the vehicle is fully in motion so the diagnostic is typically run just as...

    The level of noise, overall, will be a function of just how much the brake fluid pressure has leaked down, how long the ignition has been off, at the various points.
  • halwickhalwick Posts: 45
    Thanks for the detailed technical description. You would think that diagnostic test is done when the vehicle is stationary after initial start, but I've let the vehicle idle for 5 minutes and no "clunk" sound as I described. Only when the vehicle is in forward motion, then the sound is heard. Odd diagnostic methodology.

    Now, my next question is, if the system does not pass the self test diagnosis, is there a warning light or a different sound?
  • Have my Venza AWD V6 for 2 months/3000 mil. Silky smooth for two weeks. Then Unusual griding/clunk noice with every shifting(P to R or D). Particularly bad in the morning. The noice is getting worse. 3 days ago, the car would not move for more than 2 minute on Reverse when start in the morning. The VSC sign stayed on. Turned off engine/ restarted, the car moved. In the afternoon, the car would not move for more than 15 seconds on Drive, then jumped forward all the sudden. What a let down for this expensive Toyota (traded in a 2000 Avalon).

    The Tech confirmed the unusual noice but not the other problem and said that other new Venza also have similar noice issues I knew other venza owners in this forum reported similar problems with the transmission and start up. Manufacture defect?
    Toyota needs to get to the buttom of this.

    I do not feel safe driving the Venza with an erractic transmission. I will report back with more info as well as the repair results.
  • wingrwingr Posts: 5
    Lightly press the brake pedal when starting and first shifting the trans. The Hill-hold feature is engaging when you press the brake too hard when switching gears. Never happened again when I started using less pressure on the brake.
  • cbrodskycbrodsky Posts: 2
    This is a follow-up to my first post on Apr 16, 09. As stated in prior post, the dealer changed my entire seat belt mechanism, including all wiring related to such, in an effort to get the Single Restraint System lights to go out (or should I say work properly?). They could not diagnose the Vehicle Stability Control light that was coming on because it was intermittent. Well, when both lights came on, I had the time to actually drive it that moment to the dealer. They said the VSC is stemming from stepping on the break too hard (does everybody live on flat land?) and that I have to NOT STEP ON THE BREAK TOO HARD! It's just the way the car is - he's seen it in other Venza's. WHO EVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING? ANYONE? That's totally not acceptable to me after spending over 40K for a NEW car. They diagnosed it as a problem in the WIRING system. They changed the ENTIRE wiring in the vehicle. We had to wait for parts from JAPAN! I owned my vehicle for 2.5 months and the dealer had it for 4.1 WEEKS. Currently, the VSC has come back on intermittently, and I'm just waiting for the ABS light to come on. At that point, I would have taken my new vehicle back for service for the same issue 3 separate times and I believe that legally qualifies the car as a LEMON.
    my gut says there is definitely something wrong with this Venza,

    Vehicle Stability Control and the
  • There is no doubt in my mind that there are design/manufacture defects with the Venza. I wouldn't mind working with Toyota to solve the problems. But I am not happy when they told me that nothing could be done because there was no codes for the problems and that other new Venza in their lot making similar noices. Can they facing up the fact that maybe all Venza have the problems?

    After twenty years of driving, I knew that something has turned wrong with the Venza after few weeks of driving. No body would accept a $40000 car with such a tempermental tranismission. Just lessen your foot pressure? Give me a break!

    I will be meeting with the Tech Manager Monday. I will keep you all posted.
  • soaksoak Posts: 1
    I have been having the same "clunking" noise as everyone else..kinda scary! However, I am having another problem as well. I have a noise coming from the passenger side that sounds like an acorn rolling around up on the roof. However, that is not the case. I had someone else drive and I have estimated that the noise is right near where the windshield attaches to the roof. It only happens when driving back roads-not on the highway. The car only has 300 miles on it and the noise is getting worse each day...any ideas? I have an appt. with Toyota next week as well....
  • bkbybkby Posts: 3
    I have seen many messages regarding the VSC indicator and a delay before going into gear. I noticed this problem the first week I had the car (09 Venza AWD 4 cyl).
    After a half dozen trips to the dealer we found a way to re-produce it at will.
    When starting the car, or going from P to D or R, place a little excess pressure on the brake peddle. This is what is triguring the VSC. Once we discovered the sales manager and myself tried 3 or 4 new Venzas on the lot and could reproduce the problem on all the vehicles. Not only to I consider this dangerous, it gets even worse. As folks have reported, once the VCS clears it will jump into gear. Does not matter if your foot is on the break or not. This is a very poor design and concerns me greatly. If you have anyone drive the car who is not familiar with this issue it could lead to accidents, injuries etc. I am extremely dissapointed being a huge Toyota fan. I am currently in disscussion with Toyota about this since there is nothing the dealer can do.
  • tollastollas Posts: 3
    I have a new 4 cylinder venza front wheel drive. Lately I hear a faint irritating whining noise when the car accelerates. I can't tell if it is the transmission or some other drivetrain assembly. It seems to be loudest on the passenger side. Any input or ideas?
  • halwickhalwick Posts: 45
    Interesting that you mention that whine. I have a Venza 4-cyl and I haven't heard it....yet, but I did hear noticeably loud whine upon acceleration on a 2009 Toyota Corolla that I rented. The noise varied with engine speed. Hard to determine whether it was the engine or transmission.
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