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Camry 2011 transmission problem



  • purupuru Posts: 11
    Had an appointment with the dealership yesterday.
    Again we went through the same list of complaints that I have been facing. Nothing new, they always have answers ready, some of which are pure BS.

    Anyways, they had it inspected by their Lead Technician. After two hours of wait , all they did was a "learned memory reset". The said that they checked the transmission fluid, software version and it was all fine.

    So, back to where I started. As per them the car will start "learning" again and I should see some difference after 2-3k miles.

    May be I will forget driving by the time the car has finished learning :)
    I can't believe I paid a fortune just to make a new car learn how to drive smooth and correct.
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    i know what you mean, last time i was at the dealership i heard that I was the only person that ever had these issues and when i directed them to this website ( and several others) they said was full of __it
    etc. I too am so depressed after paying for this car and having these problems. I am at 2500 miles now and dont feel much difference in this car at all - one day it drives "normallY' and others it is back to driving like a garbage truck. I see signs on the road all the time "Cash for Junk Cars" and say hmmmmmmmm !! Still shopping around to trade in here but hate to lose money on this one - Have a 3 day weekend coming so may drop back by the dealership to let them know I am still having issues.
  • Peru and delbar,
    Sorry to hear that you are still having problems. I've been thinking some more about this issue. You both have 4cly engines? You both are conservative / fuel conscious drivers? You both drive for extended times below 45 mph?

    If you could compare your driving situation, maybe you could come up with some commonality areas to help isolate the cause or possibly help generate a work around.
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    thanks for your input
    I am just at a loss for words right now! Wish there were an easy solution to this problem. I am now afraid to trade it in for fear that I will trade for a bigger problem. I hear hybrids dont have this issue but cant afford a hybrid
    big sighs here !!!!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Hybrids don't have "these" problems because they use a form of CVT, the PSD, Power Split Device. There are a few cars with an actual CVT now in the marketplace.
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    do you happen to have a list of the cars or SUV's with CVT ?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, no...

  • purupuru Posts: 11
    I have a 4 cyl engine. Not conservative on fuel. I don't pay much attention to what mileage I get. I do drive mostly above 45mph.

    I posted a few days back that the dealer cleared the learned memory. I have driven around 100 miles after that and the car seems OK.
    Earlier I used to experience a lot of intermittent "engine breaking" which seems to be ok after the reset. Drives much better at lower speeds. Never had a major complaint at higher speeds.
    The only concerns right now I have is the hard shifting. And it in mainly during the first few miles after I start my car. It pauses for a second or so and then shifts into the next gear. Why is this happening ? Does it go away after a few hundred miles ?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Clearing the "learned" memory should have no effect in the long term, the ECU will simply relearn, over time, the same control parameters all over again.

    Are you certain a "reflash" (TSB?) that would have long term effect wasn't done....?
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    I think that "pause" in gear shift you are experiencing is due to the cold engine and an intentional design...i notice that in my 98 and 2010 toyotas..I think keeping the rpms higher briefly warms up the engine quicker..within several minutes as the engine warms up the transmission begins to shift normally..
  • What are the ambient temperatures when the problem occurs? I'd look at everything.... type of gas used, air temperature, for that matter even air pressure in the tires, climate, altitude, terrain, driving style.

    I'd change as many of those factors as reasonable until I got a change in performance. Bump up your air pressure 5psi, start using premium gas, see if the problem occurs on warm days, drive the car like you stole it once in a while, take the long way home. Unless you are willing to change you'll never find the solution.

    Every problem has a solution and a positive attitude is everything. There IS a bright side that will keep these type of issues in perspective. Hang in there.
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    The ambient temperatures vary from below 0 to the high 90's but the shift delay only occurs when the engine is cold or hasn't been run for several hours..on an extremely cold day the shift delay is evident for a longer time period than on a warm day...after 3-5 minutes of driving, the shifting returns to i mentioned before, I don't consider this a problem, just a "design quirk" toyota service manager said the same thing..
  • I believe your symptoms indicate a slightly low transmission fluid level.

    As I said earlier, checking the fluid level is a pain in the butt because the transmission must be hot to get a good reading. Because there is no dip stick it requires removing plugs and using your finger or visually checking for overflow. I don't have the exact procedure, but I think it can only be accessed from below the car. Sticking your arm into a hot motor/transmission area is zero fun especially as the exhaust system is right there too.

    Based on my four decades of experience with dealership service centers, when the procedure is even slightly complicated I seriously doubt any auto repair tech is going to do the necessary steps to check it unless he absolutely has to.

    So all the words in the world from a service rep don't mean squat unless they have the integrity to go through the whole CORRECT (meaning while hot) service procedure to verify the fluid levels on these transmission that are having problems. I'm guessing that low fluid level is the majority of the issues with these transmission and a difficult service procedure is the reason it's not fixed.

    There is an additional issue with the shifting where the transmission is told to short shift pretty much skipping a gear (1st to 3rd, 2nd to 4th, 3rd to 5th) and spending less than a second in the middle gear.

    Overall it's an interesting issue but one Toyota needs to look at if they expect repeat customers. I do hope that a everyone gets it fixed because it's annoying.
  • Problem solved, better economy, and life returns to normal..My 06 Pontiac Grand Prix GT does its final shift at 45mph....or higher if the gas pedal is crushed..RPMs drop to 1250 @45mph..My other ride is a 5 speed man shift Mustang GT..

    I first visited this website after I took the Pontiac in for tradein value on a 2011 Camry SE-4banger w/auto..$5000 reduction from MSRP on Camry, looked like a great deal until I came across the "mysterious shifting" and decided to cancel the balance of the deal..

    Having a 2002 Camry XLE in my garage, I can attest that it's a trouble free ride, not exciting, but does basic automotive expectations very well..However I was in no mood to fight the service dept or whomever had to be involved over a shifting pattern or it's perceived shifting behavoir..

    Anyone owning a mis-shifter, just drive it and if falls apart, then the fun begins...Sure would not rush out to trade into something else which may have a completely new "Quirk." Cars are fun items, but also can be a money-pit with headaches galore.. Camry builds a good car, however I didn't wish to push my luck..any increase in gas mileage could be offset by medical expenses incurred by frustration over your transmissions's a losing game..
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It would be a safe bet that the dealer service personel have been forewarned against even checking the ATF level, let alone "topping off" above factory fill levels.

    It's now SEALED for a good reason.
  • I brought my 2011 SE Camry the day before X'mas. Took a trip home, approx 400 miles round trip. When i came back, i noticed everything you said happening to my car. In addition, when i'm braking, the care idles up and when driving btw 30 to 45mph, the gears shifts inconsistent. Sometimes jerking me. To be a brand new Camry, the car runs awful. Car has about 4,000 miles on it now because we have been traveling alot and it is running worst than ever. I took it to the dealer and of course they say nothing is wrong. How is your car running now?
  • Wow! Your problems are very specific and they are on point of what is going on with my 2011 SE. I only had the car for a 2 months and all of the above are my issues too. I took my car to the dealer two times and they say nothing is wrong with it. This is UNBELIEVABLE. Was anything ever resolved with your car? I contacted the Toyota Customer Service and put in a complaint. Don't know how that will turn out. I hate my car and won't even drive it. I would rather drive my 1997 Ford Expedition with 199,000 miles. It has a better ride. UNBELIEVABLE! Please reply back to me and let me know what is going on with your car.
  • I sincerely understand what you are going through. I feel the same way about mine. I want to trade it in, but i put $5000 down and i know i will lose out if i trade. Toyota is full of it! I think we need to start a class action suit.
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    mine now has a little over 3000 miles on it and still having the issue.
    2 trips so far to toyota and of course they say all is "normal"
    car jerks into lower gears, car skips, sluggish acceleration at times and when braking car feels like it is being "pulled" to one side and binds. I also have a low "whiny" noise coming from under the hood when accelerating and when braking. I filed a complaint with toyota headquarters and they closed the case once the dealership found nothing wrong. I have downloaded a form from NHTSA site to fill out but have not had time to do that yet. I want to trade mine in too - problem is I paid cash for the car and will be out $ if I do unless I can trade keys for something else. I am also wondering why the local dealership has about 12 used 2011 Camry's with very low mileage for sale on their lots, some were rentals but others show two owners. I am also concerned that if I keep taking it in for service the carfax on the car will bring down the trade in value as well !
    This is a dilemma that I think of every day and I hate driving this car ! Am going to try and fill out my NHTSA form this weekend and get that started as well. anyway - what really can we do ?? are we screwed or what ??!!
    so sick of thinking about it and so sick of driving I wish I could take a cab to work !!
    I also have found innovative routes to and from work to avoid some of the white knuckle experiences ! This is just ridiculous ! Also, my daughter has an 09 RAV-4 and has 20K on it and needed a brake job already, and is now still having noise from her brakes !! Toyota of is making crap for vehicles now and I am sure they have so many complaints they cant keep up with them ! Anyway, I have gone on long enough this a.m. - have to get ready for the not so enjoyable trip to work
  • mfjmfj Posts: 2
    I posted a similar finding back in June 2010, two months after I purchased my 2011 Camry 4 cyl automatic xle. Findings included: 1) jerky shifting between gears at around 2,000 rpm and while the vehicle speed is less than 45 mph , 2) an odd "downshift - then - upshift" while the vehicle is on a level road and is coasting down in speed and through the range from 25 mph to 15 mph, 3) a sensation that the car is stalling when it comes to a quick and controlled stop, 4) While these findings are present at all times, they are most noticeable when the car is at or under 45 degrees Fahrenheit (as read by the dashboard ambient thermometer display).

    Recently, I was at the dealership for the 10,000 mile service, and while I was waiting I test drove another 2011 Camry 4cyl automatic xle, that had 25 miles on the odometer. I found that the car I test drove did not demonstrate the same findings I noted in #1 & #2 in the above paragraph.

    The posts that I have been reading the past several months seem to indicate the the issues (#1 & #2) start occurring after the owner has driven the Camry for some number of miles.

    A transmission system, at least from a "10,000 foot" perspective, includes mechanical parts, computer interface, and fluids. What if the problem is due to something very simple - like maybe the transmission fluid has been compromised in some way.

    Here is my question. If the transmission fluid is flushed and replaced with new transmission fluid (Toyota brand fluid - of course), would this improve or correct the problems we have been noticing?

    I look forward to reading responses to this question.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited March 2011
    Very unlikely that there is anything wrong with transmission fluid in your car. I bet this is transmission software issue. When current gen 4 cyl Camry came out (2007?) there were all kinds of complaints on it's 5 speed transmission performance, you can try reading older posts. It took Toyota almost a year to improve transmission software to the point that complaints stopped. Cars produced earlier needed to be taken back to the dealer to get new software flashed in. I'm sure most Camry buyers are not noticing any problems, there are very few who are, otherwise their sales numbers wouldn't be as good as they are now. Toyota most likely already working on improved software for 6 speed transmissions but they doesn't think this is a high priority. If you guys keep calling their customer service with complaints then you might see new software sooner.
  • Everything you said in your post is true. But i must say, i live in FL and for the past few weeks, we have been having 70degrees weather, and my car is still doing this. No matter when i get in my car, whether it is cool outside or warm, my car idles up really high when starting. I have to press my pedal to make it idle down.

    I test drove a Camry the other day, same style of car, and the car drove good. No jerking or anything. I think you are right, when you drive your car for a number of miles, the problem comes out.

    I called the Toyota Customer Experience number and was advised to test drive another one. They will be calling me back on Monday to see what I found. But from the way that guy was talking, he said if they speak to the mechanic at the dealership and they say they couldn't duplicate the problem, there is nothing they can do about it. Sound very script to me because the mechanic at the dealership said those exact words "can't duplicate the problem" to me. Something is strange going on...The rep also told me i can take it to a 3rd party arbitration...has anyone done that yet?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Every new car leaving the factory has the various controlling ECU's loaded with a full set of DEFAULT, closest approximations, parameters. As the car is driven for the initial, say, 200 miles, these parameters are adjusted on the fly in order to get the parameter set to the most optimal setting.

    The longer you drive the car the more resolution thse parameters will have regarding things like DRIVEABILITY, FE, EMISSIONS, etc. Beyond 200 miles these parameters will still be modified but now more in accordance with part wear rate, sensor drifting, etc.

    Many of these parameters can be reset to the factory default by disconnecting the battery for 10-15 minutes.

    So, many of these modern day cars will behave differently, sometimes in really odd ways, in an initial test drive vs down the road road about 200 miles.

    But I'm pretty sure the following "symptoms" will now be with us for a VERY long time as they have to do with rather serious FE gains.

    A) Shiftiness, continuous up and down shifting of these new 6(10) speed automatic transmissions in cruise mode due to the vargaries, however slight, of the roadbed and terrain.

    B) 1-2 second re-acceleration downshift delay, DBW system ENFORCES a delay in rising engine torque until a downshift can be completed that QUICKLY follows an upshift sequence.

    C) Repetitive downshifting as roadspeed declines during a coastdown period to accomodate the new coastdown fuel cut technique. As you coast down from say 50 MPH the transaxle will downshift again and again to keep the engine above stall speed with NO FUEL. As you reach a slow enough speed that this can no longer be accomplished fuel flow will be restored and the tranaxle will now upshift. Making matters a bit worse, the final "coastdown" shift, into FIRST, will now not occur until the car comes to a FULL stop.

    Weird set of "seat-of-the-pants" feelings, jerkiness, there.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The operational temperature of your catalytic converter is in the range of 800F. The design is such that the QUICKER the converter rises to that level the quicker the emissions are lower to the EPA standard.

    The design "thought" might be: On initial engine startup there may be no intention to drive away immediately, remote start for instance. So the engine is left at "high" idle, UNTIL there is an indication that the car is about to be driven, put in motion.

    You may also notice that the car will not shift into/use OD for the first mile or so. That's for the very same reason, keep the engine RPM "high" until the converter comes up to operational temperature.
  • 4lisak44lisak4 Posts: 4
    I have the same problem, but dealership doesn't hear it. Mine seems to be getting more frequent. Is yours?
  • jr125jr125 Posts: 1
    I was experimenting the same issue, after I got a CHECK ENGINE LIGHT. First they reset everything and told me that the computer was on the learning proccess (2011 Camry with 23000 MILES) and the car did not have anything. That happened on a monday on friday the same week I was getting the same CHECK ENGINE warning. I took back to the dealer and the had to replace the entire transmition system. (CODE P2770). It's really scary when I read all this complaining. I hope that this help...
  • I am having issues with a noise in the front end, between the tires every time I start the car and take off. Its a clunking noise and bugs the hell out of me. I am in the car business and leased it from a dealership where a friend works. I mentioned the problem to my friend and he said bring it in. I have had it 4 months and have 4000 miles on it. I finally had some time at 7:30 am to drop it off for inspection. Had to get shuttled to work. Anyways the mechanic says...if I don't hear the noise....then, I have a problem. What? He says its the ABS sytem filling with fluid and this will occur everytime I start the car and drive. How obnoxious. I feel this is a system flaw and there should be a recall. I have owned other cars with ABS and have never had this issue. Whats the recourse. I am taking th e car to a Toyota Certified mechanic outside the selling dealership. These prices are sooooo steep on these Toyotas....there should NOT BE ANY UNUSUAL noises that you have to put up with...every single day! Ridiculous!!! Any similair issues out there?
  • I have the same issue on my 2011 Camry SE......A clunking noise every time I start the car and take off.......Its obnoxous and I do not pay big money every month to have to listen to that damn noise. Seriously!!!!! My car has 4000 miles on it and has made the noise since I took it home....did not notice on the test drive....possibly because the salesperson was talking so much. Hard to find time to take back to dealership...but did this week at 7:30 am before work and received shuttle to work. The findings? Mechanic says ABS system filling with fluid at each start causes the noise. If I don't hear the noise....then I should worry. I am very unhappy with this car and the answer received from the dealership. Give me the complaint # to call...please!!! Thx sunshine43....I knew I wasn't crazy!
  • I agree...very unhappy with the 2011 Camry SE I have on a 3 year lease. The best thing about the car is the bluetooth and the 3 free months of XM radio. The clunking ABS noise is ridiculous. Class action suit???? Let me know!
  • The SE seems to have problems too. Supposedly the clunking noise is common and comes from the ABS system filling on each start and take off in the car. Seriously sick of hearing the noise. Mechanic says if I DONT hear it I should worry then....Give me a break!
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