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Camry 2011 transmission problem



  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    edited November 2011
    You say the dealers want $100 to check your 2010? It is under warranty for 5 years, or 60,000 miles (powertrain warranty). There should be no charge.

    There are some people that complain of the extra and/or jerky shifting. I think most have said that it is that way to get more mpg, by design. Most people are very happy with the car, and it is working fine, so you won't get far at all with a lawsuit. I have heard same complaint with other makes of cars, due to getting more mpg with the new 6 speed auto trannies.

    My 2010 is great, but it is a 6 speed manual transmission!

    Getting 31.5 mpg on my commute to work, which is great! I can get 33 mpg on the highway (as the EPA says), but NOT going over 65 mpg and NOT with a strong head wind.
  • aaa76aaa76 Posts: 2
    I am having similar problems with my new 2011 Camry. Soon after I bought this brand new 2011 Camry the car started acting weird. A constant problem that appear a lot of time when I am driving concerns the transmission. At low speeds, mostly city driving, the car jerks with abrupt shiftings, and sometimes harsh shifting. Also it feels like the car pauses a little when shifting at low speeds.
    The thing that concerns me and my wife the most is that the car takes off like it rushes rather than a smooth acceleration, although we both press the gas pedal really gently. This mostly happens at low speeds when we are driving in the city where heavy traffic might be present. This is making both of us very concerned about our safety. We are concerned to the point that we both stopped driving the car unless we really have to, we rely on our second car which is a BMW. One other issue is that the car feels like it is going to stall when I release my foot from the acceleration. This happens at both slow speeds and high speeds. I have taken the car to the dealer three times and they said they could not reproduce the problems I am describing, although on the second visit the dealer's mechanic did feel the harsh shifting and only then did he offer to take it for a check up which he did but said he could not reproduce it.

    But now to the real question is what can we do? There seems a lot of people on this forum that are complaining about very similar issues, so Toyota can't just tell us there is nothing wrong with all of these cars. Can we take legal action? What are our options? I did file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( which only took a minute. I was surprised however to see that I am the only one who filed a complaint on the 2011. So I encourage every one with a problem to report it at the site I listed here, it literally takes a minute.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..feels like it is going to stall..."

    It is "stalling".

    When you release the gas pedal at almost any speed the engine will go into coastdown mode with FULL fuel cut and sequential downshifting to prevent the engine from stalling fully. Once a speed is reached that is too low to sustain enoght engine RPM then fuel flow will be restored while at the same time the transaxle is upshifted. The car will then not downshift in 1st gear until you reach a full stop.

    Note that if you by happenstance reapply pressure on the gas pedal just as that final upshift is commanded you will get a bit of hesitation in response. A little later, before the fully stopped downshift occurs, and you get the jerk, lurch.
  • Service manager took test drive with me. Says it is ABS pump kicking in at 10 MPH when starting to drive. Says the ABS solenoid makes the noise. Also says it is "normal" which I cannot accept. I have a case number with Toyota Corp and will follow up tomorrow. Service manager said another customer with same complaint traded for a 2012 Camry. But, he could not assure me that 2012 would not have same noise and problem. Svc manager said he has not heard of complaint from other customer with new 2012 Camry. If I trade to get rid of this irritable noise, it will NOT be another Camry.
  • flbntzflbntz Posts: 43
    I'm thinking about seeing if I can trade this car for a manual transmission Camry. I wonder how they are to shift?
  • flbntzflbntz Posts: 43
    What kind of issues would there be with FWD and manual gearbox?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    edited November 2011
    I have a 2010 Camry 6 speed manual, which is the same as a 2011 Camry. For 2012, they do not make a manual anymore, so you would have to get used 2011 or older.

    Love the manual transmission, no issues, just got back from a 554 mile trip and averaged 32.1 mpg. 85% of the miles were highway, 70 - 75 mph, no AC use, light wind.

    Issues with FWD and manual gearbox - no different than any other FWD with a manual. IF the clutch is not used properly, then clutch replacement is approx. $1,500. Other than that, no issues. I have had 150k miles on my FWD manual transmissions, and still had not had any problems with clutch or transmission. Just change the transmission oil every 60k, and make sure to use the clutch CORRECTLY.

    What specific questions do you have?
  • flbntzflbntz Posts: 43
    I just wondered if having the manual transmission would solve the problems so many of us are having with our six-speed automatic transmissions. You seem to have answered my question. The problems with FWD, and manual transmissions was posed by someone else. I had no knowledge of such things. $1,500 to replace a clutch is much less than what I'd imagine it'd cost to replace, or repair an automatic transmission. Thanks for your feedback. Enjoy! Sounds like fun, ripping around with a stick-shift on this car. Maybe I can find one.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2011
    Manual transmission vehicles have been on the decline for a number of reasons(***) but FWD even moreso due to the matter of safety. With a manual transmission in a FWD an unwary/inexperienced/unknowledgeable driver can induce loss of directional control far too easily.

    Downshift to a level that engine compression braking levels are beyond the roadbed traction capability and....

    VW recently introduced a technique to overcome this problem, automatically up-rev the engine if a downshift results in wheelslip/skid.

    *** Not the least of these being better MPG ratings with automatics vs manuals resulting from increased lockup clutch use and FULL fuel cut during coastdown periods.
  • flbntzflbntz Posts: 43
    Thanks for the reply.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    Your welcome. I know I could get the EPA rating of 33 mpg on the highway IF I went slower on the highway, but to me, it is not worth it.

    Yes, an automatic is way more $ to repair! And I have always been able to sell my old manuals myself - may have taken a week or two longer due to fewer people wanting one, but they always sold.

    It will be very difficult to find a manual Camry, unless you are in certain parts of the country where they actually sold manuals, or if you are willing to travel a ways to get one. They did not sell manuals in my region, so I had to travel a bit to buy one.

    All I can say is it makes a typical, mid-size boring car fun to drive, even if it is a mid-size Camry sedan. I really wish most other people (and especially my better half) would agree with me!

    Good luck, let me know how it turns out or if you have any other questions.
  • Followed up with Toyota Corp and got no where. They will forward my complaint to Quality Control, but there is nothing more I can do. Told person that if he would google "2011 Camry ABS noise" he would see other complaints. He said that he was not "allowed" to do that, to look at non Toyota info on his computer. Bottom line is that Toyota has really slipped. Only if government threathens them, will anything get their attention. They try to tell you that the Camry is really quiet, then say that the clunking noise from the ABS pump is "normal." And no one is able to say whether or not the same condition applies to the 2012 models. Looks like my next sedan will NOT be a Camry, the only model sedan I have owned since 1984.
  • flbntzflbntz Posts: 43
    Yeah, I heard that if you drive at 60, or 65mph you get the best gas milage, but I feel the same, I'd rather have more fun, and give a little on the gas milage.

    Yeah, I think I may have to stay with my AT, but it's still ok. I basically like the car. As long as the thing lasts, I'm ok with it. I'd like to drive it 200,000 without any major difficulties.

    Is it a good manual trans? Nice shifting, how's the clutch? I had a 1996 Honda Civic DX coupe with manual, and it was nice except the clutch was ambiguous, I'd stall it after five years driving it, and reverse was hard to get sometimes. But it was a nice head on the shifter, and slipped right into the other gears. $12,080 new. Still had the original clutch when I traded it at 273,000 miles.

    Do you share the Camry with your wife, or does she have something else?

    Thanks! All the best.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    The sound is only once after you start it and get to around 10 mph or so, then not again until after you start it again, right? That is what mine does, and it does not bother me one bit, because that is what it is supposed to do, and it only does it ONE time. Mine is a 2010.
  • flbntzflbntz Posts: 43
    Mine does the same thing. Now that I know what it is, I'm ok with it.
  • I bought my 11 Camry just about 11 months ago. I have not been happy with it since the day I drove off the lot. I agree - they've completely gone downhill. The dealership - KERRY TOYOTA in Florence, KY is horrible, and their "customer service manager" needs a lot of human interaction training. I want to get rid of this crappy car, but I'm not sure how I can do it with all the problems it has. Has anyone else gotten rid of their car? Does anyone else have a 2012 camry?
  • Interesting comment about a "customer service manager." After getting a case number from the corporate Toyota toll free number, I was told that the "customer service manager" from Cherokee County Toyota in Georgia would call me. I waited for over a week and never received a call from this person. So, I called "Al" back at Toyota Corp. This time I was "invited" to make a test drive with the Service Manager. This individual is the one who said the noisy CLUNKS I hear after start up at 10 MPH come from the ABS pump, and are ENTIRELY NORMAL. I will NOT trade for a 2012 Camry until someone from Toyota Corp or the local dealer tells me that this problem has been eliminated. So far, they are not willing to say one way or the other. I have purchased Camrays since 1984, but that string is about to end!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    I'm confused. You only hear a clunk the first time (ONE time) you get to 10mph after you start the engine, right? If so, your car is FINE. It is the ABS pump doing its test, and it does not cause any problem, nor is it a problem. Test drive another 2010, 2011. You will hear it if you listen closely, only one time after you start the engine and reach about 10 mph. I'm not seeing a problem here, unless you really can't stand that half- second small noise one time after each time you start the engine? That would be 2 or 3 times per day for most people, or less than 2 seconds per day. Just curious. My 2010 does it (if I concentrate on hearing it), but it is no problem, car is 20k + miles, zero problems. I recall wondering what it was when I first got the car, but a quick search told me it was normal - never thought about it again.
  • Agree that it is not a safety problem, but you have obviously been lulled by Toyota into accepting front of the car repetitive noises from an automobile that is advertised as being quiet in it's operation.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    But it only happens once, after you turn the key and start the engine and get up to 10 mpg. And it only lasts for not even a half-second, right? So that makes it not quiet? No, Toyota did not lull me into anything, I found out what it was and that was the end of it. My concern at the time was more of "what is that?" Once I found out, I was fine with it, since it is the ABS check. For 99.9999% of each of my trips to somewhere, it is quiet.

    I wish you the best.
  • aaa76aaa76 Posts: 2
    Same here and it is not normal. I have taken mine for the same problems three times to the dealership and they always tell me that it is "normal" and that "they could not reproduce the problems". I don't think they are honest with us. I think they are trying to cover the problem to see if we will just give up, cave in, and stop our complaints.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    So, I take it that you would much rather learn that your ABS, VSC, or Trac is non-functional after the fact. But you should be aware that maybe only your survivors will learn that fact.

    Just think of it as a part of the "pre-flight checklist".
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    Check Owners there will also tell you it IS normal, and checks the ABS system. One time, less than 1/2 second, after you start the engine and get to 10 mph. Some have even verified this a number of ways. Your car is fine, enjoy the silence 99.99% of the time.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
  • Found answer about possible ABS pump noise in 2012 Camrys. They will probably have the same noise since 2012 owner's manual reads as follows:

    Sounds and vibrations caused by the ABS, brake assist, VSC and
    œA sound may be heard from the engine compartment when the engine is
    started or just after the vehicle begins to move. This sound does not indicate
    that a malfunction has occurred in any of these systems.

    So it's not a "malfunction," but it sure is irritating. Telephone customer care people don't have a clue!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Every recent-model vehicle I've owned has the same noise, regardless of make/model. It was particularly loud in my Infiniti G35, but it's just something you have to put up with if you buy a vehicle with ABS.


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  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    About the 60 mph, yes, that's why people complain (among other reasons) that there car is not working correctly. They drive 70+ mph and think they should get the EPA rated mpg on the highway. I'd wager to say that 99.5% of the time that people complain about mpg, that it is their fault/their driving conditions, and not a problem with the car.

    To answer your questions: It is a typical Toyota manual transmission, meaning it shifts very nicely, but throws are long. Clutch is great, no complaints. The only complaint is the drive by wire, which just about all manual transmissions have now, no mater who makes the car. It requires you to drive a little different than older manual tranny cars, because the computer keeps the revs up between shifts, even though you take your foot off the accelerator. I've driven other makes' manual trannys, same problem. "Rev Hang" is for keeping emissions lower.

    Wife is not a manual transmission fan, so no, I do not share it with her.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,682
    Yes, agree. I rode in a Mazda 6 this weekend, and heard one clunk after starting and going slow.

    Good to have someone put an end to to the worry about this "issue". And the noise is even described in the owner's manual!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " keeps the revs up..."

    In the olden days it was the carburetor dashpot that kept the revs up with a rapid release of the gas pedal.
  • Dealerships in Texas are very friendly and willing to help you though anything. They will sell whatever it is that you need, no matter what it is. The Toyota Camry is a very dependable vehicle. It is used by a ton of people. There are no concerns that it will break down. I was able to get every little thing I wanted from the Camry with Texas dealerships. Dealerships near you can be located by going to:
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