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Camry 2011 transmission problem



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited September 2010
    Well check in the owners manual, on my page 172 (07 model, might be different page in 2011)...

    "The vehicle stability control system
    helps provide integrated control of the
    systems such as anti−lock brake system,
    traction control, engine control,
    etc. This system automatically controls
    the brakes and engine to help prevent
    the vehicle from skidding when cornering
    on a slippery road surface or operating
    steering wheel abruptly.
    This system will activate when your vehicle
    speed reaches or exceeds 15 km/h
    (9 mph), and will deactivate when the vehicle
    speed reduces to below 15 km/h (9
    You may hear a sound in the engine
    compartment for a few seconds when the
    engine is started or just after the vehicle
    begins to move. This means that the system
    is in the self−check mode, but does
    not indicate a malfunction."

    You can check it's the VSC/ABS yourself as I've described in previous posts, if you're careful. Park the car, where you will be able to drive it slowly the next morning. In the morning, open the hood, and while you are slowly walking on the passenger side with your hand on the ABS/solenoid pump (front passenger fender wall, immediately behind light area, the thing with the metal tubes coming out of it), have the driver slowly begin driving forward. You will hear and feel the 'clunk' while it does it's self test.

    This seems to be noticeable for about the first 6 months of ownership. After that, we never really hear it at all.

    Driver needs to be careful doesn't run over you with the tire, doesn't hit anything in front since they can't see past the hood, or you get your hand caught on any engine/vehicle parts. You assume all risk while doing this, but you can prove to yourself that your clunk is the VSC/ABS, or not.
  • thank you, I will check the manual and hopefully it will go away after 6 months like yours. Regardless of what, it should not be a annoyed noise like this. I told them they need to take it as consideration and fix it.
  • took a 2011 toyota camry base model out for a test drive over labor day was running a special in the paper for $15,888.00 for 2011 camry base model with auto and standard features and no options.however,the 6sp transmission problems that some people were complaining about was pretty evident on my test drive.enough so to forget about the camry and look at other cars.the tranny shifts in city traffic are horrible to say the least.the tranny is always hunting for the proper gear with abrupt and jerking shift motions which i found annoying.salesmen sitting next to me during test drive says that all camry's are like this and it is not a deffect.that may be the case,but the tranny operation was to annoying for my likeing so i moved on and forgot about the camry.
  • I have a 2011 Camry XLE 4 cylinder, 6speed auto. I doesn't make the clunking noise but the tranny has problems. Between 25 and 35 mph with light throttle input is feels as if the torque converter is locking and unlocking, searching for right gear? After the engine is warmed up I can smell what seems like tranny fluid, not burned but just strong smell of tranny fluid. No leaks anywhere. Took it to Dealer and was told it was the third one they had seen with this problem. Toyota has no fix as of now and was told by service tec is was normal. I asked, if tranny is a sealed unit where was the smell coming from? No answer. Also has a thumping sound from under the center front of dash.
    This is my 4th Toyota an this one makes me wonder.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Welcome to the new world...

    All new 6-speed transmissions will act this same way, if not now then soon.

    The use of a more robust lockup clutch in the higher gear ratios, 3-6, to bypass the torque converter losses, has resulted in an even more "flaccid" torque converter design. Torque converter is now only used, really, to simulate a manual clutch and prevent the engine from stalling at lower speeds.

    More "shiftiness" in order to extend, "on paper", FE..

    If the shiftiness is really bothersome then buy a vehicle with CVT, if one is available.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Hm... I'm not discounting your experience and advice, wwest, but I've seen a lot of complaints recently about vehicles with CVT. Maybe those folks would do better with the shiftier vehicles. :)


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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But I rather doubt if you will ever hear them complain of the ECU's indecisiveness in deciding which gear is appropreate for current conditions.
  • I got my new 2011 camry base for like a month, with 900 miles on it. However, I have several concerns with my 2011 camry until now and want to share it with others.

    1. I can clearly feel the gear changing and the car like pause a little bit, especially at low speed (say less than 40 mph) and It starts to become more and more noticable recently.

    2. Sometimes I notice that the car takeoff like it rushes right off the start rather than smoothly accelerating, although I press the gas pedel really gently.

    3. Sometimes when I slow the car, I can sense the car will suddenly plunge forward a little bit once or so.

    4. There is one sound that I notice when I start the car and reach like 10 mph or so (parking lot speed). Basically it is similar to the sound of door locking. Not sure if anyone else notice it or not.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Read back thru the camry forums. Your item #4 has been discussed a number of times. It is the braking system doing a self test, and is even documented in your owners manual as well.
  • I see. I always thought it was the sound of automatic door locking when car starts.
  • Yes, I totally agree with you regarding Toyota's annoying 6-speed transmissions. I have a 2010 Avalon, also with the 6-speed transmission. I do a lot of city driving and I find the transmission to be confused as it is always searching for the right gear. I hate not "coasting". Informed dealer of issue and was told this is not a defect and it would get better because the vehicle has to get used to my driving habits. Well after 6,000 miles, it never got better. I miss my 04 Corolla with a basic, 4-speed auto. Much more pleasurable to drive, but more compact compared to the Avalon! I love the comfortable ride of the Avalon and that's about it.
  • "Informed dealer of issue and was told this is not a defect and it would get better because the vehicle has to get used to my driving habits."

    I always love that line. It's pure BS. There's no way a vehicle can be designed to "get used to your driving habits" because over half the vehicles on the road have multiple drivers within the family that all drive differently....over different routes...with different traffic patterns...etc. It's comical.
  • right now i know of 2 people who have purchased the 2011 toyota camry's within the past several month's who traded them both in for the 2011 hyundai sonata due to the annoying tranny problems with the camry.from what iv'e been told it's really unbearable in city driveing...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not really comical, just not fully true.

    Most modern day vehicle's will learn and adjust to the driver's "style", but in the short term only. It begins the learning process the instant you put the car in motion, within a very short period it will have "binned" you within one of four styles, shortly thereafter it will fine tune you into one of sixteen "styles". Now it keeps a running record of the past few minutes of driving and will use that record to revise your style as you go.

    The "record" is mind-wiped upon each and every restart of the engine.
  • After reading and learning more about why these 6-speed transmissions are designed the way they are, I am very disappointed. These cars are not pleasurable to drive, but rather annoying more than anything (only in city driving). Speaking from my own experience, at times, it almost feels like my car is going to stall when I release my foot from the accelerator. I find the transmission to be confused, like it asks itself, "what do I do now, which gear should I be in"? It simply doesn't know. Thus the strange feeling of not being able to coast ahead without having to "give it gas".

    The 4 cylinder Camry transmissions are imported from Japan. If I'm not mistaken, the 6 cylinder model transmissions are made in the US. Originally, I thought the imported transmissions wouldn't have this problem, but I was wrong! As mentioned, I drive a 2010 Avalon. I recently drove a 4 cylinder 2011 Camry LE (brand new with 2 miles on it and part of dealer's rental fleet). I found the Camry's transmission to be slightly better in city driving than my Avalon. However, the transmission still exhibits the gear hunting, or confusion as I like to call it. This is the new technology, and I guess we (current owners) have no choice but to get used to it or find another car.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..coast ahead without having to "give it gas.""

    What you are experiencing, partially, is the new (well, fairly so) fuel cut technique/procedure used to extend FE. When you let off the gas completely the engine will be COMPLETELY starved of fuel. To prevent the engine from stalling the transaxle will be downshifted sequentually as speed declines. Once it reaches a point, low enough speed, wherein this is no longer possible it will upshift to an appropriate coasting gear ratio and begin feeding enough fuel for engine idle.

    The transaxle will then not actually shift down into 1st until you have come to a full and complete stop.
  • Thanks for your information, you seem to know a great deal about Toyota's "new" engineering techniques and purposes. I don't understand how the "fuel cut technique" actually saves fuel. I find myself having to use more gas due to the slowing down (not during stop and go traffic, but just driving around town on side streets, etc.). As mentioned, I never experienced this while driving a 4-speed auto. Corolla. I guess things are just more simple with those transmissions as they're smaller and less complicated.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Just learn to start slowing, coasting down, later.

    The newer fuel cut technique is now more aggressive than in past years, most especially so, much more noticeable, with the new 6(9) speed trnasaxles.
  • Driveing south on hwy395, 50/60 miles north of Reno, camry died going downhill. Was in cruise control @65mph. Pulled over,stopped,put tranny in Park. Started engine,all was nornal. Got back on freeway, on downhill side of next hill engine died. This time I put tranny in netural & started engine. Again all was normal so back to 65mph & set cruise. This happened TWO more times. FOUR times total.FACTS: on freeway, road was straight, downhill grades(1 to 3 miles) gas gauge wasbetween 1/2 & 1/4 ,Temp. 103F, After 2nd time,turned off ac ,radio & lights. After 4th time,turned off cruise ,Called Reno Toyota,advised them I was coming in & drove about 30 miles to Reno Toyota without any problems.RenoToyota service report states they performed Diag. No codes storedPerformed health check,all within spec. Service person suggested I drive the car to destination &do not use cruise control.Mileage in Reno 2,929 miles.Arrived in Yuma,Az. No problems as I did not use cruise control. Went to Yuma Toyota.They ran Diag. Same as Reno. Yuma Toyota cannot road test with similar conditions as everything is desert. Could fuel cut the problem? And if so how do I get it fixed? Would really like (wwest) comments as well as any others.Thanks rdc3434
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Hmmmm....2011 Camry...

    Sounds suspeciously to me like a cruise control engine/transaxle ECU control firmware bug. New Brake override firmware fix gone awry...?

    I have always thought that the unintended acceleration problem had something to do with a CC firmware bug. Here we are, new 2011 Camry, in the same firmware code area with a new symptom.

    One of the ideas, possible fixes, for a WOT runaway engine would be to starve the engine of fuel if the engine doesn't fall to idle within a very short period of brake application. Did you by any chance make use of the brakes, even a light "touch", just prior to engine stalling? Or in the alternative is the brake light switch adjusted to be a bit too sensitive..?
  • Thanks for getting back on this. No,I did not touch the brake. I do not know anything about the brake light switch adj. Could you please expand on this The freeway is very stright,dry,not windy,light traffic. the hills were steep enough to make 6 speed shift to hold speed @ 65mph while in CC.Both uphill & downhill.In the last week,a new problem popped up.Driver side ele. window was approx. 2/3 down.touched toggle for up. Window went up and back down to orignal 2/3 position.Did this several times.same same. Toggled switch, up a inch ,it stayed so I inched the window closed. Hour or so later , put window down. Worked fine from all positions . Three days later, same problem,window goes up , then down.I have not talked to Toyota about window yet as I want to gather information on stall problem.Thank you for your input
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    I too own a brand new Camry - 2011 with 1300 miles on it
    the transmission jerks constantly when slowing down and the engine makes a "whiny noise" the entire time you are driving it also if the car sits for a while it has to be "warmed up" for a good 5 to 10 minutes or the rpm's are too high and the car will "drive itself" - Have been to the local dealership once already and have an appointment to take it back next week. Have placed a call to Toyota's Customer Experience Center as well, and they state that someone from Headquarters will call me back on Monday. Pretty bad when you pay so much money for a new vehicle and it is this unpleasant to drive, as a result you just dont feel safe. I will not rest until this is resolved. This car drives like an old tank ! ( I might add that I am historically a Toyota "girl" This is my 5th Toyota and by far my 2005 was awesome. This new one is not a pleasant driving experience at all
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    the rep at toyota stated i was the first complaint he had had concerning these issuses, so people need to start calling toyota h q
    their number is 1-800-331-4331
  • Hey Toyota girl, I am still driving my 96' Camry LE and was going to buy a 2011 Camry LE tomorrow..PLEASE reply asap as to which model you are speaking of!
    I may wait for the 2012 if I read anymore negatives....
  • oscarlettoscarlett Posts: 7
    edited November 2010
    Thanks everyone for your detailed input on driving experiences with the new 2011 Camry's...I cancelled my purchase of the 2010 LE and was hoping those transmission annoyances had been smoothed away...but it sounds like I better cancel my Saturday 2011 purchase once more and wait for the LE 2012 to arrive!? Can't believe they still produce our beloved Camry's with all this unresolved issues! My 1996 LE has been nothing but miraculous. The 122,000 miles and the color being black are my only complaints. Was looking forward to purchasing a nice new white Camry LE 2011, but it's not sounding like this is the year to buy once more. Any suggestions/comments are very much appreciated. My grandfather built Cadilac's and his son Chevy' maybe I should be looking elsewhere?
    These are strange manufacturing times we live in.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    What you are undoubtedly experiencing is the new, more extreme, coastdown engine fuel cut technique used for improving FE, made even worse due to the 6(9) speed transaxles now more common.

    When you release the gas pedal and as long as there is enough forward speed, momentum, to keep the engine from completely stalling out the transaxle will be sequentially downshifted in lockup mode as roadspeed declines. Once your speed has declined to the point that the fuel cut technique is no longer viable you will feel a bit of a "lurch" as the final shift will be an upshift, possibly just a lockup clutch release and a restoration of fuel flow.

    An additional aspect will often be a bit of a hesitation if you happen to reapply gas pedal pressure just as this final upshift begins. These transaxles do not downshift into 1st until the vehicle has come to a full and complete stop.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You will have a L...o.......n.............g wait if you plan to hold out until these aspects of the newer transaxles are removed.

    Your only "out" currently is a hybrid Camry with the CVT/PSD.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    edited November 2010
    wwest....always value your opinions,and this is no exception. The camry hybrid is a gem. I realize it is a little more expensive, but it is worth every extra penny and then some.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    edited November 2010
    Thanks Camry owners and test drivers for the update on the 4-banger 2011 w/auto tranny..Price on an SE w/sunroof, mats, tinted glass and the Toyo policy stickered for $26,162, pricing quoted $20,816..Took my tradein for their review, left the dealership and saw this website on the Tranny issue, called them, cancelled any progress on the deal and told the dealer to go to Edmunds, and swallow the news..

    Went out and the hugged the 2006 Pontiac GPGT which was on the chopping block for tradein and apologized to it for even thinking about getting rid of it..The 2010 Mustang GT also was reassured of permanent residency..The Supercharged V-6 Grand Prix only has 50k miles on it and no issues..Also have a 2002 Camry XLE, 4 banger w/82k mi in the garage and it is no sports car but is smooth..

    I feel sorry for any Camry owner shelling out hard earned $$$$$ and complaining to deaf ears of the Toyota hierarchy about ill shifting Camrys..Like pushing a pile up a steep hill..Ah-so..

    Thanks again for the input for I now have things under control again and at my elevated age that is an accomplishment..

    Now why would anyone that got fed up with a 2011 Camry would think that a Hyundai would be any better, sounds like burning money to me.
  • delbardelbar Posts: 32
    it is the 2011 Camry LE - I had an appt yesterday and the dealership cancelled the appt. and have not called me back yet so here I sit waiting to see if this issue will ever be resolved
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