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99 Camry - hard/late shifting


Zatos
03-08-2009, 01:20 AM
I have a 99 Toyota Camry (obviously) and having some problems with the transmission. First of all - I have had the transmission fluid flushed and there was no filings or anything in the old fluid to indicate any mechanical problems. The proper ATF was used. Also there is no noise, grinding, etc. The gears shift fine while parked and all these things indicate to me that there is not a serious problem going on mechanically.

Basically what happens is when I am accelerating, the car waits too long to shift - usually 2.5 - 3 thousand RPM. When it does it shifts hard. I can keep it from shifting too hard by slowing down right before it shifts. It is not like a clunking or slamming into gear though - more like a smooth jolt. I am not sure what the problem is. The only two things I know of might be a solenoid or a computer problem. Is there anything else you guys would suggest to check out? Also, is there any way to test these to find out if something is malfunctioning? I dont want to waste a lot of money on a part that isnt going to fix the problem.

And to cover the bases here... the check engine light is not on - and there are no error codes in the computer. Some of the fluid has been drained off after servicing it since it might have been a little high. But the problem existed before the service.

Thanks for any help! It is greatly appreciated!

somick
03-09-2009, 11:49 AM
I think you are another victim of ATF flushing campaign. From the reading I have done I guess it works like this: new fluid dissolves all the crap that accumulated on the walls of the transmission during the years. It is being pushed everywhere, specifically in the pump and between gears and passages clogging everything. Try maybe flush it again or just drain and fill.

I hope it will work for you,

Sam

nmikmik
03-09-2009, 12:35 PM
Just was wondering how long was between the time you changed the fluid (if ever) and the time of the flushing. Also i'd not drive it the way it is now, i would NOT assume there is no mechanical problems in the trany because all the indications are that there is. If possible pull the pen off and see if there is any crud on the bottom, if yes then try to clean any exposed valves in the valve body, i've seeing it done with break parts cleaner, but i'm sure there someone here can suggest something more appropriate.
Good luck!

Brian R.
03-09-2009, 12:57 PM
Did the problem with shifting exist before you flushed it or only afterward?

lbreevesii
06-02-2009, 10:05 PM
My 99' does the same thing. 134k on the clock. Had trans fluid changed at least once under warranty, had my mechanic do a pan pull a bit after 100k, and I did a basic drain and fill recently. It seems to be getting worse as time goes on. I too tend to let off the gas to minimize it. Suggestions? The fluid is looking a tad dark for being as new as it is... Its not burnt or anything though. I might grab some more fluid and do another change to see if it improves it.

nmikmik
06-03-2009, 09:03 AM
Sorry to hear this, but you may want to try a transmission shop to have it diagnosed, but check their reputation or get a referral from a friend or family member first.
I'd also try TrasX - transmission additive. It says fro transmission slips but I've seeing it help with all kinds of transmission problems. If you can remove the same amount of the fluid from the transmission before adding the TransX.
btw, i assume you've used the typeIV ATF - rite?

lbreevesii
06-05-2009, 04:59 PM
Should be Type IV. I had them check it at napa when I bought the fluid. Brand wise its valvoline for high mileage. I'm planning on installing new struts next weekend, while i'm at it I may go ahead and change it again as well as dropping the pan while I have it in the air. I want it to not do this, but its no huge deal. I'm getting rid of it in six months(probably).

edit: I meant to mention this, but could an overfilled trans cause this issue? I doubt it but its the only thing I can think of. I put in what the book said but it shows as being mucho full. I haven't bothered to drain some out.

nmikmik
06-05-2009, 06:40 PM
not sure if these symptoms are exhibited exactly as you describe, by overfilling, but I for sure would drain some fluid to bring it down to the proper level. Overfill is a no-no :nono:. When you drained - how much (or by what method) did you drain? If you drained just the pan but refilled the full capacity, it is grossly overfilled and you may develop even more problems before you try selling it.

lbreevesii
06-06-2009, 08:31 PM
not sure if these symptoms are exhibited exactly as you describe, by overfilling, but I for sure would drain some fluid to bring it down to the proper level. Overfill is a no-no :nono:. When you drained - how much (or by what method) did you drain? If you drained just the pan but refilled the full capacity, it is grossly overfilled and you may develop even more problems before you try selling it.

::shifty:: oops. I had no idea that much fluid would be left after a plug drain. I feel dumb that I didn't check the level until recently(except for checking the level after my initial refill). Fortunately that wasn't long ago. If I drain the pan again about how much should it take to get it back up to proper levels? Where was all that fluid hiding?

On a side note, I partially solved my hard shift issue. The mechanic had apparently tightened the cable that runs from the TB cam to the trans, tightening the shifts. I loosened it a bit and it took away much of the bad feelings in the shifts. It still needs some...ahem fluid level tuning. :rolleyes:


I will take care of that(probably tomorrow) and report back.

edit: found the numbers, 2.6 quarts drain & refill, I put in 3, but lost maybe .2-.25 quart due to having to pull the plug again(had lost the washer, had to put it back on). Most likely it isn't overfilled enough to be a huge issue but I am going to go ahead and drain it again. Can't hurt to get more of the old fluid out. OH yeah, also saw the dry refill amount...DANG that is a lot of fluid that you don't get out with a pan drain!!

nmikmik
06-06-2009, 10:56 PM
Ok, if you still want to drain (advisable) some fluid you may want to invest in the fluid pump, motorized or not (vacuum driven) it a lot of help. Allows you to suck out some fluid through the fill tube on the transmission. What if you loose the washer again and overdrain it again? :uhoh: If you want to replace the whole fluid you need to use Brian's method. Just do a search on "transmission flush" or "exchange" & you'll find it. I used it on both of mine and it works perfectly, just not sure if you want to do it if you are planning on selling in 6 mo. btw, in 6 month it's gona be winter or late fall at least and that's not the best time to sell the car - just my 2c.

lbreevesii
06-07-2009, 10:26 AM
I'm just going to drain the pan again. What happened last time was taht I lost my grip on the plug when it came out, so it fell in the pan. While it was in there the washer fell off so I didn't know it existed. Didn't even think about it when I put it back on. Threw the car back up on ramps, took out the plug with a pan under it, put my thumb on the hole while I put the washer back on, and replaced the plug. Really went pretty well :lol:.

Having it flushed isn't a big deal since I am selling, and because it isn't the first time the fluid has been changed that way.

On the whole selling thing, you're right it isn't the best time to sell. However, I think the bottom line is really that I am most likely getting a new(er) car and trying to sell this one. No biggie if I can't sell it for a while.

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