coincidence or not?

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Old 27 Jan 2005, 12:51 am   #1 (permalink)
robert
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Default coincidence or not?

For about two months or so, the automatic transmisson on my 94 Camry LE
(104k mi.) has had problems. There was a very noticible delay before it
would upshift into second gear, sometimes requiring me to take my foot
off the gas for a second otherwise it would over-rev. Wanting to get
the problem taken care of before it got worse, I brought it in to a
shop for an inspection. The guy checked the cables and fluid, then took
off with it on a road test. When he got back a few minutes later, he
notified me that the car would only go into first. There wasn't even a
reverse!
Now, what are the odds that my trasmission would go from bad to
completely useless the minute a mechanic takes it out of my sight?
Could anybody tell me what I can expect to pay (I am a broke student)
and would it be better to rebuild or swap it out with a low milage
transmission?
Thanks,
Robert

p.s. Does anybody know of an honest mechanic in or near San Bernardino,
CA? Most of the ones I've talked to seem pretty slimy.

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Old 27 Jan 2005, 05:35 am   #2 (permalink)
Mark A
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Default Re: coincidence or not?

"robert" <adnaus23@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106808696.868431.123950@c13g2000cwb.googlegr oups.com...
> For about two months or so, the automatic transmisson on my 94 Camry LE
> (104k mi.) has had problems. There was a very noticible delay before it
> would upshift into second gear, sometimes requiring me to take my foot
> off the gas for a second otherwise it would over-rev. Wanting to get
> the problem taken care of before it got worse, I brought it in to a
> shop for an inspection. The guy checked the cables and fluid, then took
> off with it on a road test. When he got back a few minutes later, he
> notified me that the car would only go into first. There wasn't even a
> reverse!
> Now, what are the odds that my trasmission would go from bad to
> completely useless the minute a mechanic takes it out of my sight?
> Could anybody tell me what I can expect to pay (I am a broke student)
> and would it be better to rebuild or swap it out with a low milage
> transmission?
> Thanks,
> Robert
>
> p.s. Does anybody know of an honest mechanic in or near San Bernardino,
> CA? Most of the ones I've talked to seem pretty slimy.
>

Don't tell me, it wasn't the dealer but an automatic transmission repair
shop. Did they give you free donuts and coffee? Those are the most expensive
donuts you will ever eat. Live and learn.


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Old 27 Jan 2005, 06:51 am   #3 (permalink)
robert
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Default Re: coincidence or not?

> Don't tell me, it wasn't the dealer but an automatic transmission
repair
> shop. Did they give you free donuts and coffee? Those are the most

expensive
> donuts you will ever eat. Live and learn.


You're right, it was an automatic transmission repair shop. The one
with the highest rating according to BBB.org. In addition, they were
the only place that sounded like they knew what could have been causing
the problem when I described it over the phone. My friends pointed out
to me that I should have gone along on the road test, something I
realized myself after this incident.
But I still don't know who I can take it to. The local dealers say they
don't do rebuilds, they just replace the entire thing. That would cost
more than my car's worth. I might try AAMCO, but I'm iffy on them
because national chains always want their employees to "sell up".
Thanks again,
Robert

p.s. No free coffee and donuts, but they'll soon be getting a free
brick through their window!

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Old 27 Jan 2005, 08:18 am   #4 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: coincidence or not?

The BBB is a joke a toothless joke. You should have gone along for the
ride. Try changing the oil and filter before spending thousands

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Old 27 Jan 2005, 09:48 am   #5 (permalink)
Art
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Default Re: coincidence or not?

I don't know if that year is electronically controlled but if it is
sometimes it is just a cheap sensor gone bad. Take it to the dealer. Also
could try changing fluid and probably should if it hasn't been changed in
50k miles.


"robert" <adnaus23@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106830269.094651.214740@z14g2000cwz.googlegr oups.com...
>> Don't tell me, it wasn't the dealer but an automatic transmission

> repair
>> shop. Did they give you free donuts and coffee? Those are the most

> expensive
>> donuts you will ever eat. Live and learn.

>
> You're right, it was an automatic transmission repair shop. The one
> with the highest rating according to BBB.org. In addition, they were
> the only place that sounded like they knew what could have been causing
> the problem when I described it over the phone. My friends pointed out
> to me that I should have gone along on the road test, something I
> realized myself after this incident.
> But I still don't know who I can take it to. The local dealers say they
> don't do rebuilds, they just replace the entire thing. That would cost
> more than my car's worth. I might try AAMCO, but I'm iffy on them
> because national chains always want their employees to "sell up".
> Thanks again,
> Robert
>
> p.s. No free coffee and donuts, but they'll soon be getting a free
> brick through their window!
>



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Old 27 Jan 2005, 11:30 am   #6 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: coincidence or not?

Re: transmission problems.
-------------
Previous post - Art, has a good point re: just a bad sensor - very
likely.
-------------
Re: Where to find a mechanic to work on your transmission.
-------------
Shows your instincts are working correctly to detect so many low
quality mechanics.
Personally, I would rather buy the tools and do the work myself.
Re: Rebuild vs. Replace
Would always favor replace.
Rebuilt transmissions are almost never as good as the original factory
unit, whereas essentially that's what you're getting with a second hand
replacement from a wrecking yard. Get one that's never been opened up
and worked on, and you're likely to have better results.
Back to the question of mechanics.
Look for an independent mechanic that specializes in Toyota and insist
they use only genuine factory parts.
There are many independent mechanics that specialize in Toyota. Look at
the shop. Is it clean and well organized, or disorganized and littered
with debris?
Once had a German independent mechanic rebuild a Volkswagen engine for
me. The shop was spotless. He did a fantastic job. One of the few
positive experiences with a mechanic.
1994 Toyota Camry LE transmission.
That's what I have. Recently have been marveling at the smoothness of
the shifting performance (128,000 miles). It operates beautifully. One
of the things I've been trying really hard to avoid, (since I like to
keep cars a long, long time) is having to replace the transmission
because they are so expensive.
One of the best things you can do to make the transmission last - (want
to guess? similar to making the engine last) - yep. "change the oil."
The automatic transmission has friction material that engages with
hydraulic pressure and is subject to wear over time, contaminating the
fluid.
The fluid also has to lubricate the planetary gears that carry the cars
forward motion, so it is a great idea to periodically check the
condition and level of the fluid. Compare your fluid to new out of the
bottle.
It is hard to imagine what a mechanic could have done on a test drive
to disable shifting. (I'm basically honest so there may be some tricks
I haven't thought of) First guess, since he probably didn't have access
to any internal parts, is a simple disconnection of a cable or
electrical connection - easily remedied.
Back to the fluid. Much of the magic of an automatic transmission is in
the torque converter that allows the car to idle in Drive and move
smoothly from a stop. Even when the fluid is drained, some remains in
the torque converter. You can get more out by draining hot, and leaving
the drain plug open over night (making sure no one else drives the
car). All you really need to pull the drain plug is a 10 mm Allen head
socket and a fresh gasket. Plus a 1/2" ratchet handle or breaker bar,
and adapter down to the 3/8" socket, because the plug can be tight, but
don't over tighten when replacing, just gently snug it down, then a bit
more, then a bit more. The idea is to slightly compress the aluminum
gasket for a positive seal.
You also need to be careful about re filling fluid. For the final
topping up, you need to drive at least ten miles, and add slowly up to
the full hot mark. A lot of mechanics that don't take the time to
properly fill the automatic transmission get the final level wrong.
You'll need to drain and re fill several times to clean the fluid.
If it has been neglected, you could also remove the transmission pan
and clean the filter screen. That could solve your problem right there.
Your transmission is electronically controlled by the car's computer
using shift solenoids. A shift solenoid is just a valve that is
controlled by an electrically activated magnet.
The clearances inside the valve body are extremely precise. Even a tiny
bit of contaminant - a speck of dirt - can cause problems, so if you
pull the pan, you need to be scrupulously clean. Remember the part
about finding a mechanic with a clean shop? When you clean the inside
of the transmission pan, you don't dry it with a rag, you need to clean
it with solvent and then let the solvent evaporate.
Actually this is no big deal. The gasket is only a few dollars, and you
can find solvent in a spray can for a few dollars. (I like Berryman
Chemtool) Then you just carefully loosen and evenly tighten (not over
tighten) a bunch of small bolts around the perimeter. Here's a place
where you might do a better job than a mechanic. You can go slowly,
tightening just a little bit at a time, in a cross pattern, over and
over again, until they're snugged down. There's a Haynes manual that
gives more detail. Final torque is in inch pounds so they don't need to
be very tight. Prior mechanics had stripped the threads on two of my
transmission pan bolts by over tightening before I got to it.
If the friction material inside your transmission is not worn out from
neglect or abuse, and you don't see large bits of metal clinging to the
permanent magnets inside the bottom of the pan, your problem is
probably with the valve body sticking from contaminated old fluid, or
one of the shift solenoids sticking, or a bad electrical connection to
one of the solenoids. (there are only three total)
If you take the car to a shop, your goal is to find an honest mechanic.
Amazingly, I found one of these guys at my corner Shell station. An
Indian man. Very nice. Always remembered my name. Always a smiling
greeting. Always worked quickly and efficiently at reasonable prices,
and if only a minor repair was needed he would say so. I once thought
the timing chain on my truck was rattling and needed replacement. He
said no, it is just the heat shield over the exhaust. I once thought
the air pump on the truck was bad. He said no. It is just a loose belt.
These guys are rare, but apparently you can find them occasionally.
There are a gazillion cars in Southern California, and thousands of
mechanics. If you are patient, you should be able to find one you can
meet your needs.

  Reply With Quote
Old 27 Jan 2005, 11:30 am   #7 (permalink)
Daniel
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: coincidence or not?

Re: transmission problems.
-------------
Previous post - Art, has a good point re: just a bad sensor - very
likely.
-------------
Re: Where to find a mechanic to work on your transmission.
-------------
Shows your instincts are working correctly to detect so many low
quality mechanics.
Personally, I would rather buy the tools and do the work myself.
Re: Rebuild vs. Replace
Would always favor replace.
Rebuilt transmissions are almost never as good as the original factory
unit, whereas essentially that's what you're getting with a second hand
replacement from a wrecking yard. Get one that's never been opened up
and worked on, and you're likely to have better results.
Back to the question of mechanics.
Look for an independent mechanic that specializes in Toyota and insist
they use only genuine factory parts.
There are many independent mechanics that specialize in Toyota. Look at
the shop. Is it clean and well organized, or disorganized and littered
with debris?
Once had a German independent mechanic rebuild a Volkswagen engine for
me. The shop was spotless. He did a fantastic job. One of the few
positive experiences with a mechanic.
1994 Toyota Camry LE transmission.
That's what I have. Recently have been marveling at the smoothness of
the shifting performance (128,000 miles). It operates beautifully. One
of the things I've been trying really hard to avoid, (since I like to
keep cars a long, long time) is having to replace the transmission
because they are so expensive.
One of the best things you can do to make the transmission last - (want
to guess? similar to making the engine last) - yep. "change the oil."
The automatic transmission has friction material that engages with
hydraulic pressure and is subject to wear over time, contaminating the
fluid.
The fluid also has to lubricate the planetary gears that carry the cars
forward motion, so it is a great idea to periodically check the
condition and level of the fluid. Compare your fluid to new out of the
bottle.
It is hard to imagine what a mechanic could have done on a test drive
to disable shifting. (I'm basically honest so there may be some tricks
I haven't thought of) First guess, since he probably didn't have access
to any internal parts, is a simple disconnection of a cable or
electrical connection - easily remedied.
Back to the fluid. Much of the magic of an automatic transmission is in
the torque converter that allows the car to idle in Drive and move
smoothly from a stop. Even when the fluid is drained, some remains in
the torque converter. You can get more out by draining hot, and leaving
the drain plug open over night (making sure no one else drives the
car). All you really need to pull the drain plug is a 10 mm Allen head
socket and a fresh gasket. Plus a 1/2" ratchet handle or breaker bar,
and adapter down to the 3/8" socket, because the plug can be tight, but
don't over tighten when replacing, just gently snug it down, then a bit
more, then a bit more. The idea is to slightly compress the aluminum
gasket for a positive seal.
You also need to be careful about re filling fluid. For the final
topping up, you need to drive at least ten miles, and add slowly up to
the full hot mark. A lot of mechanics that don't take the time to
properly fill the automatic transmission get the final level wrong.
You'll need to drain and re fill several times to clean the fluid.
If it has been neglected, you could also remove the transmission pan
and clean the filter screen. That could solve your problem right there.
Your transmission is electronically controlled by the car's computer
using shift solenoids. A shift solenoid is just a valve that is
controlled by an electrically activated magnet.
The clearances inside the valve body are extremely precise. Even a tiny
bit of contaminant - a speck of dirt - can cause problems, so if you
pull the pan, you need to be scrupulously clean. Remember the part
about finding a mechanic with a clean shop? When you clean the inside
of the transmission pan, you don't dry it with a rag, you need to clean
it with solvent and then let the solvent evaporate.
Actually this is no big deal. The gasket is only a few dollars, and you
can find solvent in a spray can for a few dollars. (I like Berryman
Chemtool) Then you just carefully loosen and evenly tighten (not over
tighten) a bunch of small bolts around the perimeter. Here's a place
where you might do a better job than a mechanic. You can go slowly,
tightening just a little bit at a time, in a cross pattern, over and
over again, until they're snugged down. There's a Haynes manual that
gives more detail. Final torque is in inch pounds so they don't need to
be very tight. Prior mechanics had stripped the threads on two of my
transmission pan bolts by over tightening before I got to it.
If the friction material inside your transmission is not worn out from
neglect or abuse, and you don't see large bits of metal clinging to the
permanent magnets inside the bottom of the pan, your problem is
probably with the valve body sticking from contaminated old fluid, or
one of the shift solenoids sticking, or a bad electrical connection to
one of the solenoids. (there are only three total)
If you take the car to a shop, your goal is to find an honest mechanic.
Amazingly, I found one of these guys at my corner Shell station. An
Indian man. Very nice. Always remembered my name. Always a smiling
greeting. Always worked quickly and efficiently at reasonable prices,
and if only a minor repair was needed he would say so. I once thought
the timing chain on my truck was rattling and needed replacement. He
said no, it is just the heat shield over the exhaust. I once thought
the air pump on the truck was bad. He said no. It is just a loose belt.
These guys are rare, but apparently you can find them occasionally.
There are a gazillion cars in Southern California, and thousands of
mechanics. If you are patient, you should be able to find one who can
meet your needs.

  Reply With Quote
Old 27 Jan 2005, 04:06 pm   #8 (permalink)
Hachiroku
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Default Re: coincidence or not?


"robert" <adnaus23@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106808696.868431.123950@c13g2000cwb.googlegr oups.com...
> For about two months or so, the automatic transmisson on my 94 Camry LE
> (104k mi.) has had problems. There was a very noticible delay before it
> would upshift into second gear, sometimes requiring me to take my foot
> off the gas for a second otherwise it would over-rev. Wanting to get
> the problem taken care of before it got worse, I brought it in to a
> shop for an inspection. The guy checked the cables and fluid, then took
> off with it on a road test. When he got back a few minutes later, he
> notified me that the car would only go into first. There wasn't even a
> reverse!
> Now, what are the odds that my trasmission would go from bad to
> completely useless the minute a mechanic takes it out of my sight?
> Could anybody tell me what I can expect to pay (I am a broke student)
> and would it be better to rebuild or swap it out with a low milage
> transmission?
> Thanks,
> Robert
>
> p.s. Does anybody know of an honest mechanic in or near San Bernardino,
> CA? Most of the ones I've talked to seem pretty slimy.
>


Um, pick up the paper and buy another one? Whew! Only 104K and the tranny's
toast?
I think you need a scond opinion. BTW, does it shift up through the gears if
you shilt manually? It may just need to be drained and filled a couple
times.

Note: DO NOT FLUSH!!!!! We have had a couple cars where the trannies were
flushed and the went kaput withing a couple hundred miles! Just drain and
fill every 500 miles for 1500 miles and see if that takes care of it.

You may also have a solenoid that's bad, $50 for the part and $1-250 to have
it replaced, unless you have a buddy with a spare lift!


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Old 27 Jan 2005, 04:07 pm   #9 (permalink)
Hachiroku
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Default Re: coincidence or not?


"robert" <adnaus23@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106830269.094651.214740@z14g2000cwz.googlegr oups.com...
> > Don't tell me, it wasn't the dealer but an automatic transmission

> repair
> > shop. Did they give you free donuts and coffee? Those are the most

> expensive
> > donuts you will ever eat. Live and learn.

>
> You're right, it was an automatic transmission repair shop. The one
> with the highest rating according to BBB.org. In addition, they were
> the only place that sounded like they knew what could have been causing
> the problem when I described it over the phone. My friends pointed out
> to me that I should have gone along on the road test, something I
> realized myself after this incident.
> But I still don't know who I can take it to. The local dealers say they
> don't do rebuilds, they just replace the entire thing. That would cost
> more than my car's worth. I might try AAMCO, but I'm iffy on them
> because national chains always want their employees to "sell up".
> Thanks again,
> Robert
>
> p.s. No free coffee and donuts, but they'll soon be getting a free
> brick through their window!
>


Now, now, violence is not the answer! Just think, "Zen and the art of Toyota
mainteneace"

Or something like taht...


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Old 27 Jan 2005, 04:09 pm   #10 (permalink)
Hachiroku
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Default Re: coincidence or not?


"Daniel" <nospampls2002@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1106847003.955097.56950@c13g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com...
> Re: transmission problems.
> -------------
> Previous post - Art, has a good point re: just a bad sensor - very
> likely.
> -------------
> Re: Where to find a mechanic to work on your transmission.
> -------------
> Shows your instincts are working correctly to detect so many low
> quality mechanics.
> Personally, I would rather buy the tools and do the work myself.
> Re: Rebuild vs. Replace
> Would always favor replace.
> Rebuilt transmissions are almost never as good as the original factory
> unit, whereas essentially that's what you're getting with a second hand
> replacement from a wrecking yard. Get one that's never been opened up
> and worked on, and you're likely to have better results.
> Back to the question of mechanics.
> Look for an independent mechanic that specializes in Toyota and insist
> they use only genuine factory parts.
> There are many independent mechanics that specialize in Toyota. Look at
> the shop. Is it clean and well organized, or disorganized and littered
> with debris?
> Once had a German independent mechanic rebuild a Volkswagen engine for
> me. The shop was spotless. He did a fantastic job. One of the few
> positive experiences with a mechanic.


Not a guy in Northampton, was it?

> 1994 Toyota Camry LE transmission.
> That's what I have. Recently have been marveling at the smoothness of
> the shifting performance (128,000 miles). It operates beautifully. One
> of the things I've been trying really hard to avoid, (since I like to
> keep cars a long, long time) is having to replace the transmission
> because they are so expensive.
> One of the best things you can do to make the transmission last - (want
> to guess? similar to making the engine last) - yep. "change the oil."
> The automatic transmission has friction material that engages with
> hydraulic pressure and is subject to wear over time, contaminating the
> fluid.
> The fluid also has to lubricate the planetary gears that carry the cars
> forward motion, so it is a great idea to periodically check the
> condition and level of the fluid. Compare your fluid to new out of the
> bottle.
> It is hard to imagine what a mechanic could have done on a test drive
> to disable shifting. (I'm basically honest so there may be some tricks
> I haven't thought of) First guess, since he probably didn't have access
> to any internal parts, is a simple disconnection of a cable or
> electrical connection - easily remedied.
> Back to the fluid. Much of the magic of an automatic transmission is in
> the torque converter that allows the car to idle in Drive and move
> smoothly from a stop. Even when the fluid is drained, some remains in
> the torque converter. You can get more out by draining hot, and leaving
> the drain plug open over night (making sure no one else drives the
> car). All you really need to pull the drain plug is a 10 mm Allen head
> socket and a fresh gasket. Plus a 1/2" ratchet handle or breaker bar,
> and adapter down to the 3/8" socket, because the plug can be tight, but
> don't over tighten when replacing, just gently snug it down, then a bit
> more, then a bit more. The idea is to slightly compress the aluminum
> gasket for a positive seal.
> You also need to be careful about re filling fluid. For the final
> topping up, you need to drive at least ten miles, and add slowly up to
> the full hot mark. A lot of mechanics that don't take the time to
> properly fill the automatic transmission get the final level wrong.
> You'll need to drain and re fill several times to clean the fluid.
> If it has been neglected, you could also remove the transmission pan
> and clean the filter screen. That could solve your problem right there.
> Your transmission is electronically controlled by the car's computer
> using shift solenoids. A shift solenoid is just a valve that is
> controlled by an electrically activated magnet.
> The clearances inside the valve body are extremely precise. Even a tiny
> bit of contaminant - a speck of dirt - can cause problems, so if you
> pull the pan, you need to be scrupulously clean. Remember the part
> about finding a mechanic with a clean shop? When you clean the inside
> of the transmission pan, you don't dry it with a rag, you need to clean
> it with solvent and then let the solvent evaporate.
> Actually this is no big deal. The gasket is only a few dollars, and you
> can find solvent in a spray can for a few dollars. (I like Berryman
> Chemtool) Then you just carefully loosen and evenly tighten (not over
> tighten) a bunch of small bolts around the perimeter. Here's a place
> where you might do a better job than a mechanic. You can go slowly,
> tightening just a little bit at a time, in a cross pattern, over and
> over again, until they're snugged down. There's a Haynes manual that
> gives more detail. Final torque is in inch pounds so they don't need to
> be very tight. Prior mechanics had stripped the threads on two of my
> transmission pan bolts by over tightening before I got to it.
> If the friction material inside your transmission is not worn out from
> neglect or abuse, and you don't see large bits of metal clinging to the
> permanent magnets inside the bottom of the pan, your problem is
> probably with the valve body sticking from contaminated old fluid, or
> one of the shift solenoids sticking, or a bad electrical connection to
> one of the solenoids. (there are only three total)
> If you take the car to a shop, your goal is to find an honest mechanic.
> Amazingly, I found one of these guys at my corner Shell station. An
> Indian man. Very nice. Always remembered my name. Always a smiling
> greeting. Always worked quickly and efficiently at reasonable prices,
> and if only a minor repair was needed he would say so. I once thought
> the timing chain on my truck was rattling and needed replacement. He
> said no, it is just the heat shield over the exhaust. I once thought
> the air pump on the truck was bad. He said no. It is just a loose belt.
> These guys are rare, but apparently you can find them occasionally.
> There are a gazillion cars in Southern California, and thousands of
> mechanics. If you are patient, you should be able to find one you can
> meet your needs.
>



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