Last post on Mar 29, 2012 at 2:02 PM
You are in the Toyota Camry
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Toyota Camry, Transmission, Sedan
#52 of 181 Re: 1998 Toyota Camery Transmission Problems [arshadt]
Oct 11, 2005 (5:37 am)
I had a 1997 Camry 4-cylinder automatic. The specified fluid was Dexron III. The 1997 was the first year of a redesign for the car. I would highly doubt that Toyota switched to the Toyota-proprietary Type IV fluid the very next model year (1998).
If I had to guess, the change was probably made as of the 2002 model year, when the car was redesigned again and a 5-speed automatic replaced the 4-speed in V6 models. In 2005, the 4-cylinder models also got the 5-speed. (My 2004 Camry with the 4-cylinder, 4-speed auto required the new-type fluid.)
Have you ever had the transmission fluid replaced before? If not, and the repair shop just did a drain and refill, about half of the dirty old oil will still have been left in your tranny.
I'd go to another shop for a second opinion. A bum transmission doesn't necessarily make the engine noiser, unless the tranny isn't upshifting properly (that is you are running in third gear when it should be in fourth).
You may simply need to have the fluid drained and refilled a couple of times or flushed to get all of the old fluid out. (I'm not a big fan of flushing.)
There are no hard and fast guidelines for how long a car will last. A lot depends on how well it's cared for. However, the weakest link in today's cars' drivetrains appears to be the automatic transmission.
#53 of 181 Re: 1998 Toyota Camery Transmission Problems [arshadt]
Oct 11, 2005 (8:43 am)
I changed the ATF in my 2001 AWD RX300's transaxle at ~40,000 miles, 4 qts out, dirty and smelled burnt, 4 new qts in purchased from Lexus. Within a week new ATF was dirty.
Discovered, here on the internet, that the transaxle holds five qts and the only way to drain that fifth qt is to remove the second drain plug in the differential case. The second time I dropped the sump pan and cleaned out about 1/8" of what looked like ground up pencil lead, non-magnetic, I assume wear from the clutches' frictional surface.
Another 10,000 miles and my ATF is still pink and no burnt odor.
#54 of 181 Re: 1998 Toyota Camery Transmission Problems [arshadt]
Oct 22, 2005 (9:55 am)
I was hoping that 200,000 was the life expectancy of my 98 Camry, but I've just blown an engine at 150,000. Another engine will cost from $1300 to $1700 just for the engine plus labor, so my mechanic is not advising me to repair. He said the transmission will probably be next. I sure was expecting more
#55 of 181 Re: 1998 Toyota Camery Transmission Problems [lopinladies]
Oct 23, 2005 (10:27 am)
You may have gotten one of Toyota's infamous "sludge monster" engines. (Ask your mechnic if sludge was present on his inspection.) Toyota did a warranty extension for owners of those cars, but I'm not sure whether it went beyond 100,000 miles. I believe at the time your car was new, Toyota was recommending 7,500 mile oil changes (which turned out to be part of the problem). The company has scaled that back by 2,500 miles in addition to internal engine changes to facilitate oil return to the sump during operation. In short, ya' got robbed, but there's likely little that can be done about it now except on your nickel.
#56 of 181 Re: 1998 Toyota Camery Transmission Problems [haefr]
Oct 25, 2005 (5:29 am)
The sludge policy is for 8 years from the date of original purchase and unlimited miles, so a 1998 Camry should still be covered, regardless of mileage. There is a requirement for the owner to show proof of "reasonable" maintenance in order to get the free repair under the policy.
#57 of 181 Automatic trans. Question
Nov 09, 2005 (9:30 am)
96 Toyota Camry, 4 cylinder, AT, 140K miles
Dumb question: I see 2 drain plugs for the transmission and differential, but no filler plug. Where's the filler plug and is there a second filler plug for the differential ?
#58 of 181 Re: Automatic trans. Question [sean11]
Nov 10, 2005 (10:33 am)
"I see 2 drain plugs for the transmission and differential, but no filler plug. Where's the filler plug and is there a second filler plug for the differential ?"
You fill through the transmission dipstick tube. You'll need a funnel small enough to fit into the tube, or use a plastic tube extension that will. The differential will be filled as you fill the transmission. The only reason for the separate drain plug on the differential was to assure full drainage of that component. Check your owner's manual - if it states Toyota T-IV ATF, DON'T substitute Dexron III ATF. When you drain, you'll end up with nearly half the fluid retained in the torque converter. Refill, button everything up and take the car out for ~6 miles to fully warm and mix the fluid, then drain and refill again. Do one more ride and repeat another drain and refill. At that point you'll effectively only have about 12% of the old fluid left in. If the old fluid smelled burnt, though, better do a fourth drive, drain, and refill.
(Your question wasn't dumb.)
#59 of 181 Re: Automatic trans. Question [sean11]
Nov 10, 2005 (10:58 am)
The differential will be filled as you fill the transmission.
I'm not sure if this is true on the Camry 4-cylinder. I seem to remember a couple of horror stories about people thinking the differential was filled, but in fact it was empty. You might want to ask on the Maintenance Board, "Got a quick technical question?"
The transmission fluid specified is Dexron III for the '96 (I had a '97, and it used Dexron III).
#60 of 181 Re: Automatic trans. Question [210delray]
Nov 10, 2005 (2:06 pm)
Thanks for the info. I think I've located a fill plug for the differential on the back of the diff. near the firewall.
#61 of 181 Re: Automatic trans. Question [210delray]
Nov 11, 2005 (6:14 pm)
Thanks for the update.