Last post on May 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Transmission, Sedan
#59 of 104 Third replacement transmission on 99 Avalon
Apr 15, 2007 (7:45 am)
My wife's 1999 Avalon XL has had all transmission servicing recommended by Toyota dealer and our dependable local mechanic. We replaced the transmission for the FIRST time at 69k miles with a Toyota rebuilt transmission. Ten months later at 79k a SECOND Toyota rebuilt transmission was installed because of rough, jarring shifts and unusual grinding. It did not work properly (same problems) and after 300 miles was replaced with a THIRD Toyota rebuilt tran. We've only had it one day but the problem still seems to be there The local dealer has been interacting with Toyota engineers to solve the problem but "Toyota transmission problems are so uncommon that they don't have a solution yet."
Any suggestions on how we might get the company to really help fix this problem? Or, is this a lost cause?
#60 of 104 Re: Third replacement transmission on 99 Avalon [carabed]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 15, 2007 (7:51 am)
Well you might try having the dealer install the next toyota rebuilt transmission. Being both out of warranty and having the work done by an independent mechanic weakens your link to factory assistance two-fold I think.
Something isn't right here---either the installation is wrong, or the source of the "rebuilts" is dubious.
If you can swing it, wipe the slate clean....ask for a rebuilt from Toyota (not yours rebuilt by a local subcontractor of the dealer) and have the dealer install it. That way, you get the unit's warranty and the dealer's labor warranty.
They are either building it wrong or installing it wrong.
#61 of 104 Re: Third replacement transmission on 99 Avalon [Mr_Shiftright]
Apr 15, 2007 (9:42 am)
Thanks for the suggestion but I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. All of the rebuilt transmissions were Toyota rebuilts installed by the dealer and the second and third were under warranty. On the last one they got the Toyota company engineers involved. One possibility is that the company that rebuilds the transmissions may be installing an incorrect gasket, but we don't yet know whether that is true or not. Fessor.
#62 of 104 Re: Third replacement transmission on 99 Avalon [carabed]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 15, 2007 (2:36 pm)
Very bizarre set of circumstances, to be sure. I wonder if they can order you a brand new one?
#63 of 104 2002 Avalon Low Miles Dark Transmission Fluid
Jul 08, 2007 (11:39 am)
I have 2002 Avalon with about 22,000 miles on it. I have owned it since it had about 3,000 miles, for about 3 years. I never beat on it or drive it in severe conditions.
I have regularly changed the oil and checked the transmission fluid level. This time I checked the transmission fluid level I noticed it was brown. I don't remember seeing it dark before, and I know I have checked it. I know it is supposed to be red, unless Toyota uses some sort of dark OEM fluid.
So I had the tranny flushed and replaced with new Dextron III fluid. The manual and dipstick says use Dextron II or III for this year.
I was wondering if anyone knew what might have caused the dark fluid with such low miles. I know high mileage cars that have never had the transmission fluid changed could have this problem, but I have never seen it happen on such a low mileage car.
The car runs like a top, has never had any shifting or transmission slipping. That's another thing that confuses me, but I never push the car either.
#64 of 104 Re: 2002 Avalon Low Miles Dark Transmission Fluid [xomaman]
Jul 09, 2007 (4:51 am)
Your 2002 likely does not have DBW to "protect the drive train" so the ATF is overheating due to the transaxle's slow response in fully engaging the downshift clutches when you quickly go from a lift-throttle condition to one requiring a substantial level of acceleration.
Some might advise you to install an auxillary ATF cooler and I would agree that it might help. My reluctance is based on the fact that my 2001 RX300 has the factory auxilary cooler and yet my ATF was BURNED (absolutely NO towing nor rough service) at only 40,000 miles. Then again the RX is much heavier....
#65 of 104 Re: 2002 Avalon Low Miles Dark Transmission Fluid [wwest]
Jul 09, 2007 (7:20 am)
Yeah, I thought about a tranny cooler, they are only about $50. What do you mean by DBW???
#66 of 104 Re: 2002 Avalon Low Miles Dark Transmission Fluid [xomaman]
Jul 09, 2007 (12:01 pm)
Some models use DBW, Drive-By-Wire, E-throttle, E-gas, to prevent the engine from developing a significant level of torque during a quick return to acceleration to give the downshifting clutches time to fully seat.
#67 of 104 Re: 2002 Avalon Low Miles Dark Transmission Fluid [wwest]
Jul 12, 2007 (8:19 am)
Here is my experince. I have an 02 Avalon also. I do tow(utility trailer 5 x 8), sometimes too heavy, but I have cut back now. I have 92K on the car. I have no tranny problems. I change the fluid mostly myself, every 30K, and alternate every other change with a filter too. I also have put a heavy duty magnet for A/T on the bottom of the pan, on the outside.
I have never flushed it nor do I intend to. I have no problems with this A/T at this point in time and mileage.
An aside from the constant tranny changes ever 30-40K would be to let you foot pressure off the accelerator at the appropriate shift points. This not only enhances the smoothness of the shift but will prolong the trannys life.
I am not sure why all the hype about tranny coolers. The car can only tow up to 2000lbs anyway, and I have seen very few Avalons even towing. And if you are driving this car hard for sport, you kinda got the wrong the car.
Another elusive point, although well trusted, if not overfilling the tranny too. It takes a long time to fill it, unlike an oil change as you have to do it in little amounts. No mechanic on shop time is going to do it perfectly, just not a money maker. Something to be aware of. When I had one mechanic do it, it was overfilled and I had to let out some Dexron III. Never again. It is too easy to do myself.
#68 of 104 Re: 2002 Avalon Low Miles Dark Transmission Fluid [xomaman]
Jul 22, 2007 (3:43 pm)
I have a 2002 Avalon with 31,000 miles. Also found dark transmission fluid. Just had the transmission flushed. I too have never experienced any slipping but obviously concerned.
Has any one else found dark trans fluid at such low miles? Any trans failures?