Last post on Jan 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM
You are in the Toyota Camry
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Toyota Camry, Transmission, Sedan
#563 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [meanoldteacher]
Sep 17, 2007 (3:36 am)
Hi meanoldteacher (Ray):
I have been following this problem since I purchased a 2007 V6 Camry in January. I understand the frustration with this issue on the part of the owners, and I believe the problem is "real," and it is a "dangerous" operating characteristic of the vehicle. Now having said that, I must also state that my 2007 V6 XLE Camry does not have the issue that is being described on this board. My vehicle now has 16,000 miles, and on a recent road trip I averaged 32 mpg on the highway at 55mph using 87 Getty gasoline. (I do not use my cruise control, as I like to be in control of the vehicle myself.)
I like the comfort and the ride of the V6 Camry. When I purchsed this vehicle, I also tested a four cylinder version of the Camry. I did not like the way the vehicle handled. It seemed TOO LIGHT on the road. I drove it on city streets, and on the highway doing 50mph. I took the vehicle on the same road course as the V6 Camry, so I had a basis of comparison! (I did not notice the transmission flare on the four cylinder Camry at the time of the test drive!)
QUESTIONS: ---- Do I believe that the "transmission problem" is real? ---------- YES! ---- Do I believe that Toyota can do something about it for the customers that have the problem? ---- YES! ---Do I believe that Toyota wants to do something about the problem? ----- NO!--- REASON:---- The "fix" for the problem is going to cost a "TON OF MONEY" for Toyota. I will bet that the 2008 Camry DOES NOT have the problem! ---Toyota, (like every other auto manufacturer), will drag their feet as long as possible, in the hope that the problem will go away. They will only take action, when there "bottom line" starts to hurt! This is the "sludge issue" all over again. Toyota claims that they have redesigned their V6 engine so that it does not produce "sludge"! I do not believe that claim, so I have my dealer change my oil and filter every 2,500 miles rather than at 5,000 miles. If my Camry, with an extended Toyota 100,000 mile warrnty, has a "sludge problem" in the future, Toyota will "eat" the cost of repair for this vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would not trade in this vehicle and take a loss. Rather, I would go to a magnetic sign company and advertize the operating characteristics of this vehicle. If the dealer states that "the vehicle is operating as designed", that means that the manufacturer is proud of their product, and that you, as the owner, should advertize this unique characteristic to the auto buying public. The following could be an example of that sign:------
"This new vehicle has a transmission problem
purchased at XYZ Toyota!
Ask me about it!"
If you choose to trade in your vehicle, I would recommend a Chevrolet Impala. But, I do not think that the V6 Impala gives the same fuel mileage on the highway as the V6 Camry. You could also look at the Ford 500 or the Mercury vehicle. I would not consider a Chrysler product. If you think Toyota is bad, you need to "check out" Chrysler. I would not go with the Sonata because of the resale value. If you are going to keep the vehicle for 100,000 miles it might be an option, but there is also the issue of dealerships. In my area of the country, there is only ONE "stand alone Hyundai dealer". Most are part of Chrysler dealers as a second product line. (NEED I SAY MORE!!!!!!!)
I like my Camry, and I like the way it rides and performs. Prior to purchasing this vehicle, I had a 2003 four cylinder Honda Accord, that I purchsed used from an estate sale. The vehicle came with an extended 100,000 Honda warrany, and that warranty paid out $3,000+ dollars worth of repair prior to trading it for the Camry. So as you can see, not evern Honda is perfect! I did not like the ride of the Honda Accord, and I did not like the seats of the Accord. They were VERY uncomfortable! The engine and transmission were outstanding. I changed the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and I had the trasnmission fluid changed once a year, or every 20,000 miles, which every came first.
I think Toyota needs to take responsibility for this issue and fix the problem.
Will I purchase another Toyota? Probably--- NO!--- Do I like the vehicle that I have? ---- YES! ---- Reason: --- I do not want to take a chance on getting a problem vehicle! If Toyota values their "customer base" let them prove this by solving this problem for those who have the problem! Then maybe, I will consider purchasing another Toyota in 2010!
Best regards. ------ Dwayne
#564 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [meanoldteacher]
Sep 17, 2007 (3:41 am)
Printout a copy of the latest TSB for the 4 cylinder, which effects the engine & transmission performance. Hard for the dealer to indicate there isn't a TSB, when you can hand it to them. The TSB has been posted in one of these Camry forums. I think that could go a long way toward addressing your hesitation, and potentially also your mileage. I was getting poor mileage initially, until I had the first TSB ECM performed. When I walked into the dealership with a printout of the first TSB, they hadn't seen it either (it literally had just come out). They took it, looked it up on the computer, and did it very willingly with the oil change that I had booked.
I haven't had this latest TSB performed yet, but will so on next scheduled oil change. My car has been running great since the first TSB a year ago.
If you can't find the TSB with a search, let us know.
Can't speak to whatever radio problem you are having, I haven't experienced or read of any problems. Seems like you are getting shortchanged by the service department, is there another dealership in proximity? You can take it to any Toyota dealership for warranty repairs.
Have had my LE since they first came out, with 20K miles now (I guess a year and a half now). Other than the cruise control downshifting and hesititation problems which were both fixed with the original TSB, car has been fabulous.
#565 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (4:21 am)
Hi Kiawah, two questions (1) the flare problem was fixed with the original TSB? this is where the car surges ahead when cruise control engaged...that seems not to be fixed on my 2007, although the hesitation is and (2) are you living on Kiawah?
#566 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [joel16]
Sep 17, 2007 (5:22 am)
1a.) The 'flare' problem is not what you describe. A flare happens when accelerating. As you are in say 2nd gear and your engine RPM's raise to say 4000 rpm, then the transmission would normally shift to 3rd gear and the rpm's would drop from 4000 to let's say 2000. With a transmission 'flare', what happens is this....as the transmission begins to shift from 2nd to 3rd, it appears to go thru a period of time when it is in neutral. The rpm's will spike and instead of going down, will actually go up. Could jump from 4000 to 5000 for a short period of time, and then drop down to 2000. That is what people have described as a flare. A number of owners of the V6-6speed have had this problem, it is not at all typical of the I4-5speed (although 1 or 2 individuals have claimed to have this problem on an I4).
1b.) I was one of the original owners reporting the cruise control problem, and to explain this need to first explain the I4-5speed. There are obviously 5 gears in the transmission, but there is also a feature which 'locks' the torque converter while in 5th gear, which will drop another approx 300-500 rpm or so when it shifts into lockup mode. This almost makes it appear on the tach that it is a 6speed, but it isn't. In travelling down the interstate at constant speed, you would normally be in 5th gear with lockup. What I found is that in driving via soft foot on the pedal, I could cruise along just fine. The car would drop out of lockup at times to climb a slight grade, and would even downshift to 4th on occasion if necessary. During this period of time the car speed would drop a few mph. Under cruise control however, as the car started to drop mph it would quickly downshift from 5th lockup to say 4th, and sometimes 5th L to 3rd. Car would surge ahead and overshoot the target mph speed, would shift into 5th lockup again. Seemed like the vehicle had to downshift for even the slightest of grades, appeared to be lacking enough power for how high the transmission was geared. I have some torque and hp charts on my carspace, and the rpms at cruise speed with 5lockup were below the power/torque curves of the engine. I believe (not technically substantiated) that the engineers just got the engine too lean, and over geared, in effect actually decreasing the overall performance.
The original TSB (and the latest supercede's the original), feels like to me to give the engine more horsepower, and gives the transmission different shift points. The car runs sooo much better, it's like night and day. Both the hesitation, as well as the cruise control downshifting problem went away....and my mpg, and performance went up.
2.) Live/work in Raleigh, have a place at Kiawah.
#567 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (6:17 am)
Thanks Kiawah. I live and work in Charlotte. Parents have a place in Cary (Containment Area for Relocated Yankees). Kiawah is one of the most beautiful places on the planet!
Thanks for the explanation on flare. Unfortunately, I still get the cruise problem (happened many times on a recent trip to Raleigh). The car does downshift, and surge ahead, but the RPMs stick over 3000 or more for 3-5 seconds, before dropping back down. Almost like a combination of the flare and cruise problem. Personally, I think this car could use a few more horsepower, and that might help solve the problem. Honda has a 177HP and 190HP 4cyl in their new lineup. I drove both, and the 177 seems a little underpowered, 190 seemed perfect. Of course, and probably obvious, I am not an auto techie, just have owned and driven many cars over the years.
#568 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [joel16]
Sep 17, 2007 (6:52 am)
If you look at the Torque curve (these are the originals prior to TSB's), you see that there is a knee of the curve at just under 2K rpm's. Look at your rpm's next time driving w/cruise....you might run better at a higher mph (as long as you don't get a speeding ticket), which is getting your rpm's up in a range where the engine has more torque and runs better. At 1500 rpm, engine looks like it is putting out only about 40hp, at 130 footlbs of torque. The air conditioner compressor and alternator probably suck up 1/2 of that. All my normal driving is less than 3K rpm, which is in the 30-70 hp output range.
I forget, didn't you get the latest TSB put on? Are you saying you still have a cruise control downshifting problem?
I4 Torque/HP curves
#569 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (7:24 am)
Yes, had the latest 4-cylinder TSB installed, hesitation gone (although air con does suck some power from the engine at times) and yes, still have the cruise control problem. I am taking the car in to the dealer next week to get oil and filter change, and will discuss it with dealer at that time. When cruise set at 70 mph, and speed dips below 70, transmission downshifts, and car races to attain speed, sometimes overshooting 70. After speed attained, engine stays at high RPM for 3-5 seconds before dropping down again to 2000+ range (where I'd expect it to be). Happens quite a bit on trip from Charlotte to Raleigh (mostly uphill). A little disoncerting to say the least, and makes me wonder if this behavior is damaging to the engine/transmission.
#570 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (8:19 am)
A slight correction...
With OD gear ratios of ~1:1.7 (engine turning once for each 1.7 turns of the transaxle output "shaft") the engine RPM is down in the low 2000 range when just cruising along at hwy speeds.
Since torque converters MUST act like a clutch at 800/1000 RPM, low torque coupling, at these low engine RPMs the lockup clutch must be used to bypass the torque converter.
So modern day vehicles are almost NEVER in OD without the lockup clutch being engaged unless a reasonably high level of engine torque is required, bringing the engine RPM up into the range wherein an unlocked torque converter can operate with efficiency.
These days a significant improvement in FE is being attained via using the lockup in gear ratios below OD. Eliminating the inefficiencies of the torque converter at times when its torque multiplication factor is of little or no use. Making a 5 speed, 4 speed + OD, transaxles into "six" speed transaxles.
Now, the "driveability" issue.
Were you to have an accelerometer in hand at the times your car "downshifts" when it exceeds the cruise control target you might find something unusual.
Even thought the engine RPM jumps quite noticeably aurally and "visually", the accelerometer indicates a nice smooth transition.
Your were doing 60MPH in cruise control and now that uphill slope causes the speed to decrease slightly, so more engine TORQUE must be applied.
So the lockup clutch disengages.
But in the INSTANTANEOUS case, at the "current" engine RPM, the torque converter is simply not efficient enough to maintain your speed, let alone bring it back up to the "target".
The engine/transaxle ECU has been made well aware of this fact and therefore it will use DBW to open the throttle slightly, simultaneously with releasing the lockup.
Why the attention given to this issue??
With you, "soft-footing" the accelerator pedal, the very same thing, VERY SAME THING, happens. But since YOU are the causative factor in the downshift sequence it simply doesn't get your interest as does having it happen automatically.
Also, can you really "soft-foot" it just barely enough to keep it in the OD gear ratio but with the lockup disengaged or do you mostly end up in an entirely lower gear ratio.
The ECU via DBW can....
While you would have to search for "it", via some hunting, dithering of the gas pedal, the engine/transaxle controlling ECU "KNOWS" just EXACTLY what engine RPM, torque output level, will be needed, without any EXCESS whatsoever, once the lockup is released.
And by the way the lower HP/torque I4 will be much more subject to this "effect" vs the V6.
And by the way these matters, issues, effects, have been exacerbated in the past few years by some breakthrough technology. My 2001 RX300 cruises at 65MPH and 2700 RPM. The new RX350 cruises at 2200 RPM at 65 MPH.
VVT-i? Dual intake plenum?
Doesn't matter, the fact is that many modern day engines now have a higher torque level in the low RPM ranges than we ever dreamed of just a few years ago. So the OD ratios are getting higher and higher, allowing the engines to operate at even lower RPM levels while just cruising along.
Lower RPM levels = Lower, LOWER, torque converter coupling efficiency. In the next decade we will begin to see torque converters disappear from the passenger vehicle marketplace.
#571 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [kiawah]
Sep 17, 2007 (8:40 am)
Hi Kiawah, You say your flare-up in rpm and downshifting on any up-hill inclined road(cruise control "on") has been fixed by the latest TSB? I wish I could say the same, but I cannot. Still have the flare-up/numerous downshifting problem. As I also have the 07 Camry LE 4cyl/5spd automatic, I am wondering if my dealer properly installed the latest TSB. Since my hesitation problem was fixed, I am not very anxious to take my car back and let them screw around with it and possibly make matters worse. Let us know if your problems with the flare/downshifting reappear in the future as it has with some others reporting in this forum.
#572 of 882 Re: 2007 Camry LE 4 cyl: What should I buy to replace this piece of junk? [camryowner1]
Sep 17, 2007 (9:04 am)
Just to be clear up my personal situation, as I think you have it a little confused.
- Back when I bought the car a year and a half ago, I experienced the cruise control downshifting problem, and a slight hesitation. I have never experienced a transmission 'flare' (I have the 4cylinder LE).
- The original TSB from a year ago, resolved both of the above symptoms that I had. No problems have surfaced since then, and now have over 20K miles. EG056-06
- I have NOT had the updated TSB performed yet (release Aug 2007), but plan to at the next oil change. EG036-07
If you have had the latest TSB performed, and have the sticker to prove it (inside your hood), and it has not fixed your problem.....I'd take it back to the dealership and indicate to them your problem. I'd personally ask them to re-install it.