2003 Camry I4 Transmission Question - Flush or Not? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
5th & 6th Generation (2002-2006 & 2007-2011) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 2002-2006 & 2007-2011 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 Old 02-28-2010, 07:41 PM
New TN User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicagi
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Gen5 2003 Camry I4 Transmission Question - Flush or Not?

2003 Camry I4 2.4L Auto Trans
100K Miles

Problem: Moderate "clunk" when I shift from Reverse to Drive. After braking around a corner the transmission seems to miss-shift a bit. There's a lag from when I press the gas to when the gear is engaged. This causes a slight "clunk" while driving.

A mechanic told me that my tranny fluid was much darker than it should be. He recommended a flush/fill and filter replacement.

QUESTION: I haven't flushed the tranny fluid since I bought it in 2005 at 32K miles. Should I mess with the fluid or leave it alone? If I mess with it will it just dislodge the crap and make everything worse?

Thanks in advance.
mconfes is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 02-28-2010, 07:48 PM
Super Moderator
 
heartdisease's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,550
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Thanks: 1,486
Thanked 1,843 Times in 1,326 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconfes View Post
2003 Camry I4 2.4L Auto Trans
100K Miles

Problem: Moderate "clunk" when I shift from Reverse to Drive. After braking around a corner the transmission seems to miss-shift a bit. There's a lag from when I press the gas to when the gear is engaged. This causes a slight "clunk" while driving.

A mechanic told me that my tranny fluid was much darker than it should be. He recommended a flush/fill and filter replacement.

QUESTION: I haven't flushed the tranny fluid since I bought it in 2005 at 32K miles. Should I mess with the fluid or leave it alone? If I mess with it will it just dislodge the crap and make everything worse?

Thanks in advance.
I don't know what the service interval is look in the manual. I would say though, if it is developing problems, not doing anything isn't going to lessen the progression. I would get it flushed and filled myself, I do on all my vehicles every 30-40k. They have filtering machines, that shouldn't allow the crap to get in and screw it up any more.
heartdisease is online now  
#3 Old 02-28-2010, 07:55 PM
Official TN Member
 
johnfrisco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartdisease View Post
I don't know what the service interval is look in the manual. I would say though, if it is developing problems, not doing anything isn't going to lessen the progression. I would get it flushed and filled myself, I do on all my vehicles every 30-40k. They have filtering machines, that shouldn't allow the crap to get in and screw it up any more.
There is no service interval. Toyota says the fluid is "Lifetime". Yeah I believe that.

Don't get a flush that can be risky.

Do a drain and fill once a year with a new filter.
johnfrisco is offline  
#4 Old 02-28-2010, 08:39 PM
Maven
 
gdanaher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 3,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 8
Thanked 259 Times in 231 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
With that mileage it has to have some gunk in there and the likelihood is high that the detergents in the old atf are beat. With the I4 it is easy to get to the hoses that run to the cooler. disconnect the outflow hose from the cooler and catch the flow with a pan as you start the engine and allow it to run the few seconds it takes to pump the fluid out. It won't be dry but you can get a few quarts out this way. By replacing only a portion you are reintroducing some cleaning ability without totally shocking the system. Pulling and cleaning the pan and a new filter are also helpful, but I don't think I would 'flush' the system right now. See if you can't get the valves freed up so that it will shift properly.

2007 V6 Camry LE, Built TMMK 27 September 06
"People who think they know it all are particularly irritating to those of us who do."
gdanaher is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to gdanaher For This Useful Post:
mconfes (03-02-2010)
#5 Old 03-01-2010, 12:00 AM
& JustAnotherCamry
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Inland Empire, CA
Posts: 1,603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
iTrader Score: 2 reviews
there's a service interval for transmission fluid, but i forgot what it was. i'll check it in the handbook and report later this week if no one comes up with the "official" interval by then.
JustAnotherAsian is offline  
#6 Old 03-01-2010, 01:14 AM
イリジウム
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Calif
Posts: 8,233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Thanks: 200
Thanked 938 Times in 886 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
How's the fluid level?

04 Camry I4 has the Aisin U241E transmission. It's POS. Well, IMO all U-series are junk.

The main problem with U241E is a defect with fluid circuit design that at times can cause two gears to be engaged at the same time. There is no software fix for this. You just have to kinda "get used to it" if this is the cause for the clunk. There are other causes, including wear in the inner CV joint on acceleration.

But in general you should drop the pan and change the filter every 15-30K miles depending on severe-normal driving. Consider using Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF, Valvoline MaxLife, or Walmart SuperTech Mercon-V that's suitable for Toyota T-IV (T-IV = dino Mobil-3309) or Mobil-1 ATF (new formulation suitable for T-IV, not the old formulation). (Basically read the label carefully. And remember cleanliness and fluid level accuracy are important.)

Usually varnish falling off and plugging stuff is reserved for 100K+ miles of neglected transmissions. I think Toyota think it's OK to leave it in there for the lifetime but later changeed to 60K miles for normal driving. HA HA HA 60K miles what a joke. Unless you're on a 3-year lease then it's fine, who cares right?

Edit: However, with the miles I would consider using Valvoline MaxLife ATF. There's no guarantee, but in general when you suspect transmission problems checking fluid condition and level is the first thing, and then just change it out with new fluid and filter, wipe the metal sludge off the bottom of the pan. Consider another filter change in 15K miles.

See if this will improve things. However, if the clutch packs are worn out from the blocked filter, then maybe MaxLife will help give you a little more time.


ATF kit, ~$20 + shipping on rockauto:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=539553



Quote:
Originally Posted by mconfes View Post
2003 Camry I4 2.4L Auto Trans
100K Miles

Problem: Moderate "clunk" when I shift from Reverse to Drive. After braking around a corner the transmission seems to miss-shift a bit. There's a lag from when I press the gas to when the gear is engaged. This causes a slight "clunk" while driving.

A mechanic told me that my tranny fluid was much darker than it should be. He recommended a flush/fill and filter replacement.

QUESTION: I haven't flushed the tranny fluid since I bought it in 2005 at 32K miles. Should I mess with the fluid or leave it alone? If I mess with it will it just dislodge the crap and make everything worse?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by JohnGD; 03-01-2010 at 01:24 AM.
JohnGD is offline  
#7 Old 03-02-2010, 04:33 PM
New TN User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicagi
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Thanks for the replies everyone. I talked to Toyota and a tranny shop and both said that doing a drain/fill, screen/filter change wouldn't make things worse. Everyone is saying no the flush so that's out.

So, is this a pretty easy job? I saw the ATF kit for $20 and i looks easy enough. Toyota said to just use whatever OEM fluid it requires. The shop is quoting $140-180 to drop the pan/filter.

I have basic tools and would have to do it in my driveway. Is it as easy as it sounds? Do I have to buff the pan edges or anything like that? Are there any computer settings that can affect the smoothness of shifting, etc?

What do you guys think?
mconfes is offline  
#8 Old 03-02-2010, 09:39 PM
Super Moderator
 
heartdisease's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,550
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Thanks: 1,486
Thanked 1,843 Times in 1,326 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconfes View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone. I talked to Toyota and a tranny shop and both said that doing a drain/fill, screen/filter change wouldn't make things worse. Everyone is saying no the flush so that's out.

So, is this a pretty easy job? I saw the ATF kit for $20 and i looks easy enough. Toyota said to just use whatever OEM fluid it requires. The shop is quoting $140-180 to drop the pan/filter.

I have basic tools and would have to do it in my driveway. Is it as easy as it sounds? Do I have to buff the pan edges or anything like that? Are there any computer settings that can affect the smoothness of shifting, etc?

What do you guys think?
I have never done it on a Camry. How many hours are in that qoute? I might be a little leary if the shop figures 2-3 hours to do. You might have to move a cross member or something.
heartdisease is online now  
#9 Old 03-03-2010, 01:57 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: california
Posts: 534
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 61
Thanked 43 Times in 36 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconfes View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone. I talked to Toyota and a tranny shop and both said that doing a drain/fill, screen/filter change wouldn't make things worse. Everyone is saying no the flush so that's out.

So, is this a pretty easy job? I saw the ATF kit for $20 and i looks easy enough. Toyota said to just use whatever OEM fluid it requires. The shop is quoting $140-180 to drop the pan/filter.

I have basic tools and would have to do it in my driveway. Is it as easy as it sounds? Do I have to buff the pan edges or anything like that? Are there any computer settings that can affect the smoothness of shifting, etc?

What do you guys think?
I agree with Toyota, a change and fill is the best bet and see how it reacts to that. Better then flushing and possibly dislodging clutch material etc. Yes you can do it yourself, it is messy but not difficult.

Of course drain the pan first (probably a 10 mm male hex socket) then unbolt and remove the pan.
The biggest issue with removing the pan, is the distinct possibility of a leak afterwards. You should not have to buff the pan just clean the gasket sealing surfaces on transmission and pan like new - and i'd use a gasket and sealer NOT silicone sealer.

I dont know what kind of gasket, if any, you will find when you drop the pan - the factory may have only used a bead of silicone sealant. Personally i'd replace that with a gasket and sealer, permatex (the brown kind) is the type i prefer - i have seen silicone leak way too many times to ever trust it on an ATf pan.

Note the torque specs on the bolts - they are in inch pounds. This means be careful not to overtighten the bolts when you replace the pan, if you overtighten you risk squeezing out the gasket material and a leak . IF you don't have or can't get a torque wrench (the preferred method) moderately firm tightness usually works.
If when removing the bolts you found some that were very loose - this is definitely not something you want again because this too can cause a leak. I'd use some loctite blue on the bolts and then just tighten them like a 98 pound weakling would.

When tightening the bolts use a criss-cross pattern to prevent warping the pan, do not tighten one then the one next to it etc. - use a pattern similar to how you would tighten the lug nuts on a wheel, or cylinder head bolts.

Last edited by AlmightyCamry777; 03-05-2010 at 01:44 PM.
AlmightyCamry777 is offline  
#10 Old 03-03-2010, 07:17 PM
イリジウム
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Calif
Posts: 8,233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Thanks: 200
Thanked 938 Times in 886 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
A 1/4"-drive u-joint will help in getting at the 3 difficult bolts.
JohnGD is offline  
#11 Old 03-04-2010, 08:56 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: gatineau
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
My 04 has about 80,000 miles, once and a while, the transmission seems to get confused and pause at low speeds when I turn a corner and try to go, I just wait for it to decide on a gear then accelerate. I changed the oil in the pan twice waiting a week in between changes when i got the car at 50 k miles; the oil stayed clean the second time. Too lazy to take the pan off. I now change out what's in the pan every spring, I use Toyota oil, it takes about 4 litres or American quarts.
warpedrotor is offline  
#12 Old 03-04-2010, 10:23 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Anybody know the torque specs on the pan bolts?

Otherwise with the drain plug the job is so much easier, drain, drop pan and clean inside. You will also see whats on the magnets and the screen, will give you an idea of whats "cooking".
89molavi is online now  
#13 Old 11-06-2011, 09:43 AM
New TN User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Delaware, Ohio
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by 89molavi View Post
Anybody know the torque specs on the pan bolts?

Otherwise with the drain plug the job is so much easier, drain, drop pan and clean inside. You will also see whats on the magnets and the screen, will give you an idea of whats "cooking".
Pan bolts on my 2002 Camry V6 are 69 in-lbs.
isrb710 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums > Toyota Passenger and Sports Car Forums > Camry and Solara Forum > 5th & 6th Generation (2002-2006 & 2007-2011)

Bookmarks

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome