Flex Lock Issue (torque converter shudder) - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 7th Generation (2012-2017) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 2012-2017

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post #1 of 16 Old 05-05-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Flex Lock Issue (torque converter shudder)

I have a 2012 Camry V6 that is experiencing the transmission shudder (called Flex Lock).

Dealer told me the TSB and warranty extension only apples to the 4 cylinder and doesn't apply to the V6 (anybody else been told this)... not that it matter much because I'm at 152K

Anybody else have this issue on the V6? Have you had it repaired (did they replaced torque converter?... did it fix the issue?) I've read some posts where folks had the software update, didn't fix the issue, then had the TC replaced and it still didn't fix the issue...I'd hate to spend $2K and still have the issue.

If anyone has paid for the TC to be replaced out of warranty, how much did they charge? I see a new OEM TC can be bought from online Toyota dealers for ~$900 and the TSB says 5.6hours of labor (so I'm expecting around $1700... but I've been quoted a lot more... curious what other folks have experienced)

Been looking online for procedure to replace the TC, but find nothing. Anyone found online repair instructions?

Thx in advance for any info folks have
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-05-2019, 06:05 PM
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It applies to the transmission model, not the motor.
I don't know if V6 had a different tranny.
Look up the recall and which tranny you have.

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-05-2019, 07:07 PM
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4 cylinder has the U760E, and the V6 has the U660E
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-05-2019, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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The TSB and warranty program only apply to the U760e (as far as I can tell from my research), which may explain why the dealer said my VIN wasn't covered (however, the same dealer initially said it would be $6K to replace the torque converter... so I'm not so sure I trust them. After questioning them multiple times showing them prices for a brand new torque converter from another Toyota dealer and showing them the 5.5 hours repair time, they eventually came back at $2700.... still very pricey in my opinion based on the parts and labor cost). I just sent an email directly to Toyota with the VIN to get an answer straight from them.

Either way, it sucks that the U660e (if that's what I have) is showing the exact symptoms described in the TSB for the U760e. I would love to know if anyone else with a V6 (and assumably the U660e) have experienced the Shudder/Flex-lock issue
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 06:49 PM
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With 152K miles, prepare yourself for a rebuilt transmission if they go into it.


First thing the Toyota TSB says to do when someone comes in with converter problems is flush the transmission.


Find a reputable shop, (Aamco?) have them drop the pan, change the filter and refill the transmission adding an additive which conditions the seals and the fluid. Should not cost more than about $300.


Do to the high mileage I would drop the pan and change the filter as opposed to just a flush.

Last edited by dcm0123; 05-07-2019 at 06:51 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-09-2019, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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So I got a reply back from Toyota...
#1 They would only talk on the phone... wouldn't put anything in writing!!! hmmmmmm
#2 They did confirm the V6 with the U660e was not covered under the warranty extension
#3 They also said "Sorry... but we're not going to do anything for you"

Let me read the between the lines... the U760e had all sorts of issues so all the bad publicity caused them to issue the warranty extension. The U660e had the exact same issue, but not in the same quantities, so not as much bad publicity equates to "screw all you folks that own the V6"... This has left me with a bad feeling for Toyota... While I have owned many Toyota vehicles over the years (Corolla, Cecelia, Camry, etc), this will certainly steer me away from Toyota for my next vehicle if I do decide to dump this car.

So I did call a few dealers for quotes assuming the TC needs to be replaced. I was quoted 12 hours of labor from all of them. The TSB for the V4 (U760e) calls out 5.6 hours of labor. It is possible the V6 is more of a pain. I am going to try to find the Mitchell book labor hours for the V6.

Anyways, the quotes came back between $2K and $3.6K (quite a wide range)...

$2K was about my threshold for a car that's worth about $6 to $7K... So I may get it repaired. I still need to contact a non-dealer shop and see what they say...

Last edited by avritch; 05-09-2019 at 08:26 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-10-2019, 08:20 PM
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I also had a shudder in between 35 - 50 mph for about 2 & 1/2 years. (2012 Camry SE 4 cyl.) I found a video on YouTube recently that talked about liquid to put in the ATF. It is called "Dr. Tranny Shudder Fix" (No this is not a joke.) I tried it recently and I have been shudder-free for 4 day and counting. I want to share this because this $11 tube saved me $2000. Give it a try. It helped me.

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post #8 of 16 Old 06-10-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco636 View Post
I also had a shudder in between 35 - 50 mph for about 2 & 1/2 years. (2012 Camry SE 4 cyl.) I found a video on YouTube recently that talked about liquid to put in the ATF. It is called "Dr. Tranny Shudder Fix" (No this is not a joke.) I tried it recently and I have been shudder-free for 4 day and counting. I want to share this because this $11 tube saved me $2000. Give it a try. It helped me.
Why not get a free new torque converter and the shift programming update that prevents shudder from Toyota? Or is your tranny not eligible because it has more than 150,000 miles?
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-11-2019, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathyricks View Post
Why not get a free new torque converter and the shift programming update that prevents shudder from Toyota? Or is your tranny not eligible because it has more than 150,000 miles?

Way past 150,000 miles. The dealership wouldn't pay for a new TC.

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-12-2019, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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How do you add the Dr Tranny?
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-12-2019, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by avritch View Post
How do you add the Dr Tranny?
I looked on YouTube for transmission fluid change. It is in side the driver's side front wheel well. you will need a 24mm socket wrench. Remove the plug, add the fluid, put it back together. shift it from reverse to drive a few times before you test drive it. Hopefully it will work for you as well.

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-12-2019, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thx. I did the same and found videos of the fill plug. I might do a complete fluid change. I hadn’t before because I had heard it was a total pain, but after looking at the videos, doesn’t seem too bad. Will let all know how I make out.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-14-2019, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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OK... Flush complete and Dr. Tranny added... We'll see how she does and will report back
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-14-2019, 10:17 PM
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First off . What ever labor time in a TSB that's warranty time . Is not the same time when is a customer job . Customer labor is 1.5 x TSB labor time .
That's how this business work .

The 4 cylinder job is cake work .
I pull the engine from the top and remove Torque converter. Done by lunch good bye .
The V 6 not so much.
Had to pull the subframe and hold the engine from the top using a cross tube service tool .
Old cars full of rust real PITA .
Yes old cars don't care if is 2015 is old . Rusty pos.

I hope you used WS fluid .
I seen plenty issues when ppl use one size fits all" special fluid "


TC shudders it happens. Any model or Trans
TCC works very hard . It gets pulsed at very low speeds .don't matter what gear trans is in .
Gotta get that extra 0.02 mpg .

Some flashes are available for some models to improve shift
quality and when TCC is applied
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-16-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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1st report: Good thus far... Took two 45 minutes trips this weekend on a route that has me at 40 to 50 mph the whole trip ... this route would always experience the shudder at least a hand full of times.... But after the flush and Dr. Tranny, no shudder this weekend.

Don't want to jinx it, but so far so good... not sure if it's the flush or the Dr. Tranny, or both... but who cares...

If it took care of the problem for < $100 instead of >$2K, it was worth a try (BTW, the book time for a V6 is 12 hours, list price on a TC is $1250, but you can buy from Toyota dealers online for ~$800).

And yes I did use OEM Toyota WS ATF... did 3 flushes... If I were to do it again, I'd flush a couple more times; the fluid was still a little dark after 3 flushes... Not nearly as bad as the original fluid, but not nice and bright red.

My initial thought was that Dr. Tranny was a joke... but it's not a joke, it's a real product Amazon had nearly a 1000 reviews and the vast majority of folks said adding it totally eliminated or dramatically reduced the shudder.

Special thanks to cisco636 for pointing out this inexpensive potential fix...
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Last edited by avritch; 06-16-2019 at 09:35 PM.
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