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New transmission or is it fixable?

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1996 Toyota Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was test driving a 99 gt that I'm planning to buy and everything was sound other than 1 thing...... it would not (no matter how high the rpms got) go into top gear. Don't know what's wrong because all other gears work just fine. Any suggestions or info is greatly appreciated!!!

EDIT: im pretty sure i have the a140e auto transaxle if that helps
 

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イリジウム
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5 speed manual I take it. With the car stationary and exercise all precautions on sudden dangerous vehicle movement, shift in to 5th and see if the engine stalls releasing the clutch. Also check shift linkage mounting. In other gears, when does the clutch catch? About 50% pedal travel?
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
5 speed manual I take it. With the car stationary and exercise all precautions on sudden dangerous vehicle movement, shift in to 5th and see if the engine stalls releasing the clutch. Also check shift linkage mounting. In other gears, when does the clutch catch? About 50% pedal travel?
Its the 4 speed auto
 

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He said it’s automatic which sounds right. 3speed with overdrive.

Did you see if overdrive was disabled on the dash? It should light up if so. If not, what rpm are you cruising 70 highway?


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1996 Toyota Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He said it’s automatic which sounds right. 3speed with overdrive.

Did you see if overdrive was disabled on the dash? It should light up if so. If not, what rpm are you cruising 70 highway?


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The overdrive off light was not on ( i had a 96 corolla with the same setup) at 70 mph it was crusing at about 4 to 4.5k
 

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Sounds like that trans might have issues. Should cruise on overdrive about 3k


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1996 Toyota Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like that trans might have issues. Should cruise on overdrive about 3k


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Yea im trying to figure out what would cause that issue. I dont want to buy a lemon and screw myself over
 

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イリジウム
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(Hey you changed the title on me! ;) I was looking for that info.)

Anyway, engine coolant temp sensor is the first suspect. The transmission won't shift into OD if the coolant temp is low. See if OBD-II can pull up that temp. Then it's the shift solenoid.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There is a O/D switch on your shifter - check if that is depressed. It will prevent to the trans from shifting into 4th (O/D), I believe. Your O/D OFF light in the instrument cluster may be burnt out or removed.
Light was able to turn on and off the button isnt the problem. That was the first thing i checked 😋
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
(Hey you changed the title on me! ;) I was looking for that info.)

Anyway, engine coolant temp sensor is the first suspect. The transmission won't shift into OD if the coolant temp is low. See if OBD-II can pull up that temp. Then it's the shift solenoid.
Engine coolant temp was reading normal (right in the middle after about 10ish min of driving) and there was no check engine light
 

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イリジウム
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What you saw is the temperature sender for the instrument gauge, it's a one-wire deal.

There's a 2-wire sensor that sends the info to the computer. What the computer sees may be different than what you see.

Since the shifting is controlled by the computer, if ECT and shift solenoids are both good, then check wiring and ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What you saw is the temperature sender for the instrument gauge, it's a one-wire deal.

There's a 2-wire sensor that sends the info to the computer. What the computer sees may be different than what you see.

Since the shifting is controlled by the computer, if ECT and shift solenoids are both good, then check wiring and ECU.
Ill probably end up replacing the cts just to be safe (as well as the thermostat). Im not sure if the ect and shift solenoids are good as i still dont own it (only test drove it for about an hour) and i also dont know how to check them but i would imagine they are since 1st through 3rd is fine as well as neutral and reverse
 

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イリジウム
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Is the Check Engine light bulb still good and light up? Make sure the bulb isn't removed.

You should use a simple OBD-II scanner to check for codes first. If there are shift solenoid problems, the D light may be flashing, but doesn't sound like that's the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ill scan for codes when i go to buy it later this week and see what happens. If need be ill just get the tranny rebuilt. It will be worth it in the long run if thats what it needs
 

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The engine coolant temperature sender (for ECU) is a good thought here. The engine should be running rich on a fully warmed up engine also if the engine coolant temperature sender isn't capable of providing the right resistance data to the ECU based on engine coolant temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is the Check Engine light bulb still good and light up? Make sure the bulb isn't removed.

You should use a simple OBD-II scanner to check for codes first. If there are shift solenoid problems, the D light may be flashing, but doesn't sound like that's the case.
Sooo the check engine light works, and it isnt on for the transmission issue. Am i screwed? I still havent replaced anything so the coolant temp sensor might still fix it. Not sure
 

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If you push that button switch on your shifter to prevent the transmission going into overdrive, does the OD light come on in the instrument cluster (key ON, of course)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you push that button switch on your shifter to prevent the transmission going into overdrive, does the OD light come on in the instrument cluster (key ON, of course)?
Yea the od light works as well
 

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You may want to check if your solenoids (should have 3 of them) on your transmission case are properly connected to the wiring harness and to each other. There is also a neutral start switch on your transmission (where you shift cable attached) that prevents the car from being started when the shifter is in any position other than park and neutral (I think it also contains the rear back up light switch) to see if that is adjusted properly (it could be in a position other than drive on the neutral start switch, even though your shifter is in drive, which would prevent reaching the O/D or highest gear.

Just some additional thoughts to work through.
 
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