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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago my 2001 Camry LE 2.2L 5S-FE lost its rear main oil seal. My local Toyota dealer, Hutchinson Toyota, pulled the engine, replaced the oil seal and performed some other service. After the repair, I picked up the car on a Friday.

Over the next three days I drove several hundred local miles without issue. Then, at a stoplight, the engine tried to stall briefly. The engine stalls were rare but happened a few other times.

Three days after the repair I took the car back to the dealer and complained about the intermit stalls. A service tech drove the car and said he couldn't get it to stall. Some carbon was cleaned off a linkage as a potential solution.

Over time the stalling has become more frequent and happens at rest and on the move. I took the car back to the dealer and again no problem was detected by the service tech.

I know the the problem is the torque converter. At rest, the car will not stall in neutral. I don't want to drive the car and damage the transmission.

Is it likely that the service department screwed up when they installed the engine? If so, could a simple adjustment solve the problem?

If the torque converter must be replaced, how much would Toyota charge to replace it?

What would you advise me to do?
 

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IME this is usually indicative of ignition problems unrelated to the repair. Cracked spark plug or bad wire arcing, failing coil.

If it was the torque converter, I'd expect a code for the lockup solenoid; the way I see a torque converter causing this is if it was locking up at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much for your reply. I certainly hope that you are right but I can't understand why the engine goes from trying to stall to purring if I shift into neutral.
 

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Because no load. Not saying it isn't a trans issue, but I'd check the ignition components first.
 

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You may have a wiring issue that I have found on a few with the 5SFE. The harness that goes across the engine wyes at the left edge of the head. If this harness is not placed correctly, it can drop onto the EGR pipe and burn through the insulation, causing weird problems. The ones I have had usually would blow the gauge fuse, or lose one of the PRNDL lights. However, it is not without the realm of possibility that it could also affect the torque converter lockup wire, causing intermittent lockup when not normally requested.

I say this because you have said that it is not stalling solely when you come to a stop, which would be the usual if a torque convertor clutch is sticking.

Lastly, I have found this only on cars that have had an engine swap. You can check this by locating the VIN plate on the engine. Look at the engine trans join. Next to the exhaust pipe, there will be a tag riveted to the engine, on this will be the VIN of the car in which the engine was originally installed. If it matches, it is original, though still no guarantee that it hasn't been out. Best to also check that the wiring harness is not touching the EGR pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the helpful reply. I think that there is a good possibility that you are right. That wiring will be checked out. I did have a strange anomaly after I began to have problems. My high stop light burned out. The bulb wasn't that old. After replacing the bulb my dashboard warning light didn't go out.
 

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After replacing the bulb my dashboard warning light didn't go out.
The light out unit is very sensitive to bulbs. Make sure you have the recommended bulb in there, and not simply something that looks like it. Never, ever go by what was in there before; the last guy is not to be trusted that far.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the replies The Camry and a copy of this thread was left with Hutchinson Toyota. I'm driving a loaner until they are able to repair the car. I'll post again later.
 

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Not saying it's their fault, but after this you should consider finding a good, honest independent mechanic to replace the stealership. Anybody can work on these cars, the dealer does not have knowledge that others do not (case in point, your solicitation on these forums).
 
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Thank you all for the replies The Camry and a copy of this thread was left with Hutchinson Toyota. I'm driving a loaner until they are able to repair the car. I'll post again later.
I bet you're popular around there, leaving instructions as to how they screwed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I bet you're popular around there, leaving instructions as to how they screwed up.
Your advice is only helpful if it's available to the people who need it. I like the dealer and its service department. Right now I'm driving the loaner they offered. I don't know any perfect mechanics.
 

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I speak from the experience of working at a dealership, though one I believe is better then average.
Perhaps I need get you photographs of how the wiring is supposed to run, as I've had this problem in more than one car.
And it is NOT easy to repair. Really not.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I appreciate your help. If there is anything else that you can add I'd like to see it. I think that I have a good relationship with my dealer. They've serviced that car since it was purchased in 2001.
 

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Got the pic off my latest '99.
It hard to see, and my photo processing sortware doesn't let me add arrows and such, BUT:
the rusty pipe bending down and to the left is the EGR pipe. The wire harness (corrugated tubing) is behind it, where it should be located. During an engine swap, this sometimes gets placed in front, where it will burn through. Reason might be that it is easier to locate the harnes in front, because you have to thread it through the area behind the pipe, and it's a lot of wire.

P.S. Photo was taken from left side, across the brake booster towards the right of the car. This is behind the engine, the firewall is to the right in the photo.

P.P.S. Yes, I've swapped engine in these more than once.

303794
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the clear image. My Camry is still with the service department so I won't be able to look at how the wires are routed until I get it back.
 
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