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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2009 Corolla XRS 5 speed automatic. I have 10,500 miles on it and I have had this transmission issue since I got the car. At times, while accelerating onto highways the car does not downshift. The car stays in 3rd gear up until 4,000 RPM. I can shift it by putting it in sport mode and shifting manuly. It only does it sometimes but it does not seem normal. Took it for my 1st service visit dealer said no codes came up on the computer and maybe it needed to be broken in. Went for 2nd service dealer told me no codes and no problems. I then wrote a letter to Toyota under the lemon law since it had 2 failed attempts at fixing it. They contacted me and it really does not fall under a lemon but the head tech guy for the northeast will look at it a week from thursday. He again said this may be normal. I do not see how it is normal. Does anyone else have the same problem with their 09 corolla/matrix XRS automatic transmission? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Is it because it is a four cylinder that it has these problems? Usually it shifts correctly but I feel there is a defect but they said the computer would have codes stating problems and it does not.
 

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Ask your Mother
2009 Corolla XRS
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its probably because you dont know what youre doing. you probably have the gear selector in 3, and not D. if its not in D then it wont downshift when you apply more throttle. read the manual.
XRS Gear box does not have a "P-R-N-D-3-2-L" lay out like most auto slushboxes...

XRS Gearbox goes... "P - R - N - D", and then " S " when slid to the left for sport / sequential mode.

The OP said the car was in D (since the XRS does not have a 3rd Gear Option), and he had to move it to S in order to shift up to 4th or 5th Gear to bring his RPM down. I'd say he knows what he is doing since he knew enough to move it to "S" in order to shift to the proper gear for the speed he was driving.

I'd read the manual and familiarize yourself with the different gear boxes before you attack someone's competence.

NOW... to the OP,
I don't know what would cause the gear to hang. My guess is it has something to do with the Drive By Wire system. When you hammer the accelerator down to merge onto the freeway, the ECU/DBW system adjusts the gears in accordance with your throttle. My guess is that the DBW system did not sense the reduction in throttle pressure properly leaving the car in a lower gear or "passing gear". I've seen it happen before but it is rare. Try an ECU reset maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have already had the transmission rebooted at a dealer. It drove better for a couple of days. BTW I have the car in D not 3. How do you do an ECU reset? Thanks for all your help. I have heard it involves the engine warming up but I do not think that has anything to do with my issue.

Would you all agree that this is not normal?
 

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2009 Corolla XRS
2009 Corolla XRS
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I think I'm probably missing something...I've re-read the OP a few times and I don't get it yet.

So what happens is you're on an onramp of a highway and while accelerating the car stays in the same gear and the RPM's continue to rise until 4000 rpm (ish lets say). Do they settle down after you get onto the highway and are at cruise speed? (100kph/60mph whatever)

That sounds normal to me depending on how much pressure you're putting on the pedal. Again I may be missing something here. But every car I've driven the automatic transmission will hold gear if you have the pedal pushed down in an "agressive" fashion. I have no idea how exactly they do it and I don't even think about it that much but if I want the automatic transmission to hold gears without the S mode I know how to do it. If you back off on the pressure to the accelerator then the gear will almost likely shift.

I doubt it has anything to do with being a 4 cylinder engine. I've driven V6's that do the same as I've described above.

The S mode does give you some nice options to shift when you want to rather than the auto. So does a manual too of course :)

Normally I use the S mode when I definitely want to hold the gear for a while longer :)
 

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I have 2009 Corolla XRS 5 speed automatic. I have 10,500 miles on it and I have had this transmission issue since I got the car. At times, while accelerating onto highways the car does not downshift. The car stays in 3rd gear up until 4,000 RPM. I can shift it by putting it in sport mode and shifting manuly. It only does it sometimes but it does not seem normal. Took it for my 1st service visit dealer said no codes came up on the computer and maybe it needed to be broken in. Went for 2nd service dealer told me no codes and no problems. I then wrote a letter to Toyota under the lemon law since it had 2 failed attempts at fixing it. They contacted me and it really does not fall under a lemon but the head tech guy for the northeast will look at it a week from thursday. He again said this may be normal. I do not see how it is normal. Does anyone else have the same problem with their 09 corolla/matrix XRS automatic transmission? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Is it because it is a four cylinder that it has these problems? Usually it shifts correctly but I feel there is a defect but they said the computer would have codes stating problems and it does not.
It being a four cylinder would have nothing to do with any transmission shifting issues.

You post sounds pretty alarming, but I find it strange that you've put over 10K miles on this car and have yet to have a qualified technician drive it, or you left that part out (if so, what did they tell you?). I only point this out because on forums like these there are industry shills that will come start some FUD about a competitors product. That or the issue is not that big of a deal to you. If it were my car I would have got a second opinion by now.

I have already had the transmission rebooted at a dealer. It drove better for a couple of days. BTW I have the car in D not 3. How do you do an ECU reset? Thanks for all your help. I have heard it involves the engine warming up but I do not think that has anything to do with my issue.
The transmission has a learning computer that takes about 6 drive cycles to learn and adapt to how you drive. If you normally drive like a grandma, it's not going to shift the same as someone that drives it harder. So if once a week you decide to stand on the gas getting on the interstate, I would not be surprised if it hesitated on a downshift, if that is what you are describing. An ECU reset erases this data. It is not something a consumer should do to their car. The dealer has a computer they attach for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Clear things up

I am not flooring it when it does this. First dealer said it is normal and the second dealer installed a TSB update for some shifting issue which did not solve my problem. In general the transmission does not shift correctly, it is not smooth at times. Essentially the gear is hanging for some reason then it shifts this is when it does this which is not all the time. It is a confusing problem
 

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Ask your Mother
2009 Corolla XRS
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OK i think I know what you're talking about. My buddy has the 5spd Auto in his '09 XRS, and He said his has done it before but not often. He described it to me as this....

-You enter the freeway
-You have already merged and are going at a steady pace, but your tranny still has you in the passing/a lower gear even though you are no longer accellerating
-You are doing a steady 115km/hr (65mph) and your engine is still revving at 4000-4500rpm
- No matter what you do (remove foot from gas pedal, hammer gas then release etc...) the auto tranny won't shift Up
- So you have to move it to Sport Mode, and manually shift it to 5th gear yourself
- as soon as you move it back to fully auto (D) the car stays in 5th Gear with no problems and downshifts like normal

That is how he described it to me (or the best i can remember how he described it to me). To me it sounds like that ECU needs some resetting... I think you can just remove the Negative cable to the Battery in order to reset it.

Does this sound right to you? He also said his happened once while going up a steep hill doing like 75-80km/h and it downshifted for more torque, but it stayed in the lower gear once he reached the top of the hill and he had to do the sport mode upshift to correct it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes!

That is the problem though it is the upshift from 3rd to 4th gear. Finally someone understands it! lol

It is very annoying, when I see the technician next week he will do a thorough inspection of the transmission. Will the reset solve this problem forever?
 

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Ask your Mother
2009 Corolla XRS
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That is the problem though it is the upshift from 3rd to 4th gear. Finally someone understands it! lol

It is very annoying, when I see the technician next week he will do a thorough inspection of the transmission. Will the reset solve this problem forever?
It might resolve the problem... I don't know about forever. But a good reset is nice every now and then.

What speed are you going when it hangs on 3rd gear?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gears

60MPH is the speed where it generally does this. What bothers me is I got a Toyota because of the reputation I wanted to have a car I put 200K on without major problem, stress free driving. If I dont get the answers I want from the technician next week I will seriously consider taking a small loss and dumping the car for something American. Toyota became the company they are on quality and reliability and high customer satisfaction. If the slip in their quality continues they will fall. I also may of made a mistake picking this car because it looks great, the fact is we all know the performance does not back its looks up. I do not mean to rip on the car I just expected to have little to no complaints with this car.
 

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Ask your Mother
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Dude, its not a big deal... It must not be that common if i've only heard about this happening on TWO cars... I wouldn't go and waste your money on something "American" right now anyways. But hey its up to you, i'd say ride it out and it may correct itself in time... but thats just my two cents
 

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I wouldn't get bent over a single issue, ALL manufacturers have problems at some time.
Another thing to consider is when people describe a problem to a mechanic, it is often not articulated so the mechanic understands the problem correctly. Keep in mind the problem solver's skill in any industry is based on experience wisdom and sound troubleshooting logic. Most of these mechanics are young, and the service advisor may not have relayed the proper information to the tech as well.

I encounter this problem in my job as an IT Technician. I spend more time asking questions in order to get the answers I need to properly troubleshoot or fix a problem. I've wasted countless hours from being mislead and finding nothing wrong until I can successfully duplicate the problem. Then come to find out the description didn't really fit the problem!

I don't know what's exactly transpired during your visits or conversations with whomever but now that you have properly identified the problem and someone else understands it, you may be better informed on articulating the problem. Another thing is someone mentioned a second opinion. If you don't get far with your current dealer, they may have a competency issue and you should take the advice to get a second opinion.

Good luck.
 

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Try forcing the upshift by releasing the gas pedal. Toyotas with 4cyl engines tend to be slow to upshift to give you engine rpm while accelerating. It will upshift in time.
 

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its probably because you dont know what youre doing. you probably have the gear selector in 3, and not D. if its not in D then it wont downshift when you apply more throttle. read the manual.
lol, stick to threads about color, obviously you haven't read much yourself.


While not apples to apples, over 25,000mi I have had the issue happen about 3 times in my 4spd auto. I have only noticed it on drastic descents downhill.

Over the course of 1k miles, how often does it happen? Can you cause it to happen on demand? The dealer may be able to fix it, but its difficult if they can't get it to act up. Either way, I don't think there is much to help you in terms of a lemon law.
 

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2009 Corolla XRS
2009 Corolla XRS
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That is the problem though it is the upshift from 3rd to 4th gear. Finally someone understands it! lol

It is very annoying, when I see the technician next week he will do a thorough inspection of the transmission. Will the reset solve this problem forever?
sinnaever did a great job of summarizing what the issue is...what you had written I wasn't clear on a few details. Now I understand :)

Sounds like a weird problem...but I would think it would be a software thing rather than a mechanical problem. Every car has its bugs...even the best made ones from reliable companies.

I have the same transmission in mine....I haven't noticed the problem yet but I'll keep an eye on it. I wonder if its something in your driving and because the ECU has learned to do shifts at certain points there is a bug somewhere that causes it to do the wrong thing in a particular situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am pretty sure it is a bug. I have gone to two dealers, I know it did not qualify under a lemon law but it got their attention. The head tech guy for the New York region is going to inspect the car and transmission thursday. He will run many tests to check everything out. I think it is a software bug and probably a Toyota thing with the 4 cylinder. If it is normal I will try to get rid of the car for a 6 cylinder, preferably American.
Also I have noticed, whenever you shift into sport mode your automatically put in gear 4 no matter what speed you are going. When it locks up and I put it into sport mode it goes into gear 3. Is there any correlation with a problem and this observation?
The shifting itself does not seem as smooth as my previous car (2000 Malibu 3.1L V6) even at 150K while leaking antifreeze it shifted smoothly. Do you guys think the shifting is normal, or does it seem like there is a bug in transmission software? Thank you very much for all your help so far.
 

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2006 automatic Matrix

I've had this car about 2 mths now. I'm having similar problems. It's automatic and when I hit the freeway, it hangs on 3rd gear (4000 rpm) at 110KM per hour.
I have eased off the gas and it either changes into 4th gear or into 3rd gear (not good, hit 5.5 rpm). It doesn't always do it, has twice since I've had the car.
This does not seem normal to me, dangerous to the tranny when it goes into 3rd gear at that speed. Both times that it happened I was entering the freeway and the freeway had a slight incline for a few miles.

I haven't gone to the dealer yet but will before my warranty runs out.
 

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Software will be software, but electrionics get looked over

I have to say that it might possibly be a throttle issue, the electric throttle might not be communicating properly with the transmission and/or ecu. There's already a recall on these throttles for being stuck. In lexus's late model corollas, camrys and even early modle tundras. I'd have them check out the throttle. I drive an 09 and I pray to god that the throttle doesn't stick while my 8 month pregnant wife is driving, I havnt noticed any issues yet but I still don't want that to become and issue.

And to the 06 matrix guy. That's cuz your going uphill dummy. My tranny does the same thing going uphill or Down, and my dads 03 matrix does it to, gives you more torque to climb. So do some scientific research on vehicle torque curves and how added momentum is needed to defy gravity first before saying that your transmission is broke.
 

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I have to say that it might possibly be a throttle issue, the electric throttle might not be communicating properly with the transmission and/or ecu. There's already a recall on these throttles for being stuck. In lexus's late model corollas, camrys and even early modle tundras. I'd have them check out the throttle. I drive an 09 and I pray to god that the throttle doesn't stick while my 8 month pregnant wife is driving, I havnt noticed any issues yet but I still don't want that to become and issue.

And to the 06 matrix guy. That's cuz your going uphill dummy. My tranny does the same thing going uphill or Down, and my dads 03 matrix does it to, gives you more torque to climb. So do some scientific research on vehicle torque curves and how added momentum is needed to defy gravity first before saying that your transmission is broke.
And to the kmfdeviant guy, or should I say asshole. People are so brave behind their computers. Learn a little kindness and manners.
 
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