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Hello. I've always had newer american cars before getting my current 25 y/o Toyota, so I'm not entirely sure this isn't just how this car is, but I thought I would ask anyway.

I have a 1994 Camry LE sedan with the 5s-fe engine and the a140-e transmission, and when I'm driving through town, I've noticed it takes my car a while to upshift. I'll be accelerating up to speed and my vehicle won't shift until 3000-3200 rpm, unless I let off the throttle pedal and give it a second holding at a lower rpm (about 2600) before it slowly upshifts. Since most of my driving is city, if I could get it to shift at lower RPM, instead of going down the street at three grand, I hope I could save myself just a bit of fuel.

I changed most of the atf when I replaced the trans pan gasket, about 15k ago, although I didn't do a full flush of the system and torque converter. When I pulled the pan, there was little/no metal clinging to the magnets. There's no shuddering when it shifts, so I believe the torque converter is still doing its job just fine.

The vehicle drives like a champ, it's an amazing little car, and I've had no issues with it aside from this, which honestly isn't even that big of a deal. All the same, if I can make it better, I would like to.

At this point, I'm suspecting a worn throttle cable, as I've tried to adjust it a few times before, a little bit at a time, and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I'd like a second/third/fourth opinion before I just throw parts and time at the car.

Also, on an unrelated topic, I'm replacing my timing belt and water pump soon, and didn't know if I should change the oil pump as well. That was replaced about 70k ago, 4-5 years before I bought the car. There seems to be no issues with the lubrication system, but i don't know if the oil pumps have a expiration date on them.
 

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Define "newer american cars". Are we talking cars from the past maybe 5 or so years? If so, of course the a140 shifts at a higher rpm. It is only a 4 speed. Newer transmissions from the past decade or so have been known to have 6 or more gears. It is also different if you are used to driving a CVT.

3000 rpm sounds about right for a 4 speed from the early to mid 90's. My 98 shifts around there as well. So does my wifes 2003 zx2.
 

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Define "newer american cars". Are we talking cars from the past maybe 5 or so years? If so, of course the a140 shifts at a higher rpm. It is only a 4 speed. Newer transmissions from the past decade or so have been known to have 6 or more gears. It is also different if you are used to driving a CVT.

3000 rpm sounds about right for a 4 speed from the early to mid 90's. My 98 shifts around there as well. So does my wifes 2003 zx2.
2002 f150, 2007 impala. Those were the vehicles I had before this.

If that's just how this car (my first toyota) is supposed to run, I'm fine with it, but I didn't know if it was supposed to shift lower at mid-throttle. Just figured I'd ask the question before I threw money at the car to not fix anything. I've already put a bunch of work into it just to make it keep lasting, because I've been told these are bulletproof.
 

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This is normal behavior, you're putting the car in the wrong context.

The S engine is not particularly modern, and doesn't make much torque; our cars have a 4.11 (maybe 4.10, I forget) diff ratio to multiply the torque enough to get going without too much drama. Short diff ratio = higher RPMs. Old-school muscle car guys would look at that ratio as a "drag ratio," but their engines usually have gobs of torque to work with.

My '00 is in nearly perfect condition mechanically and I manage 23 MPG 50/50 city/highway. That's normal, if you want more fuel economy you'll have to learn hypermiling techniques or get a more modern car (the 2AZ-FE that succeeded it manages 27-30 without even trying, while having more torque and power. Has its own set of design issues, though).

If your upshifts really are "slow," you could change out to a Dexron VI-type, water-thin fluid like the fan favorite around here, Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc. That tends to speed up upshifting and downshifting.
 

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This is normal behavior, you're putting the car in the wrong context.

The S engine is not particularly modern, and doesn't make much torque; our cars have a 4.11 (maybe 4.10, I forget) diff ratio to multiply the torque enough to get going without too much drama. Short diff ratio = higher RPMs. Old-school muscle car guys would look at that ratio as a "drag ratio," but their engines usually have gobs of torque to work with.

My '00 is in nearly perfect condition mechanically and I manage 23 MPG 50/50 city/highway. That's normal, if you want more fuel economy you'll have to learn hypermiling techniques or get a more modern car (the 2AZ-FE that succeeded it manages 27-30 without even trying, while having more torque and power. Has its own set of design issues, though).

If your upshifts really are "slow," you could change out to a Dexron VI-type, water-thin fluid like the fan favorite around here, Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc. That tends to speed up upshifting and downshifting.
Thanks for the info.

I had a feeling that it was probably gearing, or maybe just being old (transaxle is stock w/ 185k miles on it), but i wanted to make sure that it wasn't something else. I may put a new cable on it, since the current one is roughly 8 years old, if I can find one for relatively cheap.
 

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If you're worried about it breaking or being stretched, not necessary unless it's rust-damaged.

You can adjust the kickdown cable to increase downshift sensitivity, but it will also hold revs longer (you might have to manage upshift behavior by lifting your foot off the throttle). It will also speed up shifts somewhat, but you should really pair it with a thinner synthetic fluid to take full advantage of that and protect the trans well. That's what I did, because I like it to respond quicker when I put my foot partially down.

Thanks for the info.

I had a feeling that it was probably gearing, or maybe just being old (transaxle is stock w/ 185k miles on it), but i wanted to make sure that it wasn't something else. I may put a new cable on it, since the current one is roughly 8 years old, if I can find one for relatively cheap.
 

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Hello. I've always had newer american cars before getting my current 25 y/o Toyota, so I'm not entirely sure this isn't just how this car is, but I thought I would ask anyway.

I have a 1994 Camry LE sedan with the 5s-fe engine and the a140-e transmission, and when I'm driving through town, I've noticed it takes my car a while to upshift. I'll be accelerating up to speed and my vehicle won't shift until 3000-3200 rpm, unless I let off the throttle pedal and give it a second holding at a lower rpm (about 2600) before it slowly upshifts. Since most of my driving is city, if I could get it to shift at lower RPM, instead of going down the street at three grand, I hope I could save myself just a bit of fuel.

I changed most of the atf when I replaced the trans pan gasket, about 15k ago, although I didn't do a full flush of the system and torque converter. When I pulled the pan, there was little/no metal clinging to the magnets. There's no shuddering when it shifts, so I believe the torque converter is still doing its job just fine.

The vehicle drives like a champ, it's an amazing little car, and I've had no issues with it aside from this, which honestly isn't even that big of a deal. All the same, if I can make it better, I would like to.

At this point, I'm suspecting a worn throttle cable, as I've tried to adjust it a few times before, a little bit at a time, and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I'd like a second/third/fourth opinion before I just throw parts and time at the car.

Also, on an unrelated topic, I'm replacing my timing belt and water pump soon, and didn't know if I should change the oil pump as well. That was replaced about 70k ago, 4-5 years before I bought the car. There seems to be no issues with the lubrication system, but i don't know if the oil pumps have a expiration date on them.
1. What is your first character of your Camry's VIN number? If it is a "J" then it is a Japanese made Camry and all other's are perhaps a USA made Camry. Believe me they are different!

2. You failed mention the total mileage of this car, however, being a 1994 and like my 1992 with all the years gone by the Engine Oil Pump seals and shaft seal is a good thing to change if you are suspecting any leaks coming from that location (usually the bottom rear end of the Engine). My 1992 Camry XLE from Japan didn't have any issues with a leaking Engine Oil Pump Seal until right at 500,000 original miles. Not ALL Camry's are the same and environmental conditions are different so, it is a flip of a coin deal to determine if you should do it now? I personally have a saying...."If it is NOT BROKEN then, don't FIX it" The Engine Oil Pump on the 5S-FE is indestructable and the only item that needs to the replaced are the Mickey Mouse case seal that goes up against on the Engine Block and the Oil Pump Shaft Seal.

3. Automatic A140-E Transmission is shifting just too high RPMs as my 1992 Camry with same Engine / Transmission shift smooth and nothing over 2,000 RPMs on average to all gears. One normal item that you have described "is" when you let up on the Accelerator the Transmission almost always will shift to the higher gear, however, your Camry's situation is rather high. The A140e is an Electronically Controlled Transaxle and has built-in self-diagnostic functions, therefore, you need to download the manual and perform a search for "toyota a140e transmission manual" and the first result should be a .PDF file for this unit and look at the Troubleshooting section.

4. Automatic A140-E Transmission - RE: Fluid change out. I am a true believer of going to a PRO SHOP and using a Flush Machine. Why? Because it will almost completely (99%) take out ALL OLD fluid. This procedure will not damage an old transmission like the A140e because the Flush machine that I am talking about using the Transmission Cooling lines going to the Radiator and most importantly uses Engine Idle to pump the fluid out. The Flush Machine has a reservoir that contains the new Fluid and Engine Idle will allow this new fluid to enter the Transmission at normal Idle pressure so, Transmission will not see any out-of-limit pressure. However, it was good that you dropped the Transmission Pan to clean off the metal filter and magnet.

I bid you the best in your future dealings with your Camry.
 

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huh.. i am having similar symptoms with my 95 V6 wagon, but there is a lot more to my story.
LONG story, here is the shortest possible version:
It has had serious idle/throttle issues (like dangerously high throttle that will not go down as if accelerator cable is stuck.) It was intermittent but began happening more and more, Have replaced:
  • idle engine control valve, (which mainly fixed it)
  • mech disconnected cruise control cable
  • now changing out throttle bodies.
The transmission seems to lag shifting into the next gear at any speed. Lettng my foot off the gas allows it to shift. It's not the transm. (rebuilt and @ 90,000) it is smooth as ever.
The other suspect symptom is throttle response to the brake. The engine lags when stopping. It's not as bad as it first was but the engine won't go below 1000 rpm until the brake has been applied for a few seconds or I tap it. Sitting at a light, the idle goes back up on its own. if I tap the brake while still stopped I can get the idle to respond and go back down.
Also, turning on AC will add work load to engine and make idle go down.
I am thinking there is some computer/electrical problem that needs to be diagnosed.
CEL has been on but that is for a downstream O2.
ABS light has been on but we changed speed sensors. That fixed another transmission issue, but ABS remains on.
That's all I got. I will also post this as new topic.
 

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The "lag" on upshift sounds like a misadjusted kickdown cable, the "lag" on braking could be a small to medium vacuum leak, or some problem with the rebuild.
 
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