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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone I have a 1998 Camry LE 4 cylinder automatic and it's having a problem with the transmission. Last night I changed my transmission fluid, gasket and filter and since then my car's been slow to respond to acceleration. (Side note: The fluid was brown and before changing it my car would sometimes make a clunk sound when shifting gears.) It's important to note that this delay in acceleration only happens for 1-2 seconds until the car shifts into drive and only happens when I'm at a dead stop or just put the car in drive. I learned this is called delayed engagement and was wondering if someone with the same generation of Camry has run into a similar issue and could be of some help. Thanks.
 

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Is the level correct?
What brand filter?
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Is the level correct?
What brand filter?
I haven't been able to get an accurate reading on the fluid level yet but the brand is Duralast. I'll try right now to get an accurate reading and update when I'm done.

Edit: the fluid reads low right now but sometimes it's half way up the dipstick. I'll take a picture of it next time it's half way up.

I'm supposed to check it while the engine is running and at operating temperature, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's weird because the dipstick either doesn't show any fluid or it shows fluid halfway up the stick so it's hard to tell. I'm thinking of adding fluid until I get an accurate reading. Thoughts?
 

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No thoughts needed. You need to get the correct level in that transmission.
 

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It's weird because the dipstick either doesn't show any fluid or it shows fluid halfway up the stick so it's hard to tell. I'm thinking of adding fluid until I get an accurate reading. Thoughts?
What type of Duralast ATF did you use?

Not sure how it's possible for the dipstick to show no fluid at all and also be half way up the dipstick. By "half way up" do you mean half way between the low and full marks, or do you mean literally half way up the dipstick?

I once had delay when shifting in reverse in a Gen 9 Corolla. Simply changing the fluid resolved the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What type of Duralast ATF did you use?

Not sure how it's possible for the dipstick to show no fluid at all and also be half way up the dipstick. By "half way up" do you mean half way between the low and full marks, or do you mean literally half way up the dipstick?

I once had delay when shifting in reverse in a Gen 9 Corolla. Simply changing the fluid resolved the issue.
Valvoline dex/merc iii. The gasket and filter are Duralast from autozone and the fluids literally half way up the dipstick.
 

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When the dipstick shows over full, is that when the engine is off? The engine should be running (Park or Neutral) on even/flat pavement when you check the fluid level. I check it when the engine is hot and after driving the car on the freeway for a bit. By that point it should be at the full hot mark. If it's hot and you've driven it a while, it should not be half way up the dipstick. If it's running in P or N and hot and the fluid doesn't even register on the dipstick, then you need to add more fluid.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
When the dipstick shows over full, is that when the engine is off? The engine should be running (Park or Neutral) on even/flat pavement when you check the fluid level. I check it when the engine is hot and after driving the car on the freeway for a bit. By that point it should be at the full hot mark. If it's hot and you've driven it a while, it should not be half way up the dipstick. If it's running in P or N and hot and the fluid doesn't even register on the dipstick, then you need to add more fluid.
I check it when the engine is fully warmed up, and on. Is the fluid I'm using the right kind? Valvoline dex/merc iii.
 

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When I add tranny fluid the dipstick reading is skewed until the fluid on the walls of the dipstick tube settles. Think this is also true after driving the fluid pressure pumps up the tube a bit. Give it a few minutes before checking level.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When I add tranny fluid the dipstick reading is skewed until the fluid on the walls of the dipstick tube settles. Think this is also true after driving the fluid pressure pumps up the tube a bit. Give it a few minutes before checking level.
That would explain why the fluids reading so high on the dipstick. I'll update with more info tomorrow.
 

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Try this.
Get a rag of some sort. A paper towel will work, but an old shop rag is best. With the engine warmed up, and idling, remove the dipstick a few inches. Then wrap the rag around the dipstick and remove it entirely. Note the bend in the transmission tube, and also note which side of the dipstick follows the bend in the filler tube.

Be sure the dipstick is free of any oil, and then re-insert it exactly same orientation that it came out, and is fully seated. Then remove it, and note the side of the dipstick with the "bottom bend", it will be covered with oil, and will give you the false reading you are seeing. You want to read the fluid on the opposite side of the dipstick.

The dipstick should have no oil on it except at the bottom of the dipstick, and it should show fluid and a distinct line between the fluid and the dipstick.

You might have to try this a couple of times to the hang of it.
Good luck.
 

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Yeah, I have found that the whole process of changing out the transmission fluid often involves an iterative process when it comes to topping it off. It helps if you own a siphon capable of removing it out any excess.
 

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The odometer reads 237k but I figured it out. I had to let the new fluid settle before I check it. Added a half quart now I'm getting accurate readings.
OK, but is the slipping problem resolved? Whatever ATF you use, it should show on the back label that it's compatible with T-III and/or T-IV. Although the Valvoline Dex/Merc should be just fine, the superior Valvoline MaxLife synthetic ATF in the jug size has a much cheaper price at WalMart, if you have that store where you are located. It's a popular ATF among TN members, due to its synthetic quality, wide application, and jug-sized bargain price at WM.
 

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Valvoline MaxLife synthetic ATF has solved slipping problems in two of my Toyotas, a 1999 Camry and a 2004 Highlander. I just drained and filled the transmissions at the same time I did oil changes. Since drain and fill only changes some of the fluid, it took three times for each car to resolve the problems.
 

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Adding Lubegard Red also helps. The ATF drain-fill is the recommended way as alternate to straight flush on a high-mileage tranny. If no AT issues, a straight flush as described in the DIY sticky is good. Power flush like ones done at shops is a hit-miss. Valvoline MaxLife is the most used AF fluid. Mobil 1 or Redline brands have also been used.

Flush vs drain-fill will come up as most discussed topic also if you do a Search above. Some even highly debate it. End goal is same... new fluid. Of course, filter replacement or check and replace would be good.
 
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