Transmission slippage?

Tiny
TBSINTEX
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
My vehicle will shudder when shifting at thirty to thirty five mph during a low speed acceleration. When accelerating at a higher speed, no problem. Feels like driving over a rumble strip. Any thoughts of what is going on and what fix is recommended?
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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 AT 3:46 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
An engine misfiring can be caused by worn or fouled spark plugs, a weak spark (weak coil, bad spark plug wire), loss of compression, vacuum leaks, anything that causes an unusually lean fuel mixture (lean misfire), an EGR valve that is stuck open, dirty fuel injectors, low fuel pressure, or even bad fuel.
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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 AT 8:38 PM
Tiny
TBSINTEX
  • MEMBER
There is no problem with the engine, vibration is in the transmission. Engine runs fine without any hesitation.
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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 AT 9:05 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you have no options here but replacing the transmission. Or you can try this-check and test the TPS, VSS and CTS sensors. The computer uses these signals as an indicator of throttle and governor pressures and overdrive which in turns command and control the up-shift/downshift/overdrive/lock-up etc.
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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
C130BUM
  • MEMBER
I have the exact same issue with my 2005 Toyota 4Runner LTD, V6, 146000 miles, no engine trouble at all, but it vibrates as if going over a rumble strip at thirty to thirty five mph with very light acceleration. Faster acceleration causes the shifting to appear normal. Just noticed it yesterday. Was there ever an actual finding to this original posting? I have had a substantial amount of trouble with this vehicle (purchased new) including both front bearings wearing out at 40,000 miles, alternator stopped working at 37,000 miles, air-conditioning evaporator quit at 65,000 miles, a few of the dashboard lights stopped working at 42,000 miles, catalytic converter quit at 112,000 miles, two wheel sensors needed replacing at 52,000 and 108,000 miles, CD player quit working at 44,000 miles. I treat the vehicle very well, and always have it repaired when there is an issue, but I have about had it with all the problems with this vehicle. It looks new, but obviously, mechanically, it is getting tired. I never abuse the vehicle, and I am religious about its maintenance schedule. Would the transmission really be on the fritz even though I take great care of the vehicle?
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Sunday, December 26th, 2010 AT 11:26 PM
Tiny
C130BUM
  • MEMBER
I was able to fix the issue with my 2005 4Runner LTD 4x4 regarding the strong vibration (as if going over a rumble strip) with light acceleration. I put a one ounce bottle of a friction enhancer in the sealed transmission and the issue was solved. I was initially told that I needed to replace the transmission, then it was the torque converter. The bottom line is, the transmission was serviced with other than WS fluid and the viscosity did not match what was needed. The friction enhancer stopped the torque converter from shuddering (torque converter shudder) and it has been fine through 205,000 miles. It took a bit to find the transmission plug to pour the friction enhancer into, but the transmission has worked great ever since.
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Friday, November 29th, 2013 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
SAUNJON
  • MEMBER
Help! Just started having the same issue. 2006 4R Sport V6. Rumbles around thirty mph for no reason. What product did you use for the friction enhancer? Thanks!
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Thursday, December 18th, 2014 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
DNARDI212
  • MEMBER
I have the exact same problem as the others; 2005 V6 4Runner with 176,000 miles on it. Feels like running over rumble strips when going about thirty to forty five mph and have foot lightly on gas pedal. Other than that the truck is running perfectly. engine is powerful and smooth, shifts perfectly, rides beautifully.

First I changed the transfer cased fluid thinking the problem was in there, but that did not solve anything. After reading a lot of other suggestions I decided to simply change the transmission fluid in my transmission. Toyota says there is no need to service these transmissions, but they are definitely wrong. There is a drain plug in the bottom pan and there is a fill plug on the passenger side towards the back of the transmission. This alone tells me Toyota had originally planned on making these serviceable. When I drained the fluid it was clearly spent; it came out like black thin fluid. The new stuff I put in (Toyota brand ATF-WS type https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CTUSEMU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) was red and a little thicker. It certainly needed to be changed.

On the first ride out I could tell it was so much better. No rumble and still shifting smoothly, definitely the solution to this problem. I was going to change the screen inside, but I did not have a new gasket so I did not chance taking the pan down and tearing that. But I will definitely purchase a new screen and gasket, and take the transmission pan down. This way I can check the magnets in the bottom of the pan as well.

It was a quick job to just change the transmission fluid maybe an hour. Putting the truck up level on jack stands takes longer than actually changing the fluid. I recommend this for anyone having the same symptoms as described above.
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Monday, January 2nd, 2017 AT 7:46 AM
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Hey DNARDI212,

Thanks for the input to the thread!

Best, Ken
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Thursday, January 5th, 2017 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
HARLA
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
Transmission started slipping yesterday. Transmission was low on fluid. I added 2 quarts of tranny fluid and a pink mixture of fluid started overflowing out of the radiator. Need advice if it is safe to drive 2 blocks to the mechanics and if there is possible permanent damage to the engine or/and transmission. What would cause this problem - a broken radiator between the coolant and tranny cooling cells?
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Don't drive it until it is fixed or even start it. I feel you are correct. It sounds like the trans cooler in the radiator is leaking. My concern is if coolant is getting into the trans. Check the trans fluid to make sure that isn't the case. I would then replace the radiator and flush both the cooling system and the transmission. I hope there isn't damage to the trans, but if coolant got into it, there is a chance the trans is damaged.
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RT40HELP
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 193,000 MILES
My 22 yr old son with his wife and 10 month old daughter are driving across the country in their 94, v6, automatic 4runner. It is heavily loaded with belongings. The transmission is significantly slipping in low gears - sometimes not able to get up hills when really bad. At highway speed - it does fine. I've told him to check trans fluid with warm engine and fill to "hot" line on orange dipstick. Also, I've told him to try and manually move through gears using D2, D3 and then Drive. Any other relatively simple thing to help get them to CA - especially over the mountain passes coming up? If not, would getting a rebuild trans be worth it and what would the cost be? As you could guess - they have very little $. Thanks.
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MATHIASO
  • EXPERT
The cost depend from state to state, from city to city.
It will take 21.4 hours according to my chilton labor guide.
Transmission R&R included unless otherwise noted.
Includes:Replace torque converter

21.4 time what the shop charge per hour.
Maybe around $ 2500 in a small town.
It is no warranty on rebuild transmission here in Indiana, in CA I do not know.
Maybe sell the truck and buy another used truck with no transmission problem, cheaper on craiglist; with that mileage, everything start to break down.
I hope some off my collegue have more knowledge about this.
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
TONYG562
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 250,000 MILES
Every so often while driving my tranny will slip, Not just a little, but completly, as if it were in neutral, Now here's what I don't get, When this doe's happen if I turn the key off then on again while rolling the problen is gone, for a while any way. My fluid levels are fine, could this due to a vaccuum leak, or a problem in the engine control unit?
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi tonyg562,

If the fluid looks dark, it could be a clogged strainer.
If the trans is electronically controlled, it could be a faulty solenoid.

An ECM fault is possible as the trans control is incorporated in it so you should get a scan done to find out if there are any stored codes.
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
GLASAFIN
  • MEMBER
  • TOYOTA 4RUNNER
I have a '93 4runner v6 auto 2WD w/ 173500 miles. For 2 wks I feel the transmission would not lock immediately and then would make a jerk before it moves. I can hear the engine revving but the vehicle would take about a second before it would move. This morning even with revving of engine the car just would not budge. Is my transmission gone? :Cry:
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
When the last time you change fluid and filter?

Could also be the CTS/TPS/VSS sensors.
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Monday, January 11th, 2021 AT 9:26 AM (Merged)

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