Q: My 89 4X4 Truck clutch just let go but I had no problem before any help?

A: Not knowing the mileage or use I'll guess that either the master cylinder for the clutch or the slave cylinder may have worn out. If you can put the transmission in 1st gear then start the engine and your truck moves fine then the hydraulics were the cause.

Q: Do I need to service my Automatic transmission?

A: Yes and No. The Toyota transmission is excellent but city type driving or heavy use burns up the fluid and changing ever 2 years is a good investment. If you live in the country in a cooler part of the country then longer periods can be used before servicing.

Q: I'm buying a Camry from my boss, anything I can look for concerning the transmission.

A: You know your boss and his personality, this may tell you how he drives. These transmissions are almost bullet proof unless you are rough changing directions (forward to reverse), these conditions show up much later and no relation is remembered. The result of this abuse is the differential falls apart and the only cure is replacement.

Q: I had someone replace my clutch in my 91 4X4 now I get this vibration when shifting.

A: The normal reason for this is the flywheel, was it machined when the clutch was replaced. In our dealership we keep machined flywheels in stock and install one at every clutch replacement, its a $50.00 insurance policy.

Q: I have a 91 Camry with an automatic transmission. I get this loud grinding noise sometimes when I start the engine.

A: This is a common problem with this era Camry. I can't tell you why but almost all of these do or can have this condition. What's wrong is the starter and ring gear don't mesh properly and each time you hear this the sets of teeth are grinding. One of these days it will get to a spot (the 4 cylinder engine flywheel will stop in one of four spots so the chance of hitting the same spot is good) where there are no teeth left and the engine will not start. The cure is to replace the ring gear and possible the starter drive.

Q: My clutch is slipping on my 83 Tercel with 128,000. Is there any adjustment that can be made to stop this?

A: The clutch is very thin to start and with 15 years and 128K miles it is reasonable to expect that the clutch may need replacing. There is no adjustment that will correct a slipping clutch on any Toyota, just pedal position of a few models. If you plan to keep the Tercel then spend a little more and purchase a Toyota clutch set-up and make sure that the flywheel is machined to prevent any chattering when applied.

Q: I have an 85 Corolla with a 5 speed transmission. When I let off the gas it pops out of 5th gear. Any ideas? jax59.

A: You may have some motor mount wearing which is causing the transmission to move more that it should. The 5th gear is the last gear to get lubed and may be work out. If this is the case it can be repaired with the transmission in the vehicle. Normally the end can be removed and the 5th gear components can be inspected and replaced. It a lot cheaper than removed and overhauling the trans. For those of you reading this, this only works on front wheel drive vehicles.

Q: I have an 88 4X2 truck and has a clutch fluid leak that was the slave cylinder. I later noticed that the master cylinder was leaking and after replacing that I can not bleed the system. Any ideas? KRosen.

A: There is no secret to bleeding the system. If I had to guess I would say that you used non-Toyota parts. I have made the same mistake and had the same results. You are probably doing everything correctly but are being fooled by the "new" parts. Try another master cylinder or get a refund and go get a Toyota one. I feel that this will solve your dilemma. I now refuse to use any non-Toyota parts even in an emergency since the quality is suspect and the warranty is only for parts not labor and only good at that store.

Q: I have an 91 4X4 with a standard transmission. When I and driving and reach between 2500 - 3000 rpm my tachometer jumps and then comes down but my speed increases normally. I called a dealer and they suggested a clutch but I had it checked by my mechanic and he says its not the clutch. What do you think.

A: The only thing that can cause that to happen is a slipping clutch. I would take it to a Toyota dealer and have it checked and replaced if needed. Its important to have the correct parts installed or you will be doing this again.

Q: What is the story with the Sienna automatic transmission. I have heard that they are prone to break like an American made mini van (the caravan comes to mind). Can you explain and put my mind at ease. AB.

A: The Sienna did have some automatic transmission failures on some of the first models built (this has been corrected in later models that year). Toyota moved quickly and in a remarkably fast manner identified that the spacer for the drive pinion was not to correct thickness specification. When the transmission is assembled it was possible to make the clearances too tight and the transmission would just stop working. To my knowledge it was not a big problem but it did exist. The hysteria it created on the net was blown out of proportion. Toyota has identified the VIN range for the affected Siennas. If you have a serial number before 4T3*F1*C*WU043545 you may have an affected transmission (the last 6 digits are the ones I'm referring to), all the ones built after have been corrected. You have an 60,000 mile warranty and if you have over 10,000 miles on your vehicle you probably did not have a problem, since the affected ones would have had the trouble by this mileage. Update: I have gotten several emails recently where it seems that the 2000 Sienna is having some problem. They seem to be located only in the west at this time (I don't know why) but one dealer has several there for replacement. 2/15/00

Q: My 92 Camry (6 Cyl. engine and 59K) has what the dealer describes as "outstanding" service records. However, last week the transmission made a clunking sound when I began moving from a stop sign (i.e. gave her gas). When I brought it in to the dealer, the service tech said "oh oh-this is the third one like this. We don't even know what it is yet". The fluid was "burnt". However, when I picked it up, they told me they "could not find anything wrong", that they had "run the two tests" and just flushed the fluid. HELP! I have 800 miles left on my warranty. The dealer will "stand behind the transmission" for the balance of the warranty (thanks much). What should I do. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

A: The Camry can have a transmission problem. We have replaced both models they use. The burnt fluid may be a key that something is wrong and replacing the fluid may not help. Let me give you a case in point. We have a 93 Camry in use at our dealership. We recently obtained a transmission fluid changer (not just a drain and fill but all the fluid is changed, 14qts). The fluid was almost black when started but returned to normal after changing. Now 2 months have gone by and the fluid is black again, we repeated the process and the whole time the transmission is working fine. The burnt fluid is telling us something but no conclusion can be determined at this time.

Another case is a Camry like yours had a similar problem but add slipping and rough engagement to boot. We adjusted the throttle cable using pressure gauges and it returned to normal. Well it turns out that customer traded the vehicle for a new one and we resold it. The Camry worked fine for 8 months (from the cable adjustment) then started to slip at times. The end of the story is that the transmission was replaced (we split the expense since the vehicle had over 100k).

How do these stories pertain to you? I can say without being too far off that you will have a problem whether it be next week, month, or years. Most transmission failures are total in nature, in that you loose all forward gears sometimes without notice. Who will pay? The extended warranty company will bail out at the end of their policy limit, which is their right and Toyota warranty ends at 60K or 5 years. Your dealer has a choice in that they can replace the transmission under the extended warranty even though it is still kind of working normally. You may have to talk to the manager and explain that you know its still basically working, but the clunking is not normal and the extended warranty company will be happy to pay the claim since you are still under the coverage and the repair is not unusual and they don't inspect the vehicle prior to repair.

You aren't asking for the moon and if you have been a good customer (if not then it will be harder to convince them) they will probably help you.

Q: I am having trouble with the automatic transmission. 1990 4X4
1. After starting in the cold and right after driving for about 5-10 minutes the trans won't shift into overdrive. It happens when I get on a highway about 60 mph. The engine RPMs will be high (3500-4500) and it takes about a minute of driving like this then the overdrive kicks in.
2. Also with the trans, when driving around the city (stop & go type of driving) I'll pull up to a light or a stop and when I proceed to give the truck gas, the trans doesn't start back in first gear. It stays in second and is slow to start out, obviously. Also, when this happens the [overdrive off] light blinks on/off.
This problem started about three weeks ago and seems to be getting worse. It is pretty random though and I can't tell when it will happen.
So if you could give me some advice I would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to take it to a dealer/mechanic if the problem won't recreate itself when they test drive it.

A:The transmission is acting fairly normally for a cold start condition. Trucks have this protection built in not to shift into overdrive until the coolant temp. reach a preset level, you should see the temp. gauge start to rise.
The second question may be a speed sensor, shift solenoid or some electrical component. The flashing light is telling you something and that there is a problem and the dealer can help you with the information the trans. computer will give.

Q: Coming back from a ski trip my husband drove my 98 4 Runner in 4 wheel drive on dry roads for about 84 miles. When we began to hear a slight vibration noise he shifted to 2 wheel drive and the noise stopped. My question is how much damage (if any) was caused to the vehicle and how can the damage be evaluated. The 4 wheel engage mechanism works fine and there are no new noises so we think everything is OK. Most mechanics we spoke to think little if any damage was done. The average driving speed was 50-60 mph on secondary roads with some turns. If everything appears OK now can we expect problems in the future and what should we keep an eye on. Any advice would be
greatly appreciated! Ann

A:I gave you a quick answer before then I got you more through description.
In all honesty the type of driving you were doing was not too damaging on the drive train.
I have known customers that have done this in low range and drove several hundred miles without any damage and this is years afterward.
The way to put your mind at rest is to remember when you or your husband noticed that on some tight turns that the steering seemed to be tight and vibrate back and forth.
This is when the drive train was binding since the front and rear axles were not going at the same speed. Once you were able to relax the drive line it returned to normal.

Q: My 1986 Truck clutch is slipping. I installed a new clutch , pressure plate, throw out bearing,pilot bearing slave cylinder and master cylinder. and it still slips. worked good for about a week. started slipping again. I thought I had bad pressure plate, replaced it and clutch again worked for about a week again. now its slipping. I think i need to turn fly wheel. but it looked ok please help I'm getting pretty good R and R on this trans.

A: The flywheel normally will not cause slipping but give you a shutter under load.
My guess is that you did not use Toyota parts but went to the "just the same" other brands. If I were you I would try to get a refund for the clutch parts and get Toyota parts. I also hope that the clutch plate is installed in the correct direction, if it moved at all it probably is.

Q: My T-100 clutch just stopped working. It was acting strange but now nothing is happening when I step on the clutch.

A: Clutch pedal bracket T-100. I have seen this but its becoming fairly common for the clutch bracket to crack. Most customers come in saying that the clutch needs replacing. This seems to be earlier models but unless its been changed it will be happening for some time. There is no real easy way to replace the bracket except we don't have our biggest tech do the repair.