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13 Camry hesitating between 40-50MPH Only when the car is NOT on Cruise

My 2013 Camry hesitates/makes like possible transmission issue, when you remove your foot from the gas pedal. If you have the car in cruise control the problem does not happen. I have confirmed it is not the transmission, my thought is a possible problem with the Fuel Filter or injectors, BUT if a fuel filter or injectors why does it not happen when in cruise control. The RPM’s do not go up…The issue can be felt below the Driver and Passenger seats.

Oh yes, when using the Flippers the problem does happen, but when I down shift or increase in speed it stops. I have confirmed that when you remove your foot from the gas pedal the problem starts, speed up and stay at a steady speed the problem does not happen.

I am at a total loss, the car gets 32.MPH highway, but this gargling of sorts is driving me crazy.

My first impression is that this actually is a transmission problem, not the tranny itself but a problem the lock up torque converter. Often a shop will disconnect the lock-up function as a test. If the problem goes away, you know the cause.

The only other idea I can come up with is when you take your foot off the gas pedal completely, the injectors will stop injecting gasoline. That’s done to improve mpgs. Sometimes with partially clogged injectors the fuel injector cuts off too abruptly and it will cause a jerking sensation. In my own experience, I’ve only noticed that effect at neighborhood driving speeds, not at 40+ mph. You could try adding a bottle of injector cleaner to the tank, see if it helps I guess.

OK, if it doesn’t do that with the cruise on… maybe the throttle pedal signal is dirty. I.e. the little variable potentiometer in the throttle pedal assembly that tells the ECU to open the throttle plate is worn and not sending a clean signal to the ECU.

The cruise control doesn’t depend on that sensor and so doesn’t send a dirty signal to the ECU. Might be worth a check.