1987 Toyota Celica problem

I was driving home from campus yesterday, and as I approached about 50mph, the Celica suddenly revved into higher RPMs, all the while slowing down. I pushed the gas pedal, which only worsened the problem. I was able to limp the car home. About an hour later, I tested the car again, and the problem remains: Accelerate to about 35-50, then get high RPMs while the car slows down and jumps forward.

I suspect a transmission problem, accentuated by a loose wheel bearing that I haven’t been able to afford to get fixed yet.

My Celica is an automatic, with about 213000 miles on it. I live in the Vero Beach/Fort Pierce. Any info about mechanics in the area would be greatly appreciated.


It does sound like a transmission problem, unfortunately. Have you checked the transmission fluid?

If that’s not the issue, then it’s best to find a good local transmission shop instead of a chain outfit.

I’m not suggesting that you postpone getting the tranny looked at, but checking the fluid level immediately might be a really good idea. I may save you from further damage while driving to the tranny shop. Your tranny not only uses a fluid coupling to hook up the engine to the tranny (the “torque converter”), but the tranny itself is a hydraulically operated device. I think it goes without saying that it needs fluid to do its job.

I agree (as I usually do) with mountainbike and lion9car.
The first step is to check the color, level, and odor of the transmission fluid, then both report back to us on your findings and replenish the fluid if it is low.

If that doesn’t help, then the likelihood of an expensive transmission overhaul looms on the horizon for you.
At that point, you would have to consider the reality that an overhauled transmission would cost more than this car is worth, and you should decide what your options might be.

However, I’m still trying to figure out…“while the car slows down and jumps forward”.
Isn’t that a contradiction?

I’m guessing it’s the TC lockup kickin’ in & out. That’s just a WAG, however.

I wish it was a contradiction. It slows down, then kicks forward.

Checked the fluid and there’s enough in there. I did it according to the what the manual and a mechanic said (starting the car and cycling the transmission, then putting it in neutral and checking the dipstick). I’ll be taking it to a local Aamco tomorrow.

"I’ll be taking it to a local Aamco tomorrow. "


AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, and other chains are notorious for several things:

They will tell you that you need a new/overhauled transmission, even if a simper repair is all that is necessary.
Their workmanship is poor.
They are overpriced.
They tout their “nationwide warranty”, but will almost always find a “weasel clause” in order to refuse to honor the warranty when their poor-quality workmanship fails.

DO NOT go to a chain operation.
Instead, take the car to an independent trans shop that has been in business for at least 3 years. They will almost surely charge less, give a more honest diagnosis, and produce better results. Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives for recommended indy trans shops in your area.

A mechanic that my very good friend uses recommended Aamco for their free diagnostic (pardon the he-said-she-said). I am new to Vero/Fort Pierce, so I don’t know any trans shops in the area. I’ll ask around though.

Aamco = All Automatics Must Come Out

LOL circuit… Iwedwars, everyone saying no to AAMCO is right… I speak from experience, when I was in school my 1st car was a 1990 Buick Century. It had 90,000 something miles and I was getting a jerky feeling under acceleration every now and again. Took it to AAMCO (because I did not know better), and $700 and a new torque converter later I had the same issues. Turns out I had a bad plug wire that was arching out under load, a $30 fix for new plug wires. Now your issues is not the same, but AAMCO is, try someplace else !!

With that said, I think you lost your 3rd or 4th gear what ever you top gear is on that trans… Thats what it sounds like from your description. Its slipping…

In this forum AAMCO us generally considered to be an acronym for All Automatics Must Come Out.
But in truth, I’m not a tranny expert.