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2000 Camry - replace transmission or not?

If the dealer calls with the bad news that the transmission pan contains shavings, should I repair (I believe it will have to be a new transmission) or replace the car? I love this Camry, and would hate to let it go, but it has about 155000 miles now…

$3k for a new transmission vs. $20k for a new camry.

Why do you think there are shavings in the trans?
A camry will go 250,000-300,000mi with no trouble.
Do you trust dealer???
Just before any work is done ask for old parts, a lot of cheating people who will say,yep shavings were there give us 3k and they change fluid and put so kind of quick fix in and never put new one in.
Tell us what it was doing and what repairs done in last 6 months.

Is the transmission acting up? If not drive on and maybe change the fluid if it is due.

Metal shavings in the transmission is not good. Did they find this during a normal service or was something wrong with it where they are diagnosing a problem?? If the transmission is still running fine then I would ride on it for a while. Depending on how much shavings were in the pan you might be able to ride for a while with no problems. Its also going to depend on what kind of metal shavings were found. Brass shavings = bushing material, steel shavings = hard part, bearing material, aluminum shavings = case.


Yeah. Was this thing broken to begin with? If it was just being serviced, I call rat.

When I graduated high school my buddy bought an AMX. He went to a chain service center and wanted an alignment. The service guy, a very well groomed and socialized man, walked outside and looked under the car.

“Mr. XXXXYYZ, you’ve been bottoming out. We could align it, but the first bump you hit, that thing will be knocked off spec. You need new shocks”.

So my buddy calls his dad. Gets the go ahead to use his credit card …and 4 new shocks are installed and the car is aligned.

As we’re waiting in the customer waiting area, we hear the same man talking to a customer on the phone. “Mr. ABCEFG …sir, I’m afraid you’ve been bottoming out …”

We both just looked at each other. .

All transmissions shed some material. For all you know they were reporting normal pan accumulations on a trans that’s never had a pan drop and filter (if it has a replaceable one) changed.

That is, they wouldn’t be lying, but they would be disingenuous.

I, personally dont have a problem with notifying the owner of metal found in the pan during normal servicing. I would show it to the owner and if the transmission is not showing any signs of abnormal behavior, I would advise them to service it again in about 10k or so (Depending on how much shavings found) to see whether any more shavings show up. I can basically look at metal in a pan and have a general idea where it came from. I certainly wouldnt be trying to sell an overhaul unless the trans is acting up and I see shavings.


The dreaded “Check Engine” light came on, I drove it for a few more days before taking it in on Friday evening to the dealer to check on this. The car (and again I have to say I LOVE this car) did seem to be riding a bit less smoothly than normal.

The dealer couldn’t finish diagnosing on Saturday and asked for it to be left one more day (well, until Monday) as they needed to drop the transmission pan to check to see if there were shavings. That is why I am afraid that they will be calling on Monday with some grim news.
I do trust this service department, but believe that they are a bit expensive, especially for the fairly rural area in which we live.
Any thoughts on Aamco as a repair source (if I do decide to get work done)?

Transman, another question for you…

Can you please tell me where the ‘bad’ sources versus the ‘good’ sources of shavings would be? Maybe that way I can converse a little more intelligently tomorrow with the service guy.


Don’t go to Scamco or any chain place. Check engine lights can come on for a variety of reasons. Don’t let the dealer scare you in to really expensive repairs. Find out why the light is on and go from there.

Whatever you do, DO NOT take the car to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain operation.

The primary reason is that they will tell you that you need a new transmission–whether you do or not.
Secondly, their prices tend to be high and their workmanship tends to be poor.
And, their “nationwide” warranty is frequently not upheld, based on bizarre technicalities.

You need to take the car to an independent transmission shop that has been in business for at least 3 years. This way, you will be likely to get a much more honest diagnosis, a lower price, and better workmanship.
Ask friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers for trans shop recommendations, and ignore any recommendations for chain shops. Hopefully someone can come up with a good, honest shop in your area.

Please don’t fall for either the slick advertising of these chain shops or for the scare tactics that your dealer may be engaging in. Get a second opinion from an indy trans shop!

Please explain this in more detail, no ammaco!

The car (and again I have to say I LOVE this car) did seem to be riding a bit less smoothly than normal