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2006 Scion Xb

On this week’s show a woman called re an issue with her 2006 Scion Xb. She reported that it appeared to have transmission issues until the car had warmed up (as indicated by the blue light going off when the car reached a certain operating temperature). I have the same issue with my 2006 Scion Xb. However, it doesn’t “buck” it just seems to not shift into a higher gear until it has warmed up. So I just baby it until the blue indicator light goes off and then all is fine. In the summer this takes about 5 minutes and in the winter about 10. I don’t need to be driving any faster than about 45 miles per hour for the first 5-10 minutes of my daily commute so it doesn’t usually cause much trouble. I imagine it would be problematic if I left my driveway and needed to immediately get up to 70 miles per hour. Are there other Scion owners with this problem? What’s the solution?

I didn’t hear the show, but I drove an '06 xB for a while and the behavior you describe is totally normal. The computer raises the shift points while the car is warming up so the engine and the emissions equipment will get up to temperature faster.

My 06 xB does the same thing.

Okay, so I actually did hear the show today and I think the problem with the caller’s car was a temp sensor or, more likely, a bad thermostat. She mentioned that it usually took 5-10 minutes for the blue light to go out and sometimes over 20 minutes in the winter. On the one I drove, it usually went out in only a few blocks of driving or a couple minutes of idling. Even when it was down in the single digits during the winter, it would still only be about 5 minutes or so at the most.

Since thermostats getting lazy and causing the engine to run too cool is a common but usually overlooked problem on most cars, I’ll bet that Scion owners are just the only ones who notice it because of the odd transmission warm up cycle.