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2006 Toyota Avalon transmission problem

I took my 2006 Avalon in because I was noticing a bouncing feeling sometimes when I accelerated mostly on inclines and hills. ?The Toyota dealer service said there was a transmission problem but they couldn't get a code so they didn't know what to repair. They thought is was a solenoid but didn't know which one. ?A couple of months later I was out in some hilly country and the bouncing was occurring fairly often. ??The check engine light came on. ?The car was running fi e except the occasional bouncing when accelerating up a hill. ?If I backed off and took it easier it went away.
When I got home I took it back to the dealer. ?They checked it out, got a code (I think they said the code was for a solenoid) but when they reset it everything was fine. ?I could pick up my car.
So I took the car drove it a while until it warmed up and ?found an incline an got the same problem. ?I went back to the dealer and took a mechanic with me and demonstrated the problem. ?Now they say I need a new transmission at $5,000 plus. ?Can't transmissions be repaired? ?It seems to work fine except in specific instances. ?What should I do? ?

First & foremost, unless it is for warranty or recall service you should stop going to the dealer.

Ask around for the best local, owner-operated shop in your area that specializes in transmissions. Take the car to them.

Whether or not you should have a rebuild is impossible to say - you didn’t even say how many miles are on it let alone anything about the history of maintenance on the transmission.

The thing is that sometimes it makes little sense to do any kind of minor repairs on an older transmission. A major reason is that a lot of the cost of such a thing is in removing and reinstalling the transmission itself. So imagine what you’ll be thinking if you pay someone to remove the transmission and install maybe a $50 solenoid only to find out 2 months later that there is some other problem. First, you’ll probably get mad at the shop and say its their fault. Second, you’ll have to pay all of that labor all over again. Sometimes, if the transmission has to come out it just makes more sense to not put a band-aid on an amputation.

However…yes, there are many transmission issues that can be addressed without a total overhaul or replacement. It just depends on what is going on and what needs to be done. But that’s why you need a good local transmission shop.

It would help us help you if you could give us the exact P0123 code that the dealer service department read from the Power Control Module. We can take the possibilities from there. BTW how many miles on this Avalon.

You describe the presenting symptom as ‘bouncing’. Is the transmission going back and forth from one gear ratio to the previous? Could the symptom be called a shudder? Can you differentiate this symptom from a locking and unlocking torque converter clutch?

Your mechanic will have to determine if this malfunction is commanded or uncommanded. If the malfunction is uncommanded, it is likely to be in the hard parts of the transmission itself. Yes, it usually is not cost effective to remove, disassemble, replace one component, check specifications, reassemble, and reinstall the transmission. Once inside, it is a good idea to clean everything, renew all seals, renew bushings, renew frictions and plates, i.e. renew the whole transmission.

How close to the power train warranty expiration date or mileage is the Avalon. Hope to help.

Thanks for the reply, I will try to get the code tomorrow.
My Avalon has 105,000 miles on it so it is well past the warranty period.

I suppose the symptom could be described as a shudder, it feels like a rough road with very even small bumps in it. There have been times when the road was rough and I first thought it was the car and vise versa. No I cannot differentiate the locking and unlocking of the torgue converter cluch.

Find your best local transmission shop and take the car there. What you describe does sound just like torque converter clutch shudder. Best to have a transmission shop scan the codes, test drive it and advise you.

Thanks, I plan to do as you recommend