2006 Toyota Corolla transmission question (backing up)

Davesmopar my dad died when i was 6 and i was raised by a widowed single mom who didn’t drive. I was the first person in my family to even learn to drive and I’ve never been under the hood of a car. No one to learn from. I studied journalism in college because words are what im good at, never felt confident to be a hands on mechanical guy. Afraid I’d make it worse

I haven’t seen any fluid leaks under my car

I can understand and respect that completely, I am NOT good with words, and I am lucky to be able to spell my name… lol
Spell check is lost half the time when I am trying to spell something to the point I have to use talk to text on my phone and then can still misspell it…
Much respect to your mom…

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I hope you’re able to find someone to fix this correctly, but in the meantime you can back into your driveway when you get home from work, which might result in a higher likelihood of your reverse gear working after the transmission is warmed up. Then you can just pull out forward in the morning while the transmission is still cold.

As a bonus, it is safer in nearly all circumstances to back in compared to backing out.


Solid work ethic and a desire to develop new skills and abilities by proactively volunteering to take on new projects. Too many people focus on “what’s in it for me?” without considering it as an investment in their future.

Your story rings true to me- we may be brothers of a different mother :wink:


Excellent suggestion backing into my driveway when i get home from work and driving out in the morning


I got my car back. The transmission shop owner says he put some fluid in and it seems to be running a bit better, but he said the problem is still there. He said i should try driving it and see how it goes. He said there’s still a “lag” in the transmission and i can feel that while driving and even more while backing up. He said fixing it would mean taking apart the transmission which would be expensive. I said how expensive and he said about $4,000. I’ve kept my car a long time because so far it’s been cheap to maintain and drive. My car has no working AC either and crank windows. I’m thinking that $4,000 would be better spent as a down-payment on either a new 2023 Kia Rio or new 2023 Toyota Corolla which are both about $22,000.

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That seems like a reasonable decision given the age of this car.


Yeah. Pumping money into it now when something else could go wrong the day after I get it fixed sounds unappealing.

Your money, your decision, your life, but I would stay as far away from Hyundai and Kia as possible as well as any Euro vehicle (that includes Volvo lol)…

Toyota/Lexus, Mazda, Honda/Acura, seem to have the much better track record in the long run…
I like the Corolla’s a lot and have owned many with great results so far, my 2006 was great with no signs of anything going wrong with about 185000 before it was rear ended by a Jeep, my daughter loves her 2017 Corolla (she had a 2002 Corolla before and like it also) and it has a ton more features (both LE’s)…

That is just my opinion and others will vary…

Plus there is residual value in the old Corolla that will bump that amount up some more. I had a 2003 Camry, was one of the best cars I ever owned from a reliability standpoint. Between the two you mentioned, I would lean heavily toward the Toyota but I also realize that driving essentially the same car again for the foreseeable future might be weighing in the decision.

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Davesmopar I love Toyotas too


As long as the cost of a new car, new car insurance, new car registration wouldn’t be a burden on your budget, a new car makes a lot of sense. But if all that would be a big burden your budget for many years, and you don’t care much about no-AC and crank up windows, an experienced and well-recommended shop rebuilding the transmission is probably your best bet. $4,000 vs $22,000+sales tax etc, no brainer. This would require using a shop who you are certain will do a good job on the rebuild of course, and you couldn’t use the car in the meantime, for several weeks probably.

If you are willing to take on a used car, instead of a new one, a 2-3 year old used Corolla w/manual transmission might be your best option.

I don’t know how to drive stick shift so that’s off the table. I might be interested in like a certified preowned Honda Fit automatic if I can save some money on it versus brand new. I really can’t be 100 percent sure that if this experienced transmission shop does its recommended fix on my car that it will solve all my problems with this transmission. I hope they would guarantee their work that it won’t have transmission leaks, slippage, jerking, etc for a period of time after I fork over the $4,000 to them.

I had my Ford truck’s C4 automatic trans completely rebuilt. All the symptoms were immediately solved, been working fine for 20+ years, close to 100 K miles. I had a personal recommendation for the trans shop, and when I visited there it was clear the owner was very obsessed, demanding his staff do a thorough job. Your automatic trans isn’t a Ford C4 though, and the add’l complexity it has will probably put you at more risk of a faulty rebuild job. But then again you’ll be saving a good amount of loot, so may be worth taking the risk. Make sure the job comes with at least a 1 year warranty. If it work perfectly for an entire year, it will probably work for many more years.

Most shops will give a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty, some will have an option to pay more for a longer warranty… Toyota transmissions are pretty good and I am curios as to how much fluid was added, it could have been a simple axle seal leaking a little that caused the trany to loose enough ATF to cause a slip in return causing the trany to start to fail…

You could also look at a Jasper engine and trans transaxle, they come with a nation wide 3 year 100,000 mile warranty… IIRC… You pick the professional installer…

George San Jose, this transmission shop has good 4.5 star reviews online but I have no personal recommendations from anyone that used it. The shop is also 2 blocks away from my home and it’s the only transmission shop within 20 miles of where I live. Also unlike your experience, the shop here seems to be a one-man operation where the company owner does all the actual work by himself. And instead of being very obsessed and serious, he seems very laid back and likes to laugh and chat with customers about various things including and besides their car. It’s a small independently owned and operated transmission shop in an old rundown garage building. The owner was actually the only person on the premises when i dropped off and picked up my car. But it sounds like he knows what he’s doing pretty much hopefully. One reviewer though said he put the wrong transmission into their vehicle, and that he put a Chevy transmission in instead of the correct Hummer one. So the car broke down again. Other reviewers though said he did a good job fixing their cars.

If I’m assured by the owner that I’ll get a one year warranty and he won’t charge me anything else in that time frame if the trans craps out in any way at all, I might be tempted to do have him do the $4,000 job. What I’m worried about is if he does the $4,000 job and the transmission goes out a couple months later, he would say, oh looks like your transmission also needed this done too, so that’s going to be another $2,000 ( or whatever amount). And hopefully the transmission wouldn’t die right after the one-year warranty is up.

Davesmopar, he didn’t specify how much fluid he added and why. He was vague about that. I think his exact words were “I added some fluid and it seems to be running better now. Try driving it and see how it runs. But you still have the problem and it’s still lagging. If i fix it I’ll have to take apart the transmission and it will be expensive.” I didn’t think to ask how much fluid he put in it, but if I speak to him again i will ask that question. By the way, he didn’t charge me a cent for his services yet. He just laughed and said, “give me a good review on social media.”

H2 s and H3s are Chevies.

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