2012 Toyota Camry - Transmisson jerks

I have a 2012 Toyota Camry automatic transmission with 120k miles. Sometimes the transmission will “jerk” upon acceleration, especially in the morning or if the car hasn’t been driven in a few hours. Other times it feels as if the transmission isn’t shifting as smooth as when we originally bought it at 80k miles. Its very subtle and even my wife doesn’t notice it. I don’t think the ATF has been changed at all. I took it to a regular mechanic shop and they replaced the spark plugs (no codes for a misfire though) and recommended a “pan drop and fill” fluid exchange. I haven’t noticed much “jerking” but that could just be me driving it more gingerly. Being afraid to mess with fluid, I took it to a transmission specialist who couldn’t find anything wrong with the drive test and no transmission codes. They recommended a full fluid flush. Should I service the transmission with a pan drop and fill, full fluid flush, or leave it alone since it’s never been serviced before?

Many opposing view on pan drop vs flush. Your car should be on its fourth fluid change. At the minimum do the pan drop, be sure to use Toyota specified transmission fluid.

“Full flush” transmission services vs. a fluid exchange is a gimmick IMHO. Assuming it has never had the recommended Toyota drain and replace service, why not do that?

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Agreed with having the fluid changed. Since you’re already seeing potential issues with the transmission, I can’t see how new/fresh fluid could do anything but help.

I have a 2012 Toyota Camry, bought new. The transmission warranty was extended to 10 years and 125 or 150 thousand miles. I don’t know if it passes to subsequent owners. It is worth asking a Toy0ta dealer.

There is no recommended transmission fluid change interval for this car. Toyota claims that the fluid is good for the life of the car. It also says that the fluid should be checked every 30,000 miles.

I emailed Toyota and asked how I was supposed to check the transmission when there is no dipstick.

They told me the required check is for leaks only and if anything was going wrong, the transmission temp would go up and set a warning light and I should take it to a dealer at that time.

I am NOT saying you should not change the fluid, I would just check with a dealer first.

Have the transmission pan dropped and inspected for any metal particulate.

If any is found, reinstall the tranny pan, fill the transmission to the proper level, and start looking for a replacement tranny/vehicle.

If none is found, replace the filter, reinstall the pan, and flush the transmission.

Now you know you did everything you could to save the transmission.


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