'94 Camry transmission problem



My Camry’s tranny went out outside of Vegas coming back to Utah from Cali. We got it to an import shop in Vegas and they rebuilt the transmission ($1200). After a week of staying in Vegas, we were on the road again. BUT we discovered OD wouldn’t work after getting out of town a ways. So after calling the shop, we decided to turn OD off and just run it in 3rd gear to get home. Well everything seemed okay, and we drove it like that for a few weeks. We finally took it in to a transmission shop here in Utah and they took it apart, after the shop in Vegas said they’d pay for the repairs (no national warranty, didn’t know about that til it was too late). Well one of the o-rings was leaking and the clutch was bad, and it would cost 1400 to fix. The shop in Vegas said no way will they pay that, and offered to tow it back to Vegas to get it fixed at no cost to us. It’s a 5 hour drive one way, which makes it difficult for us to go and get it back. What should we do? Is it worth having it taken back to a shop that didn’t do the job right in the first place, or just put it back together and try to sell it?


A little confused, a clutch is usually associated with a manual transmission, but turning off OD would be the function of an automatic. is it an auto and are you sure it was the clutch the shop said was bad?


It is automatic. My wife talked with the repair shop, so not really sure what they said specifically. They might have meant the torque converter…


I’m sure the OP meant “one of the clutches”


It is automatic. My wife talked with the repair shop, so not really sure what they said specifically. They might have meant the torque converter…


An automatic has a number of what are called clutches, clutch packs, friction plates, etc.

There are several different interpretations of the word rebuild when it comes to a transmission and a lot depends on the expertise of the person doing it.
There’s a proper, by the book rebuild in which all soft and hard parts, updates, etc. is performed and there’s the “soft” rebuild in which only the seals, gaskets, and clutches are replaced.

The latter may or may not the final answer as to longevity because that all depends on the person doing it. If this repair shop was a general repair shop instead of a transmission specialist the odds of something going wrong will go up; at least in most cases.
A rebuilt transmission should also have the cooling lines flushed and receive a new torque converter in my opinion.

As to the predicament you’re in, that’s a tough call but I would say based on what you’ve related here the shop in Vegas screwed up by doing a halfway job. Good luck on this.


I think the Vegas shop just spoke for itself. That 540 auto-transaxle in you vehicle is electronically controlled and uses a number of solenoids inside. Once electronic transmissions have any contamination inside, its prudent to recondition the complete unit. This includes replacing Torque Converter, all solenoids and complete flushing of the transmission cooler in the radiator and adding an in-line filter. A good quality transmission shop will recommend this.