Any way to squeeze a little more time out of a failing transmission?

I have an 89 Camry wagon automatic and the transmission is slipping. It has been getting worse over the last few months. I had the transmission fluid changed about seven months ago, which may or may not have brought her some time, but her days are certainly numbered. I am currently searching for a new car, but am wondering if there is anything I can do to get a few more miles out of my car while I search. I don’t really want to put a lot of money into the car for obvious reasons. I should also mention that there are a few other problems with the car and thus fixing the transmission is not really a option. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

You can try Trans-X or a similar product-- what’ve you got to lose?

I didn’t say this. I am not here. 30 WT motor oil. Honestly, I don’t know but I wouldn’t mind if you tried it and told us how it worked. A newer car would cost less than fixing it.

Back in the 70s we got a shipment of 28 jeep Rhd trucks with the Mopar 727 trans that had 30 weight instead of auto fluid in them. They ran great for about 5 months and then started getting sluggish as the oil broke down. Mainly had to be flushed and I installed a drain plug in the converters to help drain it. Most lived a normal life. NOt a suggestion; just info. LEE

Consider adding ATP synthetic friction modifier it is a great product. On ATP’s web page you can put in your zip code for a jobber in your area that has it. First check at the local parts stores i think the bottle for your car is black, three formulas depending on the car, it may help or your trans may fail slipping is real bad … have you checked the fluid level? ko

I agree. K&W Trans-X.

If this stuff doesn’t work, nothing will.


You don’t mention if this is a 3 speed or 4 speed overdrive transmission. If it is slipping in third or overdrive, stay in second. If you don’t drive too fast, you won’t overspeed the engine. Keep the RPM below red line if you have a tach to measure it with. Your gas mileage will suffer a little and you will be taking some life out of the engine. But it seems you just want to get a few more miles out of this until you trade it in.

If you are having slippage in first and/or second, manually shift it in these gears as a backup band is applied in each of these gears.

If you are getting consistant slipping in all gears, it is possible that the forward clutch is the culprit which cannot be circumvented. You will have to live with it.

I am assuming that the transmission mechanic did a pressure check and was able to diagnosis if there is adequate pressure to each of the clutch pistons. Have him tell you if there is any gear(s) that show useable pressure(s).

If the mechanic was able to give a specific diagnosis of what is wrong with the transmission, i.e. slipping forward clutch; low line pressure in all gears; slipping high clutch; slipping first oneway clutch; post back so we can give you more specific advice. Also if you can be more specific as to which gear is slipping, please post.