Camry having trouble shifting gear

I have a camry 2000 automatic transmission with 150 K on it. For last few months I am having this sporadic issue with it having difficulty to change the gear from lower to higher gear(from the first to second, i guess).

It goes like this, when i start speeding up the car, its having difficulty to move to higher gear, it just revs up to like 5 - 6 K rpm and with a jerk it shifts the gear. And at the same time check engine light goes on. And during the time this check engine light is on, it does this same thing a couple of times or so. Then after some time the check engine light goes away and the car runs just fine without any issues for some tine and then the same thing happens again and after some time the issue and the check engine light goes away and teh car runs just fine again. this keeps happenning every few weeks.

So I took the car to the mechanic (check engine light has gone away at this time, who told the code was showing some “speed sensor” issue and they replaced this. Afte that the car ran just fine for a couple of months. But its starting to do the same thing again.

Anyone, any suggestion would be highly appreciated.


Rather than taking it to a general mechanic take it to a local, independent shop in your area that specializes in transmissions. Have them scan it for codes, inspect and advise. One possibility that comes to my mind is that something inside of the transmission is damaged leaving you with metal bits going through there. Most speed sensors are magnetic, so their tips easily get gunked up with metal contamination. But that’s just a WAG.

What has the service history on this transmission been?

[i] I have a camry 2000 automatic transmission with 150 K on it.[/i]  

 Has the transmission ever been serviced?  [fluid change and cleaning of the filter?  If so when and how many times?

 The bad news is not many car makers now list regular transmission service.  I would guess they know the transmission will last the warranty so they don't car what happens later.  

 Servicing it now may not help or it might help.  It will not hurt.  It is wise to have the fluid changed every 30-40,000 miles.   Don't listen to someone who tells you that your transmission will fail if you have it serviced.  Year an lot of transmission fail soon after they are serviced, but that is because the owner was having problems and tried the old Hail Mary, but the damage was already done.  

Don't get a flush and don't let a quick oil change place touch it.

  That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

I Don’t Know A Toyota Camry (Or Any Chinese, Japanese Or Korean Car, For That Matter) From A Bale Of Hay, But That Won’t Stop Me.

I know from experience and also from Tansman (Car Talk site contributor who’s a transmission rebuilder / expert) something about replacing input or output speed sensors.

They should be replaced together, regardless of any DTCs indicating one at fault.

I had an erratic shifting transmisssion and multiple transmission codes (incorrect ratios, etcetera) and one code indicated a fault with the input speed sensor / sensor circuit. I replaced that sensor and the car was fixed . . . temporarily. I replaced the output speed sensor (no DTC showing for it) and the problem was fixed, permanently.

I don’t know transmission repair from a sushi bar, but I do know what I observe and read. I also, know this transmission can have lots of things wrong with it or be beyond repair. I’m just sharing my experience. You could gamble, and if only one speed sensor was replace, put the other one in there, too.


I Hope Transman Doesn’t Mind My Posting An Example. This Is From A different Transmission Issue A While Ago.

"[i]What book told you this?? Both the input and output speed sensors are AC voltage generators. In short, they produce their own AC voltage. Its much easier to check these with a scanner. I dont see it being a ground problem, reason being, the input, output speed sensors and TFT sensor share a common ground so you would also have trouble codes for these too if the ground was bad. Due to these sensors being such a common problem I honestly think changing them will solve your problem. It is recommended that you change them both since they work together. If you have access to a scanner, this would be the best way to check it.


Transman says, “It is recommended that you change them both since they work together.

I agree.