Is it a broken transmission?!

I have a 2000 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4X4, automatic transmission. Some mornings I have a hard time getting her to drive. She does fine in Reverse, but when I shift into Drive it takes several long revs of the engine (or rather a few long hard pumps on the gas) to coax her to drive. It feels like it’s in Neutral for a while then slowly it starts driving. There is no jolt into the gear nor are there any funny noises. Just a slow start.

Have you checked the transmission fluid? Check the owners manual for the procedure (normally hot engine, while running, in park, on level surface).

The fluid should be within the hash marks on the stick, should be nice and red and should not smell burned.

First thing to do is check the transmission fluid level. The owner’s manual will explain the procedure.

If the transmission fluid has never been changed, now might be a very good time to have this service done.

I took it to Jiffy-Rip-You-Off-Lube and they said the transmission fluid was fine. Could it be something else? I guess I also forgot to mention that once I get it going in the morning, I don’t have the problem anymore throughout the day. Maybe a cold temperature issue?

I’m surprised they didn’t offer to suck what little fluid they could out of the transmission pan thru the fill tube and charge you $100 or so for “changing” it.

How many miles on this vehicle?? Have you EVER had the transmission serviced?

It sounds like the problem is in the forward clutch piston. Its most likely the piston seals have hardened with age. Not uncommon at all. When the transmission is cold, the hard seals tend to leak even more. As the trans warms up, the seals soften and seal better. The only cure is overhaul or you can use a can of Berrymans B-12 Chemtool to temporarily soften the seals.