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Shake Rattle and Roll

I’ve a 1997 Corolla, 1.8 engine, automatic transmission it has 215,000 miles. The timing belt was changed two years ago at just under 200,000 miles. (But I did not feel good about the service) Now I’ve let it set under cover for the past nine months. I pulled it out to drive again and it’s running good in idel but when stopped at a light it shakes badly. Also when trying to pass it starts to jump and jerk as if it’s not shifting gears properly. Is this a timing belt problem or time for transmission fluid change?

"it’s running good in idel but when stopped at a light it shakes badly’

Since the engine should be idling at a stop light, I am going to assume that the OP meant to tell us that the engine runs well at idle when the transmission is in Neutral, but that it shakes badly when idling with the transmission in “Drive”. Is that the case?

The first thing that I would have checked is the condition of the motor mounts. The symptoms could indeed indicate broken mounts.

That being said, the OP asks if it is time for a transmission fluid change. However, only the OP can answer that question. The trans fluid (and filter, if so equipped) should be changed every 3 yrs/30k miles, whichever comes first. Has the fluid been changed at least 7 times so far in the car’s life, with the most recent change no longer than 3 yrs/30k miles ago? If not, of if you cannot verify the car’s maintenance record, then, yes it is time for a transmission fluid change.

In addition, another point to consider in regard to this problem is when the spark plugs were last changed.
If you don’t know when they were last changed, then it is time for this service.

“Is this a timing belt problem or time for transmission fluid change?”

Neither. It may or may not be time for a trans fluid change, but your problem is unlikely to lie there.

You let it sit for 9 mos. The fuel got old and nasty, probably on its way to varnish and now you just pumped a whole bunch of old nasty gas through the fuel system.

When you pulled it back out after 9 mos did you actually do any maintenance on it before driving off? I would inspect the air filter and box (rodent nests); check and clean the MAF sensor while you’re at it; change the fuel filter; if you’re not all the way onto new gas by now empty out the tank and fill with fresh. Pull and inspect the spark plugs & wires. Replace if they’re even close to being due. And run a bottle of Seafoam or Technron through the gas tank.

Then see where things stand.

Thanks VDCdriver, I had meant that the vehicle idealed smoothly in Newural but shakes badly when in drive with foot on brake. I will check the motor mount’s, as for the plugs a tune up was done at the same time as the timing belt replacement about 10,000 miles ago. I plan to complete an AT Filter change this next week. In that time I will be driving my 2000 Chev Silverado with 197,000 miles and no problems.