Shop changed transmission fluid, and I started having problems 1k miles later. What should I do?

I had 101k miles on my Camry and the transmission fluid was never changed. I was concerned that changing the fluid at this late point would do damage, but this auto shop told me not to worry and that everything would be okay.

After 1k miles of driving the car began struggling everytime I got up to 30-40 mph. The car jerks back and forth a bit and stays at that same speed for an unusual amount of time.

I’m probably going to add Lucas Transmission Treatment tomorrow.

Any guess as to how long this transmission will last? Do you think I can I sue this shop? What should I do?

Just how do you propose proving that the shop did something wrong? If you go to court, the burden of proof is on you.

Tell me you did not go to a fast ;lbe place and let them use Dexron with an additive pack.

Did you at least get the car up to operating temp and check the fluid level?


I gave them the OEM Toyota fluid. I checked the fluid at operating temperature and it looked level. I could also tell that the fluid was new because of the color.

Are you sure this is not an engine performance problem?

What does this mean? Full throttle in second gear? Won’t upshift to 3rd gear? What is the engine speed when the acceleration problem occurs?


I don’t know how to explain the issue in terms of gears.

The RPMs must be around 3000-4000. I didn’t want to go full throttle because I thought that would do further damage. I would press the accelator a little harder than normal though.

The car is also driving extremely slow up hills regardless of how hard I press on the accelerator.

I doubt it is an engine performance problem because I just recently had the transmission fluid changed. One auto shop said it was too late to change it, but I went with the opinion of the second shop.

Could also be a clogged or damaged catalytic converter, or other exhaust-type problem.

Why not take it back to the transmission shop and let them take a look? Don’t say anything about suing them; that will get you nowhere fast.


what model year is this Camry?

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Frankly, suing someone for doing maintenance on a poorly maintenance vehicle is silly. If a transmission problem occurred after a fluid change it is because the transmission was compromised by not servicing it properly in the first place. They used the correct fluid, and if they didn’t do anything wrong while changing it, they did exactly what they were supposed to do. As others have suggested, have the car diagnosed to see what’s going on. You may find it’s not transmission related. That’s not uncommon.


I’m not saying this happened in this case, since 101k miles isn’t that much.

But wonder if you change the fluid if it can cause sediment to be picked up and relocated to new places. So the fluid should be changed again a few hundred miles later, and/or the pan should be removed and all the sediment should be wiped out.

When I changed my fluid and cleaned the pan new sediment had arrived 5000 miles later when I changed it again. 5000 after that there was no more sediment on the pan.

When they did the transmission fluid service, you were given an invoice (bill) for the cost of the service.

Does it list on that invoice a transmission filter and a transmission pan gasket?


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I have had a catalytic code for a while. I didn’t know that could affect acceleration.

The model year is 2005

It most likely should. I provided them with the transmission filter and gasket.

It can if the catalytic converter is restricted.



Do you think those “Cat Clean” products can help with that?

The cat has about 50k miles on it, but the engine does burn oil, so that may have damaged the cat. I do have a p0420 code.




Changing your fluid cannot cause any damage by itself, if everything is fine inside the transmission… The issues start to appear when you change the fluid if your clutches are already worn or damaged from use. If you go and replace the fluid after they are already worn out. this can cause slipping… And normally it happens right away not 1,000 miles later…

When staying at the same speed for an unusual amount of time, are the engine RPMs going higher then normal (engine revving up) ??? Or are the RPMs dropping, then normal, then dropping and so on while it is jerking??? Does it feel/sound like the engine is bogging or racing when it is doing all this at 30-40 mph???

The RPMs are higher than normal. The RPMs are high and the car will remain at the same slow speed. When I’m going uphill, the RPMs are high and the car is barely moving.

This does sound like the transmission might be the culprit at least. Remember there are external parts that could be causing this. Have a place like AutoZone read the transmission codes. They will be something like P0700 or P0600 typically.

Fresh fluid and a flushing machine could break loose crud that has accumulated in the transmission. That being said, the fluid should still be changed. Definitely have this looked at before you burn it out from slipping. The problem at this point might not be catastrophic.

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It is quite common to change the automatic transmission fluid every 100,000 miles, and unless you “floor it” from every stop, or tow a trailer, it is unlikely that this is a problem. It is much more probable that the shop removed perfectly fine Toyota ATF, and refilled the transmission with some “universal” substitute. Over the years, Toyota has specified several different transmission fluids, which are not interchangeable.

Some shops like to use “universal” substitutes, which claim to work in many types of transmissions, but I would not trust such a thing. For your 2005 Camry, the correct transmission fluid is “ATF WS”, either genuine Toyota or a licensed third-party manufacturer. Other types, such as Dexron/Mercon should never be used.

Edit–I made a mistake, and the correct transmission fluid is “T-IV”. Sorry about that.

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