Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Should I replace my transmission in a 1993 Toyota Camry

I’m the second owner and have every receipt for this car. It’s been a DREAM. The ole’ girl (v6) does have 170,000 miles. Fairly recent new brakes, new tires, doesn’t burn oil, etc. Body is in incredible shape. We live in San Francisco so don’t “really” need a car but it’s been so great having one for short trips outside of the Bay area + Target and grocery store.


To me, the car does not really even have high mileage on it. Based on your description of the car I’d say replace the transmission if needed. The alternative would be the purchase of another car and if used, that could be a crap shoot. As it is now, you know what you have.

I do not know the maintenance habits of the past but changing the transmission fluid every 30k miles would likely prevent any future problems and I see no reason why you can’t get 300k miles or more out of that car.

If you can replace the transmission yourself then yes.

If you’re going to pay someone else to replace the transmission?

Then no.


My “replacing transmission” skills are a little rusty. Wait, I never had any! Hmm, sounds like it may be worth getting an estimate from a couple of places that may not be in the heart of SF and exorbitantly priced.

I really appreciate the feedback!

If the rest of the car is in good shape, I see absolutely no reason not to replace the tranny… at least not an intrinsic reason. The car sounds like it fits your needs perfectly, and a new tranny is one heck of a lot cheaper than a new car, which it sounds like you don’t need.

There is, however, one unanswered question… exactly what is wrong with the current transmission? Is it repairable?

Do you have the 5 speed manual or automatic? Your post says manual. If it is the manual what makes believe it needs replacement? You may have a clutch problem and not a trans problem. If it is the automatic what symptoms do you have? If its slipping it more than likely needs replacement.The transmissions do go out on these on occasion.


Oops; I overlooked that standard transmission part and that does send things in a different direction about whether it actually needs a transmission or not.

Seeing how the car has been used in San Francisco, I think it’s quite possible a worn out clutch is the real problem . . . especially if the car spent its entire life there

Does ‘standard transmission’ mean stick-shift anymore? So few cars even have manual transmission options anymore, I’m just wondering if the OP means stick-shift or not.

20yr old car. worth zip. actually worth less since trans is shot. buy something newer. you could probably find something newer for not much more money than the repair. i thought everyone in SF was rich?

Busted, it’s a '93. Standards still had sticks in those days. And yup, they were still available… slowly disappearing, but still available.

My ‘94 was a standard transmission. One of the best cars I ever owned. If everything else is in good shape I’d replace the clutch (assuming that’ s the problem) and keep it, particularly since the OP doesn’t seem to drive it long distances.

It sounds as though your Camry was well maintained. Since the body is in great shape, my inclination would be to have the transmission repaired. The question is not what the book price of the car is, but what the car is worth to you. I doubt that you could get a better car for the price of the repair.

I have a 93 2.2 AT with 316K - (bought it at 313K with lots of receipts and new parts). Changed a few myself - but it runs like the proverbial dream, albeit at its own pace…So if yours is in generally good shape and such, anythings possible.