I have a 92 Toyota Camry. While driving surface streets, the engine reves up to about 4k rpms and then settles back down to a normal #. Is this a timing belt problem or a automatic transmission slippage:
Bad news. Transmission is sticking. Get it looked at before it will definitely cost a re-build.
Thank you for your reply. Would a product like Lucas Transmission fix help this sticking ?
Definitely not the timing belt. How often have you been changing the transmission fluid on this car?
I agree that this is symptomatic of a slipping (not sticking) transmission. A can of the Lucas transmission treatment is worth trying, but don’t be surprised if you do need to have the transmission rebuilt.
However, on the subject of the timing belt, since your car is now 16 years old, it is about due for its third timing belt, based on elapsed time. Since you did not state the odometer mileage, we can only give an opinion based on elapsed time, and it is possible that, based on odometer mileage, it is now overdue for a timing belt replacement.
A timing belt does not give any warning of its impending demise, and as one of the members of this board says, “Your engine will run very well right up until the milisecond after the belt snaps”. If your engine is of the interference type, it will sustain major damage when the belt snaps.
So, if your engine is due (or overdue) for a timing belt replacement, failure to replace it makes a rebuilt transmission a poor investment, as both repairs will be necessary to keep the car running. If you haven’t done so previously, I strongly suggest that you consult your Owner’s Manual and compare the maintenance schedule with your maintenance invoices (you did keep them, I assume) to see if you need to replace the timing belt.
This is why I only buy cars with timing chain. I have peace of mind, less maintenance & save a bundle.