Winter acceleration/ transmission problems?

I have a 2007 Toyota Camry. I have had it for 3+ years and it has 55,000 miles on it. V6 engine. I also reside in Arlington, VA (winters aren?t that severe). For the past 2 years every winter my car will stall out on me in the morning when I first start driving my car. I will leave my driveway, drive a little down the street and when I come to the stop at a stop sign/stoplight and begin to move again my car won?t move. The engine revs but there is slight if any actual movement from the car. This morning when this happened I got stuck in the middle of an intersection and had to just sit there with my hazards on for about 2 minutes until the car finally moved when I pressed the gas pedal. This time in particular the ?check engine? light came on but this doesn?t always happen. If I don?t hit that stoplight and keep moving my car will not stall out, but it will become very jerky and shutter along until finally it moves along smooth. It feels like some gears aren?t making a connection. When I take it into the Toyota service shop the service department always says that they cannot replicate the problem, but again after 2 years and 6 times at the service dept. it?s obviously still happening.

What the heck is going on with my car? I feel as though it?s too new and in good condition to be having such problems. I’m just a 25 year old girl with no car knowledge! Please help!

when was the last time you had your tranny fluid flushed???

Your best bet is to make your best guess based on weather forecasts when it is most likely to happen, based on your experience, and leave it overnight at the dealer and see if the problem shows up for them. Since this time the check engine light came on hopefully the code is stored in memory and the dealer can read it and fix it under warranty. Being a 25 year old girl with no car knowledge is no worse than my dad, an 80 year old man with no car knowledge.

I agree. waterboy. One has to get serious about learning to maintain cars, and fix them, and except for professional mechanics, it takes years to become reasonably competent, just knowing where to take it when it needs work, not to mention personally diagnose and repair all problems.

When troubleshooting anything, there are things which one must check first, simply to eliminate the possibility of a simple fix.

In this case, any time there is a transmission problem one must check both the level and condition of the transmission fluid before worrying about anything else, just to eliminate the simplest possible causes.

If you don’t know how, find someone who does. Brother; father; uncle; family friend who can be trusted.

One would expect any mechanic who looked at it at all would do that, but strange things happen.

I do not expect the fluid to be the problem, but that is only a personal hunch. Eventually, you will need to find a good transmission place if no one can find the problem. On this URL somewhere is a thing called Mechanics Files, which list reccommendations by members as to good mechanics they know. Do look for several recommendations because there is nothing to stop bad mechanics from recommending themselves to get business.

It’s past time to get the trans fluid changed (should be changed every 30K miles).
Do that first and see how it behaves.
Get the gear shift lever checked, it may be out of adjustment.

Did the Toyota dealer scan the computer for codes?? If the check engine light came on there just might be a code set. This could be a clue as to what is going on.


Update: Toyota Service Dept. said the check engine light did register a code in the computer. It was the PO500 (zero zero) code which is a faulty speed sensor. Two years ago I took my car in for the same problem and this was the same code they found and they replaced the sensor but still, my problem persists.

A Toyota field rep from corporate is going to look at it tomorrow, so hopefully they will figure out more info. I actually called corporate to file a case yesterday, it looks like they are following up with the call.

What I find frustrating is that they couldn’t get my car to replicate the issue for them this morning. I told them that it only happens once per day, only first thing in the morning after it’s been off for 8hours. The weather temp was the same…I almost want someone to meet me at my house for a test run since it never happens for them at the shop, even with my detailed explanation of how to “test” drive my car in the morning to get it to act up.

I?ll be in touch tomorrow with the Field Tech’s report…

I doubt it’s a trans fluid issue, I’d be really p’d off if that’s all this issue was and they never checked it before. It has to be something bigger…

Update: Toyota got the problem to happen for them, thankfully! Now they are replacing the transmission. All is good now!

Thanks everyone for your ideas!

That is great!

However, now you need to remember to have the trans fluid changed every 3 years/30k miles (whichever comes first) if the new trans is to be kept operating for its full design life.