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1995 ES300 Transmission problems

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Old 02-12-14, 09:44 AM   #1
AlanHeat
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Smile 1995 ES300 Transmission problems

Hey guys im pretty new to this forum and i am looking for some advice on what i should with my transmission. My es has 124k miles.
Basically when the car is cold in the mornings and i put it into drive it takes a good 2 minutes to actually shift into gear. Also when im driving and i come to a stop and then accelerate it starts shifting erratically from 1st to second back to 1st then to 2nd again. Im also gettin a lot of late shifts and they are not smooth at all. It is very jerky on all shifts. My tranny fluid up to level but it seems like its all burnt up.
I recently took it to a tranny shop and the guy basically told me i need to do a rebuild which he said will be 1200+. I just wanted to know if this is reasonable and if it is a must to do the rebuild. Also if anyone knows any reputable tranny shops in the miami dade or broward county area please let me know.
Thanks,
Alan
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Old 02-12-14, 09:55 AM   #2
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Why not try replacing the fluid first? You really have nothing to lose and you can do it yourself. Each time you drain the pan you will get out about 2.5 liters of fluid. If after the first drain and fill the tranny shifts better, do it two more times.

If after the first drain/fill it's just as bad then start looking for a replacement transmission. I see many A541E used transmissions on Ebay....
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Old 02-12-14, 04:59 PM   #3
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+1 on what Lexus2000 said.

While you are at it, change the filter, too. You can get transmission parts from cobratransmission.com which is located in the Miami area.

Do a search for the ES300 service manual posting on this site for instructions.

Best to you,
Rob
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Old 02-12-14, 10:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys. Can someone point me in the direction for a DIY on removing the pan and changing the filter and gasket.
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Old 02-12-14, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHeat View Post
Basically when the car is cold in the mornings and i put it into drive it takes a good 2 minutes to actually shift into gear.
Do you mean when you shift into drive it stays in park / neutral for 2 minutes?? Or do you mean when put it in drive and drive off it takes a couple of minutes for it to shift properly/normally
into gears (like it's holding onto gears and revving high for a little while)

If it's the 1st then that doesn't sound too great, if it's the second then I think I read on here that it's normal and the trans is designed to operate that way...
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Old 02-14-14, 12:48 AM   #6
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Yea i meant the first one.
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Old 02-14-14, 11:28 AM   #7
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If your tranny fluid is burnt you have to wonder what cooked it. Is it still red but has a little burnt smell to it? (this is normal) Or is it blacker than pure evil? (this means that the clutches and bands are smoked) The delayed shift into drive in that case would be that all of the burnt crud has clogged the filter and then the next thing to go is the front pump! as you loose line flow due to restricted filter, the pump gets really hot and could cook your fluid without doing much harm to the tranny. However low line pressure means slippage and will wear out clutches and bands eventually. If the filter had been neglected for a really long time., and this would make you really lucky you may get away cheap. I agree that changing the filter and fluid is worth a shot. The fact that it is still somewhat drivable is a good indication that this may just work, however damage has still been done and it will fail all together sooner or later.

Good luck and if changing the filter and fluid works, you should then go out and buy a lottery ticket because you would be on a roll man!
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Old 04-25-14, 11:38 AM   #8
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To add to all of this, even though i am late..My 95 ES 300 has a similar issue. Starts from 1st, red lines unless you let off the gas and then shifts very late into 2nd and sometimes even does the same thing into third.. I was reading on another forum that it could be a problem with the speed sensor outside the transmission. If anyone is able to provide additional knowledge on this, i would be very grateful. Thank you all!
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Old 04-25-14, 03:56 PM   #9
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If you have a speed sensor failure you will get a CEL, do you have one?
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Old 04-25-14, 07:56 PM   #10
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Man, it seems like the more I read about transmission failures on these early ES cars, it's always due to neglect. Before I got into DIYing a lot of car maintenance and repair, I didn't even know that the transmission fluid had to be serviced. I think there needs to be a lot more awareness raised about this kind of thing. People should know that the ATF is just as important as Engine Oil and Coolant. It's really sad that such a low mileage car has a failed transaxle.
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Old 04-28-14, 07:35 AM   #11
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Hello, Gents:

I have been outta pocket for a while, but here is some intel on my 1995 ES300 transmission that I have been able to gather because I was getting CEL lights and trouble codes related to my Vehicle Speed Sensor and my Direct Speed Clutch Sensor. Also, I received a trouble code related to my transmission's DSL Sensor; this sensor controls when your transmission shifts into Over Drive.

I have a Sears/Craftsman model 20890 Scan Tool which was a tremendous asset to me for repairing my car's transmission.

To make a long story short, I replaced the above sensors, including the DSL Sensor located on the transmission's valve body. I used the repair manuals found at this web site:
http://www.turboninjas.com/camry/
In particular the manual labeled ax2.pdf. This manual provides instructions for changing your transmission fluid and filter; in addition to removing and replacing your valve body components -- if necessary.

After replacing the offending sensors, my transmission continued to shift erratically -- sometimes dying at intersections. I discovered that the ECM (located behind the glove box, inside the car) will sometimes fail which caused the transmission to perform as I described above. How did I know that my ECM was at fault after replacing the sensors? I removed the ECM, opened it up and saw several leaking transistors. The transistors were leaking a black gooey matter. I replaced the bad ECM with one I obtained off ebay (with a warranty). Problem solved. NOTE: My Sears/Craftsman scanner is not capable of diagnosing my ECM.

My car has been performing extremely well since replacing the sensors and ECM. It really drives like a new car.

To summarize: Check your diagnostic codes with a scanner. Follow the diagnostics procedures related to your trouble codes, if any, from the Diagnostics.pdf manual listed above. Replace parts as recommended.

Note on the Repair Manual web site listed above: Download the file for the complete manual and unzip. This file contains more pdf files than the individual manuals given on the web site. The complete manual file contains the Diagnostics.pdf, which is not listed on the web site. Download this one for the full manual:
http://www.turboninjas.com/camry/199...ES_300_FSM.zip (There is not a big difference between the 1995 ES300 and a 1997 ES300, in my opinion).

I am not saying that my transmission experience is what you are experiencing, but I hope that the above intel will provide you some insights to the problems you are experiencing.

By the way, ECM is the Engine Control Module. It is sometimes referred to as a ECU.

Best regards,
GS3R
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Old 05-05-14, 07:39 AM   #12
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Was your erratic shifting through gears, overdrive, or just certain gears. My problem is with my 2nd gear. In drive I shift into 2nd after 20 mph and 3500 rmp. Second gear finally kicks in and things are smooth if you dont go back into 1st gear. My problem was also from 2nd into 3rd but the problem reduced into first to second only all my it self. Ill check into my ecu, I appreciate your response and will keep you posted. Also my knock sensor triggered my check engine to come on P0330 erroe code. Midas said it was because of my transmission, not to attempt to repair that until I figure out the transmission problem.
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Old 05-05-14, 08:33 AM   #13
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Drain and fill your transmission fluid. Do it twice if needed.
Please read and follow the owner's manual and it service schedule.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyanese View Post
Was your erratic shifting through gears, overdrive, or just certain gears. My problem is with my 2nd gear. In drive I shift into 2nd after 20 mph and 3500 rmp. Second gear finally kicks in and things are smooth if you dont go back into 1st gear. My problem was also from 2nd into 3rd but the problem reduced into first to second only all my it self. Ill check into my ecu, I appreciate your response and will keep you posted. Also my knock sensor triggered my check engine to come on P0330 erroe code. Midas said it was because of my transmission, not to attempt to repair that until I figure out the transmission problem.
Guyanese:

My ES300 would die when leaving a stop, such as after stopping at a traffic light or stop sign. The way I got around the "dying at the stop" was to manually shift into first gear before pulling off from a stop. Afterwards, shift into normal drive and all would be well until the next stop.

As I said in my previous post, my car had multiple problems with engine & transmission sensors and ECM (also known as ECU). I replaced the offending sensors and ECM which solved my problem. My recommendation is to follow the diagnostics directions provide by the Diagnostics Manual I referenced in my last post regarding what I did to resolve my problems. Make sure that you read any trouble codes from the scanner. Understanding the trouble codes will help you immensely.

Question: Have you received any trouble codes related to the shift sensors in the transmission?

Regards,
GS3R

Last edited by GS3R; 05-08-14 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 05-16-14, 05:08 PM   #15
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Today i had sometime to open and look at me ECU. which isnt the hardest thing to get to with the right tools..i took detailed pictures and will upload once i figure out how to... my ecu board was ok. Nothing was bad on the either boards, so my problem is not ECU (which i was secretly hoping it was). I am now going to start looking into the P0330 CEL code which came back 2-3 weeks after the transmission problem. Knock Sensor Bank 2. My problem is still only shifting from 1st to 2nd, after that, all the gears are working and shifting below 2K which is normal for how i drive, even overdrive works. Also there was never any flashing of the OD or such so my advice to anyone experiencing problems with no O/D flashing lights or shifting into O/D is simple, its not your ECU. I tried using the jumper method for the 'diagnosis' box by the engine compartment but it doesnt work. I think my TE1 port may be dead..
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Old 05-16-14, 05:08 PM
 
 
 
 
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