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Auto trans has a hard time shifting to 3rd when COLD

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Old 04-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Auto trans has a hard time shifting to 3rd when COLD

When starting my engine cold (morning cold), my truck has a hard time shifting to 3rd. I'll run at 2000+ rpm in 2nd but won't shift to 3rd unless the engine has warmed up a bit. This problem just came up a couple months ago. Any ideas?
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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Sounds like normal operation. That is what is called accelerated warm up.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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I used to be able to drive just fine even when cold. Never had to push such a high rpm
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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Check the fluid level then. Have you ever had the tranny flushed?
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Mine does the same. I believe it does this to warm up the truck properly before hitting high speeds.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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Mine does that from 1st to 2nd, and then 2nd to 3rd. After 10 minutes or easy driving it warms up and is fine.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #7
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Flush the fluid. The transmission is designed to do this to allow the engine to warm up, but as the fluid gets dirty the system doesn't work as efficiently.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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The purpose of holding it in a lower gear when cold is to get the Catalytic Converter to operating temperature as quickly as possible. Cold start and warm-up are high emission periods and Toyota needs to get the cats "lit" ASAP. The owners manual mentions the delayed shift to 3rd when cold.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:50 PM   #9
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Mine with the 3.4 does the exact same thing.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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my 3.4 auto does the same as well. after how many miles should tranny get flushed?
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #11
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I haven't done a flush yet, and I don't know if the previous owner has (150k mi). I also haven't found a conclusive answer on whether flushing the trans fluid is safe or if it's better just to take the whole pan off.
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