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Transmission Issue or Paranoia?

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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Transmission Issue or Paranoia?

So, my apologies if this in the wrong place or if I missed a thread regarding it but it was hard to explain in a few words and I've been looking through Google for feedback.

To start off I just bought a used Gen1 Tacoma. It's a 2001 Double Cab with a V6 and it's basically stock. Aside from a new frame from the Toyota recall (along with new struts, shocks etc)

Well, anyway it's only three days old and today I noticed something about changing gears that had me concerned, it may just be paranoia, infact it may likely be that, along with some user error. I'll explain the particular instances so we have a picture of what was up.

1. Got in the truck this morning, it had just rained, put the truck into reverse, pulled onto the driveway and put it into drive. The tires like skipped or slipped and it didn't drive forward, it went very slowly if at all. Put it back in reverse, than drive and it went. Drives like it just came off the lot after that.

2. Got out of work, got in the truck, reversed it and when out of the space put it into drive, tires skipped a bit before it resumed normal function.

3. Went to the movies, got back in my truck, took it out of park and put it into drive. I went to accelerate but even though the engine was building up the truck didn't move but after a few seconds finally began to drive forward and operated normally.

4. I notice that the issue from shifting to park/reverse/drive only happens after the truck has been sitting a few hours and today (a rainy, miserable day) was the first time I noticed any issue shifting it like this. The skipping/slow acceleration is the point I'm trying to determine.

As far as my theories are concerned, since this is the first day that this has happened, I believe that perhaps the wet pavement/mud/grass and leafs (my house and parking lot respectively) caused the tire slippage/skipping.

To compound that, I believe it's partially user error. My old Taco has a replaced transmission that was in bad shape. I could still be rolling backwards, slap it into drive and go forward no problem and without serious hesitation. So that was a nasty habit I picked up, so because of that I may not have had my foot hard on the brake when changing gears, or I may have still be moving (even if very slowly)

These two things seem probable to me, and trying to recreate the issue I don't have a lot of success. I don't hear any weird noises, no grinding or anything like. Just that I feel the tires skipping, or when I put it into drive it would accelerate very slowly/crawling even though I was putting my foot on the gas. Sometimes one of those things happened, sometimes both. Probably because I didn't change gears properly so they didn't lock into place very well?

Like I said, not sure. I want more opinions. The little bit of info I saw on Google point to transmission fluid, filters, gaskets and things of that nature. I'm strapped for cash after buying the truck so I want to know if this is seriously damaging to the truck of if I can skirt by for now since the only time I get issues is in the aforementioned situations and had only started occurring today. Additionally I can go back and forth for ten minutes trying to recreate the issue and I'm not able too. Another unlikely theory is the wet grass, leaves and dirt I have the truck currently parked on make the ABS brakes kick in or something. Like I said, need input.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:20 PM   #2
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Are you using the E-brake? Sounds like what happens when mine sticks.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:21 PM   #3
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Neutral Safety Switch or linkage hopefully is all it is rather than valve body or torque converter.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
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I don't use the E-Brake, I have it parked on level ground in all circumstances as well. The Dealer I got it from had it stored on a slope with the E-Brake on if that's anything to note.

The E-Brake light isn't on or anything either, but I have seen that light come once on even though the E-Brake was disengaged, but that's a common Tacoma thing, I believe. Still, if you think that may have something to do I'm all ears. I think my Dad had his E-Brake bungee'd down, I never once used it so I don't remember for sure. Might be for that purpose, you may want to tell me your issue, they may or may not be the same
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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What I was saying is if I use mine then put it in reverse then take it off after in gear and it won't realese till after I stop a second time
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Not the same issue, wasn't sure what you meant so thanks for clarifying. I just never ever use my e-brake. And aside from this odd issue I'm having today the truck is perfect. I just want to make sure if there is a serious issue I can pin-point I know as soon as possible so I can contact the Dealer before the warranty is up and I'm stuck with a tranny rebuild or something that would literally make me jump off a bridge.

It's a minor issue in the grand scheme of things even if I'm not at fault, but I don't want to ignore it and have my transmission break in a few months or a year or whatever.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
Well, let's play chess.
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Is it low on ATF? Can you see any leaks or wet spots around the transmission, lines, or cooler?

Take it to a transmission shop and let them take it for a free test drive, with you in it. They should be able to tell if it's operating properly.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoorDing View Post
Is it low on ATF? Can you see any leaks or wet spots around the transmission, lines, or cooler?

Take it to a transmission shop and let them take it for a free test drive, with you in it. They should be able to tell if it's operating properly.
This ^^^
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:44 AM   #9
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Wouldn't really call it paranoia but these 'Yota automatics are a little fussy about maintenance (or lack of) You def. need to get it serviced/flushed at your earliest convienience, I was lax about servicing mine & payed the ultimate price... Was running/shifting fine until 1 day I had a couple of unusually hard upshifts & then......nada, it just stopped moving my truck, had quotes of up to $3400 for a rebuild....
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
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I think it was just me, because this morning I got in and reversed, drove, got gas, turned around in the parking lot, went to the Dealer (The O2 sensor died so I'm getting it fixed while I still gotta a warranty) and backed out. No issue what so ever. Must have just been me and my bad habits and the shitty weather.

Not saying that's all it was, Toyota transmissions are funny like that. I plan to get it serviced though, but at least I'm not worried it's going to blow up on me within the next two weeks or anything.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:52 AM   #11
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I've never heard of this issue with a Tacoma in particular (but, then again, I have a manual, so I haven't done much research on the autos)
But, I'll just throw this out there, cause I have seen it with several other vehicles
If your shifter linkage isn't properly adjusted it can cause problems like this;
and is usually just a matter of getting it readjusted, which doesn't cost much
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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I plan to have the whole thing squared away within a month or so but funds are tight at this exact moment.

So, my O2 sensor was a code "PO420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)" and the guy said it was probably a fluke/glitch/teething problems because the catalytic converter in the Tacoma is brand new, like, literally brand new out of the box. If it happens again, he'll fix it but just cleared the code for now to see if it'd come back. I can confirm that it's a new converter as well.

Does that sound right to you guys, plausible? Should I be holding my breath waiting for it or can I relax now? Because aside from the possible check engine light on the horizon, I'm in the clear.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:38 PM   #13
Well, let's play chess.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codemonkey3 View Post
I plan to have the whole thing squared away within a month or so but funds are tight at this exact moment.

So, my O2 sensor was a code "PO420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)" and the guy said it was probably a fluke/glitch/teething problems because the catalytic converter in the Tacoma is brand new, like, literally brand new out of the box. If it happens again, he'll fix it but just cleared the code for now to see if it'd come back. I can confirm that it's a new converter as well.

Does that sound right to you guys, plausible? Should I be holding my breath waiting for it or can I relax now? Because aside from the possible check engine light on the horizon, I'm in the clear.
I wouldn't be concerned about that, either. If it sets another DTC, then you'll have something to worry about. O2 sensors and catalytic converters don't heal themselves, so if there really is a problem, it'll pop back up before long.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:27 PM   #14
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Well, something interesting developed. Some sorta of rattling, I didn't really notice it until yesterday but today it got pretty loud when idling but when in park it didn't do it at all. It was the heat shield that hung over the Cat, so I took it off, stopped the noise.

While I was idle in traffic and it was making a racket the engine light came on. Code PO420 and the heat shield had been banging, rattling and vibrating like hell against that particular O2 sensor. So I cleared the code and I'm going to see if it comes back. Do you guys think that was it?

I have an appointment Monday to get it fixed, but I work Monday so I'd really like to cancel if the heat shield vibration was just messing with the sensor. The engine light stayed off for four days last time I reset it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codemonkey3 View Post
I plan to have the whole thing squared away within a month or so but funds are tight at this exact moment.

So, my O2 sensor was a code "PO420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)" and the guy said it was probably a fluke/glitch/teething problems because the catalytic converter in the Tacoma is brand new, like, literally brand new out of the box. If it happens again, he'll fix it but just cleared the code for now to see if it'd come back. I can confirm that it's a new converter as well.

Does that sound right to you guys, plausible? Should I be holding my breath waiting for it or can I relax now? Because aside from the possible check engine light on the horizon, I'm in the clear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codemonkey3 View Post
Well, something interesting developed. Some sorta of rattling, I didn't really notice it until yesterday but today it got pretty loud when idling but when in park it didn't do it at all. It was the heat shield that hung over the Cat, so I took it off, stopped the noise.

While I was idle in traffic and it was making a racket the engine light came on. Code PO420 and the heat shield had been banging, rattling and vibrating like hell against that particular O2 sensor. So I cleared the code and I'm going to see if it comes back. Do you guys think that was it?

I have an appointment Monday to get it fixed, but I work Monday so I'd really like to cancel if the heat shield vibration was just messing with the sensor. The engine light stayed off for four days last time I reset it.
Only suggestion on the transmission issue is to just bite the bullet and get it inspected/test drove by a transmission shop. Before that though check your fluid level and condition yourself. Low fluid level and/or old fluid can cause exactly what you have been experiencing.

As for the P0420, the cat has been replaced as you mentioned, but it seems like the Tacoma is pretty finicky when it comes to cats. Most aftermarket ones seem to reset the P0420 code. I would have the cat inspected to see if it was a genuine Toyota cat or not.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:43 PM   #16
Well, let's play chess.
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Be careful about running without that heat shield in place. A catalytic converter can generate enough heat to melt carpet inside a vehicle, start a fire, etc.

I think if the heat shield damaged the sensor, it's still damaged, even if it just generates an intermittent fault. Sounds like the seller needs to make it right.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:59 PM   #17
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The Catalytic Converter heat shield is still there. It was just some random exhaust shield over the downstream O2 sensor that was rusting off.

My warranty is up November 2nd and the Dealer is aware of the problem. So if no engine light comes on by Monday I'll cancel my appointment and go on Friday (my day off) if it comes back.

I hate O2 sensors.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:04 PM   #18
Well, let's play chess.
DoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Good luck getting it resolved.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:27 AM   #19
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Got an appointment Friday to bring it to the Dealer. He doesn't think the heat shield caused the codes, so he wants to put it on a lift and see if there is a leak somewhere or something. Also said he is going to find out why my tires are doing that thing they do.

But concerning that last point. My theory is this; the rear diff has a minor patch on the pumpkin. Not a big deal, but we think that during that process some of the fluid leaked out so it's a little low. So that is why when on a cold start (like sitting for hours) that when going from Reverse-Drive the wheels sorta slip and do that weird thing. I can describe best as what it feels like when you try to make a turn in 4WD and your tires are trying to grip and they skip a bit. That's what it feels like. And once the truck has been driving a bit it the fluids warm up and everything plays nice, which is why I can't easily reproduce the issue.

How does that theory sound?
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:38 AM   #20
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You are supposed to drain the diff before doing any kind of weld/adhesive repair, then fill it back up. The diff oil being low could be due to any number of reasons, and shouldn't cause the reverse-forward shifting problems like you describe, unless the oil is really low and mechanical damage had alreaddy occurred.
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