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auto trans failed

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by elutheros, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Sep 12, 2011 at 7:20 AM
    #1
    elutheros

    elutheros [OP] Active Member

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    A friend has a 2000 Tacoma 4 cylinder with the automatic and the trans. recently failed. Symptoms: a high pitched whine when the truck is started--it will engage all the gears at first, but as soon as the whine stops, it will not engage any gear.

    Is this a torque converter problem, or is the thing toast? Her husband is deployed and I'm trying to help out with the diagnosis and repair.
     
  2. Sep 12, 2011 at 9:04 AM
    #2
    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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    Well, check the basics/easy steps.

    -How much fluid do you have?
    -What color is it?
    -When did you last service it?
    -Drain and look for metal pieces, etc...
     
  3. Sep 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM
    #3
    elutheros

    elutheros [OP] Active Member

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    Fluid is topped off, but smells bad--but not burnt. I don't think it has ever been changed. It is brown in color. Since it is not my truck, I don't have a complete history on it. I guess I could drain it next and see what shows up in the pan. Thanks.
     
  4. Sep 12, 2011 at 9:19 AM
    #4
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Brown? Oh yeah. Sounds like toast to me. If you can get it somewhere I'd suggest a flush.
     
  5. Sep 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM
    #5
    tacoman78

    tacoman78 Well-Known Member

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    A whining noise and brown fluid is never a good thing. A flush at this point isn't going to help you much, it fact it could make the problem worse. A bad whining noise could be in the torque converter, or it could be in the planets inside the transmission.

    My Advice:
    1: Drop the pan. Easy enough. Change the filter and gasket in the transmission pan, check the pan and the magnets for any metal shavings or chunks.
    2A: If there are no metal shavings or chunks, put the new filter and gasket on, put the pan back on and refill the transmission fluid (should be 5-7 quarts).
    2B: If there are metal shavings or chunks, it's time to call a pro. You've got more problems inside the transmission, or you are going to have problems soon. Find a reputable shop, get a quote for them to tear down the transmission and a quote to fix it.
    3: It also sounds like it could be an over heating issue. Might want to have your cooler lines flushed, have the transmission serviced, and then see what happens. That's going to be the cheapest option and might be the root of the problem. But definitely have the cooler lines checked regardless of what happens. If they are clogged and are preventing the transmission from remaining cool, it doesn't matter what you do to the car, your always going to have problems.

    Just my .02
     
  6. Sep 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM
    #6
    STLharry

    STLharry Lube: It's the key to penetration.

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    Good info.

    Or just tell your buddy he has the wrong kind of transmission..:D:D:D
     
  7. Sep 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM
    #7
    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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    ^ Good time for a manual swap (sorry, I know that doesnt help).
     
  8. Sep 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM
    #8
    elutheros

    elutheros [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the input--I guess it's time for me to crawl under it and start implementing your advice.
     
  9. Sep 12, 2011 at 6:36 PM
    #9
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Eeesh. Good luck OP. Never changing the fluid isn't going to help matters. Autos will last 250k miles. But you gotta take care of them. Hopefully it's not too bad.
     
  10. Sep 12, 2011 at 6:40 PM
    #10
    UndefinedTaco

    UndefinedTaco I'll eat all your food.

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    It's an 89 Toyota Pickup. I got some stuff done to it.. FJ axles going under it soon.
    Time to pull one from a yard!

    Easy enough.

    Then some vehicles I've worked on transmission wise..

    :eek:
     
  11. Sep 12, 2011 at 10:35 PM
    #11
    x2468

    x2468 Well-Known Member

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    im wondering when i should drain or flush my tranny. my truck just turned a 140k miles, 20 of which i've put on it. Tranny oil is still reddish pink.
     
  12. Sep 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM
    #12
    tacoman78

    tacoman78 Well-Known Member

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    If your fluid is still reddish pink you should be ok for awhile, but you should probably have a service done on it in the near future. I recommend to my customers that they service their transmissions every 30k or so. We give our customer a freeby after 6k but it's more to just make sure they aren't abusing the transmission.

    As for junk yard pulled transmissions, they are like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get. I don't mind them cause all I have to warranty is the labor for 6 months. If something goes wrong, customer has to pay again. There's a national wrecking yard company called LKQ. They offer warranties on transmissions I believe it is 6 months or 3k. After all is said and done you might just want to have the transmission you have rebuilt buy a reputable shop and get their warranty. There's also a nation company called Jasper who we use a lot for out of state or commercial vehicles. They offer a 3yr/100k warranty, all you do if something goes wrong anywhere in the US is go to a Jasper repair facility, and they swap out the old transmission for a remanufactured one and down the road you go.

    OP: Just talked to another technician at my shop and her informed me of another scenario, you could have a bad pump, if the transmission stops working after the whining goes away, could be the pump or any combination of things listed above or in previous posts. Your best bet is to bight the bullet have your friend take it to a reputable shop and have them diagnose the problem.

    Diagnostic shouldn't be more than $100 and should include: running a proper scan tool(not just the one you can get off the shelf at your local parts store) through the computer, doing an electrical diagnostic, putting the truck on a lift getting under it to make sure everything is connected properly underneath, pulling the pan and checking for metal in the pan. Then go from there. Whatever you do don't agree to a $2900 job until you know for sure it's going to cost that much. Ask to see your old parts and have them explain why each part needed to be replaced. If you go in to a shop informed about what could be wrong with your car, your much less likely to get put through the ringer.

    For kicks and giggles: We did work on a 2005 Honda Civic, there were no internal parts damaged, but there were clutches damaged so they had to be replaced. We put in a rebuild kit with new clutches and steels, torque converter, and fluid. Charged the customer $,1000. A fair price because we came out ahead and the customer was happy that it wasn't $2,400 she was quoted else where. Another customer came in with the same car for a service and they left their receipt to another transmission shop in the back seat just laying out. I looked at it. They had the same thing done at another shop for $1,700. All that to say, be careful where you have your work done. Just because everyone else has their work done there, doesn't mean that everyone else isn't getting ripped off too.
     
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