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Old 03-29-2011, 01:48 PM   #1
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2007 Toyota Tundra Tranny Problem

Our 2007 5.7l Crew Max is in the shop waiting for a new transmission to be installed. Actually, after inspection the dealer requested approval to install a new transmission under the terms of the warranty and is awaiting approval from whoever approves such things.

The Tundra has 76,000 miles on the odometer, and would not down shift while in Tow/Haul mode. I really don't know how the failure to down shift is related to the tranny going bad, but it was the only indication that there was a problem.

Why it went bad I don't have a clue, but I do remember reading that drive train issues are higher then average (whatever that means) on the 207 and newer Tundra's.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
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SRW, just curious. Do you have 2 or 4WD?
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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SRW,

Seems like a computer chip determines when the transmission shifts. The tow/haul setting changes the shifting points. So, why does the transmission need replacing? I know you don't know and hope you'll ask the dealer.

And, how did you know tow/haul wasn't working? We just press the button, but never have watched the tach carefully to see what's happening.

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
srw, just curious. Do you have 2 or 4wd?
2 x 4
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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SRW,

Seems like a computer chip determines when the transmission shifts. The tow/haul setting changes the shifting points. So, why does the transmission need replacing? I know you don't know and hope you'll ask the dealer.

And, how did you know tow/haul wasn't working? We just press the button, but never have watched the tach carefully to see what's happening.

Gene
I agree with you that "Tow/Haul" changes the shift points of the transmission, and also prevents it from going into overdrive.

I thought "Tow/Haul" wasn't working when the transmission seemed not to down shift when going up a rather steep grade (15.5%). Fortunately, the grade was very short and the truck (and AS) creeped over at about 5 mph.

There were a few similar hills and I tried some in "Drive" and some in "Tow/Haul". In "Drive" the truck acted normal - the transmission downshifted and the truck pretty much held speed. In "tow/haul" the truck always lost speed, and did not down shift.

For the remainder of the trip I kept the truck in "Drive".

As I said, I do not know if the failure of the tow/haul function is connected to the transmission failure, and I did not actually ask the dealer to check for problems with the transmission. I only asked them to determine why tow/haul was not functioning.

Hopefully, I can get an explanation. However, based on past experience, they pretty much "clam-up" when something is repaired under warranty.

The road we were on is about 50 miles long, adjacent to the Rio Grande from Presido to Lajitas. There were 11 other Airstreams in THLU caravan. The other two 5.7l Tundras developed no problems.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the information. If anything, it sounds like the tow/haul was upshifting, not downshifting. That's just a guess based on very little.

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Old 04-02-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Smile "New" Transmission

Picked up the Tundra today with the "new" transmission (remanufactured by Toyota). The cost, covered by insurance, was $4068 less $1000 for the returned transmission.

The service rep told me in answer to my question that in their opinion the original transmission was going to fail and as a result they requested approval to replace it under the warranty.

Considering, the only indication I had that there was a problem was the failure to downshift when in the "Tow/Haul" mode, and that the truck performed perfectly when in "Drive" (on the 650 mile return from Big Bend Nat Park), I suppose that this makes sense.

At this point I don't really care.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:28 PM   #8
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A couple of days ago I drove around the house on wet grass and mud, so I put it in 4WD—maybe 100 yards. Then I put it back in 2WD.

Then the VSC light kept flashing on and off and the skid light came on—its a car skidding picture. I was not skidding. I put it in and out of 4WD a couple of times, but the same thing kept happening. I drove 4 miles into town and parked and went into a restaurant. We drove home and it acted normally. I again used 4WD a couple of times, but everything worked normally. I checked the warranty and I am 800 miles before the end of the powertrain warranty—whew!

I made an appointment to have it checked. We never see any evidence the tow/haul does anything or the tranny downshifts automatically downhill. The service writer said you can't tell, but I'd think you'd feel downshifts sometimes.

We'll see what happens.

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
A couple of days ago I drove around the house on wet grass and mud, so I put it in 4WD—maybe 100 yards. Then I put it back in 2WD.

Then the VSC light kept flashing on and off and the skid light came on—its a car skidding picture. I was not skidding. I put it in and out of 4WD a couple of times, but the same thing kept happening. I drove 4 miles into town and parked and went into a restaurant. We drove home and it acted normally. I again used 4WD a couple of times, but everything worked normally. I checked the warranty and I am 800 miles before the end of the powertrain warranty—whew!

I made an appointment to have it checked. We never see any evidence the tow/haul does anything or the tranny downshifts automatically downhill. The service writer said you can't tell, but I'd think you'd feel downshifts sometimes.

We'll see what happens.

Gene
By the way:

The dealer advised that if they inspected the transmission and there was not a problem I would be charged $400. Since there was a problem the cost of the inspection was covered by the warranty.

Interesting if you have the same situation.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:24 AM   #10
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the skid light came on—its a car skidding picture. I was not skidding.
Gene
On my vehicle (not a Toyota) the skid indicator comes on at the slightest hint of one wheel slipping. I take it as a warning that things could be slippery out there. Maybe it's the same in the Tundra.

Doesn't explain the VSC light though.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:30 AM   #11
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I'm not familiar with all of Toyota's acronyms. Is VSC stability control? If it is, the light can be related to slippage. I am only an expert on GM stuff, but these systems are very similar in operation across mfrs. Wayne is correct in that a slight variation in wheel speed, (as little as 100 rpm) between wheels can activate traction control. On road, this is very good. If you are truely off roading (I mean mudding) or in very deep snow at very slow speeds, you may want to turn off traction control. See your owner manual.

Stability control is tied to these systems in that they use the same wheel speed sensors as ABS and TCS to help mitigate a yaw situation which could lead to a spin out or roll over.

All that being said, low speed on the wet grass probably shouldn't have activated stability control unless Gene was satisfying his inner child and breaking loose the back end and going sideways. (doesn't take much) This light, in conjunction with the TCS light COULD indicate a wheel speed sensor issue. I doubt it's a trans issue....but again, not an expert on Toyotas.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #12
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At first I thought (probably no real thought went into it) this was some sort of transmission issue. But it is not and now I can be accused of highjacking. But I go forward…

I had the local Toyota dealer check it out. They plugged into the computer and found nothing. For finding nothing I was charged $95. $5 of that was for shop fees which I doubt have anything to do with plugging into the computer. I should mention the local dealer is very easy to work with and I've never had any problems with them and on this they are somewhat hamstrung by Toyota. We all agreed something must be wrong because the lights would have not done anything if everything was ok. The computer print out was to either replace the module ($2,757) plus labor ($90), or drive it and see what happens. That is more "I don't have a clue" which is what I knew when I walked in.

I wasn't doing wheelies and this did not occur at first when I was in 4WD. It only happened after I put it back in 2WD. After driving 4 miles and going in and out of 4WD, I turned it off, came back later and haven't been able to replicate it. It is easy to hope it has cured itself, but in my experience that would be more than unusual.

So, the question came up whether this is a powertrain issue or something else? The stability control (VSC) is controlled by a module under the hood and it works with the ABS system, but the module is separate. Toyota says it is not covered under the powertrain warranty. The Toyota warranty book given to customers is not all that clear, but I have to analyze that and other materials I had when I bought it. I think there is an argument that anything that controls how the wheels operate relates to the powertrain. The counter argument is that the system activates braking and brakes have never been powertrain. The question, as I see it, is what is the customer told when purchasing and would one believe "VSC" is part of the powertrain? A mechanic may know differently, but most people are not mechanics.

If this happens again and the system completely fails, it should not affect anything except there will be no skid control. I could live with that. But perhaps it's a malfunction of the lights—one said I was continually skidding and one indicated the system was hung up between on and off. Could it be a wheel sensor?—dznf0g suggests that may be the issue. It appears there was no error code. It appears there's no fix of the module and no one looked at anything else. My wife's suggestion was that some mud got on something and did it—that may not be as crazy as it sounded to me at first. It's a lot better answer than anything I got at the dealer.

The next thing I do is go over the warranty, owner's manual and and the window sticker to see what notice I had of the warranty. Then I write to Toyota North America and see what they will do. There's a complaint procedure, but I have some time for that and it's easier to short circuit it and make a deal right away.

This is our 6th Toyota. We have bought them because they used to be bullet proof. Our '99 Tacoma and '00 4Runner has zero problems—that's amazing. Subsequently, the other 4 have had more and more issues and although they were fairly minor, they kept increasing. This one is a major issue as to cost. I think skid control is a good idea, but with the '07 Tundra it shuts off when in 4WD (when you might want it most), so if it fails, it that such a big deal? The '06 4Runner is engineered differently and VSC never goes off. The plan is to keep the truck about 3 years more, so by that time who will be making trucks the way Toyota used to? With a 3/4 ton, not presently made by Toyota, but is by all US manufacturers, I would have a lot more payload.

Gene
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #13
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CrawfordGene: regarding Toyota's increasing rate of issues with their vehicles: I think they've been hit by 2 factors at once. One is the explosive volume growth in their sales over the last decade... they've increased both the number of distinct models and the total units sold drastically in that time frame, and it's hard to grow a company fast AND maintain the same controls on quality. Not impossible, but difficult.

The other factor that exacerbates the situation is that the vehicles themselves have grown significantly more complex in the last decade. My daily driver is a luddite even for its 2005 model year... I don't have steering-wheel controls for anything but the horn, no satellite radio, it doesn't park itself or have built-in navigation. However, between the low-tech approach and the fact that it's a Subaru, it's been dead reliable. All the complex computer systems in modern cars bring lots of great functionality, but the complexity makes it easier to have weird interactions and imperfections that may not leave you stranded but still have you pulling your hair out.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:00 PM   #14
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DKB', no questions about your post. About 4 or 5 years ago the Wall St. Journal had as it's lead article on p. 1 questions about Toyota quality dropping because the company had expanded too fast and they didn't have enough QC people trained in the Toyota way. The company execs claimed they had a handle on this, but obviously they didn't.

Another article some years back—either in the WSJ or the NY Times—was about Hyundai. They had adopted Toyota methods of QC and the results have been good—their ratings have gone way up. Hyundai doesn't make trucks (yet). And then there is the Mercedes thing—they went heavily into high tech stuff and the result was their reliability ratings tanked and they haven't recovered from that yet.

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