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2000 4Runner Automatic Transmission (Battery???) Problem

jstanec jstanec
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/08
Posted: 03/24/08
12:25 PM

Recently, I have had some problems with the transmission on my 2000 v6 Toyota 4Runner (130000K) which prompted me to drop close to 4K on a new one from the factory!!

Initially, when I would start my car up in colder weather it would operate fine in reverse and 1, but the gears would not switch into drive and 2nd.  I would rev the engine and the car would just barely move forward.  However, after a few minutes the car would shift fine and take off.  It exhibited no slippage while driving and the transmission fluid was clean.  

After taking it to the Toyota dealer I was told that I need a new transmission and was told that opening up the box and diagnosing  the problem (outside of Toyota's computer test) would be too costly.  So after a couple of 2nd opinions I told the dealer to go ahead and replace it.  

Now I have a new transmission and within a month the new transmission was exhibited the same problems! So I immediately wrote a letter to the dealership and waited for the car to exhibit its symptoms again.  

The next evening my car refused to start, fed-up I hopped on  my bicycle and headed to AutoZone to replace my battery.  However, once I replaced the battery my car has never produced the same transmission problems.  The only thing that can possible think of that changed with my car besides the new transmission was the battery.  Is it possible that the solenoid valves run off of DC current from the battery, and that an undercharged battery could cause havoc with a transmission before the alternator sufficiently charges the battery.  I am afraid that I paid for 4K for a battery and am wondering what I should do.  please help.  

edbd 4 Jesus edbd 4 Jesus
User | Posts: 54 | Joined: 02/08
Posted: 03/24/08
05:39 PM

current flow can effect your transmission, and hind sight is 20/20. unfortunately you are looking for a rock in a lava plume, if you want to know what happened for sure. the process of elimination would say that 2 different transmissions would not have the same "exact" problem, without at least a bulletin for it.  

Zachary_T.121 Zachary_T.121
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/08
Posted: 05/12/08
02:20 PM

I just read your post about the 2000 4Runner, I own a 2000 V6 Limited with about 90k miles on it, I bought it a year ago with 60K and have loved it. I was hesitant to buy an automatic for this reason and have experienced similar problems. I am glad to read your reply because I have the same story. Some days when I first start the car I back out and when I put it into drive it will just revv and want to move but nothing more happens. I can shift it into low and take off and once I get into 20-30 mph range I can shift into second or drive and its just fine. Then usually it takes a week or so to do it again. I have wondered if the tranny is failing or if it was my battery due to the fact that about 6 months ago it died hard one night I left the lights on. It wasn't immediatley after that I began having this problem but probably a couple months ago. I have wondered if my battery is causing it because I have alot of faith in toyotas. I plan to replace the battery and see if it happens again. Other than a tranny replacement the only other thing I can think that my problem could be caused by is the brakes sticking now and then when I take off from park. But I don't think that is it. I will let you know what happens with the battery change, and you may want to if you haven't already prepare a big stink to raise at the dealer and get some big time compensation. If your tranny was fine I would raise some cain.  

twinky702 twinky702
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 05/08
Posted: 05/18/08
09:42 PM

I have a 1999 4-runner, manuel transmission. At 60,000 miles my clutch started to slip.  I replaced the clutch and the car has never shifted properly again.  It shifts fine when I am driving it but if I do not have it in 1st gear when I come to a stop it will not go into gear unless I turn off the car and put it in gear and the restart it.  I have replaced everything except the transmission and continued driving my car this way for the past 5 years. I put a new clutch in last month and this week the same probelm happened, no first or second gear.  My mechanic says he has no idea what is wrong and I don't either.  The transmission shop thinks it is highly unlikely a transmission probelm because it would not have driven for 5 years. Has anyone has this probelm?  

gba281 gba281
New User | Posts: 47 | Joined: 08/07
Posted: 05/19/08
06:36 PM

Try bleeding the slave cylinder.  

edk007 edk007
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 08/08
Posted: 08/04/08
08:25 PM

I have a 2000 4Runner Limited with ~135000K and have been having very similar problems.  It started a couple days ago when I would rev the engine after start and the car would barely move forward.  Happened again tonight but after my next stop, my car wouldn't start.  I could see the terminal on the battery was very corroded and after I cleaned it a little, car started fine.  I have since replaced the terminal so we'll see if I have the same problems with the Transmission.  Based on this forum though, it doesn't seem like a coincidence that they were happening at the same time.  

PapiJulio PapiJulio
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/08
Posted: 08/31/08
11:27 PM

Wow, I have a 2000 4Runner v6 4x4 Automatic 130,000km. Had it 9 Months. Loved it. No problems. Have regular oil changes. *** tonight, I backed out of a parking lot & put the truck in 'Drive'... I reved to 2000rpms, the truck 'seemed' like it was in netural. After 2000rpms the tranny made a loud shudder and the truck would 'jerk' forward a little. I stopped shifted into reverse... I felt the transmission engage & the truck's reverse works perfect. Shifted back into 'Drive' SAME problems..?? Was going to have the truck Towed tomorrow morning, but after readng these posts I'm wondering if it BATTERY related.? I've never noticed fluid leaks & checked my tranny fluid a couple months ago. I'm going to check my fluids when it's light out tomorrow morning.  I did go on a 5000km road trip this last month, but I treat my vehicals good & never noticed any transmission slips OR anything else.... very strange how people here are describing the exact same symptions on a strange 'uncommon' problem & the battery could be the problem....I check back later. Confused  

PapiJulio PapiJulio
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/08
Posted: 09/01/08
07:54 AM

Ok.... it's the next morning & I tried my 4Runner again. Same problem. A previous post mentioned to 'shift' through the gears. I tried that before... but this time tried O/D too. I didn't think O/D would matter. Still nothing. The truck almost acts like the front right brake is on, and 'Drive' is slipping. Reverse works fine. Hmmmm... I almost called the tow truck but put it in 'Netural' and rev to 4000rpm for a couple seconds, with O/D on. Then let off the gas and shifted back to 'Drive'. 'Very' slowly tried reving to about 1000rpm....held it...nothing... then truck slowly moved forward with 'No' violent shudder noise this time but only moved about 2-3 inches and 'Seemed' like the Front brake was ON just a little. I Stopped...tried the gas again... it responed a 'little' better, but still not right. Stopped again. Tried the gas.... and home I went with 'no problems'! I Tried 4 wheel drive, stopping & starting. ABSOLUTLY no problems. When stopped I did notice when shifting through my gears 1-3 I could hear them ALL engaging loud & clear. Before, when I had the problem the sound of the gears engaging was VERY 'Soft & Quite'. I'm 'no mechanic' but I would agree with the previous post about something interfering with the 'solenoid' causing it not to engage. My battery & Oil/Tranny fluids all seemed fine to me....weird??? Smirk  

woohoo6 woohoo6
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 09/08
Posted: 09/21/08
12:30 PM

I too have a 2000 Toyota 4Runner Limited w/150,000 miles on it that is displaying the same symptoms that are being discussed in this thread. When put into gear, it revs but acts as if it is in neutral then grabs all of a sudden and jumps a few feet with a terrible noise.  Reverse works fine.  This truck has had it's transmission serviced every 50,000 miles.  
I took my truck into my dealer for regular maintenance.  They told me that I had a real axle seal leak and that fluid had gotten on the rear brakes.  They told me that the rear seals needed to be replaced as well as the brake pads.  I do not believe that leaking axel seals show any visible fluid leak. At least, I never noticed one.   I chose to not have the repair done immediately as I wanted to do some research on it since the dealer quoted me a very high price to do the repair.  Two weeks later, I backed the truck out of the garage.  When I put it in drive, it was the first time it acted up.  It was so bad, I thought I had a transmission problem. After trying several times to get it into gear and back into the garage unsucessfully, I had it towed to a local transmission shop.  The transmission shop told me that I do not have a transmission problem.  They diagnosed the problem as a result of the rear seal leak.  They said there was fluid on the brake pads and they were sticking together causing the locking/jumping/horrible sound issue.  They repaired both rear axel seals, and told me they had cleaned up the brake pads.  They also serviced the transmission while they had it.    Within the week, the symptoms are back, intermittently. I was going to have the brakes looked at next, thinking that they were sticking due to the fluid leak....

Has anyone else experienced the seal leak in tandem with the symptoms?  I am going to check the battery based on what has been said here.  Although, my battery was replaced a year ago- I would think it would be fine, unless it is faulty.  

dnance dnance
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 10/21/08
02:49 PM

Well, I guess I'm going to get a battery tonight and try your idea, I have a 2000 toyota with 127,000 miles and it is doing the same thing.

I hope that this works.
I'll let you know tomorrow.
thanks for the thought.


dmun dmun
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 10/21/08
10:09 PM

I have a 99 4Runner with 200,000 Kms on it. Yesterday morning it would barely move in drive, but worked fine in reverse. I tried driving it 3 times, and then I sat for a minute with it idling while I talked to my boss, and then got out and checked the trans fluid. I shut it off to check the oil, then started it and it worked fine in drive.
I took it to a transmission shop and they tore it down to find metal shavings in the pan and a burnt torque converter. Estimate for a rebuild: $3500. I haven't given the approval to start work yet.
I'm not a mechanic, but I play one in the garage. I'm an electronic technologist.
If low voltage to the solenoids is to blame for trans problems, you'll have fuel pump and injector problems and a host of other related issues.
It may be a bad battery in conjunction with dirty contacts in the electrical connectors that feed the solenoids in the transmission. We all have 4Runners that are the same vintage, and if the sealed connectors are starting to leak and allow corrosion to build on the contacts, this might happen.
So replacing the battery might only postpone the symptoms for a while. And if the transmission is allowed to slip like that because of faulty solenoid voltage, it will eventually burn up.
Good luck to all those afflicted with the Toy-trans blues. I'm off to look for $3500 under the couch...  

dnance dnance
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 10/22/08
02:02 PM

You pegged the problem!
You spent the money for nothing, I have the same issue, read your idea and fixed the problem last night!
I can't believe a $80 battery solved the issue.
Sorry you spent the money but thanks for the post it saved me from making the same

If you have this problem please get a battery first, my truck would start and run fine, but it had the transmission issue.


dnance dnance
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 10/23/08
11:00 AM

It was the exact problem, tested and found that the operation of the transmission reuqires more amps than to start the truck and if the battery is low and just started the truck there would not be enough power to cause proper operation.
Again, Try a battery first!  

jacks.dad7 jacks.dad7
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 11/08
Posted: 11/05/08
11:29 AM

Thank you guys so much for posting this!!!
I had the same problem on my 2000 4Runner with 130,000 miles and was still using the original battery. I thought my transmission was gone but decided to search and see if I could find any explanations online before I had it towed to the shop. I bought a new battery and...problem solved!!!! Once again thank you for posting this to all who contributed to this thread!!

Dave  Grin  

coachal coachal
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/19/09
11:56 AM

I had similar problems but my battery was only 7months old and I had 93000 miles without a transmission oil change.  2 places told me 4k to replace the trans, another place told me 1400 to rebuilt it with a 90 day warranty.  I was hessitant to drop that much money so I opted for just a transmission filter and oil change at 250. if that did not work, then I would go for the rebuilt one.  lo and behold, my car is running after 250!!!  It is too late for you but maybe someone else reading this might benefit.  my toyota is a 2001 4 runner.  

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