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Toyota Corolla Transmission Problems: 5 Symptoms & Solutions

The Toyota Corolla is known to be a reliable car and is popular all around the world. However, despite its reliability, some models of the Toyota Corolla have had several transmission problems that have caused issues for drivers.

Shifting issues are the most common transmission problems reported in the Toyota Corolla. These issues can range from difficulty shifting into first gear, slipping out of gear while driving, sudden jerking, grinding noises, or even the transmission not engaging. The cause of these shift issues is often related to the wear on the transmission’s internal components, such as the clutch or synchronizers.

This blog post will look at some common transmission problems in the Toyota Corolla and how to diagnose and repair them.

Toyota Corolla Transmission Problems – Symptoms

toyota corolla transmission problems
Photo by: Pixabay

You may notice various symptoms if your Toyota Corolla is experiencing shifting issues. Some of the most common symptoms are detailed below.

Rough Shifting

One of the most common transmission problems with the Toyota Corolla is rough shifting. This can occur when shifting from one gear to another, and it can cause jerking and shuddering sensations as you drive. It can also cause your car to shift hard into gears or make loud noises during shifts.

Shifting issues are common in Corollas with high mileage, and the cause of the problem is usually related to worn or broken components such as solenoids, sensors, and valves. Low transmission fluid levels or worn-out clutch components can also contribute to shifting problems.

Delayed Engagement

Another issue reported by owners of certain models of the Toyota Corolla is delayed engagement when shifting from park to drive or vice versa. Because of this, the car won’t move after you shift out of park.

This is usually caused by a problem with the transmission range switch or shift solenoid, which you can replace to fix the issue. Faulty parts, low fluid levels, or a faulty torque converter can also cause delayed engagement.

Slipping Gears

Slipping gears are another problem that has been reported in some older models of the Toyota Corolla. This usually happens when your vehicle shifts suddenly from one gear to another without warning or when your car has difficulty shifting into higher gears while driving at higher speeds.

This could be due to low fluid levels or worn-out clutch components. The shift solenoid may also be faulty, or you could have a problem with your torque converter.

Leaking Fluid

Leaking fluid is always a concern you should address if you own a Toyota Corolla with an automatic transmission system. It can cause serious damage if left unchecked for too long. You may notice a red or brown fluid leaking from the transmission or the ground below.

Leaks could be caused by various things, including damaged gaskets, seals, hoses, clamps, loose bolts on your transmission housing, and other components connected to it. 

Overheating Issues

Overheating issues in Corollas with automatic transmissions are not uncommon, but they can cause serious damage if left unchecked for too long. It’s important to address them as soon as they are noticed.

This could be due to poor cooling system maintenance, dirty transmission fluid, or even faulty internal parts such as torque converters and clutches, which will require professional attention from a certified mechanic if needed. 

Toyota Corolla Transmission Problems – Fixes

changing transmission fluid
Photo by: Pixabay

If your Toyota Corolla is experiencing transmission problems, there are some things that you can do to help diagnose and fix the issue.

Check Your Fluid Levels

The first thing you should do is check your transmission fluid levels. If the levels are low, this could be the cause of your shifting issues. Make sure to use the correct type of transmission fluid for your car and fill it up as needed.

You may also need to flush the fluid if it’s old or contaminated. Transmission fluid should be a bright red color and changed every 30,000-60,000 miles.

Check Your Clutch Components

The next step is to check your clutch components for wear and tear. This includes the clutch disc, pressure plate, flywheel, and other parts that could be worn or broken.

If any of these components are worn, you should replace them to prevent further damage and ensure proper shifting.

Check Your Sensors and Solenoids

The next step is to check your sensors and solenoids for any faults. These components control the shift points and can easily become faulty due to wear and tear.

If any of your sensors or solenoids are broken, then the transmission may not be able to shift properly or have trouble shifting at all. A diagnostic tool such as an OBD scanner can help you diagnose any issues.

Replace Worn Or Damaged Parts

In some cases, worn or damaged parts may be the cause of your Toyota Corolla transmission problems. If this is the case, you should replace any worn or damaged components as soon as possible to restore proper shifting.

This could include the transmission range switch, shift solenoid, torque converter, or other internal parts. Replacing these components is best left to a professional as it can be quite complicated.

Have Your Transmission Flushed

Finally, having your transmission flushed and serviced professionally is a good idea. Flushing will help remove any built-up contaminants causing your transmission problems.

It’s also a good idea to replace the fluid with new, high-quality fluid designed for your transmission. This will help improve the performance of your Toyota Corolla and ensure that your transmission is working properly.


How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Toyota Corolla Transmission?

The cost of replacing the transmission in a Toyota Corolla can vary greatly depending on several factors. The age of the vehicle and the number of parts that need replacing must be considered. Generally, it can cost anywhere from $1,500 to over $4,000 for labor, parts, and other costs.

How Long Do Transmissions Last On A Toyota Corolla?

The general lifespan of a transmission on a Toyota Corolla is typically around 100,000 to 150,000 miles. However, if the transmission fluid is not serviced and changed regularly, or the vehicle is driven aggressively, this life span can be significantly reduced. It’s not unknown for a transmission to last 250,000 miles if it is properly maintained. 


Sammy is a lifelong gearhead who's been wrenching on cars and bikes since he was tall enough to reach the pedals. These days, he spends his time writing about all things automotive, from new performance products to how to get the most out of your old ride. When he's not behind a computer, you'll find him at the race track or out on a trail somewhere.

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