My shuddering transmission story - Page 10 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Problems / Dealer Service If you are having a problem with your FJ or want to discuss a visit to the service department, post it here.

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post #91 of 97 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 06:42 AM
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Re: My shuddering transmission story

Transmission or torque converter shudder is often miss diagnosed. An engine misfire can feel like a torque converter shudder. Also an engine miss can't be felt until the torque converter locks up. To tell the difference between an engine miss and a lock-up shudder you need a scan tool like the Toyota factory scanner or an aftermarket scanner like a Snap-On Modis or Solus Pro.
Here's how to diagnose the shudder. First look for any misfire codes. If you have misfire codes the odds are the shudder is an engine problem. If there are no codes in memory next check for any pending codes.
Look at the Long Term Fuel Trim. The long term trim should be close to ZERO. If the trim is over +7 or under -6 you have an engine problem for sure.
Finally drive the truck and get it shuddering. While it's shuddering watch the short term fuel trim along with the downstream O2 sensors. If it's really a Torque Converter Shudder the ST fuel trim and the O2 sensors will remain stable. If it's an engine misfire the ST trim will go negative and the O2 sensor will show the changes.

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post #92 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 07:09 AM
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Re: My shuddering transmission story

Well at 103,000 miles I too now have the low speed shudder. I experience mine at low speed and light acceleration between 20-25mph. What I have noticed is I experience it pretty consistently with the air conditioner on and its spur attic without the air on. Also like everyone else it’s only in D/OD. If I drop it into 4 it goes away. I took it to the dealer and after 4 hours the only thing they could come up with was possible u-joints at the cost of about $500. I told them to hold off as I’ve never heard of a set of u-joints making a shudder at 20-25mph. So I decided to take it to another shop and they confirmed my thoughts the u-joints looked fine. So from there I went to discount and had them re-balance my all the tires. Did find one out of balance but it still did not solve the shudder issue. From there I went to a local transmission shop. Owner took it out and I rode along to see what he thought. He feels there’s nothing wrong with the tranny or torque converted but rather a possible engine issue. He’s thinking a maybe a plugged injector or possible gasoline contamination. He stated at such a low speed that there no way the torque converted could be an issue. So I’m going to take it back to the dealer and have them scan the computer for errors.
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post #93 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 08:07 AM
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I bought my FJ with 50k on it and I have the shutter symptom as well. If it is the torque converter does anyone know what kind of dollar amount I am looking at to have this fixed? Also if I let it continue is it going to end up costing me more money in the long run?

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post #94 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My shuddering transmission story

jimmiee previously said: View Post
I was wondering what happened with the OP's transmission? Did he ever get a new transmission or a torque converter? It seems like the thread was hijacked and he quit posting or did I miss the 'fix'?
I had forgotten about this story until I read another thread about the same problem. Unfortunately I didn't get a new transmission, they did the fluid flush and so far, problem solved. However, I've seen more than one instance where the fluid flush was only a temporary solution and the problem returned sometime down the road. If I feel any shudder at all that baby is going back to the dealership.

I have around 90k miles on the FJ and the warranty is good until 100k so I have some time, knowing my luck though, it'll probably happen around 101k miles.
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post #95 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 04:52 PM
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Re: My shuddering transmission story


Although this issue was resolved for you, I do appreciate the time you spent detailing the troubleshooting of your shutter. I too have started to experience this issue with my 07 FJ. Today I had the Transmission fluid flushed and replaced. Obviously the shuttering is still there, but I'll prob need to drive a couple hundred miles to see if that worked. I'm also going to replace the Spark Plugs just in case.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you. It's detailed forums like this that help us all save time and money. For those that are still following this issue, i'll update my progress to the shuttering issue as it unfolds.

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post #96 of 97 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 07:51 PM
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Re: My shuddering transmission story

"So thanks for the tip Beerz; I'm glad it worked for you. At least I've got new plugs!"

Good gosh, I am so sorry for messing you up! You replaced the spark plugs because of me? I am really sorry for sharing my experience! Hey, man, by all means, replace that transmission and torque converter!

Last edited by Beerz; 04-10-2012 at 05:45 PM.
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post #97 of 97 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 09:43 AM
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Re: My shuddering transmission story

glad they did something for you OP, its been MONTHS since I ve looked at this post or been on this site...I remember talking to you about this whole situation though.

Alot of times, if you catch it in time, a fluid exchange can correct the issue if the plates and clutches in the TQ are not destroyed enough. Sounds like in your case you are good to go!
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