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New to the forum here since my wife just purchased a 2011 FJ with 117k miles. We were driving home today on the highway and all of a sudden it down shifted to 4th while going about 80mph, and would not shift to 5th. We stopped, turned it off and when we cranked it back up it shifted fine the whole way home. We had been on the road about 7 hours when it happened. I also have a traction control light that stays on all the time. It's been there since we bought it. Dealer said the big lift and big tires was causing it, no active codes on the system. Truck had a transmission fluid flush at the Toyota dealer. before we purchased.

The truck has a 2.5 " lift or so, and had been running 35s which I replaced with some 33's.

We also had the transmission do this thing a few times where after a semi hard stop it would rev a little and almost slam into 1st gear. This was happening while driving around in the mountains this week intermittently around town.

We did some light offroading and everything worked perfectly. Drove it 4 hours back to the in laws, then 10 hours back home today when the weird down shift happened.

I haven't hooked it up to my pirated tech stream yet, but I did check it with my reader and there are no codes active.

I've read the hard 1st shift could possibly be a dirty MAF sensor? and the no 5th shift possibly a bad switch? any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Immediately check transmission fluid level (fluid hot, engine running at idle) before continuing to drive vehicle !!!

Recent trans fluid 'service' and transmission functional issue after a hard stop indicate low fluid level - fluid moves forward in pan under decel, sucks in air, system pressure drops and all kinds of odd things happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Immediately check transmission fluid level (fluid hot, engine running at idle) before continuing to drive vehicle !!!

Recent trans fluid 'service' and transmission functional issue after a hard stop indicate low fluid level - fluid moves forward in pan under decel, sucks in air, system pressure drops and all kinds of odd things happen.

I'll check the level per the instructions I found on here. I'm loading tech stream now to see what it says.

I assume I can't use any of the other ATF even though it days Toyota compatible?
 

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I cant to find a diagram showing where these solenoids are located. if I drop the pan can I see them? I'm thinking about trying to replace both of them...looks like about $300 a piece....yikes
 

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Don't jump to ANY conclusions based on cryptic OBD code descriptions. Any of these codes can be triggered by high. low, or erratic B+ system voltage.

It is EXTREMELY unlikely that any of your transmission solenoids have 'failed', unless your 2011 has 300K+ miles on it and the transmission fluid has never been serviced.

First, verify that your transmission fluid is at the correct level, checked HOT with the engine running. If low, you can top it off with Toyota WS, or other brands (Valvoline, Ravenol, etc.) that are certified to meet the Toyota WS spec.

Next, I'd check your electrical system, battery specifically. Do you still have the original Panasonic battery? If not, is it a high-quality replacement? Remove the battery clamps, clean clamps and battery terminals, main chassis ground, and then measure system voltage using a high-quality digital multimeter with engine running at 2k RPM; voltage should be 13.2 - 14.8V.
 

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With bigger tires and a bit of wind you may never achieve 5th gear.... and I'm only running 33's.

When I'm on the highway there are times I have to lower my speed until it finally goes into overdrive.... with a heavy headwind I sometimes just keep it in 4th because the transmission "hunts" for overdrive and keeps going into and out of it due to the wind and/or slight hills.

The "revving and slamming into 1st gear at a stop" is concerning though.... it's not just a bit of a bump - kinda like being rear-ended softly? (indicative of the slip yoke on the drive shaft).
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Don't jump to ANY conclusions based on cryptic OBD code descriptions. Any of these codes can be triggered by high. low, or erratic B+ system voltage.

It is EXTREMELY unlikely that any of your transmission solenoids have 'failed', unless your 2011 has 300K+ miles on it and the transmission fluid has never been serviced.

First, verify that your transmission fluid is at the correct level, checket HOT with the engine running. If low, you can top it off with Toyota WS, or other brands (Valvoline, Ravenol, etc.) that are certified to meet the Toyota WS spec.

Next, I'd check your electrical system, battery specifically. Do you still have the original Panasonic battery? If not, is it a high-quality replacement? Remove the battery clamps, clean clamps and battery terminals, main chassis ground, and then measure system voltage using a high-quality digital multimeter with engine running at 2k RPM; voltage should be 13.2 - 14.8V.
I shorted the pins together per the manual to make the a/t temp light come on when temperature is in the correct range. When it started blinking I pulled the check plug and nothing came out, just a few drops to wet my hand, definitely not a trickle. Fluid looked nice and red though.

What fluid would you recommend to top it off? Could this shifting issue be caused by low fluid? I found some Castrol stuff that says it meets Toyota standards.

I also cleaned the MAF sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
With bigger tires and a bit of wind you may never achieve 5th gear.... and I'm only running 33's.

When I'm on the highway there are times I have to lower my speed until it finally goes into overdrive.... with a heavy headwind I sometimes just keep it in 4th because the transmission "hunts" for overdrive and keeps going into and out of it due to the wind and/or slight hills.

The "revving and slamming into 1st gear at a stop" is concerning though.... it's not just a bit of a bump - kinda like being rear-ended softly? (indicative of the slip yoke on the drive shaft).
It had been going down the flat interstate fine, then went to 4th and wouldn't come out. was pushing 4k rpm. Once we stopped got gas, and restarted it's been fine.

the slam to 1st is different, the tranny definitely slips and pops into first. Always after a swift stop. I just confirmed fluid is lower than spec (it was flushed before we purchased)
 

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OK, battery voltage looks OK.

Per the transmission symptoms you described, you're low on transmission fluid; any WS-compatible fluid should be OK to top up.

But was this vehicle purchased from a Toyota dealer, or some fly-by-night used-car outlet?

And are you ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the recent transmission service used WS fluid???

If they couldn't even get the level correct, there's a good chance they just dumped in whatever ATF they had on hand. If there is ANY uncertainty, dump whatever is in there, and perform a full flush (12+ quarts).
 

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OK, battery voltage looks OK.

Per the transmission symptoms you described, you're low on transmission fluid; any WS-compatible fluid should be OK to top up.

But was this vehicle purchased from a Toyota dealer, or some fly-by-night used-car outlet?

And are you ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the recent transmission service used WS fluid???

If they couldn't even get the level correct, there's a good chance they just dumped in whatever ATF they had on hand. If there is ANY uncertainty, dump whatever is in there, and perform a full flush (12+ quarts).
ok, I started by filling about .25 qt of fluid per the manual. let it get to temp, pulled check plug.....none came out.

I added the rest of the quart.....let it warm up, engine idling...pulled plug and. nothing came out?!

could I have been over a quart low and still be running around mostly fine?

I have another quart but I'm scared to add it
 

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Keep adding until you get a solid stream out of the check plug, but make sure that the transmission fluid is at the correct check temp - not just the engine coolant. Make sure that the vehicle is level.

Here is a Toyota procedure that involves jumpering two pins on the OBD connector and monitoring the Transmission Overheat light in the instrument cluster - it will indicate when the fluid reaches the correct temperature for checking fluid level.

Transmission fluid level check.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Keep adding until you get a solid stream out of the check plug, but make sure that the transmission fluid is at the correct check temp - not just the engine coolant. Make sure that the vehicle is level.

Here is a Toyota procedure that involves jumpering two pins on the OBD connector and monitoring the Transmission Overheat light in the instrument cluster - it will indicate when the fluid reaches the correct temperature for checking fluid level.

View attachment 1132498
I'm headed to buy 2 more quarts of the valvoline stuff that's WS compatible.

I've been using that method with the jumpers to check the temp. It's actually flashing now meaning it's over temp...so in theory that would mean more fluid expansion and it would seem overfilled , so I must have been really low.
 

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I think your transmission problems will likely be resolved when you get the fluid up to the correct level.

Next task would be to troubleshoot the Traction Control system.

You never answered if this vehicle was purchased from a Toyota dealer, or from some 'other' type of dealer. The 'big tires and suspension lift' excuse for the Traction Control warning light being illuminated is pure BS ... that's why I'm questioning if this was purchased from a real Toyota dealer.

No Toyota dealer would sell a vehicle with a non-functional critical safety system.
 

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I think your transmission problems will likely be resolved when you get the fluid up to the correct level.

Next task would be to troubleshoot the Traction Control system.

You never answered if this vehicle was purchased from a Toyota dealer, or from some 'other' type of dealer. The 'big tires and suspension lift' excuse for the Traction Control warning light being illuminated is pure BS ... that's why I'm questioning if this was purchased from a real Toyota dealer.

No Toyota dealer would sell a vehicle with a non-functional critical safety system.
Apparently it needed about 2.25 quarts, because I put that 3rd quart in and most of it came back out. At least that part is settled. Short drive and it shifted well, couldn't get 1st gear to slip but we'll see how it goes.

Now it seems much louder on the road though, there is a noticeable "whoomp whoomp whoomp" sound. We never heard that before, only difference is now all the heavy skid plates are off? maybe that changed some vibration harmonics?

We did purchase from a small dealer not Toyota. I plan to check the condition of the wheel speed sensors, what else should I look at based on the DTC's?
 

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Unlikely that your 'whoomp - whoomp' is transmission related ... check tires.

Pull the wheel speed sensors and look for any debris on the nose, and especially for any damage to the cables, which may have been accidentally 'stretched' during installation of the suspension lift. Look carefully, as an internal conductor could be broken while the external insulation is still intact.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm wondering if a wheel bearing may be causing the sound as well.

I should also say I lubed all the drive shaft points as well today. The slip joints were pretty dry. On my LX470 I've always lubed until the shaft started to move, and it took a whole lot of grease on the FJ. I dunno if that could cause a weird sound, but that's the only other thing I did
 
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