Transmission problems with 1999 Toyota, 89K miles

Asked by May 01, 2017 at 08:24 PM about the 1999 Toyota Avalon 4 Dr XLS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1999 Toyota Avalon with 89K miles on it.  Bought used, one owner.  
When I first purchased it, I took it back to the dealer and told him I smell
something burning.  They checked it over and could never find anything.  
Took it back a couple times.  A couple months ago, it started being hesitant
when going up VERY STEEP hills when not going up with some speed. No
problem on highways and hills on highways.  I took it to the dealer and they
said it was the motor mounts, just made it feel like it was being hesitant
because the motor was plopping back toward the car.  OK, they replaced
two motor mounts for $900.00.  Today I took it back to them because it is
doing the same thing still.  Now they say it is the transmission and it will be
anywhere from 1800 – 2500 to fix.  I am retired on a very fixed income.  Is
it worth the money to get this fixed or should I try to find another used car.  
I noticed in a comment below that someone said their car smelled like a
burning smell and someone said they should probably have their
transmission serviced.  Do you think that would help keep the current
transmission operating longer.  The service man said he wouldn’t think
twice about taking this car on a road trip.  He thinks I can still get a lot of
miles on this transmission.  Does that sound right to you.

3 Answers


Toyotas are definitely capable of high mileage! Replace that transmission with a remanufactured unit! This vehicle being such low mileage for a 1999 shows that it wasn't driven enough, so you may experience dry rotted items such as timing belt and tires and bushings and transmissions that fluid separate in and accumulate moisture and fail. Whip it into shape and drive that Yota!


IMHO a transmission problem should be apparent under most conditions, not just under a heavy load. Your car is almost 20 years old now, have you looked at air filter, plugs, and wire replacement? The throttle body can also get gunked up, which will reduce heavy load performance on the older Avalons. Toyota transmissions are very solid, check maintenance items first before opening that can of worms.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

They replaced the timing belt when I bought it. I just put new tires on it. I don't know what a bushing is, but I will tell the mechanic. I am taking to another mechanic, just for a second opinion. I was thinking plugs and stuff that makes the gas have good flow. As you can see I know nothing about autos. I am a grey haired grandma just trying to keep this car running as long as I do.

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