How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dj Your Own Question

Dj
Dj, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1698
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 30+ years in automotive repair.
Type Your Toyota Question Here...
Dj is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hilux 2.5G, auto: XXXXX XXXXX a proud owner of a 2007 Hilux 2.5 Auto.

Customer Question

I am a proud owner of a 2007 Hilux 2.5 Auto. For the last 6 years, it has served me faithfully and it has never given me problems.

However... recently (in the last 2 weeks), occasionally when I am stuck in traffic on a slope (uphill or downhill), the engine just dies.
I noticed that it happens when I apply the break, especially when the traffic is slow because of a jam on a slope, the engine sometimes shudders and convulses and then it stalls. It feels alot like if when you are driving a manual car, and the gear is set to the wrong one and without revving enough to cover the loss of power, the engine shudders and dies

But the thing is I am driving an auto truck. I have sent my truck to the toyota service centre 3 times already, but they are unable to replicate the problem in the workshop and they say that the vehicle is absolutely fine

Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong?
I would appreciate any theories
XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Dj replied 9 months ago.

Dj :

Hello and thank you for trusting us with your question. I'm DJ and I've got 30+ years of working with Toyotas.

Dj :

Here's my theory. The torque converter lock is sticking on.

Dj :

When the vehicle gets up to speed and the engine is at full operating temperature, the torque converter lock the input shaft on the transmission to the flywheel on the motor. Just like letting out the clutch on a manual shift vehicle.

Dj :

Normally, when you come to a stop, the torque converter unlocks and the engine idles and everything is fine. If the torque converter stays locked, when you come to a stop it feels like just like when you forget to push in the clutch pedal on a manual transmission vehicle.

Customer:

hmm, so what should i tell the engineers in the workshop?

Customer:

which part or component needs to be examined?

Dj :

It's easy to test this theory. When this is happening and the engine is being dragged down, slip the transmission into neutral. If the problem stops immmediately then the problem is the torque coverter staying locked.

Customer:

or replaced in this context?

Customer:

ahaha yes i usually end up slipping to neutral

Dj :

It could just be a plugged transmission cooler. It could be a sticking solenoid.

Customer:

cause it stops the engine from juddering

Customer:

hmm..

Dj :

Then that's it, the torque converter is sticking on.

Customer:

but if it happens occasionally..

Customer:

so assuming if it is the torque converter

Dj :

Is it temperature related? Is it more likely to do it on hot days or when you are pulling a hill or have a truck full of fat girls?

Customer:

do they change the transmission?

Customer:

ahaha no temperature problems

Customer:

my truck is empty, just me and my fat ass ^_^

Customer:

though chicks would be a welcome boon

Dj :

This could be as simple as a plugged transmission cooler. So the first thing to check is to see if the cooler is flowing properly.

Customer:

anywa back to the question, if its the torque converter acting up, what unit should be replaced? can i just get a new torque converter or do i need to replace the entire transmission system?

Dj :

The next most likey failure is the torque converter lockup solenoid. This is a weakness on all Toyota products.

Customer:

so by the solenoid, u r referring to their electromagnet potentially malfunctioning?

Dj :

It's not likely the converter itself and you certainly don't need to replace the transmission.

Dj :

Yes, the solenoid is a electro magnet that controls a valve.

Customer:

ok understood. back when you said it could be a temperature problem, how does the heat (or cold) affect the engine and cause it to die?

Dj :

They get gummed up. If you had and electrical failure on the solenoid, you would get a code and you didn't mention any failure lights coming on.

Customer:

yes, no failure lights coming on. it's just the regular engine lights that blip in red when the engine stops.

Dj :

The solenoids are temperature sensative. On my Toyota truck, the number 1 solenoid would stick. But only after I drove the car, then parked it and let it sit for a half hour or so. Then when I took off, the truck would start in 4th gear and run like that for about 5 minutes. Then it would work fine for the rest of the day.

Customer:

my battery is fine, and new (just 2 months old) ahaha i change my batteries every 18 months (yes i'm paranoid)

Dj :

Paranoid is not a bad thing. The opposite is gullible.

Dj :

Paranoid is just being cautious.

Customer:

ahaha ^_^ i understand where you are coming from. i'm a software engineer, and if i had the time, i might be able to catch everything i read it up. but life is short, and i suppose at the end of the day, it's best to leave it to someone who actually enjoys what they do

Customer:

okay..

Customer:

i guess these set of theories are something i can share with them again tomorrow

Customer:

back when i brought it to the workshop, they mentioned that they were using some diagnostic tool..

Customer:

that they hooked up to the ECU, and they based all their feedback on whether or not that gadget said anything was wrong

Customer:

i'm just wondering what kind of feedback that tool would give in this instance, where a torque converter is involved

Dj :

That's part of the problem. Now we have scan tools and a lot of mechanics don't know how to think. If there isn't a failure code, they don't know what to do because they never took the time to learn how the systems actually work.

Customer:

ahahaha

Dj :

There is a code for an open circuit or a short circuit to the solenoid.

Customer:

that's what i figured as much

Dj :

There is a code for if the transmission is slipping in one of the gears.

Dj :

But no code for torque converter locking up. I guess Toyota never expected that to happen or more likely, they never acknowledged that it could happen.

Customer:

ahaha

Customer:

so even if they ran the tool all day, nothing would show up

Dj :

Probably not. And Toyota techs have been beaten into not doing anything unless they can verify the problem. It comes from the recent legal action concerning unintended acceleration on their cars.

Customer:

ahh, i see. is this about the prius running over the cliff?

Customer:

ahaha ^_^ okay understood, i understand their reservations.

Customer:

so if its a solenoid problem, they can replace just that component?

Customer:

if its a cooling problem, it is because of the solenoid not being able to open the coolant valve?

Dj :

Yes, they can just replace the solenoid.

Customer:

and this torque converter is erm.. is it a disk used to transfer the spinning motion from the engine to the wheels?

Dj :

First thing they should do is check the transmission cooler to make certain it's clear. They just take off the two cooler lines and blow air through it.

Customer:

ok, thats step 1

Customer:

after that, what would you recommend that they do?

Dj :

If it's not obstructed, I would just replace the solenoid. There is about an 80% chance that this is the problem and sometimes it's cheaper to just replace the most likely part then spend a bunch of money testing all the other components.

Customer:

may i ask how much a solenoid could possibly cost?

Customer:

around a 100 USD?

Customer:

or much more?

Dj :

Under a hundred dollars in the US. Labor should be around 2 to 2.5 hours.

Customer:

ok, understood

Customer:

do you have any more theories on this situation =p?

Customer:

or we've pretty much summed up the possiblities?

Dj :

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xyg54z_lock-up-torque-converter_auto

Dj :

It's a possibility that the torque converter itself it failing, but it's not likely. It would be like a light bulb that stays on all the time and the problem is the lightbulb itself.

Customer:

ahaha this video is alot better. i was reading this while you were describing your answers

Dj :

If the torque converter didn't lock up, then the first thing I would suspect is that the torque converter is failing. There is maybe a 10% chance that the torque converter is faulty.

Customer:

okay @_@

Dj :

Now let's get back to the truck load of girls....

Customer:

ahahaha

Customer:

well if you are ever in this part of the world, and my truck is healthy again..

Dj :

What part of the world are you in?

Customer:

i'll let you roam around with a truck full of em ahaha

Customer:

i'm from malaysia ^_^

Customer:

but the place with chicks is up north in thailand

Customer:

but its quite near, it's like driving from san francisco to .. maybe yellowstone

Customer:

6-7 hours drive

Customer:

o0ps, not yellowstone, i meant yosemite

Dj :

I live in Portland, Oregon. All of the girls here are lumber bunnies. A bit chunky and a bit grumpy.

Customer:

ahahaha well, you'll love the wif-like wenches here. they are eager to please

Customer:

they'll scrub you clean and slip off your slippers for you before ravaging your body in search of the nectar of love ahahaha

Customer:

o0ps, i meant waif

Customer:

ahaha

Dj :

Sounds like the promissed land.

Customer:

most of my white friends love going to thailand..

Customer:

they seek.. what they call a girlfriend experience?

Customer:

ahaha

Customer:

but to be fair the thai girls are really friendly.. they'll hold your hands..

Customer:

walk with you..

Customer:

cut your fish into little pieces and feed you..

Customer:

ahahaha

Dj :

Girls here won't even say hello.

Customer:

then look into your eyes, asking if you still have enough inner energy for another round

Customer:

and if you are tired, they'll just knead & massage your sore muscles and watch you sleep

Customer:

wahahaha

Dj :

I know where I'm going for vacation.

Customer:

lumber chicks must be really butchy..

Dj :

Yes.

Customer:

ahahaha

Customer:

its really cheap in thailand..

Customer:

you could get a beer for about.. 1USD..

Customer:

chicks.. if you book them for the entire day, its only about 50 USD

Customer:

they spend the entire day, and night with you

Dj :

A movie and popcorn it $28 here.

Customer:

and they leave in the morning. but usually if u r nice, they'll stay with you and there is no extra charge for the next few days

Customer:

or if u r the type that enjoys the hunt..

Dj :

So why are you in Malaysia and not in Thailand?

Customer:

they have those make believe bars where university students gather.. you could pick one up for drinks and it'll be the same. the girls r really friendly

Customer:

ahaha

Customer:

i live in malaysia..

Customer:

i used to go visit thailand back when i was a bachelor with my friends

Customer:

but now i;ve got a wife and 2 kids..

Customer:

my hunting days are over

Customer:

ahaha but it's quite an experience ^_^

Customer:

most guys think of settlig down after meeting one of these girls..

Customer:

then you see the next one with a bigger rack..

Customer:

a cuter smile..

Customer:

or longer lustrous hair..

Customer:

ahahaha

Customer:

i've got to avoid temptation =p

Dj :

I just started programming my dog door. It has two microcontrollers, 5 IR sensors, an OLED display, remote control and a sensor to turn on the display when you walk up to the door. I'm a terrible programmer. One line of code at a time. But I'll get it done. It will have self diagnostics and that will be the hardest part to program.

Customer:

ahahaha

Dj :

It uses a Toyota sunroof mechanism for the mechanical part.

Customer:

you sound alot like my friend, he's an australian. but he married a local and has stayed in asia for about 30 years now

Customer:

he loves tinkering and fiddling with mechanical components

Dj :

I build robots and sometimes test equipment as a hobby.

Customer:

he designs, builds and develops solutions for fleet tracking. all the way from the GPS transceivers to the positioning on a map, and time-based historical overlay

Dj :

I also own a company that manufactures sensors for Ford and Chevy trucks. That's how I make my living. I do this answer job just for fun and to help people. There's no money in it.

Customer:

and because he loves what he does, he even took the time to build an ihone and android app for it

Customer:

ahahaha

Dj :

Building apps is on my list of things that I want to learn to do. When I get the time.

Customer:

i see ^_^ thats very altruistic of you

Customer:

what kind of sensors are they for?

Customer:

monitoring the truck's heuristics?

Dj :

They are for flex fuel vehicles.

Customer:

so its used to monitor fuel efficiency based on driver behaviour?

Dj :

The sensors measure the amount of ethanol in the fuel and adjust the timing and injection pulse to compensate.

Customer:

ahh..

Customer:

i see, that sounds alot like my other friend.. he builds NOS kits for cars

Customer:

the gas needs to be pushed in to coincide with the combustion

Customer:

okay ^_^ understood.

Dj :

That's the best way to add 100 hp to any car.

Customer:

ahaha 100 horses?

Customer:

really?

Customer:

you for ethanol or for NOS?

Customer:

so this ethanol is meant only for diesel vehicles? or does it work also for gas powered engines?

Customer:

i heard the theory before, cause my friend was also considering building a kit that feeds ethanol into the combustion mixture, because it makes the fuel burn cleaner

Dj :

Ethanol is a great hoax created by the corn industry in the US. It takes 0.9 gallons of gasoline to produce 1.0 gallons of ethanol. And ethanol produces 1/3 less energy than gasoline. So if you have a 20 gallon take of gasoline and you get 20 miles to the gallon, you could travel 400 miles. With ethanol you would only travel 240 miles.

Customer:

ahaha

Customer:

this is the whole biodiesel fiasco

Customer:

using food for fuel that doesnt make economic sense, and causing hunger and a distortion in supply of food in parts of the world

Dj :

It was sold as a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but in fact because of it, we use even more. The US government had a $.45 a gallon kicker per gallon. That went away at the first of 2013 and now there are no gas stations that offer ethanol.

Customer:

they are using palm oil in my country..

Dj :

The price of corn to other countries like Mexico has doubled because of this scan.

Dj :

Scam.

Customer:

and another one called jatropha

Dj :

What does that mean?

Customer:

at least these crops generate about 50-60% of their mass as oil

Customer:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatropha

Dj :

Brazil uses sugar cane.

Customer:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatropha

Customer:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Oil_palm‎

Customer:

well, using food crops for this is unethical

Customer:

because they already know that it doesnt make economic sense

Customer:

but then again, politics and money is always an uneasy mix

Dj :

I've got questions building up, so I'm going to have to end this conversation. I've really enjoyed chatting with you. Please let me know how the truck comes out of the shop.

Customer:

thanks for your help

Customer:

appreciate your feedback

Dj :

You are very welcome.

Customer:

i'll keep you updated

Dj :

Great.

Dj, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1698
Experience: ASE Master Tech, 30+ years in automotive repair.
Dj and 3 other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Hi DJ,


 


Thanks for your help & advice.
But the toyota team refused to check the torque converter cause their diagnostic tools say there is nothing wrong

They shared a theory about water in the fuel pump (because its been raining here the last few weeks)

Anyway they flushed my tank, changed the pump but the car is still stalling. (It's getting worse, now without an incline it starts stalling too when I apply the break with the gears engaged)
I told them to change my solenoid and blow air through the pipes ahaha but they declined


 


Anyway i'm abit tired of this already (4 workshop visits and no conclusion is really exhausting), so I'm just going to trade in my car and let them sort it out themselves


 


Ahaha so I guess this means I can't verify if your theory works, but i appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me

Warmest regards


Kin


 

Expert:  Dj replied 8 months ago.
Kin,

Do you have an independent shop nearby that does good work?

DJ

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I've got my baby back. Tomorrow I will get a tank of high octane, remove the top, go for a long long ride and enjoy my car. THANK YOU! Jughead USA
< Last | Next >
  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I've got my baby back. Tomorrow I will get a tank of high octane, remove the top, go for a long long ride and enjoy my car. THANK YOU! Jughead USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Chris (aka-Moose)

    Auto Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    278
    16 years of experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Auto Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    278
    16 years of experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EU/eurotec/2012-6-11_13153_mpjaphoto.64x64.JPG Marty's Avatar

    Marty

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    167
    ASE & Bosch Master Tech. 30 years experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AM/amedee/2013-10-24_23656_Amedee1.64x64.jpg Amedee's Avatar

    Amedee

    Toyota Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CA/caprio23/2014-4-30_201741_20121205122939.64x64.jpg Anthony's Avatar

    Anthony

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    373
    ASE Master Automobile Technician with over 20 years exp. in this field.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CR/crzydrvr00/2013-11-3_12123_246347.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    9
    Toyota tech. ASE Certified Technician
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SK/skyvisions/2012-6-9_23736_JACropped3.64x64.jpg Skyvisions's Avatar

    Skyvisions

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    11403
    Toyota Master Diagnostic
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/genchigenbutsu/2009-05-09_003043_cimg16431.jpg Genchi Genbutsu's Avatar

    Genchi Genbutsu

    Toyota Master Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3425
    Toyota Certified Master Diagnostic Technician, ASE Master Technician with L1 Advanced Engine