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Trans_ Service
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We're experiencing a shudder in our 2006 tacoma when we

Customer Question

We're experiencing a shudder in our 2006 tacoma when we accelerate slowly or normally when we hit certain speeds in Drive: between 25 and 30, 35 and 40, and sometimes just over 40. If we accelerate quickly, it doesn't happen. If we put it in 4th rather than drive, it doesn't happen. When it does happen, it happens in*****or***** Some Tacoma threads have suggested drain/refill of the transmission fluid may help. Any ideas what that could be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Transmissions
Expert:  Trans_ Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. These transmissions are very picky with regard to the total fluid capacity. We have found that a mere 8 ounces low of fluid will create all kinds of abnormal shift occurrences. Since this truck does not have a dipstick to set the fluid level, it needs to be done by a Toyota shop. The reason for this is to obtain the proper amount of fluid. To achieve this, a special tool is used to pump new fluid into the transmission pan, while, at the same time, a scan tool is attached to the vehicle to monitor the transmission temperature. The window of internal temperature is very narrow. Once the temperature window has been exceeded, the fill process must cease, or the level will not be correct. If I were you, before I did anything else, if I were you, I would have the transmission flushed and have new fluid introduced. I do not recommend draining and filling the pan. This leaves 4 quarts of dirty fluid in the transmission. A proper flush by a dealer usually runs in the vicinity of 150 dollars. This is the best path to take before anything else, as the fluid level must be at the specification or you can and will have weird shifting issues.

Expert:  Trans_ Service replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've read a lot of bad experiences people have had from having their transmission fluid flushed as they said it made more issues possibly because it brought up particles that had settled. Is there any risk of that in your experience?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One other question for you...will we damage our vehicle further by continuing to drive in 4th gear until we reach 45mph and then switching over to Drive to avoid the shudder until we can get it in to a shop?
Expert:  Trans_ Service replied 1 year ago.

There is no danger to a flush by a professional machine. The internet threads are wildly exaggerated. They place blame on Trans service when the real issue was they caused the issue via neglect or abuse. My shop performs flushes every day of the week. I would get it to a shop asap. The shudder may be a starvation condition.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any damage being done by driving in 4th from 0-45mph and then switching over to Drive?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, we've been told by a friend that when we tow our travel trailer, we should drive in 4th rather than Drive. Is that recommended?
Expert:  Trans_ Service replied 1 year ago.

Assuming the fluid level is correct, driving in 4th when towing, especially up hills, is a good practice.