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November 13, 2010


My friend Robin has a 1999 Toyota Camry. It was given to her with about 200,000 miles on it because "it needs a transmission"

So she took it to someone who I'm told "cleaned out the screens" and it worked fine... for a while. Then it didn't. She took it back and they flushed the fluid to no avail.

So she told me lots of different things about the transmission and the way it acts and what different mechanics told her about it. I fully expected to replace this transmission. So did she. So did at least two other mechanics who looked at it (I'm told).

Now I don't think I'll have to.


From the way it acted when I drove it I figured the torque converter clutch solenoid was stuck. Also the check engine light was on. I did a little research and removed the part in the above picture to test it. There is a little check ball in it that was stuck. Basically this keeps the engine and transmission locked together almost all the time so the car bucks like hell when you slow down.

This valve is supposed to allow flow from pressure to drain (in picture) but only when voltage is supplied to it. It was allowing flow all the time. So I hit it.

bang bang bang


ta-da-- little ball got unstuck.

good ol' 20th century Earth technology

Soooo... I'm gonna replace this valve if i can find one (it is proving to be surprisingly elusive).

I bought a code reader while I was in town today. I figured it's about time I owned at least a cheap one. The code on this Camry is P0770 "shift solenoid E (shift solenoid SL) malfunction". That's what Toyota calls this little solenoid valve which controls the torque converter lockup clutch. I think they used to call it a TCC (Torque Converter Clutch) solenoid valve. That's what i would call it.