Common Problems With The Toyota U250E Transmission That All Shops Should Know About

Posted by on Monday, April 8th, 2013

The U250E is a popular five speed automatic transmission used by Toyota.  It is similar to the U241E with the exception of the extra forward gear. It was used extensively in many Toyota vehicles between 2005 and 2010, including in the Camry, Solara, Matrix and the Corolla. Because of the wide spread use of this transmission, it is important that your shop is familiar with some of the common problems associated with this transmission.

The Toyota U250E transmission


The lockup clutch in the torque converter does not work: The first thing I would check is the stop light switch circuit. Yes, you ready that correctly. You may be asking yourself what does this have to do with a transmission? If you apply the brakes with the torque converter locked up there is a good chance that you will destroy it. Therefore, when the brakes are applied (and the brake lights come on), a signal is sent to the solenoid that controls the lockup converter telling it to release the pressure, thereby disengaging the clutch. The second area you might want to check is the ECM. I would first scan the ECM for any error codes it may be giving off. If you can’t find any, disconnect the battery for a few minutes. This will reset the ECM and may help cure your problem.

The shift points are too high or too low: Take a look at the throttle position sensor. If it’s out of tune or defective it may be causing this problem. Another area to check is the ECM. Refer to the information above on the ECM.

The vehicle has no movement in reverse: The problem could stem from a number of separate issues. 1) Check the valve body. The valve body could be warped from excessive heat or a valve could simply be stuck in one of the bores. 2) Check the reverse clutch. If the clutch is burnt up you will have no reverse gear.  3) Check the condition of the 1st& reverse brake. If the brake is broken you will have no reverse.

The U250E valve body


The transmission slips in reverse:  Check the reverse clutch. If the clutch is in the process of failing it may not have enough friction material left on it. This would cause the transmission to slip as torque is applied to the transmission.

The reverse pack in the U250E



If the problems with your U250E transmission have reached the point where the transmission needs to be replaced, I highly recommend replacing it with a re-manufactured transmission. Why you ask? First, a re-manufactured transmission will include upgrades and modification that are designed to fix common problems. These upgrades and modifications are things the factory should have done in the first place. Second, re-manufactured transmissions usually include a three year warranty. You will not find either of these benefits in a rebuilt or brand new transmission.

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