Possible Problems To Look For In The AA80E Transmission

Posted by on Friday, August 30th, 2013

The AA80E is an eight speed transmission made by Toyota. It was first put into production in 2007 and remains in production today. It was used across multiple Toyota brands and models, including the LS 460, GS460, Lexus IS-F, RX350F and Crown Majesta. The AA80E was the first eight speed transmission made by any automotive manufacturer. The transmission is ten percent lighter than the transmission that it replaced while being 30% more ridge. This transmission also has a 20 percent high torque rating.

While Toyota is known for making excellent vehicles and components, their transmissions suffer from issues that are common with all automatic transmissions. Let take a look at a couple of these possible issues.

Thisis the AA80E Transmission


All automatic transmissions are sensitive to excessive heat. In fact heat is the number one killer of all automatic transmissions. The AA80E is designed to operate at a maximum temperature of 200 degrees. For every 20 degrees you go over 200, you risk cutting the normal expected lifespan by a factor of two.  As you can see, it doesn’t take much of a rise in temperature to kill an automatic transmission. It is also a well-known fact that at temperatures as low as 240 degrees, organic based transmission fluids can start to turn to varnish. Once this occurs, the fluid losses its ability to properly lubricate the internal moving parts of the transmission.

The AA80E can be found in the 2008 GS 460


I always recommend installing an aftermarket transmission cooler as a way to fight off possible overheating. The transmission cooler should always be installed somewhere on the vehicle where it can get good airflow. You also want to be sure to install the cooler in between the line coming out of the factory radiator and the line returning to the transmission. This location will give you the maximum cooling benefit.

Electronic issues are also an area of concern for any late model automatic transmission. The number one electronic component that fails the most often is one of the many solenoids found in this type of transmission. The solenoids are subject to failure from heat, vibration and voltage spikes. The computer that controls the transmission is also susceptible to failure, with both hardware and software problems. Another electronic item to keep an eye on is the transmission’s wire harness. It can break from being stretched, it can melt, or if it rubs against something, wear through the protective outer plastic coating.

The AA80E transmission has many electronic solenoids


Sooner or later, due to high mileage or abuse, you will be faced with a decision to replace your AA80E transmission. I highly recommend doing so with a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simply rebuilt. A re-manufactured transmission will include major internal modifications and upgrades designed to make it both stronger and more durable. A rebuilt transmission will not include this feature. A re-manufactured transmission also comes with a much better warranty; three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. And in the rare event that you need to contact the company that re-manufactures transmissions, they are just a quick phone call or email away!

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