Surprising Scion TC Transmission Problems And How To Fix Them

Scion TC transmission problems are never fun to deal with. Plus, these may or may not come with a hefty price tag when repairs are needed.

If you are dealing with transmission problems with your vehicle, it makes perfect sense to catch them early on instead of waiting to get them fixed. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to deal with bigger and worse issues in the future.

Let’s have a look at these common Scion TC transmission problems and how you can get these issues straightened out. 

scion tc transmission problems

Common Scion TC Transmission Problems

There are a few Scion TC transmission problems that you can expect at one point or another during the lifespan of your vehicle. Here they are – the causes and some recommendations for fixes:

1. Reverse problems and shift flares

Some Scion TC models come with a 4-speed automatic (U241E) transmission, which is prone to certain concerns. The most glaring issues include severe flares or slips whenever you shift your gears. But this is more noticeable with your second and third gears. When this happens a lot, it can make your vehicle prone to failure and delays when you engage the reverse. Plus, there is a high chance of a torque converter clutch or the TCC lock up problem. This is why you need to have this issue addressed immediately to avoid further damage. The only thing to note is that it may occur without even triggering your check engine light, making it tricky to diagnose.

There are a few causes involved in this issue such as too much bore wear in your solenoid modulator valve, which causes the transmission fluid pressure to increase. An upgraded sleeve and valve assembly usually helps in refurbishing your bore.

Additionally, there may be problems with your O-rings leaking at the end plugs. Thus, there may be leaks in the corresponding circuit and result in pressure loss, making it a bit more challenging to control your transmission. By replacing the end plugs, this can resolve the leak while restoring the function.

2. Vibrations or grinding noises 

This is particularly true with the second generation Scion models, as well as the Scion FR-S. Those Scion models that come with a 6-speed AT may suffer from issues linked with grinding noises from their engine bay as you drive. It may also be combined with some vibrations, and the sound may get worse as you accelerate. Furthermore, the problem occurs when your vehicle has just started, and this issue can get worse over time.

The most common cause of this problem is having damaged or worn rear cover bearing. It is typical among vehicles that are poorly maintained and have a high mileage. A low transmission fluid level, in combination with irregular fluid changes can result in overheating and bearing damage. The only definitive solution for this issue is by replacing your bearing.

3. Harsh second and third gear shifts

Next up, you may also come across some problems when shifting gears, particularly the second and third gear. This is typical with the Scion FR-S but may also be present in some Scion TC models. The issue may be experienced as merely a delay in shifting, as well as a harsh upshift experience when accelerating, or could also be a harsh downshift when you go from third to second gear as you coast. To make it worse, engine speed surge may even be experienced, thus triggering your check engine light to illuminate.

Too much wear in your lockup control valve can obstruct movement, which leads to the torque converter clutch to stay applied as you change gears. Therefore, shifts tend to be harsh and difficult. There may also be leaks and too much pressure loss, thus preventing the TCC from locking up and causing a fluctuation in your engine speed. We recommend installing an oversized and an upgraded lockup control valve kit to restore the ideal operation.

4. Whining on acceleration

The Scion TC may be prone to whining sounds or rattling when accelerating. But aside from this symptom, there should be nothing else that accompanies it. There are a few causes linked with this problem such as a faulty secondary or primary pulley bearing. This can impact your transmission and may result in some whining or rattling noise. So, it is good to determine the problematic bearing and replace it with the right one. 

Additional Points To Keep In Mind

It is important to detect any transmission issues when they happen to avoid further damage and significant costs for repair. Thankfully, warning signs are present before transmission failure occurs. These include the following:

1. Difficulty or refusal when switching gears, which is linked with a transmission fluid issue

2. Burning odor that signals an overheated transmission or a burnt/ old transmission fluid requiring to be flushed and changed

3. Odd noises when gear is in neutral 

4. Slipping gears when you change gears – it makes your vehicle lose control

5. Clutch dragging that lead to gear clashes and unnecessary vehicle movement as you shift

6. Transmission fluid leaks 

7. Illuminated check engine light

8. Shaking or grinding whenever you shift gears

9. Humming, clunking, or whining sounds

10. Unresponsiveness when you try to change gears such as when going from park mode to drive mode.

Read More: Scion TC Years To Avoid – The Worst Model Years

Wrap Up

There are quite a few Scion TC transmission problems to take note of, which include difficulty in shifting gears, odd noises and vibrations, a burnt smell, and a few others that we have mentioned in this article. It is necessary to have these issues addressed sooner than later as the problem may further progress into something worse. 

When in doubt, never hesitate to consult a professional to diagnose and troubleshoot these transmission problems to get a definitive solution to your concerns. By doing so, you can get back on the road with ease and comfort as you drive.

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