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2008 Transmission Lag


dga
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I have a 2008 es with 2k on it. Works well except for transmission lag. I describe this as the tranny going quickly into higher gears, say 3 or 4, when the car's speed is less that 20 mph. I guess this action is to offer the best fuel economy. If you want accelerate a little more quickly, then the tranny has to shift down to 2 or 3 to offer any pep. This takes an extra 1 second causing the perception of 'lag' or lack of 'pep'.

Is there a software upgrade that limits 'premature' upshifts at low speeds to promote more pep and less lag at the expense of a little less fuel economy???? My dealer says bring the car in and when hooked up to the computer they can see if there is an upgrade. I will do that but I was a little surprised that they just couldn't answer the question without a computer.

Any 2008 experience on this issue???

Thanks!

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I have a 2008 es with 2k on it. Works well except for transmission lag. I describe this as the tranny going quickly into higher gears, say 3 or 4, when the car's speed is less that 20 mph. I guess this action is to offer the best fuel economy. If you want accelerate a little more quickly, then the tranny has to shift down to 2 or 3 to offer any pep. This takes an extra 1 second causing the perception of 'lag' or lack of 'pep'.

Is there a software upgrade that limits 'premature' upshifts at low speeds to promote more pep and less lag at the expense of a little less fuel economy???? My dealer says bring the car in and when hooked up to the computer they can see if there is an upgrade. I will do that but I was a little surprised that they just couldn't answer the question without a computer.

Any 2008 experience on this issue???

Thanks!

Actually, I am surprissed at how well the tranny downshifts when I let go of the gas andticipating a surge in acceleration. But, when you are cruising at a certain speed, the tranny will shift to its most efficient gear. So, yes, you will get that lag while it downshifts when it needs that surge. But, I do not know what your experience is with automatic transmissions, but that is the disadvantage of it. That's why people who really want performance cars get a manual or a way to switch to manual. You can do this, switch to manual and put it in the gear you want. There will be no hesitation then.

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I have a 2008 es with 2k on it. Works well except for transmission lag. I describe this as the tranny going quickly into higher gears, say 3 or 4, when the car's speed is less that 20 mph. I guess this action is to offer the best fuel economy. If you want accelerate a little more quickly, then the tranny has to shift down to 2 or 3 to offer any pep. This takes an extra 1 second causing the perception of 'lag' or lack of 'pep'.

Is there a software upgrade that limits 'premature' upshifts at low speeds to promote more pep and less lag at the expense of a little less fuel economy???? My dealer says bring the car in and when hooked up to the computer they can see if there is an upgrade. I will do that but I was a little surprised that they just couldn't answer the question without a computer.

Any 2008 experience on this issue???

Thanks!

Back in the last century when the RX300 was in the design stage (96..??) it was decided that the Camry engine and transaxle could be used economically if the transaxle could simply be made a little more robust. To make room for the larger components the ATF pressure holding/sustaining accumulator was dropped from the design. As many posters will testify that led directly to lots of premature transaxle failures for the 99 and '00 RX300 because there was no accumulator for sustaining ATF pressure should two gear changes be required in quick sucession, back to back.

There is a TSB for the '03 Camry that adequately decribes a few of the circumstances wherein a driver should expect to encounter the 1-2 second transaxle downshift delay enfored via firmware control of the DBW throttle system.

With this change the ATF line pressure no longer needed to be, supposedly, held at 2-3000PSI and that meant a slight improvement in FE.

Regretably before Toyota and Lexus realized their design mistake the idea was adopted across the entire FWD and F/AWD product line.

Up to this point the solution, beginning with the '03 Camry, was to adopt DBW, E-throttle, to "protect the drive train". Basically DBW was adopted to prevent the engine torque from rising until enough ATF pressure could be built up to accomplish the second QUICK shift, all with the engine at idle.

The latest "fix", NCF (New Car Feature), announced for the '08 Avalon is to have the engine/transaxle ECU module "watch" the rate at which you release foot pressure on the accelerator pedal after a period of (light?) acceleration. The thought behind this seems to be that a quick release would indicate a wish to slow the vehicle whereas a slow and easy release would indicate a desire to simply enter cruise mode.

I would assume if the Avalon "trial" is successfull and drivers are able to learn and adapt to this new feature the technique will be adopted next year for the entire product line.

So, begs the question....

Why not simply leave the transaxle in the lower gear just being used for acceleration for a few extra seconds until it becomes definitive as to the driver's intention.

SAFETY & FWD or F/AWD

In the "wrong" roadway conditions the level of engine compression braking on a FWD or F/AWD resulting from remaining in the lower gear just used for acceleration can quickly turn HAZARDOUS.

Ford has a patented technique used on the Escape and Mariner hybrids, FWD or F/AWD, that involves a significant reduction in the level of regenerative braking to be used should the OAT be below or near the freezing level. The second aspect is to disable regenerative braking entirely the INSTANT ABS activates during actual braking. With adverse, slippery, road conditions regenerative braking for recharging the hybrid battery, just like actual compression braking, can not only lead directly to loss of directional control of itself, but might interfere with ABS to such a level to make it completely non-function.

Take a test drive in the BMW X3 or X5, accelerate lightly then lift you foot quickly from the gas pedal and "feel" the level of engine compression braking that results. Now do the same thing with a Toyota or Lexus F/AWD vehicle. Since there is no serious detriment, potentially, to engine compression braking with the BMW's rear biased AWD system the level of engine compression braking on it will be substantial in comparison.

Oh, Ford, with the introduction of the F/AWD Edge, has adopted a variable displacement ATF pump so the pump can be adjusted to provide high flow volumes even with the engine at idle.

Not really a Ford fan any more, but....

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I have a 2008 es with 2k on it. Works well except for transmission lag. I describe this as the tranny going quickly into higher gears, say 3 or 4, when the car's speed is less that 20 mph. I guess this action is to offer the best fuel economy. If you want accelerate a little more quickly, then the tranny has to shift down to 2 or 3 to offer any pep. This takes an extra 1 second causing the perception of 'lag' or lack of 'pep'.

Is there a software upgrade that limits 'premature' upshifts at low speeds to promote more pep and less lag at the expense of a little less fuel economy???? My dealer says bring the car in and when hooked up to the computer they can see if there is an upgrade. I will do that but I was a little surprised that they just couldn't answer the question without a computer.

Any 2008 experience on this issue???

Thanks!

Actually, I am surprissed at how well the tranny downshifts when I let go of the gas andticipating a surge in acceleration. But, when you are cruising at a certain speed, the tranny will shift to its most efficient gear. So, yes, you will get that lag while it downshifts when it needs that surge. But, I do not know what your experience is with automatic transmissions, but that is the disadvantage of it. That's why people who really want performance cars get a manual or a way to switch to manual. You can do this, switch to manual and put it in the gear you want. There will be no hesitation then.

Or you can switch to any RWD or R/AWD with an automatic transmission.

And be MUCH safer to boot....!!

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I have a 2008 es with 2k on it. Works well except for transmission lag. I describe this as the tranny going quickly into higher gears, say 3 or 4, when the car's speed is less that 20 mph. I guess this action is to offer the best fuel economy. If you want accelerate a little more quickly, then the tranny has to shift down to 2 or 3 to offer any pep. This takes an extra 1 second causing the perception of 'lag' or lack of 'pep'.

Is there a software upgrade that limits 'premature' upshifts at low speeds to promote more pep and less lag at the expense of a little less fuel economy???? My dealer says bring the car in and when hooked up to the computer they can see if there is an upgrade. I will do that but I was a little surprised that they just couldn't answer the question without a computer.

Any 2008 experience on this issue???

Thanks!

Back in the last century when the RX300 was in the design stage (96..??) it was decided that the Camry engine and transaxle could be used economically if the transaxle could simply be made a little more robust. To make room for the larger components the ATF pressure holding/sustaining accumulator was dropped from the design. As many posters will testify that led directly to lots of premature transaxle failures for the 99 and '00 RX300 because there was no accumulator for sustaining ATF pressure should two gear changes be required in quick sucession, back to back.

There is a TSB for the '03 Camry that adequately decribes a few of the circumstances wherein a driver should expect to encounter the 1-2 second transaxle downshift delay enfored via firmware control of the DBW throttle system.

With this change the ATF line pressure no longer needed to be, supposedly, held at 2-3000PSI and that meant a slight improvement in FE.

Regretably before Toyota and Lexus realized their design mistake the idea was adopted across the entire FWD and F/AWD product line.

Up to this point the solution, beginning with the '03 Camry, was to adopt DBW, E-throttle, to "protect the drive train". Basically DBW was adopted to prevent the engine torque from rising until enough ATF pressure could be built up to accomplish the second QUICK shift, all with the engine at idle.

The latest "fix", NCF (New Car Feature), announced for the '08 Avalon is to have the engine/transaxle ECU module "watch" the rate at which you release foot pressure on the accelerator pedal after a period of (light?) acceleration. The thought behind this seems to be that a quick release would indicate a wish to slow the vehicle whereas a slow and easy release would indicate a desire to simply enter cruise mode.

I would assume if the Avalon "trial" is successfull and drivers are able to learn and adapt to this new feature the technique will be adopted next year for the entire product line.

So, begs the question....

Why not simply leave the transaxle in the lower gear just being used for acceleration for a few extra seconds until it becomes definitive as to the driver's intention.

SAFETY & FWD or F/AWD

In the "wrong" roadway conditions the level of engine compression braking on a FWD or F/AWD resulting from remaining in the lower gear just used for acceleration can quickly turn HAZARDOUS.

Ford has a patented technique used on the Escape and Mariner hybrids, FWD or F/AWD, that involves a significant reduction in the level of regenerative braking to be used should the OAT be below or near the freezing level. The second aspect is to disable regenerative braking entirely the INSTANT ABS activates during actual braking. With adverse, slippery, road conditions regenerative braking for recharging the hybrid battery, just like actual compression braking, can not only lead directly to loss of directional control of itself, but might interfere with ABS to such a level to make it completely non-function.

Take a test drive in the BMW X3 or X5, accelerate lightly then lift you foot quickly from the gas pedal and "feel" the level of engine compression braking that results. Now do the same thing with a Toyota or Lexus F/AWD vehicle. Since there is no serious detriment, potentially, to engine compression braking with the BMW's rear biased AWD system the level of engine compression braking on it will be substantial in comparison.

Oh, Ford, with the introduction of the F/AWD Edge, has adopted a variable displacement ATF pump so the pump can be adjusted to provide high flow volumes even with the engine at idle.

Not really a Ford fan any more, but....

In other words, if you too much of this you sacrifice that, and vice-versa. I am in the software business and as precise as you can make the software, we are dealing with an inherently inprecise world that is mechanics. One can make thresholds infinitessimal and try to control as much as you can with software, but the hardware, in this case the drive train (transmission and engine) have non-digital controls. You can tell a transmission that it needs to downshift with software, but as described above you may not have built up enough enough ATF line pressure to get the instantaneous response. Also, one of the biggest issues with digital (using software) and analog (mechanical) is handling the tweeners. When a calculation puts you in between one and another. An example to use about this is say you are 145 yards from a green. You know you can hit a 9-iron 140 yards and an 8-iron 150. You don't have an 8.5-iron, you need to either hit a hard 9 or a soft 8. Which do you do? It depends on you (most people would do a hard 9 and come up short!). Of course there are other factors as is it downhill or which way the wind is blowing, but that is the idea. A computer, if I were to program it, excluding those external factors for simplicity sake, would make you hit the 8-iron because I know that 80% of the time that would be the right club. So, it's the same here, your software monitors are saying that you should be between 3rd or 4th gear, but which one should it go to. There probably is a whole lot of intelligence and logic measuring external factors that goes into deciding that. But most of the time you are going 20 you do not need to go 60 instantaneously. So being in fourth is OK. Our transmission tries to learn your driving habits and keeps a running log of your latest behaviors to better guess, but sometimes, that guess is wrong. To change the software to put you in 3rd everytime because you may need a surge is not what the ES is about. My guess is that they are using the 80/20 rule. You do something that will be right 80% of the time. This is not as technical as what wwest says, and it may even be wrong, but this is what my common sense tells me whenever I drive an automatic. If you would like to learn more about how software handles tweeners, look up discussions on sampling and over-sampling and why these techniques are done. Music in digital format is the best example of analog to digital conversion. Once you record music and then put it on the CD, it will never sound like the original.

A lot of what people may be experiencing here is that before cars only had 4 gears including over-drive. Now, we have 6. Even though the difference is more gradual, sometimes the tranny needs to up or down shift 2 or more gears where before it would be only one or two.

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I have a 2008 es with 2k on it. Works well except for transmission lag. I describe this as the tranny going quickly into higher gears, say 3 or 4, when the car's speed is less that 20 mph. I guess this action is to offer the best fuel economy. If you want accelerate a little more quickly, then the tranny has to shift down to 2 or 3 to offer any pep. This takes an extra 1 second causing the perception of 'lag' or lack of 'pep'.

Is there a software upgrade that limits 'premature' upshifts at low speeds to promote more pep and less lag at the expense of a little less fuel economy???? My dealer says bring the car in and when hooked up to the computer they can see if there is an upgrade. I will do that but I was a little surprised that they just couldn't answer the question without a computer.

Any 2008 experience on this issue???

Thanks!

Back in the last century when the RX300 was in the design stage (96..??) it was decided that the Camry engine and transaxle could be used economically if the transaxle could simply be made a little more robust. To make room for the larger components the ATF pressure holding/sustaining accumulator was dropped from the design. As many posters will testify that led directly to lots of premature transaxle failures for the 99 and '00 RX300 because there was no accumulator for sustaining ATF pressure should two gear changes be required in quick sucession, back to back.

There is a TSB for the '03 Camry that adequately decribes a few of the circumstances wherein a driver should expect to encounter the 1-2 second transaxle downshift delay enfored via firmware control of the DBW throttle system.

With this change the ATF line pressure no longer needed to be, supposedly, held at 2-3000PSI and that meant a slight improvement in FE.

Regretably before Toyota and Lexus realized their design mistake the idea was adopted across the entire FWD and F/AWD product line.

Up to this point the solution, beginning with the '03 Camry, was to adopt DBW, E-throttle, to "protect the drive train". Basically DBW was adopted to prevent the engine torque from rising until enough ATF pressure could be built up to accomplish the second QUICK shift, all with the engine at idle.

The latest "fix", NCF (New Car Feature), announced for the '08 Avalon is to have the engine/transaxle ECU module "watch" the rate at which you release foot pressure on the accelerator pedal after a period of (light?) acceleration. The thought behind this seems to be that a quick release would indicate a wish to slow the vehicle whereas a slow and easy release would indicate a desire to simply enter cruise mode.

I would assume if the Avalon "trial" is successfull and drivers are able to learn and adapt to this new feature the technique will be adopted next year for the entire product line.

So, begs the question....

Why not simply leave the transaxle in the lower gear just being used for acceleration for a few extra seconds until it becomes definitive as to the driver's intention.

SAFETY & FWD or F/AWD

In the "wrong" roadway conditions the level of engine compression braking on a FWD or F/AWD resulting from remaining in the lower gear just used for acceleration can quickly turn HAZARDOUS.

Ford has a patented technique used on the Escape and Mariner hybrids, FWD or F/AWD, that involves a significant reduction in the level of regenerative braking to be used should the OAT be below or near the freezing level. The second aspect is to disable regenerative braking entirely the INSTANT ABS activates during actual braking. With adverse, slippery, road conditions regenerative braking for recharging the hybrid battery, just like actual compression braking, can not only lead directly to loss of directional control of itself, but might interfere with ABS to such a level to make it completely non-function.

Take a test drive in the BMW X3 or X5, accelerate lightly then lift you foot quickly from the gas pedal and "feel" the level of engine compression braking that results. Now do the same thing with a Toyota or Lexus F/AWD vehicle. Since there is no serious detriment, potentially, to engine compression braking with the BMW's rear biased AWD system the level of engine compression braking on it will be substantial in comparison.

Oh, Ford, with the introduction of the F/AWD Edge, has adopted a variable displacement ATF pump so the pump can be adjusted to provide high flow volumes even with the engine at idle.

Not really a Ford fan any more, but....

In other words, if you too much of this you sacrifice that, and vice-versa. I am in the software business and as precise as you can make the software, we are dealing with an inherently inprecise world that is mechanics. One can make thresholds infinitessimal and try to control as much as you can with software, but the hardware, in this case the drive train (transmission and engine) have non-digital controls. You can tell a transmission that it needs to downshift with software, but as described above you may not have built up enough enough ATF line pressure to get the instantaneous response. Also, one of the biggest issues with digital (using software) and analog (mechanical) is handling the tweeners. When a calculation puts you in between one and another. An example to use about this is say you are 145 yards from a green. You know you can hit a 9-iron 140 yards and an 8-iron 150. You don't have an 8.5-iron, you need to either hit a hard 9 or a soft 8. Which do you do? It depends on you (most people would do a hard 9 and come up short!). Of course there are other factors as is it downhill or which way the wind is blowing, but that is the idea. A computer, if I were to program it, excluding those external factors for simplicity sake, would make you hit the 8-iron because I know that 80% of the time that would be the right club. So, it's the same here, your software monitors are saying that you should be between 3rd or 4th gear, but which one should it go to. There probably is a whole lot of intelligence and logic measuring external factors that goes into deciding that. But most of the time you are going 20 you do not need to go 60 instantaneously. So being in fourth is OK. Our transmission tries to learn your driving habits and keeps a running log of your latest behaviors to better guess, but sometimes, that guess is wrong. To change the software to put you in 3rd everytime because you may need a surge is not what the ES is about. My guess is that they are using the 80/20 rule. You do something that will be right 80% of the time. This is not as technical as what wwest says, and it may even be wrong, but this is what my common sense tells me whenever I drive an automatic. If you would like to learn more about how software handles tweeners, look up discussions on sampling and over-sampling and why these techniques are done. Music in digital format is the best example of analog to digital conversion. Once you record music and then put it on the CD, it will never sound like the original.

A lot of what people may be experiencing here is that before cars only had 4 gears including over-drive. Now, we have 6. Even though the difference is more gradual, sometimes the tranny needs to up or down shift 2 or more gears where before it would be only one or two.

AZ -

Great analogy! I am also in the software biz and I would also assume that the tranny is linked to some sort of algorithmic rules, which given our processing power in autos today may create some lag/latency response issues. The ES is simply not designed for the "sports" enthusiast driver. This car was designed for the soft, luxury cruises; not the race track.

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AZ -

Great analogy! I am also in the software biz and I would also assume that the tranny is linked to some sort of algorithmic rules, which given our processing power in autos today may create some lag/latency response issues. The ES is simply not designed for the "sports" enthusiast driver. This car was designed for the soft, luxury cruises; not the race track.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis and comments.

This issue is hardly a real problem. It is more of an annoyance.

However, the operation of this tranny does seem inferior to my most recent car which was a 1993 V6 Camry that I traded in after 15 years for the 08 ES350. It had a 4 speed A/T which shifted with more conviction than the ES, but with comparable smoothness (never needed service in 15 yrs except oil changes at recommended intervals). I assume that electronics were not a big part, if at all, of the Camry's shift function and that it was mainly a mechanically controlled unit. So far, the driveability advantages of a 6 speed, electronically controlled tranny are not apparent when compared to the 15+ yr older technology. I asume that it is more fuel efficient.

Is anyone aware of software upgrades for the 08 tranny???

My 08 ES has about 2200 km (1400 mi) on it. Has anyone noticed 'better' operation of the tranny as it is broken-in with use???

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