The nature of the beast.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

I read with interest your recent advice against shifting from Drive to Neutral with automatic transmissions. My problem is that there is a very noticeable vibration in the car when I'm stopped at a light and the car is idling in Drive with my foot on the brake. Putting it into Neutral stops this vibration. I currently own a 1985 and 1989 Toyota Camry, both four cylinders. This problem exists with these two cars, as well as with my previously owned 1986 four cylinder Camry. I checked this out with the Toyota mechanics and was told this problem was "the nature of the beast." Ordinary tune ups haven't eliminated the problem. Any solutions?

RAY: Only one, Bill. Get a standard transmission in your next Camry. Vibrating in Drive IS the "nature" of this four cylinder engine with an automatic transmission.

TOM: It's actually not the fault of the engine. All engines vibrate, and Toyota engines vibrate even less than many others. The problem is that too much of the vibration gets transmitted to the passenger compartment. We think this is because of the design of the motor mounts, which hold the engine in place, and are supposed to "soak up" these vibrations before they reach you. There are no alternative mounts available for the Camry, so unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do about it, at least until the fall.

RAY: That's when Toyota is coming out with a completely new 1992 Camry. And my guess is they're going to have this problem fixed. You'll have to let us know. Judging from your purchasing history, I'm pretty sure you're going to run right out and buy one. You might also check to see if Toyota will award you "frequent buyer miles" for all the Camry's you've already owned.

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