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Toyota Repair/SMT Toyota Mr2 Spyder Transmission Issue

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Question
Hi Ted,
I have just purchased a used ZZW30 Year 2000 mk. 3 mr2 spyder. It had only 30 000 kms on the clock and was used as a reserve car at a precision track driving school. It had an unknown service history.

The issue arises when travelling at a constant speed at around 2300 rpm in gear. The sequential warning light will turn on and i am unable to shift either up or down using the buttons on the wheel or the gearshift lever and will not register as being in neutral irrespective of the lever position. It stays in gear and still allows acceleration etc however when I come to a stop, the engine stalls and the engine warning light appears. It will not register as being in neutral until I remove the key from the igition and reinsert key. It then starts and runs as normal until it occurs again.

There are no gearbox noises or rattles. We took it to a Toyota dealer and had the synthetic transmission fluid changed and a diagnostic done.
The following codes were found.
P.1646 - transmission ecu malfunction
P.1646 - car communication malfunction
P.1882 - m/t code shift sensor malfunction
They cleared the codes also yet the problem persists
A 30000 km service was completed and no other issues were found
Grateful for any help you may be able to provide!
Callum

Answer
Hello, those codes indicate some major problems, as you can see, transmission ecu malfunction, will most likely need a new ecu and some other parts, the sequential shift transmission was nothing but trouble and very expensive to fix if something goes wrong, Toyota fixed many under warranty and this is why they stopped using this complicated shifting system, so be prepared to spend a lot of money to get this done, it may just be the ECU but there are other components and sensors involved not to mention the overcomplicated actuator system that can be affected. You can easily tie up $4,000 or so and parts may be hard to get.  

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Ted Ritter

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I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.

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Toyota technician since 1979,expert in electrical systems,OBD systems,engine repair, driveability problems,EFI systems,ASE certified,Toyota master technician.
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Toyota master technician, ASE certified in eight catagories, Hybrid vehicle certified. Toyota technical training: Engine Automatic transmission Manual transmission Drivetrain Electrical systems Brakes and chassis Air conditioning Engine performance and diagnostics Hybrid systems

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