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Hi all

I have a 2008 Sienna XL with about 147K miles. I was driving for about 2 hr when I got off the freeway to cut through town to another freeway. After about 2 miles in town as I was accelerating onto freeway the van lost drive. Looks like third gear was not engaging. The tach reved but the car for all intent was in neutral. I pulled over and put in park to just try and reset. I put into drive and the van started moving. But again as it got to third gear the van lost gear and the tach just reved. Does anybody with experience tell me if this could be low on tranny fluid or solenoid or if this is tranny issue? Hoping it's the former.... Thanks
 

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Transmission fluid level and it's appearance is ALWAYS the first thing to check. You still have a dip stick, so it's something that should be checked periodically anyhow.

When was the last time you had the transmission serviced? A simple refresh of a few quarts drained and added is simple enough to do. A full flush can be considered (pros and cons to that....).

Solenoids and other valve body service might be needed, but start with the basics first.
 
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Hi Fibber2

Thanks for your feedback. I have not done any service on tranny as I purchased the van about 3 years ago. Checking tranny fluid was going to be first step but wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting my time if the symptoms looked like a much bigger issue. I've checked on some YouTube videos on tranny fluid and there were some with multi-incremental drains and fills. to remove percentage of old fluid at a time. I'll give that a shot and go from there. Thanks for guidance!
 

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Hi Fibber2

Thanks for your feedback. I have not done any service on tranny as I purchased the van about 3 years ago. Checking tranny fluid was going to be first step but wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting my time if the symptoms looked like a much bigger issue. I've checked on some YouTube videos on tranny fluid and there were some with multi-incremental drains and fills. to remove percentage of old fluid at a time. I'll give that a shot and go from there. Thanks for guidance!
It takes a paper towel and about 30 seconds of time to check the fluid. If it's bright or light red, it's fine. If it's light pink, it's getting on in years/miles. If it's brown, a drain and fill needs to be done. If it's black, you may have other issues but a drain and fill would still be the first step. If you've ever changed oil in a car, you can drain and fill transmission fluid on a Sienna. You need the crush washer, new fluid, a funnel, and some kind of container to measure the volume of fluid which comes out. To me, it sounds like you may have a solenoid issue, but it can certainly be caused by heavily burned fluid. My van started slipping a little bit on acceleration. I check the fluid and it was a light pinkish brown. I did a drain and fill and it was back to perfect functioning. That was 60k miles ago and it has just had the slightest bit of slipping starting again, so I am going to do it again before the weather turns.
 
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