Reader Question: Automatic Swap

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Mike asks: I enjoyed your rant about automatic transmissions. Ditto. My question is this: When the automatic transmission on my 2005 Toyota Camry dies, can I replace it with an OEM 5 speed?

My reply: It is mechanically very feasible; the parts bolt right up. However, you will also have to make everything electronically compatible. You’ll need to swap the factory ECU, for openers, for one from a manual car. There may be other parts necessary to make this swap, too.

Another big issue – depending on where you live – is emissions legality. Even if the swap is done right – and the car’s actual’s emissions are within spec – this may constitute illegal “tampering.” Before you venture down this road, check with your local Uncle (government authorities) and find out whether, in the event you did such a swap, there would be an emissions-related legalities.

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Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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