Hello! Been ages since I've needed to post here. I have a 2007 Sport 4-banger with about 169k miles. The engine was replaced at about 94k miles, (classic 2.4L move there... yeouch) and since then I've mostly just had normal Pennsylvania rust issues. (Oc with a few other problems but that's kinda normal)
Today on the way to work, I slowed to turn onto a different road, then when I was accelerating down the road after a certain point I noticed that I was revving too high, and it wasn't right. Well, of course it wasn't right, because it went into neutral, and wouldn't go back into gear. I pulled as far over as I could, shut the car down, waited, fired it up, and it went back into gear and worked good enough to turn me around before it quit again. Managed to repeat the process to limp it just far enough that I could roller coaster down the big hill on my road and into my driveway. (Sometimes it's kinda nice having a hill big enough to coast for about 3/4 of a mile afterwards no-problem after it lol) It didn't make any noise, no grinding that I could hear, no "bangs" or "pops," just casually shifts into neutral after a short drive.
To me, the fact that it works fine after being shut down sounds like it's an electrical issue, maybe with a controller? Or the ECU? I know my mom's 4.2 just had the common issue with the solder in the ECU breaking and causing a similar, though different problem. On the surface at least it seems like a similar problem. If it was a dead transmission, in my head, it would seem like it should make noise, grind, shift weird before it happened, and/or not work at all, not this intermittent thing it's doing.
I haven't taken it to a shop yet, as I was hoping to find some information first, on if it's a "take it to a tranny shop and risk them wanting to replace a perfectly fine transmission" problem, or a "take it to a Toyota mechanic and risk them not being able to fix it because it's a transmission" problem. (Luckily we have one that does dealer quality work, but without the dealer scumbagery)
Reading up on things, I only just not found out that these ones need the trans fluid replaced regularly, big oops, and idk if it was replaced when the engine blew up or not. I'm going to guess it probably was, knowing the shop that did it, but I can't say for sure. That's still been quite a while, though. I checked it after the problem and it was still in the acceptable range.
Does anyone know of common problems that this might be?
EDIT: Oh I forgot to mention. It's a long story, but I also am not sure if it threw any CEL's or anything, because I kiiiiiinda have an evap leak issue that's been going for a long time. It's just a minor pinhole from having had to drop the tank for welding and rust repairs, there's just a... lot... of outside factors that screwed with getting it taken care of.