At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Toyota Tercel Automatic Transmission May Not Shift Correctly at High Mileages
Toyota Tercel Problem
Drive Train Affected: Automatic Transmission
Average Mileage: 166,049 mi (130,000 mi - 212,198 mi)
Visitor, 1996 Toyota Tercel, 130,000 mi
Shifts hard from first to second.
Visitor, 1999 Toyota Tercel
Car will not switch into gear around 100km-120km per hour. Rev's too high and won't go into 4th no matter if I punch it or not. No solution so far.
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Tercel, 160,000 mi
hesitation from 1st to 2nd gear when cold, when driven for awhile shifts smoothly, sometimes it will persist.
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Tercel, 162,000 mi
Won't shift out of first to second, except on rare occassions