1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

3rd Gen Automatic Transmission Fluid Level Check DIY

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by rowsdower, May 3, 2018.

  1. May 3, 2018 at 8:20 PM
    #1
    rowsdower

    rowsdower [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Member:
    #242680
    Messages:
    95
    Gender:
    Male
    All the info in this DIY is already available on the forum, but scattered and mostly related to the 2nd Gen. I was able to get the procedure for my Turd Gen (2018 TRD Off Road 2x4) but it took me a while. I’m writing this down so it is all in one place for the next guy. My truck shifted normally but I did this check for peace of mind. I ended up being about 1/3qt low so I’m glad I did it.

    First, understand how the transmission is set up. There is a fill plug, drain plug, and overflow plug. Fill and drain are self-explanatory. Behind the overflow plug is a tube sticking up into the transmission to a specific height. When there is extra fluid in the transmission, it flows into this overflow tube until the correct level is reached. If you are low on fluid, the level will be below the overflow tube (but you won’t know by how much). To get the proper fluid level, you need to overfill the transmission and then drain out the excess under the correct conditions. For the check to be accurate, the transmission needs to be in a narrow temperature window and the truck needs to be running.

    The procedure is simple. Add a quart of fluid, put the truck into temperature check mode, get it up to temperature, and remove the overflow plug. When fluid stops coming out, you’re done. Parts of this process are very time-sensitive, so have all your tools laid out and make sure you fully understand the procedure before starting. If you are coming from a 2nd Gen truck, the procedure should be familiar but the specifics of getting into temp check mode are different.

    Tools/supplies needed:

    The Procedure:

    1. The truck must be level to get an accurate check. Park on level ground or jack up as necessary to get it level before starting.

    2. “Safety Third” is my usual motto, but not when I'm getting under a vehicle. Put on your parking brake and chock a wheel, as you will be leaving the truck running and shifting between P and D repeatedly, then getting under the truck. This could go bad quickly so make the truck immobile.

    3. With the truck off and cool, get under it and remove the 24mm transmission fill plug. It is located on the passenger side of the transmission toward the back. The plug has “WS” on it. Using the fluid pump, add a quart of fluid through the fill hole. Replace the plug when done. The torque spec is 29 ft-lbs, but the plug has an o-ring on it. This o-ring does the sealing, so proper torque is not critical. I put mine in as the Germans do – guttentight.

    Note that a 4x4 will look different than the pic below. peavey02 has added a photo of the fill plug on the 4x4 in this post.

    [​IMG]


    4. Break loose the overflow plug with the 5mm hex socket. Just get it loose, then finger-tighten it. You will not have time later to fiddle with a socket so get it loose ahead of time so you can back it out by hand quickly. It should not be fully removed until later in the procedure, as there is additional fluid in the pan and all your extra fluid will come out and you will have to start over again.

    [​IMG]


    5. Using a small screwdriver, push in the shaft on the transmission thermostat. Then, slide a 1/16” drill bit through the hole on the side of the housing to hold the shaft in. The thermostat is located toward the front of the transmission. Some say this step is not necessary, others say it is. It takes 15 seconds to do it. Supposedly this thermostat only exists on trucks with the tow package but I can not confirm that.

    [​IMG]


    6. Put your drain pan under the overflow plug, and put your new crush washer on the ground near the pan. Maybe a rubber glove if you don’t want to get your hand oily. And put a rag there while you’re at it.

    7. You are now done under the truck. Get your paperclip and jump the #4 and #13 pins on the OBD-II port. This port is under the dash near where you left knee would be when driving. If you have Techstream, it is also possible to get the truck into temp check mode using the software. I did not have access to Techstream when I did this so I used the paperclip method.

    [​IMG]

    8. The truck uses the shift indicator to tell you when it is in temp check mode. The shift indicator is the “P”, “D”, etc in the bottom left corner of the screen between the tach and speedo:

    [​IMG]

    First an explanation of how it works - when you first put it in temp check mode, the screen shows a D for two seconds, then it goes blank. When the truck gets to the correct minimum temperature, it will show a “D” on the screen regardless of whether the shifter is in D, N, or P. As it continues to warm up beyond the maximum temperature, the D will start to blink. If you are not done checking by the time it starts blinking, you need to shut off the truck and start over because it will be too hot. I timed this – it took 8 minutes for the D to appear with ambient temp of 75 degrees. 6 minutes later, the D had not started blinking yet but I turned the truck off as I was done and getting bored.

    To get it into temp check mode, first start the truck. You will see a few error lights – this is because you jumped the OBD pins and is expected. Move the shifter from P to S, then back to P. Then move the shifter between N and D repeatedly for 6 seconds. Do not hesitate on N or D for more than 1.5 seconds, or the procedure won’t work. After 6 seconds, D will be displayed for 2 full seconds, then it will disappear and the screen will show nothing:

    [​IMG]

    Move the shifter to park, take your foot off the brake, and pull the paperclip out of the OBD port. The error lights will go away. Wait for the D to reappear (approx. 8 minutes depending on ambient temp).

    9. When the D is back on the dash, you only have a few minutes to work. Leave the truck running and get under the truck. Remove the overflow plug. You should see fluid come gushing out, then slow to a trickle. Replace the crush washer (remember to remove the old one) and put the plug back in. Torque is 15 ft-lbs but IMO it’s not critical since there is a crush washer - you will know when it is tight enough. If you only see a trickle when you remove the plug, rather than a big gush of fluid, you’re more than 1 quart low and need to go back to step 1 and add another quart (wait for the exhaust to cool off first).

    10. Remove the drill bit from the trans thermostat. You will need to depress the shaft with the screwdriver again to get the bit out.

    11. Turn the truck off.

    That’s it! With a procedure this easy, it’s a wonder they ever bothered with dipsticks in the past.:cheers:
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    mbarbay, Cawolf, AxisCab and 49 others like this.
  2. May 3, 2018 at 8:32 PM
    #2
    john_lim

    john_lim Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Member:
    #176397
    Messages:
    32
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    john
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    17' DCSB TRD OR 4x4
    Bilstein 6112/5160 (6/6) Icon 1.5 AAL Camburg balljoint UCA 16x8 0 offset RR4 285/75/16 wildpeak AT3W Pelfreybilt Bolt on sliders Roughcountry blackhousing 30inch led OEM TRD Pro Grill cobra 29LX CB TRD PRO Skid Borla ProXs K&N drop in
    thanks! sounds easier than I thought!
     
  3. May 3, 2018 at 9:07 PM
    #3
    XabiSR5

    XabiSR5 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Member:
    #238949
    Messages:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2017 MGM Tacoma SR5 DCSB AT
    Stock (For Now)
    Appreciate the detailed layout man, thanks. I'll have to check my ATF when I have time.
     
  4. May 3, 2018 at 9:39 PM
    #4
    SpeySquatch

    SpeySquatch Function over Form

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Member:
    #246516
    Messages:
    3,995
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2016 TRD Off-Road DBLCB SB
    Nice job man. I can actually follow this
     
    AxisCab likes this.
  5. May 3, 2018 at 10:13 PM
    #5
    Sandia Labs

    Sandia Labs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2017
    Member:
    #226229
    Messages:
    132
    Colorado via Brawley, CA
    Clazzio all around, ARE topper, Total Chaos bed stiffeners, Tacoma bed mat, Weather tech floor mats, Cab mount chop
    7fbe.jpg
     
    AxisCab likes this.
  6. May 3, 2018 at 11:00 PM
    #6
    Dacon

    Dacon 2017 Tacoma TRD PRO Quikrete

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Member:
    #205354
    Messages:
    2,531
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Danny
    Gilbert, Arizona.
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD PRO DCSB. DOP 02.20.2017
    TRD PRO Cement 2017 TRD CAI and AFE Magnum Flow Dry Air Filter Camburg KINETIK Series Billet UCA Icon LCA skid plates Icon Coilover extended travel shocks with 700# springs Icon 2" rear shocks Icon RXT leaf springs full pack (new rims and tires soon)
    Where is the fill plug?
     
  7. May 4, 2018 at 12:18 AM
    #7
    1bad2k

    1bad2k Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Member:
    #20889
    Messages:
    3,101
    Gender:
    Male
    DFW, TX
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma TRD PRO
    First photo.
     
  8. May 4, 2018 at 6:21 AM
    #8
    bulalo

    bulalo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Member:
    #233682
    Messages:
    559
    Vehicle:
    2017 trd offroad 4wd LB
    none at the moment
    Subbed .
    Pls make this a sticky . Thanks OP
     
    AxisCab, #4TOY4ME and peavey02 like this.
  9. May 4, 2018 at 7:21 AM
    #9
    Lt_Dan

    Lt_Dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Member:
    #169451
    Messages:
    450
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Cincinnati OH
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD OR 4x4 DCSB A/T Super White
    Subbed
     
  10. May 4, 2018 at 8:04 AM
    #10
    Dacon

    Dacon 2017 Tacoma TRD PRO Quikrete

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Member:
    #205354
    Messages:
    2,531
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Danny
    Gilbert, Arizona.
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD PRO DCSB. DOP 02.20.2017
    TRD PRO Cement 2017 TRD CAI and AFE Magnum Flow Dry Air Filter Camburg KINETIK Series Billet UCA Icon LCA skid plates Icon Coilover extended travel shocks with 700# springs Icon 2" rear shocks Icon RXT leaf springs full pack (new rims and tires soon)
    ***
    :facepalm:
     
    2016Tacoman likes this.
  11. May 4, 2018 at 8:24 AM
    #11
    smith.p.sean

    smith.p.sean Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Member:
    #213985
    Messages:
    148
    Gender:
    Male
  12. May 4, 2018 at 9:14 AM
    #12
    MarvinL

    MarvinL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Member:
    #239691
    Messages:
    162
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tacoma TRD OR 4X4 DCSB
    subbed, thank you for the write up
     
  13. May 4, 2018 at 11:36 AM
    #13
    1bad2k

    1bad2k Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Member:
    #20889
    Messages:
    3,101
    Gender:
    Male
    DFW, TX
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma TRD PRO
    Haha , it happens.
     
  14. May 5, 2018 at 12:02 PM
    #14
    runmc

    runmc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Member:
    #226288
    Messages:
    260
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ron
    DFW Texas
    Vehicle:
    2018 Inferno Tacoma TRD OR DCSB
    One Mod after another
    Great guide! Thank you very much.
    I have a 2018 with 2500 miles. I will be doing my transmission after a trip to Toyota for parts
     
  15. May 5, 2018 at 1:31 PM
    #15
    over60

    over60 Over70 & still a "Grumpy Old Guy"

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Member:
    #44995
    Messages:
    4,601
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    John
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2016 Inferno (Punkin) TRD 4X4 Sport DCLB w/upgrade & tech pkg..!!
    Toyota running boards/Solid Fold 2.0/custom stickers/Anti-Dark LED light under hood/Derped grill/Scoop, etc.
    Great write up OP and thanx....should be a sticky.
    I think very much needed as a lot of guys are not comfortable doing this.

    As you see.... It's VERY easy to do. I'd suggest that you guys that want to do this ,go over the process a few times (dry run) if you still unsure.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    1bad2k likes this.
  16. May 5, 2018 at 3:04 PM
    #16
    Hank Heel

    Hank Heel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    Member:
    #197637
    Messages:
    1,183
    Gender:
    Male
    WA
    Just did this, mine was not low
     
    over60 likes this.
  17. May 11, 2018 at 8:39 AM
    #17
    CT3

    CT3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Member:
    #234229
    Messages:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chad
    Vehicle:
    2018 White TRD Off Road 4x4
    nice write up. does the truck have to be level?
     
    jwest1974 and over60 like this.
  18. May 11, 2018 at 4:44 PM
    #18
    over60

    over60 Over70 & still a "Grumpy Old Guy"

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Member:
    #44995
    Messages:
    4,601
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    John
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2016 Inferno (Punkin) TRD 4X4 Sport DCLB w/upgrade & tech pkg..!!
    Toyota running boards/Solid Fold 2.0/custom stickers/Anti-Dark LED light under hood/Derped grill/Scoop, etc.
    YES...!! Very impotent !!
     
    AxisCab and CT3 like this.
  19. May 11, 2018 at 6:47 PM
    #19
    TacoGreg

    TacoGreg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Member:
    #234375
    Messages:
    104
    Gender:
    Male
    Tomball TX
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4
    Thanks for this.
     
  20. May 12, 2018 at 5:45 AM
    #20
    rowsdower

    rowsdower [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Member:
    #242680
    Messages:
    95
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks guys. I've added that as Step #1 in my original post.
     
    over60 likes this.
To Top