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How to Drain/Refill Automatic Transmission

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Fortech, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Apr 17, 2016 at 10:37 PM
    #661
    TacoYes

    TacoYes Well-Known Member

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    This is all excellent information. I just dropped over 700 at the dealership for the 120K maintenance. I see on TW all the things done during the maintenance appointment. They recommend this be done every 60k. It would be nice to have all of these recommended preventive maintenance items in one spot on TW. I understand this may not be necessary :deadhorse: but it would be nice for the less informed to know what needs to be done every 60k and how to do each.
     
  2. Apr 18, 2016 at 6:57 AM
    #662
    smugly

    smugly Well-Known Member

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    some and more and more and more and
    They're kind of is already.
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/3rd-gen-diy-maintenance-quick-reference.406712/
     
    TacoYes likes this.
  3. Apr 18, 2016 at 7:05 AM
    #663
    TacoYes

    TacoYes Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, thank you Smugly, great picture. I haven't looked in the 3rd generation, it will be years before I am looking at the this generation, unfortunately. This thread you link is great, what
    great information in one spot. My bad for not finding this before posting :oops:. I would suggest the members not so mechanically inclined like myself to check this out. Paying 700-800 every 60k is a lot considering I drive 50k a year :eek:. Reading all of the threads about the fluid changes has given me the confidence to start doing this myself. Have always changed my own oil and filters. Thanks again to all who put together the DIY threads, very time consuming, much appreciated.

    Oh no, just realized this was post number 666 :devil:. If I never post another reply send a search party:eek:. Hopefully I can post #777 I will then go directly to a casino. Not superstitious at all...
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  4. Apr 18, 2016 at 7:30 AM
    #664
    ejl923

    ejl923 Well-Known Member

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    For people who still have trouble with the temp check mode, it took mine mine an extra shift or two from the 6 shifts posted. I dont know if its because it was too fast/too slow and didnt recognize or what, but go a couple extra shifts and the light just may turn on.

    Also anyone else's truck become real rough idling when doing temp check mode for the first time? I thought it wasnt going to stay running for short time.
     
  5. Apr 18, 2016 at 7:35 AM
    #665
    smugly

    smugly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, but hmmmmm! I hadn't heard anything about the rough idling part
     
  6. Apr 18, 2016 at 8:50 AM
    #666
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    Mine did. Thankfully went away when the wire wad removed
     
  7. Apr 18, 2016 at 5:44 PM
    #667
    TacoYes

    TacoYes Well-Known Member

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    As previously stated, took my truck in for the 120k maintenance last Friday. Found out they only do the drain and refill, stating the flush only causes problems... I was also told they do this for the radiator. The more I read the more I want to do all of this myself, thanks to those who write the threads/sticky's on how to/diy.
     
  8. Apr 21, 2016 at 12:47 PM
    #668
    2015WhiteOR

    2015WhiteOR Well-Known Member

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    I just did a drain/fill at 10,000 miles. Partly because I was concerned the fluid level was low from the factory and also because I want to get into a habit of changing the trans oil on a regular basis. My last truck had an early death because of a trans failure and I think more frequent maintenance would have helped it. The drain/fill required 4 quarts of WS ATF so that's roughly $32 per year which is cheap peace of mind.

    Anyway, I have a 2015 with the factory tow package. I do mixed city/highway driving, light towing, and generally drive like a granny around town. Not a fan of wasting gas.

    First of all, I would not recommend bypassing the factory AT Temp check light procedure and going with an external temp reading with an IR thermometer or simply by feel on the pan.

    It's spring right now so temperatures are as moderate as can be. I did the fluid change on my truck after it sat in a garage all night (the floor in the garage is level). The thermometer hanging on my garage wall read 74*F at the time I did the procedure. There is full shade in my garage and there was a light breeze.

    No problems loosening the overflow or fill bolts. Once I popped the drain bolt, just a smidge under 3 quarts of bright red fluid drained out. I gave it about 10 minutes to drain and it was a slow drip by the time I torqued the drain bolt back on.

    Then, I used a bottle pump to fill the transmission up with 3.5 quarts of fresh WS ATF. No problems there. Bolt the fill bolt back on.

    Get in the vehicle, turn on the engine, while holding the brake down, move the shifter between each gear, giving about 2 seconds to allow for the valve body to move fluid. Turn off the engine. This was maybe 3-4 minutes of time.

    Just for kicks I then took an IR reading of the pan to see how much it had gone up in temps. Ambient was 74 and the pan read 76.

    Take a piece of wire, jump the OBD connector, put in the key and turn on the engine. Foot on brake, shift from P to N, and then go from N-D, D-N, N-D and in my case I gave about 1 second between each shift. AT TEMP light comes on and then you put it into P and the light goes off. Now we wait for the trans to warm up.

    I waited a few minutes (cleaning up all my tools, etc) and took an IR reading of the pan. 86*F. Continued to wait more as I did other chores.

    Around the time that the IR temp reading of the pan read 98*F I sat in the truck to wait for the light. To my surprise, within a minute or two the AT TEMP light came on.

    I went back under the truck and took another IR temp reading of the pan and it was right around 100*F. Then I undid the overflow plug, and watched as about 6 ounces or less of fluid came out. Recall that my initial drain was a smidge under 3 quarts, and with all of the overflow now in the drain bucket, it was just a smidge over 3 quarts. (BTW- I hate that the factory manual describes the ideal level as a "trickle", but I feel that a trickle is faster than a drip, but is not a continuous stream of fluid.)

    Let's say it was 2.9 quarts before and 3.1 quarts after. In ounces, that is 99.2 ounces minus 92.8 ounces which is a difference of 6.4 ounces.

    Bolted the overflow plug back on. Out of curiosity I went to see if the AT TEMP light was blinking at this point, but nope it was still solid. The overflow drain procedure probably only took 5-7 minutes so you'll have ample time to do the check.

    So to hit back on my previous point in bold, if I had bypassed the AT TEMP OBD jumper procedure, and gone strictly by the IR temp reading, I would have probably been at the upper edge of the temp check range. I figure by the time the pan read 115*F, the fluid temp as recognized by the truck would have been 130*F which is too hot. I'm not going to write a thesis here, but the moral of the story is that going by an IR gun or feel is highly inaccurate because there are way too many variables that can affect the surface temperature of the trans oil pan. A moderate breeze, or even hot concrete can adversely affect the reading.

    Oh also regarding whether the truck was underfilled from the factory -- I drained 2.9 quarts (92.8 ounces), I put in a total of 3.5 quarts (112 ounces) and the overflow amount was 6.4 ounces. The truck was underfilled by approximately 12.8 ounces. Not really a big deal but I'm glad to have it at a proper level now.
     
    spitdog and NAAC3TACO like this.
  9. Apr 21, 2016 at 1:02 PM
    #669
    Lester Lugnut

    Lester Lugnut Well-Known Member

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    Where are you sourcing WS for $8 a qt?
     
  10. Apr 21, 2016 at 1:13 PM
    #670
    2015WhiteOR

    2015WhiteOR Well-Known Member

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  11. Apr 21, 2016 at 1:36 PM
    #671
    2015WhiteOR

    2015WhiteOR Well-Known Member

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    I just got back from a test drive and everything was fine. Shifts felt the same and I still had that occasional dorky stumble when the transmission is trying to figure out which gear it should go into. Since we know the fluid level is correct, it's probably just a flaw in Toyota's programming of the shift points. I figure an ECM reflash could fix it but I'm not too concerned since transmissions are designed to shift. It's mostly just a seat of the pants annoyance.
     
  12. Apr 22, 2016 at 3:54 AM
    #672
    stump jumper

    stump jumper Well-Known Member

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    I hit the outlet side of the line running to the radiator and not the pan with the IR thermometer. I compared the reading to the pan and it was like 10 degrees higher. I would not go by the reading on the pan.
     
  13. Apr 22, 2016 at 4:20 AM
    #673
    ejl923

    ejl923 Well-Known Member

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    I think the point is to use the temp check mode on the truck, it is more accurate and assures the correct level. I think some people get intimidated about sticking wires into the OBD. Im a very mechanical/car savvy person and even i was hesitant but here's the deal, its really simple to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  14. Apr 22, 2016 at 9:31 AM
    #674
    Lester Lugnut

    Lester Lugnut Well-Known Member

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    Not bad - I bought from an ebay seller -> e-tech-enterprises - a few weeks ago - charged about 50 cents a qt. more. Still better than the dealers near $12 qt. with tax.
     
  15. Apr 22, 2016 at 6:48 PM
    #675
    MikeyMcFly

    MikeyMcFly This is heavy, Doc.

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    It's absolutely an ECM problem. I had that issue with wonky shifts, and had the transmission replaced under warranty.

    I checked the level via this method on the new one and it was basically perfect to start. I had accidentally drained too much since I checked too hot. When I refilled what I drained, I had a what may have been bit more than a trickle (a very thin constant stream, a flow just prior to turning to drips) which I found sufficient and is okay based on what I've read here.

    My new transmission shifts identically to the old unit. It must be ECM on the newer trucks.
     
  16. Apr 22, 2016 at 6:54 PM
    #676
    2015WhiteOR

    2015WhiteOR Well-Known Member

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    It occurred to me today that this method of checking the fluid level is actually quite nice, even though we're all perceiving that it is worse than a traditional dip stick. Basically once you achieve the "trickle" then it's just a matter of bolt everything back up, make sure there are no leaks, and forget about it until the next time you service it.

    But yeah the only part that Toyota/Aisin screwed up on was using the term "trickle". Way too ambiguous. In your case and mine, I figure that having a little extra fluid won't hurt since we know for sure it isn't OVERFILLED. The difference between a thin steady stream and the "correct" trickle is probably 2oz or less anyway.
     
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  17. Apr 22, 2016 at 7:58 PM
    #677
    jsnm23

    jsnm23 There are no solutions; only tradeoffs.

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    Exactly what I was I thinking. As long as you don't have a solid stream pouring out or absolutely nothing pouring out you are pretty damn close to perfect
     
  18. Apr 24, 2016 at 3:50 PM
    #678
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    I changed my tranny fluid out about 2500 miles ago - shifts MUCH better - no more jerking when the tranny shifts with the cruise control on. Don't even really notice the shifts anymore. So glad I finally got this done!! Had 61,000 miles when I changed it.
     
  19. Apr 24, 2016 at 6:11 PM
    #679
    stump jumper

    stump jumper Well-Known Member

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    I tried 3 times and mine would not go in to check mode.
     
  20. Apr 24, 2016 at 6:13 PM
    #680
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    It took me about that many times. Watched the video's about half a dozen times and finally got it into the temp check mode. By then it was too hot, but it went right in the next morning.
     

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