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Transmission fluid change?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by nchiker1, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Jul 6, 2020 at 4:08 AM
    #1
    nchiker1

    nchiker1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Picked up an ‘04 with 185K on it. The transmission fluid has never been changed or flushed.

    My local transmission shop said at this point it wouldn’t be a good idea to change the fluids because the transmission could seize up.

    Question-would it be a good idea to have Toyota change the tranny fluids? Would they take responsibility for the truck if such a problem arose?
     
  2. Jul 6, 2020 at 4:14 AM
    #2
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    You can call and ask, but they will likely decline too. But there's no magic in 'who' does the task anyway.




    I would tell you what I'd do if it were mine, but then if you did that, and things went south, I'm not taking responsibility for it either. :anonymous:

    PS, was your local transmission shop an independent location, or a franchise like Aamco? Do they mostly swap transmissions, do fluid changes, maybe seals? Or do they actually break down, rebuild and bench test them? Curious........
     
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  3. Jul 6, 2020 at 4:23 AM
    #3
    nchiker1

    nchiker1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    “No magic in who does the task”
    I don’t expect a different outcome based on the work. Just wondering if Toyota might fix things up if it ends up going south. ;)

    They’re a local shop specializing in transmissions, and they do everything up to rebuilding them. They have a good reputation. They rebuilt the rear differential on a different vehicle of mine years ago.
     
  4. Jul 6, 2020 at 5:36 AM
    #4
    Abeyancer

    Abeyancer Not so secret, secret van guy

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    @nchiker1 how about a life story to give you some perspective?

    I've bought ALOT of shit boxes for vehicles over the years and everytime I get a new to me vehicle, I swap the fluids. I don't care how many miles are on it and what kinda condition the rest of the rig is in.. ALL those fluids are getting changed. But being a backwoods outta my own driveway mechanic I've never "flushed" the transmission in an automatic, I've only drained the pan and refilled through the dipstick tube.

    Flushing is when the professional shop hooks up the inlet and outlet of the transmission (usually at the cooler) and forces fresh fluid through the system until the outlet runs clear. On older transmissions this can be a serious problem because deposits can be forced into tiny orifices and block the fluid path during normal operation causing all kinds of issues


    That being said, the ol drain the pan and refill, run it awhile, drain the pan and refill again.. run it some more. And rinse and repeat until the fluid is clear again has never caused catastrophic failure in my countless crappy vehicles...


    on some ratty cars that I've had big dreams of fixing I've wasted more money on fluids than what the car is worth :anonymous: I had a 87 VW rabbit with a 3speed auto and 320k on a broken odometer, and that POS got 300 bucks in royal purple fluids when I bought it for 250... oh to be 18 again


    Anyway. Just my early morning .02
     
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  5. Jul 6, 2020 at 5:50 AM
    #5
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the shop. They make money changing fluids but good ones also know massing with a high mileage working transmission is a recipe for disaster. It generally takes about a week or two before you are forced to walk while they rebuild the trans. They don't "seize up" they just quit moving when there is no longer any facing on the clutch plates.
     
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  6. Jul 6, 2020 at 6:00 AM
    #6
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Well-Known Member

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    Eh. My first vehicle was a chevy. Got it flushed when I first got it at 124,000 miles. It did exactly what @Abeyancer said, some crud got washed into the valve body and it would not shift correctly or stay in gear.. $100 and a new valve body and it was still doing fine 100,000 mi later with zero issues.

    So, here's how I see it. Drain and refill is the safest option. Gets fresh fluid in there, which is good. Option 2 is to flush it, and be prepared to do further work on it to get the valve body cleaned out and working again.

    Some say its the used bits of transmssion clutch plate that you're washing out that is holding it together. If that is true, how far do you think it would have gotten you anyway? Better to get it dealt with on your schedule.
     
  7. Jul 6, 2020 at 6:57 AM
    #7
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    Well @nchiker1, now that others have said it, I'll join in.

    This would be my method too. A simple drain and fill, maybe multiple times (say in 1-2k intervals) over time. I'd probably drop the pan and clean (if metal) or replace the filter as part of the 2nd drain and fill as well.

    As others stated, personal experience on more than one neglected unit has proven this to be a reasonable method.

    To me the whole 'flush' thing is just a fast way to do a full fluid change and empty your wallet.
     
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  8. Jul 6, 2020 at 7:24 AM
    #8
    Marshall R

    Marshall R Well-Known Member

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    Drive it until the transmission dies. If the fluid in there is not compromised changing it now won't hurt anything. Won't help either. If the fluid in there is bad the transmission is on it's last legs and changing it won't save it.

    But leaving the old fluid in there will buy you some time. There is a good chance you'll get several more years out of it. Changing bad fluid for new fluid at this point will very likely lead to a failure within a few hundred miles.

    ATF does not serve the same purpose as engine oil. It doesn't get dirty like engine oil, and it doesn't wear out unless it gets too hot. Miles, or years mean nothing. Only heat. The life of most transmissions is determined by lots of other factors. Many econobox cars transmissions have a life expectancy of around 150,000 miles. Others will exceed 400,000 miles. Changing the fluid does not increase life expectancy unless it has been overheated. Never let the fluid overheat and there is no need to change it.

    The guys who tow a lot, especially on the heavier side could probably benefit from changing their fluids, but for most of us it is a waste of money.
     
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  9. Jul 6, 2020 at 8:30 AM
    #9
    austinsdad99

    austinsdad99 Well-Known Member

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    Do about 4 drain and refills over a period of time. Loosen drain bolt only a few quarts will come out. Replace with same amount that drained out. Done.
     
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  10. Jul 6, 2020 at 9:23 AM
    #10
    Plain Jane Taco

    Plain Jane Taco Open the pod bay doors please, HAL

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    I did exactly what some are recommending on a high mileage Yaris that I bought for my oldest daughter. I did 4 DAFs over the course of a couple of weeks....with the 1st DAF accompanied by a pan drop and filter change. A few months later I did a 5th DAF just for shits and giggles....all with Valvoline Maxlife.

    2.5 years later....nothing to report except a smooth shifting transmission.
     
  11. Jul 6, 2020 at 10:02 AM
    #11
    Wulf

    Wulf I never finish anyth

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    did a 180k mi drain and fill on my Lexus with A340 transmission and Valvoline Max Life, shifted better afterwards.
     
  12. Jul 6, 2020 at 11:25 AM
    #12
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Suit yourself I was only the shop manager the owner with 40 year experience said "either sign a waiver or we won't do it". Times have changed transmission are far better than in the 80's all the more reason to leave it alone if it ain't broke don't fix it.
     
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  13. Jul 6, 2020 at 11:28 AM
    #13
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Just drain and fill it, skip the flush
     
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  14. Jul 6, 2020 at 11:31 AM
    #14
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Woke up and chose violence

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    Drain and fill.

    Make sure you remove the pan, and go through the process of turning the vehicle on and shifting gears to get all the fluid out.

    Clean or replace the filter as well (it's just a screen, I ran brake cleaner through mine).

    I chose the Toyota FIPG to seal the pan back up because I developed a leak when I used the gasket, torqued to spec and all.

    20200203_155249.jpg

    20200205_123853.jpg

    Months and several wheeling mall crawling trips later, no leaks.
     
  15. Jul 6, 2020 at 12:28 PM
    #15
    yodataco

    yodataco Well-Known Member

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    I was going to post this on another thread but I'm going to do a atf change along with replacing the filter. Question is that I bought the filter from a OEM toyota parts discount and it came with some light dings. You think it's ok or should raise hell with them?

    20200706_121341.jpg
    There's a ding on the inlet hole lip.
     
  16. Jul 6, 2020 at 12:32 PM
    #16
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Woke up and chose violence

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    Just roll it back out
     
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  17. Jul 6, 2020 at 12:43 PM
    #17
    yodataco

    yodataco Well-Known Member

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    You mean just send it back or bend it back with pliers.
     
  18. Jul 6, 2020 at 1:05 PM
    #18
    Morden

    Morden Active Member

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    I've read that attempting to flush out the screen with cleaner really doesn't accomplish much; you can't reach every bit of the screen and debris that gets flushed loose may still remain in the corners of the filter body. The best thing to do is to replace the filter with and oem part. Some people have reported fitment issues with aftermarket equivalents.

    Go to 17:21.

    https://youtu.be/tuGazNhuEtM?t=1041
     
  19. Jul 6, 2020 at 1:06 PM
    #19
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Woke up and chose violence

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    Replacing is absolutely the best way, but I needed to take care of my leak immediately.
     
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