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#2379101 - 09/16/11 03:18 PM 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd?
hholbein Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 4
Loc: OR
I have inherited a granny-driven Avalon with 40K miles recently and am working on catching up on some maintenance. Most of those miles were driven in Arizona, mostly stop & go around Tucson. No towing, no jack rabbit starts.

As far as I can tell, the transaxle fluid was last changed at the Toyota dealership at 22K miles. The current ATF is a healthy red color, no burnt smell. Dipstick says to use Dexron II or III.

I have had good luck using Transynd in the MT and power steering of my Saturn, which specs Dexron III; Transynd specs claim full compatibility with Dexron III, and costs ~$40/gallon at my local GMC/Allison dealer. I plan on draining the transmission and differential (and if not too hard, radiator/cooler return line) over several 15-20K mile drain intervals to gradually approach 90% synthetic.

Possibly, at that point, I'll increase the drain interval to 50K miles or more, given Transynd's extended service life compared to regular dino ATF.

Any concerns or issues I should be aware of? Approximately how much of the transmission fluid should I expect to change out each interval? 4qts? 6qts? of the 8 to 8.5 qt total capacity of the transaxle?

I gather the differential portion of this transmission drains separately yet fills from the common dipstick. Does the A541E's diff fluid co-mingle enough with the main transmission fluid to merit a drain each time?

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#2379180 - 09/16/11 04:58 PM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
KeithG Offline


Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 92
Loc: Iowa

Doing a drain then cooler line swap will allow you to get to 90% in one shot. Its super easy on these. check out toyotanation for some details.

The diff shares the same fluid with the trans on these and there is a separate drain bolt to get it all out. It can be hard to get a wrench on the diff. drain though.

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#2380352 - 09/17/11 11:02 PM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
rk1407 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 199
Loc: Chicago, IL
I would double check on the filling from the common dipstick. I have a 2000 camry and for the differential I had to drain from a bolt and fill from a bolt and they were not easy to get to. The transmission was a drain bolt in the pan and fill through the dipstick.

I would hate to say you run the car with the differential dry. You might have to fill each separately, double check!

Also, on my Camry it was VERY easy to disconnect the return line from the transmission to do a complete flush. If you can get to it easily in the Avalon I would recommend it.

I changed the ATF in my Mom's CRV who lives in Arizona too and after 45,000 miles it looked like a burnt brown color and her differential fluid was really worn out. When she turned hard in a parking lot the whole truck would vibrate. The point I am making is the Arizona heat is tough on fluids and heat is the enemy!
_________________________
1999 Camry 5sfe 2.2 4cyl - 242,000 and going strong.

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#2380803 - 09/18/11 03:34 PM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
Bullet Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 239
Loc: New Orleans La
Got an Avalon and replaced the fuild in the transmission. I pulled off one of the cooler lines and attached a long hose. I started the car and when the fuild just about stopped coming out I killed the engine and filled the transmission up with a gallon. Repeated until I used three almost three gallons of Super Tec. I didn't bother to pull the drain plug. As for the diff I used ATF 4 because that is what I had on hand. About two years latter no problems. I might do it again in the spring.

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#2380818 - 09/18/11 03:50 PM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
wiswind Offline


Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 1009
Loc: Wisconsin
I have that transmission in my 2003 Sienna.
I have the differential drain plug, but no fill plug on it.
I read that the old, back in the 90's, units had separate fill for the differential.
They changed to common fill in the late 90's to 2000.
I WOULD VERIFY ON MY OWN VEHICLE AS FOLLOWS.

I had read that my 2003 that common fill for the transmission and differential.
I wanted to be sure, so I drained both using their individual drain plugs.
Doing this gets you some fluid that you would not get otherwise.
Then, I put the transmission drain plug back in but left the DIFFERENTIAL plug OUT.
Then, I added new transmission fluid through the transmission dipstick tube, slowly....while constantly looking under the vehicle....and verified that, after some fluid was added and filled the bottom of the transmission pan, that fresh fluid started flowing out the open differential drain plug.
Then, I installed the differential drain plug, confident that I was filling the differential, along with the transmission, through the dipstick tube.

I filled the transmission/differential with fresh fluid in the same amount as I measured that I had drained out.
Then, with fresh fluid in the transmission pan, I removed a cooler line and did the cooler line exchange as mentioned above.

I used Redline D4 Transmission fluid.
Mobil 1 ATF would be another synthetic choice.....as well as a number of others.

The in-pan filter on my 2003 Sienna contained just a nylon screen......as were all the replacment units that I found.
I replaced mine using a Beck/Arnley unit, which came with a nice rubber pan gasket instead of the cork.
However, since the original is only a nylon screen, with nothing visible in it, I did not gain much by changing it.
Wiping down the in-pan magnets and inspecting things to verify that I did not have shaving, chunks or other issues going on is a good idea.
I did install a Magnefine filter in the cooler line coming INTO the transmission FROM the cooler.
This unit has a nice big magnet, in addition to a filter element to catch more stuff than the in-pan setup.

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#2381863 - 09/19/11 04:55 PM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: wiswind]
KeithG Offline


Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 92
Loc: Iowa
I'm sorry I can't give you hard details, but I THINK the Lexus got the shared fluid unit in '99, the Avalon in '00, and Camry after that. I can only be sure that MY '00 Avalon has a shared fluid unit.

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#2382561 - 09/20/11 09:05 AM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
ChiTDI Offline


Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 2057
Loc: Chicago IL
My '02 Avalon has a separate dif plug and it is accesible from behind the drivers side front tire. Same 10mm hex as the trans plug, but doesn't face the ground like the trans plug does. The hex faces the rear of the car, so your wrench (assuming a ratchet with socket) faces the front of the car when you address the plug.
Worthwhile draining the dif, since you get about another quart and a quarter along with the two and a half quarts from the trans.
I've been using a syn Dex III since 30k, and change it annually.
Worth the effort IMHO.
Do change the PCV and oil frequently on these engines. They sludge. I've had good luck with OEM PCV valves. Low cost, high protection.

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#2389058 - 09/27/11 12:47 AM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
moto94536 Offline


Registered: 06/21/10
Posts: 749
Loc: reno nv
I use toyota t-iv to do drain/refill on my 2006 camry v6. Use 10mm hex key. about 3.7qt for drain/refill. Then fill the atf from dipstick hole.

I look for online like amazon. I got them for $5/qt free shipping.

I personally drain/refill atf every 15k.. you can do every 30k too.
good luck
_________________________
2006 toyota camry v6. 334,000 miles. Mobil 1
2010 honda pilot. 23,000 miles. Motorcraft synthetic blend

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#2393176 - 10/01/11 01:24 PM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: hholbein]
wiswind Offline


Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 1009
Loc: Wisconsin
The 2001 calls for Dex III, but most of the best aftermarket fluids will list both applications (T-IV and Dexron III).
I use Redline D4, which is listed for both applications.
I also use the D4 in the power steering.

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#2393786 - 10/02/11 07:38 AM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: ChiTDI]
Techniker Offline


Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: ChiTDI
My '02 Avalon has a separate dif plug and it is accesible from behind the drivers side front tire. Same 10mm hex as the trans plug, but doesn't face the ground like the trans plug does. The hex faces the rear of the car, so your wrench (assuming a ratchet with socket) faces the front of the car when you address the plug.
Worthwhile draining the dif, since you get about another quart and a quarter along with the two and a half quarts from the trans.
I've been using a syn Dex III since 30k, and change it annually.
Worth the effort IMHO.
Do change the PCV and oil frequently on these engines. They sludge. I've had good luck with OEM PCV valves. Low cost, high protection.


The A541E is a transaxle, not a transmission- the transmission and differential are combined into the same unit. Yes, there is a separate drain plug for the differential located on the side- I don't quite remember what the access is like on this vehicle, but if it is anything like the older Camry's (sorry, "Avalons"), it's in a difficult spot to access. The fluid you drain from the transmission (or the transmission cooler lines) communicates with the differential. If this were you first ATF change alone at this mileage, I wouldn't be concerned and since it is the second ATF change, I really wouldn't bother. In the shop, I know we don't drain and fill the differential separately and even at the dealership it's the same story.

-Techniker

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#2401573 - 10/10/11 08:21 AM Re: 2001 Toyota Avalon w/ A541E Transaxle -- Transynd? [Re: Techniker]
ChiTDI Offline


Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 2057
Loc: Chicago IL
Originally Posted By: Techniker
Originally Posted By: ChiTDI
My '02 Avalon has a separate dif plug and it is accesible from behind the drivers side front tire. Same 10mm hex as the trans plug, but doesn't face the ground like the trans plug does. The hex faces the rear of the car, so your wrench (assuming a ratchet with socket) faces the front of the car when you address the plug.
Worthwhile draining the dif, since you get about another quart and a quarter along with the two and a half quarts from the trans.
I've been using a syn Dex III since 30k, and change it annually.
Worth the effort IMHO.
Do change the PCV and oil frequently on these engines. They sludge. I've had good luck with OEM PCV valves. Low cost, high protection.


The A541E is a transaxle, not a transmission- the transmission and differential are combined into the same unit. Yes, there is a separate drain plug for the differential located on the side- I don't quite remember what the access is like on this vehicle, but if it is anything like the older Camry's (sorry, "Avalons"), it's in a difficult spot to access. The fluid you drain from the transmission (or the transmission cooler lines) communicates with the differential. If this were you first ATF change alone at this mileage, I wouldn't be concerned and since it is the second ATF change, I really wouldn't bother. In the shop, I know we don't drain and fill the differential separately and even at the dealership it's the same story.

-Techniker

So you charge the customer for a "transaxle" fluid change but you only drain the transmission and not the differential?

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