2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill

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8
Location
Eastern PA
Thread starter
Just picked-up a new to me 2009 Highlander. 71k miles and not sure of the history. I started replacing the fluids and have come upon an issue with the ATF drain and fill. This model has the U151E transmission (used in many Toyota applications in both sealed and non-sealed modes) with the drain and dip stick. During the ATF drain, 4 qts 6 ounces came out. I drained it cold, after sitting overnight. I've searched everywhere for the correct amount to fill and the only reference I can find is the Amsoil website. Nothing from Toyota. The Amsoil website states to refill 3.8 qts. I was thinking 4.6 is too high (from factory) so I split the difference and replaced 4.2 qts. I used Toyota WS. Anyone else replace ATF in this transmission and if so, how much drained and filled? Anyone see any issue with the current amount at 4.2? Thanks in advance for any suggestions/feedback.
 

JC1

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4,499
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I did some searching and I see the suggested capacity is around 4 quarts. Even if you overfill it a little, it will not cause damage. What is the level on the dispstick? What are your plans for maintaining the tranny? I do an annual drain and fill on my 98 Sienna is she runs like it`s brand new. I also drop the pan and change the strainer (aka filter), every second year). Regards, JC.
 
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Messages
8
Location
Eastern PA
Thread starter
Hi All, Thanks for the quick replies. My experience with the dip-stick is not good. smile The stick constantly reads high and (at least for me) is difficult to accurately read. I have a hand pump and I took out 8 from the dip, but the reading still looked over the highest mark. I put it back in...same thing. I tried to read it hot, with the car in P, car in N, etc...still _ and I'll claim user error_ the reading seems high. I'll try again tonight. Thanks again for the feedback.
 
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14,460
Location
The Old North State
Originally Posted By: supton
You state that it has a dipstick; I'd go by that.
+1. And follow the owners manual procedure for how to check the dipstick level.
 
Messages
1,112
Location
midwest
It's almost impossible to get a good dipstick reading after you've recently filled it through the dipstick tube,the fluid on the sides of the tube obscures the reading. Drive it around then park it over night then check the level according to the owners manual the next day. Read it on the first pull of the stick, subsequent readings will be less clear.
 
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1,673
Location
new jersey
I have that transmission in my Lexus ES. It takes 4 quarts of Toyota Type-IV. Yours is a newer Toyota, so that likely explains the Toyota WS fluid requirement.
 
Messages
37
Location
Central PA
Originally Posted By: Yota
Hi All, Thanks for the quick replies. My experience with the dip-stick is not good. smile The stick constantly reads high and (at least for me) is difficult to accurately read. I have a hand pump and I took out 8 from the dip, but the reading still looked over the highest mark. I put it back in...same thing. I tried to read it hot, with the car in P, car in N, etc...still _ and I'll claim user error_ the reading seems high. I'll try again tonight. Thanks again for the feedback.
You're reading it hot while the engine is running, right? Typically the reading looks very high when the engine is off. My 98 Camry would read 2 inches over the "hot" marks when off, even when it sat overnight. My Lexus ES330 (same transmission as yours, but running the T-IV fluid) is an inch or so over the "hot" marks when off. Hot and running is going to be the most accurate way to check the levels, so I'd start by replacing exactly what you drained out, letting it sit a few hours so all the fluid drains back down the dipstick tube, then a quick highway drive to warm the trans, and adjust from there.
 
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1,548
Location
Austin, TX
Level is checked when hot on a level surface. The way I do the check is have someone sit in the car and move to D with the hand brake and brakes engaged. Then someone else pulls the dipstick and checks level, it ideally has to between H and L. I usually go with the lower side towards L to be sure it isn't overfilled (1/4th above from the L line). Checking in park would show an inch above H mark but then it isn't the right way to check level.
 
Messages
8
Location
Eastern PA
Thread starter
Thanks guys for the feedback. @MaximaGuy...I'll check it tonight following your directions. I did not know the car should be in gear; makes sense. I appreciate taking a minute to respond!
 
Messages
311
Location
Ontario, Canada
I remember the way to check at both cold and hot is to go thorough all gears. Stopping at each one for 10 seconds or so. P r n d 3 2 1 and then the same back up to P. Check dipstick. Cold is done when car left to cool down overnight and the 1st start. Do the above and check dipstick. It should be at the cold mark. Hot is after car is completely warmed up, say a highway run. Go through the hard and check if it reach the hot mark. This is for 2001 lexus.
 
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