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2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill #3503553 10/06/14 09:40 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
Y
Yota Offline OP
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
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.


'13 Avalon 55k
'05 Corolla 156k
'03 Matrix 165k
'16 Pilot 76k
"00 Saturn 100K
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503563 10/06/14 09:51 AM
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Greasymechtech Offline
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Use the dipstick.


At what point should a lurker start posting :-)
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Greasymechtech] #3503572 10/06/14 09:56 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
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JC1 Offline
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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.

Last edited by JC1; 10/06/14 10:02 AM.

2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 Eco-Power/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503575 10/06/14 09:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
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supton Offline
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You state that it has a dipstick; I'd go by that.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 194k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 155k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 215k, his
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503582 10/06/14 10:08 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
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Yota Offline OP
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Joined: May 2013
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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.


'13 Avalon 55k
'05 Corolla 156k
'03 Matrix 165k
'16 Pilot 76k
"00 Saturn 100K
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: supton] #3503584 10/06/14 10:09 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
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Sayjac Offline
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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.

Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503618 10/06/14 11:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,088
J
JamesBond Offline
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J
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,088
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.

Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503629 10/06/14 11:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,673
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hypervish Offline
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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.


2000 Lexus RX300 AWD 234k miles
QS Ultimate Durability 5W-30
Tranny - Castrol Transmax IMV / T-IV
Transfer Case and Rear LSD - Royal Purple 75w-90
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503647 10/06/14 11:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 37
J
JJ717 Offline
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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.


Lana: 2005 Lexus ES330 150K
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503693 10/06/14 01:03 PM
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MaximaGuy Offline
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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.


2018 MB GLE350
2011 Lexus ES350
2006 Toyota Highlander 4WD
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503726 10/06/14 01:38 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
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Yota Offline OP
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 8
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!


'13 Avalon 55k
'05 Corolla 156k
'03 Matrix 165k
'16 Pilot 76k
"00 Saturn 100K
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3503859 10/06/14 04:24 PM
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wing0 Offline
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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.


Last edited by wing0; 10/06/14 04:34 PM.
Re: 2009 Highlander ATF Drain/Fill [Re: Yota] #3504755 10/07/14 03:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,553
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asand1 Offline
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It shouldn't be in gear unless you're suicidal. Check it hot running in park or neutral. Owners manual should say which.


2004 GMC Yukon SLuT
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