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Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill #4660682
02/09/18 09:37 AM
02/09/18 09:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 629
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 629
McGregor TX
Guys,

I have a 2012 Toyota Highlander 2WD with the 3.5L V6. I did a transmission drain and fill at 30K miles and another at 60K miles. Both times the fluid looked/smelled fine. Both times I replaced with genuine Toyota WS ATF. I do not tow anything. Most miles are highway miles (probably 75/25 highwy/city) and I travel about 15-16K miles in a year.

I've always done 30K mile drains/fills on my other vehicles. I've done it on my 2002 Toyota Tacoma since new using Mobil 1 ATF. I've done it on my 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe since new using Genuine Hyundai SPIII ATF. Both vehicles have over 210K miles now with no transmission issues.

My question is this: considering that Toyota *never* recommends changing the fluid in this transmission, is 30K miles overkill in your opinion? I have about 82K miles on the car right now. I did the last ATF drain/fill at 60K. I was thinking about waiting until 100K (instead of 90K) which would make it a 40K interval and then going to 50K intervals after that. I like easy-to-remember numbers. :-)

Thoughts on the interval? To me, it seems like 50K mile intervals should be sufficient.

PS. I know some will recommend switching ATFs. I have heard Maxlife is a good substitute for WS. But I generally feel better using OEM ATF. The only reason I went with M1 in my 2002 Tacoma is that it recommended Dex III and that was a popular standard that many fluids adhered to at the time. With all of the manufacturers essentially having their own standards these days I just like to pay a few bucks more and use OEM. To each their own.

Last edited by mrdctaylor; 02/09/18 09:58 AM.

02 Tacoma 3.4L, 219K, Magnatec 10W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 179K, Edge HM 10W40
12 Highlander 3.5L, 96K, M1 EP 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 31K, Hav ProDS 5W30
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660689
02/09/18 09:43 AM
02/09/18 09:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,226
NoVA
Jimzz Online happy
Jimzz  Online Happy
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,226
NoVA
I would try Maxlife next time and then check at 30k/40k and change at 50k if it looks good at 30k/40k checks.


yup
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660690
02/09/18 09:44 AM
02/09/18 09:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,447
Toronto Canada
WobblyElvis Offline
WobblyElvis  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,447
Toronto Canada
Since the 70's I've been changing the fluid and filter every 100,000 miles, maybe less often. Never had a transmission failure.

Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660694
02/09/18 09:50 AM
02/09/18 09:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,081
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline
edwardh1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,081
Coastal South Carolina
I have an 04 highlander, I drain and fill (no flushing, no pan removal) at about 60-75 k. car has 150k on it now. atf t-4 for mine is 3 quarts for $17 at dealer.
what I dont understand is toyota says different atf specs for different years, ws and T-4 , but max life says one product for all WS or t-iv . how is that explained. so I went with oem.

I have used it
maxlife in my MAXIMA and its good I think.

Last edited by edwardh1; 02/09/18 09:51 AM.

These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: WobblyElvis] #4660697
02/09/18 09:51 AM
02/09/18 09:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 839
CA, USA
paulri Offline
paulri  Offline
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 839
CA, USA
How far do you take these cars--do you keep them to 200K miles and beyond?

My Civic has had one flush at 175K, I bought it at 80K and I was given no records at all at that point, so this might have been the only time it was changed. I'm just wondering myself, how often I should be draining/flushing.

Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
Since the 70's I've been changing the fluid and filter every 100,000 miles, maybe less often. Never had a transmission failure.


2005 Toyota Sienna LE; 156,000 miles
1998 Honda Civic DX; 202,000 miles
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660700
02/09/18 09:53 AM
02/09/18 09:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 9
Pennsylvania
wlk Offline
wlk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 9
Pennsylvania
After replacing a trans in my old dakota, I do all of mine, pan drop and filter, at 20k miles now. Overkill sure but beats a $3000 replacement bill. 20k is what the trans shop recommended, while under warranty they did the servicing. I do all of it now on the other vehicles and did(son totalled it) the Dakota after warranty expired.

Last edited by wlk; 02/09/18 09:59 AM.
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660728
02/09/18 10:18 AM
02/09/18 10:18 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 969
TX, USA
JMJNet Offline
JMJNet  Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 969
TX, USA
I will do every 60k-90k for Toyota after the first 30K.

If it is Ford or Chrysler/Dodge or Honda (not sure about new Honda) then do it every 30K or 1 year.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: JMJNet] #4660799
02/09/18 11:21 AM
02/09/18 11:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 378
Michigan
khittner Offline
khittner  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 378
Michigan
I have a '11 Highlander with the 2.7 liter engine, and the U760E 6-speed transmission. I abandoned WS at the first fluid change and filter ("screen", which it really isn't) change at 30K miles. I used MaxLife for the first change, and Amsoil LV ATF for the subsequent two changes. My transmission shop owner told me that, based on what little they've found in the removed filters and the fluid pan & magnets, that I could stretch future fluid and filter replacements to 50K miles. I did them a bit sooner than that, at 75K miles and 120K miles (45K intervals). No problems and smooth shifting so far at 126K miles. I view major internal transmission work as being the end of my ownership of a vehicle, and I'm hoping to get this one to 300K without major internal engine or tranny work. Hence, my choice of zooty Amsoil for this application; it may not be better than WS, but I feel better about this minor expense to maximize the chances of getting to 300K. "Checking" the ATF's condition in this tranny, and perhaps yours, too, is problematic, given the "sealed"/no dipstick design, so I just do the filter and fluid change. Haven't done a flush or complete fluid exchange; just drain and fills with the pan drop and new filter. Now that ATP filters are available at RockAuto for this tranny, that's what it's been getting, instead of the pricier OEM piece.

Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660801
02/09/18 11:22 AM
02/09/18 11:22 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,373
The land of USA-made Subies!
SubieRubyRoo Offline
SubieRubyRoo  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,373
The land of USA-made Subies!
30k is what I'd stick to. Tranny fluid is cheap if you are doing it yourself; average transmission replacement is likely around $4000 (give or take).

I'd never do a forced flush, just drop the pan and change filter where you can, or drain and fill where you can't. Fresh clean fluid will clean more gently than forced flush.

Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660804
02/09/18 11:23 AM
02/09/18 11:23 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,353
America's Dairyland
LotI Offline
LotI  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,353
America's Dairyland
<opinion on>
50k is a nice round number for today's transmissions using a lifetime fill. If it's easy to change (like my E450, Mazda6, or previous Accords), then you could change it more often, but with your driving style I don't think it's necessary. My Mazda is lifetime but my Accords would signal the MM when it was time, right at 50k. The disclaimer was for any delivery, taxi or mountain driving they recommend 25k.

You've already done more maintenance than 95+% of the cars on the road, IMO. I would use the OEM fluid as it's not that expensive since you're doing it yourself. If I were purchasing your car I would pay more if I saw the changes were done with OEM vs. universal fluid(Maxlife)

The 5R110 in my E450 didn't like Maxlife as well as a licensed Mercon LV.


03 Honda Interceptor
11 Kawasaki KLR 650
12 Ford E450
17 VW GTI
[IMG]http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/803455.png[/IMG]
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660807
02/09/18 11:24 AM
02/09/18 11:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 629
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 629
McGregor TX
Mine actually has a dipstick, so I can look at the color and smell to see if it is burnt. That's about it. WS seemns to get a bad rap on here, but for me it holds up pretty well. I'm thinking I'll probably stick with WS and stretch it 40K this time. And if everything seems fine, stretch to 50K next time. I too like to own my vehicles for a long time, but I'm just thinking 30K may be be overkill. So many people do nothing to their trannies and still get 250K-300K miles out of them.


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 219K, Magnatec 10W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 179K, Edge HM 10W40
12 Highlander 3.5L, 96K, M1 EP 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 31K, Hav ProDS 5W30
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660918
02/09/18 01:08 PM
02/09/18 01:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,571
NH
supton Offline
supton  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,571
NH
If it's not changing color then I have to think you're changing perhaps too often--not that it's a bad thing, just that you could go longer. It's not accumulating anything / breaking down.

Aisin transmissions seem pretty robust. I'm not sure that they need changing sooner than 50k, not if all highway. Too many cars are going 200k+ without any changes to make me believe it's that critical.

I'm with you--do it ever 50k (which means short changing this upcoming one). Real easy to remember what needs to be done this way. I like to do tire rotations every 5k on this basis, and oil changes every 5k or 10k, same rational.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 163k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 190k, his
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4660944
02/09/18 01:31 PM
02/09/18 01:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,788
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,788
Buffalo, NY
I think that first 30-40K mile range is when you're going to remove the highest concentration of wear materials in the fluid, regardless if you can "see" them or not (hopefully not!). To me, that can only be a good thing to reduce those materials to make things easier on bearings, orifices and seals.

Last edited by JTK; 02/09/18 01:32 PM.

2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4661075
02/09/18 03:49 PM
02/09/18 03:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,533
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,533
Marshfield , MA
I ran a 727 Torque flight until the filter cut off the flow to the pump. I'm gonna say the Jeep had 150 K Miles. Dropped the pan and changed the filter and replaced whatever ATF drained out. Revived the trans. The several Getrag 4hp22s I had over 22 yrs of daily driving 5 different cars, just one repair involving R+R'ing the trans. I did drain and fills as a baseline and maybe every 60K afterward. Rugged unit


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Opinions requested: interval for ATF drain/fill [Re: mrdctaylor] #4661152
02/09/18 05:09 PM
02/09/18 05:09 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 455
Connecticut
Sam_Julier Offline
Sam_Julier  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 455
Connecticut
We just inherited an 05 Highlander Limited AWD with 38,000 miles. I did a drain and fill at 40,000 with 4 quarts of OE T-IV fluid. $8/quart at the local dealer. I plan to do have the pan dropped and the filter changed at 60,000 and then do a drain and fill every 20,000 there after. It's a beautiful car that we hope to have for a long time and possibly pass along to a child.

Sam


2005 Highlander 3.3L PC Duron 0W30, 47k
1993 Volvo 245 Delo 10W30, 140k
1993 Volvo 244 Delo 10W30, 152k

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