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2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap #5153118 07/06/19 02:15 PM
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cdm1993 Offline OP
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I recently changed the transmission fluid. Figured I make a quick write up on how to flush the transmission fluid from a 2014 Rav 4 2.5L FWD (59,800 miles on car and fluid). This is a cooler line swap, and not a pan drop. Measure the amount that is taken out, and put that same amount back in. The filter will have to be changed eventually by dropping the pan, but that method also requires a specific temperature to refill the fluid as well as a pump.

What I used:
-Clear plastic tubing
-Worm clamp for tubing
-3 gallons of Maxlife ATF
-Funnel
-A way to measure the old fluid
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

First locate the cooler. It looks like a hockey puck. There are 2 coolant lines and 2 transmission fluid lines. Circled in red (larger circle) is the cooler. Circled in green (smaller circle) is the return line. The return line is held on by a clamp. Pop off the clamp (may need some coaxing; 5 years of heat soaking made it stubborn) and remove the hose. Attach the clear tubing with a worm clamp and tighten it down.
[Linked Image]
Feed the tubing to your measuring device (I used an empty Maxlife jug). place the funnel on the return line hose. My funnel was a tad too large. A turkey baster with the squeezer removed fit nicely, and the funnel fit in the baster.
[Linked Image]
Have someone start the vehicle while you monitor the tubing. I pumped out 2 quarts at a time. After 2 quarts, turn off vehicle and refill with 2 quarts of clean ATF. The residual fluid left in the tubing was minimal and I adjusted the refilling for it. There may be some leakage when refilling, but compensate for it by adding a little more on the refill. There are tick marks nicely placed on the Maxlife jugs which I used for measuring.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
These units are "Lifetime" fills, but the fluid was darker than I would like it to be. Maxlife and Toyota WS can be used, but I hear Maxlife is the better choice. It shifts very nicely on Maxlife. For what it's worth, it took me 12 quarts until the fluid was looking bright red, while the manual states this unit takes much less than that (I believe around 7 quarts).

Took me about 2 hours to do this. Hope this was helpful.

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153124 07/06/19 02:26 PM
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SteveG4 Offline
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Nicely done. I've learned something today.


Somewhere between Alaska and Wisconsin...
2006 Silverado LT Crew Cab 4WD & 2013 Equinox AWD
Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153146 07/06/19 02:52 PM
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Dan55 Offline
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Great post, looking to do this on my Lexus !


2016 Lexus NX200T 2017 Mustang Conv Eco Prem
Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153159 07/06/19 03:15 PM
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Corollaman Offline
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I switched my Corolla over to maxlife, seems to shift the same maybe a little smoother. At the maxlife price point I'd definitely switch any WS application to maxlife without hesitation.

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153160 07/06/19 03:17 PM
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AZjeff Offline
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Unbelieveable! I have a 2014 RAV4 with 60,265 miles and was just thinking about the trans fluid, not buying into the lifetime fluid either. Over on a RAV4 forum they're scared silly about changing the fluid without the special tools. I thought measuring/refilling at room temp seemed crazy simple and you've proved it. A million thanks!!

Looks like it'd be easy to bypass the factory coolant cooler and plug in a plate/fin air cooler if you wanted. Good stuff.



14 RAV4 2.5 5W-20 PP
18 Nissan Titan 5.6 DI, 0W-20 QSUD

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153299 07/06/19 07:04 PM
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racer44 Offline
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Just this 4th of July I did a drain an fill in my wife’s Rav4 cold. I drained almost 3 quarts out and put 3 quarts of WS fluid in with 5 ounces of Lube Gard Red. Drove 5 miles to mix up the fluid and the next morning warmed up the transmission and removed the drain bolt and measured the fluid temp to 104 degrees and when the fluid slowed put the drain bolt back in was all done. This is at 30,000 miles.

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153490 07/07/19 04:44 AM
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AurionX2 Offline
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Dropping the pan has its benefits, even if it's just to check the magnets on the bottom of the pan for metal shavings. But nevertheless you've done well swapping the fluid.

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5153647 07/07/19 09:36 AM
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JeffKeryk Offline
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I am about to service our GS350. This sounds like a perfect method. Thanks!


2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
2006 Acura TSX
2001 Tundra Access Cab, 1998 Accord LX, 1968 Corvette L36 Roadster, 1965 Olds 4-4-2
Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: racer44] #5153686 07/07/19 10:35 AM
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cdm1993 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by racer44
Just this 4th of July I did a drain an fill in my wife’s Rav4 cold. I drained almost 3 quarts out and put 3 quarts of WS fluid in with 5 ounces of Lube Gard Red. Drove 5 miles to mix up the fluid and the next morning warmed up the transmission and removed the drain bolt and measured the fluid temp to 104 degrees and when the fluid slowed put the drain bolt back in was all done. This is at 30,000 miles.


I would like to drop the pan and check out the filter. What did you use to measure the fluid temperature?

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5154045 07/07/19 05:07 PM
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racer44 Offline
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cdm1993
I used a digital temperature gage in the flow of transmission fluid as it drained. After starting I went thru all the gears then opened the drain bolt.

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5154254 07/07/19 10:25 PM
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MaximaGuy Offline
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Curious does the radiator have transmission cooling line in the bottom - is this a new setup with Toyota's of unique to Rav4?
The heat exchange through this tiny cooler's aluminum surface is too little to cool the ATF.


2018 MB GLE350
2011 Lexus ES350
2006 Toyota Highlander 4WD
Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: MaximaGuy] #5154716 07/08/19 01:24 PM
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AZjeff Offline
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Originally Posted by MaximaGuy
Curious does the radiator have transmission cooling line in the bottom - is this a new setup with Toyota's of unique to Rav4?
The heat exchange through this tiny cooler's aluminum surface is too little to cool the ATF.


It is a coolant/ATF fluid heat exchanger but it does seem small looking at it.



14 RAV4 2.5 5W-20 PP
18 Nissan Titan 5.6 DI, 0W-20 QSUD

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: MaximaGuy] #5154779 07/08/19 02:31 PM
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cdm1993 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by racer44
cdm1993
I used a digital temperature gage in the flow of transmission fluid as it drained. After starting I went thru all the gears then opened the drain bolt.


Good to go thanks.

Originally Posted by MaximaGuy
Curious does the radiator have transmission cooling line in the bottom - is this a new setup with Toyota's of unique to Rav4?
The heat exchange through this tiny cooler's aluminum surface is too little to cool the ATF.


I did not see anything coming out of the radiator except for the coolant hoses, so I think the small heat exchanger is it. I forgot to mention this is a prior lease vehicle that was mostly driven in Phoenix, AZ. We got it at 20,000 miles. I don't live in Phoenix, but it is not uncommon for temps to go above 110 there, and the road temps much higher than that. With increased heat build up from stop and go driving in that big city, it wouldn't surprise me if the fluid was on its last legs. Should have got a UOA.

After some more driving the shift quality is definitely smoother.

Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5154807 07/08/19 02:51 PM
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MaximaGuy Offline
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I would install a real cooler - looks like every other manufacturer is taking short cuts, even the location of the cooler is suspect.
A 2.5L has tons of space to put one - under the battery is a great location for a REAL cooler.


2018 MB GLE350
2011 Lexus ES350
2006 Toyota Highlander 4WD
Re: 2014 Toyota Rav 4 2.5L FWD Transmission Fluid Swap [Re: cdm1993] #5382929 03/22/20 12:23 PM
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cdm1993 Offline OP
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Update: Rav4 now has 69,xxx miles and is still shifting nicely. Nothing noticeably different between WS fluid and Maxlife.

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