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When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota #5313796 01/05/20 10:12 AM
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NavyBlue Offline OP
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Hello everyone,

I bought my first Toyota this past week. My Toyota is a used 2013 Highlander 4WD V6 (non-hybrid) Limited. The original owner bought it in Oct 2013. So the 2013 Highlander and the ATF is over six years old with total mileage of 19,800 miles. There is no trailer hitch.

I plan on using the Highlander as a second vehicle that will run 4,000 miles per year. That will bring me to 24,000 miles in the next 12 months. I know that the service manual says 60,000 miles for fluid change if doing towing. I won't be towing.

But because the age will approach seven years old after the coming summer and the fact that WS fluid is not synthetic, should I do two rounds of drain and fill in the summer? Or can the transmission safely continue with the old fluid for an additional 2.5 years without having any abnormal damage until it approaches 30,000 miles at which point the fluid will be approaching nine years old

thanks

Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313799 01/05/20 10:17 AM
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Rolla07 Offline
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Highly doubt you would have any issues leaving it well enough alone. You could swap it, but id do just 1 drain and fill.


2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967
2015 Toyota Venza Parisian Blue Pearl 25k miles
TGMO 0W20 & OEM filter

Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: Rolla07] #5313805 01/05/20 10:24 AM
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LotI Offline
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Originally Posted by Rolla07
Highly doubt you would have any issues leaving it well enough alone. You could swap it, but id do just 1 drain and fill.

I agree. Transmissions don’t get contaminated with combustion byproducts so time matters less. I would d&f as soon as you can and then get back to schedule.


03 Honda Interceptor
11 Kawasaki KLR 650
12 Ford E450 Cutaway
19 Buick Regal TourX http://www.fuelly.com/car/buick/regal_tourx/2019/loti/943992
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313806 01/05/20 10:24 AM
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NH73 Online Content
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It is OK to use Valvoline Maxlife ATF as well.


2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
2012 Gravely ZT XL 48 w/ Kawasaki FR730
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313825 01/05/20 10:45 AM
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danez_yoda Online Content
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If I were to do it again and depending on your usage I would do a simple (well relatively) drain and fill every 30 K miles. This is only ~ 3 qts drained and replaced. You will need a way to monitor the transmission temperature to set the fluid level correctly. I use a cheap ODB2 code reader and a torque pro app or equivalent to do this. make sure the truck is on level ground not a inclined garage or driveway.

once you get that part done, go at it. Remember to be clean when you do it so you don't get dirt in the transmission. One of the motivations to remove the dipstick was that was where a lot of the dirt was getting into the transmission. I'm sure there were more business decisions for that but that technical reason is one i would buy as one of the few advantages of a sealed transmission.

It is more difficult to service properly though that is for sure.

Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: danez_yoda] #5313828 01/05/20 10:53 AM
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maxdustington Offline
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Originally Posted by danez_yoda
If I were to do it again and depending on your usage I would do a simple (well relatively) drain and fill every 30 K miles. This is only ~ 3 qts drained and replaced. You will need a way to monitor the transmission temperature to set the fluid level correctly. I use a cheap ODB2 code reader and a torque pro app or equivalent to do this. make sure the truck is on level ground not a inclined garage or driveway.
You don't need to check the temperature for a drain and fill.

I would do a D&F with Maxlife right now because it's not that cold in Toronto. Lubegard Red optional, but encouraged.

Forget about the age of the fluid, it has 19k km on it. This is the perfect time to change the transmission fluid and get all the break in junk out of it.


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313875 01/05/20 12:12 PM
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2010Civic Offline
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Stick with Toyota fluid. Not sure why you would put some "universal" fluid in your transmission to save a few bucks. I would do a drain and fill every 25k miles.


2010 Honda Civic LX
Valvoline SynPower 5w-20 - Napa Gold oil filter
59,992 miles
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313894 01/05/20 12:35 PM
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Farnsworth Online Content
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You are in good shape for a long time. Before using a one type for all look what this says.

https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/idemitsu/atf-cvtf/atf

Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NH73] #5313915 01/05/20 01:21 PM
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atikovi Online Content
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Originally Posted by NH73
It is OK to use Valvoline Maxlife ATF as well.


If you want to save $10-$20 in fluid on a part that would cost $3-4,000 to replace, go right ahead.

Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: 2010Civic] #5313921 01/05/20 01:25 PM
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blupupher Offline
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Only you can decide if it is worth it to you to change now or later (or not at all).
I do an initial change (drain and fill) @ 30,000 miles, then @ 50,000 do a filter change if it has one, then every 25,000 miles after that do a drain and fill.
Why, because that is what I feel works for me. I have no proof except my vehicles are still working, but they may have been if I had done nothing either.
Originally Posted by 2010Civic
... Not sure why you would put some "universal" fluid in your transmission to save a few bucks. ...

Because it works and may even be better for less?


'18 Santa Fe: PP 10W-30/OEM
'18 Soul: Synpower 5W-30/PG
'10 Santa Fe: Synpower 5w-30/D+
'04 F150: Magnatec 10w-30/ST
'12 xB: M1EP 0W-20/CQ Blue
'02 F150: Magnatec 5W-20/D+
'94 VT1100: Peak 15W-40/D+
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: 2010Civic] #5313922 01/05/20 01:27 PM
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Wolf359 Offline
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Originally Posted by 2010Civic
Stick with Toyota fluid. Not sure why you would put some "universal" fluid in your transmission to save a few bucks. I would do a drain and fill every 25k miles.


Yeah if you read the specs for Maxlife ATF, it works for Mercon V, LV, Dextron, I, III and VI and many more. I would just get the one that it's speced for. The only reason for Maxlife is so a shop doesn't have to stock so many fluids. It actually isn't even certified by many manufacturers to meet the spec which is why the list of fluids says recommended, not approved.

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Publ...bd3/3fa3136a-09bd-e711-9c12-ac162d889bd1

Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313927 01/05/20 01:40 PM
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Pelican Offline
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[align:left][/align]As someone else said you don't have to worry about the transmission temperature for a D & F, but you must make sure that the temp of the fluid coming out is the same as that going in so that you have an equal amount of volume. I'd stick to OEM fluid.

Last edited by Pelican; 01/05/20 01:40 PM.
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5313989 01/05/20 03:43 PM
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You are asking a tough question and will get many opinions. Time is more important than mileage in coolant and brake fluid changing. ATF is not subject to combustion leftovers. Your ATF has only been run 7 years and 20K miles.

First thing I would do is try and get service records from Toyota if that is where the Highlander was serviced. My son has an '09 Highlander and it has an AT dipstick and I don't know 100% if yours has a dipstick or not. I'm 90% sure you do have an AT dipstick.

If it were my Highlander, I would do a D&F now and again at 30 and again at 40...It's easy to do an drain and fill with a dipstick. AND I would only use Toyota WS. It was made specifically for your transmission. There are other multi-vehicle ATF's that some people and shops use in their transmissions. Toyota makes a T-IV and a WS. 2 different ATF's. Some multi-vehicle ATFs say their ATF works in both transmissions. My question is, "How can this be?" How can a multi-vehicle ATF fill the bill on 2 different specs? Not being a jerk at all. I just don't understand how that is possible.


'98 LEX LS400 305K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 70K

Shell Gas and Truck 5W-30
PP HM 10W-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: NavyBlue] #5314013 01/05/20 04:05 PM
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simple_gifts Offline
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Quote

" How can a multi-vehicle ATF fill the bill on 2 different specs? Not being a jerk at all. I just don't understand how that is possible.


You assume the different specs are mutually exclusive, which for LV type fluids probably aren't.

You appear to be using SN rated oil in your 4Runner; odd since SL rated is what the manual says.... One performance spec may exceed another's

Last edited by simple_gifts; 01/05/20 04:06 PM.

2004 Prius; 126K; ALM
2007 Yaris 103K ATM
2006 B2300;137K;ALM


Was driving an ox cart; Now on the USS Enterprise
Re: When to drain and fill ATF for Toyota [Re: Gebo] #5314022 01/05/20 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Gebo

If it were my Highlander, I would do a D&F now and again at 30 and again at 40...It's easy to do an drain and fill with a dipstick. AND I would only use Toyota WS.


I (mostly) agree with this. I use the "what if it were mine" and apply my knowledge and care at that level.

I would do a d/f mainly to get break-in material out. Serious studies have shown that helps, though it's ideal to do it to systems much earlier on.
I wold do one now with MaxLife or Lubegard ATF (both better than WS, though WS is factory...). I would add Lubegard Red if not using Lubegard ATF (that ATF is a little harder to find, but Amazon has it and it's not pricey).

Critically, I would drive and take careful note of transmission performance/response/shift points before i did the D/F. then do the same afterwards. You know have a metric of "is 20k a good interval?" If you feel a noticeable difference, then stay on that interval. If no difference, do the next one at 50k and repeat. If a difference, then shorten to 25k for the next one. Honestly though, given the low annual usage, this is unlikely to work practically... wink

Using the above technique, I have set 30k interals on our Lexus with a robust Aisin 5 speed, and 20k intervals on my SUV with a weaker and less reliable GM transmission.

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