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Toyota 6 speed transmissions #5433676 05/19/20 08:25 PM
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mjk Offline OP
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Hello,

I picked up a 2011 Avalon the other week. While reading up afterwords, I realized that these have the dipstick - less transmissions. There is a long video out there:

Transmission inspection/drain/fill

The process to do a check, drain, etc. is ridiculous. What are other owners doing - going to a dealer, or a trusted transmission shop to do this?

Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you.


One other thing - there is no such thing as a 'lifetime' fill, is there? It seems like they designed it to make this whole process a headache to the owner....

Last edited by mjk; 05/19/20 08:27 PM.
Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433681 05/19/20 08:33 PM
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Astro14 Offline
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I've DIY'd mine...

Toyota TechStream was easy enough to buy and install on an old Win XP laptop. Very useful in determining transmission fluid temperature.

Last edited by Astro14; 05/19/20 08:34 PM.

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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433683 05/19/20 08:34 PM
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UG_Passat Offline
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Neither. A reputable independent mechanic. For you, one that specializes on Toyota/Lexus.

Me, I go to a independent VW shop.


2016 VW Tiguan|APR Stage 1|Neuspeed P-Flo|Osram CBI|Redline 5w30
Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433688 05/19/20 08:37 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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What percent of people actually change the automatic transmission fluid themselves in 2020? I'm guessing it's not 1%.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433694 05/19/20 08:45 PM
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JeffKeryk Offline
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I think that video is a joke.
Lotsa people do a spill and fill and simply replace the same amount of atf.

I am about to service our Lexus GS350 F Sport; I will pick up the strainer (filter) and pan gasket tomorrow.
I will do several spill and fills; finishing with the straw dribble at the proper temperature.

At the end of the day, it's just nuts and bolts.


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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433707 05/19/20 09:03 PM
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JMJNet Offline
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There are other video on drain and fill methodology and how to read the ATF temperature.

You may want to check those to see if you want to DIY.

It is not that difficult.

I think since this trans has been in used for more than 10 years, a lot of "Good" trans shop should know how to do it.


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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433709 05/19/20 09:11 PM
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CELICA_XX Offline
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That is certainly ridiculous.

The cost of the tools required might exceed the cost of the entire vehicle!


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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: CELICA_XX] #5433726 05/19/20 09:32 PM
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JMJNet Offline
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Originally Posted by CELICA_XX
That is certainly ridiculous.

The cost of the tools required might exceed the cost of the entire vehicle!


You don't need those tools.
Did you read my post about checking other youtube videos.
Most of them just wait till the temperature in range and open the drain plug to drain till it dribble.
Close the drain plug.

A lot of the OBD-II scanner can be programmed to read the temperature in Toyota vehicles.

It was a problem when it was new but not now in 2020.

The most difficult is to make sure that the car is level when checking the ATF level.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433727 05/19/20 09:35 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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You can probably just drain it cold and measure the amount and put in the same amount you took out smile

That's what I'd do ontome

Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433756 05/19/20 10:30 PM
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AZjeff Offline
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This was a great thread here on BITOG last year on how to change trans fluid on a 2014 RAV4 with the 6 speed using the trans cooler lines to drain and fill. Maybe your Avalon is similar? What's so hard about measuring how much comes out and replacing it?

Toyota fluid swap



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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433904 05/20/20 06:57 AM
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zfasts03 Online Content
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Why not use a infrared thermometer on the trans. pan to measure fluid temperature?

They are available for under $20

https://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Lasergrip-774-Non-contact-Thermometer/dp/B00837ZGRY/ref=sr_1_14?crid=1RQ35ETPQOJSC&dchild=1&keywords=infrared+thermometer&qid=1589975810&sprefix=infra%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-14


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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5433948 05/20/20 08:11 AM
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Pelican Offline
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That procedure IS ridiculous that's why they have ATF exchange machines, the whole thing can be done in 1/2 hrs at the cost of approx $250 at the dealer, a trusty & knowledgeable indie would charge the same probably or close to.
This is an expense that one incurs every 3 yrs or so. The DIY is OK if you are young and nimble and if you don't factor in your time, but for me it's the machine at the dealer. smile

Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5434020 05/20/20 10:14 AM
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I have a 2010 Avalon XLS with 56K miles. I simply have my trusted Toyota Dealer perform a simple drain & fill at every 50K miles. Trans runs excellent! I really luv this generation of the Avalon I feel the look and quality is Lexus like amazing.
These transmissions are very finicky on fluid & level be sure to use the Toyota WS fluid .

Last edited by RISUPERCREWMAN; 05/20/20 10:28 AM.

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Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5434027 05/20/20 10:24 AM
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Farnsworth Offline
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If it isn’t leaking I guess they stand by the life time fill unless manual says otherwise. They may have gone this route to prevent wrong fluids or too much fluid being put in. Anytime there is something to play with, there will be a certain number of diyers who will start fixing what isn’t broken. There is a progression towards less maintenance with improved materials and technology too.

Re: Toyota 6 speed transmissions [Re: mjk] #5434073 05/20/20 11:33 AM
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JEL01 Offline
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In my old 4th gen 4runner and RX it’s just been let them sit overnight, drain into large clear container, mark exactly where the fluid level was, refill container with exactly the same amount of Toyota bottled WS, pump it back in and on my way.

I do leave the bottle of WS out right next to the car on the ramps overnight so the temperature should be extremely close, always worked well for me


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