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Old 02-18-13, 05:04 PM   #1
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Arrow ATF oil replacement RX400h

I'm thinking to change the gear oil, and I'd like to DIY as I did in the past for most of my previous cars.
So, I browsed around a bit to see if I could find any explanations, but without success.
Now, I can't believe that I'm the first to face this basic maintenance operation, also because it's now well known that the "fluid for life" claim is just a joke.
So, I'm wondering if the problem actually lies with my web search capacities...

The few details which I've been able to collect so far are as follows:
Capacities: 3.9 qt. for the front transmission (no tow package) and 1.8 qt. for the rear.
ATF type: Toyota Genuine ATF WS.
That's all I found in the US user manual.
But for some reason which I'm missing completely, in the European manual it's also specified that this Toyota "ATF WS" stuff conforms to specifications JWS3324 (or alternatively NWS9638).

Are you folks aware of any procedure/explanation/further details available somewhere, either in this or other forums?
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Old 02-19-13, 12:27 AM   #2
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i agree it should be changed some who have done so around 90 to 100K have reported the fluid looked pretty brown and old. I also read its a simple drain and fill, no filters, i think its just open the drain and locate the fill at the top of the transmission when done.
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Old 02-19-13, 07:24 AM   #3
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Do a search and you would find my change info....here it is...
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/hybr...ial-plugs.html
make sure you use Toyota type WS fluid only, it is the only compatible with the CVT tranny....
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Last edited by thomas1; 02-19-13 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 02-19-13, 03:10 PM   #4
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I did both last year and it is easier than changing your oil. Just drain and re-fill. I think the plugs were 10 mm hex heads.
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Old 02-19-13, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas1 View Post
Do a search and you would find my change info....here it is...
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/hybr...ial-plugs.html
make sure you use Toyota type WS fluid only, it is the only compatible with the CVT tranny....
Precisely what I was looking for, many thanks!
LOL, didn't I say at the beginning that the reason why I didn't find it had probably more to see with my poor web search skills than anything else...?
By the way, in your thread it's also mentioned another thread you posted on another forum. But this time I found it!
Here's the other link, just in case anyone else is interested...
http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums...rential-fluid/

There's just one thing which sounds weird: the user Iluvlexus reported his experience of draining the CVT and having about 6 qt. pouring out, whilst refilling up to the fill plug it only takes 4 qt. (as stated in the user manual, actually).
This made me wonder if in the OEM filling, before assembling the car, they put more oil inside than it's possible when the car is level.
And if that is the case, after the refill we would have fresh oil - which is good of course - but also a lower quantity, which might be not so good....
Your experience after the refill?
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Old 02-20-13, 07:40 AM   #6
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the other key in the fluid change they recommend filling to plug hole depth, run the car and recheck the height of the fluid....The only other way is to use the Toyota Handheld tool to energize the pump for the transmission. I have done the change twice with no issues. About to do it again...
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Old 02-20-13, 01:17 PM   #7
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Understood, thanks again.
Re. your two changes, as I understand you didn't have the Tpyota tool and you re-checked the level after running the car, right?
If so, how much more oil was required after the initial filling, if any?
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Old 02-20-13, 09:20 PM   #8
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both times nothing had to be added, the fluid was at the bottom of the fill hole....I remember putting a hose in and pumping more in which just over flowed out.....
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Old 02-21-13, 03:39 AM   #9
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Sounds good.
Will report the result on mine as soon as I'll have some spare time for that...
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Old 01-29-14, 08:48 AM   #10
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New owner of a 08 RX400h AWD with 68,900 miles and just changed the CVT fluid. As others have noted the fluid was quite dirty. I also found that the fluid level from the factory was above the fill plug opening with the vehicle level. Approx. 1/2 quart drained from the fill port. Total fluid drain was approx. 4.2 quarts. Was able to add approx. 3.9 quarts though the fill port before fluid began coming out. I don't have a service manual so I'm not sure what the recommended procedure is. However, I'm concerned that a simple drain and fill is not getting the desired amount of fluid in the transmission. I did drive the car after the initial fill and it was still at the top of the fill port when rechecked. I decided to tilt the car by driving the right wheels onto 2 2x6s. I was then able to add approx.1/3 quart and get it to the same quantity as from the factory. I would be very interested to see the service manual procedure. I know the some other cars require the engine to be running when you add fluid via the fill port to get the correct amount of fluid. Drain and fill procedure on these cars do not get enough fluid in the transmission. I also found it curious that the capacities in the owners manual are different for the transmission with and without the towing package. I would not have expected the fluid in the transmission to be different, only the total capacity. Maybe some fluid in the cooler added by the towing package is above the fill port... Does anyone know the total capacity of the CVT fluid system?
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Old 01-29-14, 12:48 PM   #11
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Looks like 4.4 US Qts.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Service Data Sheet.pdf (232.9 KB, 201 views)
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Old 02-21-14, 06:53 PM   #12
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I took a sample of the ATF during my fluid change and sent it to Blackstone Labs for analysis. Their summary is as follows:

There's quite a bit of metal in this sample, though this oil has a few things working against it -- its oil
run was ~24,000 miles longer than averages (which are based on just 44,000 miles on the oil), and this is
the factory oil (so some of this could be from wear-in). Look for metals to improve a bit next time, and silicon
should improve too. Insolubles were high at 0.1% of the sample, showing oil oxidation due to heat and/or
use. For now, we'd try about 50,000 miles on the next oil and check back, assuming you're not having any
problems. If you are, use fewer miles.

I will definitely be changing it at 50K intervals.
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Old 02-21-14, 08:13 PM   #13
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Thank you for the feedback, I am on a once a year or 25k miles interval....
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Old 02-22-14, 09:54 AM   #14
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By the way thank you for that input on the fluid, Great info. Just shows everyone that it is not lifetime fluid.
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Old 02-23-14, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas1 View Post
Thank you for the feedback, I am on a once a year or 25k miles interval....
I'm curious how you arrived at 25K for your interval. I think my next one will be around the 44K the lab indicated as the average, and I'll do another fluid analysis. Considering the cost of ATF fluid, a $25 fluid analysis is reasonable.

I'm still wondering about the extra 1/2 quart that drains from the fill port....
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