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DIY transmission fluid change question for IS250

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Old 07-05-12, 08:14 PM   #16
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This may seem counter-intuitive, as one may argue regular fluid changes may have extended the life of the transmission, but owners were advised not to do this. ZF/BMW responded that by the time the fluid would theoretically need changing, the process of flushing with new fluid, combined with newer detergents, would lead to failure anyway. This is what led to their claim of lifetime fluid.
Exactly why I stated to start fluid changes early and if not, then leave it alone. Waiting until the fluid "needs changing" is not being pro-active.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:16 PM   #17
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Well unfortunately these days, "lifetime fluid" should not be taken to mean "forever". More like, "a pretty darn long time", I'm thinking about 150,000 miles after which 99% of people will have scrapped/totaled/traded in their car or whatever. It's that 1% who do more that you got to watch out for. Just like "unlimited" internet/cell phone plans and "all-you-can-eat". It's just marketing talk until someone goes overboard and spoils it for everyone.

The transmission does not last forever with zero maintenance. Eventually the clutches, bands and brakes inside the tranny will start to slip because they are all wear items. The transmission fluid is meant to lubricate these items, and the transmission fluid filter is meant to trap particles that could cause additional wear. Sure, the whole transmission and the fluid can be engineered to last a very long time--150,000 miles? 250,000 miles? That's possible, but certainly not forever. In fact, the maintenance schedule stops at 150,000 miles, with no mention to replace the transmission fluid. Perhaps it was only engineered to last that long.

Now I'm not recommending that anyone should change their tranny fluid regularly. It is quite a complicated process but that goes hand in hand with why Toyota engineered it to last so long.

I know most people say they love their car and want to drive it until the wheels fall off (or the tranny fails ) But be realistic; chances are a newer and better car will come out and you'll get that instead. So you're just wasting your time changing the tranny fluid.

And here's the guy who did 250k miles and his tranny is slipping.
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I am right outside of 250,000 miles on my 2006 IS250. I have to say this is one of the most amazing, efficient, and low maintenance car that I will ever drive. All I have done is oil changes with MOBIL 1 full synthetic, replace the brakes every 50,000, replace O2 sesnor, 120,000 mile tune up, and replaced A/C compressor. I did not go by the Lexus Preferred Maintenance program. Now obviously with this many miles issues will come up, such as the transmission is starting to slip, rear axles are knocking, overheating if sitting in idle for more than 15 minutes in 100 degree heat and that's about it. It is still smooth in idle when in most cars when you hit 100,000+ miles you have to replace the motor mounts. I have modded my car with exhaust, rims, and slammed 4 inches off the ground. All in all if my car was to break down on me today I would walk away with a smile knowing that coming from a Mercedes C230 5 years ago with 120,000 miles that in the end had to be towed away from a couple of thousand dollars. I am a lifelong Lexus customer.
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Old 07-05-12, 09:06 PM   #18
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Some people have nothing better to do lol
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Old 07-06-12, 05:21 AM   #19
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Well, there's really two issues here-

1) Should it be changed, period?

2) If so, how?


For question 1 the answer is no for 99+% of owners, since all the anecdata we have suggests that unlike german crap the 2IS transmission easily goes north of 150,000 miles on the factory fluid... the one guy at 250k says it's "starting" to slip. So for nearly everyone it's irrelevant. For the <1% who want to push into the 250-300k range as original owner it might make sense to change it, say, every 50k or so depending how hard you drive... certainly not every 15k. For folks who bought it used with 100+k on it it might do more harm than good.

For question 2 the answer is obviously find a shop with the machine and adapter- you'll get ALL the fluid changed in one shot, without risking repeated contamination of the system by having to open and close it up over and over and over, and for a LOT less of your own time and lower overall cost than the 1L at a time method of DIY.
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Old 07-06-12, 05:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
Well, there's really two issues here-

1) Should it be changed, period?

2) If so, how?


For question 1 the answer is no for 99+% of owners, since all the anecdata we have suggests that unlike german crap the 2IS transmission easily goes north of 150,000 miles on the factory fluid... the one guy at 250k says it's "starting" to slip. So for nearly everyone it's irrelevant. For the <1% who want to push into the 250-300k range as original owner it might make sense to change it, say, every 50k or so depending how hard you drive... certainly not every 15k. For folks who bought it used with 100+k on it it might do more harm than good.

For question 2 the answer is obviously find a shop with the machine and adapter- you'll get ALL the fluid changed in one shot, without risking repeated contamination of the system by having to open and close it up over and over and over, and for a LOT less of your own time and lower overall cost than the 1L at a time method of DIY.
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Old 07-06-12, 09:11 AM   #21
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QFT
the important question is how you know if your dealer really change the entire fluid. Or, they just write it in the bill and so be it?
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Old 07-06-12, 09:26 AM   #22
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the important question is how you know if your dealer really change the entire fluid. Or, they just write it in the bill and so be it?
You really wouldn't know. I'm sure there are a few shops out there that would just do the drain and refill and tell you the full transmission service was done. You'd probably have to ask to see them actually doing it in order to prove that it was actually done.
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Old 07-06-12, 09:57 AM   #23
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I'd ask them how they intend to do it, and see if they actually mention what is really involved (both the fluid exchange machine and more importantly the special toyota-specific puck adapter to replace the heat exchanger)

If extra paranoid then yeah, ask to watch.

If they fail either check go elsewhere.

Probably you can call the company that sells the machine/adapter and ask for shops in your area that own em.
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Old 03-04-14, 08:30 PM   #24
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Hey guys it's a play on words "Lifetime in vehicle mileage or usage" is 100K
Change your WS atf.
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Old 04-19-14, 10:20 PM   #25
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Yes you should change your transmission fluid as soon as you hit 70k, I've seen many is350s blow a transmission because the fluid is bad. I've had shifting problems with mine and when you beat on it it felt like a stick shift setup bouncing in gear. As soon as I changed it, had it flushed by dealer, it shifted like new. I now have put 40 more k on the car and it's perfect. Transmission fluid after use starts to get microscopic metallic pieces in to it, it holds more heat and damages seals and internal parts. I worked for Lexus and all techs severed out cars at every 70k. I mean sure it might last 200k+ on old fluid but why take the chance?
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Old 04-19-14, 10:46 PM   #26
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In my opinion, I would send a small sample of your transmission fluid every 25k or so to black-stone labs to do an ATF oil analysis.

Here is the link:
http://www.blackstone-labs.com/transmission.php

EVERY VEHICLE GOES THROUGH DIFFERENT DRIVING CONDITIONS & WE ALL LIVE IN DIFFERENT REGIONS AND CLIMATE CONDITIONS, there is only an indirect correlation between mileage and transmission fluid life. Sending your transmission fluid every so often to blackstone lab is the only way to verify the actual condition of the fluid.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:42 AM   #27
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Know any lexus dealers in So Cal with the exchanger machine and puck adapter????
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Old 04-21-14, 11:19 AM   #28
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I had mine changed at around 95k miles, and yes it's recommend to replace the ATF. According to my SA, it's a 2 people job at the dealer and they have to use special tools (puck adapter) to open the transmission converter. It's not a 100% replacement, but around 80%. After changed, the car does feel smoother than before, and you can have a service record at the dealer showed that you have changed the fluid. If the transmission blows due to bad/old fluid, you can always go back to the dealer.
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Old 07-22-14, 05:14 PM   #29
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Does this apply to the manual transmission 2IS? I have 105000 miles on mine and just took it in to Toyota dealer to do the oil change, they recommended to do the tranmission fluid change soon since Its never been done on the car.
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Old 07-23-14, 03:25 PM   #30
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No. Manual transmission on the IS is a simple drain and fill, like most other manual cars.
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Old 07-23-14, 03:25 PM
 
 
 
 
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