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Transmission fluid, draining & flushing (The Mother thread)

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Old 09-02-13, 12:40 AM   #451
xhifer
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Whats the most accurate way to check fluid level?
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Old 09-02-13, 01:23 AM   #452
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Whats the most accurate way to check fluid level?
see my post, two post earlier (post #450)
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Old 09-02-13, 02:30 AM   #453
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No, short term low fluid will cause slipping/jerking, but does not do permanent damage just on a test drive

the fluid level you described is low, but not critically low



you fill it using the cold mark on the dipstick, then you take it on a test drive for say 20 minutes or so, enough to get the transmission fully hot, then you slowly add fluid up to the hot mark with car on extremely level ground, after stopping and shifting through the various gears, ending up in Park

I would then check it again in a similar fashion the following day, once again with it fully hot after an extended drive

try and not overfill it, though slightly overfilled will not hurt anything, and is preferable to underfilled
I have to admit that I have a really hard time seeing that fluid level on the stick... i mean that thing is as clear as water almost (especially with new fluid I put in). It takes me three of four tries to see the little shiny layer of fluid on the stick.
Is there a better way or at least a trick that will help me see it better?
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Old 09-02-13, 09:37 AM   #454
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Originally Posted by peterls View Post
I have to admit that I have a really hard time seeing that fluid level on the stick... i mean that thing is as clear as water almost (especially with new fluid I put in). It takes me three of four tries to see the little shiny layer of fluid on the stick.
Is there a better way or at least a trick that will help me see it better?
you have to get it in the glare of the light to see the level, and it will often only be visible correctly on one side of the stick, so flip it over when reading
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Old 09-02-13, 09:38 AM   #455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterls View Post
I have to admit that I have a really hard time seeing that fluid level on the stick... i mean that thing is as clear as water almost (especially with new fluid I put in). It takes me three of four tries to see the little shiny layer of fluid on the stick.
Is there a better way or at least a trick that will help me see it better?
make sure to wipe the dipstick thorough dry beforehand

you have to get it in the glare of the light to see the level, and it will often only be visible correctly on one side of the stick, so flip it over when reading
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Old 09-02-13, 10:18 AM   #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterls View Post
I have to admit that I have a really hard time seeing that fluid level on the stick... i mean that thing is as clear as water almost (especially with new fluid I put in). It takes me three of four tries to see the little shiny layer of fluid on the stick.
Is there a better way or at least a trick that will help me see it better?
Are you sure that you have put the right ATF JWS3309 in the transmission?

I have done allready 2 drains and fills with mobil jws3309 but no problems here with checking the level.
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Old 09-03-13, 09:12 AM   #457
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Default Trans Fluid

What type of Transmission fluid should I use in my 1996 Lexus LS400 ?
Its currently doing 130 K
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Old 09-03-13, 11:40 AM   #458
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Toyota Type IV. Compatible fluids are available as mentioned within the thread, for ease Toyota is safe and easy to obtain in most locations.
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Old 09-04-13, 07:05 PM   #459
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isn't the OEM trans fluid strictly Toyota T-IV whereas the power steering fluid would be Mobil?
Toyota doesn't manufacture any fluids, they buy them from the petroleum refiners, sometimes to an improved spec, sometimes not - Toyota T-IV is merely relabeled Mobil 3309 ATF that is just sold in a Toyota bottle. It's Aisin who specifies this fluid.

so if your Mazda or Volvo or Saab dealer has a better price, you can certainly buy your Mobil 3309 from them:

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by LScowboyLS; 09-04-13 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 01-14-14, 01:50 PM   #460
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If this question has been asked before, please forgive me.

I'm considering purchasing a 1995 that has 16,000 miles. (Yes, 16,000.)

I realize that the advice is to do several drain and fills rather than than a single full flush, but would the low mileage of this vehicle allow a full flush right off the bat, or does the same advice apply to all transmissions, regardless of mileage?

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-14, 08:52 PM   #461
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Just did a recent transmission fluid and filter change and wanted to pass along a few things.

Though the transmission fluid on my recently purchased 2000 ls400 with 140k was nice and red, I wanted to change the filter b/c I was pretty sure it hadn't been done (got the filter along with quite a few other parts via the awesome and amazing Sewell Lexus site at a VERY nice discount I might ad). I also wanted to make sure the fluid is Toyota Type IV. The job is not that difficult, but there are a few things to know. First, the brace that runs beneath the front of the pan has to come down - 4 bolts, no prob. Second, be gentle taking the pan down - you do not want to bend the pan. I did have to gently tap a chisel or something between the pan and the transmission in a couple of places to break the original seal. Also, you will think that the dipstick tube won't come apart, but be patient, continue to wiggle it, and it will (I removed the mount up in the engine compartment - but I think this is unnecessary). Third, Lexus does not use a gasket between the pan and the transmission, but rather a red silicone sealer to mount the pan. I took quite a bit of time and cleaned all of that silicone off of the pan very carefully using a razor blade (a scratch in the surface can lead to a leak!) and finishing with a plastic kitchen scrubby. It took time but worked nicely. It was pretty much like new when I was through. Of course I cleaned the pan thoroughly and made sure the magnets were in place. I used a new drain bolt and crush washer I had gotten from Sewell Lexus. I've had good luck getting pans to seal in the past using just the gasket (no sealer), and I prefer this method as it makes the next change go infinitely faster. I did made sure all of the old sealer was gone from the bottom of the transmission as well (feeling with my fingers to make sure) before re-assembly. I re-assembled the pan to the transmission working my way around evenly tightening the pan bolts and careful not to over-torque them and voila ... no leak, no prob. Everything good.

I did catch and measure the amount of fluid that came out. I was a bit surprised that it was right at 4 qts - several post on this site state it should be about 2 qts. Maybe it's less if you do a quick drain and refill without taking the pan down. I will say, the fluid kept draining out of the transmission for awhile.

Hope this helps someone. This site has been a huge help to me. Thanks, all!

Last edited by ChileDawg; 06-06-14 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 11-06-14, 09:50 PM   #462
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so is there a definitive answer as to whether or not its ok to "safely" (through the cooler line method like on LexLS) all at once put all new fluid into the transmission? i know some people will say that the old fluid provides the friction material where the clutch plates have worn, but if there aren't any metal shavings in the pan does that mean that this is no longer a concern? i'm at 112,000 miles and the fluid is pretty dark, but it's not burnt smelling and on the dipstick it doesn't even look that bad. you also got LScowboyLS over there (where's he been these days anyway) saying the clutch packs are "non-wear" and i know the A650E is a pretty damn good transmission. as long as i follow the cooler line flush procedure correctly should i be worried? even on the official service schedule there's never any mentions of flushing anything
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Old 11-06-14, 11:20 PM   #463
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I've not visually seen any shavings from our LS400 following a drain interval. Ours is done ~2 quarts from the drain plug though. The first tranny service the tech drained from the cooler line. As long as what comes out is replaced you'll be fine. No worries.

The info I've read mentioned "inspect" every 60K. On most that do go 60K, the fluid is pretty dark. The fluid in dad's Corolla with 45K was nearing black. But he drove it short city runs so I can see the frequent shifting was contributing the the fluid change. On highway driven cars where it isn't shifting as frequently, the fluid lasts a good spell.
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Old 11-06-14, 11:51 PM   #464
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anything to add on the whole "getting rid of the old fluid will remove the necessary friction material and the trans will stop working properly" theory? it seems like this transmission was designed so that the pan *should* never have to be taken off (drain plug, FIPG, oil "strainer" not a filter). i don't think my pan has ever been taken off and i'd really like to get a nice look in there and see the state of the magnets.
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Old 11-07-14, 12:29 AM   #465
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Quote:
getting rid of the old fluid will remove the necessary friction material and the trans will stop working properly
Sounds funny to me because the fresh fluid will not have any depletion of the additive package. The old fluid if analyzed will show that it will have changed from a fresh baseline. To be exact where it is relative to miles/km is unknown.

Even the so called no maintenance sealed WS trannies in the '04+ LS and other Lexus/Toyota models has shown to drop when the miles add up. Those cars are showing shifting issues without change. This all reverts back to other discussions that the fluid must be changed at certain intervals to keep the tranny happy.
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