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Any ideas why my transmission fluid needs is dirty... AGAIN???!

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Old 06-03-14, 06:19 PM   #1
Jlacck
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Default Any ideas why my transmission fluid needs is dirty... AGAIN???!

I just came from an auto shop getting my car pre-inspected for another trip. They told me the only things they found were dirty air filter, dirty cabin filter, and dirty transmission fluid! I was able to see all three and indeed the filters were dirty. However, the transmission fluid being dirty was a big surprise to me (it looked as dark as dirty oil).

Anyhoo, I just got the transmission fluid changed at a Lexus dealership back in October of 2013. My thought was transmission fluids are suppose to last 30,000 miles. How in the world could my fluids be so dirty after only approximately 10k miles driving since the change?

This has me thinking two things: Either Lexus never did flush and replace the transmission fluid in the first place, OR that wasn't transmission fluid that the auto shop showed me. The only other option I can think of is somehow, something in my car isn't operating effective and perhaps causing my fluid to get dirty so quickly.

The car runs great, doesn't smoke or anything and I just recently had an oil change done approximately a few weeks ago. Any possible ideas or thoughts for what could be going on here?
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Old 06-03-14, 07:44 PM   #2
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did you get it changed or did you get it flushed?

changed= ~2qts
Flushed= ~8-10qts+
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Old 06-03-14, 07:50 PM   #3
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what PD said.

the transmission fluid supposed to be brownish when dirty, and kool-aid red when new, of course assuming that OEM type-IV auto trans fluid is used which should always be the case.
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Old 06-03-14, 08:00 PM   #4
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What's the difference between changing it and flushing it? I asked for a change which I assumed meant putting in all new transmission fluid so that there is no old fluid in the car. Are you suggesting that I paid over $100 to Lexus just for them to "top it off"?
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Old 06-03-14, 08:28 PM   #5
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A "change" is just a drain and refill. which means pulling the drain plug, and then filling it back up to replace the fluid similar to an oil change. The pan holds about two quarts.

A Flush is where they hook a machine of some sort up to it and pump all new fluid through the whole transmission....which results in transmission problems for alot of people who haven't had it flushed for years.

Being that some shops charge close to that much for a simple change of Differential fluid, it wouldn't surprise me.
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Old 06-03-14, 08:37 PM   #6
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They just did a drain and fill d the new fluid is mixed with the old fluid now.
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Old 06-03-14, 09:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlacck View Post
However, the transmission fluid being dirty was a big surprise to me (it looked as dark as dirty oil).
The engine oil becomes darker as it used due to the carbon building up but the AT never gets the carbon except the ATF temperature goes up too high to burn.

The dark ATF means mostly built up clutch dusts. This often happens among users who used non Toyota type-IV ATF. It has special additives and as long as you use it, clutches last very long.

I worry about that the pre-owner had been in use of non type-IV ATF. Once it happened, the ATF becomes darker very quickly although you changed it just once.

But don't be discouraged, Jlacck. As long as you don't notice any particular problem now, just drain and refill the ATF 3 to 4 times using Type-IV ATF with some intervals like a 100 miles or more and see what will happen. The Aisin AT is designed with a concept of die-hard and some minor abuse can't kill it easily and quickly.
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Old 06-03-14, 10:36 PM   #8
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Sounds like you guys are saying this is somewhat normal. Which leads me to the question to ask... what do you recommend? lol Flushing it seems to be a risk according to some posts I read on here. On the other hand, the mechanic says it will be $150 for the transmission fluid change.... eh that seems a lil high wouldn't you say?
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Old 06-03-14, 11:30 PM   #9
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Just as Yamae suggested. Drain the fluid off 2 quarts at a time and drive it for a short interval, 100-500 miles and drain it again. Once the fluid is nice and red, many of us here will do the incremental drain when we change the engine oil. 5-8K miles.
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Old 06-03-14, 11:41 PM   #10
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The fluid in my A650E is somewhat discoloured. I've not long had the car and I haven't been able to determine when the box was last serviced. I'm going to get my mechanic to drop the pan, inspect inside it for any stray brass and steel, remove and clean the screen then refit the screen with 3 new gaskets on it.
The best advice here is to fit a new crush washer to the drain plug before replacing it.

Then, every month or so I'm going to remove the drain plug to drain the sump then replace what came out with fresh Type-IV until the fluid runs new.
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Old 06-04-14, 07:25 AM   #11
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do a fluid transfer...when u drop the pan and do a filter change and refill the fluid u don't get even half the fluid. so ur seeing a mixture of new and old..more old than new.
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Old 06-04-14, 02:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlacck View Post
Sounds like you guys are saying this is somewhat normal. Which leads me to the question to ask... what do you recommend? lol Flushing it seems to be a risk according to some posts I read on here. On the other hand, the mechanic says it will be $150 for the transmission fluid change.... eh that seems a lil high wouldn't you say?
You could:

Buy 8 quarts of Toyota transmission fluid on Amazon shipped to your house.
Pay your local oil change place to drain and fill (2.5 quarts or so) the next couple times you get an oil change. Make sure the level is carefully checked after filling.
Oh yeah, buy some new drain plugs too. Everone on this forum says they are soft and good for only one removal or so.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:02 PM   #13
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this is what i did with about 12 quarts of type-IV ATF (whole box). they are relatively cheap at $4-5 per bottle direct at the dealership with a club lexus discount (if they honor that). lexus of westminster does!

http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/trans...ransflush.html
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Old 06-04-14, 05:00 PM   #14
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And the crush washers, those are single use so you'll need a fresh one with each drain session. ~$.80 to $1.50. If more $ than that, you are getting robbed. The current Toyota's use same so you can go to a Toyota dealer and buy them straight retail for $1.50. Some Lexus parts counters are as high as $3.50.
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Old 06-05-14, 10:06 AM   #15
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So you guys are saying I should do partial drains and refills??? Hmm.. I'm getting ready to take another trip, Should I just go ahead and go for the regular change? What are typical prices I should expect to pay? The Mechanic I saw is charging $150.
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Old 06-05-14, 10:06 AM
 
 
 
 
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