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Old 04-25-09, 02:54 AM   #1
eli2k
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Default How often is transmission fluid change?

I have read online, you should do the change every 30000 miles, and then some places say 30months, 2 years, etc etc. I drive maybe 5000 miles/year, so I think the time factor would apply more to me. Are there any other fluids I have to change before the mileage, since it looks like it will take me many years before it needs service based on the mileage.

Forgot to mention; car is 2001 ES300.

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- Eli
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Old 04-25-09, 03:54 AM   #2
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Yes, my feelings are that some fluids should be changed based upon length of time, some by mileage, and some by a combination.

Engine oil should be changed at 6 month intervals or 3-4,000 miles, whichever comes first. Transmission fluid drain and refills at maybe 15,000 miles in your case, unless the fluid has turned darker. Brake fluid should be replaced ever two years. Engine coolant should be replaced every two or three years with the Toyota red fluid. If you have switched to the pre-mixed Toyota pink long-life fluid you can go longer and I don't know how much longer. The fluid in the power steering should be replaced when it gets to be a dark color. I think that covers it for fluids.

I'd be inclined to go with mileage for the timing belt and spark plugs, even though this will be a long, long time. I personally replace the car battery every 5 years as a preventative measure.

These are mostly just my opinions, based upon when I've been reading over the years on this forum.
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Old 04-25-09, 04:28 AM   #3
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On second thought, if your accessory drive belts ever start to slip/squeal, and you replace them; that might be an indication that your timing belt at least needs visual inspection. That might be in 10 years or so, depending on your climate. That's just a guess.
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Old 04-25-09, 11:19 AM   #4
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really depends on the type of driving you do. is there alot of stop and go traffic? stop and go is really the most harsh on a tranny..
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Old 04-25-09, 11:34 AM   #5
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also depends on the quality of the existing fluid...the previous owner of my car did not bother with changing the tranny fluid, so I have been draining and filling 2 quarts every oil change until most of the old liquid is gone
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Old 04-25-09, 01:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies. The car has been kept in proper maintenance previously, so all existing fluid should be okay. The coolant was last changed about 16 months ago. I have to check the transmission fluid color, at least this time I have something fresh to start with, so I can see what new proper color fluid looks like. What does normal power steering fluid color look like? I had my brake pads replaced last summer, but I'm not sure if they changed brake fluid. Is that part of the general procedure for changing brakes?
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Old 04-25-09, 02:11 PM   #7
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The color of the fluid in the power steering was originally clear. It actually uses ATF fluid (check owner's manual). I changed mine to Mobile 1 ATF fluid, so it is now a reddish color.

Normal brake work doesn't call for replacing the brake fluid. However, the coolant replacement is a good sign, since brake fluid is often replaced at the same time (or at least should be).
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Old 04-27-09, 06:49 PM   #8
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Here's what I do. I'm already underneath the car changing the oil. All I have to do is move the pan aft a bit underneath the transmission drain plug and drain the fluid. Add 2 more quarts and I'm good every oil change. Never have to worry about doing a full transmission fluid changeout as you change ~25% every time you change the oil.

Btw, don't use my fluid measurements. I have an SC400.
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Old 04-28-09, 12:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durrr View Post
Here's what I do. I'm already underneath the car changing the oil. All I have to do is move the pan aft a bit underneath the transmission drain plug and drain the fluid. Add 2 more quarts and I'm good every oil change. Never have to worry about doing a full transmission fluid changeout as you change ~25% every time you change the oil.

Btw, don't use my fluid measurements. I have an SC400.
You may need to keep your fluids separate for recycling purposes (depends on your recycler). You do recycle your fluids right
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Old 04-28-09, 08:33 AM   #10
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I keep hearing everyone getting 2 quarts out of the pan......Am I the only one that gets 2.75 quarts every time????? I've done it probably 5 times already and it's the same every time.
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Old 04-28-09, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertGS View Post
I keep hearing everyone getting 2 quarts out of the pan......Am I the only one that gets 2.75 quarts every time????? I've done it probably 5 times already and it's the same every time.
If you add back 2.75 quarts back, I'd assume you'd get 2.75 quarts out. The measuring of the trans. fluid is not too straightforward, It varies way more then other fluids. Given that there is so much leeway to go up and down based on hot/cold; running/not running, I think if you're a over or under by a a quart the car will still work fine. Just don't doublefill.
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Old 04-28-09, 11:39 AM   #12
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My reading is fine......I should have be more specific.....I get out 2.75 quarts.....then I put back in 2.75 quarts. I'm wondering why 2.75 is coming out and everyone else keeps saying 2 qrts.
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