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Dark tranny fluid after transaxle service at Lexus???

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Old 06-11-10, 04:06 PM   #1
Tahmeroo
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Default Dark tranny fluid after transaxle service at Lexus???

Hi all,

Just had my water pump and belts changed on my 02 RX300 at my local toyota dealer (97K). They marked on my pw that the steering and tranny fluids were "dark". I had the transmission service done at lexus within the past 6 months....I told the guy this and he said it was probably because it was a drain and fill vs. flush (which he recommended).

So, is it reasonable to have "dark" fluid so quickly after the service, and how much risk does this pose? The transaxle service has been done every 30K miles on this car. I'm thinking I need to call Lexus and discuss this with them since they did the transaxle service.

Confused in TX
Thanks!
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Old 06-11-10, 04:34 PM   #2
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What color is the ATF? Red, Brown, etc.
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Old 06-11-10, 05:09 PM   #3
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they did not note any color, only "dark". the manager who took my car this morning was gone when i picked it up, so i could not ask him. i will tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-10, 05:32 PM   #4
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You can go ahead and check it yourself to make sure the manager's statement is accurate, and he isn't trying to rob you for money. Just pull out the tranny dipstick and look at the color.
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Old 06-11-10, 07:05 PM   #5
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The color on the dipstick lies. You really have to drain it and look at it for yourself to really see the color.
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Old 06-11-10, 07:07 PM   #6
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That very well could be true. If the fluid was in poor condition when the last drain and fill was done then the fluid would look still look pretty bad a day later. It takes a series of drain and fills to really get it cleaned out.

As the others said, just pull the dipstick and take a look at it yourself.

Here is what a series looks like.



From this thread: http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-f...od-or-bad.html
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Old 06-11-10, 07:27 PM   #7
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When they do a drain and refill only about half of the fluid in the tranny actually comes out. So if it was really dark before than it might still be kinda dark after one drain/refill.

But the fluid should never be "dark" if it was changed every 30K miles. It should still be a pinkish color.
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Old 06-12-10, 05:37 AM   #8
Tahmeroo
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thanks for the replies.

@Legend - agreed...having been done every 30K this shouldn't be an issue right? so I'm a bit confused.

I did half wonder if that isn't a "standard" notation they make in order up upsell services.

Calling Lexus today anyway to discuss this with them.
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Old 06-12-10, 06:57 AM   #9
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Update: I checked the fluid myself just now - engine is cold as its been sitting since last night. I'm no mechanic, but it didn't look dark to me. I swiped a little off on a white napkin and it is definitely pink in color. The manager is not in today so I've still not been able to get his take on it. But based on what I've seen, I guess I'm in no danger. The fluid was pretty clear as well.
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Old 06-12-10, 12:00 PM   #10
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There are enough experiences with transmission failure after a "flush" that I would probably just drain and fill the transmission again. My dealer used to brag about their having the only "real" Lexus-approved transmission flushing system, and then about a year or so ago said "we no longer flush transmissions - just do drains and fills". Gee I wonder why (he wouldn't tell me)!

The collective wisdom on this site is not to flush an older Toyota/Lexus transmission.
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