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Transmission fluid black as night with only 25K miles.

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Old 04-24-14, 04:44 PM   #1
sorka
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Default Transmission fluid black as night with only 25K miles.

My 2007 has 25K miles. I did a trans drain and fill today. The fluid that came out was black as black can be.

FYI for anyone thinking it's really ok to to go "lifetime" on the same fluid let alone 100K.

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Old 04-24-14, 05:11 PM   #2
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are you sure that fluid only has 25k. I would think the clock was turn back. I never seen trans. fluid like that. even trans. that are shot.
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Old 04-24-14, 05:35 PM   #3
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I've had the car since 11K miles. Even for that 11K I didn't own the car, the Carfax showed smog and service intervals at the lexus dealership from the one previous owner all match up. Plus they would have had to roll the clock back on everything else to like the fact that the car was in brand new condition without any creases or wear indications on the leather or any other part of the car. It was as new as if I'd bought it 11K miles earlier.

My point is, everyone else's fluid (2006 and later models) will look exactly the same that early.
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Old 04-24-14, 05:56 PM   #4
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I have 74k on my 2002 and my fluid is clean as can be. like I said never see fluid like that before.
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Old 04-24-14, 06:30 PM   #5
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I have 74k on my 2002 and my fluid is clean as can be. like I said never see fluid like that before.
Different kind of transmission and totally different kind of fluid. There's a reason why 2006+ are sealed and don't have dipsticks. Consumers would freak out if they saw how quickly the atf ws fluid turns dark from the factory.

My 2009 Prius, which I bought new did something similar. I change the atf ws (but in this case it's a complete drain so you get all the fluid) at 30K miles. It was the same black as black can be. I changed it again at 90K miles, so twice as long, but it came out looking brand new even though it had twice as many miles on it. Almost certainly it was darkened by breakin material.
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Old 04-24-14, 07:02 PM   #6
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Trans fluid color and smell have nothing to do with its usable life.

Toyota says the ATF WS can go 100k miles and their engineers are right indeed. Do you believe a reputable car maker's recommendation or trust your own amateurish feel?
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Old 04-24-14, 07:30 PM   #7
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The exact same thing happened to my Mazda Miata. When I bought it I saw the service record that said it had the tranny fluid replaced 15,000 miles ago. I checked it and it was black as your black. Smelled fresh, no burnt smell. So I drained and filled 3x and now it is pinkish.

So I scratched my head same as you.

I check it every now and then and it is still pinkish.

So the important thing is that you have replaced it. Check it often.
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Old 04-24-14, 07:57 PM   #8
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Trans fluid color and smell have nothing to do with its usable life.

Toyota says the ATF WS can go 100k miles and their engineers are right indeed. Do you believe a reputable car maker's recommendation or trust your own amateurish feel?
Actually Toyota does not say that unqualified. They also state that in stop and go driving, severe duty, etc, to change it more frequently. This 25K miles was all stop and go driving over 7 years. Yet, your response is to insult me and call me an amateur because I changed out 2 qts of 7 year old fluid with 25K miles on it???? Seriously. Given that almost nothing you said is actually right, you're one to speak.

Even in the most optimistic conditions where they say you could go to 100K miles, that might be the case if you only wanted your transmission to last that long. There are plenty of Toyota model cars that use atf ws that have had their transmission fail shortly after 100K miles where the fluid had never been changed. Prius trans-axles which also state lifetime with atf ws fail commonly just after 100K miles for those that don't change their fluid but go 4 or 5 hundred thousand when their owners change their fluid every 50K.

I just sold an SC400 with 334K miles without ever having an issue with the transmission or engine. I pretty certain the transmission wouldn't have last that long if I only stuck with what the manufacturer stated. Did I go overboard? Maybe. I changed 2 qts of fluid at every engine oil change. Most people over change their engine oil and under change their transmission fluid. You hear of transmission failures all the time but engine failures due to failure of lubrication are almost never heard of any more.

So yes, I will continue to change the trans fluid on this car with the equivalent of a drain and fill at least every other oil change.

If you need to call me an amateur because of that, go right ahead.
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Old 04-24-14, 08:32 PM   #9
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BTW, anyone doing this on the s-speed, you can use a bluetooth ELM327 OBDII dongle and an app like Torque on an android to read the transmission fluid temperature. Works perfectly on the SC430 2006+.

The fluid must be between 115 to 130 degrees when pulling the check plug. The engine must be idling when you pull the check plug or you're lose 1.5 qts of fluid you shouldn't.
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Old 04-24-14, 08:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorka View Post
BTW, anyone doing this on the s-speed, you can use a bluetooth ELM327 OBDII dongle and an app like Torque on an android to read the transmission fluid temperature. Works perfectly on the SC430 2006+.

The fluid must be between 115 to 130 degrees when pulling the check plug. The engine must be idling when you pull the check plug or you're lose 1.5 qts of fluid you shouldn't.
This sounds overly complicated. It's my understanding that there is a drain plug and a fill plug above that on the side of the tranny. Couldn't it be as simple as removing both plugs, replace the drain plug and refill with the same volume that drained? I imagine if can do this as I suspect without the nifty electronic gadgets, I'll do it every once in a while to keep some fresh fluid circulating. I'm also curious to see if the fluid in my '06 looks as nasty as that black swill out of yours.

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Old 04-24-14, 09:03 PM   #11
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This sounds overly complicated. It's my understanding that there is a drain plug and a fill plug above that on the side of the tranny. Couldn't it be as simple as removing both plugs, replace the drain plug and refill with the same volume that drained? I imagine if can do this as I suspect without the nifty electronic gadgets, I'll do it every once in a while to keep some fresh fluid circulating. I'm also curious to see if the fluid in my '06 looks as nasty as that black swill out of yours.

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You can cross pin 4 and 13 on the OBDII connector and the D on the shift indicator will go from flashing to solid when it reaches the correct temperature, but that's a lot more complicated than plugging a dongle in and firing up an app. Also, if you do the pin 4 and 13 trick, the fluid must start below 86F when the engine is started or you will not get the indicator light. Using an OBDII dongle is just so much simpler.

The fluid expands as it heats and the service manual absolutely requires that the check plug be pulled only within the correct temperature range.

In general, changing fluid on the sealed transmission is more complicated. I'm used to shoving a marine pump tube down the dip stick and sucking out the fluid from the bottom of the pan and then replacing it with a funnel. WIsh the 2006+ trans was so simple
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Old 04-25-14, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorka View Post
Actually Toyota does not say that unqualified. They also state that in stop and go driving, severe duty, etc, to change it more frequently. This 25K miles was all stop and go driving over 7 years. Yet, your response is to insult me and call me an amateur because I changed out 2 qts of 7 year old fluid with 25K miles on it???? Seriously. Given that almost nothing you said is actually right, you're one to speak.

Even in the most optimistic conditions where they say you could go to 100K miles, that might be the case if you only wanted your transmission to last that long. There are plenty of Toyota model cars that use atf ws that have had their transmission fail shortly after 100K miles where the fluid had never been changed. Prius trans-axles which also state lifetime with atf ws fail commonly just after 100K miles for those that don't change their fluid but go 4 or 5 hundred thousand when their owners change their fluid every 50K.

I just sold an SC400 with 334K miles without ever having an issue with the transmission or engine. I pretty certain the transmission wouldn't have last that long if I only stuck with what the manufacturer stated. Did I go overboard? Maybe. I changed 2 qts of fluid at every engine oil change. Most people over change their engine oil and under change their transmission fluid. You hear of transmission failures all the time but engine failures due to failure of lubrication are almost never heard of any more.

So yes, I will continue to change the trans fluid on this car with the equivalent of a drain and fill at least every other oil change.

If you need to call me an amateur because of that, go right ahead.

Sorka, I didn't mean to insult anyone. I call myself an amateur too.

We are all here to learn how to best take care of our cars without being overly conservative. Unless one is a trained mechanical/chemical engineer, s/he is an amateur compared to a Toyota engineer. Peroid.

I also have an BMW with an auto trans that BMW recommends to change ATF at 100k miles. There have been countless discussions, debates and even very heated arguments on the BMW forum. Guess what? There are hardly any cases that the BMW trans failed because of old ATF.

People are paranoid about fluids. They change ATF at 30k miles and the engine oil at 3k miles. That's totally unnecessary and without any scientific merit.

Even for severe conditons, Toyota recommends to change the ATF at 60k miles. Often the manufacturer's recommendation is still conservative since they leave a safety margin there.
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Old 04-26-14, 06:13 AM   #13
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I changed my fluid last fall before storing the car for the winter. My car has 64,000 on it and the fluid looked almost like the new fluid I added. My thinking is that your car has more mileage, or you have a transmission problem.
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Old 04-26-14, 08:03 AM   #14
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Since I bought my '06 SC used with 16k miles, not knowing exactly how it was driven, I changed the transmission fluid at about 30k miles and it was slightly or mildly a darker pink. I'm far from being a transmission guru, but have never seen transmission fluid this dark. I'm in agreement with Mandy to check it often. You also may want to change your differential fluid, though not required this early, to remove metal that has attached itself to the magnetic drain plug.
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Old 04-26-14, 08:13 AM   #15
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I used to rebuild tranny's for a while, and that fluid looks like the Ford FWD's I used to do that went 150,000 with no services whatsoever. Most of them that were this bad had sever heat damage due to abuse, no clutch material left on the clutches, and some even had gotten so hot the entire drivetrain inside the transmission had welded itself together. Do you have any trouble going into reverse, or any slipping in R or 1'st gear? First thing to go inside the transmission is usually the band that holds the car into R and 1'st gear.
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Old 04-26-14, 08:13 AM
 
 
 
 
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