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Old 07-26-10, 10:15 PM   #1
usfguy9985
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Default How to change transmission fluid in sc430

Alright after searching the forums and not finding anything on this topic I decided to start a thread. I have a 2003 Sc430 with 69,xxx miles. I'm interested in changing the transmission fluid in my car instead of taking it to the dealer. Has anyone tackled this yet? If so can you detail how many quarts it took, what brand you used and the location of the fittings. The lexus dealership is horrible in my area and I've decided to do whatever I can myself.

Also, what spark plugs are you guys using? Anyone change to the four-tip titanium?

Thanks,
Chris.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:43 AM   #2
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I'm not trying to be a smart *** but this ain't like changing your motor oil. The first clue is there is nothing on the site. The second clue is you need some special service tools, SSTs and then you need to interface with the car's electronics... Take a look at this:

For peace of mind and warranty I'd have mine done by a reputable shop, Toyota or Lexus, but that's just me.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:08 AM   #3
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Not to "pile on" the previous post but as you can see from the numbers you only get about 25% of the fluid out of the unit by draining from the plug and even by removing the pan. So you could conceive of a device which flushes the remaining old oil out of the transmission, torque converter and cooler while simultaneously infusing the new fluid. Shops have them; individuals not so much. You can find a couple types of fluid flush machines in use - the one that makes the most sense to me is the type that attaches to the transmission oil pump fluid inlet. The technician connects this type when with the pan removed, giving him a chance to inspect the contents of the pan and magnet traps. This kind of flushing equipment is not a practical investment for DIY folks like ourselves so we end up engaging a competent shop for this task. Fortunately it doesn't need to happen too often.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:19 AM   #4
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Great topic! How long via miles or time (years) should the transmission fluid be changed? I'm sure some of this is dependent upon the type of driving done also. I was told by Lexus, for the 2006 sc430, that the fluid does not need to be dealt with till about 100,000 miles, which seems a bit much to me.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:34 AM   #5
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If you've ever seen a guy drop a tranny pan, there's no way I'd do that at home. Fluid goes everywhere, and unless you have a lift, I can't see a way to contain it. Tranny fluid is a pretty good penetrant, too, so wherever it lands, it's likely to stain.
Maybe buy your own parts and take it an AAMCO or a local indy and save some coin that way, but for this I'd take it to a Toyota dealer and use one of their coupons they send out every month.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:38 AM   #6
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If you check the maintenance manual I think there are some references to it as part of maintenance for "severe service" at 60K miles or some such but there are also references to inspecting the fluid at 30K and other intervals. The previous owner of my '02 SC had it replaced at 36K miles and 7 years. The consumables usage notation on the service order showed 4 qt Type 4 ATF replaced so it was not a complete fluid exchange. I believe as long as the transmission is performing well and the ATF looks and smells OK I will probably leave it alone.
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Old 07-28-10, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback, after considering everything I'm going to take it into the dealer for the full flush. I originally just wanted to do a "drain-and-fill" to check the condition of the fluid and go from there. Both times I asked about it at Lexus they looked at me like I was crazy and told me not to worry about it until 100,000miles. I'm a firm believer that preventative maintenance allows you to not have headaches it the future. Second of all I just don't buy into the mentality that the fluid doesn't start to break down after 7 years and that amount of mileage. It's just like BMW saying you only have to do your oil change every 20,000 miles. That's great and all but I'm still going to do mine earlier.
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Old 07-31-10, 02:03 PM   #8
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regardless of recommendations, one of the quickest way to tell about the need is the color of the fluid....once the color starts getting darker, change out ASAP ---and check everything related to the transmission

If the fluid gets real dark, within a few hundred miles or so, severe damage could set in, so the fluid color needs to be checked everytime you check the oil, because if for whatever reason, the trans oil gets too hot, the degradation process is accelerated;
common problem with pick up trucks hauling heavy loads, or trailers up hills...some trans have burned out with far less than 20k miles on them from brand new...(and typically dealers will try to claim abuse and such means it is not covered by warranty)....of course one will probably not be hauling heavy trailers up hills in an sc

but if the fluid has not changed color, and appears bright and fresh, without any dirt or other stuff in it, then you are safe, regardless of miles---but as it gets older, the fluid can go quick...

Last edited by HVisone; 07-31-10 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 08-01-10, 02:43 AM   #9
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The PDF states a Toyota Genuine ATF WS transmission fluid, is this the same as the Type T-IV fluid?
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Old 08-01-10, 12:37 PM   #10
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Yes. If you all do a search on this, it has been extensively discussed. Valvoline Instant Oil Change (www.vioc.com) is one of the best non-dealer lube shops that has the machines to properly flush/fill and the right applicable fluid that's compatible.

IMO the tranny fluid is one of the most important things you can do to keep your baby running and shifting strong for a long time!

I think like the timing belt/water pump discussions we've exhausted, the tranny fluid discussion is "good insurance" to do every 15k miles or 18 months or so. Unless, of course, you put 20k miles on your car a year, drive in extreme conditions (very cold/very hot lots of hills) in that case you may want to do once a year regardless.

I thought that the "extreme driving conditions" term was a bunch of BS when I was younger, however living in Texas the past 15 years I've seen one year old cars cabin filters, air filters, fluids and more get filthy much sooner than you'd think. I'd venture to say that brake fluid, plugs and other items that are affected by heat should be looked at more carefully if you live in extreme temperature/driving conditions areas.

My current SC was born in San Diego, and I literally could tell a difference with the fluids, hoses, belts and even the weather stripping exposed to the heat/elements versus my 02 Texas-born SC that had a little harsher life as far as extreme temps go. Think about the stuff you CAN'T see or don't look at regularly being affected? Makes you wonder.....
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Old 08-04-10, 05:44 AM   #11
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I just purchase a 2002 SC430 and I want to do a drain and fill. I've got 8 litres of Toyota Type T-IV ready but I can't find a DIY on how to do this.

I have not jacked up the car yet as I only had it for 5 days. I don't even know if there is a drain plug underneath.

I've search this site but no clear instructions on how to do the drain and fill.

MY SC400 I usually drop 2litres from the drain plug, fill in 2 litres of Toyota Type -T-IV from the dip stick hole. I then drive around about 4-5km and then drain and fill until I replace about 10-12 litres of trans fluid.

Just wondering if I can do the same with the SC430?

Alternatively can someone forward me the link on how to do the transmission service on the SC430.

Thanks.

Last edited by gripau1; 08-04-10 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gripau1 View Post
I

Alternatively can someone forward me the link on how to do the transmission service on the SC430.

Thanks.
Was something not clear in the 2nd post in this thread by VVTiBob with the attached PDF?
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Old 08-04-10, 06:00 AM   #13
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I went through this same search and agree there isn't much with step by step instructions for the home mechanic. In my '02, I went underneath, drained the pan by removing the plug, driving a few days and repeated. The fluid I removed actually looked pretty good with 85k miles. I know this isn't a perfect solution because it doesn't flush the torque converter, but it gave me a little better peace of mind. I'm surprised this isn't better documented on this site. I also have a RX330 and there is lots of information on that site how to flush the transmission.
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Old 08-04-10, 06:13 AM   #14
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The PDF states the following

1. BEFORE REFILL TRANSMISSION
 This transmission requires Toyota Genuine ATF WS transmission fluid.
 After servicing the transmission, you must refill the transmission with the correct amount of fluid.
 Maintain the vehicle in a horizontal position while adjusting the fluid level.
 If the entire transmission, transmission pan, drain plug, valve body and/or torque converter is replaced, proceed to the "FILL TRANSMISSION PAN" procedures.
 If the transmission hose, output shaft oil seal and/or radiator is replaced, remove the 2 bolts, transmission case cover and refill plug, and then proceed to the "FILL TRANSMISSION" procedures.

I'm not planning to remove the transmission or the pan. I just want to do a drain and fill? So the PDF doesn't apply to me.
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Old 08-04-10, 01:06 PM   #15
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Her is how one of the LS430 owners did the tranny flush.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls43...ion-flush.html
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