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DIY transmission fluid change question for IS250

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Old 07-24-14, 05:20 AM   #31
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Caution: If you already have high mileage on your existing transmission without having done any fluid change, you will be bettter off leaving well enough alone. New fluid would probably cause more problem as it's new found detergen capability may dislodge contaminants into the system.
Fresh transmission fluid will dissolve most gunk that builds up and your filter should catch it. You need fresh fluid to keep your o-rings and seals swollen. If you haven't changed your fluid in a long time I would highly recommend you do so. The transmission may slip at first because now the fluid is able to get around your seals but eventually they will swell back up again. I would also recommend a filter change if it is over 100K since you last changed it. I believe Lexus claims lifetime fluid is good for 100K. My dealer recommended 60K. Canada is 50K.
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Old 01-09-18, 12:13 AM   #32
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Your directions do not tell you how to drain the transmission. Because doing so is not physically possibly DIY.

It tells you how to re-fill it if it has lost any amount of fluid.


Your owners manual explicitly states, in muliple places, that it is never called for to change the fluid, and that it is a lifetime fluid.

Even dropping the transmission pan entirely will only remove 10-15% of the fluid in the system.


This has been gone over repeatedly.


The only way to change a significant amount of fluid (and again, the manual explicitly tells you not to) is using not only a specialized, expensive, machine for it, but then an additional specialized adapter that's relatively new.

Not something one does themselves in their driveway.

So step 2 is a non-starter already. Apart from the whole it being explicitly contrary to the recommendations in the owners manual.
i couldnt even find the word transmission in the index in my owners manual. it says not to ever change fluids in differential or transmission? its a closed system? i cant just take some fluid out and put some back in whats this talk about calibration? wow!
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Old 01-09-18, 12:30 AM   #33
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i have a 2006 is250. its been taken care of very well to 145k. ive put some very hard 3k ils on it deliverying food in just a month. i dont understand what makes the transmision in this model a closed and special system? and ive read every reply here and its really hard to come up with the right answer. I want my car to see 250k at least, this is my ride or die for years to come. when they say lifetime, is it just a marketing ploy? is it intended as they say, the "life of the car" being say 150K? it seems to me if you've never changed the fluid and your high miles, you should gradually flush out old and in with new over some time. doesn't all fluid have a point where it brakes down? where no longer functions the way its supposed to?
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Old 01-09-18, 08:09 AM   #34
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If your fluid looks dark and smells burnt, I recommend doing drain and fill. A flush could cause more harm than good on a high mileage transmission if never flushed before. The "lifetime fluid" is a nonsense, a planned obsolescence in my opinion.
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Old 01-12-18, 02:08 PM   #35
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anyone know how much the dealer charge on average? i dont know why im waiting till 100k. im at 95k right now
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Old 01-14-18, 07:13 AM   #36
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anyone know how much the dealer charge on average? i dont know why im waiting till 100k. im at 95k right now
Expect to pay at least $300 for drain and fill at your dealer, or better yet do it yourself, seriously, it's not that difficult.
https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-...ne-report.html
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Old 01-14-18, 12:20 PM   #37
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Expect to pay at least $300 for drain and fill at your dealer, or better yet do it yourself, seriously, it's not that difficult.
https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-...ne-report.html
+1 it's not that difficult. What I stress is if using jack stands. Make sure you are really secure. You'll be working underneath the middle of the car.
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Old 01-14-18, 08:48 PM   #38
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Not difficult like its been said. I did it myself on my 2008 IS350 and recently on the ISF
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Old 01-17-18, 04:42 PM   #39
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and the difference between a flush and drain-and-fill?
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Old 01-17-18, 04:43 PM   #40
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anyone know how much the dealer charge on average? i dont know why im waiting till 100k. im at 95k right now
make sure its something you MUST go to the stealer for. if its just a bolt , why the stealer?
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Old 01-17-18, 06:32 PM   #41
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i have a 2006 is250. its been taken care of very well to 145k. ive put some very hard 3k ils on it deliverying food in just a month.
I would be very interested in reading a thread about people who use their IS as a delivery vehicle. Just putting that out there
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Old 01-19-18, 11:31 PM   #42
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and the difference between a flush and drain-and-fill?
A drain and fill only gets a portion of the fluid out which is fine if you do it often enough but the majority of the fluid is sitting in the torque converter which can only be pumped out via a flush. A flush will change out all of the fluid. I had the dealer do a drain and fill at 65k miles for $150 and they just did a flush at 130k miles for $260. A drain and fill looks very simple on this car. If I had the time I would do it myself but I've been doing them when I take the car in for the recalls. Very noticeable change after the flush. I thought it shifted well before but now it shifts like new. Lexus states that lifetime means 100k miles... Very misleading.
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Old 01-20-18, 06:55 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by firelikeiy View Post
A drain and fill only gets a portion of the fluid out which is fine if you do it often enough but the majority of the fluid is sitting in the torque converter which can only be pumped out via a flush. A flush will change out all of the fluid. I had the dealer do a drain and fill at 65k miles for $150 and they just did a flush at 130k miles for $260. A drain and fill looks very simple on this car. If I had the time I would do it myself but I've been doing them when I take the car in for the recalls. Very noticeable change after the flush. I thought it shifted well before but now it shifts like new. Lexus states that lifetime means 100k miles... Very misleading.
+1 for changing the fluid on time and extending the life of your transmission
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Last edited by primavera; 01-20-18 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 01-20-18, 12:12 PM   #44
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Great info in this thread. I'm at 78k now and will probably just have them replace my transmission fluid with the 90k service.
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Old 01-20-18, 01:58 PM   #45
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Exclamation Misconceptions

There seems to be two camps whereby some cling to the notion that a fluid change will kill your transmission. Fluid technology changed from 40 years ago and fluids no longer varnish like they did. That said varnished fluid is like plaque on your teeth. It builds up on fluid transfer points (areas the leak fluid) and if this build up is removed, yes, your transmission can fail! That is, fresh fluid is high in detergent fluid and it can dissolve that varnish and create an internal leak that leads to slippage and subsequent failure.

However, modern fluid from the last 20 years doesn't varnish like it did in the past. Hint, varnished fluid looks yellow in nature and smells like turpentine or paint thinner. If you find this, you; ya, run it until it dies and do not change it.

For the rest of us, you are better off to drop the fluid and get it out by say 60 to 90,xxx miles depending on how your vehicle has been used and its current fluid state.

I'm not sure how ANYONE at home can do a flush. DO NOT be tempted to disconnect the coolant line and let fluid be pumped from the trans UNLESS you have a means to pump it back in at the SAME RATE it is BEING PUMPED OUT! There are bushings/shafts/thrust surfaces, needle bearings, sprague clutches expecting that lubricant sustain life. Would you take the oil filter off your engine and run it for 30 min without fluid going back to the engine???? NO. Bad idea. Either you have the right equipment for the job or you don't. If you don't, just settle on a dump and fill. OK!

About that dump and fill:
These hold roughly 9 to 10 quarts of fluid. If you dump the pans contents by removing the internal pan stand off (drain plug allen), you get most of the pans contents. Measure this amount. To get the rest, start the engine for say 5 to 7 seconds after the initial fluid dump. This will throw nearly a quart or more out of the torque converter getting you nearly 1/2 the fluid in one dump IF you drop the pan and filter you get even more.

NOTE: After adding the first 3 quarts YOU MUST START the engine to refill the converter. If you don't and try to pump all 4 to 5 quarts back into the trans, when you start it, the trans will be WAY OVER FULL and FOAM the fluid as it's in contact with the internal reciprocating components. The safe bet is to add what was dumped out when you first pulled the plug. Add the remainder after starting the engine and putting it in gear. Do so safely.

A snap shot of what you are in for if you attempt to check the level. Those with Techstream can see the trans temps live. There are plenty of other threads on checking the level. I'm just saying you are better off getting aged fluid out before hitting 100,xxx miles.

** Use this information at your own risk. I am not responsible for your actions and anything that happens to "your vehicle"! **


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