Mother of all changing ATF in tranny threads - See #99 for level set instructions - Page 5 - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion


IS F (2008-2014) Discussion topics related to the IS F model

Mother of all changing ATF in tranny threads - See #99 for level set instructions

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Old 12-09-14, 02:04 AM   #61
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it's funny this came up. I'm at 100k miles, i bought the ATF fluid and a filter. I was planning on having the stealer do the job, but all they will do is drain the pan they said. So I've been thinking of taking it to an independent transmission shop here in walnut creek.

I'm actually scared to do this service, because if they get it wrong it's a very very costly fix.

I don't care what toyota says, I don't see any lubricating fluid being lifetime. The particulate from the metals in the transmission will eventually reduce the effectiveness of the transmission oil. if lifetime is 150k miles or 200k miles I understand, but many cars these days see 300 easily and I don't buy it that the oil will still be good and effective under heat if you track it or push the car hard.

I agree with the blackstone tests, unfortunately, I have no prior test results to start from other than what others have posted.
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Old 12-09-14, 05:16 AM   #62
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Hello guys, so I read my manual that claims to never change ATF in our transmission as its suppose to be good till 100k... well I have some bad news for everyone. I have a friend who works for Lexus dealership who said he serviced a couple of IS350 and found out that the ATF in those trannys is pitch black and low on levels by 60k.

Starting to dig deeper into this issue I found a thread by Just F Me memeber who had his tranny replaced because original failed possibly due to spoiled and burned out ATF.

So, needless to say I will be changing my automatic Tranny Fluid coming up on 45k and had a question: Does our car have flush lines to do the ATF flush and what is the proper way to do it because I know simply draining it will only get about half out. Let me know...
Any company that says you don't need to ever change your transmission fluid, are idiots waiting for something bad to happen.

Of course you have to swap fluid over time. Honestly, you should have replaced it after you broke the car in (1,500 miles), and then every other year (or 30k, whichever happens first).
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Old 12-09-14, 07:29 AM   #63
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Any company that says you don't need to ever change your transmission fluid, are idiots waiting for something bad to happen.

Of course you have to swap fluid over time. Honestly, you should have replaced it after you broke the car in (1,500 miles), and then every other year (or 30k, whichever happens first).
The problem is there is no documentation from Lexus on how to properly drain and refill this transmission as its a sealed unit. There is no drain plug. The only way to do it would be to go through the oil cooler lines. Even then you still wouldn't be able to drain it all out.
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Old 12-09-14, 07:37 AM   #64
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The problem is there is no documentation from Lexus on how to properly drain and refill this transmission as its a sealed unit. There is no drain plug. The only way to do it would be to go through the oil cooler lines. Even then you still wouldn't be able to drain it all out.
Personally, i would find a schematic of the reservoir, drill a hole, create some threads, and make your own plug.
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Old 12-09-14, 12:34 PM   #65
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The problem is there is no documentation from Lexus on how to properly drain and refill this transmission as its a sealed unit. There is no drain plug. The only way to do it would be to go through the oil cooler lines. Even then you still wouldn't be able to drain it all out.
No, not true. There is a drain and a fill and a level plug. Draining only empties the pan of 3.9 quarts.
Removing the valve body is 5.0 quarts.
Replacing the torque converter is 7.1 quarts.
Dry fill is 11.1 quarts.

There is a lot of discussion about this, but no one mechanically inclined has actually done it yet. I'm not in a hurry until I get a bad sample analysis.

Arbitrarily changing it based on mileage is as pointless as changing engine oil on an arbitrary mileage basis. Assessing any fluid's ability to lubricate based on appearance or smell is just plain stupid. There is a reason Blackstone (and others) do what they do - they use real science to decide when a lubricant is no longer doing what it should.
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Old 12-09-14, 12:36 PM   #66
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No, not true. There is a drain and a fill and a level plug. Draining only empties the pan of 3.9 quarts.
Removing the valve body is 5.0 quarts.
Replacing the torque converter is 7.1 quarts.
Dry fill is 11.1 quarts.

There is a lot of discussion about this, but no one mechanically inclined has actually done it yet. I'm not in a hurry until I get a bad sample analysis.

Arbitrarily changing it based on mileage is as pointless as changing engine oil on an arbitrary mileage basis. Assessing any fluid's ability to lubricate based on appearance or smell is just plain stupid. There is a reason Blackstone (and others) do what they do - they use real science to decide when a lubricant is no longer doing what it should.
Ah, learn something new every day. I'm curious to see what your latest Blackstone results will be with your higher mileage car.
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Old 12-09-14, 01:10 PM   #67
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but I am pretty confident Lexus went overboard with the transmission's cooling.
I disagree with you. My last day out this year caused my A/T Temp light to come on. I had to run a few cool down laps until the light went away.
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Old 12-09-14, 01:31 PM   #68
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I disagree with you. My last day out this year caused my A/T Temp light to come on. I had to run a few cool down laps until the light went away.
Something is wrong with your car. I was in 102F heat at the track and did not have this issue.
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Old 12-09-14, 05:03 PM   #69
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Something is wrong with your car. I was in 102F heat at the track and did not have this issue.
What do you think is wrong with it?

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Old 12-12-14, 03:50 PM   #70
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What do you think is wrong with it?
Check your radiator and the oil radiator for the transmission to be sure you are getting full airflow. I used to take the radiator out of my Supra every two years and clean it because got loaded up with bugs and debris when it was my daily driver. I've checked the F, but I've not had an issue with it here in Georgia. Living in the Sacramento Valley was a totally different story.
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Old 08-23-15, 04:47 PM   #71
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So, I won't say my gearbox turned foul on me because it has not. I will say after completing the level check today, I think checking the level and the oil quality are mandatory.

Symptoms - after a hard left hand turn on the gas hard, transmission failed to upshift. Completely failed. Had to put it in manual and shift up, then normal operation resumed. Unsure if this actually causes damage internally since the TCU decided there was a good reason to hold in gear.

Solution: Level check and add fluid.

The level check is a PITA. I have Techstream on my laptop to make it a little easier, but the first time doing anything like this is always fraught with peril.

Step 1 - put the car up on four jackstands because I don't have a lift. Remove the undercover from the gearbox to expose the fill check plug on the oil pan.

Step 2 - Level the pan on the gearbox by adjusting the jackstands - my garage floor isn't perfectly level, but the oil pan on the gearbox was when I had the stands one click more in the front than the back.

Step 3 - Connect to the car with Techstream and check the ATF temperature. Crap. 126 degrees even after sitting for 5 hours. Wait until tomorrow to start.

Step 4 - Check ATF temperature with Techstream connected again the next day. 89F after sitting all night. WTF? It's 79 degrees this morning???

Step 5 - Start the engine, follow the procedure - row the shifter from P to M and back slowly, then move it to D, then back and forth between D and N until the N disappears for 4 seconds. Return shifter to P. Check temperature. Display is blank. When the temperature reaches 95F, the P reappears on the Multidisplay. Time to remove the fill check plug from the oil pan on the gearbox while the engine is idling. See absolutely nothing but a few tiny drops come out. OK, definitely need more fluid. Remembering yesterday's wait for the temperature to drop, and knowing if I let the car run the temperature will rise, shut off engine quickly.

OOPS. Now I have a small lake of ATF forming underneath the car. Apparently, the level drops with the engine idling, and as the fluid drains back into the pan when you shut the engine off, ATF comes out the fill check hole. Suck. Stuff the plug back in the hole and snug it finger tight. Clean up the big oily mess because my drain pan was off a couple of inches. Get the prepaid sample bottle from Blackstone, remove plug briefly again to fill a 2 ounce sample, then plug the leak again.

Step 6 - Wait for exhaust system to cool a little. Wait some more. Find out the primary cat stays dangerously hot when the piping is cool to the touch. Wait some more...Finally, get to the 24mm fill port bolt up high on the side of the transmission. Lexus recommends an SST for this. I recommend a very shallow 24mm socket and a thin breaker bar - it's not super tight, but the space is very limited. I was just able to squeeze a standard height socket on a 1/2" breaker bar onto the nut to crack it loose, then had to remove the socket and finish with an open end wrench. You could also take a standard socket and cut it down to give yourself some room to work. Be creative and inventive to figure out how to get ATF from conventional 1 quart plastic bottles up to the fill port. I used a hard plastic line I normally use for differential fills and got it stuffed in the fill port, then ran it out to a funnel on the driver's side where I was able to pour in ATF. Worked just fine, except the line had a spot lower than the fill port, so some fluid remained in the line from gravity. Luckily, I was able to use a small shot of air from my compressor to clear the line completely. I added 1.5 quarts thinking I needed to ensure I made up for my losses (also meaning I was swapping out a tiny volume of ATF).

Step 7 - repeat temperature and fill check plug drill. Small dribble out of the fill check port. Crap. Should have poured the whole 2 quarts. Reinstall plug in fill check port, shut off car, run through step 6 again adding the remaining 1/2 quart from the second bottle, PRAY to the automotive gods for the temperature to be within limits (95F t0 104F).

Step 8 - Prove you learned something valuable in step 5, and run through the whole procedure again to check the level. This time, ATF comes gushing out of the fill check port (success!) and quickly slows to a steady drip. Stuff the plug in the hole, tighten to a reasonable torque because 15 ft-lbs in the manual is making the 5mm hex bind in the bolt head.

So, after all this I button up the bottom, get the car off the stands, and take it out for a test drive. No shift hang on a left turn while accelerating hard. In fact, none of the usual symptoms I had become to expect as normal - driving down my driveway to the bottom of my street, no issues with holding gear or accelerating normally where it used to feel as if the transmission was either flaring or slipping. Only on cold cycle, and only after downhill without warming, but definitely annoying. Also noticed a noise I have become to expect to be normal - sounds like a an old hydraulic power steering pump just beginning to groan - disappeared.

So, despite Lexus firm recommendation to only check for leaks, I really think the level needs to be checked and reset routinely as well. I had long suspected I had low fluid, but I've been putting off doing anything about it while I waited for the 120,000 mile mark to send in my second ATF sample to Blackstone. I won't go so far as to say, figure out how to do an oil change (but I am fully expecting Blackstone will tell me the fluid is either dead or only has a few gasps left before necrosis sets in. I bought a case of WS just for that reason, and I have some ideas how I might perform this if it is true. I won't be using the oil cooler lines, I have a different idea. I'll post more about it when it truly becomes necessary, and hopefully it will be DIY friendly for those who know the difference between a #1 and a #2 phillips.

Blackstone sample sent off today. Should have results in about 10 days or so. I'll post them here.

It's really nice to have it shifting like new again...

Last edited by lobuxracer; 08-23-15 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-23-15, 05:12 PM   #72
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Thanks for the great right up. Very informative.

However after reading what you had to go through I would just change the fluid. I'd follow the procedure most seem to be using for the Tundra.

They disconnect the line running from the transmission going to the cooler. They drain (run the motor) to remove one or two quarts in a measured container. Add two fresh quarts through the transmission fill plug. Continue until you have fresh fluid coming through the line (7 or 8 quarts of WS Toyota transmission fluid). You can also drain the transmission pan into a measuring container (about 3 quarts) return this amount to the pan to get a head start. After doing this, then follow the rest of your right up. A couple of cups overfilled will not make a difference since going around corners changes the level anyway.

I've never been a fan of partially changing engine or transmission oil although some get away with it.

Did this with my LS 430. Transmission loved it.

DO NOT DO THIS unless you can do it right.

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Old 08-23-15, 09:45 PM   #73
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I am pretty curious in this as well. I noticed my F shifts slower below 4k rpm in sport and manual mode. I will wait for lobuxracer's results.
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Old 08-24-15, 04:21 AM   #74
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Subscribed. I'm concerned my fluid level may not be optimal. I occasionally get the shift hang on a left (and sometimes right) turn while accelerating hard.

-Mike
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Old 08-24-15, 08:24 AM   #75
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Yikes, this is scary. I have had shift hang but, only in sport mode. Maybe the TCU just needs a reset/relearn?
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