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98 ATF over filled?

Old 10-03-08, 06:39 PM
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oarnura
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Default 98 ATF over filled?

I just bought a 98 LS last week. I noticed that the shift to second in the morning when I first drive is jerky, not smooth like after the car has warmed up.

I checked the ATF level when the engine was off and rested for 3-4 hours. The level is above the HOT max line on the dip stick. The color looks ok.

What is the correct procedure to check the ATF level, the owners manual doesn't mention it? I am taking it back to have the dealer check it.

Also I noticed they changed the hydraulics that keep the hood up. One of the is mounted reversed. Is that normal?

Update: I rechecked the ATF level but this time with the engine idling and at operating temperature. I cycled through all the gears too before checking. I checked it 3 times.

There is fluid above the hot limit line and some on notch/bludge where the wire connects the measurement section.

Is there any reason to worry about the over fill?

Last edited by oarnura; 10-03-08 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Added information:
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Old 10-04-08, 11:48 AM
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Can anyone help?

Should the level be below the limit line for both hot and cold? For me it is at the dimple above the line on both hot and cold.

The dealer is 45 miles away I don't want to drive there if I don't have to.

Any help is appreciated. This is my first lexus and car where I can check the fluid my self. Both my previous cars had sealed transmissions.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:49 PM
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jcrome04
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Check it in the morning, when it is truly cold.

after sitting all night.
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Old 10-04-08, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jcrome04 View Post
Check it in the morning, when it is truly cold.

after sitting all night.

I checked this morning. Turned the car on let it idle, cycled through the gears.

The level is just above the c - line. There is fluid on the dimple above the c line.

I'll try my best to draw a diagram.

|
( ) <- Here when hot
-
H
O
T
-
|
|
( ) <- The fluid is here when cold in the morning.
-
C
()
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Old 10-04-08, 10:51 PM
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I have a 96 LS400 and the readings for the transmission fluid are the same as yours. I have asked my mechanic as well as a Lexus tech and they both said the same thing : It's good.

It looked very clean too from the measuring stick. Pink / cherry coloured.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, decided to change it anyway. Opened the transmission drain and about 2 litres drained out. That's the quantity that's supposed to be drained out so hopefully the fluid amount is ok.

On a side note, I am glad that I changed the fluid. There was a big difference in the colours of the fluids - the drained fluid was blackish red while the new fluid was a bright cherry red. Not too easy to tell that from the dipstick. Anyway it drives better and milage seems to have improved. Gave 10 km/ltre at the last filllup.
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Old 10-04-08, 11:04 PM
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lexie
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if you worry, just drain some of the fluid from the drain plug.
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Old 10-05-08, 01:25 AM
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Default Agree

I agree to let some ATF out.

Overfilling gives difficult slightly jerky transmission shifts.
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Old 10-05-08, 09:11 AM
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I overfilled mine sometime back. I didn't have any shift issues. When I contacted one of our local Lexus repair shops, he mentioned gross overfilling isn't good but a slight overfill won't be harmful. An underfill which I also did while trying to get it spot on, created more issues. It would slip, not engage...hesitate.

Tip for those DIY's: If the fluid level is correct on the dip stick, measure what comes out and put it back. Don't assume what comes out is right...that is how mine got all screwed up because more came out than usual for some reason.
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Old 10-05-08, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'll just go ahead and do a fluid drain and fill. The color of my ATF is dark pink on the dip stick. If I am going to drain the fluid to get the levels correct I might as well put some fresh fluid in there.

Is it normal for the transmission to be jerky on the first shift into second in the morning when the car is cold?

I also get slight jerks when I shift from P to R to D. Looks like it might be the transmission mounts.
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Old 10-05-08, 02:40 PM
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mine kind of jerky on the first shift into second in the morning when the car is cold.
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Old 10-06-08, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lexie View Post
mine kind of jerky on the first shift into second in the morning when the car is cold.
Thats perfectly normal.
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