120k Transmission Fluid Change - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Camry 5th & 6th Gen (2002-2006 & 2007-2011)/2nd Gen Solara (2002-2008) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 2002-2006 & 2007-2011, as well as Solara Discussion for years 2003-2008. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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120k Transmission Fluid Change

I went today to get an estimate on a transmission fluid change for my 07 camry with 120k miles on it. The shop advised me against the change and to leave it since it is already to late and will cause damage. I looked at the dipstick the color is a brown but you can still see some lightness to it. I know it is late for a flush but I assumed a change won't do damage from what I read on forums and from ChrisFix. So am I better of with leaving it and letting the transmission run its life or should I go back to the shop and still request the work done?

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post #2 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 06:52 PM
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1. leave it alone until the trans dies? doesn't sound like a good plan to me.
2. return to the same brain challenged who said to leave it until the trans dies? uh, no.
3. i know you didn't put forth this as an option, but how about changing it yourself? lots of how to vids. low level of difficulty.
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post #3 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 07:12 PM
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Has it ever been serviced before? How long are you keeping it?

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post #4 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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1. leave it alone until the trans dies? doesn't sound like a good plan to me.
2. return to the same brain challenged who said to leave it until the trans dies? uh, no.
3. i know you didn't put forth this as an option, but how about changing it yourself? lots of how to vids. low level of difficulty.
tony
He made it sound like doing the change will accelerate the death of the transmission as if hes saving me the money and time of future transmission problems. He gave me and example of how taxi drivers with same vehicle came to his shop with high mileage to do a change and they broke down really quickly. I would love to do it myself, but it's cold in NY and I don't want to waste more miles to wait for the warmer spring days. Also I wanna change the filter while i'm at it and I don't feel confident about that.

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post #5 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rusty360 View Post
Has it ever been serviced before? How long are you keeping it?
The only transmission service it had was when I had a dent in the pan and it was causing a loud noise so I went to that same shop they fixed the dent by removing the pan. That was about 20k miles ago. I plan to keep it for a while i'm a college student that can't afford a new car.

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post #6 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 07:25 PM
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You can always do a drain and refill. If the pan has a drain plug and you have a dipstick you can drain out a portion meaning what ever comes out 2-3 quarts of the oil and replace. It does not get all the oil but a portion of it get fresh. Did that on my T100 every 15k and sold the truck at 207k and no problems. The Toyota dealers around Houston used to do that service at the 30k intervals with the those transmissions. The new ones you do not have that option no dipstick and is done on a machine at 100k.

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post #7 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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I have a drain plug and dipstick, gonna go back to the shop and have them do it anyway.... I knew flushes won't do damage. Thanks

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post #8 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 07:43 PM
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This is not a flush just a drain and refill, I'm sure you tube has some videos on this.

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post #9 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 08:07 PM
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OP, just to be clear. we're not talking about a flush. at least not a high powered flush like they'd probably be talking about.
there's a flush where you let the trans pump do the work but that's pretty involved and it sounds like more than you'd want to deal with.
if the pan was dropped 20k ago, hopefully they put in new fluid and filter at that time, if so, start counting from there and at 30k intervals, do a drain and refill and you should be fine for lots of miles. go to wallyworld and get 2 gallons of valvoline synth high mileage atf and go to town.
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post #10 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 08:51 PM
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I have 340,000 miles. Transmission is fine never changed oil.


339,000 miles and counting
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post #11 of 46 Old 02-14-2017, 11:55 PM
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Consider yourself lucky with brown/black/burnt atf and no failure yet. It will happen. Gone through a bad tranny on a different car in the past and on 06 lexus gs recently (not my own). Bad atf is something to consider changing at a regular interval. Take good care and it will last even longer unless you are just waiting to kind of get rid of it.

@potentialowner , here is a recent thread with near similar miles as yours
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/10...n-problem.html

OP, I would say same as all other posts mention. I forgot to quote the post above mine. You can use that link as an example. And the lexus I mentioned only has 150k. Our toyotas have over 150k but I have been doing drain-fills on them. It is less than $20 each time and its done about every 15-20K or every other syn oil change interval. The drain-fill is easier than oil change in comparison.

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Last edited by surgeon0; 02-15-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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post #12 of 46 Old 02-15-2017, 05:39 AM
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Drop pan , clean magnets, replace filter, and refill with new OE ATF.

Nothing but ignorant hearsay from shops and armchair bandits concerning fluid changes. Don't get scared by the sheeple fear that is spread to the zombie masses.

Maintain it and learn to maintain your vehicle's better in the future.
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post #13 of 46 Old 02-15-2017, 11:40 AM
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Go ahead and drop the pan change out the filter put a new gasket in the pan and put it back together. I recommend using Max life synthetic transmission fluid which I use on all my Toyotas. I believe it holds around 3 to 4 quarts of oil I would take it out for drive say about 10 miles round-trip come back and drain the transmission again through the drain plug in the pan. I would do this three more times over the next couple of weeks this way you get out most of the old transmission fluid. Also by some fiber washers from Toyota or local Pep Boys or O'Reillys etc. the fiber washers need to be changed every time you loosen up the drain plug on the transmission pan after this change out your transmission fluid once every 25,000 by just draining through the transmission pan good luck on the tranny. You can buy Max life synthetic transmission fluid at Walmart 1 gallon bottle around $20 best prices anywhere and this stuff is fantastic in your transmission.Also remember to check the fluid level by starting the car with your brake on put the transmission lever through all the gears a couple of times put it in park and test your oil level.
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post #14 of 46 Old 02-15-2017, 12:08 PM
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There are a least 3 ways to do it

A pan drain and refill approx 2-3 qts changed This is the safe way to do it

A Flush where the total amount is changed out and a cleaning fluid is ran through approx 12-16 qts

A Fluid Exchange where the fluid is pumped out similar to a flush , But only trans fluid is used 12-16 qts

The tork converter holds a lot of fluid that is why so much is used. You run the car and pump fluid out through the cooler line into a container and you can refill through the dip stick.

I have done fluid exchanges on all my cars with great results.
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post #15 of 46 Old 02-15-2017, 02:17 PM
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+1 on carl h. i did the fluid exchange on my 94. amazing what comes out via this method.

i'm still cornfused about what happened 20k ago. you said they replaced the trans pan? if so, then i'm not sure why you're even worried about it at this point, since you have at least 10k miles before you need to do a drain and refill as they would have had to put new fluid in it when they replaced the pan.
or did i miss something?

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