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Old 12-29-2011, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Transmission Fluid Change

Just did the first transfluid change at 40K and noticed a slight, but a better shift quality in the vehicle. The parts dept. tried to talk me out of buying the fluid ( at $14.50 a qt ) and insisted the fluid is good until 100K.

I plan on changing it at probably every 3rd or 4th oil change now. Just wish it wasn't such a mess. Thanks for such a great site!!

2008 Sport FWD V6
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The fluid does appear to be good for 100k miles, even though others will argue if it doesn't stay bright red it equals bad fluid (their professional judgment on fluid condition and chemistry). Changing the fluid indeed changes the shift behavior a bit as the tranny ECU had adapted to the existing fluid. It'll re-adapt to the fresher fluid over time.

I just drove my mom's 07 HL the other day (137k miles) with the original trans fluid in the 5-speed. The fluid is darker, and she's even towed a trailer and boat occasionally, however the thing shifts as seamless and creamy as the day she bought it new. For sure it was due for a drain and fill some time ago, but it does speak to the amazing chemistry of modern fluids and to the probably exhaustive testing Toy engineers did to make a 100k fluid interval.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm a bit hesitant to go so long, irrelevant of what Toyota says. I'm doing 45k intervals. On my Sequoia the engine coolant recommendation is 100k but after the 100k interval it is recommended to go to 50k intervals. If I'm using the same fluid how is it half as good come the second change? I'll stick with 45k.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Stick with the maintenance especially if you notice the shift quality change. Change it more frequently.

I could care less what Toyota claims their ATF is good for. There is a good SAE paper on ATF's that shows how lame WS is. In some aspects, the performance of T-IV, for transmission longevity, was better than WS. It makes you wonder what the manufacturer is giving up for that MPG that they are pushing with the thinner fluids.

I haven't seen a UOA/PC on WS that shows 100k as a great idea either.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think we all have had issues adjusting to newer maintenance intervals, as they contradict everything we've learned and fly in the face of "common sense" or casual observation (like fluid color). On matters of spark plugs and coolant and timing belts, for example, very few change those at earlier intervals than Toy recommends and you know what? Toy is right, the iridium plugs at 100k or 150k miles are virtually identical to new ones. Same for coolant at 100k miles; on my '02 HL I drained coolant at 152k when I did my first timing belt. It was perfect as were the insides of the water pump, hoses and radiator connections.

Same trust in Toy for the timing belt, but I suspect it's because the cost deters paranoia for earlier than scheduled changes.

My point? We trust Toy on myriad items, yet we are willing to "meh" carefully tested recommendations for oil and trans fluid, mainly on folklore of the past, or hunches that have absolutely no more validity that throwing a dart on a wall of mileage numbers and using that as intervals. Why 45k? why not 50K? 30k?
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVConsult View Post
My point? We trust Toy on myriad items, yet we are willing to "meh" carefully tested recommendations for oil and trans fluid, mainly on folklore of the past, or hunches that have absolutely no more validity that throwing a dart on a wall of mileage numbers and using that as intervals. Why 45k? why not 50K? 30k?
As a Toyota Service Adviser I saw plenty of cars with Toyota World Standard 100k ATF come in at 90k needed a trans. You think Toyota stepped up and repaired any of them because the customer was following the service schedule? You're covered as long as you have a warranty, beyond that good luck.

I do 45k because I'm comfortable with that interval. I don't think it's too infrequent nor too frequent, i.e. for me it's every 4-5 years. If I towed I'd do 30k intervals. Change all your fluids at 100k if you like, your choice, I don't mind throwing $500 every 4-5 years to replace every single fluid in the vehicle.

I think Toyota recommends higher intervals because it makes the perception of long term vehicle cost lower than if they said replace it every 30k. I noticed Toyota changed the oil change intervals to correspond with their new pre-paid maintenance. I guess if you recommend every 10k vs. 5k you wind up cutting the program cost in half which is significant on such a large scale. I have a feeling if the free pre paid maintenance is ever eliminated you will see the OCI change as well.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe you trust Toyota. But I don't trust them and keep an OPEN EYE to all failures and re-adjust my maintenance as I see fit.

WS is overrated by Toyota and under performing, in both a SAE paper and in UOAs. Toyota was dreaming. They call it "lowering the cost and hassle of maintenance" to cater to the lazy consumer that trades in regularly. Great for marketing. Horrible for longevity.

With all the water pump, heater core, and radiator failures that I've seen, I have no faith in Red or Pink antifreeze and use 'other brands'. Sure, we're still blaming the suppliers on a run of bad parts.

Concerning sparkplugs, I've measured many 'fancy' plugs and they definitely open up with time. I have no problem using double platinum or double iridium type plugs indefinitely as long as I regap them regularly. Easier to replace when they're out so that you don't have to worry about them 'failing'. Plugs are still cheap.

Concerning timing belt depends on other things? Why even bring it up? We don't worry about timing belts on the 3.5L? But, interference vs non-interference is usually what I look at. But, I see other failure points often enough. Oil seals, coolants leaks, bad idler or tensioner bearings.... and just plain old noise being a reason enough to change out a timing belt early. Plus, newer belts are 'aramid' fiber(kevlar) reinforced. This pretty much prevents the instant break-down 'snapped belt' issue that was more common a decade or two ago.

I trust that my Tundra's frame won't rust out. Thanks for the great Tacoma buyback!
I trust that my 3.5L oil hose won't leak or burst, and I won't be bothered by that startup racket from defective cams and vvt.
I trust that my 2.4L won't spit out stripped head bolts even if its inevitable.
I trust that my transfer case won't seize. No ATF in my xcase gear oil...yet!
I trust that my parking brake drum levers won't rust out again and again.
I trust that my 2.2L or 3.0L won't turn into a sludge monster.
I trust that my steering shaft won't knock.
I trust that my driveshaft won't knock either. What is it with Toyota and splined shafts?
I trust that 5.7L won't blow another front or rear end.
I trust that I won't have to replace that damn JBL amp a 3rd time.
I trust that all the problems that everyone else posts won't occur with me.
I trust that my Toyota's quality hasn't slipped at all ever.

NOT!

Keep drinking that Koolaid. Definitely some Toyota fanboys overly brainwashed on their superiority complex.

Its a machine. You can take care of it, or you can ignore it. The end result is whether you can say you made that effort, or just say &^% it and when it breaks, just unload it. A few hundred bucks extra maintenance on a $40k vehicle doesn't seem too unjustifiable, does it?
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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yea, recent trends have me worried. oil changes every 10k miles now (instead of 5k), im sorry but I want my engine to last as long as possible without any "hiccups"...I'll stick with what I know and trust when it comes to fluid intervals.
I usually have the tranny fluid flushed and refilled every 50k in all of my vehicles (HL included)
Now I (and almost every member in my family) usually keep our cars for 10 years and I average usually 20-30k miles a year... I believe toyota makes a car thats reliable (under their maintenance intervals) till the average lifespan of a car for the average consumer is complete. But I tend to keep my cars longer and accumulate more miles, so if any maintance intervals seem long I will ignore them and use my common sense. spending early (or spending extra for more frequent changes) to prevent big expenses later does not bother me at all
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think 10K between oil changes is a little excessive, I like to stick to the 5K intervals.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Cool rant, there dead. Off topic (defective materials or engineering), but passionate and well received.

My only point; the responsible thing on the forum is to present opinions as such. Pontificate all you want based on your hunches, musing, flatulation pressure, LSD trips or Toyota whisperers, but if you pass along your musings as a large body of statistical measurement and conclusion, you're going to get grilled for it from engineering types who know when to lift their feet. Neither you or *anyone* on this forum are in any position to *factually* alter the owner's manual recommendation's, or mitigate the hundreds of testing hours performed by the manufacturer to make those recommendations. If the SAE has a paper on the subject, bring it on--link to it-- so we can all consider it.

I trust you'll enjoy New Years!

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Old 12-30-2011, 09:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've been wondering about those maintenance schedules. I've also wondered about the 0w20 olive oil viscosity fluid they use as engine oil. I think it's SAE SM qualified. I've already asked Toyota if I could put in Castrol Syntec 0w30 in the summer. They don't recommend that. I've been told that SL qualified oils have better engine protection components.... zinc compounds.... to help in reducing wear. SM qualified have lower levels of the zinc compounds. I think the Castrol 5w40 is SM while their 5w30, 5w20, and 0w30 are SL. I've only seen 0w20 with Mobil 1 and it's advertised as an "Eco" oil. The 0w20 viscosity, I suspect, is completely based on fuel efficiency goals. It doesn't really make sense to use a 0w20 viscosity oil for a vehicle that has a towing capacity of 5000lbs.

I don't think I will be following their 12000km oil change intervals. I'm struggling with following their 8000km first oil change recommendation. I'm at 3200km and I'm tempted to do that first oil change just to get the break-in debris out of the oil pan.

I just might send my first drain interval oil change used oil for an oil analysis just to see what that demonstrates.

For any of the fluids that experience lots of shear forces, I would probably change at an interval that's comfortable for me (likely 6000km for engine oil), without being excessive. As for fluids that don't experience a lot of shear forces, I'll probably follow the owner's manual recommendations.

Cheers

P.S. I think this is a good site for engine oil references

P.P.S. And this is the section that makes me want to change the engine oil and other high-shear exposed oils, to more frequent changes.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Pontificate? Goes both ways.

I am one of those "engineering types". Cost is the predominant decision maker. Engineers are leashed by cost accountants. You're leashed by your budget too. How much testing does a manufacture do compared to the owners? Feel like a guinea pig yet? We have a TSB or recall for that!

The SAE paper is a google search away and costs money to download or have mailed to you. If you're a student, the campus library should be able to provide it to you. UOAs are too. Or, you can test it yourself.

I enjoy life everyday. I don't wait for holidays to enjoy living. I wish that more would celebrate their life daily, and not just during calendar events.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have to say I'm on the same page as "Dead" and doing my own maintanence work for the last 30+ years I will stick with the "common sense" approach on the fluid change intervals. They have never failed me in the past, so there is no reason to start switching now.

All the manf's want you to use their brand of fluid, but the only one I usually do that with is the transmission. The amount of testing these companies do is pretty extense, but you have to remember that it is based on their own facts and marketing opinions.

If we believed everything we read we would all be using all the snake oil products that are out there i.e. Slick 50, Tornado, fuel line magnets, etc.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I wonder if these were the same Toyota Engineers who specified an oil return tube made out of metal and rubber. Also, I wonder if these were the same Toyota Engineers who did thousands of miles of testing on this metal/rubber tube.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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All good points brought up, Toyota engineers are no more infallible than anyone else.

I'll trust what my mechanic says along with what mechanics that I have managed in the past that have real world experience with repairs say. Again every 45k EVERY single fluid is replaced in the vehicle. I'm willing to 'gamble' $500 dollars that I made the right choice vs. waiting until 100k and having things fail (out of warranty).

As I said in a previous post, if you wait to change your trans fluid at 100k and it fails at 80k do you think Toyota will pay for the repair???
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