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Old 11-15-2006, 07:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Corolla black transmission oil

My daughter's '05 Corolla had very dark trans oil at 29'000 miles. I drained 3 qts and refilled. I am aware that that is only a low % of the total fluid in the case, but it did greatly improve the color, back to red and clearer. Now at 35,000 miles, it is quite dark again.
Any imput on this would be appreciated.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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try replacing the filter and OIL together. Sure it's not just DARK red?
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Question is, why so black or dark so soon? Have owned many cars that kept trans oil cherry red and quite translucent for 60,000 + miles.
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know, quiet possibly it's the type of fluid that toyota uses? you'd have to find out from someone with a newer corolla, I have never checked my fluid...
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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black fluid in an automatic means that its been burnt due to friction. i'll bet $50 that that transmission is slipping or will be slipping noticably within the next 10,000 miles if it doesnt fail sooner.

dark red on the otherhand can be normal, iirc toyota T type is synthetic isnt it? those fluids darken a little at an early age but dont break down as fast.
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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well, toyota and honda (newer) fluid, i believe, isn't the same color as a dexIII.... and adding dexIII could be bad.....
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Adding Dex III is bad for the Corolla since the corolla requires T4 transmission fluild. I replaced my transmisson fuild after a year and my car is shifting really nice. Take the Corolla to a dealership and geta transmisson flush ASAP before your blow the transmisson
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To corolla dude and others, thanks for the input.
The original factory fill turned very dark, and she had car from first day it arrived at dealer.
It never had Dex trans in it.
I went to the dealer today and they said all Toyota fluids (trans) turn very dark in 30000 miles.They recommend changing fluid at 15000, and power flush every 30000. The owners manual does not rec changing in the first 120,000 miles, which is just as silly.
Also, dealer could not find the trans capacity in any of their manuals or on their computer.
They guessed that it holds from 8-16 quarts, but did not know...
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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the dealer wants you to come in and pay for it as much as they can convince you of
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Old 11-16-2006, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Regardless of what you do, changing the fluid more frequently then recommended will prolong trans life! The hotter the trans fluid gets, the more rapidly it ages and darkens. What type of driving does your daughter do, lots of stop and go, traffic jams, pulling a trailer, etc? Adding an oil cooler will keep the fluid temp lower and prolong its life.

On these long life fluids, the dealer may have a color chart. The dealer will compare the fluid color to the chart and determine if it needs changing. Is the fluid black or reddish black! Does it smell burned! A Goggle search may turn up this color chart.

Just draining and filling the trans will only get out about 2/3rds of the fluid, the rest remains in the torque converter. A power flush will remove all the fluid. It is also possible to remove an oil line from the trans oil cooler and let the trans pump drain all the oil out. This requires some finess.

The dealer should know exactly how much fluid trans holds by looking in the service manual. An Avalon or Camry will hold a max of say 5-6 qrts depending on transmission type, as such 8-16 qrts seems a lot of fluid for this size car. Don’t use any fluid in the trans other then what is stated in the owner’s manual or stamped on the dipstick.

If you do your own servicing, drain and refill the trans again. When it comes to transmission life, changing the trans fluid more often is better! If you get bored, a search of the TN history search will turn up a lot of discussion on the subjects of long life trans fluid, flushing the trans, fluid color and odor, etc, etc.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortd
To corolla dude and others, thanks for the input.
The original factory fill turned very dark, and she had car from first day it arrived at dealer.
It never had Dex trans in it.
I went to the dealer today and they said all Toyota fluids (trans) turn very dark in 30000 miles.They recommend changing fluid at 15000, and power flush every 30000. The owners manual does not rec changing in the first 120,000 miles, which is just as silly.
Also, dealer could not find the trans capacity in any of their manuals or on their computer.
They guessed that it holds from 8-16 quarts, but did not know...
holds 8qts. you can get a FSM on this site for the car, http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t62504.html

heres a direct link for a 2004:
http://www.users.on.net/~bmrogers/2004.zip
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like your daughter is being awfully hard on that corolla. Usually tranmission fluid will only get like that if the transmission is having issues OR if the car is being beaten.

How old is your daughter and like asked before, how does she treat the car?
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