Have any Toyota e-CVTs actually failed? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 1st Gen - Hybrid (XU20/2005-2007) Toyota Highlander Hybrid discussion for years 2005-2007.

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-11-2019, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Have any Toyota e-CVTs actually failed?

I just got through a cycle of drain & fills for my 2005 Sienna, which calls for Type IV (used Maxlife because of recommendations here and elsewhere).

I looked into doing this with my 2006 Highlander Hybrid AWD Limited, and the manual calls for WS (Maxlife meets that standard as well), but then calls for only checking the atf every 30,000 miles, and the manual says that I only really need to change it if I drive it in a desert, or on dirt roads (I live in a desert, but thankfully we have paved roads, so that doesn't apply).

I know some folks don't believe in lifetime fluids--or that it only lasts for the lifetime of the transmission, however long that is. But I'm wondering--have any of these e-CVTs (PSD or whatever you want to call it) actually failed from lack of fluid changes? I'm more than willing to change the fluid if I think it will improve the chances of lasting 200,000-300,000 miles (it is at 122K right now) but I see no reason to create more waste fluid if that wouldn't be the case.


EDIT: I know that this is in the Highlander hybrid forum, but unless I'm mistaken, the e-CVTs work roughly the same for all Toyota hybrids, so I would be interested if other Toyota hybrid e-cvts failed also, not just for highlanders. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.

Last edited by paulri; 05-11-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-11-2019, 10:54 AM
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I've never heard of the e-CVT failing due to lack of fluid changes, have heard of them going bad due to internal wiring problems. But changing the fluid is very easy so why not do it? The rear drive unit oil is also super easy to change.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-11-2019, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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I'm fine with doing it if it will help. All I have to buy (that I don't already have) would be a fluid pump, which must be a lot cheaper than taking it in for a service.



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Originally Posted by 71Corolla View Post
. But changing the fluid is very easy so why not do it? The rear drive unit oil is also super easy to change.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-11-2019, 06:35 PM
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Hybrids do not have CVT. They operate completely different from them and, as such, are in category of their own.
Technically speaking, they are epicyclical gear set with 2 electric motors. More of automatic transmission gear set. Sun, ring and planetary gears. There is literally no hydraulic strain on ATF as it is splash lubricant.
Change at your own decision.



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I don't have much mechanical knowledge. But I am taking your comments to mean that there isn't as much reason to change the ATF as in other transmissions.

Given that it is lifetime fluid, but hasn't been changed in 120K miles, I'm wondering if I should. And if you are suggesting that it is really my call, that implies that it doesn't really matter doesn't it? Not trying to put words into your mouth, feel free to clarify if you'd like to....

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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Hybrids do not have CVT. They operate completely different from them and, as such, are in category of their own.
Technically speaking, they are epicyclical gear set with 2 electric motors. More of automatic transmission gear set. Sun, ring and planetary gears. There is literally no hydraulic strain on ATF as it is splash lubricant.
Change at your own decision.
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HSD does use a CVT yes it is a different type but still continuously varies the ratio. I did a fluid swap in a 2007 HiHy with 150,000 miles the fluid was starting to turn, much better than you'd see in a conventional unit but the fluid was breaking down.

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-12-2019, 10:01 AM
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In my 8 years here, we have 2 opinions.
1. change regularly, just like any ATF. Personally, I changed every 50 000 miles, just because. But I am well equipped for any mechanical job and sometimes don't really have much to do to sit at home bicker with wife, so some of it is that type of motivation.
2. follow what Toyota says and do not change it at all. We do have owners that did just that - keep driving - and they apparently have no issues with that approach too.
I amn trying to remember, as I do not really keep tally of specific problems... I think we had 1 or 2 members that has PSD replaced. PSD, not HSD, is formal name for your transmission - Power Split Device. Motor Generators in it are cooled by inverter coolant, ATF in it is splash lubricant. This suggests really nothing. It is very basic very simple about 30 min job, likely mostly done for the peace of mind and technical recreation. Again, it is your call. For a well rounded DIY person, I'd say - sure, go ahead, have fun. For someone who has to pay for it - entirely up to you.



Should you go here:


https://us.lexusownersclub.com/forum...d/#entry467617


you can see the process. From 2012 upward they moved filler plug to the tire well side, that's about it difference wise.


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@71Corolla .

I had this discussed beyond reason. Toyota called PSD a CVT for the purpose of Federal registration, to be able to sell Prius in the US.

Does it change gear ratios or not, shows here:


Always in Top Gear

We have discovered above how the Prius transmission uses an epicyclic gear, a generator and control electronics to adjust the spin rate of the engine without the use of either a step transmission or a conventional CVT. We also discovered that a fixed proportion (about 72%) of the ICE torque is sent mechanically to the wheels. Without the ability to change the gear ratio between the ICE and the wheels, we cannot multiply up the ICE torque to get high acceleration at low speed. Although we've solved the problem of letting the ICE spin at a suitable rate when the car is moving slowly, the torque coupling is equivalent to always being in top gear!

http://prius.ecrostech.com/original/PriusFrames.htm




We are entering realm of words : as if, like, similar, etc.



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post #8 of 9 Old 05-12-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for giving me some perspective on that. At this point (120K miles) I will pass on that. I think I very well might go into this when I have more spare time, but you've removed the urgency to do it, that's for sure.


FWIW, I looked over the maintenance records this evening, & the mechanic that maintained the vehicle before I got it, who had a good working relationship with the previous owner, never suggested that it be done, so he also must have not seen it as very necessary in the first 120K (I just got it a month or two ago) miles of life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
In my 8 years here, we have 2 opinions.
1. change regularly, just like any ATF. Personally, I changed every 50 000 miles, just because. But I am well equipped for any mechanical job and sometimes don't really have much to do to sit at home bicker with wife, so some of it is that type of motivation.
2. follow what Toyota says and do not change it at all. We do have owners that did just that - keep driving - and they apparently have no issues with that approach too.
I amn trying to remember, as I do not really keep tally of specific problems... I think we had 1 or 2 members that has PSD replaced. PSD, not HSD, is formal name for your transmission - Power Split Device. Motor Generators in it are cooled by inverter coolant, ATF in it is splash lubricant. This suggests really nothing. It is very basic very simple about 30 min job, likely mostly done for the peace of mind and technical recreation. Again, it is your call. For a well rounded DIY person, I'd say - sure, go ahead, have fun. For someone who has to pay for it - entirely up to you.

Should you go here:

https://us.lexusownersclub.com/forum...d/#entry467617

you can see the process. From 2012 upward they moved filler plug to the tire well side, that's about it difference wise.

Last edited by paulri; 05-12-2019 at 11:46 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-13-2019, 12:08 PM
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There are multiple vehicles out there, imports and domestics, with "lifetime" fluids. Heck, even my 2019 RAM has it. And that is a high abuse transmission.
I always suggest this - do what makes you feel comfortable and sleep well. Me - I'd have had it changed twice already. But everyone is different. As far as it is knowing comfort, not laziness.



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