Transmission Advice - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Avalon 2nd Generation (2000-2004) Specific discussion of the second generation Toyota Avalon

 3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 24 Old 05-04-2019, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
Ratcheting Novice
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Transmission Advice

So I need some input/advice.

I bought a 2004 Toyota Avalon XLS several months with 150,000 miles on it. The previous owner told me it was well taken care of but, in retrospect, the history he gave me was pretty limited. Being a bit naive on automotive knowledge and feeling a bit of pressure to get a halfway decent running car, I thought it was a good deal and I bought it without inspecting it more thoroughly than I should have.

Today, I was checking the ATF level and noticed the fluid is pretty dark colored. The level seemed fine but it is definitely not the pink-colored fluid I expected to find. I didn't really feel any obvious metal grit to it but I'm feeling pretty disheartened about the finding. I don't know when it was last changed. See attached photo.

I need this car to keep running. At least for another year. Preferably long enough to get me through PA school (27 months). But before I start school in July, I need to drive this car from Virginia to Nevada.

My question is would it be wise to at least do a drain and fill before the 2,600 mile trip or should I just leave that ATF alone as it might be the only thing keeping that tranny going? I definitely don't want to make things worse and have it start slipping.

Thanks in advance for the help, folks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo_2019-05-04_19-49-26.jpg (82.3 KB, 36 views)
johnnyofnm is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 Old 05-04-2019, 08:47 PM
Senior TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2,157
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 660 Post(s)
Thanks: 13
Thanked 257 Times in 241 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Drain/refill is a good start. At that mileage, I would drop the pan, clean the magnets, and replace the ATF filter/oring...
...
Belts, coolant, thermostat, serpentine belt, PSF, brake fluid bleed, engine air filter, spark plugs, cabin air filter, PCV valve... are some other things to consider
Old Mechanic likes this.

So many trolls so little time
Greasymechtech is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Greasymechtech For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-04-2019)
post #3 of 24 Old 05-04-2019, 09:21 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: irvine
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 167 Post(s)
Thanks: 77
Thanked 23 Times in 23 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Transmission Advice

Donít rush. Your car will be fine. Take a deep breath and take it slow. Check everything and replace as needed. Your car will last longer than one year and more as long as you donít abuse it.
Drain and refill is not bad

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Last edited by corolapete; 05-04-2019 at 09:24 PM.
corolapete is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to corolapete For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-04-2019)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 24 Old 05-04-2019, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
Ratcheting Novice
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasymechtech View Post
Drain/refill is a good start. At that mileage, I would drop the pan, clean the magnets, and replace the ATF filter/oring...
...
Belts, coolant, thermostat, serpentine belt, PSF, brake fluid bleed, engine air filter, spark plugs, cabin air filter, PCV valve... are some other things to consider
Thanks for your advice.

Cabin and engine air filters have been recently replaced and look good. Previous owner did mention that it was due for a timing belt replacement. I've already bought a new belt and water pump that a friend is going to help me put in. While I'm doing that I will be putting in new coolant and replacing the thermostat and probably the serpentine belt too and keep the old one as a spare.

I'm pretty much a novice with automotive work but I do enjoy learning. Didn't know what a PCV valve was until I looked it up after you mentioned it. I'll examine it and the hoses tomorrow.

Looks like I'll need to order some parts and several quarts of Dextron ATF because I'll have to do the drain and fill and probably have to flush the PS while I'm at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corolapete View Post
Donít rush. Your car will be fine. Take a deep breath and take it slow. Check everything and replace as needed. Your car will last longer than one year and more as long as you donít abuse it.
Drain and refill is not bad

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I'm really hoping so.

Last edited by johnnyofnm; 05-05-2019 at 11:14 AM.
johnnyofnm is offline  
post #5 of 24 Old 05-04-2019, 10:38 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: irvine
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 167 Post(s)
Thanks: 77
Thanked 23 Times in 23 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Transmission Advice

Timing belt is a challenge but very doable with your friends help if he knows what he is doing otherwise you will spend a lot of time replacing it. I did not want to spend a lot of time learning and doing it so I paid someone a master tech who did it on the side for very reasonable rate. He finished it in 2 1/2 hours. Make sure you buy the timing belt kit and itís called aisin. Those are the oem parts. They are not very expensive. They last a long time. Once you replace timing belt it is advisable to change what is already around the area such as water pump, belts and tensioner and etc included on the kit. There is more but canít think of it now as I am posting this in a public place . Just get the complete kit Then you will be good for 100k Miles. Since you mentioned that owner said that needs timing belt did he tell you when he changed it last? If never, you should change it.
Donít think Dexron is the choice for your transmission. You might want to get Valvoline max life.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
corolapete is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to corolapete For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-04-2019)
post #6 of 24 Old 05-04-2019, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
Ratcheting Novice
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by corolapete View Post
Make sure you buy the timing belt kit and itís called aisin. Those are the oem parts. They are not very expensive. They last a long time. Once you replace timing belt it is advisable to change what is already around the area such as water pump, belts and tensioner and etc included on the kit. There is more but canít think of it now as I am posting this in a public place . Just get the complete kit Then you will be good for 100k Miles. Since you mentioned that owner said that needs timing belt did he tell you when he changed it last? If never, you should change it.
There is writing on the side of the timing belt compartment saying it was replaced in 2012 at 84,735 miles. Previous owner of the car bought it at 93,000 and never replaced it again. It's pretty much due. I already bought the new belt and water pump from a Toyota dealership. Their service department recommended replacing crankshaft oil seal and camshaft seal when changing belt, so I swiped those up too.

Didn't know at the time that there are kits available online (again, new to this). So, I don't have the hydraulic tensioner, tensioner bearing, and idler bearing that come with the kits so I gotta order those. Do you happen to know a good place to order those specific parts online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by corolapete View Post
Donít think Dexron is the choice for your transmission. You might want to get Valvoline max life.
The owners manual calls for "Toyota Genuine ATF D−II or DEXRON III (DEXRON II)" but perhaps I might want to consider an ATF with more protective properties and additives to help out my potentially over-worn transmission.

Thanks for the advice!
johnnyofnm is offline  
post #7 of 24 Old 05-05-2019, 12:15 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Thanks: 59
Thanked 53 Times in 51 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasymechtech View Post
Drain/refill is a good start. At that mileage, I would drop the pan, clean the magnets, and replace the ATF filter/oring...Belts, coolant, thermostat, serpentine belt, PSF, brake fluid bleed, engine air filter, spark plugs, cabin air filter, PCV valve... are some other things to consider
Good advice. Then after the trip, do the drain/refill again. Valvoline Maxlife ATF will work well. I use it on all the vehicles in my signature.

The Stable:
'00 Camry (adult daughter's)
'03 Avalon (daily driver)
'04 Avalon (wife's)
'05 Solara (adult son's)
'01 Silverado
MacQ is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to MacQ For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-06-2019)
post #8 of 24 Old 05-05-2019, 01:52 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 909
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 364 Post(s)
Thanks: 5
Thanked 121 Times in 103 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
I also recommend a drain and refill before the trip. Then again after the trip.

I would not use Valvoline Maxlife, however. Or any or "LV" or Dexron 6 fluid. These are all ultra thin viscosity fluids and your transmission was designed for thicker Dexron II and III fluids. So was your power steering system.

If you want to use a full synthetic ATF I suggest Mobil 1 ATF (see photo below) - it has the same viscosity of conventional Dexron III fluids. If you want to use a conventional ATF the two in the photo below are dedicated Dexron III fluids
Attached Images
File Type: jpg before.jpg (278.0 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by kathyricks; 05-05-2019 at 01:55 AM.
kathyricks is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to kathyricks For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-06-2019)
post #9 of 24 Old 05-05-2019, 04:32 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Boston area
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Thanks: 15
Thanked 53 Times in 52 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
One move to contemplate: if you haven't had it looked at by a mechanic, have that done. That's a long trek you're planning.

It takes some time to find a shop that (a) assigns a seasoned mechanic to a good look-see and (b) charges you reasonably. In our area (outside Boston) there are a number of old shops that do good work. You can find them via their ratings at Google, Yelp, etc., and any community ratings done by newspapers or consumer groups. The best choices tend to be longstanding independent shops with Toyota experience.

Combing through everything takes about an hour. Boston shop hourly rates are $125-140.

01 Avalon XL
03 Avalon XL
OleAvalon is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to OleAvalon For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-06-2019)
post #10 of 24 Old 05-05-2019, 09:04 AM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: irvine
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 167 Post(s)
Thanks: 77
Thanked 23 Times in 23 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyofnm View Post
There is writing on the side of the timing belt compartment saying it was replaced in 2012 at 84,735 miles. Previous owner of the car bought it at 93,000 and never replaced it again. It's pretty much due. I already bought the new belt and water pump from a Toyota dealership. Their service department recommended replacing crankshaft oil seal and camshaft seal when changing belt, so I swiped those up too.

Didn't know at the time that there are kits available online (again, new to this). So, I don't have the hydraulic tensioner, tensioner bearing, and idler bearing that come with the kits so I gotta order those. Do you happen to know a good place to order those specific parts online?


The owners manual calls for "Toyota Genuine ATF D−II or DEXRON III (DEXRON II)" but perhaps I might want to consider an ATF with more protective properties and additives to help out my potentially over-worn transmission.

Thanks for the advice!
The timing belt documentation from previous owner is a good reference however we do or don't know what he used. Assuming toyota parts then you don't need to panic. You also mentioned you got your new parts at toyota dealer , so you can disregard my aisin comment. As for the other parts you are asking you can try rockauto. The people here recommend it. I purchased my parts on ebay but you have to really know how to buy on ebay. I am willing to take that risk. Amazon might also be another option.

Your choice in transmission fluid is good. I got confused on my dexron comment thats why I said I am not sure but the valvoline maxlife still stands.
corolapete is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to corolapete For This Useful Post:
johnnyofnm (05-06-2019)
post #11 of 24 Old 05-05-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
Ratcheting Novice
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacQ View Post
Good advice. Then after the trip, do the drain/refill again. Valvoline Maxlife ATF will work well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathyricks View Post
I also recommend a drain and refill before the trip. Then again after the trip.
Definitely will do the drain / refill and ATF filter replacement before the trip and then again after the trip. Will have to find time between classes and studying to do it. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by corolapete View Post
The timing belt documentation from previous owner is a good reference however we do or don't know what he used. Assuming toyota parts then you don't need to panic. You also mentioned you got your new parts at toyota dealer , so you can disregard my aisin comment. As for the other parts you are asking you can try rockauto. The people here recommend it.
I actually managed to pull up some service records from the VIN from Toyota's service website. Seems the owners prior to the people I purchased the car from had the timing belt and water pump replaced at a dealership. Since the services notes don't describe them being replaced at that time, I've ordered the idler pulley and tensioner pulley bearings. I actually just ended up ordering an ACDELCO timing belt kit on Rockauto that included those both for less money than ordering them separately and I'll just consider the included timing belt a bonus!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OleAvalon View Post
One move to contemplate: if you haven't had it looked at by a mechanic, have that done. That's a long trek you're planning.
I will definitely consider this. It would probably be worth the peace of mind for the long trip.

Thanks for the pointers, everyone! You've got a fantastic community here.
johnnyofnm is offline  
post #12 of 24 Old 05-06-2019, 05:36 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 178
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Thanks: 2
Thanked 16 Times in 15 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Just another thought: is the radiator original? Toyota radiators seem to crack somewhat frequently around the 12-15 year, 120K-150K mark. Typically they crack in the upper plastic tank, so you should be able to catch the problem before it overheats your car. But, with that trip planned and if you're already doing timing belt/water pump/coolant/thermostat, I think it might be a good idea to change out the radiator and radiator hoses. The radiator and alternator are the two non-maintenance items that I wouldn't be surprised if they failed at this age/mileage. But, the alternator can be tested with a voltmeter - if it tests fine, it'll last awhile (and definitely last you through the trip, as alternators tend to fail slowly). It's hard to see when a radiator will crack, though.

2001 Camry LE 2.2L, Black, 146K as of 6/19
Bought 10/16 with 131K

2001 Camry LE 2.2L, Lunar Mist Metallic, 96K as of 6/19
Bought 6/01 brand new
jiantao is online now  
post #13 of 24 Old 05-06-2019, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
Ratcheting Novice
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiantao View Post
Just another thought: is the radiator original? Toyota radiators seem to crack somewhat frequently around the 12-15 year, 120K-150K mark. Typically they crack in the upper plastic tank, so you should be able to catch the problem before it overheats your car. But, with that trip planned and if you're already doing timing belt/water pump/coolant/thermostat, I think it might be a good idea to change out the radiator and radiator hoses. The radiator and alternator are the two non-maintenance items that I wouldn't be surprised if they failed at this age/mileage. But, the alternator can be tested with a voltmeter - if it tests fine, it'll last awhile (and definitely last you through the trip, as alternators tend to fail slowly). It's hard to see when a radiator will crack, though.
I was doing some inspecting under the hood and I think the upper and lower radiator hoses must have been replaced with the last few years. They are still in good condition and the hose clamps are new. I can't be sure the thermostat was replaced when they did that work though.

The radiator looks like it is probably the one that came with the car off the lot and the alternator is definitely the one that came originally in the car but it hasn't given me problems yet. Definitely a consideration to replace the radiator before it fails but the costs of all these parts/fluids and the time to do the work (mostly by myself) is getting kind of crazy.
johnnyofnm is offline  
post #14 of 24 Old 05-06-2019, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
Ratcheting Novice
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
I'm planning to get the car up on stands tomorrow to drain the ATF, drop the pan, and replace the ATF filter. They have a Duralast filter kit that comes with the pan gasket at Autozone and a decent price for the Valvoline MaxLife (which many people recommended). Has anyone had problems with the Duralast filter?

Also, does anyone know the torque specs on the transmission valve body bolts? I want to make sure they are still to spec. Also the torque specs for the bolts around the pan?

Last edited by johnnyofnm; 05-06-2019 at 11:17 PM.
johnnyofnm is offline  
post #15 of 24 Old 05-06-2019, 09:55 PM
Official TN Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Thanks: 59
Thanked 53 Times in 51 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
I'll probably get "schooled" here by my comment but.....a Duralast tranny filter from the Zone should be fine. It's just a simple screen filter. I've used them.

As for the torque specs, 15 ft. lbs. sticks in my mind...but I can't swear to it.

The Stable:
'00 Camry (adult daughter's)
'03 Avalon (daily driver)
'04 Avalon (wife's)
'05 Solara (adult son's)
'01 Silverado
MacQ is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums > Toyota Passenger and Sports Car Forums > Avalon Forum > Avalon 2nd Generation (2000-2004)

Bookmarks

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome