opinions on need to change differential and other fluids - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-29-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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opinions on need to change differential and other fluids

Hey Folks,
I have an '02 Tundra with 18,500 miles (no, that's not a typo) and I'm wondering about the necessity of changing the front and rear differential fluids, transfer case fluid, and tranny fluid, and also the coolant. In the future, I'll be using this to pull a boat trailer (around 2500 lbs total) about 1000-1500 miles per year. The owner's manual suggests fairly regular changes if you're trailering (which they don't get very specific about), but this is by no means a lot of trailering. It's not like I'm hauling a construction trailer every day due to a job, etc. However, I've also read that these fluids can deteriorate over time, so mileage is not necessarily the only indicator.
I went to two dealerships. One service manager said he wouldn't worry about changing the diff's and tranny, but would definitely suggest changing the coolant since it breaks down over time.
I talked to the main mechanic at the other dealership, and he said he'd strongly suggest changing the diff's and transfer case, but not the tranny. He also said don't worry about the coolant; it doesn't break down or lose properties.
See why I might be a little confused? :-)
I'd appreciate any knowledgeable or experienced advice on this dilemma.
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-30-2014, 09:38 AM
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Search and try to find some information on electrolysis / engine coolant. I think this is the most important reason to service your coolant every few years.

The rear differential fluid is the one that's going to see the most wear / breakdown due to heat and friction. I generally say to service every 30k. If its a dedicated tow vehicle then I would do it more frequently (maybe 15).

I've seen several trucks used for launching boats where the rear diff has seen water contamination -- in this case it needs to be serviced immediately. I would recommend you rig up some type of remote breather tube / filter to raise it from the axle housing, and above the water level.

I personally am not too concerned with the transfer case, or front differential fluids unless they have seen a lot of 4wd use. You should use your 4wd every month or so to keep the actuators moving freely.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-01-2014, 12:33 PM
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I change my diffs every 30k with royal purple. My trans is every 50k, my radiator is every 40k, my engine oil and filter is every 5k with royal purple. my spark plugs are every 100k.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-01-2014, 04:36 PM
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I bought my 04 at 96,000 and changed every thing with synthetic (Amzoil). Also replaced waterpump and belt along with new antifreeze at 100,000 miles. I tow my 21ft. Travel trailer quite often. So, yours being so low on miles go ahead and use your own judgment. One thing I would like to throw out there is check to see if the breather hose for the transmission is kinked. It is right behind the top back of engine. Mine had the trans. fluid come out of the dip stick tube because of back pressure. Thanks for a fellow Tundra owner telling me to check that out before I took it to a shop.

Last edited by waterboydf; 02-01-2014 at 04:42 PM.
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