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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I searched through many posts about doing this in my 2006 LE (9th gen) Corrola with automatic tranny. I intend to keep this car for a long long time and decided that a synthetic tranny oil would be a good idea. So at 20k miles, I wanted to do some flush/exchange of the fluid.

First off, as is well known, a large majority of fluid remains in the tranny (torque convertor and elsewhere), so my $6/quart fluid is going to get some dilution. It makes sense to remove as much as possible each time I drain and refill.

Some posts refer to draining the tranny pan (it has a plug), then refilling. Some posts just do that every 5-10k miles. Over time, the fluid gets replaced. But after the first time, you waste some of your new fluid as well.

Some posts talk about taking off the line to the cooler and then removing fluid from there, after having replaced the fluid in the pan. Apparently, at least older generation trannies do not cool ALL the fluid. The pump puts some fluid through the cooler (in the radiator) and the rest to the internals of the tranny.

It would seem to me that taking fluid out of the cooler lines, AFTER you have put new fluid in the sump/pan would be a bad idea. The fluid going into the pump is coming out of the sump/pan, right? And from the pump, part of it goes out into the tranny some to the cooler. So its the fluid you JUST added? Someone correct me here if I am in error of the plumbing in the 9th gen tranny.

So this is what I did:

1) I removed the hose from the BOTTOM line coming from the radiator, hopeing that it was the return line from the radiator (classically, coolers run the hot fluid into the top and cool fluid from the bottom). Had my wife start engine and I was right. I will add that this line returns to the tranny lower and slightly to the passenger side of the other line. Some other posts about earlier transmissions refer to the line on the "passenger sde", so perhaps they are similar in earlier generations too.

2) I had her run the engine till I started to hear something funny, which I assumed was air in the transmission pump. I did not wait till I started to get bubbles from the cooler return line, but I wonder if this would be safe?? I got about 2.5 quarts out from the return line in this manner first.

3) I then drained the tranny pan, getting another 1.5 quarts.

4) I tried to be cute/smart and used air pressure to "blow" out the cooler from the top line. I got another 2-3 ounces and made a helluva mess. Don't bother if you are following these directions -- its not worth it.

5) I then replaced the 4 quarts with a suitable synthetic (Amsoil, in my case, but I am in no means an Amsoil nut -- its just the cheapest synthetic oil I could find that was officially speced for Toyota type IV).

6) I intend to repeat this routine every 20k miles. Over time, I'll have pretty much pure synthetic and some fresh oil now and then as well.


One could argue to run the engine for a couple hundred miles and swap again. But each swap is a diminishing return. Now the oil is about 4/12 (or 1/3) fresh synthetic. The next 4 quarts removed will be 3.66 old oil and 1.33 new oil. So $8 of new oil just gets tossed out. I figure a regular program of exchanges every 20k should be ok. Some folks might argue for 10k.

I will say this -- untill I tried to blow the remaining fluid out of the cooler, it was a painless and clean process. You DO need a friend to start and stop the engine and it goes without saying that you DO NOT put the transaxle in gear!! And of course, the usual safety measures, like good stands etc.

Anyone know if I am correct about the plumbing of the 9th gen tranny? And I read about differentials in earlier trannes as well. But I saw no plug or drain on the 9th gen, so I assume that is not an issue.

Figured I'd let you know.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was not really noticing any trouble with the shifts before I changed the fluid.

The only annoying thing about the gen 9 auto tranny that I have noted is that after coasting for a while, say as one is slowing down, when I then accellerate, it re-engages rather suddenly and only after the engine is reved a little higher than from a full stop.

I have no idea why this is, but I wonder if its got something to do with the lock-up in the TQ.

I guess I could take it to the dealer and ask, but I am pretty sure I'd get the "blow off".
 

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i don't get why you needed to feel like you need changing the fluid after 20k miles. you do a lot of tranny shifting? even so it doesn't need to be changes that early. you are talking about a fluid flush and not a drain and refill. could have gotten oem fluid and fill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1) I only want to get to synthetic fluid over time.

2) My local Toyota dealer wants $6 per quart for OEM fluid. The synthetic stuff cost about $7 after shipping. Why would I want to drain and fill with OEM stuff?

3) Rather than attempt a complete flush at 80 or 100k miles, I think a regular series of exchanges (drain and fill, whatever you wish to call it) is easier and cheaper.

But hey -- I posted here with experiences about a modified drain and fill, as well as some questions about 9th gen tranny plumbing. If you or anyone would rather run the OEM fluid and trust that Toyota is right about it lasting forever, then go right ahead. You may indeed be right -- I honestly cannot say for sure. I've got no proof at all. It makes me feel better and by my logic some fresh oil every 20k is a good idea.
 

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if preventative maintenance is what your about more power to you. 20k miles is way too early for any car. even though toyota says their transmission fluid should last for a long time i would change them ~40-60k depending on driving habits. the fluids and transmission in the newer car lasts much longer than cars made from way back

and did you say you started the car with no transmission fluid....?
 

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Good post. I was looking into having the transmission fluid replaced in our '03 Corolla (original fluid with approx. 65k since new). I called a local reputable dealer but the person that answered my call stated that he thinks they do not service the transmission. He checked and all they do is drain and refill the fluid, no filter change. He checked again and advised that there is no AT filter in this car, hence they don't change the filter.

I felt very confident in my choice to take this matter into my own hands, per the information provided :D I have recently performed the same service on my '05 Taurus, same procedure as outlined here.... Question is, how many quarts should I order to perform this task. I'll be ordering the filter and fluid from a parts retailer online (www.importecparts.com). On my Taurus I had a little over 10 quarts on hand to drain and flush the tranny. Is my assumption of securing 10 quarts for the Corolla safe or excessive?

Thanks in Advance
 

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How is your tranny doing after the Amsoil change? I haven't gotten arround to changing the fluid to date, but plan on it in the near future. I am considering using the Amsoil ATF also.

Any issues? How many miles have you ended up traveling with the Amsoil in the transaxle?
 

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Your not going to hurt anything by changing your transmission fluid out early.
I'm planning on using the same system in my car.
Thank God Toyota puts a drain plug on their transmission,my other car doesn't even have a dipstick.
If I get a transmission leak,my transmission is toast.
Gm,what the heck are you thinking?
 

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Thank God Toyota puts a drain plug on their transmission,my other car doesn't even have a dipstick.
If I get a transmission leak,my transmission is toast.
Gm,what the heck are you thinking?
Huh? Your GM car doesn't have a dipstick, or a drain plug? I've never heard of that. What car/transmission?
 

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Hey guys,

I'm doing the ATF change as we speak, just not sure about one thing. I removed the plug and the washer, the washer has a flat side and a rounded side. Does anyone know which side is supposed to face up (and be in contact with the Pan?

I'm guessing its the rounded side on top...

thanks.
 

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Hey guys,

I'm doing the ATF change as we speak, just not sure about one thing. I removed the plug and the washer, the washer has a flat side and a rounded side. Does anyone know which side is supposed to face up (and be in contact with the Pan?

I'm guessing its the rounded side on top...

thanks.
The flat side should contact the pan (be facing up towards the trans). u want flat against flat so when u tighten the bolt down the flat part of the washer crushes evenly against the flat trans pan :D
 

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AT transmission fluid change frequency

I think the owner's manual recommends (under severe service) a flush at 60K. That's frequent enough, I think. I check the fluid color. I have a 2004 Corolla S with 70K and the fluid is just a little dirty. I will have it flushed at the dealer next spring (at 75K). Please note some dealers just open the drain and replace the little that comes out (a couple quarts). Others do a complete flush. That is what you want to do. I have heard of the do-it-yourselfers use the cooling line to get more out but for my money I want it done right and completely at the dealer. Costs me about $130. Not bad every 75K which is about 5 years driving.
 

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I would personally NEVER have an automatic transmission flushed, especially if it's a fluid recyling machine (most are). They say they're "triple-filtered" and all that, but there's really no safer way to exchange your fluid than doing a drain and re-fill a few times in a row. For the most part, folks don't have their fluid flushed as part of preventative maintenance. When the tranny starts to croak, they'll go in as a last measure and see if new fluid will help -- so you get all of that trashed flushed into that machine. Then your car is the next one they hook up. Hopefully all the filters and things work as advertised, but in my opinion, it's just not worth the risk.
 

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That's a very interesting comment. I will investigate this with my dealer prior to my next tansmission fluid change. When I had my 95 Camry fluid flushed at 90K the fluid looked very clean afterward. Thanks for the input.
 

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I would personally NEVER have an automatic transmission flushed, especially if it's a fluid recyling machine (most are). They say they're "triple-filtered" and all that, but there's really no safer way to exchange your fluid than doing a drain and re-fill a few times in a row. For the most part, folks don't have their fluid flushed as part of preventative maintenance. When the tranny starts to croak, they'll go in as a last measure and see if new fluid will help -- so you get all of that trashed flushed into that machine. Then your car is the next one they hook up. Hopefully all the filters and things work as advertised, but in my opinion, it's just not worth the risk.
I have never heard of a fluid recycling machine. It doesn't seem to make much sense. The reason you want a flush is that you want new fluid. Even if the fluid is clean, chemical properties detoriate. Besides, different vehicles require different kinds of fluid. They won't push other people's old fluid in your car.
 

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Toyota dealers don't use "fluid recyling machines". They use "flush machines"" which is the only way to remove and replace all 12 quarts of Type IV transmission fluid. The dealer also drops the tranny pan and cleans the screen. All for about $135. A fair price IMHO.
 

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