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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Only the beaureacrats at Toyota could come up with a goofball system to check our "no-dipstick" transmission fluid that is so labor intensive and costly in terms to tools ....... that it costs more to check the darn fluid than it does to do a four quart drain and fill that also ensures the fluid level is full. I had my drain and fill done at 66,000 miles for $100. I'll bet this "solution" for checking fluid costs about $150.

 

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Transmissions don't consume oil. Unless there is a leak, the fluid volume will not change. Several manufacturers are going away from unnecessary dipsticks.

High tech modern fluids are good for the life of the transmission in many cases (or at least well over 100,000 miles).

Old habits of changing fluids die hard. Hell, some nuts still change oil every 3000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Transmissions don't consume oil. Unless there is a leak, the fluid volume will not change. Several manufacturers are going away from unnecessary dipsticks.

High tech modern fluids are good for the life of the transmission in many cases (or at least well over 100,000 miles).

Old habits of changing fluids die hard. Hell, some nuts still change oil every 3000 miles.
True ........ but mine came low from the factory as it turned out and was causing a transmission slip/flare in certain circumstances. I did not realize the cause until I had the dealer do the partial fluid exchange. Because it was intermittent, the dealer could not get it to flare both times I asked the dealer to test drive it while the car was still under warrranty.
 

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Transmissions don't consume oil. Unless there is a leak, the fluid volume will not change. Several manufacturers are going away from unnecessary dipsticks.

High tech modern fluids are good for the life of the transmission in many cases (or at least well over 100,000 miles).

Old habits of changing fluids die hard. Hell, some nuts still change oil every 3000 miles.
I call bull. How is the ATF dipstick unnecessary? Toyota recommends 60K/50K ATF flush for our Lexus and Tacoma, respectively, for severe duty usage - towing, taxis, emergency vehicles, etc... and more of today's cars are being driven over 100K.

Bottom line is it another couple bucks saved per vehicle to leave out the dipstick, justified by the 'lifetime' label.

BTW, IR gun method has been proven to be just as accurate as the OEM method to check ATF temp for measuring the ATF level.
Post #146
T4R
 

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High tech modern fluids are good for the life of the transmission...
The life of the transmission WILL be less if you never change the fluid, so yes the statement is technically true but highly misleading. Not putting in a dipstick is idiotic and serves no other purpose except to force people to either get the fluid changed by the dealer or even buy a new car.

Suppose an engine was sealed no way to change or add oil, that could also be considered lifetime engine oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The life of the transmission WILL be less if you never change the fluid, so yes the statement is technically true but highly misleading. Not putting in a dipstick is idiotic and serves no other purpose except to force people to either get the fluid changed by the dealer or even buy a new car.

Suppose an engine was sealed no way to change or add oil, that could also be considered lifetime engine oil.



So well said. I have seen pictures of fluid over 100,000 miles posted several times in several forums and it was COAL BLACK.

At 66,000 miles, mine was redish brown and had no "burned" odor so it would probably go 100,000. But the Toyota TSB doesn't say change at 100,000 miles ...... just check it at that point.
 

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The life of the transmission WILL be less if you never change the fluid, so yes the statement is technically true but highly misleading. Not putting in a dipstick is idiotic and serves no other purpose except to force people to either get the fluid changed by the dealer or even buy a new car.

Suppose an engine was sealed no way to change or add oil, that could also be considered lifetime engine oil.
Well... the suggestion is ridiculous for one. Transmissions don't have combustion gases, breathed in dirt, to deal with. They also never reach the temperatures an internal combustion engine sees internally. Engines "use" a small amount of oil by design. Transmissions do not.

Castrol and Valvoline have conducted 200,000 mile simulations on their transmission fluid offerings (I'm sure others have as well) with no degradation in fluid quality.

You are welcome to your opinion. I am welcome to point out that it is just that.

We can't all have the same opinion here. This place would dry up in a week.
 

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On a Gen 5 camry, the transmission fluid dipstick says the fluid doesn't need to be changed under normal driving conditions, but that doesn't stop people from changing it, and claiming toyota is out to get them via planned obsolescence. Also, "life of the vehicle" is understandably undefined because lawyers exists.

So, later, toyota just removed the dipstick altogether, and made it REALLY hard to check/change -- "No, really guys, you don't need to change this fluid!" And of course, we'll change it anyway, because, "We don't believe you, toyota!"

I have to admit, I wanted to believe the sticker too, but hive mentality settled in, and I decided to change it anyway on my 02. Doesn't really matter though, the original fluid really would have lasted the life of the vehicle, which for me was around 125k miles, when the 2AZ-FE engine died a stripped head bolt death (I had it brought back to life, but that's a different story).

Next generation transmission: Toyota, are you listening? Just weld the transmission shut with a sticker that reads, "NO MEANS NO!" ... Then again, we we probably just drill and tap our own service holes in it to change the fluid.
 

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Has any automaker defined lifetime?

That video is one of 2 methods for checking the ATF level.

Give me a lifetime warranty and I won't change the fluid.

Where are these castrol/valvoline 200k mile tests of real driving?

There are SAE papers that correlate transmission life to fluid condition which seriously contradict so-called lifetime life ATFs and pathetic OE filtration.

I didnt pay $20k - $40k for an undefined lifetime on my vehicles. Most are handed down to family and keep on running into the 300k+ miles on the original transmission engine...

I should take my 26 year ol' toy out for a run. And, I do miss my 40 year old SUV that uncle Jim gave me a couple decades ago. Neither followed OE habits. Check and change as needed and drive.

You just keep thinking newer is better and no maintenance works. Those with a clue know better. No environmentalist is going to tell me that I cant change my fluid or drive my vehicle another 20 years, because the newer ones are so much better.

Common sense is the only habit that has died hard and is not common anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Has any automaker defined lifetime? .............

Common sense is the only habit that has died hard and is not common anymore.
AMEN.

My (ex) wife loves her 2GR-FE V6 2011 Highlander AWD SE ..... and changes her oil every 5,000 miles at dealer with synthetic as well since her own dad drilled into her the importance of oil changes since before she even got a drivers license.

The dealer already told her that she should get the transmission fluid changed (partial??) at her next checkup (60,000 miles) and that it would cost her about $150. Is that really too bad on a $40,000+ SUV that has never had anything other than oil changes, cabin & engine air filters and wiper blades?
 

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Is there any negative effect of having a dipstick? Do they cause any problem? At worst people ignore them, at best people check the level and condition of the fluid with them.

If you have ever looked in a transmission pan you will find - not byproducts of combustion... but metal sludge stuck all over the magnets put there by makers. I have an odd feeling that metal particles circulating in a lubricating / cooling fluid is not so good. Replacing the fluid reduces this.
 

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Yeah. I'll do that. Modern vehicles are far safer and more reliable than old cars ever were.

I have no plans on driving some old heap into the ground until it croaks.

That's interesting. I have to say you will be missing a certain satisfaction to long term ownership. Having a year's paid for car that you know every inch of and watching it turn over 200k and keep right on purring is a great feeling every time. It also leaves me more money for more fun things than a shiny new car to drive. But again someone has to keep salesmen in jobs and finance guys and dealer service bays doing under warranty work, and insurance adjusters as you turn in every little ding because it's too new to let a small scuff or ding go.

Again I am not trying to be a jerk. I am sincere when I say I am fine with you doing what you want with your money and if staying in new cars floats your boat more power to you. My FIL does as you do and it's a treat seeing the new crew cab pickups when he picks up the new ones.
 

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Again I am not trying to be a jerk. I am sincere when I say I am fine with you doing what you want with your money and if staying in new cars floats your boat more power to you. My FIL does as you do and it's a treat seeing the new crew cab pickups when he picks up the new ones.
Thanks. I'm not either. Playing devil's advocate a tad too. I don't finance my cars, but I do enjoy swapping them out every couple of years.

I also have a big time appreciation for classic cars. I just don't have time to depend on one daily.

Now for the funny part. My daily work driver is currently a 2003 Camry with 46K on the clock. I'm loving it!

Cheers sir.
 

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You found a cherry one it sounds like. Or did you buy it new and leave it in the garage for awhile? Those ones command a premium, I wouldn't mind having a 5th gen around the house to go with my 6th gen.
Bought it from the estate of an old gentleman. I couldn't resist. I added a set of 17 inch wheels and good rubber along with some tint and maintenance. I updated the headlights to 06 type and installed a Scion head unit. It's a great driver.

 
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