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2009 HL Limited; 2012 HL SE; 2012 RX; 2015 RX; 2016 HL Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi - I have a 2009 AWD. Great car in every way except that the tranny slips occasionally. The fluid is dark. Wondering if doing a few back-to-back drain and fills would help this. Thanks.
 

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AvConsult
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3,675 Posts
Well, changing the fluid certainly won't hurt it, and it's a pretty cheap thing to try.

So how do you know the transmission is slipping?
 

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2009 HL Limited; 2012 HL SE; 2012 RX; 2015 RX; 2016 HL Limited
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. It hesitates when going from 2nd to 3rd, RPM's wind-up, etc. I did a double drain and fill, cycling in almost 9 new quarts, and the hesitation is mostly gone.
 

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98 Camry,91 CelicaGT
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193 Posts
I have had some great success with "Life Automotive" products. I have used the RED bottle labeled as protectant. It permanently fixed a ford trans I once had. I add it to all my cars, at final fill. They have many more trans products now. I have only used the RED protectant, so I can not say how the others work. They have been around many years and it seems transmissions are their thing. If you can not buy direct, as you used to be able to, you can find it on Ebay and Amazon.
I'll be putting some in my 98 Camry this week.
 

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2009 HL Limited; 2012 HL SE; 2012 RX; 2015 RX; 2016 HL Limited
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
By changing the fluid every 25k, its came out looking like oil past 2 times...

Its coming back again already, I'm going to switch to an aftermarket ATF.
Ok, so did mine. I did 9 qts of the Toyota WS from the dealer. 9.50 per qt so about the same or less than an after market (the only one I would consider, for no particular reason other than they have me convinced, is Amsoil). The shifting is now greatly improved, and the color is much closer to a clearer "dark" pink, after the double drain and fill. I might do one more to get it even cleaner. Dealer said not to do a flush if one had never been done so have to do multiple changes. Then again, he also said the particles in the fluid making it dark are likely the only thing providing the friction for the clutch plates. I think he was wrong about that. Particles are much less and it is shifting much better.
 

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AvConsult
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3,675 Posts
If fluid changes alone fail to fix RPM flare and goofy shifting..before a trip to AAMCO, there's Lubegaurd Red. :pudding:
 

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AvConsult
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So has anyone eyeballed the "oil strainer" on these 5 speeds? Is it a fiber-based filter or just a fine screen? If a screen, does it accumulate crud that can be removed?
 

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AvConsult
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3,675 Posts

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AvConsult
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Probably Valvoline Maxxlife. Its about 1/2 the price and I can get it locally. Its fairly clear ATF WS isn't really working in mine.
Or your clutches are plain shot, which would be hard to fathom, seeing how you've babied your HL. :milkcarton:
 

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Resident Nutcase
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11,819 Posts
Or your clutches are plain shot, which would be hard to fathom, seeing how you've babied your HL. :milkcarton:
Exactly! I haven't done a thing a typical highlander owner wouldn't do



:D



I may try some of that lubeguard next time, since its apparently liquid magic.
 

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イリジウム
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14,751 Posts
Slipping already on a 09. WS is no lifetime fluid. If the truck is a keeper I'd drain/refill every 30K miles and if you don't mind wrenching, change out the filter too at 30K, but 50-60K should be ok. Make sure the filter o-ring is properly seated. If ATF looks like engine oil, you know it's way too long.

You can consider dropping the pan and swap out the felt filter. Use WS next time so you'd know where the improvement comes from. Others use Valvoline MaxLife fully synthetic ATF, about $17/gallon. You can try that after you know how a filter change with WS behaves.

Ok, so did mine. I did 9 qts of the Toyota WS from the dealer. 9.50 per qt so about the same or less than an after market (the only one I would consider, for no particular reason other than they have me convinced, is Amsoil). The shifting is now greatly improved, and the color is much closer to a clearer "dark" pink, after the double drain and fill. I might do one more to get it even cleaner. Dealer said not to do a flush if one had never been done so have to do multiple changes. Then again, he also said the particles in the fluid making it dark are likely the only thing providing the friction for the clutch plates. I think he was wrong about that. Particles are much less and it is shifting much better.
 

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If you use Lubegard, use Red. Platinum is Red + extra additives to make it "silky smooth" like the Honda/Toyota ATF. Red gives you the basic additive but shifts will be sharp.
 
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