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2009 V6 RAV4
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey I love being on vacation, I got plenty of time to give some love to my baby, and post some DIYs!!!

My car is a '98 Camry 4cyl with 290 000 kilometers (around 180 000 miles), not all models of Camry have their Differential fluid in a separate casing, but if yours does, here's how you can change it. It's an easy job, but a messy one. This job shouldn't be overlooked, as it is as important to change the diff fluid than it is changing the tranny fluid.

Things you will need :




1.Engine degreaser / LINT FREE cloth : always a good idea to work on clean parts around the tranny.

2.2 Quarts of Dextron III auto transmission fluid, 1.7 Qts actually go in.

3. A piece of rubber tube, I used a 3 ft (I think) piece of fuel hose.

4.A small funnel that will fit in the rubber hose

5.A 3/8 hex bit or Allen wrench and a 17 MM socket or open wrench

6.A bucket for the used fluid.

THE PROCESS :

1. Securely jack the car up on tracks or jackstands, then carefully clean up the area around the differential drain plug and fill plug with engine degreaser.
Red = Drain plug
Green = Fill plug.





2. Use the Hex bit/Allen wrench to unscrew the drain plug and let the used oil drip in a bucket, then remove the fill plug with the 17 MM socket and a ratchet. I'm unscrewing the fill plug on the picture and the drain plug is still there, but yours shouldn't be, I just forgot to take the picture. It will be easy to access/unscrew by going around the exhaust pipe with your arm.



3.Put the drain plug back in securely, be careful not to bring up any crud/dust/foreing objects on the plug or around the area where it goes.

4.Now grab the piece of hose and push the funnel in one of it's ends until it securely in place. Then from the top of the engine snake the other end of the hose down until you can see it underneath the car, mine was right between the throttle body and firewall. Then crawl back underneath your beloved Camry, grab the loose end of the hose and put it in the fill plug, again be careful for rocks and foreign objects if the hose touched the ground. Don't push it too far in, just to it stays there while you pour the new oil in, you can also have a friend help you out on that. PUT YOUR OIL BUCKET BACK UNDERNEATH THE DIFFERENTIAL CASE, cause it's gonna drip when it's full.



5.You can put a full quart of Dextron III in there without looking, then start pouring down the second quart slower until you see oil dripping out of the fill plug and in the bucket, my second quart was just below half when that happened. There is no dipstick or anything to check the differential fluid level, the fill plug hole IS the correct level so when it drips out of it, it's full. My car was jacked up on tracks, and not jackstands so it wasn't level. When I pulled the hose out of the fill plug it started dripping out of the fill plug so I capped it off quickly, just a little "overfill" to compensate for the fact that the front of the car was higher than the back end so it would be alright when back on level ground. Re-tighten the fill plug securely and you are done. You can now witness a swarm of hot chicks in bikini running up your driveway, attracted by freshly changed differential fluid!!

Another well spent afternoon. Again, any questions/comments/additions are welcome.
 

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It's a good idea to remove the fill plug before removing the drain plug. I say this because if you have an empty differential with a stuck fill plug, you can't drive it anymore. If can't take the fill plug out, at least you can still drive your car around until you figure out a way to remove the fill plug. I learned this the hard way after I had an empty differential and a rounded fill plug.

The drain plug is actually 10mm. 3/8" bit is 0.5mm smaller.
 

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2009 V6 RAV4
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did loosen up both of them before taking them completely off, always a good thing to remember. Thanks for the precision about the drain plug size, I felt just a little slack in there I tought the plug was a bit worn.
 

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TN Pussy Man
Camry
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touringcamry makes a VERY good point...

and it may be a good idea to rotate the first two pictures as well so people have a better idea of how hard it is actually to reach the fill plug.


Also, for those who drive v6's and are looking at this thread, it's the same procedure. BUT if you can't get the fill plug off (I couldn't on my car), we don't have to worry because luckily our differential and tranny are connected and the fluid goes through both so as long as you drain and fill your tranny enough, it cleans out your differential as well.

But for those with a 4banger, this is a must.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No pun intended, but I don't think it's that hard to reach, What I did was put the socket on the plug, then snapped the ratched on the socket and sneaked my hand up from the other side of the exhaust to grab the ratchet handle.

But yes touring camry makes a good point.
 

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98 Camry XLE V6
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strangely i couldnt find my fill hole! hahaha...i'll take a look at it again when i drain/fill the tranny, cos i know its there.

good write-up!
 

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mixed bag 'o vehicles
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great write-up and photos!
 

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1997 Camry
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Great Write Up!! this is just what I needed to follow up on a question that I had while back about how to fill a differential fluid.:clap:
 

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Nostalgia Member
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nice DIY, too bad im too lazy to do this to my 4cyl ... ill have the mechanic do it when i get my tranny flushed next [its still pink/brown now, so i can wait a few more miles]
 

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i call the toyota dealer...they want $54 for differential fluid change...and $67 for transmission fluid change...

now, my question is...

the services guy said i have to refill some kind other tank beside the drain plug (tank)...does anyone knows what else has to refill beside refill back the drain plug of differential? Service guys said u can tell when differential fluid is full. it has someone kind of gage level..not sure if the services guy know what they're talking....

please filll me in..before i plan this DIY project...
 

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1998 Camry CE
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Fishy - Yes this is for the automatic transmission

1996- If you have the 4 cyl engine, then this post describes what you need done, the differential needs to be filled as it does not share fluid from the transmission.
 

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Fishy - Yes this is for the automatic transmission

1996- If you have the 4 cyl engine, then this post describes what you need done, the differential needs to be filled as it does not share fluid from the transmission.

I have a 97 - 4 cynclider and i haven'tt really thought about this. Does it apply to me?

thanks.
 

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I'm confused because, is this a se[erate differenatial?

I know on 4wd, they have their own that needs changing. But for an auto, where is htis DIFFERENTIAL ? I've looked in my manual and dont' find it.
 

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2009 V6 RAV4
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The differential and tranny are together it doesn't have more than one differential, the fluid chambers are just separate but tranny/diff is the same unit.

Don't tell me you'll also need a video of me crawling underneath the car and pointing out both plugs to you with this weather outside, that's not gonna happen :)
 

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Sorry,

So on my 97 I have 2 drain plugs?
1 for the DIFFERENTIAL, 1 for the TRANNY itself? i dont thinK i have a prob with the tranny.

But all in all, they share the SAME FLUID< just diff't drain plugs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
they have different drain plugs yes. They share the same TYPE of fluid, wich is Dextron III, but the diff fluid is separate from the tranny fluid althought the tranny and diff are together as a unit. You fill up the tranny by pouring fluid down the dipstick, while you fill up the diff by pouring the stuff through the fill plug until it's dripping out. Be sure to have plenty of newspapers cause this job is really messy. And be sure to loosen up the fill plug first for the reasons mentionned on the first page. Not a hard job to do
 

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they have different drain plugs yes. They share the same TYPE of fluid, wich is Dextron III, but the diff fluid is separate from the tranny fluid althought the tranny and diff are together as a unit. You fill up the tranny by pouring fluid down the dipstick, while you fill up the diff by pouring the stuff through the fill plug until it's dripping out. Be sure to have plenty of newspapers cause this job is really messy. And be sure to loosen up the fill plug first for the reasons mentionned on the first page. Not a hard job to do
I hear ya with the DIFFERENTIAL. I"ll look into it.

Hi,

I have a question for my ATF. Drain/refill.

So when I drain the AT. I am draining about 2.5 quart (as said by the manual)? Then when I refill, I put in back about 2.5 quarts right? The reason I ask is because the manual doesn't really tell.

More so, the DIPSTICK on the 97 camry is crappy.

Thanks.
 
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