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Hello guys. I brought an 2000 Toyota Echo with an automatic tranny at around 183xxx miles in December. After taking it to my regular mechanic to inspect it, the engine was in surprisingly good shape.

However, I went to a transmission shop in town to check the tranny and they checked the fluid. They saw that it was black and smelt bad. However, the transmission guy road tested it and said that it shifted smoothly with no issues. He offered a drain and fill, but wasn’t certain of the outcome.

Then, Scotty Kilmer rolls around with his regular Q&A videos and he says that he had people he drained and filled their transmissions for as late as 180xxx without a hitch (if they had Toyota’s, since they had Aisin transmissions)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kUWjmRYo6nE&t=85s At 1:15 mark

My Echo now sits at 190xxx miles. I want to drain and fill to lengthen my little car’s life, but I don’t want to have the tranny go on me.

Anybody have any experience with this?
 

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You should watch the CHRIS FIX YouTube video about transmission fluid.

Excellent information to help you make the proper decision.
 

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^+1

Drain and refill. Any latent problems that become noticeable were there already and just because it shifts smooth with old fluid, doesn't mean it wasn't going to die soon.

Change filter, pan gasket, and drain and refill with fresh fluid. Doing these things with some regularity is how you keep transmissions going.

Scotty Kilmer...lol
 

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I am in the same boat with my camry right now but I have 170k. My mechanic is draining and filling with a new filter today so I will let you know how it goes.
 

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I did a drain and refill at around 200k. It was a dark blackish red color. You should refill with Toyota Type IV fluid (double check that) and nothing else. No regrets.

I actually went a couple steps further on the drain and refill. As others mentioned, you should drop the pan and change the filter and clean up the magnet.

But, what I also did, and you certainly DO NOT have to do this, in fact I would recommend NOT doing it, is you can unhook the transmission outlet lines into a container, and for a very short about of time (10-15 seconds or something I don't remember...this was 4-5 years ago..lol..I can't even remember if I had to put in gear with brakes on or not..if I did this before or after draining the pan) let the fluid shoot out in the container. I did this to try to get out every bit of dirty fluid from the transmission/torque converter. After doing the filter, replacing pan, etc..refilled with fluid.

When I took for drive, for the 1st day and a half, it shifted weird. It would do this weird shift flutter if gas floored, it would do this weird up/down shift thing then go into gear. Then went away..never came back. I think it was the computer relearning shift points or something, I don't know but prob when I did the outlet lines I think. But 4-5 years later, shifts wonderful, no problems. No pan leaks. Use Toyota Fluid--Please.

So, you don't have to do all that. Just a drain, filter, refill and you are good. Toyota tranny fluid will last forever (200k+). But if that dark,smelly etc., yeah I would change it.
 

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Drain and refill. Any latent problems that become noticeable were there already and just because it shifts smooth with old fluid, doesn't mean it wasn't going to die soon.

Change filter, pan gasket, and drain and refill with fresh fluid. Doing these things with some regularity is how you keep transmissions going.

Scotty Kilmer...lol
+1

Drain and refill.
If you're really concerned, do it again after a month or so.
If you're still worried, go ahead and do a complete exchange using the cooler supply/return lines.
Some people (somewhat mistakenly) refer to the complete exchange as a "flush"
Yes, it is a "flush" in that it replaces all fluid in the system, but it is not a "power flush" where an external machine forces the fluid through.
Done properly, the engine is running, and as the old fluid is pumped out of the cooler outlet (by the transmission's pump), the machine replaces that fluid into the cooler/pan return line.
The cooler return line runs directly to the pan... same as an old transmission with a dipstick.

After fresh fluid begins being pumped from the cooler outlet, the system is closed up, and run to the proper temperature to check the fluid level.
This needs to be done whether it's a full exchange or a simple drain and refill.

Personally, at almost 200k with no maintenance, I'd opt for the complete exchange, then continue with a drain and refill every 50k.
 

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if I did this before or after draining the pan) let the fluid shoot out in the container. I did this to try to get out every bit of dirty fluid from the transmission/torque converter. After doing the filter, replacing pan, etc..refilled with fluid.
After a drain/refill.
The pan is the "last stop" for the fluid on the way back from the cooler before being drawn into the system by the pump. You want the pan fluid to be fresh, then disconnect the cooler outlet so only new fluid is returned to the pan.
 

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I'm sure I did it like that, cuz the fluid coming out was super clean. And I think maybe 1.5-maybe 2 quarts..enough to just push anything older out. It's just been awhile ago, and I'm getting old. In retrospect, I prob wouldn't have don't it, but no regrets.
 

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So my mechanic drained and refilled, new filter, clean pan clean magnets. He said honestly for the mileage the tranny pan looked amazing. I was having problems with a 4th gear bump that would happen when it went into fourth and now that is totally gone I am so amazed! I had so many mechanics tell me ball joints or motor mounts or something of the nature but it turns out it must of been old fluid clogging it with dirt somewhere. I am very pleased to say the least.
 

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I think I am more nervous for the next few drain and fills because I'm really going to be losing the old friction in the fluid but I guess we will see what happens. It shifts alot smoother now it's great.
 

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Drive gently.

There is no such thing as "old friction in the fluid".

Filters are good for 100k miles. At this point, just perform a drain/refill again soon to increase the new ATF amount and then maybe once a year to keep the ATF fresh always. And, don't forget the PSF, coolant, brake fluid....
 

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naw, auto transmission are designed to keep putting metal particles in your fluid. I say designed jokingly/tongue-in-cheek. I would be worried if it was an older GM or Dodge/Chrysler transmission. I hear more horror stories on flush/refill on those than Toyotas. Happened to me with a POS Chevy Corsica. And I didn't flush, but just drain and filled, and the car would slip if in the middle of a turn...lol. That car sucked.

If it's not slipping now, it shouldn't later since the fluid if anything would get gritter over time anyway.
 

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It's not slipping and wasn't before the gears change noticeably smoother now. I'm hoping that the second drain and fill may smooth out the 1st to second gear shift because it's still a little rough at times, not delayed but a little more so I notice that one.
 
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