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Oil Filter Removal Tool + Transmission Fluid

1387 Views 34 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Catanzaro
Does anyone have thoughts on if the transmission fluid should be changed at around 100,000 miles? Shifting is perfectly fine. Mechanics have told me to leave it alone, or the change could cause problems. One dealer will not touch the fluid change, as they stated it could cause problems with shifting. Once I had a 2004 BMW 745 and it caused so many problems after the fluid change, that BMW had to reprogram the whole vehicle. That car had a leak, so this is why I changed the fluid and moved forward.

Also, I ordered this removal tool, from MotivXTools, and it has no notches. It appears to fit really nicely. Does anyone recommend any other removal tools?

The dealers have become too expensive to change the oil (originally I was saving $20), but now it is like $45-$50, so I am going to perform the next oil change at 100,000 even. Looking at $38-$40 plus a one-time charge of $30 for the tool. Dealers are now charging around $100.

Does anyone recommend any other tool (under $30) with the notches?

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· Registered
18 Avalon XLE
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uber driver, high idling hours, went past 10k on oil. Typical

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10-15k highway miles, totally different. Probably just fine.

None the less, had the car repaired instead of trade...not to sure about that.
 

· PJSMITH
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1,722 Posts
I decided to go to Toyota of Princeton. The trans drain/fill is $199 + Tax. Quite honestly, I am not very comfortable attempting this one. Plus, if the fluid is not at the correct level, all sorts of things can happen to the transmission. Between the cost of the parts, it is just not worth it. The drain plug is there, but the way to fill it and the correct temperature is just nuts. They recommended it at the 100K mark and after this every 30K, and only drain/fill and no flush.

Why they created this type is beyond me. My 99 Lexus is a breeze to change the fluid. I changed it every 20K miles as the cost is only like $30. Even my sister's 2012 Corolla has a dipstick. Car shifts beautifully.

I spoke to the service advisor for over 20 minutes yesterday. They have a good reputation. The only thing that clearly bothers me is not being able to check if the fluid was done. But here we are talking about a dealer. They have been around for a long time and have very few complaints. I will ask them to drive the vehicle first. They stated that if the car is shifting properly, there will be no issues. Only if the car has problems, it could be more problematic.

Regarding the oil change, it went smoothly. The problem was that the idiot over-torqued the drain bolt on the housing, so when I tried to take it off, the whole unit came off. So I torqued the housing to about 40 ft. lbs., and then removed the drain bolt. The torque specs were 10 ft. lbs for the drain bolt, 20 ft. lbs. for the housing, and 30 ft. lbs. for the oil drain plug. The old filter after 8,000 miles was really dirty.
used for 25 years)
Question: Is 5,000 for oil changes too short, or is 7,500 just right? Mainly drive between 20 miles and 120 miles when taken out, with 80% of the miles all highway.
My dealer service person (That I have used for more than 25 years, now, and I trust) told me that the AV now is changed with synthetic by Toyota recommendation. Also that the interval is 10K or less. We have had many long discussions about cars. We ride motorcycles together and agree that the type of driving and conditions are equally as important as the miles.
If you drive in dirty/dusty, drop the interval to 7500. If you drive like Mario Andretti, 5k-75k.
The oil does three things. It cools the engine. It lubricates the parts inside. It cleans all of the wear and tear of the internal parts. The grit and dirt and worn metal parts get clean with oils changes.
I have the reminder at 5K still. A carry over from olden days when we always changed old oil at 5k. The fossil-oil would breakdown. Synthetic will last MUCH longer. $100 is the current cost to change. After both knee replacements and a recent shoulder replacement, I leave it to the dealer. 111,000 miles now and still no issues with drivetrain except changing fluids.
This car is VERY reliable and I decided not to challenge the frequency of 5700 miles because I drive in good conditions and mostly freeway. After 8+ years, Toyota oil changes are still cheaper than big repair.
 

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IMHO 10k/1 year oil changes are more than enough. All the rare instances of engine damage with 10k oil changes are much more likely caused by incorrect or low oil. That is why I prefer to do my own oil changes - that is the only practical way to ensure the oil is indeed changed and the proper grade full synthetic oil is used.

As a datapoint, this guy just put 550k miles on his Rav4 (exact same engine as Avalon) with 20k(!) oil changes and zero engine problems before trading it in.

 

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In the comments to that youtube video there is a V6 Camry owner with 870k miles and 10k oil changes (original oil and transmission). And there is another Camry owner with increased oil consumption and 5k oil changes since new. The Car Care Nut may be a good mechanic but he is no way qualified to make conclusions about what is the optimal oil change interval.
 

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There are a lot of laughable things that get said in these threads where people express their opinions about oil changes, but the comment that the Car Care Nut "is no way qualified to make conclusions about what is the optimal oil change interval" is absolutely hilarious. Watch his YouTube videos and you will change your opinion about him. He is a genuine expert and shares his knowledge about Toyotas freely and honestly with indisputable examples and demonstrations of fact.
 

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18 Avalon XLE
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Nobody will be able to judge your oil except yourself and that includes sending out to places like these. Engine hours recorded like on lawn equipment is best bet.

 

· Catanzaro
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271 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I just had my transmission serviced at the Toyota Dealer. It was a drain/fill. In the end, I had a conversation with him about leaving the dealership and if it does not shift right. His comments were as follows: "If it slips, you need a new transmission" They were not being rude though. They were protecting themselves. Luckily, I drove the vehicle for over 1 hour and it shifts fine.

There definitely is a new washer at the drain bolt, but I could not tell if they removed the fill plug (as there is no washer), even after removing the splash guard. The probability is they cleaned up any excess fluid.

The receipt states 3 Qts. WS Fluid on a Toyota Vehicle. The receipt also states "No Guarantee to remedy any issue with the vehicle", and "Fluid Service was requested by the customer". Clearly, I requested it, because it is recommended. Now, the dealer is recommending every 30,000 miles. I spoke to them about the 20,000-mile mark and said that this is fine.

The only shameful part of all of this is that I never saw the fluid come out, could not tell the condition of the fluid, or see the fluid come back in. The service advisor stated that the tech would stop the drain if the fluid was really dark and it smelled funny before all the fluid left the pan. Given the transmission was shiting fine prior to the service, I would suspect there would be no issues. This is one of the main reasons why I took mine to the dealer, as I feel they would not play games. We all hear these horror stories. The cost was not too high either. About one hour of labor, the fluid, and some miscellaneous shop supplies. I even took off the splash guard, but could not see any residual fluid. The drain plug has a new washer and based on the videos I have seen, there really is not a mess created by draining the fluid. Not sure about the filling procedure. I did smell a little bit of fluid on the way out, but because of the rain, the whole underneath was covered with rainwater.

The most ironic part to all of this is when the car had about 50,000-60,000 miles and I would bring this up to the dealer. The dealer would shy away and say it is "lifetime fluid". But once you reach over 100,000 and are out of warranty, it is all fair game. Luckily, it is driving perfectly fine. I guess by getting the fluid to the correct 103 - 113 F, the fluid will drip out, to a trickle and can be plugged back in. The engine temperature was warm as well, almost to the normal temperature when I left the dealer. Too bad that Toyota can not create a nice fill tube to fill the fluid after removing the tire, but once in a while one must use and pay a mechanic. Overall, I am happy with the service and will be back at the 120,000 mark for sure.
 

· Catanzaro
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271 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
There are a lot of laughable things that get said in these threads where people express their opinions about oil changes, but the comment that the Car Care Nut "is no way qualified to make conclusions about what is the optimal oil change interval" is absolutely hilarious. Watch his YouTube videos and you will change your opinion about him. He is a genuine expert and shares his knowledge about Toyotas freely and honestly with indisputable examples and demonstrations of fact.
I have been watching his videos almost daily, and really enjoy them. He is a master technician, especially when it comes to Toyota. Too bad he is not on the east coast. I would literally drive 2-3 hours for service if need be. I base my oil changes on what time of driving. I have pretty much stayed with the 10K mark (All dealer changes) until about 90,000 miles. They always had coupons and it was never worth getting dirty or purchasing the filter removal tool for $20 in savings. But today, you are saving close to $60, so it is worth it. After this, the last oil change lasted 8,000 miles. Now, I will increase the frequency to about 7,500 miles at most with a quality oil filter. Plus, by me doing this myself, I save time on gas, which pretty much pays for the oil filter.
 
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· Catanzaro
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271 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
If the company does not go out of business, it has a lifetime warranty. I also purchased the red one from Ares with the same lifetime warranty. The good news is that the MotivX without the notches fits a 2012 Corolla. So I changed the oil in that vehicle, along with my Avalon. The cost savings in labor on both is about $140. The 2 tools cost $70. A few years ago, the savings at the dealership for an oil change was only $20 (Coupons). Now, no more coupons.
 
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