I don't see anywhere in the maintenance schedule where it is recommended to change ATF under normal car usage.A simple drain/fill is recommended or about 4 quarts. For the cost of OEM fluid, you are looking at $25. I have gone through 2 fluid exchanges in less than 8K miles and shifts great. Purchased with 83K, almost 90K on the clock. Every 25K I will perform another drain/fill. We changed mom's Honda at 140K first time as it was dark with no problems.
How many miles on your car, and condition of fluid?
Car manufacturers want you to think their product is so good that it needs no maintenance and therefore has a super low cost of ownership. Their warranty only lasts to 60K. If the transmission fails after that, that's your problem, not theirs.I don't see anywhere in the maintenance schedule where it is recommended to change ATF under normal car usage.
This is not good maintenance practice. Especially considering Toyota is often vague and inconsistent on requirements for the same car and years. Toyota has also been burned for their maintenance recommendations before, causing the sludge debacle of the early 2000s by recommending 7500 mile oil changes when shops were using cheap dino bulk oil.Why are you changing the transmission fluid? Assuming this is for an automatic, the manual says that unless the car is used under extremely strenuous conditions, the transmission fluid does not need to be changed as long as the level is good.
Also, having looked into this, a lot of people say that they run into issues after changing transmission fluid. Issues like the check engine light coming on or the shifting being rough.
Some cars do specify. Think of it this way: why do you need to change your motor oil? Your engine coolant? Your brake fluid? Your power steering fluid? Your differential fluid? Your transfer case fluid? Why would ATF be any different? If there was a magic fluid that never broke down, never lost any of it lubricating properties, why would that not be copied in every fluid out there? Why don't shops that rebuild trannys collect old tranny fluid and use it? Why would anyone sell ATF fluid if all you ever needed t do was put it in one time and forget about it (other than topping it off, which would be maybe a quart a decade or so).I don't see anywhere in the maintenance schedule where it is recommended to change ATF under normal car usage.
Yeah, my mother's 2010 Toyota Camry has a "sealed" transmission. No dipstick. It requires you to have either Techstream or an electronic thermometer. Judging the level is somewhat subjective, though, as I've seen two different pro mechanics have different personal definitions of what the flow of the fluid should be coming out of the drain (fluid level straw) when the fluid is within a certain temperature range. I was able to do this successfully, but it's just so much drama and complexity, like a BMW or other European car. Luckily the Gen 9 Corolla doesn't have this issue.Amazingly what is more upsetting is how newer cars all have "sealed" transmissions. Well, not dipstick. One can still change the fluid, but it becomes a real PIA and for your basic DIY type of individual, now it has become real difficult. For me, one bolt and a washer is very easy. Car manufacturers and the new design makes no sense, other than they do not want anyone touching the vehicle besides the dealer. How can one even tell if the fluid has been drained and filled without physically seeing the fluid.
Re: my comment about people reporting issues after changing ATF. I had been watching Youtube videos to learn how to change the transmission fluid. In the comments section several people across several videos mentioned that they had issues with their car right after doing the change. So after seeing that I decided to hold off on it.
There wasn't a single year that Toyota went to sealed transmissions. It was whenever they went to the 6 speed automatic on that specific model. On the Camry V6, it was 2007; on the Camry I4, it was 2010. The Highlander kept the older 5 speed automatic until its redesign in 2014, when it got the sealed 6 speed as well.My 2012 Highlander (traded in for the Avalon) had a dipstick and I was able to have fluid changed for $20 labor (why get hands dirty), while I watched + plus the fluid and this happened every 30,000. Strange how the years do not matter on the same car company.
WS stands for Toyota's "World Standard" transmission fluid. Pretty much all of Toyota's newer models use WS fluid in their transmissions, older models used T-IV.In the maintenance thread OP says: "I like Valvoline Maxlife the most for both T-IV and WS applications."
What does WS stand for?