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Goldie Dad
Highlander
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently had my independent mechanic service my 2002 3.3 L AWD Highlander transmission at 90,000 miles. Since then, I took my car to the local Toyota Dealer for an oil change, and he informed me that I had the wrong transmission fluid in the vehicle and recommended taking it back and having it replaced with the correct fluid. Is this a scare tactic to use the Toyota Dealer instead of my mechanic, or is there validity to the concern? Goldie Dad
 

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2007 Highlander Sport
Highlander
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108 Posts
How can they tell what type of transmission fluid they put in your HL. They look all the same, unless they took a sample and put it under a microscope. I don't thing they would go that extreme. Ask your your dealer what is the correct transmission fluid and then go back to your independent mechanic and ask him what type of transmission fluid did he use, but don't tell him yet what the dealer recommended. See if he use the correct one.
 

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MDT Toyota Tech
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413 Posts
Well your vehicle takes Type T-IV Fluid and I doubt an independent shop carries such fluid so they probably just used Dextron. Type T is darker red then Dextron but would still be hard to tell just by looking at it
 

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Premium Member
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6,403 Posts
Suggest you find out ASAP what you trans fluid takes and what was installed. The wrong fluid can ruin the transmission.
 

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The transmission is very sensitive to fluid type and requires Toyota Type 1V or Mobil ATF type 3309. Amsoil also recommend their synthetic ATF for this application. I thinkit would be very unwise to deviate from these 3 fluids. Did a drain and fill on mine at 25k miles (Toyota type 1V) and it was dirty, now changes are much smoother and I will drain and fill every 10k miles or so from now on.
Roger
 

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98 Camry XLE V6
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3,116 Posts
doesnt the HL just use dexron IV? your mechanic may have put in Dexron III, but i didnt think the looks were noticeable.
 

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Gen 4 XLE v6
02 Toy Solara V6 MT
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3,192 Posts
Goldie Dad said:
I recently had my independent mechanic service my 2002 3.3 L AWD Highlander transmission at 90,000 miles.
No local shop IMO is great for tranny flushes on our cars (cus they don't carry the oil in their system. For a drain and fill (not a tranny flush) you can buy your tranny fluid and have a local shop do this serivce (but its not a tranny flush - its a tranny drain& fill).

First ensure what service you got done
Secondly, see what fluid was used by your mechanic. Most mechanic 'presume' what they use is fine...but infact it may not be fine.
 

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T-IV is available at the dealer parts counter, but is also marketed by Amsoil and probably some others. Any users with problems from other providers of T-IV? I used the Amsoil about five thousand miles ago and all seems well.
 

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'06 Seinna XLE AWD, '04 Highlander V6 4WD
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Amsoil

T-IV is available at the dealer parts counter, but is also marketed by Amsoil and probably some others. Any users with problems from other providers of T-IV? I used the Amsoil about five thousand miles ago and all seems well.
Is the Amsoil product full synthetic? How long have board members had it in the Highlander 5-speed tranny?
 

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Amsoil is fine, Several people on the Lexus site have used it for a long time. It is a synthetic. I dont recommend a flush, Drain and fill only unless you use Amsoil method of fill while emptying through a tranny hose....Toyota Type IV is not a synthetic. Mobil 3309 is the equivalent. There is a new Mobil 1 new formula that is supposidly compatibble with Toyota Type IV.
 

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This is why when it comes to any fluid changes, I just take it to Toyota dealer. From regular oil changes, tranny fluid, transfercase oil, diff oil, coolant ....they dont charge any more then other shops and they do use the correct fluid.
 

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'06 Seinna XLE AWD, '04 Highlander V6 4WD
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Mobil 1 ATF

Amsoil is fine, Several people on the Lexus site have used it for a long time. It is a synthetic. I dont recommend a flush, Drain and fill only unless you use Amsoil method of fill while emptying through a tranny hose....Toyota Type IV is not a synthetic. Mobil 3309 is the equivalent. There is a new Mobil 1 new formula that is supposidly compatibble with Toyota Type IV.
I have seen at the local autoparts store a Mobil 1 ATF that says Toyota/Lexus T-IV on the back. Is this the 3309 product did not see any #'s on the bottle?
 

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Amsoil is fine, Several people on the Lexus site have used it for a long time. It is a synthetic. I dont recommend a flush, Drain and fill only unless you use Amsoil method of fill while emptying through a tranny hose....Toyota Type IV is not a synthetic. Mobil 3309 is the equivalent. There is a new Mobil 1 new formula that is supposidly compatibble with Toyota Type IV.
That's not entirely true. Toy IV is semi synthetic, but not full. I am just reading this thread because I read, and just tried, switching my Corolla from Dex 3 to Merc V super tech its back compatible and it shifts smoother no slips, not that it was bad before. Merc V is semi synth.

Back to the question you could run Mobile 1 full syn ATF, expensive, and it would most likely give better protection and its compatible, the full synth is going to break down less than semi synth, obviously. Good idea if you are towing, etc.
 

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Take off, eh!
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This is why when it comes to any fluid changes, I just take it to Toyota dealer. From regular oil changes, tranny fluid, transfercase oil, diff oil, coolant ....they dont charge any more then other shops and they do use the correct fluid.
One of my "characteristics" is resurrecting old threads. A side effect of knowing how to use the "Search" function ;)

As to "I just take it to the Toyota dealer"?

Here's something for you to think about: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=326907&highlight=dealership+FAIL

Now, not all dealers are this F'd. Some (perhaps many?) are excellent.

But to make a blanket statement like the above poster did, is patently ridiculous. I would prefer to do the research (not hard), find an afternoon (hard) & then do the fluid changes (dead easy).

Or you can pay $$ for... well, you saw what happened!

Be careful out there folks.
D
 

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AvConsult
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