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Discussion Starter #1
FYI: I have a 2009 DC TRD OffRoad 4x4.

So I went to drain my oil today only I didn't remove the oil plug, I removed the transmission plug that is underneath the truck. Now, I know I didn't lose all of my fluid, but I don't know if I put the correct amount back.

I attempted to research here and other places and could not find a specific source to help me. From what I gathered, I was fairly safe with adding 3 quarts of ATF fluid in the side fill hole on the passenger side of the transmission.

I drove the truck about 10 miles or so. Slow takeoffs. Hard takeoffs. Sudden takeoffs from a steady speed and it performed normal.

My questions are:

How bad did I screw up?

How much is going to cost me to fix this correctly to ensure there are no lingering affects from this?

I am so nervous now, this was such a careless mistake. I've changed the oil in my truck nearly 10 times now and hundreds of times other vehicles and never done anything this stupid.
 

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Man in Blue.
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923 Posts
I would love to see a pic of the underside of a truck with an auto trans on it. Just for my own reference. I drive a manual so for me to make this mistake would be very hard...

Anyway, I would have been tempted to get a rough measurement of how much oil you took out, then replace at least that much, and perhaps a bit more to allow for what stuck to your collection container. I'm sure the guys who have worked on their auto trans will chime in with better advice.
 

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05 Tacoma V6 DC TRD
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31 Posts
Usually you get between 2-3 liters of ATF coming out from the drain plug. If you want to know for sure if you have the correct amount look at the DIY pages under maintenance. There it will give the procedure to check the level.
 

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Registered
06 Taco 4x4 TRD
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796 Posts
WarEagle, you are not the first to do this. The first thing to do is not panic.

Second, I hope you replaced the fluid with Toyota WS fluid, a fairly unique requirement with these trannies. There is not really a direct replacement in the market, you have to fork over the big bucks to Toyota.

Third, the fluid level check is not hard, but it is pretty involved in terms of getting the fluid to the right temp. ForTech has written a detailed procedure for drain and fill here

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=323590&highlight=ForTech

and the level check procedure is embedded in there.

You should be set.
 

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WarEagle, you are not the first to do this. The first thing to do is not panic.

Second, I hope you replaced the fluid with Toyota WS fluid, a fairly unique requirement with these trannies. There is not really a direct replacement in the market, you have to fork over the big bucks to Toyota.

Third, the fluid level check is not hard, but it is pretty involved in terms of getting the fluid to the right temp. ForTech has written a detailed procedure for drain and fill here

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=323590&highlight=ForTech

and the level check procedure is embedded in there.

You should be set.
As it just happens, I was chasing down articles on the ATF-WS yesterday. Based on what I found if OP didn't use WS spec I wouldn't worry to much, not since it's such a small volume. WS (World Spec) fluid is just a very light weight transmission fluid for enhanced fuel economy. There's some speculation it's synthetic based (and therefore worth the premium you pay for it) but there's evidence to the contrary too.

From what I've read, if he should have replaced the entire volume with non-WS he could expect delayed or balky shifting on cold mornings until it warms but otherwise normal performance with the exception of poorer fuel economy.

But with only replacing approximately 1/4-1/3 the total fluid volume I doubt he'll even experience that, and absolutely nothing catastrophic.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I have learned a lot today. More than I wanted to actually.

Total damage is going to be four days without my truck. And over $400.00 for a transmission flush and service and to replace my transmission pan.

Mistake 1 was unplugging the transmission.

Mistake 2 was the big one. When I replaced the plug I did not replace the crush washer. Didn't even know there was one, nd of course I over torqued it and the plug was permanently set in the pan. Credit to the guys in the shop at my dealership. They honestly attempted everything to get it out without having to replace the pan.

Ironically, I replaced almost the exact amount of fluid I lost. So I'm not a total dip $hit. The truck performed normal on the interstate to the dealership, so absolutely no damage was done to any major hardware.

The good news is that I'll be getting an extremely thorough transmission service and I'll know a little more about working on my own vehicle. After reading and researching, a DIY transmission service doesn't seem too bad you just have to be aware and ready to deal with the particular transmission these trucks have.

I won't go so far as to say it was designed this way to prevent customers from doing their own work. Toyotas obviously have a great reputation for longevity, but one does have to wonder why it is so complicated to add transmission fluid as well as check the level of the fluid.

Overall I am relieved that this isn't worse, but it could have been prevented. No more talking on the cell phone while servicing my truck from now on. Thanks for all the help.
 

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Park Ranging
2006 Toyota Tacoma
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213 Posts
I know you'll likely never make this mistake again, but it might be a good idea now to get a red (or similar color) paint pen and put a big "X" over the tranny drain plug as a reminder of which one NOT to pull.
 
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