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Differential Fluid


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#1 mustaq

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:49 PM

I was wondering about replacing the differential fluid. The manual seems to indicate that I should do it every 24000kms, but local Toyota dealer told me I don't need to do that. Can someone explain?

Mine is Corolla 96, 1.6L, Auto-3spd, and its Canadian.

#2 Bikeman982

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 10:24 PM

I was wondering about replacing the differential fluid. The manual seems to indicate that I should do it every 24000kms, but local Toyota dealer told me I don't need to do that. Can someone explain?

Mine is Corolla 96, 1.6L, Auto-3spd, and its Canadian.


Drain and replace after every 30,000 miles or 24 months. Same for the transmission fluid.

Edited by Bikeman982, 09 March 2006 - 10:25 PM.

#3 Silver Bullet

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 05:30 AM

Bikeman982 has it exactly right. This is only true with automatics not 5-speed transmissions.

#4 mustaq

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 07:12 AM

I have already did the drain-and-refill of my transmission. Can I drain-and-refill of the differential fluid now? Or it has to be done simultaneously with the transmission?

#5 Bikeman982

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:15 PM

I have already did the drain-and-refill of my transmission. Can I drain-and-refill of the differential fluid now? Or it has to be done simultaneously with the transmission?


It is usually done at the same time, but can be done at different times. They are separate areas and will not be affected if changed one at a time.

#6 Accent 1ZZFE

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 09:03 AM

Another thing to change mmmm, is there one in a 1ZZFE? I didnt notice any other drain plugs underneath besides the usual, if so , where is it?

#7 Bikeman982

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 08:05 PM

Another thing to change mmmm, is there one in a 1ZZFE? I didnt notice any other drain plugs underneath besides the usual, if so , where is it?


Anyone know?? I don't have that engine in any of my cars and would not have the corresponding transmission or differential. I don't think I use the same one. It is possible that it is all one unit on your transmission, and also possible that it is separate. If it is separate, there surely must be a way to drain it. Check any of the repair manuals for your car and see if it shows it.

#8 TRCar54

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:41 AM

I did the timing belt, all drive belts and valve cover gasket/seals this weekend and I'm still in maintenance mode with my '95 before I head off to Maryland for the 4th.

I have a question with the differential also. I need to climb under there this weekend to take a look but the Haynes manual mentions "3 speed only".

I have the automatic with overdrive. Does anyone know for sure about these.

1. Is the differential drain separate from the transmission drain?
2. Is the filter a true filter or just a screen?

Thanks,
Jay in Mass

#9 fishexpo101

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:59 AM

On Corollas with 4-speed automatics and the 1ZZ-FE ones (both 3-speed and 4-speed automatics) - the differential and transaxle share the same fluid reservior, so one drain plug to drain them both. 7th gen and older Corollas with a 3-speed auto and same model year Camrys (both 4-speed autos) have separate drain plugs (one for the transaxle, one for the differential). There are some 7th gen Corolla that cross over and started going to a single plug - don't have the info on that - but would be easy to see from below (visually checknd see if there are two drain plugs or not). Real easy to miss for a first time DIY - even some shops miss that one.

Edited by fishexpo101, 13 June 2006 - 09:00 AM.

#10 TRCar54

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:44 AM

Thanks Fish....good info.

Jay in MA

#11 colt

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 12:58 PM

On Corollas with 4-speed automatics and the 1ZZ-FE ones (both 3-speed and 4-speed automatics) - the differential and transaxle share the same fluid reservior, so one drain plug to drain them both.


Thanks for the info.
I'm thinking about changing the trans fluid on my '05 and was on the Amsoil site.
Like my Explorer,I'm going to go with Amsoil ATF and noticed there wasn't any differential specs and capacity.
Now I know why.

#12 Max

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 02:27 PM

I musta been hoodwinked. I drive a manual tranny 03, and at my last major service, they charged me for replacing diff fluid.

#13 fishexpo101

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 03:03 PM

For any that go the Amsoil route for ATF fluid on 2003+ Corollas - I'd make sure that I have in writing that the ATF is compatible with the Toyota spec fluid (Type T-IV ATF or Type WS ATF - switch over was in the 2004 or 2005 model year??).

Amsoil says there is not much difference between the fluids and you can use their universal synthetic with no problems - but I have a automatic tranny right here that accidently got filled with Type T-IV (supposed to be Dexron-III) an the clutches are starting to have problems.

Type T-IV and Type WS are highly friction modified ATFs compared to Dexron-III. A universal fluid is something that should be approached with caution - as properties under different pressures and temps, and friction characteristics are very different. Like saying that you can pump in diesel instead of gasoline into a Corolla - it may fire up, but no telling how long it will stay that way. Luckily, Toyota has come down some on the price of the fluid - and more aftermarket products are coming up with these specialty fluids.

#14 colt

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 03:11 PM

For any that go the Amsoil route for ATF fluid on 2003+ Corollas - I'd make sure that I have in writing that the ATF is compatible with the Toyota spec fluid (Type T-IV ATF or Type WS ATF - switch over was in the 2004 or 2005 model year??).

Amsoil says there is not much difference between the fluids and you can use their universal synthetic with no problems - but I have a automatic tranny right here that accidently got filled with Type T-IV (supposed to be Dexron-III) an the clutches are starting to have problems.

Type T-IV and Type WS are highly friction modified ATFs compared to Dexron-III. A universal fluid is something that should be approached with caution - as properties under different pressures and temps, and friction characteristics are very different. Like saying that you can pump in diesel instead of gasoline into a Corolla - it may fire up, but no telling how long it will stay that way. Luckily, Toyota has come down some on the price of the fluid - and more aftermarket products are coming up with these specialty fluids.


I appreciate the thought but I've used Amsoil ATF in many of my vehicles in the past and never had a problem.
I have Amsoil in my '05 Explorer which calls for Mercon V and don't have any issues.
I like using 100% synthetics in my vehicles engine,trans,transfer cases and diffs.
I go with Amsoil ATF and diff fluids and Mobil 1 in the engine.
I'm on the bob is the oil guy forum and haven't sen any Amsoil ATF problems but thanks again for your imput..

Edited by colt, 13 June 2006 - 03:11 PM.

#15 fishexpo101

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 03:48 PM

Yeah - I've heard that as well. But they have still yet to add "compatible to Toyota Type T-IV ATF" right on the bottle. Once they do that - I might be incled to give it a whack.

But your right - Amsoil is good stuff. For my Corolla and Matrix- most of the time they were on Mobil 1 for the engines and Redline for the transmissions. A little experimenting with Castrol Blends/Synthetics and Wally World's cheap synthetic.