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Tranmission Fluid Change


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#1 kungmartin

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 09:20 AM

I am concerned and would need some advice. I have a 2004 Corolla w/ automactic transmission, and I just did the 30k service. I discovered that, and as per my mechanic's recommendations, I would need to change the transmission fluid. My mechanic recommended just a tranmission drain and he changed about 4 quarts of transmission fluid - he said that at this stage, it is not necessary to remove the pan and do a complete flush (i.e. change the filters, remove the fluids at the pan and change the filter). Instead of using an OEM fluid, he recommended a sythetic fluid by BG and informed me that the said fluid would not be an issue in terms of the new fluid mixing with the old fluid, and that the new synthetic fluid would not cause problems with my transmission. He futher indicated that the synthetic fluid will improve the durability of the transmission. Will the synthetic fluid be a problem? And will the mix (i.e. old fluid together with the synthetic fluid) be a problem as well?

Please advise.

#2 Bitter

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 10:10 AM

i have syn in my trans and i noticed smoother shifting, i used Redline. BG trickshift isnt that great from what i heard, if thats what he used. i'm a fan of redline products tho, they seem to be well made fluids, oils, and greases.

#3 arens

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 10:44 AM

As long as he used the correct type of fluid there won't be any issues with the synthetic and conventional mixing. I believe the 9th gen use ATF type T-IV.

Drain and fill will be just fine instead of a flush with that mileage. I don't know that you will ever really need a flush if you keep with the drain and fill with synthetic every 30k to 40k miles.

I don't think the 9th gen have transmission filters, I thought they just had a cleanable screen. I may be wrong on that since I haven't had my pan off.

#4 JeffG

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 01:14 PM

Any tips for determining when you have hit the correct point on the full mark? I find that when filling it from the tube and checking it warm you get streaks of ATF all the way up the stick... Combine that with the dark colored check stick and dark purple ATF and it drives me nuts... I think Im always overfilled... Is it better to be slightly over or under filled?

#5 Bitter

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 02:32 PM

shine the dipstick up with some scouring pad, ive done that to mine and its alot easier to read now!


after adding fluid wait a couple minutes to check. the car should be on level ground and in nuetral, warm engine and trans, running.

#6 JeffG

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 03:09 PM

Good idea! Im going to try that

#7 fishexpo101

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 05:31 PM

The OEM fluid (Toyota Type T-IV) is a synthetic fluid. You have to becareful - most synthetic ATFs on the market are NOT compatible with Type T-IV. The results can be disasterous. I had a problem with my 8th gen - dealer accidentally filled with T-IV instead of Dexron III - transmission was immediately drained and flushed, but with 130K miles on the clock - starting to slip on heavy loads and long trips (refused new transmission - since they said they caught it in time = BS).

Most synthetics are setup for Dexron III or similar fluids - Type T-IV has a completely different friction characteristics. Personally - I would get that flushed completely out and replaced with Type T-IV. Some have reported good luck with a specific Valvoline ATF, Mobil ATF, and Amsoil. Some swear by their use - but the bottles do not specifically save they are compatible (nothing in writing). Until they do - only Toyota T-IV would be the safe choice.

For those systems that take Dexron type ATFs - I heartily agree with using synthetic ATFs.

#8 friendly_jacek

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:24 PM

The OEM fluid (Toyota Type T-IV) is a synthetic fluid. You have to becareful - most synthetic ATFs on the market are NOT compatible with Type T-IV. The results can be disasterous. I had a problem with my 8th gen - dealer accidentally filled with T-IV instead of Dexron III - transmission was immediately drained and flushed, but with 130K miles on the clock - starting to slip on heavy loads and long trips (refused new transmission - since they said they caught it in time = BS).

Most synthetics are setup for Dexron III or similar fluids - Type T-IV has a completely different friction characteristics. Personally - I would get that flushed completely out and replaced with Type T-IV. Some have reported good luck with a specific Valvoline ATF, Mobil ATF, and Amsoil. Some swear by their use - but the bottles do not specifically save they are compatible (nothing in writing). Until they do - only Toyota T-IV would be the safe choice.

For those systems that take Dexron type ATFs - I heartily agree with using synthetic ATFs.


Good advice, my reading on the post was that the machanic used incorrect fluid.
BTW, Toyota T-IV is not synthetic, Toyota WS (used in new 5-speed AT) is.

#9 NILLINOIS

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 04:23 AM

BTW, Toyota T-IV is not synthetic, Toyota WS (used in new 5-speed AT) is.


T-IV is a proprietary label by Toyota, so no other mfgr can label their ATF 'T-IV' without Toyota's 'approval', ( much like Mercon Name) . It most likely a synthetic blend, or so highly refined, that it can legally be called 'synthetic'. Amsoil & Valvoline ATF synthetic can be used where T-IV is indicated, except in special situations:

http://forum.ih8mud....ead.php?t=22580

https://www.amsoil.c...efront/atf.aspx

#10 friendly_jacek

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 09:28 AM


BTW, Toyota T-IV is not synthetic, Toyota WS (used in new 5-speed AT) is.


T-IV is a proprietary label by Toyota, so no other mfgr can label their ATF 'T-IV' without Toyota's 'approval', ( much like Mercon Name) . It most likely a synthetic blend, or so highly refined, that it can legally be called 'synthetic'. Amsoil & Valvoline ATF synthetic can be used where T-IV is indicated, except in special situations:

http://forum.ih8mud....ead.php?t=22580

https://www.amsoil.c...efront/atf.aspx


To clarify, toyota T-IV is manufactored by Mobil and also known as Mobil ATF 3309.
You can peruse the specs here: http://www.mobil.com...il_ATF_3309.asp
The info never states that it is synthetic or synthetic bland.
Furthermore, the T-IV has a tendency to turn into gray or brown fluid (oxidation) in as little as 30000 miles of regular service (it did in mine). True synthetic fluids don't do that.

I'm aware about Amsoil and Valvoline claims. However, I'm sceptical about these universal fluids as every specialized application requires different friction characteristics.

Edited by friendly_jacek, 10 July 2006 - 09:29 AM.

#11 fishexpo101

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:21 AM

Good point about the fluid getting dark pretty quickly. I'm also pretty sceptical about the universal synthetic ATF for both Dexron/Mercon and specialized ones like Type T-IV. Used be at the shop - they would stock Dexron ATF only and then add a can of friction modifier for use in specific transmissions that do not take Dexron. Was just cheaper that way - also gives you a warm fuzzy feeling of NOT getting your moneys worth.

I was under the impression that Type T-IV was a syntheic from my service tech. Oh well - I guess I'll have to send in a used as well as a virgin sample for testing and see what the deal is, when I get it changed in a little while.

#12 NILLINOIS

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 08:03 PM

I'm aware about Amsoil and Valvoline claims. However, I'm sceptical about these universal fluids as every specialized application requires different friction characteristics.



Good luck trying to find the Mobil 3309 anywhere, unless you want to buy a case from a distributor. I've never seen it sold at any retail store. I've never used Amsoil, and think its over-rated, but some guys at BITOG swear by it ( taxicabs with 300K and still going ) I doubt companies like Valvoline would leave themselves wide, i mean , WIDE OPEN, saying their synthetic ATF is T-IV compatible when it is not.

Just get the T-IV from the dealer if it makes you sleep better at night.

#13 Bikeman982

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 10:14 PM

I just drain and replace my tranny fluid with Dexron III. It seems to work fine.

#14 fishexpo101

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 10:48 PM

I just drain and replace my tranny fluid with Dexron III. It seems to work fine.

That's because for the 7th gen and 8th gen Corollas - Dexron III is all you need. For the 2003-2005? Corolla - their ATF calls for Type T-IV only, not compatible with Dexron III. I believe 2006+ Corollas call for the new WS ATF, which is not compatible with previous generations of ATF.

#15 Bikeman982

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 03:19 PM


I just drain and replace my tranny fluid with Dexron III. It seems to work fine.

That's because for the 7th gen and 8th gen Corollas - Dexron III is all you need. For the 2003-2005? Corolla - their ATF calls for Type T-IV only, not compatible with Dexron III. I believe 2006+ Corollas call for the new WS ATF, which is not compatible with previous generations of ATF.

Whichever generation of Corolla you have, the type transmission fluid must be specified in the vehicle specifications. I would stick with that or use a compatible synthetic. It would have to say specifically that it was compatible with the regular transmission fluid, or I would not use it.