Transmission Flush

P

Porolla

Guest
I have a 2004 Corolla, automatic. With about 130k on it, I bought it used with 85k. I have not had the tranny flushed in that time and I am not sure if it was done prior to me buying it or not. I went to get an oil change a few weeks ago and was told it needed to be done and that it was very dirty.

I was at Autotire and after some research I am glad I didnt have them do it. It sounds like doing a flush especially at those places is worse than leaving it alone. I also read that just draining the fluid as much as possible and refilling on my own was the best option.

Apparently the detergents in the fluid can loosen dirt and grim that will damage the transmission?

Any thoughts, tips or suggestions?

PS the fluid looks like a light brown but does not smell burnt.

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
Depends on what sort of flushing machine they use, solvents if any, and the experience/training of the technician that will perform the flush. Dipstick flushers and some cooling line systems can cause more problems than do good - the other cooler line flushers and the ones that attach directly to the pump inlet (have to drop the transaxle pan) due a much better job.

You are correct that a drain and refill of the transaxle is generally considered the "safest" course of action to replace the transaxle fluid. Transmission flushes themselves, is not necessarily a bad thing, but incorrectly done, can cause significantly more trouble for you.

My personal experience with flushes have been quite poor. I've done it twice in two different locations on two different cars - both jobs were botched (one added the wrong fluid and damaged the friction material in the transaxle, the other added a non-spec additives that changed the look of the transaxle fluid from originally red to silver metallic paint). Both were remedied by short interval drains and refills.

I'd recommend a drain and refill with Toyota Type T-IV ATF fluid to start. Successive changes will dilute the old fluid over time and still keep the transaxle healthy with regular fluid change intervals. A drain and refill will take a little less than 4 quarts, total system capacity is 12 quarts.

For all of my vehicles - they get a drain and refill every 30K miles and a pan drop/filter change every 60K miles. If I've been towing or put the transaxle under a lot of stress, I'll shorten that interval.

 
P

Porolla

Guest
Depends on what sort of flushing machine they use, solvents if any, and the experience/training of the technician that will perform the flush. Dipstick flushers and some cooling line systems can cause more problems than do good - the other cooler line flushers and the ones that attach directly to the pump inlet (have to drop the transaxle pan) due a much better job.
You are correct that a drain and refill of the transaxle is generally considered the "safest" course of action to replace the transaxle fluid. Transmission flushes themselves, is not necessarily a bad thing, but incorrectly done, can cause significantly more trouble for you.

My personal experience with flushes have been quite poor. I've done it twice in two different locations on two different cars - both jobs were botched (one added the wrong fluid and damaged the friction material in the transaxle, the other added a non-spec additives that changed the look of the transaxle fluid from originally red to silver metallic paint). Both were remedied by short interval drains and refills.

I'd recommend a drain and refill with Toyota Type T-IV ATF fluid to start. Successive changes will dilute the old fluid over time and still keep the transaxle healthy with regular fluid change intervals. A drain and refill will take a little less than 4 quarts, total system capacity is 12 quarts.

For all of my vehicles - they get a drain and refill every 30K miles and a pan drop/filter change every 60K miles. If I've been towing or put the transaxle under a lot of stress, I'll shorten that interval.
Thanks for the info! I think the drain/refill is thee route Ill go. When do you think that a filter and full pan drop should occur after doing this, 60k miles... 3-4 fluid drain/refills? Thanks

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
If the pan has not be dropped in the last 60K miles or so - I'd look into dropping the pan, cleaning off the little pan magnets, and changing the filter screen. Also depends on how the drain and refill goes - if the fluid drained is heavily oxidized or there is material that comes with the drain (metal shavings, insoluble particles) - then look to get the pan dropped. Also, with fluid drains, if you plan on tackling this yourself - get the transaxle up to operating temp, let it cool down for safety reasons, then do the drain and refill. Hot/warm fluids help dissolve varnish and deposits and carry it with them when you drain out the fluids.

 

dom

04 Corolla CE 5spd
ATF replacement is recommended at every 60,000 miles. Removing the pan to clean it and the magnets gets only about 3.5 quarts out of transmission's 8 quarts total capacity. You better have it all flushed out to also get the old fluid out of the tranny's pump, torque converter, and cooling lines... If you're so inclined, you could do it yourself by disconnecting the return line to flush out the other ~4.5 quarts of old fluid left by starting engine and letting it pump out about 1.5 quart, stop engine, refill and repeat until clean new fluid comes out.

 
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Sonix

New member
I've been doing it just by taking the plug out and then after a few quarts drain out, refilling though the tube. Is that a good idea if I once every 60,000 miles (a year fro me)have the pan cleaned by a shop. I do my part when changing the oil, along with coolant.

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
If you can change the oil and coolant yourself already - it is just a little bit more to drop the transaxle pan and clean the pan yourself (messy at first, but easier the more you do it). There isn't a whole lot too it - just some little magnets on the bottom of the pan, maybe a little sludge on the bottom of the pan as well.

 
T

Twinpilot001

Guest
Trans-do it ur self -im the 2007 corolsa-I have - they only need draining & refill to correct levels.

watch the level after driving & then let sit a while. recheck!!

Also to drain there is only 1 drain plug to remove as theye are not like most other cars . I do hope there isnt many towing anything with these cars?? Need diff rigs to be safe doing that .

 

Sonix

New member
Btw, we have a trans shop that I found that drops and cleans the pan, but also does a flush at the inlit port (inside the pan) of the trans.

 
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pgwerner

New member
Should transmission fluid be replaced (not necessarily "flushed") every 60K miles? I'm at 97.5K in my 2005 Corolla and may have had the transmission fluid replaced at 30K, or may even be on my original fluid. However, I just checked it (engine running, after I'd done some driving this morning) and the fluid level is just fine and looks and smells clean!

So, should I replace it just as a matter of course because it's been in for over 60K miles, or do I take the attitude that if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

 
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K

krolla_22

Guest
I just had my trans flushed by a Wynn's Trans Flushing machine at a shop I used to work at. It doesn't have to be too often, but when I do I like to really do the job thoroughly. I usually buy a 20 litre drum of oil from the parts store so I don't come up short on the flush and refill. I also buy the Auto trans kit, which includes the filter and gasket and sometimes a form of sealant. I use between 10-12 litres of (DEX-III) Auto Trans fluid to flush the torque converter till it is fully clear and in my case red running through the machine screen. I then drop the pan and gently blow a bit of air over the bottom of the transaxle just to rid any remaining metal fragments or loose pieces. I then replace the filter and gasket and gel any sealant around the edges if applicable. I then flush another litre through the machine just to get it into the new filter. I then refill the transmission. Everytime I've done this the car runs soo incredibly smooth its like a dream. For about 24 months after the flush I can practically breath on the gear stick and it'll shift into gear. Anyway I would recommend flushing every 50,000 miles. When cars come in the shop the oil in the transmission can be clearly burnt, to the untrained eye or nose the oil seems 'fine' even though its well cooked. You definitely have to work on more than a 1000 of these cars before you fully understand the benefits of a complete flush.

 

Old_El_Paseo

New member
these vehicles are equipped with an aisin transmission. correct maintenance and driving will probably mean a problem free one.

so just make sure the oil cooler is working fine. if you drive a lot in mountany roads or carry a lot of weight ( or drive like an ###### ), you can add an auxiliary oil cooler to help.

change the oil a bit faster than recommended with quality oil and stick to the same brand and kind to avoid additive arguments.

drop the pan and change filter, clean magnets... at recommended intervals.

ive had a couple of problems with standard toyota trannys, but never with an automatic ( weird but true ).

 

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