When To Flush Transmission Fluid?

ninioautista

New member
I'm going to do a regular drain and refill and i'll see what comes out


If i don't like what i see I'll look into taking the pan out and if I do that I'll clean the filter and probably replace the gasket.

Thanks so much for the help, you guys always answer so fast


 

ninioautista

New member
Hey does anybody remember where and what tool I need to remove the drain plug? I can't seem to find it on the internet.

Thanks!

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
For the drain plug - it should be 14mm. Even a standard 14mm socket should be enough to get it out - it isn't recessed, so you don't need some crazy extension or even a deep well socket.

I forgot to ask earlier if you had a 4-speed or 3-speed automatic. A 4-speed (look for the O/D switch on the shifter) - will hold a little less than 4 quarts on a drain and refill. A 3-speed has two separate reservoirs for fluid - one for the transaxle, the other for the differential. The differential has a separate fill and drain plug on the side of the diff - easiest way at it is to remove the driver's side front wheel to get access to those diff bolts. Transaxle here takes 2.5 quarts, the diff will take about 1.5 quarts. Transaxle is filled through the dipstick tube, diff is filled from fill hole in the side - need to use a fluid pump or use a flexible length of tubing to fill the diff casing. Stop filling when the fluid is one finger tip below the opening (as when you lower the car, it should be just below the fill line).

Assuming it is a 4-speed transaxle, drain and refill is a piece of cake. Jack the front of the car up or drive it up onto some ramps. Helps to have warmed the transaxle up to circulate the fluid and help dissolve as much of the deposits as possible. Remove the bolt, drain into the pan, replace bolt (may need drain plug gasket - it is a crush type), and refill through the dipstick tube with the same amount that came out. If unsure of the quantity, start with 2.5-3 quarts and then top off as needed. Start car, run the shifter through each gear, pausing in each one for a couple of seconds - this will get the fluid to circulate all the fluid circuits. Check for leaks. If good - then drive off the ramps / drop the car. Shift into park - with car still running, on level ground - check fluid level on dipstick (look at the cold mark - lower mark) - add fluid is needed and guard against over filling. If you accidentally overfilled it - have to drain it out until you get to the right level.

Lots of videos online to walk you through the process - with either transaxle. Once you get one of these drains and refills under your belt - the next couple of times you do this will be a breeze.

 

ninioautista

New member
Thanks so much fishexpo! I'll let you guys know how it went!


Oh, btw I have a 2001 4speed

 
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ninioautista

New member
I just did it.

It was really simple and I didn't even had to lift the car up. (well I couldn't because my jack was in the storage locker and I didn't want to drive
)

But I guess that it being my first time ever doing this something had to happen.

I didn't see the gasket of the drain bolt so I thought mine didn't have one.

After I was done, i put the bolt in, adjusted it (not to much though) and continued with the process , all good.

While I was moving the old transmission fluid to an empty gallon of milk for recycling I saw the gasket
and I have it here with me.

I didn't see any leaks or anything.

I suppose that nothing will be wrong and since I was going to do another fluid change in a couple thousand miles as you suggested, I think it'll be ok (I may rush the next fluid refill and do it in the next hundred miles)

What do you think?
Should I start over just because of the gasket?

Thanks!

edit: since english is not my native language I just wanted to make sure we are talking about the same "gasket", here's a pic:



 
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dom

04 Corolla CE 5spd
Yeah it should be fine until you drain it again if it's not leaking... Since you have it in hand, you could have it matched to a nice new aluminum gasket (washer), so you'll be good and ready.

 
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ninioautista

New member
Yeah it should be fine until you drain it again if it's not leaking... Since you have it in hand, you could have it matched to a nice new aluminum gasket (washer), so you'll be good and ready.
Sorry, I didn't quite get that .

You're saying I should replace it for another one? or to add something else?

(thanks for answering btw
)

 
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fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
Yup that is the crush washer / gasket I was referring to earlier. Pretty common for them to get stuck to the drain pan, usually to fall off into the bucket / drain pan during the draining process.

I'm with dom, as long as it is not leaking - you should be OK until the next time you do a drain and refill. At that time, you can put on a new gasket. You could reuse the old one, as long as the gasket is not distorted too badly. Hard to tell from the picture, that side looks OK, but the other side might be pretty distorted..

I know on my 2002 - my washer as only good for that fill. Tried to reuse it - and it leaked like crazy. Ended up just running the plug without the gasket, temporarily, until I was able to stop by my parts guy to grab a couple of those gaskets.

 

ninioautista

New member
Well, I did a test drive on the highway and it all seemed ok transmission-wise, didn't feel anything different, neither good or bad.

I parked the car, checked for leaks there wasn't any dripping. I rubbed a clean paper towel all around the bolt to see if there was any liquid, there was some, but it was only went, not even a drop was forming.

Anyways I left a couple of paper towels on the floor covering the transmission area yesterday night and I'll check them up today.

I'm not driving the Corolla as my main car anymore (I bought a 2015 Sonata) so it's just for small distances and for my wife that's learning how to drive so if there are is no dripping I'll get a new washer and do the drain and refill again in a couple hundred miles and that's it.

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
Sounds like a plan! Little wet around the plug is to be expected in this case. Since it isn't a daily driver - should be fine until you get around to it. Paper towels / cardboard to monitor leaks is a good idea - if anything keeping the floor clean.

 

ninioautista

New member
Yep, that's what I'll do.

I use a cardboard when it's parked and for what I could measure (just by looking at the cardboard) it probably leaks about 4/8 drops a day.

I'm still monitoring the level just to make sure I don't use it without enough fluid in it.

I'm gonna purchase another this week and probably put a hundred miles and do the transmission again this weekend and just be done with the whole thing so my wife can drive it with no problems.

Thanks


 

ninioautista

New member
Ok, i got everything to do the transmission flush


I was wondering, is there any kind of sealant that I can use with the bolt and washer to make sure I don't have any leaks? Thanks!

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
No sealant needed - that's what the crush washer is for.

Hopefully you'll have an extra set of hands to help out. Can do this solo, but can be messy for the first time DIYer flusher. If the hose from the return line comes loose from the drain pan / bucket - you could hose down EVERYTHING in that area with ATF fluid.

Not a firehose sort of force, but a surprising amount of fluid can be pushed out in a short amount of time.

 

ninioautista

New member
No sealant needed - that's what the crush washer is for.

Hopefully you'll have an extra set of hands to help out. Can do this solo, but can be messy for the first time DIYer flusher. If the hose from the return line comes loose from the drain pan / bucket - you could hose down EVERYTHING in that area with ATF fluid.

Not a firehose sort of force, but a surprising amount of fluid can be pushed out in a short amount of time.
Thanks for the answer!

I actually did it by myself and since it was my 2nd time now, it was easier


I didn't see any leaking yet, however, I'm not sure how much to tighten the bolt, I did it pretty tight but I still think it could be tighter,

I'll see tomorrow if it has any leaks and proceed from there

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
Yeah, there isn't a lot of threads on that pan, so what you did is perfect. Tighten it up so it is on there pretty snugly, but not "Hulk" tight. Check on it a day or so and see if any fluid weeped out, if it did - give it another 1/4 turn or so. If it seems too tight, could be the gasket is messed up or there is some debris stuck between the bolt and gasket, or gasket and the pan.

 

ninioautista

New member
Yeah, there isn't a lot of threads on that pan, so what you did is perfect. Tighten it up so it is on there pretty snugly, but not "Hulk" tight. Check on it a day or so and see if any fluid weeped out, if it did - give it another 1/4 turn or so. If it seems too tight, could be the gasket is messed up or there is some debris stuck between the bolt and gasket, or gasket and the pan.
Well, three days with no leaks and not even wet around the bolt


Thanks fishexpo for always answering
I really appreciate it!

Next step, AC Recharge


It's funny, all these things I didn't do while it was my only car, now that I have it "to spare" I don't mind doing things cause in case I snip up, I can still go to work


 

LeoSucena

New member
Hi folks, I am new here, and I really appreciate the forum and the hints posted.

I have a doubt about automatic transmission:
My corolla XRS 2012 2.0 Automatic has 31.000 miles and 48 months of life.
According to car's manual, i have to change the transmission oil every 48 months or 50.000 miles, but in my case the transmission oil is still good!
Light pink color, very very very far for black of burnt oil's.

Should i change the Oil now (by time) or can i wait for 50.000 miles to change(by miles)?

Thanks in advance!
Hugs,
Leonardo from Brazil

 

fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
Unfortunately, you can't really tell the condition or protection abilities of the oil by its color. Only really way to check to see if the oil is OK - is to have it chemically tested via oil analysis.

Not really familiar with the Brazilian market 2012 Corolla XRS 2.0. The last time the XRS trim designation was last used was with our 10th gen Corollas - from model years 2009-2010 with the 2.4L 2AZ-FE engines w/5-speed automatics. So I'm not sure where the 50,000 mile/48 months came from - if it was in the factory service manual or dealership maintenance guide (I'd only believe the factory service manual one - should have a booklet with the maintenance quidlines come with the car). In the US models - it only recommends transaxle service at 60,000 mile/60 months if driven under "special operating conditions". It actually doesn't specify a transaxle fluid replacement until 120K miles/120 months.

That said - most of the transmission services are heavily dependant on driving conditions and driving style of the owner. The intervals indicated in the factory service manual are for most conditions. Some transaxles could actually be fine with the original transaxle fill for considerably longer than what the factory spec's - other cases, some need to change their fluids at very short intervals, do to excessive stop and go / towing, etc.

Also keep in mind that a service like this is not just to exchange the fluid, but to also remove any accumulated friction material during the break in process / covering the pan magnets. This is not visible from the dipstick - you have to drop the transaxle pan to really get it all out. The interval they give you should be read as whichever occurs first - time or mileage.

Can you wait to 50K miles before you change it and be OK - possibly.

Better question to ask yourself - if you do decide to wait until 50K miles (and roughly 77 months, given your rate of 31K miles @ 48 months) and something catastrophic happens to the transaxle that is directly related to an oil / lubrication failure - do you want to eat all the costs of replacing that transaxle yourself since you've pushed past the manufacturer's recommendation and it may not be covered under warranty (ie, abuse / neglect on owner's part)?

Note that it generally doesn't hurt you to replace fluids earlier - just that some owners want to maximize service interals and be more efficient with maintenance costs and old fluid disposal over the life of the car. If you look at the overall costs - doing a fluid exchange is pretty low in cost compared to cost to replace a transaxle. Like with most things on the car - potential damage from extending fluid intervals may not show up for many years, thousands of miles - if and when they come up, you definitely don't want the dealership to screw you out of warranty work because they looked at the maintenance logs and see that "missed" some fluid replacement and try to stick you with a huge repair bill.

 

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