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-   -   V6 tranny fluid replacement notes & photos (https://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/83329-v6-tranny-fluid-replacement-notes-photos.html)

RAV4Don 01-05-2011 09:12 PM

V6 tranny fluid replacement notes & photos
 
With about 51k miles on the clock, I decided to do a tranny fluid replacement. Like others on this board I did not trust the so called “lifetime fluid” oem fluid. I thought I better replace it, well, at least for now the four quarts in the pan. I also replaced the oem filter while I had the pan off. The worst two parts of the job was 1) the removal and reinstallation of the massive plastic shroud with accompanying multiple bolts and those stubborn plastic fasteners, and 2) accessing three of the pan bolts neatly hidden above a body bracket. Copious amounts of foul language helped me through the aggravation of removing and reinstalling these three bolts. The other bolts were easy. I did notice that ‘blue’ thread locker was used. So I used some on the reinstall of the pan bolts. One needs a 10mm offset boxed end wrench and a lot of patience to remove and reinstall the bolts. I also used an air wrench and a combination Gearwrench. The nearest Toyota dealership is 45 miles away. So I chose a Duralast (Autozone brand #TF174) that looked amazing similar, but not identical, to the OEM one. After some research I chose to use Valvoline Dextron VI full synth fluid and not the Toyota stuff. I am sure to get some tomatoes thrown my way for that decision. Note the pics that show how dirty the used fluid is as compared to fresh fluid. Eep! The used fluid smelled normal, so no problem. Please don’t tell wifey I used her precious crystal clear glasses to get a good comparo pic. As others have reported here, there was a large amount of mega fine metallic debris collected by the two magnets in the pan. From my experience I would consider it an acceptable amount given the mileage. I cleaned the pan and magnets with brake fluid cleaner and rags. Everything buttoned up just fine and the tranny has performed well since the work. :D:

I’d like to hear comments from others who have performed this service as well as questions from those contemplating this work.

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...anny-fluid.jpg

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...tranny-pan.jpg

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...an-removal.jpg

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...ny-magnets.jpg

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...ast-filter.jpg

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...top-filter.jpg

brockeverly 01-05-2011 09:41 PM

For what its worth, this is exactly what my fluid looked like after 100k in my fiances Corolla with the lifetime fluid. I will probably change my fluid at around 100k.

Was there a drain bolt or was dropping the pan absolutely necessary?

arries289 01-05-2011 10:31 PM

Looks good Rav4Don & thanks for the post. I will be doing this soon as well. What kind of gasket came with the Autozone kit (rubber or cork?) and how much torque did you use to reinstall the pan? Normally, I will torque a non-cork gasket to about 80 in/lbs and I will be looking for a kit with a rubber gasket. Also, where did you do your research on the Valvoline fluid? Thanks!

RAV4Don 01-05-2011 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brockeverly
Was there a drain bolt or was dropping the pan absolutely necessary?

There is a #10 Allen socket drain bolt in the pan. But I wanted a fresh filter and a cleaned pan, so off it came.

RAV4Don 01-05-2011 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arries289
Looks good Rav4Don & thanks for the post. I will be doing this soon as well. What kind of gasket came with the Autozone kit (rubber or cork?) and how much torque did you use to reinstall the pan? Normally, I will torque a non-cork gasket to about 80 in/lbs and I will be looking for a kit with a rubber gasket. Also, where did you do your research on the Valvoline fluid? Thanks!

The Autozone filter came with an all rubber gasket. It fit tightly over the bolts which made the reinstall of the gasket on the pan up to the tranny surface very easy. The oem gasket was cork and rubber and split at the bolt holes presumably due to over TQ'ing at the factory.

I did a search here:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...oard=16&page=1

and here:
http://www.amsoil.com/catalog.aspx?code=ATLQT-EA
Amsoil products are not readily available near me so I went with the Dextron VI synth fluid

avs 01-06-2011 08:49 AM

What's is that in the last picture? Oil baffle?

RAV4Don 01-06-2011 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by avs
What's is that in the last picture? Oil baffle?

Pictured is the old and the new fluid filter with o-ring and three retaining bolts.

Colonel 01-06-2011 01:53 PM

I did my I4 at 32xxx miles and while the fluid was not as dark as yours it was well on its way. I dont buy into "lifetime" anything really. Filters and fluid wear out. Period.

Also, like you, I dropped the pan to look around and see how bad it was. Lots of metallic debris in the pan bottom. The I4 does not have a filter. Its has a screen in the same "filter body". I had bought a new filter from Advanced Auto and opted not to use it as it was a "sponge type" filter inside and I was worried about clogging since the original was nothing more than a screen. I used Toyota OEM recommended fluid in the manual. Want to say its WS?

She now has 53xxx and I am thinking of doing a whole flush with a pan drop/clean/fill. I was going to use the instructions in post 13 of this thread https://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopi...ighlight=fluid

RTexasF 01-06-2011 02:46 PM

Nicely documented! My (two) 08's are both front wheel drive and I was told they do not have a drain in the pan. Now I wonder if the fella at the dealership knew what he was talking about? When the time comes, even if they used a machine to drain & refill, I'd still want the pan dropped and the filter changed.

ChiTDI 01-06-2011 11:40 PM

Nice write up and photos, no tomatoes coming from this direction.
I was hoping to see a post like this before I tackle the job this summer. Of note, Redline changed their fluid recommendatio from D6 (low visc) to D4 for the '07 model we have. Amsoil, like Valvoline, keep theirs as the Dex VI (low visc) equivalent. Interesting to see what develops.
Thanks for the great post.

INDYMAC 01-07-2011 06:16 AM

Thanks for posting. I actually had a full flush with WS done at 11K miles with a T-Tech machine!

The car has 25K miles now. I think I'll have the dealer do a pan drop and filter change next time (50-60K?) and then flush it with WS. I'm hoping that Toyota has a better ATF than WS by then though.

wake_100 01-07-2011 11:00 AM

im skeptical on the atf fluid myself. WS and using anything else :(

RAV4Don 01-07-2011 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colonel
I did my I4 at 32xxx miles and while the fluid was not as dark as yours it was well on its way. I dont buy into "lifetime" anything really. Filters and fluid wear out. Period.

Yes, indeed. I just don't know why so many OEMs engage in such claims. Grant the fluid is so much better than it was years ago, but there is no magic elixir or filter media that will last a lifetime.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colonel
Also, like you, I dropped the pan to look around and see how bad it was. Lots of metallic debris in the pan bottom. The I4 does not have a filter. Its has a screen in the same "filter body". I had bought a new filter from Advanced Auto and opted not to use it as it was a "sponge type" filter inside and I was worried about clogging since the original was nothing more than a screen. I used Toyota OEM recommended fluid in the manual. Want to say its WS?

No Filter! Sounds like my 71 VW beetle oil pan. A metal screen serves as sole filter source. :lol:

The V6 oem filter media (as with the Autozone replacement filter) is a felt material and not paper. Yes, WS is the new standard for Toyota and not the older TIII or whatever. The new stuff pours with the thinner viscosity of milk! There is a big difference.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colonel
She now has 53xxx and I am thinking of doing a whole flush with a pan drop/clean/fill. I was going to use the instructions in post 13 of this thread https://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopi...ighlight=fluid

Thanks for that link. I now recall reading your comments and others on that thread that convinced me at the time not to wait too long to replace my tranny fluid and filter. :D: I think I might simply drain and refill with another fresh 4 qts of fluid in a few months. I want more of that old fluid out of there.

Carbon 01-07-2011 01:01 PM

For scale, I think the filters are sitting on 11-inch wide (vertical in photo) paper towels in RAV4Don's photo.

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...ast-filter.jpg

RF Overlord 01-07-2011 01:19 PM

Thanks for the info and pix RAV4Don.

I heard that Toyota T-IV normally turns dark fairly quickly, and I saw that when I did a drain & fill on my niece's Ford Fusion at 30,000 miles (the Fusion uses an Aisin transaxle that specs T-IV), but apparently WS also turns dark. Although the fluid probably wasn't bad, I agree with you that there's no such thing as lifetime fluid, or even 100,000-mile fluid. A simple drain & fill every 30,000 miles will help keep any transmission happy!

When by sister's I4 turns 30,000, I intend to do the same service you did, but since the car is still under warranty and doesn't belong to me, I'm going to use WS just to be safe.

RF Overlord 01-07-2011 01:42 PM

Colonel, I read your other posts in the the link you provided above, and I just wanted to say that I wouldn't be concerned about using a "real" filter in place of the screen "rock-catcher". Most of the clutch wear material and metal sludge on the magnets was generated in the first few thousand miles of use. I'd be willing to bet that if you drop the pan in another 30,000 you won't find near as much "stuff" in there the second time.

In the Ford RWD world, it's common to drop the pan and change the filter early, like at 15,000 miles, then just do drain & fills or fluid exchanges after that, since the amount of material generated declines rapidly.

Zeoth 01-07-2011 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carbon
For scale, I think the filters are sitting on 11-inch wide (vertical in photo) paper towels in RAV4Don's photo.
[img]/forums/album_pic.php?pic_id=11674[/img]

That's a filter? That looks more like just a metal pan. I've never seen a tranny filter before.

RAV4Don 01-07-2011 06:11 PM

Carbon, you would be correct. Thanks for pointing that out. From the pic the filter almost looks the size of a post-it-note. :lol: Of course as you point out it is much larger.

Zeoth, attached is a horizontal pic of the oem filter prior to its removal from the tranny. This is taken from the front of the RAV facing rearward. The filter media is felt and is located inside of a metal and a black penoilc material sandwich. There are two openings, one on the top side and the one as pictured, located on the bottom. Also, note the blue threadlocker material in the pan bolt holes. On the lower right one can see how a body panel covers the pan cover and makes removal/reinsertion of those three bolts a bit of a challenge. Without the two wrenchs I mention above, you will not get that pan off.
https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...an-removal.jpg
top of filter
https://www.rav4world.com/forums/memb...top-filter.jpg

friendly_jacek 01-07-2011 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiTDI
Of note, Redline changed their fluid recommendatio from D6 (low visc) to D4 for the '07 model we have. Amsoil, like Valvoline, keep theirs as the Dex VI (low visc) equivalent. Interesting to see what develops.

I'm glad you mentioned that. I used D4 in my 2006 V6 due to Redline recommendation. I even spoke to David @ Redline to make sure. I asked him repeatedly why the thicker D4 fluid would be better than D6 and he did not clearly explain. I didn't mind using thicker fluid because at that time I though thinner fluid was responsible for tranny whine. It turned to be an incorrect assumption.

I only did drain and refill at 30000 miles. The used fluid was in good shape at that point, so it was an overkill. I plan to drop pan and replace filter at 60000 miles.

gregMo 01-11-2011 12:09 AM

how much fluid I need to have, to replace without dropping the pan and changing the filter?
I think I will get to the pan later, now its to cold :roll: but car has 70K miles and I don't think the previous owner changed it.

RAV4Don 01-11-2011 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregMo
how much fluid I need to have, to replace without dropping the pan and changing the filter?

Four qts from what I read and it worked out just right for me.

gregMo 01-12-2011 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RAV4Don
Quote:

Originally Posted by gregMo
how much fluid I need to have, to replace without dropping the pan and changing the filter?

Four qts from what I read and it worked out just right for me.

...did you flush it first or just replace it?

RAV4Don 01-12-2011 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregMo
Quote:

Originally Posted by RAV4Don
Quote:

Originally Posted by gregMo
how much fluid I need to have, to replace without dropping the pan and changing the filter?

Four qts from what I read and it worked out just right for me.

...did you flush it first or just replace it?

I just replaced it. Four qts handles a 'drop the plug and drain' job. It will take much more fluid for a flush.

leod 01-14-2011 05:54 PM

thanks for the post, i plan to change this next year on my RAV after 5 years but it looks a bit complicated.

how much is the total cost DIY vs dealer? is there a writeup (parts, steps) on 4.3 for ATF change?

arries289 01-15-2011 07:08 PM

Re: V6 tranny fluid replacement notes & photos
 
Quote:

The worst two parts of the job was 1) the removal and reinstallation of the massive plastic shroud with accompanying multiple bolts and those stubborn plastic fasteners, and 2) accessing three of the pan bolts neatly hidden above a body bracket. Copious amounts of foul language helped me through the aggravation of removing and reinstalling these three bolts. The other bolts were easy.
I just want to mention that I just completed this job and found that you can remove the body bracket easily with the (4) 17mm bolts. This saves lots of headache with the three pan bolts above. Also, I unhooked the transmission cooler lines and blew the old oil out with compressed air. Over all a messy (as they all are) but easy job.

colt933 02-18-2011 05:53 PM

Re: V6 tranny fluid replacement notes & photos
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by arries289
Quote:

The worst two parts of the job was 1) the removal and reinstallation of the massive plastic shroud with accompanying multiple bolts and those stubborn plastic fasteners, and 2) accessing three of the pan bolts neatly hidden above a body bracket. Copious amounts of foul language helped me through the aggravation of removing and reinstalling these three bolts. The other bolts were easy.
I just want to mention that I just completed this job and found that you can remove the body bracket easily with the (4) 17mm bolts. This saves lots of headache with the three pan bolts above. Also, I unhooked the transmission cooler lines and blew the old oil out with compressed air. Over all a messy (as they all are) but easy job.

I've done the "poor man's flush" on other cars in the past - warm the car up and while it's running, pull one of the cooler lines then shut off when the flow starts sputtering, button up, and add new fluid. It's a bit messy but it works.

Is this method applicable to the RA V6? I just got an '07 Sport with 62k miles and seriously doubt the tranny fluid has been changed before.

CBR74 02-25-2011 04:37 PM

What many misunderstand about the term "lifetime" is that it simply means the average life of the product when in use. It doesn't mean that it will last as long as you or in this case, the vehicle will live. It very well likely is a "lifetime" fluid because it will last as long as the average life of the transmission that it's in.

That said, it is quite possible to extend the "life" of the transmission by performing regular maintenance such as that illustrated herein and I support it, especially if one is wishing to keep their vehicle longer than its average "life" is expected to be.

Case in point: my wife drives a 2003 Corolla which we bought brand new. I've maintenanced it regularly including a transmission service at the 60k mile mark and again soon at the 120k mark. (give or take a few k). It has always run flawlessly and I fully expect it to last for the next 8 years until such time as my oldest turns 16 and inherits it. After that, I can't so easily guarantee its lifespan. hahaha

friendly_jacek 02-26-2011 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBR74
Case in point: my wife drives a 2003 Corolla which we bought brand new. I've maintenanced it regularly including a transmission service at the 60k mile mark and again soon at the 120k mark. (give or take a few k). It has always run flawlessly and I fully expect it to last for the next 8 years until such time as my oldest turns 16 and inherits it. After that, I can't so easily guarantee its lifespan. hahaha

LOL, I also drove a 2003 Corolla and just gave it to my daughter. The only difference is I did tranny drain and fill every 30,000 miles based on rapidly darkening T-IV fluid (in mostly city driving).

drewpham02 03-05-2011 09:56 PM

Hello. First post here!

I just want to let you guys know that I followed the steps to changing the ATF and filter which was great! I posted some more pictures so this post can be super helpful to everyone. I used the WS that I bought from Toyota. I asked the Toyota tech if they sold a filter but the guy said all they do is take off the pan and clean it and refill it with new ATF. I was scratching my head for a bit. I went ahead and began a search for the filter. I went to Kragen's/O'Reileys. They have a kit where they sell the pan gasket and the filter for 17.99 vs. 15.99 Autozone's Duralast which didn't come with the gasket.

https://www.rav4world.com/mods/4.3/DSCN0286.JPG


Okay, back to the process, what I noticed most when I took off the pan was that how much retaining ATF was left under the pan. Then when I took off the old filter more came out, also the fluid was very dark, blackish but then again it might be because I finally changed the fluid at the 87,000.

https://www.rav4world.com/mods/4.3/DSCN0283.JPG

https://www.rav4world.com/mods/4.3/DSCN0285.JPG


Although the amount of ATF is 3.7 for the v6, after the drainage I was still on the low end of the stick. Probably got to pick up another quart later on to get it to the right level. Anyhow just wanted to share some stuff.

JuneBug 03-05-2011 10:21 PM

Thanks for the excellent pictures and info, Drew. Nice write-up!

Rav408 03-05-2011 11:15 PM

Very good post indeed. You helped us I4 owners out who didn't know any better. I changed the fluid on my tranny a few months ago and didn't open the pan since the dealer told me there was no filter inside. Since the vehicle I had before this (Honda Accord) didn't have a pan or filter, just a drain plug, I accepted what they told me. When I got under the Rav and saw a pan I thought it might be just for major servicing and didn't take it off. Now I know for next time. I did mine at 40,000 miles and the fluid was still very pink and clean, so I assume the filter is still OK for now. I'll definitely change it next time. I usually drain my trannys around every 40,000 miles anyway just to keep the fluids fresh.

drewpham02 03-08-2011 08:14 PM

What I get confused with is that why does the Toyota manual tell you only to change the fluid when it's not running correctly or something, when the fluid is really dirty.

RAV4Don 03-09-2011 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drewpham02 (Post 864348)
Hello. First post here.

Welcome!
Quote:

Originally Posted by drewpham02 (Post 864348)
I went to Kragen's/O'Reileys. They have a kit where they sell the pan gasket and the filter for 17.99 vs. 15.99 Autozone's Duralast which didn't come with the gasket.

I am not sure why the Duralast kit you bought did not come with a gasket. Mine did.

Geez, does anyone know why my photos in post #1 no longer work? Perhaps since the board transitioned to the new version there are some glitches:shrug:

rav4two 03-09-2011 04:40 PM

RAV4Don, your original links were relative pathing to the location of the images on the old server that hosted the previous software. Your photos have been moved over and you'll need to relink to their current location.

RF Overlord 03-09-2011 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drewpham02 (Post 864760)
What I get confused with is that why does the Toyota manual tell you only to change the fluid when it's not running correctly or something, when the fluid is really dirty.

Marketing.

Manufacturers play a constant game of one-upmanship in the preventive maintenance area, each trying to outdo the others in claiming how little routine maintenance their vehicles need.

If the fluid is really dirty, as you say, then it NEEDS changing now, regardless of what drivel the manual states.

Generally, 30,000 miles is a good interval unless you do a lot of towing, or plow snow, or regularly take 4 morbidly obese friends and their luggage for a week's camping holiday through the mountains in July.

RAV4Don 03-09-2011 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rav4two (Post 864854)
RAV4Don, your original links were relative pathing to the location of the images on the old server that hosted the previous software. Your photos have been moved over and you'll need to relink to their current location.

Thanks. Now if I can just figure out how to do that. The new format does not appear to allow me to "edit" my original post to fix the links.

Rav408 03-09-2011 09:08 PM

Send an email to Ravman & he'll take care of ya.

sean20202020 11-08-2011 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RAV4Don (Post 856274)
After some research I chose to use Valvoline Dextron VI full synth fluid and not the Toyota stuff.

I want to drain and fill my 2006 Rav4 I4 Base soon.
Instead of Toyota's WS ATF,
I found that Valvoline MaxLife® DEX/MERC ATF is recommended for WS.

Valvoline.com > Products > Automatic Transmission Products > Automatic Transmission Fluid > MaxLife® DEX/MERC ATF
Recommended for use where DEXRON, DEXRON II, III and VI, Toyota T-IV and WS, MERCON®, MERCON® SP and LV, Allison TES 389, Nissan Matic-D, Matic-J and Matic-K, Honda Z-1 (except CVT), Mercedes NAG-1, Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III and many others are required.

MaxLife ATF - Automatic Transmission Oils - Product information - Valvoline
Toyota T, T-111, T-IV, WS (except Hybrids)

VALVOLINE ATF RECOMMENDATIONS
http://sklep.intercars.com.pl/dynami...&lp=0&job=dwnl
Toyota 2006-2008: RAV4 Fluid Specification Toyota Type WS Valvoline Brand MaxLife ATF


And most importantly, Walmart sells Maxlife 1 gallon for $15.50
Walmart.com: Valvoline MaxLife Dexron / Mercon Automatic Transmission Fluid, 1-Gallon: Automotive

To me Maxlife seems to be good to replace WS.
What do you guys think?

arries289 11-08-2011 02:34 AM

That is what is known as a 'universal' fluid. Apparently, it will work. However, the fact that they lump it in with previous generations of Toyota fluids means they cannot meet the viscosity requirements of WS. I would bet it's going to run a bit thicker than WS. So, the transmission may shift and perform a bit differently. How much? I dunno, why don't you tell us! Personally, I don't use universal fluids.

vanib 06-21-2012 09:51 PM

214 Attachment(s)
My Rav is 4 years old and only 28,000 miles.
I know that we are supposed to change the ATF at 5 years/ 60,000 miles.
The fluid is still pink-ish and smells good.
Would it be ok to do just 1 drain/fill or should I go for a pan drop with new filter(screen!) and gasket?

If I decide to flush the old ATF out, could I disconnect one tranny line to the radiator and blow compressed air through the filler tube? I aware that i could simply start the car and wait for the bubbles to show up at the open end of the tranny line and add new ATF and repeat until clean fluid comes out. I am just trying to avoid wasting ATF fluid.


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