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I recently bought a 2005 RAV4, and I'm planning on doing a transmission fluid change using the return line method. I'm wondering if it is necessary to drop the pan and change the filter + pan gasket also. I've heard conflicting info about the filter (some said it is just a screen and not a filter), so it would be great if experienced members could comment on this. Can I drop the pan, clean everything and reuse the existing filter? Thanks in advance!
 

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It is not absolutely necessary to drop the pan and change the filter but it will create extra work with a bit of risk. I did not drop my pan and just did the flush using the return line. I also added an inline Magnafine filter. I did not to drop the pan since it could add more problems if any of the bolts break or the gasket leaked. My fluid looks like new (way better than a drain and fill any day) and whats trapped in the inline filter helps with removing any loose metal debris.
 

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It is not absolutely necessary to drop the pan and change the filter but it will create extra work with a bit of risk. I did not drop my pan and just did the flush using the return line. I also added an inline Magnafine filter. I did not to drop the pan since it could add more problems if any of the bolts break or the gasket leaked. My fluid looks like new (way better than a drain and fill any day) and whats trapped in the inline filter helps with removing any loose metal debris.
Thanks DL175.
 

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Why would you not change the filter? I changed mine right in the driveway. I believe the filter and gasket was $30 or so. If you are going to pay $3/quart (just a guess) for all the trans fluid, it would surely be worth changing the filter on a 2005 model at least 1 time in it's life.
I'm not opposed to it :) My understanding is that it is not a filter, but a metal strainer (the part itself is named strainer assembly). Hence the question on reusing it after cleaning. BTW, the T4 fluid is about $6 per quart at my place (and also at Amazon). Genuine Toyota filter is about $45 and the OEM gasket is $10. Don't want to use after market parts for the transmission.
 

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I recently bought a 2005 RAV4, and I'm planning on doing a transmission fluid change using the return line method. I'm wondering if it is necessary to drop the pan and change the filter + pan gasket also. I've heard conflicting info about the filter (some said it is just a screen and not a filter), so it would be great if experienced members could comment on this. Can I drop the pan, clean everything and reuse the existing filter? Thanks in advance!
Hi
I did this last year on our 2004 Rav4 4wd. First of all, there is no filter, Toyota calls it a strainer. Its a very fine mesh screen inside a steel box. You can get in to clean it with your cleaner of choice. We bought the car without maintenance records so I thought it was a good idea to see the condition of the transmission. There are a couple of magnets with some very fine steel shavings on them, thats it. Other than the oil being black, im glad i did it. I bought a Toyota gasket and Toyota oil. Gasket does not need sealant. Easy job with basic tool. No leaks. I did snap off one of the bolts. Just used an easy-out. FYI - The torque specs are in INCHES not foot pounds on the transmission pan. In about 30K miles when i do it again it will be a simple drain and fill.
 

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I do not remember what I took off, but I do remember it was a filter I put on. The trans fluid I bought was $4.25/quart. Cured that nasty vibration issue I was having when you let off the gas.
Thanks!
Hi
I did this last year on our 2004 Rav4 4wd. First of all, there is no filter, Toyota calls it a strainer. Its a very fine mesh screen inside a steel box. You can get in to clean it with your cleaner of choice. We bought the car without maintenance records so I thought it was a good idea to see the condition of the transmission. There are a couple of magnets with some very fine steel shavings on them, thats it. Other than the oil being black, im glad i did it. I bought a Toyota gasket and Toyota oil. Gasket does not need sealant. Easy job with basic tool. No leaks. I did snap off one of the bolts. Just used an easy-out. FYI - The torque specs are in INCHES not foot pounds on the transmission pan. In about 30K miles when i do it again it will be a simple drain and fill.
Thanks! That's what I thought. I'll clean and reuse the strainer.
 
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