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What are the tools and TIS procedure for changing and adding fluid to the transmission on the 2013.
Post #11 in this thread is an overview of what alternative specialty tools I used. Other than those, you just need hand tools.
Toyota Information Service (TIS) is a pay for access ($15.00 for 48 hours) Toyota web site. All Toyota tech info is there and can be copied.
 

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Why not post the TIS proceedures here.
 

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I looked at the svc manuals thru TSI. Does not look too bad.

Seems they could have saved everyone some trouble by adding a dipstick and machining the filler hole in the top of the housing.
 

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Looks like they have a dip stick alright, it has to be inserted from bottom up through the drain hole. On top of that a vacuum has to be applied to the trany to minimize leaks when installing the level tube. All this when the trany is scorching hot >185 degrees F. Somebody had their head screwed on backwards when they signed off on this proceedure.
 

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I've owned a few vehicles with automatic's, I prefer manual. But, I've never dropped the pan or changed the atf hot. Always cold.

I've read the Toyota proceedure and think it's way over complicated.

1. Open the drain on the pan. (be sure to measure how much you drain)
2. Most likely I'd remove the pan to clean it and clean/replace the filter.
3. Refill with equiv. amount of fresh fluid.

After looking at the proceedure/diagram from the TSI page, it appears the drain plug has some type of extension tube that does not allow the transmission to be overfilled. If that's the case, you just need to add ATF until it flows from the extension tube.

My (the wife's) Rav 4 only has 50 miles on it. She averages 12,000 miles per year, so I have a while before I cross this bridge.

I've seen some decent write up's on the Tundra/Tacoma forums and it doesn't seem like too bad of a job. The tricky part, if you don't have a lift or a grease pit, is to keep the vehicle relatively level when adding the fluid.

I most likely am going to invest in a Mightyvac 7201 extraction/fill unit, mainly because I like tools and her Rav4 provides the perfect "cover" to spend the $$ on one.

As our Rav4's get some miles on them, someone will do a nice write up with lots of pics and the mystery will be solved. The only reason Toyota and other mfrs did this, in my opinion, is to bring more service work back to the dealers.
 

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So here are my $0.02 on sealed transmission.

The main reason why many manufacturers are switching to "sealed" transmissions is to prevent owners from mixing OEM transmission fluid with a wrong aftermarket fluid. Transmission fluids have become more specialized over time and consequently less compatible with each other. A fluid for a modern CVT transmission has very different properties from a fluid intended for a planetary gear transmission. Mixing incompatible transmission fluids can result in damage and expensive repairs. Considering that most manufacturers give now 5 years / 60k miles drivetrain warranty, it exposes manufacturers to the risk of expensive repairs due to user damage that is hard and expensive to fight.

90% of car owners never read the user manual, have no or little clue about how to correctly measure transmission fluid level and don't understand the differences between fluid specs and intended use. Just look at this forum. Most of the questions posted here can be easily answered by quickly checking in the user manual. Do you think somebody who is too lazy to read the user's manual that came with his/her car will understand how to properly maintain an automatic transmission?

Cars are more complicated and require more specialized service than before. The entire repair manual for a car from the 1980's could be contained in a 200-300 book. The repair manual for a 2010 Toyota FJ cruiser is ~4000 pages. Just the transmission section is ~300 pages long. Do you think that anybody who is not professionally involved in car maintenance will have the time and interest to learn and follow manufacturers recommendations and specs for correct maintenance and repairs?

This is a classic scenario. An owner checks the transmission fluid. He does not understand the difference between "hot" and "cold" marks, does not know if the level in his particular car should be checked with the engine stopped or idling, etc. He concludes that the level is low and dumps 1/2 quart of a "high quality" transmission fluid he bought at a $0.99 "special" at Walmart. Consequently, the transmission starts giving problems while the car is still within warranty period. Now the disgruntled owner demands warranty repair and won't accept manufacturer's reply that the damage was caused by using wrong fluid. Of course he doesn't want to acknowledge his mistake and pay for the expensive repairs, so he goes to the social media, press, etc. to voice his outrage. Lawyers just love this kind of issues. The resulting mess - bad publicity, potential lawsuits, etc. - is just too much risk for companies to take.
 

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So here are my $0.02 on sealed transmission.

The main reason why many manufacturers are switching to "sealed" transmissions is to prevent owners from mixing OEM transmission fluid with a wrong aftermarket fluid. Transmission fluids have become more specialized over time and consequently less compatible with each other. A fluid for a modern CVT transmission has very different properties from a fluid intended for a planetary gear transmission. Mixing incompatible transmission fluids can result in damage and expensive repairs. Considering that most manufacturers give now 5 years / 60k miles drivetrain warranty, it exposes manufacturers to the risk of expensive repairs due to user damage that is hard and expensive to fight.

90% of car owners never read the user manual, have no or little clue about how to correctly measure transmission fluid level and don't understand the differences between fluid specs and intended use. Just look at this forum. Most of the questions posted here can be easily answered by quickly checking in the user manual. Do you think somebody who is too lazy to read the user's manual that came with his/her car will understand how to properly maintain an automatic transmission?

Cars are more complicated and require more specialized service than before. The entire repair manual for a car from the 1980's could be contained in a 200-300 book. The repair manual for a 2010 Toyota FJ cruiser is ~4000 pages. Just the transmission section is ~300 pages long. Do you think that anybody who is not professionally involved in car maintenance will have the time and interest to learn and follow manufacturers recommendations and specs for correct maintenance and repairs?

This is a classic scenario. An owner checks the transmission fl uid. He does not understand the difference between "hot" and "cold" marks, does not know if the level in his particular car should be checked with the engine stopped or idling, etc. He concludes that the level is low and dumps 1/2 quart of a "high quality" transmission fluid he bought at a $0.99 "special" at Walmart. Consequently, the transmission starts giving problems while the car is still within warranty period. Now the disgruntled owner demands warranty repair and won't accept manufacturer's reply that the damage was caused by using wrong fluid. Of course he doesn't want to acknowledge his mistake and pay for the expensive repairs, so he goes to the social media, press, etc. to voice his outrage. Lawyers just love this kind of issues. The resulting mess - bad publicity, potential lawsuits, etc. - is just too much risk for companies to take.
Makes sense to me. Thanks for the post. Personally, I'm happy with the sealed tranny, as it's one less maintenance item for me to worry about. I changed the manual transmission fluid a few times in my 2003 Matrix and while a relatively easy job I can see how one could easily put the wrong fluid in, by mistake. It's even easier to do in an automatic transmission with a fill/dipstick tube. The shadetree mechanics on the forum may not like it, and some have even inspected and changed the ATF in 2013 Ravs. If people feel comfortable doing this that's great, but I won't be. I'll leave that up to the pros.
 

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Katekebo:
You seem to know a lot about car engineering. How long do you think this sealed transmission is good for? Like do you think it could go 200,000 or even 300,000 miles without any maintanence?

-d
 

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Katekebo:
You seem to know a lot about car engineering. How long do you think this sealed transmission is good for? Like do you think it could go 200,000 or even 300,000 miles without any maintanence?

-d
Thanks for your kind words. A short disclaimer. I am NOT an automotive engineer and I am not professionally involved with any car company at present. I am mechanical and electrical engineer with 25 years professional experience in other industries. I am a car enthusiast and I consider myself reasonably versed in automotive technology. So my comments are just a personal opinion.

I don't know what is the "target" lifespan that Toyota designs there transmission to. I guess that its something like 150k miles (equivalent to ~10 years of ownership). Most people don't keep cars longer than that, so there is not point in making things more durable if 90%+ of users will be satisfied with their car experience and hence will likely buy another Toyota product.

I don't think the transmission is designed to last that long without any maintenance except under most benign conditions. Personally I intend to replace my transmission fluid somewhere at 60k. Toyota recommends to replace transmission fluid every 60k miles only if towing, using car-top carrier or heavy loading, but I would do it anyway.
 

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The cars I previously drove originally came with "life time" transmission fluid (dexron) and did not have a very good longevity record. Some of the owners started to drain and refill in as little as 15K miles with trannys lasting >165K. After several years the factory called for drain and refill at 35K miles. With oil changes many of these transmissions were trouble free for over 200K miles. Refreshing the oil helps maintain the fluid properties and remove contaminates. Drain and refill with proper fluid does not hurt anything, as long as no dirt or other contamination get in the oil.
 

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The new Toyota innovation is to seal the automatic transmission after filling with full synthetic auto trans fluid. This does not allow the owner the possibility to check the level of trans fluid, or condition of the trans fluid.

I was not pleased to discover this fact after purchasing the vehicle.

I keep the fluid in my other vehicles with auto transmissions as clean as possible, knowing full well the price of a new/rebuilt trans with installation.

I will deal with this situation, I think, by taking this RAV4 for a trans flush at 40K to 50K.

What are the opinions here regarding the sealed trans, and how to deal with it?
Flushing in NOT the Answer: BOTH THE FLUID AND THE FILTER need to be changed around 30-60K Miles (lower # if mostly City Driving). There are many YouTube Videos out there. Not just Toyota ... Sadly, many Mfgrs. are jumping on the "Sealed" bandwagon. Us users aside, most Sociopathic Vendors would like to just have a timer in every car ... at 100K Miles, it just self destructs. In a Nutshell: Tip: If no previous leaks, you can drain, capture and measure ALL of the fluid when things are just warm or cool. No need for being level ... just sort of level. Clean everything and replace the filter. Then replace that amount of fluid with Toyota ATF WS. The trick as many know is how to add the new fluid without losing your mind. I personally am looking into adding the new fluid directly into the pan ... while it is "hanging" with ALL the bolts in about 1/4". The gap will then accept a small tube and it would not take long to add (e.g. 3.5 Quarts of fresh fluid) ... a bit like an I.V. for your Transmission! :)
 

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Copied from Gill on this site. Plan to use it when the time comes to change the trans fluid.

Rav4 Transmission Fluid Change

How to drain and fill a Toyota with the 660U or 760U transmissions that do NOT have a dipstick. The "sealed" description is wrong. A fill port exists behind the driver’s side front wheel engine cover panel. Look for a large 24mm bolt.

I've created this to help you guys who have heard that this transmission is sealed and have shied away from doing it yourself. This cost about $70. I hope you can use it and not have to go to one of those dealerships.

The tools Toyota sells for doing this are for shops that need to work on extremely hot transmissions because they don't have time to start with a cool unit for checking the final level of the fluid. This procedure will work for the DIY at home in a garage.

Toyota claims that their WS Transaxle fluid will last for the life of the car and also doesn’t say when to replace the power steering fluid. Any fluid which services moving parts needs replacement as with time it deteriorates. There are several complex reasons for it, too long to be explained here, but involve the chemical breakdown of the oil and fluids from the internal friction and heats it is exposed to over time.

I changed the fluid on a Camry with 116,000 miles on its original fluid and it was squid ink black.

This drain and fill will rectify the problem if your transmission hesitates before shifting from 1st to 2nd OR 2nd to 3rd gear when cold and when the engine just revs up without going into the next gear. Do this before you ever consider taking your car to a shop for transaxle problems.

Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Transmission fluid will mix with Toyota's WS fluid without any issues and is cost effective and a much higher quality fluid.

Here is what I found that worked.

The Basics:

• Transmissions are used on rear wheel drive vehicles. Transaxles are used on front wheel drive vehicles.

• Engines and gear boxes use oil, transmissions and transaxles use hydraulic fluids. Both are oils but the hydraulic fluids have a special quality that makes them uncompressible in pressurized spaces.

• This procedure is for Toyotas with U660 and U760 transaxles. These transmissions do NOT have a dip stick.

• The total Transaxle fluid capacity of a U660 or U760 is approx. 6.7 quarts.

• The full quantity of transmission fluid can’t be replaced unless you dismantle it totally and then reassemble it OR you hook up a flushing machine by tapping into the input & return pipes of the transmission oil which are connected to the heat exchanger. Both these options are complex, time consuming and expensive.

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED:

1. 6 mm hex socket & ratchet or long handled 6mm Allen Wrench.

2. 10 mm socket & ratchet.

3. 24 mm socket & ratchet.

4. 18” of socket extensions.

5. One bobble head or universal joint.

6. Foot Pound and Inch Pound Torque wrenches. These can be rented at most automotive parts stores. The inch pound wrench is important as I have seen many transaxle pan bolt holes stripped from over tightening. The inch pound wrench is only required for reinstalling the pan bolts to torque if you are changing the filter.

7. Infra-red temperature gun. (For a level check.)

8. Funnel & Plastic pipe

9. Jack (This can be done without putting the car on stands. They just make the reach to the pan bottom easier.)

10. 4 - jack stands. Car must be level for fluid level setting.

11. Wheel chocks.

12. Drain pan. Short and wide if doing this without the jacks

13. Rags/gloves

TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS (from the Toyota Service Manual)

• 6 mm hex socket bolt overflow plug to 30 lbs.-foot

• Transaxle pan filler tube under the hex socket to 7-inch pounds. (Barely finger tight)

• 10 mm pan bolts to 66-inch pounds.

• 24 mm refill port bolt with crush washer to 36 lbs.-ft.

SUPPLIES

Valvoline MaxLife - two 5-quart containers.

12 oz. Lube Guard Supplement for transmissions.

HOW TO DO IT:

1, Make sure the car has been parked overnight and everything is at room temperature.

2. Turn the steering wheel fully to the left.

3. Jack up the car 3-4 inches leaving the wheels mounted. Car must be lifted on all four corners to level for correct setting of fluid level. (This whole process can be done without jacking up the car as long as you have a wide shallow oil catch pan that fits under your car.)

4. Remove the two 10 mm bolts on the left (driver’s side) side wheel well plastic shield. Push the shield downward, it will pivot on a hidden plastic plug, until the 24mm fill bolt becomes reachable,

5. Loosen the 24 mm oil fill bolt & remove it. If you can’t remove the fill plug, do NOT continue! If you drain the fluid first and can't remove the 24 mm bolt you have disabled the vehicle and will need a tow to a shop.

6. With your drain pan in place, loosen the 6 mm hex bolt on the bottom of the transaxle pan. Be careful to not to lose the crush sealing washer. Be careful, hex bolts are notorious for getting a stripped head, so be sure to insert the hex socket fully into the bolt before trying to loosen it.

7. As soon as you remove the drain bolt, fluid will drain out for approximately 5 minutes. Once it stops draining, move to the next step.

8. Using the same 6 mm hex socket, reach in the drain hole with the hex socket and unscrew the plastic fill-level tube. It’s screwed in loosely and will come out easily. Just use the hex socket and your fingers to prevent damaging it. There is no O-ring on it.

9. Once you remove the plastic overfill tube, more transaxle fluid will drain out for about 5 minutes.

10. That’s it, nothing more will come out. At this point you can pull the pan and replace the filter. Reinstall the drain bolt and the plastic overfill tube

11. Using a measuring bottle, verify the exact quantity of oil drained into the drain pan. It should be about 3 quarts.

12. Refill the transaxle with the same amount of fluid. 3 quarts of transaxle fluid is what is listed in the Toyota Service Manual.

13. Start the engine keeping it at idle, watch the temperature of the fluid by pointing the infra-red thermometer into the fill hole. You will be able to see fluid flowing through the hole and by gently shifting the direction of the gun you will be able to tell when you are actually reading the fluid and not the case. The fluid will become hotter than the metal case.

14. Once the fluid reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit pull the hex drain plug and let the fluid drain with the engine still running. When the fluid flow reduces to a trickle or spurts the transaxle is at the correct level. This must be done with the engine running. As the engine will continue to heat the fluid to higher temps you must start this immediately upon reaching 104 degrees and be finished before it reaches 113 degrees to be accurate.

15. Install the drain plug

16. Turn off the engine.

17. Torque all bolts to specs.

Do this three times over three different days adding the Lube Guard to the last fill. This procedure will replace about 2/3rds of the total fluid and the Lube Guard will make up for the old fluid left in the transaxle.

I hope this is useful.

Gill

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS by SOMEONE ELSE:

IMO, Gilligan2017's instructions and the post #7 video would apply to any sealed transaxle using the plastic fill-level tube method to set the correct fluid level.

But since the procedure relies on heating the fluid to set the level, the filling section of both his instructions and the video can be simplified. Here's how:

Steps 1 thru 10, and the first 6 minutes of the video, involve draining the fluid (and changing the filter if desired).

Edit: I'm wondering why ANY fluid would drain in step 7 unless the transaxle was overfilled initially.

At this point reinstall the fill-level tube (called the overflow tube in the video) but not the drain plug as step 10 says and he does at 7:55.

There is really no need to measure the amount of fluid that came out as step 11 says or he does at 8:30. So skip step 11.

In step 12 simply add new fluid until it starts to run out. Remember the drain plug isn't installed yet.

Steps 13 & 14 gets simplified because with no drain plug the excess fluid will simply drain out the fill-level tube as it warms up. When the temperature hits 104F reinstall the plug step 15 and the level is correctly set with less fiddling with the drain plug and handling warm oil in step 14 or as he does from 10:55 to 12:10. I would highly recommend using an OBDII connected temperature measurement device like the ScanGauge he uses in the video. They can be set to monitor many different data streams from any vehicle or read and clear codes.

-5-
Possibly the explanation is that when the level setting procedure is done the engine is running and fluid is warm and circulating. When it's drained the car has been setting and some fluid drains back into the pan much as oil does in an engine. (That's why I prefer to do engine oil changes after the engine has sat for a few hours, not with it hot as many "experts" say.)​
This whole sealed type transaxle has got me thinking that if done smart a drain & refill is actually just as easy if not easier than those with a fill/dipstick tube. As long as the transaxle is cool it's really only a few steps.

(1) Once you have the car level and have removed the fill plug

(2) Remove both the drain plug and plastic fluid level tube and drain the fluid.

(3) Reinstall the fluid level tube.

(4) Add new fluid until some starts to come out.

(5) Run the engine until the specified temperature is reached.

(6) Reinstall the drain and fill plugs.

Done!
 
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