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Discussion Starter #1
:cry:
Without warning: put into drive this morning, severe groaning / shuddering. Diagnosis from local (reputable) shop (not Toyota) rebuild tranny.
I have never (upon advice from owners manual) had fluid serviced.
No warning at all. I am neddless to say very surprised. I did not think the tranny would be the weak link in this vehicle. Est $3000
Mostly labor intensive job to do. Geez, and I only had 3 payments left. Guess the $3000 beats 60 more payment coupons?
 

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At that mileage it is not uncommon to have to rebuild a transmission in any car, even a Toyota, although with Toyotas it is less common.

Many car manufacturers claim their transmissions are "sealed" and the fluid never needs to be changed. Whether or not that statement is valid depends on how you look at it.

The consumer's point of view is that a transmission should last forever (or the life of the car). Whether it actually lasts that long is based more on luck than anything else.

The point of view of the manufacturer is that a car has a finite lifespan, often coinciding with the term of the warranty. They don't design the car to last forever, just to last what they believe is a proper lifespan (some people like to claim this is tied to the length of the warranty that the manufacturer provides).

Say Toyota builds a Rav4 and they believe the service lifespan is 100K miles. They will build a transmission designed to last at least 100K miles, and provide service recommendations based on a lifespan of 100K miles. They may also provide a warranty that lasts 100K miles. So when they claim the transmission fluid does not need to be changed, what they really mean is that it does not need to be changed during what they believe is the lifespan of the vehicle, which may be 100K miles or even 75K miles.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that the definition of "never needs changing" varies depending on the point of view. Manufacturers do not intentionally design cars to last forever, because it would not be in their best interest to do so. If everyone owned cars that lasted forever, the auto industry would go bankrupt. Maintenance schedules are more about marketing than actual maintenance. It lets the manufacturer say "our cars require less maintenance than others".

So you lost your transmission at 125K miles; that is unfortunate but not uncommon, and there's really nothing you can do about it except get it fixed. Transmissions contain parts that wear down over time and need to be replaced.

You're probably pissed right now thinking about the $3000 you have to spend on the transmission. Just be thankful it lasted 125K miles before it needed to be fixed. If you were driving a Dodge you would need a new transmission at every other oil change. :lol:
 

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Heh, just be thankful that you didn't own my old Plymouth Laser basically a '90 Mitsubishi Eclipse. I had to replace the auto transmission at 60K with a brand new one, at 125K with a used one, and again at 140K with another used one before I donated it to a local charity organization.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I checked my 2004 owners manual and it said to check the trans fluid at 30,000 miles, but nothing I saw about changing it. I would think at some point you would see it starting to get brown meaning time for a change. I've always changed my trans fluid on my last few Chevy's every 30,000 and they went up to 160,000 with no problems before I sold them. I think if you plan on keeping the vehicle long term then plan on changing the trans fluid before it turns brown.
 
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WHAT???? You need to change the transmission fluid regularly. Dont just follow what the manual says or tech, get them changed often(as you can afford).

Also the transfer case(center diff, whatever you want to call it) also needs fluid changed as well as rear diff(in RAV4 4wd anyway).

Get all the drivetrain fluids changed as often as you can(not more than 48,000-60,000km) and you should be fine(unless the tranny is faulty). I get them all changed every 24,000km(its worth the money if you are going to keep it long) especially if you drive in winters, offroad and lots of stop and go traffic.

While you are at it, get the power steering fluid changed and brake fluid regularly as well(they dont last forever). What I found to work for me is:

* Every 24,000km get the transmission fluid, transfer case(center diff) and rear diff fluids changed.
* Every 60,000 get the power steering and brake fluid changed.
* Every 30,000 get the engine coolant changed.

Course you dont have to follow that as it can get a bit expensive(I do the power steering and brake fluid changes myself). Just do a search on the internet and you will find a reputable site that tells you to get your car's fluids changed regularly(some even have when to do so).

The Drivetrain should outlast all the other engine components in the car(I had an old 91 blazer and the drivetrain was sans problems but the rest of the vehicle was falling apart)

Just my 2 cents
 
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Discussion Starter #7
pissed? no. disappointed? yes. All there reasons listed are the reason I bought a toyota (not my first toyota ). As with my previous vehicles it was more of them nickel and diming you to death. Atleast Honda recognized their well publicized Ody problems and are warranting those for 100k. Trust me. I am not crying, I thought it would serve as some forewarning to the rest of you to have the fluid changed regardless of what toyota says.
 

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If you plan on keeping any automatic transmission for a long time it's well worth investing in an aftermarket transmission cooler and changing the transmission fluid around 50,000 miles. 24,000 kilometers is a bit of overkill.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
24,000km is a bit overkill but where I live, the winter gets to about -20C all the way to -40C then the summer gets 20C all the way to 30-40C. That is a huge difference in temp. In the winter its salt and grime and moisture buildup, in the summer its dust, water and grime. I travel down gravel roads alot, and I offroad through occasional mud bath etc. I occasionally tow.

That means my drivetrain takes a beating, for about $150 Canadian every 24,000kms(turns out to be once a year), I get them all changed so I think for me its a small price to pay to keep the drivetrain in good shape.

Everyone has to judge their environment to see when its necessary to change. I just mentioned what works for me :)
 
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Discussion Starter #10
It is common knowledge that the transmission fluid needs to be changed regulary.

I even change my manual transmission fluid at 15k miles, although recommened at 30k.......

Auto trans fluid has a dipstick on all cars that shows if fluid is bad.

Hello?

Did anybody ever check that?

Did anybody ever open the hood?

Even all mechanics know that fluid needs to be changed on auto transmisison when it is bad,.... manual trans many don't know but that is not your case here..


I say it was not RAVs fault here. My condolences to the RAV4.
 

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Maybe it's different elsewhere but my old '98 Rav's manual and dealer schedule had regular trans, centre diff? and rear end fluid changes listed at so many klicks. My '05 Rav has the newer electronic controlled trans and although I haven't looked, I'd bet there are regular changes listed for it's fluids as well.......
 
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A few of the couriers that i was talking use RAV4 as a delivery vehicle and they keep it for 4 years for tax purposes
2 of them drive Auto and have got no problems with it and it is their 3 RAV4
They do about 120,000 km per year 120 thousand km i think it is 80,000 miles i'm not sure someone here might be able to tell me
4 years x 120K per year = 480,000 km and they have never ever had any problems with the auto tranny before and i was impressed

They change the oil every 6 months for their cars and have got no problems ever since
 
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