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Many people have changed the ATF in their Toyota vehicles and, instead of using the correct (and much more expensive) Toyota ATF T-IV to refill, used much cheaper fluid from a big box store. This is a GUARANTEED trans failure, for which many owners would blame Toyota, instead of their own miserliness. Additionally, the new Toyota WS ATF is a synthetic fluid which should last a long time, negating the need for frequent ATF changes.

Has this RIDICULOUS procedure been implemented simply to remove the possibility of some idiot putting the wrong ATF into the trans, along with the removal of the trans dipstick???

The procedure to simply check the ATF level has to be billed for AT LEAST one flat rate hour, which translates (in the NE USA) to $100++. I seriously doubt if a non-Toyota repair shop is going to spend the money necessary to buy the proper special service tools required to accurately adjust ATF level.

BTW, the YouTube video is VERY well produced and informative.
 

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My guess to why not only Toyota but Many other manufactures are making both the engine and trans dipsticks obsolete, is they are making harder for the DIYERS, the lube shops, and the general repair to perform basic maintenance, forcing people to go back to the dealers.

But to be honest you can't check it but to service the tranny is pretty much the same now to have to remove the drain plug and the red tube. But the issues now is to catch all the fluid into a container and measure what comes out! And put the same amount of fluid back in. Since in this case you can't check it i would add a bit more in e.g. if the drain and fill takes 3L add a total of 3.2L. Every transmission past, present and future has a vent, any extra fluid would just come out the vent to prevent overfilling the transmission.
 

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This is a GUARANTEED trans failure, for which many owners would blame Toyota, instead of their own miserliness.

And you base this on what? I don't disagree entirely but proof would be nice.
 

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Three experiences by friends who owned Toyota vehicles.
 

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I just bought a 2015 Rav4, and I noticed there is no transmission dipstick. Looking down at the transmission there is a small plastic plug on the top of the transmission housing. Do you refill the transmission through this plug hole when you drain the old ATF out? I noticed the drain plug on the bottom of the housing is a 6mm hex key. Right next to the transmission I assuming is the differentials. The plugs on this require a 10mm hex. I'm not about to change anything right now because the Rav4 is brand new. But for the future I'd like to know since this is my first time with a Rav. Explanations appreciated.
 

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Try section 4.4 TSBs and the first article deals with the auto transmission level. Basically it consists of pulling a 5 psi vacuum on the fill plug on the side fill port. This allows removal of the drain plug on the bottom without loosing fluid. Next a calibrated hollow probe tube of a certain length is inserted and the vacuum released. This allows excess fluid to drain out, and if none comes out then one adds extra fluid and then lets it drain out. The vacuum is re-applied and the probe removed and the drain plug restored. The built in calibration tube is set for a temp of about 100F which is nowhere near the operating temp of the fluid at about 180F. Evidently this fluid expands significantly with temperature and the transmission has a very narrow range for proper fluid level.

Frank 2015 Rav4 XLE AWD with about 7700 miles (AWD because FWD not available)
 

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:wall Yikes! What ever happened to simply opening the drain plug, emptying out the tranny, putting the plug back in, and refilling through the dipstick? The way it's got to be done is ridiculous. You know the engineers had a heyday coming up with this new procedure.
 

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Crossposted. Stumbled upon a YouTube video about checking the xmission fluid.

 

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Good video from Youtube explaining how to check the fluid. I'm guessing that unless you have a few hundred $$ to spend on the needed tools and equipment, the best thing is to just bite the bullet and take it to the Toyota dealership and get it changed when it needs to be done. Gotta wonder what engineer dreamed up this procedure. :shrug:
 

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Good video from Youtube explaining how to check the fluid. I'm guessing that unless you have a few hundred $$ to spend on the needed tools and equipment, the best thing is to just bite the bullet and take it to the Toyota dealership and get it changed when it needs to be done. Gotta wonder what engineer dreamed up this procedure. :shrug:
It wasn't an engineer. An accountant is more likely.
 

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There's one benefit for DIY'ers. There's no way Toyota does this at the 10000 mile oil change intervals so there couldn't be any objective 'bad fluid' judgment and therefore no way to blame any failed tranny under warranty to the owner. There'd have to be a mechanical complaint for Toyota to do this voluntarily. Also if the dealer sells tranny service outside the printed service intervals, the owner could ask 'how do you know it's needed?'
I do the 5000 mi. non-oil change inspections/procedures myself. .No need to have Toyota do this for non-special operation conditions. Toyota does the annual maintenance for me.
I suppose if there is REALLY a need to do a tranny oil analysis, a small amount could be drained by loosening a tranny cooler hose carefully. But does anyone even to tranny oil analyses?
 

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I like this system from the stand point that it is very accurate, but what I don't like is the tools needed are very expensive. It is about $800 if you want to buy the needed tools. Hopefully as time passes, there will be less costly options than there are right now.

Maybe somebody will come up with a rental type system for them.

I absolutely would rather change the fluid myself than take it to the dealer. I do not trust the dealerships at all. I have just had way too many bad experiences.
 

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That's messed up I'm a new 2016 rav owner. No deep stick for Trany so how we able to know the fluid level. Infact now I wonder how much dealer charge for fluid change.
 
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