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Discussion Starter #1
I think the ATF level in my 05 RAV4 is low (after heating up the engine, checking the dip stick with engine running shows a bit below the HOT mark).

I'm wondering how to top it off? The ATF bottle says "add only when transmission is cold". However, I understand that the right way of reading the dipstick is with engine warm and running. So which level should I top it off to?
 

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Drive the RAV around for 20 minutes and then check the level.
You will be amazed how much it rises when well heated.
Just starting the engine for a few minutes in your driveway might not show the actual HOT level.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Drive the RAV around for 20 minutes and then check the level.
You will be amazed how much it rises when well heated.
Just starting the engine for a few minutes in your driveway might not show the actual HOT level.
Thanks vanib. I'll do that. If the level is low then too, should I be adding the fluid when the engine is running and at normal temperature until the HOT mark?
 

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That's what I do :)
Add a little at a time.
Some cars just take a pint to go from Low to High and it is more work to drain excess fluid. Avoid unnecessary work.
Also make sure the RAV is parked as flat as possible.

A few days ago, I parked in front of house on the road, which I thought was pretty level and it showed that my ATF was low.
I drove it into my garage and the level was in the HOT zone!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's what I do :)
Add a little at a time.
Some cars just take a pint to go from Low to High and it is more work to drain excess fluid. Avoid unnecessary work.
Also make sure the RAV is parked as flat as possible.

A few days ago, I parked in front of house on the road, which I thought was pretty level and it showed that my ATF was low.
I drove it into my garage and the level was in the HOT zone!
You were right. I drove around town for 20 minutes and now it shows a tad above the HOT zone. I think I'm going to leave it for now, as I'll be changing the fluid as soon as I get my magnefine filter.
 
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