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J

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Discussion Starter #1
Automatic transmission oil change. ¿How often?

A year ago I bought a used automatic RAV4 2002 (28500 miles). I would like to know how often should I change Automatic Transmission Fluid/Oill? and ¿What kind of fluid/oil should I use?

Some local serice center told me it must be changed once every year. I was just wondering if it is true. Since its cost is US $ 195 I just want to make sure they are saying the truth.

In this year my usage was 3000 miles.

Thanks for any advice.

Juan C.
 

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Good thing you had suspicion. I don't know much about this stuff, so i looked it up and unless you drive your car 4x more than the average American, you don't need to change transmission oil for probably 4 yrs: http://www.cars.com/carsapp/national/?srv=parser&act=display&tf=/advice/caradviser/transmission_fluid.tmpl

I just noticed you drive only 3,000 miles/yr which is 5x less than the average american. So w/driving needs like yours, you probably don't need a transmission fluid change for 20 yrs.....or basically ever. Are you sure you're driving 3,000 and not 30,000? Do you have a second car? Commute by public transportation? Have very little driving needs? Hmm....well, anyway....

Here's some real people talking: http://forums.automotive.com/community/70/1519/maintenance-repair/transmission/when-to-change-transmission-fluid/

This is what your guys have to struggle through to change it: http://www.inct.net/~autotips/tfchg.htm

Quick tips and good summary of how to check fluid:
http://www.ehow.com/how_104_check-automatic-transmission.html

Feel free to google stuff yourself and share what you find that isn't already posted above. That would definitely help. Thanks.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Zoomie for your reply.

Here is another information about this issue.


Juan C.
 

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Is it easy to change your transmission fluid? is it the same as changing the engine oil?

Can someone take pics where to drain and put ATF.....



:lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Easy

it's just like changing the oil, except there is no filter. You never really get it all out through the drain because most of it is held in the torque converter. All you are doing it taking a percentage of it out at a time and replacing that amount. If you did this process 3-5 times over time, you would get close to changing 90% of it changed. A transmission shop can do a complete drain and flush, including the torque converter, using a special pump.

A good rule of thumb is to do it when it's cold, and measure exactly how much comes out, so you know exactly how much to put back in.
 
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Re: Easy

parkwaycruiser said:
it's just like changing the oil, except there is no filter. You never really get it all out through the drain because most of it is held in the torque converter. All you are doing it taking a percentage of it out at a time and replacing that amount. If you did this process 3-5 times over time, you would get close to changing 90% of it changed. A transmission shop can do a complete drain and flush, including the torque converter, using a special pump.

A good rule of thumb is to do it when it's cold, and measure exactly how much comes out, so you know exactly how much to put back in.
Is there really not a filter? There must be.
 
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To change ALL of the automatic transmission fluid, I tap into the transmission cooler return hose, add a length of hose, and run vehicle. As old fluid is pumped out into granduated container, I add the same amount of new fluid. When fluid coming out is nice and pink, you're done. There is an oil strainer behind the pan, not really a filter, just a screen. Never seen it, but the Factory Repair Manual says it's there. I added a stacked plate cooler after I found out what kind of temperatures the fluid was operating at, courtesy of my Autometer transmission oil temperature guage. Never sees over 180F now, nice crisp shifts.
 

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I can't believe that a transmission fluid change or flush would cost nearly that much money. I know I didn't pay that much the last time I got my trans fluid changed.

Check around with other dealerships and also with the oil and fluid change chains (EZ Lube, Jiffy Lube, Avis Lube, etc.). You'd probably pay less than half the amount your dealer is quoting.
 
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Dont forget there is a gasket that needs to be changed on the tranny that seals the case. It should be replaced either every fluid change or at a certain interval. Everytime I get my transmission changed they change the gasket as well. It may be routine and mine is a manual, not sure for the autos.

Just to note.
 

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noodlerooney said:
To change ALL of the automatic transmission fluid, I tap into the transmission cooler return hose, add a length of hose, and run vehicle. As old fluid is pumped out into granduated container, I add the same amount of new fluid. When fluid coming out is nice and pink, you're done. There is an oil strainer behind the pan, not really a filter, just a screen. Never seen it, but the Factory Repair Manual says it's there. I added a stacked plate cooler after I found out what kind of temperatures the fluid was operating at, courtesy of my Autometer transmission oil temperature guage. Never sees over 180F now, nice crisp shifts.
Nice, I've always gone to a shop for a transmission flush and fill. Didn't think about tapping the return hose like that.

Since we plan on keeping my wife's Rav4 for awhile I was thinking of adding a cooler as well. Where'd you get yours from? How much?
 
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Discussion Starter #13
nouse4aname:
I know this is old but...
I have a B&M stacked plate 16k GVW cooler mounted just in front of grill high. Cost was about $42 USD from SR. I would recommend a trans cooler to anyone with a RAV4. 24K miles is right, I observed 210F transmission fluid temps measured just after the cooler with only 10 minutes of idling!
 
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