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Out of curiosity, why never machine flush?
On older cars it can ruin the transmission. It often stirs up too much sediment and can clog passages or flush out sediments that are holding the transmission together :).

I have know of several issues of transmission died after a flush. Granted often they are old dying transmissions but still. Co-worker's Volvo's tranny was slipping. Mechanic recommended a machine flush. Transmission completely died afterwards. I have read or heard of this happening enough times that I simply do not ever consider machine flushing. Also since I DIY on almost all my maintenance, and I don't own a tranny flushing machine...

A couple of months ago I bought a used 2008 Rav4 base, 2.4. 4 wheel drive. Last weekend I changed the rear diff. oil, and it was quite nasty. Re-filled with Lucas 80w-90. ( non synthetic) Gained 1.3 mpg! Planned on doing three drain and fills on the tranny, and a filter change on the third drain, but ran into a problem. There are 3 bolts on the drivers side of the pan that are hidden under a section of frame rail. Only about 1/2" clearance..not even enough room to get the bolts out. Crap. This section of front/back frame rail is about a foot long and is held on by 4 bolts--2 front and 2 rear. The rear bolts I can easily remove and replace. The front bolts have the nuts hidden inside the square tubing section of left to right cross member. I could not tell if the nuts were in fact tacked to the tubing, so I didn't chance taking it off. Nobody has mentioned this in any of the forums I have read, and the Haynes manual I bought didn't either. I bought a new filter from the dealer and would like to replace mine as the vehicle has 107,xxx miles on it. Help?
The nuts are all tacked. Just unbolt that support member.
 

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On older cars it can ruin the transmission. It often stirs up too much sediment and can clog passages or flush out sediments that are holding the transmission together :).

I have know of several issues of transmission died after a flush. Granted often they are old dying transmissions but still. Co-worker's Volvo's tranny was slipping. Mechanic recommended a machine flush. Transmission completely died afterwards. I have read or heard of this happening enough times that I simply do not ever consider machine flushing. Also since I DIY on almost all my maintenance, and I don't own a tranny flushing machine...
The nuts are all tacked. Just unbolt that support member.
My experience with flushing too....
 

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Thank you myravis_silver and MrPullDown. When our weather clears, and I've got a few more miles with this new fluid, I will do another drain and fill and drop the member so I can get to those pesky hidden pan bolts. Your answers are what I figured, but you know how Murphy can be...it was getting late and the sun was setting, so I just decided not to chance it. Thanks again.
 

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Thank you myravis_silver and MrPullDown. When our weather clears, and I've got a few more miles with this new fluid, I will do another drain and fill and drop the member so I can get to those pesky hidden pan bolts. Your answers are what I figured, but you know how Murphy can be...it was getting late and the sun was setting, so I just decided not to chance it. Thanks again.
If you are dropping the pan use some blue loctite so the bolts don't loosen. Also be careful not to over tighten those pan bolts since they are easy to break if you use a ratchet. I used a nut driver so I can't over tighten them. I did have to redo the bolts later on since they were not on as tight. The gasket would also be easier to put on if you flatten them out ahead of time with some books. The filter would not go up in position until you start tightening the bolt because of the resistance of the rubber o ring.
 

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DL175, thanks for the additional input. I'll keep that in mind. For gaskets up underneath and overhead, I usually use some high tack. Not enough to really seat the gasket like the old, original permatex, just enough to hold it in place in a few spots. The gasket has actually been sitting on my bench for a couple of weeks now so it's pretty flat. I had issues with a crimped gasket on an old Triumph Bonny back in the late 70's....learned that lesson then! Thanks for all the help, great forum.
 

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71k miles on my late 2012 RAV4. Hoping to do the rear diff, t case, and a tranny flush and fill in the next few weeks. Found Vavoline Maxline locally, and Toyota WS online. Either would be fine?
 

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I have a question about fluid as well. I purchased new synthetic fluid for a drain and fill, but I realized the current fluid is the OEM conventional ATF. Can you mix conventional with synthetic? Or will I have to do a complete return line drain and fill if I want to use the synthetic ATF?

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I have a question about fluid as well. I purchased new synthetic fluid for a drain and fill, but I realized the current fluid is the OEM conventional ATF. Can you mix conventional with synthetic? Or will I have to do a complete return line drain and fill if I want to use the synthetic ATF?

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You should be ok with the drain and fill. Others have done this and I have not heard anything bad mixing different fluids. The result is a semi-synthetic blend.
 

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I have a question about fluid as well. I purchased new synthetic fluid for a drain and fill, but I realized the current fluid is the OEM conventional ATF. Can you mix conventional with synthetic? Or will I have to do a complete return line drain and fill if I want to use the synthetic ATF?

Sent from my LG-H820 using Tapatalk
I jsut did the same in my RAV at 65K. Was very impressed with the results. Not only did ONE drain and fill make the ATF from the dip stick look red again, it got rid of the "cold engine put in drive CLUNK". It also greatly reduced the "accelerate from 5mph confused transmission CLUNK", though I think this one is contributed by the rear diff 4wd clutch.
 

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As a precaution every and all toyota auto transmissions especially more recent models running on WS fluid should have basic oil and filter changes every 30 thousand miles and even non mechanics can learn to monitor the color of the fluid with some experience. Just google " That ( model # )toyota transmission problems" and follow down links especially those put out by transmission repair associations .You may think that some shops push unnecessary jobs but in this case use them as guides for averages and believe me most will report the same findings. Ask around to find an average price for oil change. Try and get reviews or ratings from others and the net. Also something i forgot to mention is that the valve body ( control module) tends to wear out faster by themselves in the last 10 years and cause problems which i will explain in the easiest terms : The directional or shift control valve has hard steel moving parts that slide back and forth in a softer aluminum housing. The steel is much harder and wears out the passages with time causing shift delays from internal leakage and operating pressure loss, and in extreme cases transmission stoppage. This is worse on older V6 equipped Camrys Solaras or Lexus. A professionnaly rebuilt or machined valve body is very expensive by itself, around 700$ without labor. Check Ebay for fun. Some reliable vendors on Ebay will sell a good tested and verified valve body for much less sometimes, check their satisfaction rating. In a many cases depending on the year a slow or problematic shifting Toyota transmission can be fixed by rebuilding the valve body or changing it with a decent one with proper clearances, use that info so you dont get screwed by an unscrupulous shop, they may be stunned that you know about this. Changing it is a job best left to mechanics or better yet good trans repair shops. Do not attempt if unsure. Synthetic transmission oil practically eliminates any wear everywhere during the life of the fluid so for the liitle price difference i will always recommend that. Hope this helps. Jeff


You need to add the words "real synthetic ATF" NOT the synthetic that Toyota calls WS ( aka "Worst Stuff") that really is a semi-synthetic. Real ATF like Amsoil's best, not their OE version or their second tier version and any of Redline's ATFs that are specd for your car/truck. Here most would use Redline D6.

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Since we're on the subject my trans was replaced @ 6409 miles and is now just a hair under 25K. Since the reman trans was installed the shift from 1st to 2nd (warm) was always a bit sloppy, not crisp like when cold.

Two weeks ago I added 10 oz of Lubegard Platinum to the transmission and I've been evaluating it since. ALL shifts are now crisp & clean (warm) no slop or s-l-i-d-i-n-g from 1 to 2. I've got a couple hundred miles on it since the Lubegard. The "clunk" from the left front shifting to reverse with a cold start has almost completely stopped. When it does clunk it is much quieter than before.

Upshifting and downshifting is very smooth but also very positive without being overly so. No slap shifts here but a firm positive engagement of the next gear. When you stand on the go pedal upshifts are quick and firm. Downshifts are instantaneous, no hunting. I am well pleased with this additive. I've read nothing but positive results for years on Bobistheoilguy and decided to try it myself. In my short term evaluation there are no negatives at all just positives. No snake oil here, it just works.
 

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Thank you Jeff Godon for the recommendation on lubegard. Apparently it is also highly recommended on bobistheoilguy forums, and I have read nothing bad about this stuff over there.

A little background: I was having shift issues and originally thought it was an ECU problem since my ATF fluid was very new. Here is the old thread I posted from a while back: http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/218177-transmission-delay-hard-shifts-could-engine-issue.html
I never did update that thread, but resetting the ECU only solved half the problem and restored shift points. I was still having hard shifts on the lower gears. But recently I just decided to try lubegard. I bought one of those cheap $10 fluid extractor pumps on amazon along with lubegard red. Total came out to less than $20. I was able to extract 10oz of atf from the dipstick tube and pour in the lubegard afterwards. I was expecting the fluid to work it's way through after some miles, but only driving for less than a mile I already felt a difference. Drove onto the freeway (entered the onramp somewhat aggressive heh, gotta love that v6 power) and found the shifting to be extremely smooth!

As RTexasF experienced, the fluid just simply worked and am satisfied.
 

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For what it's worth I asked Lubegard if I could simply add the product to the existing fluid without removing 10 ounces initially. They confirmed that it could simply be poured in. They
stated the Platinum has more anti wear additives than the red and was the better product for longevity. There was no price difference so I went Platinum.

They were very prompt and professional in responding too. I appreciated that.
 
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I have an inline 4 and a V6 Rav4. I have not seen how I am suppose to check the tranny fluid. I thought I'd ask the experts here who know. I know on my Dodge the manual states check it running while it is in Park, but all the Dodge experts say it needs to be checked in neutral.

Please let me know. Thank you!
 

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My '07 4 banger must be up to temp, on level concrete or ground and the in Park (P), engine running, to properly check the tranny fluid.
 

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I must be lucky. I have a 2010 Base Rav4 (4cyl) with over 170k miles on it. I tow a PWC and have no transmission issues.
 

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I must be lucky. I have a 2010 Base Rav4 (4cyl) with over 170k miles on it. I tow a PWC and have no transmission issues.
Uh-oh, you may have just jinxed it. :surprise
 
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