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The owners manual says the AWD needs, Toyota automatic trans-axle fluid Type T or equivalent.
The two wheel drive uses dextron II and the manual transmission uses gear oil.
 
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Put in some Amsoil or Redline and call it a day, far better then anything OEM. Here we go again with "forum dogma" on oil. Nothing is so special in OEM oil that you can't change to a group 4/group 5 boutique oil like Redline or Amsoil and far exceed the quality of OEM. The only slight bit of worry would be CVT oil and Amsoil has been exceeding OEM there too. But the jury is still out there, but most of the jury is siding Amsoil as superior.
 

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The difference is that the AWD auto trans in 4.1s serves not only as the transmission, but also the transfer case. Transfer cases normally use a significantly different fluid. So the Toyota AWD fluid must be a compromise between the two.

I buy non-OEM stuff almost all the time (mainly from RockAuto and Walmart); this is one time not to skimp.
 

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Ok , that makes a difference, to a point. Has anyone called Amsoil and Redline on this. There are a couple manufactures that use ATF in their transfer cases, Here again OEM oil from what I have seen almost ALWAYS are less robust then a Amsoil or Redline. You may think you need to use Toyota oil in that application when a boutique oil of the two may still be far superior in that application because they are group 4 /group 5 oil with the "right additives " for your NON segregated transfer case. When OEM oil most likely is a group 3 with a smidgen of group 4.

I would say I myself would be making 2 phone calls to both companies to see if they approve to use in a non segregated auto trans/transfer case application before using any OEM oil.
 

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Slight correction (of mine) -- the AWD AT is combined with the front differential (not the transfer case), according to page PP-48 of the 2000 FSM ("ATF Type T or equivalent" -- the OEM Toyota fluid for AWD). The "transfer oil" is "SAE 75W-90", 0.7 quart (dipstick accessed through the right front wheelwell).
 

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Slight correction (of mine) -- the AWD AT is combined with the front differential, according to page PP-48 of the 2000 FSM ("ATF Type T or equivalent"). The "transfer oil" is "SAE 75W-90", 0.7 quart (accesed through the right front wheelwell).

Ok it's just like my 2014. I have already flushed both rear diff and transfer case twice. I really did not have to do the transfer case twice, as I wanted to do to the rear diff, but I had the I bought 2 Qt of Redline 75W 85 ( 2014 spec oil for that year) and wanted to use it up. When I get my small 16 ft boat and tow it I will switch over to Redline 75W 90 or maybe 75W 120. My wife's Rav4 has 21,000 miles on it and bought as a lease return 2 months ago. I will be changing over to Redline ATF in spring or maybe this winter. From my research I think it is a good idea to keep a "clean" rear diff. I have seen a couple of bad viscous couplet bearing issues. I personally feel it is because of clutch plate debris in the rear diff playing havoc on those bearings, a particulate count issue I feel.
 

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Ok it's just like my 2014. I have already flushed both rear diff and transfer case twice. I really did not have to do the transfer case twice, as I wanted to do to the rear diff, but I had the I bought 2 Qt of Redline 75W 85 ( 2014 spec oil for that year) and wanted to use it up. When I get my small 16 ft boat and tow it I will switch over to Redline 75W 90 or maybe 75W 120. My wife's Rav4 has 21,000 miles on it and bought as a lease return 2 months ago. I will be changing over to Redline ATF in spring or maybe this winter. From my research I think it is a good idea to keep a "clean" rear diff. I have seen a couple of bad viscous couplet bearing issues. I personally feel it is because of clutch plate debris in the rear diff playing havoc on those bearings, a particulate count issue I feel.
I don't know what you are driving, but my 4.1 gen Rav4 does not have a clutch plate in the rear diff.
And I have the lsd differential.
 

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I don't know what you are driving, but my 4.1 gen Rav4 does not have a clutch plate in the rear diff.
And I have the lsd differential.
Hmmm ... if he has a limited slip differential, there is usually a clutch-pack in it (vs. a "locker" or spool type). And takes a special fluid or additive. For old Mopars the additive is called "skunk oil" for very good reason.
 

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I think it uses a TorSen, which is a clever gear type LSD in the rear. I believe the auto trans also uses this or a viscous in the centre diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
tranny fluid

OK..went to the Red Line site, no recommendation for tranny fluid in my car..Royal Purple indicated same fluid for both FWD and AWD which seems odd, as Toyota recommends different fluids..Amzoil gave two recommendation specifically for the A540H trans in my car..
 

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Did Amsoil explain why they recommended 2 types? Just curious.

With all the confusion, I would get the Toyota fluid just to be safe.

Lugnut: The Toyota LSD is a Torsen and some of the YouTube videos are interesting to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
got this from Royal Purple..

Thank you for contacting us!

For your 1999 Toyota Rav4 2.0L auto trans AWD we recommend the following:

Auto Trans: Royal Purple Max ATF (part #01320, quart bottle);
A540H: 3.5 quarts pan drain / 7.4 quarts dry fill;
Max ATF: Max ATF | Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid | Royal Purple

Transfer Case: Royal Purple Max Gear 75W-90 (part #01300, quart bottle); 0.75 quarts;
Max Gear: Max Gear Synthetic Gear Oil for Max Protection | Royal Purple

Differential: Royal Purple Max Gear 75W-90 (part #01300, quart bottle); 0.95 quarts;

 

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I just was reading a page on lubrication by the company that makes the Torsen and they made a good point:

"Most of the testing that we conduct is with oil provided by our OEM customer, for use with their product. I should point out that OE manufacturers conduct extensive testing, using their preferred lube. They validate the entire system with that oil. This should not be overlooked, as the testing is typically quite rigorous. It is, however, a point that a lot of people miss."
Full article here: https://torsen.com/lubricant-part-2/ If any one wants to see it.

I know you have an automatic, but looking at some of the problems Rav4 manual owners have had with some aftermarket oils being too slick, and causing hard shifting from not enough friction for the syncros to do their job properly, better does not always work better.
As much as I dislike the dealer prices, I would get the Toyota brand.
 
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