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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife is out of town so I have been driving the RAV this week. IT is very pleasant and easy to drive. However I am a bit disappointed with the transmission. It is very clunky. At slow speeds (rolling through an intersection), when you get on the gas, the transition is very rough. The car has always done this, but it seems that it might be doing it more or worse. I have planned to do an ATF oil change at 60K (right now at 53.5K) with some high quality synthetic. I hope it solves the issue.
 

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Do it now, why wait? Dropping the pan and changing the gasket & filter might be in order also.
 

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Wife is out of town so I have been driving the RAV this week. IT is very pleasant and easy to drive. However I am a bit disappointed with the transmission. It is very clunky. At slow speeds (rolling through an intersection), when you get on the gas, the transition is very rough. The car has always done this, but it seems that it might be doing it more or worse. I have planned to do an ATF oil change at 60K (right now at 53.5K) with some high quality synthetic. I hope it solves the issue.
I'm sure you're aware, but there has been tons of discussion on here about using OEM Toyota WS vs everything else.....just sayin.....>:D
 

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I'd verify it's not an engine miss first and use a different fluid as a last resort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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I'm sure you're aware, but there has been tons of discussion on here about using OEM Toyota WS vs everything else.....just sayin.....>:D
Yep I have read about every discussion on here ( and the entire web) about Toyota WS vs other ATF. I have concluded that Toyota fills their transmissions with refined peanut oil from the factory. A high quality, low viscosity, WS compatible, synthetic ATF should perform better.

Right now I am debating redline or Amsoil.

I was planning on doing it after the warranty period. I plan on doing a new filter and gasket with it. Any input on OEM or aftermarket on the filter?
 

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Yep I have read about every discussion on here ( and the entire web) about Toyota WS vs other ATF. I have concluded that Toyota fills their transmissions with refined peanut oil from the factory.

Now you've gone and done it - exposed Toyota's secret for factory fill transmission fluid. Except that since U. S. RAVs are assembled in Canada it's more likely that they use Canola! :wink
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now you've gone and done it - exposed Toyota's secret for factory fill transmission fluid. Except that since U. S. RAVs are assembled in Canada it's more likely that they use Canola! :wink
I tasted it. It is actually maple syrup.:wink
 

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I tasted it. It is actually maple syrup.:wink

Aha! That's probably the problem with your transmission shifts! Maple syrup supposedly was to be used only in V6 model gearboxes for RAVS to be sold in Canada . . . .:smile
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK we are at 55K. Drove her on a 700 or so mile road trip to Sequoia national park. I checked the ATF somewhere in the middle and it is dirty. I have had some high rev, fully loaded, uphill pulls on this car and I think that the ATF is done. Following one ol boy's suggestion I am going to do a partial ATF fluid change with my next oil (engine) change. I will be using this filter
Auto Trans Filter Kit WIX 58010 | eBay
based on this guys write up
https://r56hs.com/2016/02/22/2011-rav4-v6-awd-automatic-transmission-flush/
Interesting that the v6 and i4 use the same filter.

I am still torn on which fluid to use. I have narrowed it down to 3.
Asmoils OE or SS fuel efficent ATF or Redline D6
AMSOIL Signature Series Fuel-Efficient Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
AMSOIL OE Fuel-Efficient Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
Red Line Synthetic Oil - Automatic Transmission Fluids - D6 ATF

Toyota WS is said to have a viscosity (Kinematic Viscosity @ 100˚C) in the 5's. I have not been able to find the exact number. Does any one know. There is one spec sheet that claims that it is 7.3, but that can not be right as that would be way too thick.

The Amsoil OE is the thinnest at 5.8 and the D6 and SS both come in at about 6.3
http://www.amsoil.com/lit/databulletins/g3190.pdf

The SS and D6 are slightly thicker but more durable (flashpoint). OE is cheapest, but that is of minor concern.

Any of you boys would like to add your input to my selection process.
 

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I am going to do mine soon with Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic ATF and replace with a ATP filter. I will flush mine using the return line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Last week I was at Walmart getting my eyes checked. A plug for WalMarts optometry department: the eye doctor is an "independent contractor" and only rents space from Walmart. They are not necessarily affiliated with walmart. My eye doc it awesome.

Well after I was done I went shopping for auto fluids. Guess what. Sitting right there were jugs of Val Maxlife. ~$18 a gallon; I bought 2. I guess I just chose the fluid.

A total flush will require about 4 gallons right. I have a camping trip soon, that will require some highway speed pulls over the big mountain passes. These are the type of pulls that I believe really puts the strain on ATF. I should do the swap before the trip, but due to scheduling I will have to do it afterwards.
 

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The original poster mentioned being within warranty. Possibly a visit to the dealer may solve the problem.
 

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hey I just saw this post - how bad/what kind of clunking? it will definitely run better with new fluid, but I don't know if that will solve the issue. Also, if there's any clunking going on you may actually even want to consider thicker fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hey I just saw this post - how bad/what kind of clunking? it will definitely run better with new fluid, but I don't know if that will solve the issue. Also, if there's any clunking going on you may actually even want to consider thicker fluid.
The transmission seems to be confused when you are traveling under 10mph and need to accelerate. Also when the car is cold and the rpms are high during the cold engine enrichment period, it will clunk into Drive (not reverse). Dealer has looked at both and said it is OK (what else would they say right).

Last weekend we were camping on the East side of the sierras. Car was pretty loaded down: Roof box on top, bike on a rack off the spare, cargo area packed to the roof. Several 5K to redline pulls up some of the summits. Car did great. Transmission never missed a beat. I do try to manually shift it when I don't have a large demand on it, then gas it.

Kyoo I am still interested in the ATF. I am having some issues with my pay pal I need to fix.
 
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