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Since your two drain & refills were done with MaxLife (you hadn't mentioned that) replacing all the fluid with MaxLife makes sense.

One other suggestion: When were the spark plugs changed? Especially at nearly 100,000K it is possible that the slight extra load on the engine when the TC locks could contribute to a shudder if one or more spark plug is compromised.
 

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Since your two drain & refills were done with MaxLife (you hadn't mentioned that) replacing all the fluid with MaxLife makes sense.

One other suggestion: When were the spark plugs changed? Especially at nearly 100,000K it is possible that the slight extra load on the engine when the TC locks could contribute to a shudder if one or more spark plug is compromised.
Doc, good thought about the plugs. However, when someone comes on here looking for advice and then pretty much does the opposite while complaining about his "piece of junk" RAV, I'm inclined to move on.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Since your two drain & refills were done with MaxLife (you hadn't mentioned that) replacing all the fluid with MaxLife makes sense.

One other suggestion: When were the spark plugs changed? Especially at nearly 100,000K it is possible that the slight extra load on the engine when the TC locks could contribute to a shudder if one or more spark plug is compromised.
New plugs a couple months ago.

The oil coming out was black as night. I'm hoping it was just so old and fried it wasn't lubing properly. But not to the point where it did damage. So far so good. I'm doing my best to be optimistic.
 

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lifetime transmission fluid is a scam, it's only for the lifetime of the warranty!

I hope the burned oil didn't cause too much damage...
 

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Discussion Starter #25
lifetime transmission fluid is a scam, it's only for the lifetime of the warranty!

I hope the burned oil didn't cause too much damage...

Yeah I read the manual and never thought twice about changing the ATF. Looking back I should have known better. Hopefully it's not already too far gone.
 

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I just had my transmission replaced while the oil consumption repairs were being done.

I have a 2006 base AWD with 218,000 miles. I did have it separately diagnosed at a transmission shop locally as the torque converter for a rattle/vibrate at about 40mph and about 1700rpm. If I dropped it into 3rd gear instead of D the noise/vibration stopped. That shop wanted $2500-$3500 to repair the existing torque converter and would add on the cost of new (rebuilt) transmission ($1900) if that didn't work.

I was able to work out some math with the dealer in my favor when having the oil consumption work done. The transmission replacement part of my repair was $2876 including labor. The engine was pulled already for the piston work so labor was only $376. I first noticed this about 115k miles and it had not gotten worse in the next 100k miles. Fluid was changed at 115k only once not the recommended 3x as the mechanic didn't feel that would fix the problem. We could reproduce it on the road but not in the shop on the lift.

In my case it was worth the $2800 since I am a high mileage driver (about 165/day commuting on highways 5x/week) I will never find another car for $2800 that has a new transmission and rebuilt engine.
 

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I just had my transmission replaced while the oil consumption repairs were being done.

I have a 2006 base AWD with 218,000 miles. I did have it separately diagnosed at a transmission shop locally as the torque converter for a rattle/vibrate at about 40mph and about 1700rpm. If I dropped it into 3rd gear instead of D the noise/vibration stopped. That shop wanted $2500-$3500 to repair the existing torque converter and would add on the cost of new (rebuilt) transmission ($1900) if that didn't work.

I was able to work out some math with the dealer in my favor when having the oil consumption work done. The transmission replacement part of my repair was $2876 including labor. The engine was pulled already for the piston work so labor was only $376. I first noticed this about 115k miles and it had not gotten worse in the next 100k miles. Fluid was changed at 115k only once not the recommended 3x as the mechanic didn't feel that would fix the problem. We could reproduce it on the road but not in the shop on the lift.

In my case it was worth the $2800 since I am a high mileage driver (about 165/day commuting on highways 5x/week) I will never find another car for $2800 that has a new transmission and rebuilt engine.
Sounds like you made a smart move. Good luck.
 

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2011 with 108,000 have the shudder issue. It began at 83,000 miles and Toyota dealer told me it was normal. Now it is a torque converter issue. Flush and fill at tranny shop and they indicate tranny is most likely bad and the oil looked bad. So disappointed! Do I spend the 5 grand to repair or trade it in for a non Toyota vehicle
 

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2011 with 108,000 have the shudder issue. It began at 83,000 miles and Toyota dealer told me it was normal. Now it is a torque converter issue. Flush and fill at tranny shop and they indicate tranny is most likely bad and the oil looked bad. So disappointed! Do I spend the 5 grand to repair or trade it in for a non Toyota vehicle
That is on the high side to replace just the torque converter. You can call around for a lower price. I would think this should be closer to $1500 ?

Another option is try selling it assuming you can drive it still.
 

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2011 with 108,000 have the shudder issue. It began at 83,000 miles and Toyota dealer told me it was normal. Now it is a torque converter issue. Flush and fill at tranny shop and they indicate tranny is most likely bad and the oil looked bad. So disappointed! Do I spend the 5 grand to repair or trade it in for a non Toyota vehicle
Couple questions....was the transmission fluid ever changed before the flush and fill? If it drove fine for 83k miles, then started shuddering, not sure I would accept an "it's normal" diagnosis. There are many threads on here with owners being advised to change the fluid when it shudders and it turned out very well. Not all, but many.
I would try and get a more definitive diagnosis of the trans itself before replacing/rebuilding it. Replacing the TC isn't too bad of a repair.
 

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Couple questions....was the transmission fluid ever changed before the flush and fill? If it drove fine for 83k miles, then started shuddering, not sure I would accept an "it's normal" diagnosis. There are many threads on here with owners being advised to change the fluid when it shudders and it turned out very well. Not all, but many.
I would try and get a more definitive diagnosis of the trans itself before replacing/rebuilding it. Replacing the TC isn't too bad of a repair.
Replacing the TC should not be too difficult, but to be able to do that I believe that you will need to pull out the engine (and put it back later) - this alone is easily 8-12 hours of labor
 

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Question about transmission fluid changes/flushes. I have a 2012 with about 94k miles. No tranny issues at all. First did a ~3.5qt fluid change (remove drain plug) a little over a year ago at ~72k miles, followed about ~2k miles later with a pan drop and filter change, which was about 4.5 qt (all with Toyota fuild). Earlier this year I did another ~3.5qt fluid change (pull drain plug) - so all in I've put nearly 12 fresh quarts in over the past ~15 months.



Looking into doing some "light" towing - purchased a ~1,200 pound pop up camper. Nothing cross country or anything, but enough to stress the engine/tranny a bit, possibly with some mountain roads. Will be installing a tranny cooler to aid in the cooling (B&M 70268). Will need to have a few quarts of fluid on hand when doing so. Should I plan on doing another ~3.5qt change at that time, or go ahead and do a full flush/fill as I'll have to remove the return line anyway to install cooler? Would be nice to know that all fluid is fresh and has been "reset" at ~100k miles when cooler was installed. Or have I done enough already with the recent fluid changes?



Thanks.
 

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Question about transmission fluid changes/flushes. I have a 2012 with about 94k miles. No tranny issues at all. First did a ~3.5qt fluid change (remove drain plug) a little over a year ago at ~72k miles, followed about ~2k miles later with a pan drop and filter change, which was about 4.5 qt (all with Toyota fuild). Earlier this year I did another ~3.5qt fluid change (pull drain plug) - so all in I've put nearly 12 fresh quarts in over the past ~15 months.

Looking into doing some "light" towing - purchased a ~1,200 pound pop up camper. Nothing cross country or anything, but enough to stress the engine/tranny a bit, possibly with some mountain roads. Will be installing a tranny cooler to aid in the cooling (B&M 70268). Will need to have a few quarts of fluid on hand when doing so. Should I plan on doing another ~3.5qt change at that time, or go ahead and do a full flush/fill as I'll have to remove the return line anyway to install cooler? Would be nice to know that all fluid is fresh and has been "reset" at ~100k miles when cooler was installed. Or have I done enough already with the recent fluid changes?

Thanks.

If your fluid is burnt or black you should not do flush. If yo see a reddish brown color you can do a flush. Depending on how much towing you do, a drain and fill every two years after that flush should keep everything in check. The tranny cooler will help prolong the fluid in the transmission.
 

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Why not do a flush if the fluid is burnt or black? Wouldn't that be the exact time to get as much out as you can? I'm pretty sure mine is a decent brownish color.
 

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FWIW, this is something I recently experienced; I had an independent place do a Tranny flush W/ what they swore was Toyota WS, but shortly after I heard what I thought was a loose heat shield. I didn't think much about it until I read this thread. Then I went to the Dealer & had them do a flush & check for a loose heat shield. They didn't find one, but the noise went away. Does using the wrong Fluid cause it? BTW, the time between flushes was about 6 weeks or so.
 

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Has anyone in the Boston area dealt with this issue? And if so, can you tell me the name of your mechanic?

I've had this problem for close to a year. I've gone through 4 mechanics including a dealer. Only one has heard the noise on test drives. The one who heard it couldn't reproduce the noise in the shop and had no idea what it was. And they all think I'm nuts when I print this discussion and show it to them. They've never heard of this issue before. Would love to take it to someone who has successfully dealt with it.

Thanks!
 

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I have a 2009 with 4cyl. Bought it used with 150000km. At about 180 started shudder. replaced oil with 4 drain and fill over about 10000km. All shudder went away. now have 208000km and started again. I am VERY dissapointed that toyota has these problems and does not offer rebate or anything to repair. Sounds like they are becoming just like every other Car manufacturer. Why spend more on Toyota when you no longer get the quality savings on repairs?

Looks like my options now are to;
1. sell the car.
2. replace Trans.
 

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Looks like my options now are to;
1. sell the car.
2. replace Trans.
3? replace the fluid with what would come with a new transmission. What's commonly called a flush even tho all the machine does is use the car's fluid pressure at the oil cooler to pump new fluid in.
 

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I have a 2009 with 4cyl. Bought it used with 150000km. At about 180 started shudder. replaced oil with 4 drain and fill over about 10000km. All shudder went away. now have 208000km and started again. I am VERY dissapointed that toyota has these problems and does not offer rebate or anything to repair. Sounds like they are becoming just like every other Car manufacturer. Why spend more on Toyota when you no longer get the quality savings on repairs?

Looks like my options now are to;
1. sell the car.
2. replace Trans.
The previous owner did not maintain the vehicle so blame him not Toyota. Many owners have taken good care of their vehicle and had few problems.
 

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3? replace the fluid with what would come with a new transmission. What's commonly called a flush even tho all the machine does is use the car's fluid pressure at the oil cooler to pump new fluid in.
As Dr Dyno suggest option 3 which is performing a return line flush? I recall one member had a good result when he had a shudder problem by doing a return line flush. A return line flush replaces all the fluid including fluid trapped inside the torque converter. A drain and fill does not remove fluid from the torque converter and basically mixes the old and new fluid.
 
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