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Greetings,

I recently acquired a 1998 Auto Transmission 4WD Rav 4 with 162,000 miles from the original owner. I have a lot of maintenance records but he does not recall ever having done a transmission fluid change, and there are no records indicating that he has. The car is shifting perfectly, and inexplicably the transmission fluid is bright pink, as if it just came out of the bottle...so I am not going to screw around with it.

I do think I am going to change the rear differential fluid since I am fairly certain its never been done, and I found a great youtube video showing exactly how its done...seems fairly straight forward.

What is not clear to me, and what I am hoping someone can enlighten me on, is what other transfer case or differential fluids ought to be changed on this vehicle separate and apart from the transmission. I understand on the manual transmission cars, the transfer case and transmission share oil, but I assume that is not the case with the AT vehicles.

Is there a front differential as well as a transfer case? Is the fluid change fairly straight forward?

I haven’t actually been under the car yet. I’m planning my first oil change this Saturday, so perhaps when I am under there things will become clearer, but as of not I’m a bit confused. I would appreciate any help, perhaps photos or a video if anyone has...I’m new at this and could use a “differentials 101” explanation.

Thanks in advance for your replies
 

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"Is there a front differential as well as a transfer case? Is the fluid change fairly straight forward?"

They are integrated. The dipstick/fill tube is hard to get to -- it is behind the lower rear part of the right front tire. Should be threads on here about changing the fluid -- the refill is interesting (hint, you'll need a long hose for your funnel).

The AT takes a special transmission fluid that's Toyota-only.
 
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