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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys - not to be repetitive as I know there are multiple related threads about this. But I'm curious as to opinions on my specific situation.

2006 RAV4 Limited with tow package just turned 100,000 miles. Ive had it for 2 months. Previous owner had every single record of maintenance and repairs in a big folder. And extremely meticulous guy who even had a full log recording every gallon of gas that ever went in the vehicle (!) Car looks and feels new. No tow bar, and he wasn't even aware that he had the optional tow package until we looked at the original sale sticker, which he still had.

I've read multiple opinions on transmission services for the V6. In general though, it seems as though folks don't just "leave it alone" since the manual doesn't mention anything specific. So I'm looking to see what you folks would do to keep a really nicely kept vehicle continuing to run like new. Flush vs drain? Drop the pan? Specific ATF fluid? Capacities? Diff, transfer case, etc? I plan to take advice I find on here, purchase the specific parts and take it to a local trusted family mechanic.

Thanks!
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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My recommendation would be to avoid the flush machine at all cost. Drain, drop the pan, replace the filter, replace the pan and fill with only Toyota WS fluid. Check the dipstick before you start and make sure it's at the proper level. Measure the amount of fluid drained and replace with the same amount of WS. Since there will still be some old fluid left in the torque converter, you could optionally wait a few weeks then drain and fill again.
 

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Here are 2 write up
https://r56hs.com/2016/02/22/2011-rav4-v6-awd-automatic-transmission-flush/
Change Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter - My Stupid Projects

My personal thoughts are:
-Yes change the fluid
-Yes drop the pan and change the filter
-No need to change all the ATF (almost 4 gallons). A drain and fill would be ok.
-Use something better than non-snytheic toyota WS. You might have seen my post where I am debate which fluid to use. I came down to Valvoline Maxlife, Amsoil OE FE, and Redline.
I have a couple of gallons of maxlife but am not sure I am going to use it. Amsoil has a OE and SS version I think I really like the OE. Redline call for D6 based on their lit, but a couple of years ago there was a notice from redline saying that they recommend D4 as D6 was too thin. This has me question redline.
The which fluid to use is hugely debated.
 

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If you use the Toyota WS fluid then there is no guesswork.....it's the correct fluid.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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If you use the Toyota WS fluid then there is no guesswork.....it's the correct fluid.
Exactly! And if it ran over 100,000 miles just fine with WS fluid, then why would you change to something else?
 

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I am with JuneBug and RTexasF on this one.
I switched to Valvoline Synthetic WS and soon after starting hearing some drone noise which seems to be coming from the transmission.
995 of me tells me is not because of Valvoline fluid and 1% always tells me "why did you do it?"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think WS Fluid sounds just fine. Takes a lot of the guesswork out for me.

So, how much would I need for a basic fluid change? I'm assuming that means dropping the pan and accessing the torque converter as well.

Do you guys recommend replacing the differential and transfer case fluid as well? I realize they are not directly related but maybe its a good idea to do them together since its a relatively infrequent job.
 

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Sorry, this is slightly off topic, but has anyone done an ATF flush for their RAV4 via the transmission cooler lines?

I have, on an '01 Camry (back in the days) and I liked it. It was far less messy and quick, and resulted in a better fluid exchange. Granted that this procedure ends up using more ATF (costs more), there's no cleaning of magnets, nor filter replacement, but it is less messy and I believe results in a better fluid exchange.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this! Thanks!
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Sorry, this is slightly off topic, but has anyone done an ATF flush for their RAV4 via the transmission cooler lines?

I have, on an '01 Camry (back in the days) and I liked it. It was far less messy and quick, and resulted in a better fluid exchange. Granted that this procedure ends up using more ATF (costs more), there's no cleaning of magnets, nor filter replacement, but it is less messy and I believe results in a better fluid exchange.
Yes, it's been mentioned on this forum multiple times, mostly by people looking to find out which cooler line is which. I don't think anyone posted a detailed how to, but try the advanced search feature.
 

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Yes, it's been mentioned on this forum multiple times, mostly by people looking to find out which cooler line is which. I don't think anyone posted a detailed how to, but try the advanced search feature.
I don't know which cooler line to unplug either. So I haven't attempted this on the RAV4. I'll do a search. Maybe post a how-to if I end up doing it (it's due, currently at 110K miles). Thanks.
 

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I don't know which cooler line to unplug either. So I haven't attempted this on the RAV4. I'll do a search. Maybe post a how-to if I end up doing it (it's due, currently at 110K miles). Thanks.
I done a flush using the return line for a V6 but the 4 cylinder location should be similar.

Have a look at this link with pictures for a V6: https://r56hs.com/2016/02/22/2011-rav4-v6-awd-automatic-transmission-flush/

When you disconnect the return line hose you need to connect another longer clear hose to go to a large clear jug. You need to see how much fluid is draining before you stop the engine. I used a large clear plastic jug that I mark off 1 litre. I only remove 1 litre at a time and then refill back 1 litre. I did this so the transmission don't run dry. You just run the car for 10-15 seconds (in park) and stop the engine when the jug fills to the 1 litre mark. Restart the engine after you pour another 1 litre. On my V6 I only used three jugs. I did a drain and fill just prior and drop the filter/pan.
 
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