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Has anyone purchased or know where to purchase the tool required to check the transmission oil level on the new Ravs.
 

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I am not familiar with the new RAVs but if they are like my 09 Avalon, there is no dipstick. A special tool is inserted into the transmission oil pan to gauge the level. Common practice is to get the transmission up to temperature (drive it around for about 30 minutes or let it idle for about 45) and then remove the plug on the bottom of the transmission pan. Have a drain pan there to catch the fluid. When the plug is pulled with the engine running, it should just trickle out. If it flows out, then it is overfull. If nothing comes out, it is low. This is not a typical drain plug like most vehicles. The housing the plug screws into extends up into the transmission. There is a plug on the side of the transmission where fluid is added, similar to a manual transaxle. I don't want to risk a transmission failure because I used a fluid that was compatible but not identical so I use genuine Toyota WS fluid. .
 

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Yes FixIt that is it exactly. I want to purchase one so if anyone knows where I can please chime in. Thanks
 

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Here's how to check and change the transmission fluid on the Rav. They made it difficult so people would have to take it to the dealership to get it don or pay $$ to buy the equipment to do the job. Greedy people!!

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Yes FixIt that is it exactly. I want to purchase one so if anyone knows where I can please chime in. Thanks
if the transmission oil is at the right temperature, you don't need any special tools.
 

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SO how do you heat the oil before putting it?
Or do you just put an approximate amount, drive it around to heat up and the check if you overfilled or underfilled?
 

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SO how do you heat the oil before putting it?
Or do you just put an approximate amount, drive it around to heat up and the check if you overfilled or underfilled?
on the wife's venza w/ 6speed, I just measure how much I took out, put back same amount +100ml, drive it until the scangauge says it's at 120F, then remove the level plug and wait to see how much comes out... put plug back in when only a couple of drop come out.
some people put a IR thermometer on the oil pan, but that's not as precise...
 

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I will be getting to a statement/comment on common sense Rav4 transmission oil level after a long winded story, sorry for the rambling if you don't care for stuff like that.


I just bought a lease returned 2014 Rav4 LE Awd for my wife and to pull a small boat. (16 ft 25hp) I had a small Audi/VW repair shop for 4 years out of my house part time that was worked up to about 60 clients, so I was busy because at that time Audis/VW's were lemons, the jury is still out. I have learned through time, extensive research, and experts in the field of automotive/truck automatic transmissions that I work with at my present job as head of maintenance/ machine operator at a small to mid size printer. I go through an oil analysis firm to do oil testing on our rotary screw air compressors. The owner of this firm is a retired Allison fluid engineer. SO I have a person who I can bounce issues to on ATF fluids and how they work and effect auto trans as a whole seeing he specialized in truck transmissions. Level checked while running.

Why do I bring this up here before I am getting to my point on another issue is because I have been a Honda owner after selling all my Audi's and VW's after I shut down my Audi repair shop because I did not want to wrench anymore because of "burnout". I always had my day job printing and why spend money on parts for cars/vans for no good reason when you can buy a dependable car brand. Hence switching over to Honda.

The Honda forums automotive and Honda snowblower forums are filled with people who seem to think you have to run Honda oils all except engine, like for some reason they are magic or so special. And most, if not all of this reinforcing false dogma is coming from guys who I question who have almost never picked up a wrench in their life. They just preach the owners manual and "better safe then sorry". Well I and many others say they are dead wrong and so does my Allison ATF expert as far as transmission oil in Honda and now me relating to Toyota auto transmissions. They are Dextron based with or without slip agents aka type F. CVT's are there own deal and do not related to any common Dextron ATF based fluids and applications.

I have been running Redline ATF in all my Honda' with the exception of my daughters older civic that I did the 3 time dump and fill with Valvoline Max Life full synthetic AFT because it is a "very good cheap ATF". My car is a Honda Fit and I go as far as to do a cocktail mix to fine tune my shifting. I drain and fill and dump 3 times with Redline D6 and on the last fill I add 3 bottles of racing ATF that has zero slip agents(type F). I have 2 bottles of racing ATF and 2 bottles of light weight ATF to mix 3 qts to get those to match the viscosity of the D6. I have now learned Redline D4 the older thicker ATF that all cars used before the last craze of thin high mileage oils in the past 6 years has some ppm of calcium something to help aid plastics that the D6 more modern doesn't have. SO I drained about one qt on my trans and added 1 qt of D4. Amsoil ATF has this calcium so you can just put that in as your main ATF to be safe. I myself think Redline ATF is just a hair better with better base stock that I still use it.

As far a CVT fluids, AGAIN manufactures feel they have the best fluid when we see testing from Amsoil (bias yes) that says differently as far as Nissian sub par CVT fluid. Many issues have been solved with CVT studder when switching to Amsoil and even Valvoline full synthetic CVT fluid on multipal different manufactures. We see time and time again OEM fluids can be sub par.

So what am I getting at here, don't think that Toyota WS ( the only one I have researched ) is the only ATF that can go into your Toyota. It is not. I agree if you want no issues with Toyota warranty go with WS even though the Magnesson Moss Act says you have a legal right to use any fluid in your car that matches specs and still keep the warranty or they have to provide it to you for free. This also relates to ATF fluids. You just can't go from a synthetic base ATF to a crappy mineral based ATF because you have degraded the protection too far. I have not found anywhere that Toyota WS is a full synthetic, some feel it is a semi synthetic as is in question on Honda's latest DW-1. That is why I like boutique ATF oils, you know you are getting quality base stocks. I am by no means saying you have to switch out from WS to Redline or Amsoil, it is just a viable option. If I was not going to pull a boat and add a cooler I think I would go with WS because I am at 20,000 miles on my Rav4 and way stir the pot if you don't have too. CLEAN freash ATF is the idea here. That is what we are looking for for longevity. I will also be flushing my transfer case and rear diff with 75w 85 Redline gear oil this week. 2 drain a fills to flush out the break in metals and from what I seen the

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance


I myself will have to see how much strain my boat that I have not purchased yet will put on the Rav4 4 banger/trans but I am convinced I do need another trans cooler and I think I will be going with Amsoil ATF on this one since I have seen a couple posts with good shifting and no issues with a few posters on Toyota forums and no one has used with Redline yet. On the Honda forums Redine is in high use with Amsoil too. I will tune my shifting with Amsoil Racing ATF. To much slip agent causes heat and wear from slipping, so a nice quick firm shift creates less heat and wear. So I see here too I might add have to add 2 qts of racing after my 3 dump and fills. I will first add use 100% and test and drain to add the racing. Here is one caveat though. From the 30 min video on tranns oil level from that automotive repair teacher from the advance tech school I see even if you pull the red straw you will have what appears to be 1 to 1.5 qts left in the pan because of the raised metal threaded nub that the straw gets screwed into. I have TG welder, so I will pull the pan and weld a nut for a drain plug on the lowest point SIDE and locktite blue the capscrew in with a copper gasket on my final drain.


Here is what I see on transmission level. First off the 30 minute video answers so many questions and having the pan off to see what's what before hand is nice. We have some variables with this level that people in the field will have even at the Toyota dealership. Having a level hoist and car/truck. Under filling vs overfilling. We have a 104 degree to 113 degree spec when using no level tool. We see in the video what the tool has to be set at at 186 degrees. We did not have the luxury of seeing the pick up tube and how far up the valve body is in relation with the 186 degree idle temp expansion. High temp, higher fluid. I will see this when the pan is pulled. Not that that changes anything though.

This is how I am going to do it.....No tool. Let the car sit in my garage over night with the heater on at 85 degrees ( I live in Minnesota) Use a storage bin of hot water to heat up the oil in the bottles to 125 degrees or close. Pump it in, let if over flow with the red straw installed, call it done. That is the first drain on a Friday. Run the car for about 4 minutes on the road through all the gears. Wait till Saturday morning and now that the pan has welded on drain plug, add running the Rav for 2 minutes in the air in gear with the brakes on to get some heat in the trans. It will heat sync away if too hot by the time I refill but there still will be some. Same as above, after 3 dump and fills call it done.


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