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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
With about 51k miles on the clock, I decided to do a tranny fluid replacement. Like others on this board I did not trust the so called “lifetime fluid” oem fluid. I thought I better replace it, well, at least for now the four quarts in the pan. I also replaced the oem filter while I had the pan off. The worst two parts of the job was 1) the removal and reinstallation of the massive plastic shroud with accompanying multiple bolts and those stubborn plastic fasteners, and 2) accessing three of the pan bolts neatly hidden above a body bracket. Copious amounts of foul language helped me through the aggravation of removing and reinstalling these three bolts. The other bolts were easy. I did notice that ‘blue’ thread locker was used. So I used some on the reinstall of the pan bolts. One needs a 10mm offset boxed end wrench and a lot of patience to remove and reinstall the bolts. I also used an air wrench and a combination Gearwrench. The nearest Toyota dealership is 45 miles away. So I chose a Duralast (Autozone brand #TF174) that looked amazing similar, but not identical, to the OEM one. After some research I chose to use Valvoline Dextron VI full synth fluid and not the Toyota stuff. I am sure to get some tomatoes thrown my way for that decision. Note the pics that show how dirty the used fluid is as compared to fresh fluid. Eep! The used fluid smelled normal, so no problem. Please don’t tell wifey I used her precious crystal clear glasses to get a good comparo pic. As others have reported here, there was a large amount of mega fine metallic debris collected by the two magnets in the pan. From my experience I would consider it an acceptable amount given the mileage. I cleaned the pan and magnets with brake fluid cleaner and rags. Everything buttoned up just fine and the tranny has performed well since the work. :D:

I’d like to hear comments from others who have performed this service as well as questions from those contemplating this work.











 

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For what its worth, this is exactly what my fluid looked like after 100k in my fiances Corolla with the lifetime fluid. I will probably change my fluid at around 100k.

Was there a drain bolt or was dropping the pan absolutely necessary?
 

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Looks good Rav4Don & thanks for the post. I will be doing this soon as well. What kind of gasket came with the Autozone kit (rubber or cork?) and how much torque did you use to reinstall the pan? Normally, I will torque a non-cork gasket to about 80 in/lbs and I will be looking for a kit with a rubber gasket. Also, where did you do your research on the Valvoline fluid? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
brockeverly said:
Was there a drain bolt or was dropping the pan absolutely necessary?
There is a #10 Allen socket drain bolt in the pan. But I wanted a fresh filter and a cleaned pan, so off it came.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
arries289 said:
Looks good Rav4Don & thanks for the post. I will be doing this soon as well. What kind of gasket came with the Autozone kit (rubber or cork?) and how much torque did you use to reinstall the pan? Normally, I will torque a non-cork gasket to about 80 in/lbs and I will be looking for a kit with a rubber gasket. Also, where did you do your research on the Valvoline fluid? Thanks!
The Autozone filter came with an all rubber gasket. It fit tightly over the bolts which made the reinstall of the gasket on the pan up to the tranny surface very easy. The oem gasket was cork and rubber and split at the bolt holes presumably due to over TQ'ing at the factory.

I did a search here:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=16&page=1

and here:
http://www.amsoil.com/catalog.aspx?code=ATLQT-EA
Amsoil products are not readily available near me so I went with the Dextron VI synth fluid
 

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Discussion Starter #7
avs said:
What's is that in the last picture? Oil baffle?
Pictured is the old and the new fluid filter with o-ring and three retaining bolts.
 

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I did my I4 at 32xxx miles and while the fluid was not as dark as yours it was well on its way. I dont buy into "lifetime" anything really. Filters and fluid wear out. Period.

Also, like you, I dropped the pan to look around and see how bad it was. Lots of metallic debris in the pan bottom. The I4 does not have a filter. Its has a screen in the same "filter body". I had bought a new filter from Advanced Auto and opted not to use it as it was a "sponge type" filter inside and I was worried about clogging since the original was nothing more than a screen. I used Toyota OEM recommended fluid in the manual. Want to say its WS?

She now has 53xxx and I am thinking of doing a whole flush with a pan drop/clean/fill. I was going to use the instructions in post 13 of this thread http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=23865&highlight=fluid
 

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Nicely documented! My (two) 08's are both front wheel drive and I was told they do not have a drain in the pan. Now I wonder if the fella at the dealership knew what he was talking about? When the time comes, even if they used a machine to drain & refill, I'd still want the pan dropped and the filter changed.
 

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Nice write up and photos, no tomatoes coming from this direction.
I was hoping to see a post like this before I tackle the job this summer. Of note, Redline changed their fluid recommendatio from D6 (low visc) to D4 for the '07 model we have. Amsoil, like Valvoline, keep theirs as the Dex VI (low visc) equivalent. Interesting to see what develops.
Thanks for the great post.
 

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Thanks for posting. I actually had a full flush with WS done at 11K miles with a T-Tech machine!

The car has 25K miles now. I think I'll have the dealer do a pan drop and filter change next time (50-60K?) and then flush it with WS. I'm hoping that Toyota has a better ATF than WS by then though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Colonel said:
I did my I4 at 32xxx miles and while the fluid was not as dark as yours it was well on its way. I dont buy into "lifetime" anything really. Filters and fluid wear out. Period.
Yes, indeed. I just don't know why so many OEMs engage in such claims. Grant the fluid is so much better than it was years ago, but there is no magic elixir or filter media that will last a lifetime.

Colonel said:
Also, like you, I dropped the pan to look around and see how bad it was. Lots of metallic debris in the pan bottom. The I4 does not have a filter. Its has a screen in the same "filter body". I had bought a new filter from Advanced Auto and opted not to use it as it was a "sponge type" filter inside and I was worried about clogging since the original was nothing more than a screen. I used Toyota OEM recommended fluid in the manual. Want to say its WS?
No Filter! Sounds like my 71 VW beetle oil pan. A metal screen serves as sole filter source. :lol:

The V6 oem filter media (as with the Autozone replacement filter) is a felt material and not paper. Yes, WS is the new standard for Toyota and not the older TIII or whatever. The new stuff pours with the thinner viscosity of milk! There is a big difference.

Colonel said:
She now has 53xxx and I am thinking of doing a whole flush with a pan drop/clean/fill. I was going to use the instructions in post 13 of this thread http://RAV4World.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=23865&highlight=fluid
Thanks for that link. I now recall reading your comments and others on that thread that convinced me at the time not to wait too long to replace my tranny fluid and filter. :D: I think I might simply drain and refill with another fresh 4 qts of fluid in a few months. I want more of that old fluid out of there.
 

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Thanks for the info and pix RAV4Don.

I heard that Toyota T-IV normally turns dark fairly quickly, and I saw that when I did a drain & fill on my niece's Ford Fusion at 30,000 miles (the Fusion uses an Aisin transaxle that specs T-IV), but apparently WS also turns dark. Although the fluid probably wasn't bad, I agree with you that there's no such thing as lifetime fluid, or even 100,000-mile fluid. A simple drain & fill every 30,000 miles will help keep any transmission happy!

When by sister's I4 turns 30,000, I intend to do the same service you did, but since the car is still under warranty and doesn't belong to me, I'm going to use WS just to be safe.
 

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Colonel, I read your other posts in the the link you provided above, and I just wanted to say that I wouldn't be concerned about using a "real" filter in place of the screen "rock-catcher". Most of the clutch wear material and metal sludge on the magnets was generated in the first few thousand miles of use. I'd be willing to bet that if you drop the pan in another 30,000 you won't find near as much "stuff" in there the second time.

In the Ford RWD world, it's common to drop the pan and change the filter early, like at 15,000 miles, then just do drain & fills or fluid exchanges after that, since the amount of material generated declines rapidly.
 

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Carbon said:
For scale, I think the filters are sitting on 11-inch wide (vertical in photo) paper towels in RAV4Don's photo.
/forums/album_pic.php?pic_id=11674
That's a filter? That looks more like just a metal pan. I've never seen a tranny filter before.
 

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Carbon, you would be correct. Thanks for pointing that out. From the pic the filter almost looks the size of a post-it-note. :lol: Of course as you point out it is much larger.

Zeoth, attached is a horizontal pic of the oem filter prior to its removal from the tranny. This is taken from the front of the RAV facing rearward. The filter media is felt and is located inside of a metal and a black penoilc material sandwich. There are two openings, one on the top side and the one as pictured, located on the bottom. Also, note the blue threadlocker material in the pan bolt holes. On the lower right one can see how a body panel covers the pan cover and makes removal/reinsertion of those three bolts a bit of a challenge. Without the two wrenchs I mention above, you will not get that pan off.

top of filter
 

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ChiTDI said:
Of note, Redline changed their fluid recommendatio from D6 (low visc) to D4 for the '07 model we have. Amsoil, like Valvoline, keep theirs as the Dex VI (low visc) equivalent. Interesting to see what develops.
I'm glad you mentioned that. I used D4 in my 2006 V6 due to Redline recommendation. I even spoke to David @ Redline to make sure. I asked him repeatedly why the thicker D4 fluid would be better than D6 and he did not clearly explain. I didn't mind using thicker fluid because at that time I though thinner fluid was responsible for tranny whine. It turned to be an incorrect assumption.

I only did drain and refill at 30000 miles. The used fluid was in good shape at that point, so it was an overkill. I plan to drop pan and replace filter at 60000 miles.
 

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how much fluid I need to have, to replace without dropping the pan and changing the filter?
I think I will get to the pan later, now its to cold :roll: but car has 70K miles and I don't think the previous owner changed it.
 
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