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I recently performed this usually dealer service item on my 2002 ES 300 with 45k miles on it. The entire proecedure took less than an hour and was done in my driveway. I must say it is easier than doing your own oil change.

What was done was simply draining the fluid from the tranny drain plug and refilling with the necessary amount of tranny fluid.

I did not drop the pan, nor could I find a separate differential drain plug.

Nonetheless, approximately 3.5 qts or fluid exited the tranny via the drain plug.

I hope this pictured step by step process will help the average DIYer.

steviej

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STEP 1

Put a drop cloth down to protect the tar or the garage floor from any fluid spillage.

Do this on a level surface.

ATF_Change_002.jpg

STEP 2

Raise the car and safely support it with a pair of jack stands. Don't forget to set your e-brake or put blocks in front of and in back of the rear wheel.

ATF_Change_003.jpg

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STEP 3

Locate the transmission/differential drain plug. Previous threads talk of 2 separate drain plugs (1 in tranny pan and one in differential). On the 02 ES 300, I could only find the one 10 mm hex plug. Be careful not to confuse the tranny plug with the oil pan plug.

ATF_Change_004.jpg

STEP 4

Place a large catch basin under the tranny drain location. Get the basin as close as possible but leave yourself enough room to work. The tranny fluid will splash slightly when it exits the tranny.

ATF_Change_005.jpg

(I had to prop my catch basin up. Next time I will not jack the car up as high as I did this time.)

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STEP 5

Remove the hex bolt with a socket wrench and 10 mm hex socket or a 10mm allen wrench. (a socket extension + a 10mm deep socket makes an excellent lever for the end of the allen wrench).

The fluid will start to seep out of the tranny immediately upon loosening the plug. This is unlike the oil drain plug which takes several rotations before oil seeps out.

Allow as much fluid as possible to run out. I let it trickle down to nothing (about 15 minutes) before reinserting the plug with a new washer.

Notice the vibrant red color of the fluid. THIS IS A GOOD SIGN. :D

ATF_Change_006.jpg

STEP 6

Put a new washer/seal on the drain plug. This next picture shows the old washer and a new washer. The old washer was definately "crushed" and even has a ridge close to the inner hole. Its worth the $1.11 for a new one.

ATF_Change_007.jpg

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STEP 7

Reinsert the plug with new washer. Residual tranny fluid may still seep out while you screw in the plug. Have a rag handy to wipe up the run off. I did not have the torque specs, so I just socked it up tight. I could feel the washer crush as it is supposed to. Use the rag to wipe the run off that will get on the bottom of the tranny pan. You don't need any sticky liquids to attract dirt here.

ATF_Change_009.jpg

STEP 8

Remove the jack stands and anything else underneath the car. Remove the blocks of wood if you put them by the wheels. Lower the car slowly.

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STEP 9

Locate the tranny dipstick location under the hood.

ATF_Change_010.jpg

STEP 10

Remove the dipstick. Insert a funnel that completely fits into the dipstick tube.

ATF_Change_011.jpg

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STEP 11

I filled the tranny with 3 qts of Toyota T-IV fluid and replaced the dipstick. I then started the car and let the fluid come up to normal operating temperature.

ATF_Change_012.jpg

Once at normal temperature, I checked the fluid level normally. The dipstick indicated the level was a tad low. I also looked beneath the car occasionally to check for any seepage from around the tranny drain plug. (I had no drips, no runs, no errors.)

I ended up adding 1/2 qt of tranny fluid more. This then brought the level right up to the HOT mark on the dipstick.

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This is a very simple procedure for tranny fluid drain and fill. I did not remove the pan. This is something I will probably do later in the car's life.

I bought the gasket and fluid at a Toyota dealership not too far from my house.

In Summary

1 Gasket #90430-18008 $1.11

4 qts T-IV ATF #00279-000T4-01 $15.16 (4 @ $3.79)

Simple DIY tranny drain and fill in your driveway rather than going to the dealer: Saving ~ $150 :whistles: :cries:

Test driving the car after you DIY and it runs: PRICELESS :D :lol:

I hope you find this thread helpful.

steviej

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I call this a "mini-change," as opposed to a complete trans fluid change where you drop the pan, change the filter, etc. The total capacity of the transmission & differential is something like 14 qts, so changing 3.5 qts is really just diluting the old fluid with nice fresh stuffl. But it's SO easy!! Just open the drain plug with a 10mm allen wrench, and let 'er rip.

Doing this every six months or so is WAY easier than dropping the pan, etc. every 30k.

And it solved my problem with my car not wanting to downshift as needed.

Happy camper!

edit: After much research, I used Valvoline MaxLife ATF. It's Toyota T-IV certified (Bobtheoilguy thinks it's better!), and it's much easier to come by on a Sunday afternoon.

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hello guys I have just bought my first car. I am an exchange student in NJ and this 2003 es300 is my new love. I am not able to see pics in this topic. I could really use them for guidance.

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2004 at 6:10 PM, steviej said:

STEP 11

I filled the tranny with 3 qts of Toyota T-IV fluid and replaced the dipstick. I then started the car and let the fluid come up to normal operating temperature.

ATF_Change_012.jpg

Once at normal temperature, I checked the fluid level normally. The dipstick indicated the level was a tad low. I also looked beneath the car occasionally to check for any seepage from around the tranny drain plug. (I had no drips, no runs, no errors.)

I ended up adding 1/2 qt of tranny fluid more. This then brought the level right up to the HOT mark on the dipstick.

my book on ES330 05   say 3.7 qts. tranny fluid with a drain and fill.   I done it 4 times and each time, I put 3.7 qts back in, and the level stay good.

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