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Diy Transmission Fluid Change 2000 Lexus Es300


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#1 ml30306

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:53 PM

Hello everyone,

does anyone have some clear instructions on how to change the transmission fluid on a Lexus ES300 2000? I have the repair manual, but it really is not clear. I found this post for an RX300 (http://www.clublexus...ter-change.html), great description, but not sure if this is anywhere the same for a 2000 ES300.

Pictures are always great but I can do without as well. Just looking for some simple instructions (how many drain plugs, which hose(s) to remove (input or output and their location). I also plan on dropping the pan and replacing the filter and gasket.

Also wanted to get some input on drain vs. flush. I was told by one of the Atlanta Lexus Dealerships that they do not recommend a flush.

BTW - I plan to use Valvoline MaxLife Universal ATF Dexron III Mercon. I have no idea what is in the car right now.

Any thoughts on any of these topics?

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#2 lexis lexus

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:37 PM

I just did my '94 es today. Fairly straight forward using Haynes as a guide. Fairly messy job, lots of hot fluid spattering, so wear protective glasses, have a big oil catcher. Got a gasket/filter kit from advance auto for $15.00. I don't know if the '00 tranny is the same or not but maybe this description will help.

First I drained (hot) ATF by pulling the drain plug w/ 10 mm hex wrench. Then removed the seventeen 10 mm pan bolts, it's good to leave a few in the front bolted in but loose, the remove the rest, then pry the rear edge of the pan, leading to another shower of hot ATF but in the rearward direction. Remove pan, take a pix of the magnet placements, then clean the pan w/ a solvent (I used some carb cleaner). Scrape old gasket (OEM I think was cork, aftermarket rubber). Remove 3 10 mm bolts holding on the filter/strainer -- again more ATF shower. Haynes said you could clean it w/ fresh ATF, but I just replaced it w/ new one, bolting it back in w/ the 3 10 mm bolts just taken out. To return the pan, put two 10 mm pan bolts thru holes on opposite corners of the pan thru the new gasket and ratchet them in loosely, careful not to cross thread. Once those 2 are in, then put in the other 15, again being careful not to cross thread or torque so tight as to break them. Haynes calls for 4 ft/lbs of torque, which is close hand tightenig. Once on, fill w/ 3.7 qts of ATF, thru the dipstick tube.

I also did the differential, which was tricky, as the 10 mm hex socket I had was a bit long and it was difficult getting a ratchet on w/out banging up against frame (or was it rack?). Another splash of ATF when I got it out. Bolt drain plug back in (also w/ linear difficulties). Have to get way under the diff it to find the 17 mm fill bolt/hole which is facing the driver's side wheel. Can't miss it as it's the only one that size on the diff. Cut a peice of hose (I used an old washing machine water hose), stick a funnel in one end and drop the other end from the open engine bay. Back under the car, stick the hose in the fill hole and drop .9 quart New ATF in. Replace the 17 mm fill hole bolt.

And your done.

LL

#3 ml30306

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:17 PM

Thanks for the info, LL! I have some questions if you don't mind:

1. I would also like to drain the differential - any reason why you filled in the fluid with a hose directly and not through the dipstick opening? I thought the transmission fluid is one circuit and not broken up - am I wrong?

2. I read that it is also recommended to drain the fluids, then turn on the engine, go through all gears a few times, then turn off to get more fluid out. Also read that some add t-fluid into a funnel, then run through the procedure until clear red fluid comes out, then turn off the engine. Same prcudre is also done when the car is filled back up.

3. So the only way to really get out all fluid would be to do a mechainc flush, a procedure Lexus does not recommend?

4. I purchased Valvoline MaxLife Universal ATF Dexron III Mercon - good choice? Or does it have to be Toyota Type IV?

#4 lexis lexus

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:21 PM

ml,
bear in mind, my experience is w/ the '94 es, maybe some others w/ newer ones can chime in.
but in response to your ?'s:

1. I would also like to drain the differential - any reason why you filled in the fluid with a hose directly and not through the dipstick opening? I thought the transmission fluid is one circuit and not broken up - am I wrong?
>> per my Haynes, they are actually two separate systems, thus having to drain both, fill both via different access, the AT via the dip stick, and the diff via it's own fill hole.

2. I read that it is also recommended to drain the fluids, then turn on the engine, go through all gears a few times, then turn off to get more fluid out. Also read that some add t-fluid into a funnel, then run through the procedure until clear red fluid comes out, then turn off the engine. Same prcudre is also done when the car is filled back up.
>>Dunno about these "procedures" sounds a bit risky to run the AT w/out any fluid. Believe me, the ATF was very thin when it came out, can't understand how there could be more. Altho if memory serves me right, if there is a torque converter, it is also filled w/ fluid. I found a reference in a FSM on cdrom (for a '93) indicating a drain and fill would require 3.something qts, and a dry fill would require 6.something qts, so maybe you're right to think about further draining. No mentino of this in the Haynes. Regarding the run through, would end up costing a bit in additional ATF wouldn't it?


3. So the only way to really get out all fluid would be to do a mechainc flush, a procedure Lexus does not recommend?
>> Not sure what Lexus recommends.

4. I purchased Valvoline MaxLife Universal ATF Dexron III Mercon - good choice? Or does it have to be Toyota Type IV?
>> Again due to the year difference, would check in your owner's manual which should give you the specs. I got dextron II.

Good luck.
LL

#5 ml30306

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 06:29 AM

Thanks, LL. Regarding 1: OK, I understand. 2: I would never let the transmission ever run without fluid. That procedure requires that you add what has come out and while the engine is running you have to keep adding new fluid until it is clear. From my research the 2000 Lexus ES300 holds about 14 quarts of transmission fluid, don't know about the 94. If the capacity is the same then you have remoced about 1/3 of the fluid on your car, right? Yes, it would cost more transmission fluid. 3: OK. 4: Will do. Idid check and it seems like both would work.

#6 lenore

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:10 AM

Hello everyone,

does anyone have some clear instructions on how to change the transmission fluid on a Lexus ES300 2000? I have the repair manual, but it really is not clear. I found this post for an RX300 (http://www.clublexus...ter-change.html), great description, but not sure if this is anywhere the same for a 2000 ES300.

Pictures are always great but I can do without as well. Just looking for some simple instructions (how many drain plugs, which hose(s) to remove (input or output and their location). I also plan on dropping the pan and replacing the filter and gasket.

Also wanted to get some input on drain vs. flush. I was told by one of the Atlanta Lexus Dealerships that they do not recommend a flush.

BTW - I plan to use Valvoline MaxLife Universal ATF Dexron III Mercon. I have no idea what is in the car right now.

Any thoughts on any of these topics?

I would only use Toyota Type IV or Amsoil, or Mobil 1 ATF synthetic transmission fluid....I have used type IV and Mobil...Mobil is superior....Just do drain and fills, the first one with dropping the pan and cleaning the magnets...Then drive for a few days and do just a drain and fill...Three times should bring the fluid to a pristine condition...I had 188k miles on my RX and this always worked well...Do not do a flush....

#7 ml30306

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:23 PM

Thanks, lenore! I have done some research, this is what I have come up with so far:

While engine is hot do:
1. Remove drain plug and drain fluid - OK
2. Remove differential plug and drain - OK
3. Drop pan carefully, drain, clean magnets and pan, place in same position, replace gasket then re-attach - OK
4. Clean plugs from shavings, then screw back on --> some add the transmission fluid directly via a hose into the differential - could you also add it through the dipstick opening?
5. Measure exactly what amount of oil came out, add fresh T-IV through dipstick. Total is oil added is around 5 quarts.
6. --> I have also read where some detach the cooler/supply hose, then while adding new fluid let the car run until the colour changes, then turn the engine off, then add the amount that came out. Questions - if this works, do the wheels have to be off the ground? Should you at some point not also go through each gear which will also release more fluid? If the total amount of transmission fluid is around 14 quarts then there should be a way to change at least 80% in one procedure or not?

I have yet to find complete instructions. Looks like there are bits and pieces on various models and years out there but no comprehensive guide to do a full DIY job. If anyone can share more information (and perhaps a pic of the hose to be detached) that would be great!

#8 lenore

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:17 AM

You refill the tranny fluid through the dipstick hole, they make funnels available at auto stores for this. If you drop the pan you may want to replace the filter, if it is of the paper style. Some filters were the wire mesh which can be cleaned (use Carb cleaner or mineral spirits)..If it has the paper filter replace it. Should only take 4.2 qts...here is a great writeup on Club lexus for the RX300 which has same tranny:
http://www.clublexus...ter-change.html

#9 ml30306

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 08:55 AM

Thanks, I saw that very good write-up, did not know it was the same transmission, thanks for clarifying that. However, if the total amount of transmission fluid is around 14 quarts and 4.2 are re-filled then that would mean that only less than 1/3 of the total capacity gets changed, right? In the write-up on the RX300 the author talks about re-filling 5 quarts after the 2 drains plaus another 2 after the cooler hose is disconnected. Is there o way besides a flush to get all the fluid out?

#10 ml30306

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:55 AM

Some clarification on the fill amount - apparently I have been writing nonsense. An independent Lexus repair shop told me that the 2000 Lexus ES300 takes 14 quarts of transmission fluid. It sounded like a lot to me but this being my first automatic I had no idea. In retrospect I assume he wanted to justify his cost for a $180 tranmission fluid flush.

#11 lenore

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 03:48 PM

He is wrong, it only holds about 12qts. I would just do a drain and fill, drive around the block, do another drain and fill, and drive again and do a third drain and fill. you will find your fluid turns a nice bright red when done... Still a lot cheaper than a flush we (Club Lexus, Lexus owners club, and Toyota Forums do not recommend)

#12 ml30306

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:06 PM

OK, did the drain and fill - I recommend doing this somewhere indoors, I had 2 wind gusts come twice at the moments when I was draining the pan and the differential, huge mess, now I know what ATF tastes like. Dropped the pan, cleaned the pan interior and magnets, cleaned the filter as well (mine is the steel mesh kind, not paper). O-Ring was still good, re-used it.

One thing I did different was to start the engine while draining and go through the automatic gears for about 8 seconds. It released more fluid, my total re-fill was around 4 3/4 quarts. I would also recommend doing the measurements in litres or millilitres - messing with the quarts and ounces wastes time.

May do another drain and fill without dropping the pan on my next oil change. Thanks for all the advice.

#13 sump

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 04:53 PM

Add Amsoil ATF, clean the SS filter and be done.

#14 ml30306

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 09:18 PM

I went with Toyota T-IV transmission fluid and did clean the screen filter.

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