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What's Going On Here.........?


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I bought my first car in 1961, a 1956 Ford. In all of the intervening time I have never changed out automatic transmission fluid as a maintenance matter. Typically drove cars over 100k miles with no indication of problems.

This past weekend I did an oil and filter change on my 01 AWD RX300, 38k miles. In doing so I checked the transmission fluid, look and smell. Not normal red, more brownish, and smelled slightly burned.

The RX has the trailer towing package, extra transmission fluid cooling heat exchanger, and NO trailer hitch.

Just to cross-check, the 92 LS at 94k miles still has normal look and smell of transmission fluid.

Is the RX torque convertor undersized for the load rating??

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If you value peace of mind and want 300,000+ miles of transmission life just drain and refill the 2 quarts of this fluid http://www.saber.net/~monarch/typet.jpg in your transmission oil pans every 15,000 miles. Just $7.00 worth of fluid every 15,000 miles = $140.00 worth of fluid over 300,000 miles to protect a $3,000 transmission and optimize fuel economy.

While Toyota usually overengineers components, once in awhile engineering mistakes are made; e.g. the '90-'94 LS400 power steering system suffers from premature deterioration of important seals in the system and premature clogging of important filters in the system if the power steering fluid is never changed. However, '90-'94 owners who occassionally changed their power steering fluid since their cars were new would not have had hardly any filter clogging and seal deterioration problems.

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I suppose that would mean it would be a good idea to add a 12 voly cooling fan to force more airflow through the auxillary transmission fluid cooler.

Anyone tried that yet?

I would assume that those regularly hauling heavy loads are inordinately subject to transmission failures............

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