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Ls400 Transmission Fluid Type?


Sweet95LS400
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Greetings,

I am in search of transmission fluid to perform a flush and fill for my 1995 LS400. The owners manual states Type II, which is no longer available, I have seen many responses on here indicating that the new Type IV fluid supercedes the old Type II. However, when I tried to purchase Type IV fluid from the Toyota dealer, they said not to use Type IV and instead use DEXRON III. Which is correct?

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Dextron III is made to replace Dex II. So go wit III. Or so i hear from many people. Same with the P/S fluid.

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I have read other posts though that say to ONLY use Toyota transmission fluid, not any other type. Money is not an issue, just want to get the right stuff in there the first time.

In case of doubts buy the OEM stuff, or you can do a search in the forum, there is a lot of info about Tranny Fluid. As far as I am concerned it should use type IV, or you can buy the Amsoil premium stuff that calls for your car. For Amsoil products you can do a web search to find the location or the method to get it.

Secondly your PS uses Dextron III Tranny fluid, not PS fluid as American cars do! If you put PS fluid into your Lex, there could be leaks at the seal. Never overfill Tranny or PS systems, since the fluid will make pressure and premature failure of seals and leaks will develop.

C. PR

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With the transmission being so vital "and expensive" to the car, just follow the book and use the Toyota type IV. I've used other types in my older cars, and had problems. Trust me sweet, stick with the oem stuff on this one. The last thing you want to do is mess with the transmission. Not saying you will definetly have problems if you use other types of fluid, but not saying that you won't have problems because of it either. Since money isn't a problem on this one, just go with what the manufactorer says.

Edit: I reread your posting. I am amazed the toyota dealership told you that! :o That is some very bad information and that employee should be "trained" to know better. I've found that some of these part department guys want to act like they're mechanics, when they're not. I also get the feeling sometimes that bad advice is being given with the intention of causing your car a big expensive problem, that would require their service$$$ later down the road. DEXIII and Type IV are completely different altogether. Tranny fluid expands and contracts with heat. A transmission is specifically made for a specific set of properties from the fluid. Screw with those properties, and you're !Removed! with the functionality of the transmission in general.

If it makes you feel better, I always do a "drain and fill" with my oil changes. It drains out 2 quarts, I put in 2 quarts of toyota fluid. I've done this now 3 times. At first, the old stuff was black as mud. 3,000 miles later, the old stuff was maroon. 3,000 miles later, the old stuff was just about the same color as the new stuff going in. 1,000 miles from now, I'm betting the old stuff and the new stuff will look identical. My tranny shifted kind of rough when I began this. As I've done this, it's smoothed out quite a bit, to the point where you can't really feel it shifting, especially down shifting when coming to a stop light. I have zero leaks, no slips, no noises, no odd smells, no rough spots "dead zones", no nothing. I am just shy of 112,000 miles.

I have read other posts though that say to ONLY use Toyota transmission fluid, not any other type. Money is not an issue, just want to get the right stuff in there the first time.

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Thanks for your advice and help. I plan on changing it this weekend. I was also going to drop the pan to clean it out as well, make sure all of the magnets are clean and start fresh so to speak. Then I plan on as regular maintenance doing the drain and fill maybe every other oil change just to keep introducing new fluid into the system.

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Thanks for your advice and help. I plan on changing it this weekend. I was also going to drop the pan to clean it out as well, make sure all of the magnets are clean and start fresh so to speak. Then I plan on as regular maintenance doing the drain and fill maybe every other oil change just to keep introducing new fluid into the system.

I've been using T-IV in my '95 also with no problems. Too, since you'll have the pan dropped to get to the filter, you should clean out the solenoids down there too (bicol-ini started a thread about it. ;) ).

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Greetings,

I am in search of transmission fluid to perform a flush and fill for my 1995 LS400. The owners manual states Type II, which is no longer available, I have seen many responses on here indicating that the new Type IV fluid supercedes the old Type II. However, when I tried to purchase Type IV fluid from the Toyota dealer, they said not to use Type IV and instead use DEXRON III. Which is correct?

I do not own a Ls but I would say TypeIVi would/should not be used. That would be like me putting Type 4 in my Es300 (1998). It does not need it nor was it designed back in the day.

OEM fluids are not any better then others. You are paying for the name and it (Toyota) is a waste of money; unless you have extra money to spend.

I would use Dexron III in there since Type 4 is a different fluid per say. They is only one business I know of that makes a fluid that does Dexron III and Toyota Type IV in the same fluid; that is Amsoil ATF which I use.

Going on over 30K miles and the fluid is new looking as the day it went in and smells like new stuff too!

I have read other posts though that say to ONLY use Toyota transmission fluid, not any other type. Money is not an issue, just want to get the right stuff in there the first time.

In case of doubts buy the OEM stuff, or you can do a search in the forum, there is a lot of info about Tranny Fluid. As far as I am concerned it should use type IV, or you can buy the Amsoil premium stuff that calls for your car. For Amsoil products you can do a web search to find the location or the method to get it.

Secondly your PS uses Dextron III Tranny fluid, not PS fluid as American cars do! If you put PS fluid into your Lex, there could be leaks at the seal. Never overfill Tranny or PS systems, since the fluid will make pressure and premature failure of seals and leaks will develop.

C. PR

If you look at chemical properties of ATF (dex 3) and Toyota fluid they are VERY close and I mean close. It is the add pkg and the viscosity that are a little diff. The chances of leaks is well, you have better luck hitting the lottery.

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If you look at chemical properties of ATF (dex 3) and Toyota fluid they are VERY close and I mean close. It is the add pkg and the viscosity that are a little diff. The chances of leaks is well, you have better luck hitting the lottery.

Exactly...why would you want to mess with the "viscosity" properties with anything but what the engineeers designed the transmission to work with in the first place? To me, messing with those properties indicates your messing with wear and tear.

Sweet, do as you please my friend, but the two guys here that have your exact same car, one with more miles & the other with A LOT more miles both use the OEM stuff, and both have no problems with their trannys that could be associated with the fluid itself.

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Exactly...why would you want to mess with the "viscosity" properties with anything but what the engineeers designed the transmission to work with in the first place? To me, messing with those properties indicates your messing with wear and tear.

Sweet, do as you please my friend, but the two guys here that have your exact same car, one with more miles & the other with A LOT more miles both use the OEM stuff, and both have no problems with their trannys that could be associated with the fluid itself.

...becasue they are very close and it does not make a diff. Again the add pkg comes into play along with a thinner viscosity (very small). Look at the numbers and go from there. I have switched back and forth without issues.

The "wear and tear" is again going to be soo small you would not even notice. You would notice a few high or lower TBN, OXD etc. So unless you test, you are guessing.........Plus what enginners designs does not mean anything to me. They do mess up and so has Lexus at times. Enginners are not gods. I should know, I am one.

To close look at the properties and see what or how close they are. It is a joke.

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Well I did a drain and fill then took a ride and came back and did it again. There is already a significant improvement in the color of the fluid comming out. Shifts are much smoother now too! I was planning on changing the transmission filter too but couldnt get the pan off. It was sealed on their from the factory, I didnt want to damage it and cause a leak so I will just wait till I have the 90k service done and have the dealers swap out the filter. Other than that, good as new.

PS: I was also going to drain the differential as well, but couldnt get the bolt out for the fill. I am going to take it somewhere to get the fuel filter replaced and let them do the differential service too.

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The pan can be a bear to get off. Just need to keep working with it. Might try a stout pocket knife even to cut a little deeper into the sealant......or just take it to the dealer. :)

On the fuel filter if I had known what a mess and PITA it was going to be I would have let someone else do it. I finally just ran the car down to fumes then let the fuel drain out of the line until it stopped pouring out. Then finished removing the filter. To me there is nothing worse than having 91 octane burning the shat out of your arms and anywhere else it gets on your skin. :censored:

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The pan can be a bear to get off. Just need to keep working with it. Might try a stout pocket knife even to cut a little deeper into the sealant......or just take it to the dealer. :)

On the fuel filter if I had known what a mess and PITA it was going to be I would have let someone else do it. I finally just ran the car down to fumes then let the fuel drain out of the line until it stopped pouring out. Then finished removing the filter. To me there is nothing worse than having 91 octane burning the shat out of your arms and anywhere else it gets on your skin. :censored:

i had this same experience :censored:

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Greetings,

I am in search of transmission fluid to perform a flush and fill for my 1995 LS400. The owners manual states Type II, which is no longer available, I have seen many responses on here indicating that the new Type IV fluid supercedes the old Type II. However, when I tried to purchase Type IV fluid from the Toyota dealer, they said not to use Type IV and instead use DEXRON III. Which is correct?

If you so choose, you can also safely use Amsoil synthetic ATF which is compatible with all 3 you mention above. ;) Below is some more info.

http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/atf.aspx

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I was a toyota chemical engineer working in the fluids engineering in Japan quite some years back ( 1994-1997 ) and I should say this all you guys having different opinions to the transmission fluid. Ok here is how it goes, When lexus was launched the transmission fluid to be used was given a great importance, looking at the engine and gears running at various speeds. The oil made for the toyota engines was made and specially formulated and selected from a highly refined base stocks and compounds and additives of special nature were added after years of research to enhance oxidation and thermal stabilty, friction control, load carrying capability, corrosion and wear protection and low foam tendency. The viscosities were measured under various tempratures until the flash point . Now coming to the lexus cars finally toyota derived a special formulation to protect its engines and work to its optimum and thus they got the results with being the quitest and smoothest engine ever built using these fluids. We as manufaturers not from the marketing point of view but from the engineering point ensure these are to be used across our network worldwide. Now you as consumers expect the same results. There are few who do not have the patience to use the OEM stuff and go to the nearest gas station and service with various other oils and do not know the repurcussion on long term use how they can affect the funtions of the engines. I forgot to add also note during the test level the decibel level is calculated on the engine running and using various composition of the fluids. Toyota engineering have then come to the conclusion . Now as the years go by the fluids are upgraded, that does not mean they cannot be used on older cars, they are most compatible. The upgrades are done to improve sludge resistance, oxidation stability,increased energy densities and shifting performance. ANd lastly i should say this Many service fluids curentlly in the market simply do not provide the level of performance that is now required. I hope you all continue to use Type iv OEM and it does make a hell of lot diiference.

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wasnt T-II developed specifically for the LS/SC transmissions? why would you want to change or mix fluids that were in there from the factory. and its a fact that these transmissions act funny when you put in just any old dex-II/III. The fact is T-IV superceeds T-II and should be used. using a dex formula could result in trans. failure!

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  • 8 years later...

It's confusing since the cars are so old now and they do not make T-2 ATF anymore. T-4 ATF however is supposed to supersede T-2. The advice I got (and I followed it) was to replace the transmission fluid with T-4 type ATF and not Dexron. Supposedly you can use Dexron but will need to add a friction modifier (additive) to give Dexron the correct friction and lubrication qualities required by the LS400 automatic transmission. So, in short form: Use T-4 ATF. Don't buy it at the Lexus dealer, you can get it at the Toyota dealer for a fraction of the price. As far as the synthetic International stuff, I don't know.

Also, don't pay some shop to "flush" the transmission! When they "flush" a transmission, much of what is "flushed" from the trans stays in the pan! Use the instructions found elsewhere in this forum to change the ATF (and change the filter!). It's easy and takes about an hour if you take your time, even less time if someone helps.

One other thing: You can and should use Dexron ATF as power steering fluid (it's in the manual). In fact, do not use "power steering fluid" in your LS400 power steering! Use Dexron ATF for your LS400 power steering!

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