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A Pleasant Surprise


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I started the multi-fluid change transmission 'flush' today, and man, did Toyota put some thought into making this quick and easy!!

I am almost anxious to do it the next time...it was that easy.

First, get a socket wrench, a 10MM socket and a ratchet wrench, though only if you're gonna remove the pan to clean/replace the filter. A bolt spinner, whatever you call those offset wrenches which allow you to remove bolts/nuts quickly, will not fit unless the front tires are a good four inches off the ground. Even then, the rear ones might be a challenge.

Anyway, you need a 10MM Allen wrench, or what I have, read: bought, a socket which has a 10MM Allen key on the end. This rocks, as the factory puts the drain bolts in surprisingly tight.

I thought my fluid wasn't burned that badly, if at all. Whooo-weeee, did that stuff stink while collecting in the drain pan.

The front diff drain is also a 10MM Allen key, and it's worth it to drain it. I'd wager there is an additional 6-8 ounces of fluid in there.

What's nice is no draining fluids drain onto any other parts, just straight into the pan.

Oh, and my wife's '02 AWD doesn't have the metal mesh filter...damnit. It has the fiber one, which is exactly the one I don't want. Anyone know if the metal one is available anywhere? I like parts which can be cleaned and reused, as you can see how much and what kind of crud is being caught.

I didn't have much in the way of clutch leavings in the bottom of the pan, and the magnets were pretty clean. The front diff's plug is magnetized, so make sure to clean it off, too. There was a 'fuzz' on the diff plug, but what I'd consider normal, given 46K miles.

I can see changing the fluid every 20K is not going to be any trouble whatsoever. Checking the fluid after it circulating for about ten minutes shows me I will need to change it again, soon. Probably tomorrow.

Edit/addendum: Who was the freakin' GENIUS who decided the dime-sized access point for the transmission's dipstick was adequate for adding multiple quarts of very low viscosity oil? I mean, if you so much as blink twice within five seconds, you could easily have a Superfund-sized oil spill to contend with. Is it that difficult to engineer/incorporate a tube which can accomodate a quart-sized bottle which goes to the transmission?! Oh, wait, I forgot...supposedly this never needs to be changed. :censored:

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they make funnels for transmission filling. Any Walmart or auto parts store. Good investment for preventing spills.

Oh, I'm not clueless. I have an 18" long clear tube which is attached to a device allowing the tube to be screwed on to the top of an engine oil/transmission oil/gear lube fluid bottle. It's much like cheating, but in a good way. Just bugs me to no end this is the design which has been accepted for the last 50 years.

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