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Transmission Fluid Help!

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my trusted mechanic changed my tranny fluid and filter for a 1993 gs 300 with dextron 111 . I spoke to him about t- 1v fluid but he kept insisiting that dexton -111 is the same thing!

what do you think and i wonder if toyota dealers would also use dexton -111 ?

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I talked to a service advisor at my Lexus dealership and they said that you should use Toyota Type T-II fluid ONLY. However, this fluid has been updated to the Toyota Type T-IV, and he said it was better for the old cars than the TYPE II it replaced. He said to PLEASE do NOT use ANY kind of DEXRON. This stuff is available at the Toyota or Lexus dealership. If you REALLY want to protect that transmission, please consider using a synthetic fluid like Mobil 1 or even better, AMSOIL Universal Transmission fluid. They mix with standard fluids. Try flushing all the old stuff out by draining the pan and filling it back up. Drive for a bit, and drain again. This gets the old fluid out of the torque converter. 2 or 3 flushes, and you should have it all out...or you could pay big bucks and have the transmission power flushed at a service facility like Pep Boys.

Thanks a lot,


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Your mechanic is right. The new DEXRON is universal, Valvoline make this ATF. Your local Lexus/Toyota dealer using these also. The advisor doesn't work on the car.....Sorry most of them doesn't know anything.....They throw all the technical terms to the clients.


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thx for responding if anybody else has a view pls let me know because this is my first toyota product and i want to do the right thing!

btw he used - citgo transguard ATF dextron -III-

let me know what you think - thx again

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree wholeheartedly. NOW I am using the AMSOIL Universal Transmission fluid in my power steering. That often gets overlooked, and many cars are still driving around with the original power steering fluid.

That is a sure-fire recipe for having to replace a rack and pinion gearbox, and a power steering pump in the future. The Lexus is famous for having the power steering pump go out down the road, and they are NOT cheap.

I changed my fluid, and the difference is like night and day. Now I have AMSOIL 5W-30 engine oil, Amsoil Universal Transmission fluid in the transmission and power steering, and the Amsoil 75W-90 differential oil in the rear end.

Next is the Amsoil Air filter, and the AMSOIL BMK-11 or 13 full flow oil filter bypass system, and a Hayden transmission cooler to go along with the stock cooler in the radiator. It should be pretty good after all of that.


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  • 3 months later...

If all transmission fluid is the same, then they would not have charge different prices and given them different names.

In an auto transmission, there are planetary, sun and ring gears - simply put, there are fluid clutches that hold these gears to give you forward, neutral or reverse... Automatic trans. fluid is used to apply these clutches, when the wrong fluid is used, the clutches will seperate = SEVERE transmission damage.

Please refer to manual, always.... always change your fliter or clean the screen on every transmission fluid change intervals.

AMSOIL universal is OK... Quaker state universal only... these are Type T-IV compatible.

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Your Transmission Oil dipstick tells you what kind of fluid to use:


Type T-IV is an updated version of Type T-II and is available

from Toyota or Lexus dealers. It is more reasonably priced at Toyota

dealers :

Dexron III fluid is NOT APPROVED for use in any Lexus transmission that

requires Type T fluid and vice versa. It says so in Toyota / Lexus technical

service bulletins (see below) and in late model Lexus owners manuals. So your

mechanic is misinformed.

TSB TC003-99


A/T - Fluid Interchangeability


All Models

May 21, 1999


Automatic Transmission Fluid Type T-IV now replaces Type T-II fluid. Use

Type T-IV for all applications that specify ATF Type T-II.

NOTICE: With the exception of mixing ATF Type T with Type T-IV fluids, different

types of fluids must not be mixed.

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  • 5 years later...

my trusted mechanic changed my tranny fluid and filter for a 1993 gs 300 with dextron 111 . I spoke to him about t- 1v fluid but he kept insisiting that dexton -111 is the same thing!

what do you think and i wonder if toyota dealers would also use dexton -111 ?

I love this forum but it does get confusing. This is what "I" am going to do with my 96 es300 w/125k mi. and what I learned about the T oils.

1. The manual says to "inspect" at 125k but says nothing else about oil transfusion or what to use.

2. The dip stick says to use Dex II and to check the rear end oil at the filler hole. However my understanding is that Dex III can be used in place of all before it. I am not sure when Dex II was superseded/discontinued but I thought it was before 96 as stated below. I am sure the stick is OEM and has all the jap lingo on it. I concluded that maybe the stick is older than 96 but then what did the factory really use? I assume it had to be Dex III. (Democratic disclaimer: No disrespect meant on the Jap statement.)

3. The forum seems avid against using Dexron. So I called the Dealer...Bell Road Lexus in Phoenix @ (602) 866-1474 and they told me...:

Pre 1999- Dexron III ATF. 1999 to 2004- Toyota ATF. 2004+ World Standard ATF what ever that new guys can fight it out. I asked about the synthetic and he said with older cars it would not really matter but suggested "no". I asked about using the Valvoline v v337 Dex/Merc Extended Life and he said it was a good product and a good replacement for the Dexron.

5. So...I want all the oil changed out so I am doing the flush method irregardless of the damage threat (I'm such a rebel) and pulling/cleaning the pan/changing the internal screen filter. And I am using the Extended Life Valvoline. If interested in the Valvoline I have posted more info on on:

Overview from the site above:

MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF contains a blend of superior base oils and a unique additive package to help extend the life of transmissions with over 75,000 miles. It is formulated to maximize transmission performance, reduce transmission wear, and improve and maintain smooth shifting longer than conventional fluids. MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF is compatible with new and rebuilt transmissions and will not void new car warranties.

Recommended for use where DEXRON, DEXRON II, III and VI, Toyota T-IV and WS, MERCON®, MERCON® SP and LV, Allison TES 295 and 389, Nissan Matic-D, Matic-J and Matic-K, Honda Z-1 (except CVT), Mercedes NAG-1, Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III and many others are required.


All previous DEXRON specifications were replaced once DEXRON-VI was introduced. There are no valid approved products that carry the DEXRON approval unless they have a DEXRON-VI approval and associated license.

DEXRON-IIE has been surpassed by DEXRON-III as of January 1, 1994. It is no longer available and its use is no longer recommended. DEXRON-IIE is not compatible in systems requiring DEXRON-III or DEXRON-VI.

DEXRON-III is not compatible with the most recently designed transmissions, and the use of these earlier type fluids could result in transmission damage.

All DEXRON-III licenses expired at the end of 2006, and will not be renewed. Beyond that date, General Motors will only support the use of DEXRON-VI fluids for use in Hydra-Matic transmissions. Fluids claiming DEXRON-III type performance continue to be sold under abbreviated names such as Dex/Merc, and D/M however since the DEXRON-III licensing system no longer exists, these fluids are not regulated in any way.


DEXRON-VI was introduced in 2005. It was designed to replace all prior specifications, and is therefore backwards-compatible with applications calling for DEXRON of any type. The specification (GMN 10060) defines both a performance level and specific additives that provide improved shift feel, friction durability and oxidative stability compared to earlier specified fluids.

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