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60k Service - ? About Transmission Fluid


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The 60K Scheduled Maintenance indicates that the transmission fluid needs to be changed (although in parens it doesn't include the IS). A friend who's wife also has an IS250 2007, said that he heard or read that the transmission is "sealed", and was wondering what that means. Question: Is there an fluid pan to drain the fluid, and a spicket hole to refill it like other transmissions, or is there more to this service? He is doing the maintenance on his IS now.

Any info will be appreciated. Thank you.

The reason it excludes the IS is because it's impossible to change the transmission fluid. It is, indeed, a sealed system.

There is a rather difficult way to add fluid in case of a leak or something, but there's no practical way to drain any significant percentage of the systems fluid.

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Yes, I agree, I hate when their overconfidence about the term of maintenance goes beyond what common sense dictates.

I think ford did this for a while, and ended up back stepping. Mechanical stuff wears out, plain and simple.

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This is actually the norm now in todays cars. However if you feel you need to do the service, you can try and do it. There is a fill hole, drain hole, and an overflow tube hole. Personally I would never try this myself as underfilling or overfilling can be bad for the transmission. It is a bit of a process, kind of typical such as level surface, use the correct fluid, fill pan til it starts to trickle out the overflow tube, plug overflow hole , fill transmission, circulate fluid, get fluid to certain temperature, check fluid level, add more fluid if necessary.

To be honest, the only time we've ever done a transmission fill on an IS was when a customer doing his own oil change drained the transmission instead.

Good luck.

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This is actually the norm now in todays cars. However if you feel you need to do the service, you can try and do it. There is a fill hole, drain hole, and an overflow tube hole. Personally I would never try this myself as underfilling or overfilling can be bad for the transmission. It is a bit of a process, kind of typical such as level surface, use the correct fluid, fill pan til it starts to trickle out the overflow tube, plug overflow hole , fill transmission, circulate fluid, get fluid to certain temperature, check fluid level, add more fluid if necessary.

To be honest, the only time we've ever done a transmission fill on an IS was when a customer doing his own oil change drained the transmission instead.

Good luck.

It is physically impossible to change all the transmission fluid on the car without taking most of it apart.

You can change the fluid in the pan, but that would be a small fraction of the total fluid in the system.

The fluid in the transmission cooler is inaccesable without removing the cooler entirely, as is the fluid inside the gearbox, torque converter, etc...

Removing and replacing the transmission pan entirely will only require replacing about 1L-1.5L of total transmission fluid.

Full capacity of the transmission system is just under 9 liters.

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YOU being in Arizona with the hotter climate would be a good candidate for a fluid failure. As for changing it I wonder what type they are using now. The older Lexus used Toyota Type IV. A full synthethic could hold up longer in a sealed system.

As for doing it yourself you could drain it in containers that could be measured and pour in exactly the same amount for those concerned with over filling. Draining would at least show contaminants. Ford did this exact same thing I understand on some of their trannys, and had to revert back after having failures. Time will tell. I think keeping those fluid temps down to about 160 degrees would help also.

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YOU being in Arizona with the hotter climate would be a good candidate for a fluid failure. As for changing it I wonder what type they are using now. The older Lexus used Toyota Type IV. A full synthethic could hold up longer in a sealed system.

As for doing it yourself you could drain it in containers that could be measured and pour in exactly the same amount for those concerned with over filling. Draining would at least show contaminants. Ford did this exact same thing I understand on some of their trannys, and had to revert back after having failures. Time will tell. I think keeping those fluid temps down to about 160 degrees would help also.

Except, as I've mentioned 3 times now, it's impossible to drain more than 15-20% of the total fluid without taking much of the car apart. Considerably more work than it would take to just swap the entire transmission in fact.

You could replace 15-20% at a time dropping the tranny pan. But you're more likely to contaminate the fluid swapping the pan half a dozen times than just leaving it alone, and even then at only a 15-20% change of fluid each time you'll still have a fair amount of old stuff in there after 5 or 6 changes, and spent a fortune on WS fluid.

In regards to what transmission it is-

The IS250 AWD uses the A760H

The IS250 RWD uses the A960E

The IS350 uses the A761E

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This may be a dumb observation since I am not mechanically inclined... But how is the transmission cooled? The last two times I had transmission fluid changes performed they hooked up a machine to the cooling line; sucked out the fluid, then injected the new fluid into the cooling outflow line.

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The tranny are cooled by lines that go into the radiator. The AWD has an external radiator in addition to the regular radiator.

Kind of like a long garden hose that is exposed to the air passing by it to cool the fluid inside. The pump in the transmission constantly pushes the transmission fluid to the cooler.

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it has a water/oil cooler mounted on the side of the transmission. COOLANT lines run to the heat exchanger, so there is NO ACCESS to the fluid without removing the cooler completely.

There's a 5 page long thread on CL over this. It's a sealed system. You really, truely, honestly, can not change all the fluid without considerably more labor than would be involved in replacing or rebuilding the transmission.

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There's a 5 page long thread on CL over this.

Sorry, I should know this but, what is CL mean? :huh: Thanks.

Club Lexus

Here's the link to the thread-

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=236728

The impossibility of it gets explained in increasing detail as the thread goes on, including several diagrams and references from the Lexus service info

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I'm the friend Randy is referring to with the IS250. I CANNOT fathom how in the world Lexus designed a transmission with no service schedule for the "life" of the vehicle.

Look, I'm a huge Toyota fan. Myself and immediate family have had 7 Toyotas now (NONE of which ever had to go back to the dealer for ANYTHING) and this is my first Lexus. I (apprently mistakenly) believed that Lexus quality would be on par with Toyota's or even surpass it since you're paying a premium for the Lexus badging. But here's the problem as I see it: Lexus has obviously done its marketing homework and somewhere along the line, they adopted the ignorant philosophy of American car manufacturers whereby they build in planned obsolescence. They've done the research that the intial Lexus owner doesn't do their own maintenance, and only keeps the vehicle for 5 years or less....

The problem with this errant philosophy is that the 2nd owner of the car inherits a transmission that will likely fail just after the vehicle reaches the end of its warranty. Since extended warranties are hot sellers on these vehicles extending coverage to 100K miles, my guesstimation would be that somewhere just after 100K miles, you're going to have your transmission fail. Now what will this do to Lexus (and Toyota's) image of "preceived quality"? Undoubtedly it will tank. Think about it: marketing research proves repeatedly that dissatisfied customers tell on average 10-50 people. What do they think that's going to do to their long term viability as a car manufacturer?

Sorry I'm ranting....I'm just a little more than *BLEEP*ed at this point. I'm a very self sufficient person. I don't let the dealer touch my vehicle if I can help it. I do all my own maintenance and am pretty anal about how it gets done. I was told by the salesman (never should have taken his word) at purchase that the tranny was flushed at 50K and that the 50K service included changing ALL the fluid in the vehicle (trans, rear end, coolant, engine oil, brake fluid) for $400-450. That's a reasonable price for the work involved....but there isn't even a 50K mile service interval in the owner's manual. I realize I'm the atypical consumer of ANY automobile, much less a higher end luxury car, but DAMN, for the amount of money I spent on this car, it really could be designed with the "long haul" more in mind.

I guess my only saving grace at this point is that my car is eligible for the AZ lemon law for recurring electrical problems and I can get rid of it. On the one hand, I love the car in terms of the looks and styling, but at the end of the day, emotional attraction to a vehicle probably isn't the wisest way to determine whether or not you should buy another one after lemoning the first. Practicality says dump this thing and get a new Accord.....but it just doesn't hold the same level of excitement for me the way the IS does.

I dunno....just venting I guess.

Sean

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