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curiousB

2004 Ls430 Atf Maintenance, Inspect Only?

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I am about click over to 100k miles on my '04 LS430. I've kept current on all maintenance but the Transmission has never had a fluid change or top up. This service bulletin suggests its never needed but my instincts tell me the fluid must be dirty or breaking down after 100k miles.

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Any other consensus here? It just seems at some point that fluid should be replaced. Does Toyota has some magic ATF they use that never breaks down?

The filler port seems to be in the most inconvenient location. Without a lift it doesn't look like a lot of fun to get to.

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I think Lexus is being very truthful when they say the fluid needs no changing for the life of the vehicle. Of course they forgot to tell you that the life is determined by the how long the tranny holds out and when the fluid is shot...well, THAT's the life of the vehicle! Self-fulfilling prophecy. :lol:

Personally, I would be getting antsy about changing or checking the fluid. You might consider sending a sample of the fluid off to a lab. The ATF-WS is synthetic so it lasts a long time but everything wears out eventually. I would just go ahead and have it changed. At the dealer if I could not figure it out. Take a look at this thread -> http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls430/527541-another-transmission-fluid-thread.html

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Thanks Landar

I skimmed through it. Six pages of comments yet no definitive conclusion.

I guess where I am hung up is whether lifetime maintenance is dictated by some technical breakthrough of a fantastic transmission design and superb fluid or is it the Lexus marketing department trying to create the perception of the former. I'd hate to avoid a $100 or so fluid change only to shorten life of Transmission by 50k miles. I suspect the marketing department doesn't much care about life experience beyond 100k miles as they want to get you into a new vehicle before then anyway.

I also wonder if the difficult to access fill port is in part to avoid owners from topping up fluid with the wrong type and thereby contaminating the fluid.

I guess life is good if these are my biggest questions...

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I guess life is good if these are my biggest questions...

You got that one right!

I suspect that the WS trans fluid, being synthetic, holds up very well. I mean, regular ATF appears to work fine up to 100k (and beyond) even if you never change it. Many new car owners never have their transmissions serviced until/unless they have a problem. That is not to say excess wear and tear is not going on within the transmission because of deteriorating lubrication. It is just not yet apparent.

And I also suspect that the Lexus marketing dept. likes to flaunt this longevity. Over the years, I have seen many systems(not necessarily automotive) that supposedly never need servicing. Sealed bearings that never need lubed and so on. They do, however, have an end-of-life. IF the transmission fluid did not get hot or interact with so many precisely machined parts, I would be inclined to believe the lifetime hype. On the other hand, why second guess the Lexus maintenance schedule? It's not like they want to sell you another car. :whistles:

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