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A/t Fluid Replace Interval...


wctm
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I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY AND ALL HELP HERE. I HAVE A 2004 RX330 WITH 105K MILES AND WANT TO KNOW THE INTERVAL FOR A/T FLUID REPLACEMENT. THERE IS NO MENTION OF A REPLACEMENT INTERVAL IN THE OWNERS MANUAL AND MY OPINION IS THAT THE DEALERSHIPS "MAKE UP AS THEY SEE FIT" THE INTERVAL IT SHOULD BE REPLACED. THANKS IN ADVANCE !!

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One thing for sure, at 105K miles it's well past time for an ATF change. The good news is it's not too late. I would consider 50K to be a reasonable interval given the relatively low cost of an ATF change - especially if it's a DIY. This is also something that could/should be performed by a good independent shop - either Toyota or Lexus. Your Lexus service department will make you pay dearly for this relatively simple procedure.

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I had the dealer check it yesterday. They rec. 100K interval replacement and said it looks good, a little dark but not burnt by any means. The car was a CPO and I could not find any record of replacement so either it was done at an independent shop or Lexus makes quality fluids as well !

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Yep, do it yourself. It is just as simple as changing the engine oil. After the transmission failed on my wife's previous 2000 RX300 AWD under warranty at about 48,000 miles, I've been doing simple drain-and-fills of the ATF in these RX vehicles every 30,000 miles just as some added protection. No transmission problems since, and her current 2004 RX330 AWD is pushing 115,000 miles now. I stick with the Toyota Type T-IV ATF and always purchase it from a Toyota dealership not far from me at less than five bucks a quart. Each drain-and-fill always nets right at four quarts of old fluid, so it is a relatively inexpensive procedure if you do it yourself. All you need is the new fluid, a catch pan, a plastic funnel, and the correct Allen wrench to remove the ATF drain plug (10 mm if I remember correctly). Cut a 3-inch by 3-inch hole in the vehicle's plastic belly pan directly underneath where the ATF drain plug is located and you save even more time by not having to unbolt and drop the belly pan every time you do a drain-and-fill. Takes me 30 minutes to do the job with 20 of those minutes consisting of just sitting around waiting for the final drops of old ATF to finally quit dripping....

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Yep, do it yourself. It is just as simple as changing the engine oil. After the transmission failed on my wife's previous 2000 RX300 AWD under warranty at about 48,000 miles, I've been doing simple drain-and-fills of the ATF in these RX vehicles every 30,000 miles just as some added protection. No transmission problems since, and her current 2004 RX330 AWD is pushing 115,000 miles now. I stick with the Toyota Type T-IV ATF and always purchase it from a Toyota dealership not far from me at less than five bucks a quart. Each drain-and-fill always nets right at four quarts of old fluid, so it is a relatively inexpensive procedure if you do it yourself. All you need is the new fluid, a catch pan, a plastic funnel, and the correct Allen wrench to remove the ATF drain plug (10 mm if I remember correctly). Cut a 3-inch by 3-inch hole in the vehicle's plastic belly pan directly underneath where the ATF drain plug is located and you save even more time by not having to unbolt and drop the belly pan every time you do a drain-and-fill. Takes me 30 minutes to do the job with 20 of those minutes consisting of just sitting around waiting for the final drops of old ATF to finally quit dripping....

Thanks for the info. What about a full flush and refill of fluid... Is it worth the extra money? 12 quarts vs. 4 quarts according to the dealer...

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I don't trust transmission flushes. Too much risk of dragging old debris that has settled in the transmission pan up through the valve bodies and creating problems that you didn't have before. But that's just me. Some folks swear by flushes, but again, I am not willing to take the risk. If I drain-and-fill every 30,000 miles like I've been doing for years, I know that I am keeping my ATF clean enough to minimize transmission failure down the road. Much of what drains immediately after you remove the ATF drain plug is indeed any debris that has gradually settled at the bottom of the transmission pan. I let the vehicle sit overnight and do the ATF drain-and-fill first thing the next morning....

These RX transmissions are quirky. The first couple of years in the RX300 AWD model (1999 and 2000) were flat-out dogs due to weak planetary gear housings as member "lenore" (Tom) has proved here on the forum. By the time the RX330 came out for the 2004 model year, the transmission design and components seem to have improved. Are they as robust as the transmissions in my 1999 Dodge Ram and 2005 Jaguar S-Type that have never given me a moment's trouble? I doubt it, and that's why I continue my 30,000-mile drain-and-fill interval on my wife's RX330. Thus far it has worked for me. Your mileage may vary....

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I don't trust transmission flushes. Too much risk of dragging old debris that has settled in the transmission pan up through the valve bodies and creating problems that you didn't have before. But that's just me. Some folks swear by flushes, but again, I am not willing to take the risk. If I drain-and-fill every 30,000 miles like I've been doing for years, I know that I am keeping my ATF clean enough to minimize transmission failure down the road....

These RX transmissions are quirky. The first couple of years in the RX300 AWD model (1999 and 2000) were flat-out dogs due to weak planetary gear housings as member "lenore" (Tom) has proved here on the forum. By the time the RX330 came out for the 2004 model year, the transmission design and components seem to have improved. Are they as robust as the transmissions in my 1999 Dodge Ram and 2005 Jaguar S-Type that have never given me a moment's trouble? I doubt it, and that's why I continue my 30,000-mile drain-and-fill interval on my wife's RX330. Thus far it has worked for me. Your mileage may vary....

Thanks again. One more thing... any comment on replacing the differential / transfer case fluids? Again, no mention in the owners manual unless you drive under severe conditions.

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I have not replaced the gear-oil fluids yet. I probably should, but you rarely read about failures caused by these fluids vs. the transmission. I'll probably replace the gear-oil fluids when I do the next "major" service at 120,000 miles, probably in the November/December timeframe based on my wife's current driving patterns with this vehicle....

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