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2001 Ls430 Transmission Fluid Capacity Incorrect?


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Our 2001 LS430 is at 233K miles and I figured it might be

time to change the tranny fluid. Not wanting to do a flush and fill at the

local AAMCO, I decided to drain, drop the pan, replace the filter, and refill

followed by a couple more drains and refills. Problem is, the owner’s manual

indicates a 1.9 qt capacity for a drain and refill and when I initially drained

it, I got 3.5 quarts out of it. If it helps, I did let it drain for over an

hour. Now, this model year still has the dipstick, and even though I consider

that dipstick design one of the few annoying things about this car, making it

extremely difficult to get a good reading, I swear up and down that the level

was correct (in park and running) before I drained it. Can anyone out there

personally verify that the 1.9 qt capacity is either correct or incorrect? I

normally would not question an owner’s manual (especially Lexus), but when we

bought the car and I did my first oil change, I found I had to put more than

the 4.8 qt the manual indicated in order to bring it up to the full mark on the

dipstick, so I know there is a problem with that value. Also, does anyone know

how sensitive the level is to the temperature of the fluid?

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Probably due to the fact you let it drain for an extended period. The 1.9 qt is probably if you just pull the plug and wait for the initial wave of fluid to come out only.

I wouldn't worry too much. Replace what you took out. If it was working fine before then there should be no problem.

At 233k miles its lasted this long...

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  • 4 months later...

Hi. My 2004 doesn't have a dipstick, so I was wondering how to check and/or replace fluid. Does it use the same fluid as my LS400s? Keith.

Ah, just seen the answer on another post:

04-06 is sealed (Still has drain, overflow, and fill plugs on the transmission itself)

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You're correct. The 'drain' plug only empties half the fluid; during the drain and refill the normal service is to replace half; not all.

Obviously if you've dropped the pan then all of it has to come out; so like curiousB said if 3.5qt came out put that amount back in.

The dipstick at least can tell you if you're high or low.

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  • 1 year later...

Resurrecting an old thread.

The only way to tell if your transmission has the proper amount of fluid before you do a flush and fill you must jack up the car on both ends, making sure the car is level. The fluid should be between 110-130 F (I use an infrared thermometer).

Opening the overflow plug using a 6 mm hex tool. If some fluid comes out then wait for it to trickle and then install the overflow plug back in .

If none comes out you will need to add fluid through the fill plug until you see transmission fluid coming out of the overflow hole.

Now you know if you have the proper amount and can replace what you drain out. Supposedly there is a drain plug that takes a 14mm socket on one end of the transmission pan.

ATF Adjustment.pdf

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