nOraKat

2016 ES 350 - Need help with transmission oil change / level check

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Hi,

I am planning to check the transmission oil level on my 2016 ES 350.

So far I bought the Toyota Tech Stream software and can now monitor my transmission oil temperature.

So far I know what is on this video:

 

So what I am planning:

1) Remove splash panel next to left front wheel well to get access to the fill bolt on the transmission.

2) Loosen bolt on transmission oil pan while up on a ramp.

3) Bring up to measurement temperature (104 to 113 F).

4) With engine off and car level - remove transmission oil pan bolt.

5) If I see no oil leaking out, I will add WS transmission oil through the fill hole using a funnel attached to a hose.

 

Is this a good procedure?

 

A few questions I have is:

1) Should the car be running when I make the measurement? Does it make a difference? (I saw another procedure where the guy had the car running..)

2) How does changing oil in the pan periodically compare to doing a total flush? Is it OK to just change the oil in the pan periodically as opposed to doing a total flush?

3) How do you do a total flush?

Thanks for your help..

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Not a good idea. You need a specialty transmission fluid tool to perform this procedure. And the transmission fluid temperature has to be in parameters to check for proper fluid level. Besides, your vehicle is still new, why are you even trying to replace the Transmission fluid? If anything take it to the dealership.

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Lexus DK: Not a good idea. You need a specialty transmission fluid tool to perform this procedure.

That is not correct. You only need that tool if you are checking it at a higher temperature than what is specified for the overflow tube. It is explained in the video.

Lexus DK:  why are you even trying to replace the Transmission fluid?

Because there is a problem. It is explained here:

 

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Bring it to the dealer, you may still be covered under factory warranty. Does the car have less than 50k miles? Possibly eligible for a transmission replacement

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Lord, why do car manufacturer try to make a simple fluid level so difficult?

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I've done a few WS atf adjustments. It's not fun. Not only that, but you need a computer to view the data list (to get the temperature correct) and the special service tools. Probably someone tried replacing the ATF to your vehicle and did not perform it correctly, in return it damaged the transmission. Bring it to the dealership, this best and wise choice you can do now is pay for a diagnostic fee. They can provide you a true understanding of what is going on with your transmission. 

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17 hours ago, Lexus_DK said:

Bring it to the dealer, you may still be covered under factory warranty. Does the car have less than 50k miles? Possibly eligible for a transmission replacement

I bought the car brand new and it is under 50k miles. Yes I did bring it to the dealer, I asked them to check the transmission oil level and told them the problem. They said they did not observe any problems - the whining, they said was normal and they probably didn't even bother to drive it on the road to observe the premature downshifting and hard shifts. 

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10 hours ago, Lexus_DK said:

I've done a few WS atf adjustments. It's not fun. Not only that, but you need a computer to view the data list .. and the special service tools.

I already have Toyota Techstream working and can observe my transmission temperature.

Like I said before, you do not need the special service tools unless you are making the measurement at the temperatures specified in the procedure you posted (thanks for that btw.. and where did you get it?). The tube in the drain plug is measured for the oil temperature of 104-113 deg F, so as long as you have it at that temperature you do not need those tools.

The only thing I am trying to figure out now is whether I need the car to be running when I do the measurement (which was my original question and the purpose of making this post).

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So today I performed the procedure to change the transmission oil in the pan and set it to the proper levels.

Before I say anything, let me say that the transmission I pulled out from my car w only 23k miles was almost black and the last bit I poured had some sludge/residue in it. I do not believe for a second that this oil is good for a lifetime, or even 100k. 

First to verify the level, I brought the transmission oil to the measurement temperature of 104 to 113 deg F. I pulled the transmissions drain plug and no oil was coming out indicating that the oil was low. After the procedure, for good measure I added and additional 100ml to the normal level which I thought was negligible enough to be safe.

Anyway, I am happy to report that all of the loud whining noise (that the Lexus dealer said was normal) is gone. The car is now super quiet when it accelerates. The problem of early downshifting while coasting at various speeds is gone, though there can be some annoyance at 35 mph at a shift point, however that seems to be normal. All the hard shifting is gone. Shifts are more subtle.

It seems the transmission operates completely differently, although the change in fluid level from what it was is only 220 ml (approximate). It is amazing that such a small change in level could make such a huge difference. This transmission is very nit-picky, like the instructor in the video above said. If I set it to normal levels, the difference would have been only 120 ml.

The procedure I did is the following:

 

Only difference is I used Toyota Techstream to check the transmission oil temperature. You can buy it on Ebay with the cable at a reasonable price.

To answer my question above, the car has to be running and be on park when the measurement is made.

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On 4/28/2017 at 12:57 AM, nOraKat said:

I already have Toyota Techstream working and can observe my transmission temperature.

Like I said before, you do not need the special service tools unless you are making the measurement at the temperatures specified in the procedure you posted (thanks for that btw.. and where did you get it?). The tube in the drain plug is measured for the oil temperature of 104-113 deg F, so as long as you have it at that temperature you do not need those tools.

The only thing I am trying to figure out now is whether I need the car to be running when I do the measurement (which was my original question and the purpose of making this post).

 ATF fluid levels are checked after going through all the gears. I have lexus ES330, and have done 5 drain and fills in 135K miles on this car.  Just did it on our Rav4 with the WS fluid and I drove some on a 90 degree day, and the fluid was above the upper limit, perfect.  3.5-3.6 qts. is what came out.  good job on your flush!

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