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Transmission fluid change

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by fgoodyear, Jul 16, 2008.

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  1. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    My dealership says that @ 30K they change the transmission fluid & filter. I cannot find any reference to changing the fluid & filter, only checking it @ 30 K intervals. What is the recommendation for doing this? Need to now before scheduling my 30K service

    Thanks,

    Frank
  2. fnc

    fnc Metro owner

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    Here is how I view lifetime fluid. When installed it's life begins, when the component it lubricates fails, the lifetime of the fluid is over. You get new fluid with the new component.

    Now, I would suggest changing it if you can. 30k is not an unreasonable interval to do so. The fluid in the Prius transaxle does get dark over time, (it is nice and red new) conatminents are present in the fluid at this time.

    Preventive maintenance is just that, you are trying to maintain your vehicle to prevent a break down or component failuire. Compare it to cooling systems or brake fluid. They wear from the inside out, so a radiator hose may appear to be in good condition, however it could be worn on the inside and about to fail.

    HTH
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Frank,

    Note that there is no transaxle fluid filter in Prius. The 2G model needs 4 quarts of Toyota ATF WS when doing a drain and replace. No fluid flushing is required.

    Several Prius owners have had their used transaxle fluid tested (including me) and found large amounts of aluminum, iron and silicon particles in the used oil. This provides further motivation for periodic replacement of that fluid.
    http://priuschat.com/forums/care-ma...8609-draft-transaxle-oil-testing-results.html
    http://priuschat.com/forums/care-maintenance-troubleshooting/38524-transaxle-oil-analysis.html

    I change my transaxle fluid at 30K mile intervals, a relatively simple DIY task.
    Dino33ca and GasSippr like this.
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Hi,
    I changed my 07 out myself at 5,000 miles as I plan on keeping this car a long time. Its cheap compared to losing the trans at 75K. I up-graded to this:

    Red Line Oil: Gear Lubricants


    and the car seems to like it. Smooth smooth. :plane:I noticed a difference at 70-80 mph's. Although at 10K I plan on doing a UOA on that fluid.
  5. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Hi Frank,

    When they give you the price for changing the ATF, be aware that you can buy the WS fluid for about $5 - 7 per quart (I paid $5.20) and the only other materials needed are two aluminum washers for the drain and fill ports (about $ .80 each). It only takes a few minutes to drain and refill. So if they quote a couple of hundred for the service they are way out of line. It is a fairly simple DIY service.
  6. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate all replies on this. My 30K service is supposed to be about $120 more than the 15K for just the tranny fluid change and cabin filter change being extra...... I think I can change my own tranny fluid for that... and check the cabin filter.
  7. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    OK, if you plan to change the transaxle fluid yourself, you will need the following tools: 24 mm (or 15/16") socket for the fill plug, 10 mm hex key socket for the drain plug, and a funnel with a three-foot-long flexible tail to make it easy to add fluid through the fill hole.

    The cabin filter will cost $15 plus shipping if you buy from one of the Toyota dealers that sell discounted parts over the Internet; may cost $20 or more from your local dealer.
  8. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate the info. I have all the tools needed, now where is the filler located?
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Raise up the Prius with four jackstands so that it is level. The fill plug is located on the side of the transaxle that faces forward (towards the radiator). It is not necessary to remove the engine under cover in order to access the fill plug.

    When refilling, place the funnel near the radiator and inverter, then snake the flexible tail down to the fill hole. Then you should be able to add the 4 qt of ATF WS without spilling it on your driveway.
  10. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    This calls for Toyota's ATF, right? Something about avoiding dissolving the insulation in the motor/generator windings?
  11. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    Yes, you need to get it from Toyota. It is ATF WS fluid. No one else even has it. I asked for it at an auto parts store and they looked at me like I had 3 heads!!
  12. JOS

    JOS New Member

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    Not to be a stick in the mud, but doesn't the maintenance schedule say to change the hybrid transaxle at 100K? <waiting for the wife to get home to thumb thru the owner's manual>.
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Actually, the maintenance schedule is silent about any need to change the transaxle fluid. Hence some owners (including me) have had their used fluid tested, found that it contains substantial aluminum, iron, and silicon content, and on that basis decided it was a good practice to periodically replace the fluid.

    See my post #3 above for a couple of links to discussion about the fluid testing.
  14. JOS

    JOS New Member

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    Being a professional mechanic (aviation), I'm all about following a manufacturer's maintenance schedule. I thought I missed something in the owner's manual and seeing as how our Prius is at 36K, you can imagine why this post peaked my interest, lol.

    I think I found my mistake...the Bentley Prius book says to replace the "engine and transaxle/inverter coolant" at 100K. I guess I misread it, lol. But you're right, no reference to replacing the transaxle fluid even in the Bentley book...curious.
  15. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    I know that some Toyota (and independent) shops suggest fluid changes. Does Toyota in any country officially suggest Prius transaxle fluid changes?

    I kinda wish they would, and would not view it as an admission of guilt or culpability.
  16. hc167

    hc167 Junior Member

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    I have about 64K on my prius too. And I would like to change the transmission fluid also. can anyone give me detail information of how to do that?
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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  18. hc167

    hc167 Junior Member

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    I found this. I guess this has good instruction.

    Spring maintenance

    by the way. someone suggest using this.

    Red Line Oil: Gear Lubricants

    is this good idea to use redline or toyota oil. I know redline make good stuff but I am not sure if this oil can be used in the prius cvt.
  19. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, Hobbit's website page is very interesting. However I do not recommend that you remove the inverter just to gain access to change the transaxle fluid. Toyota ATF WS is the only approved fluid for use in the 2G transaxle; hence any other fluid choice is at your risk.
  20. hc167

    hc167 Junior Member

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    no, I will not remove the inverter. I just use the pictures to locate the drain plug and the location where I put the fluid in. that is all. but I guess I will at least disable the keyless entry system.
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